16 thoughts on “Sudan’s Bashir to the Hague, Who’s Next? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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    1. That was an error posted in anger.

      Meshal does not lead a military that unduly dominates another so can’t be guilty of war crime.

      1. Wait a second….

        “…lead a military that unduly dominates another…”

        Could that be a damning indictment of Israel? Not for you, Hamas is on your mind.

  1. My sister is in Sudan at the moment (in the South) working on a health project there. Most NGO and development staff from the international organisations may well be asked to leave now; MSF and OXFAM(UK) have already been asked to do so. While in some respects it is a laudable step forward, this action will impose a level of suffering on the Sudanese and it is unclear whether it will be a really productive step. Action against genocide should be taken while it is happening not after the fact. Arresting sitting heads of state is a sensitive matter, especially for something like war crimes, which unfortunately are a far more frequent occurrence than we would like to admit.

    The problem for the ICC is that increasingly it is being seen as a discriminatory body, in that it only ever tends to bring charges against powers and countries that are not Western allies or that don’t have patrons on the UNSC. Disproportionately, the targets seem to be Third World leaders of minor powers. Complicity of Western governments and corporations – as documented by the UN itself in areas like the Congo where massive war crimes and loss of life are being committed are also not acted upon.

    In anycase, I beleive some sort of sanction from the UNSC is needed for a prosecution to go ahead and therefore Israel will always be protected by the US. Still, no need for pro-Israeli supporters to worry, even if such a charge is brought they can rest assured that Al “defender of civil liberties” Dershowitz will come steaming in to defend Israel in the dock!

  2. The move by ICC in issuing arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir president of Sudan is just the beginning of justice coming into action irrespective of the stature of the accused, it paves way to have one legal system for all the nations. This might however lead to further unrest in Sudan. Come share your view on the issue at
    http://www.allvoices.com/journalism .

  3. Judging the misdeeds of others on such a scale does have its drawbacks. With so many individuals and governments ultimately involved, two obvious stumbling blocks come to mind. Who will then appoint the judges? And who, in turn, will accept and enforce their judgements?

    Surely it would be much better to avoid these pit-falls entirely by leaving certain matters to a more impartial and less flawed procedure.

    Example: http://yorketowers.blogspot.com

    All done with numbers. Even for the most partisan of deliberations, the outcome of ‘2 + 2’ can never be in doubt.

  4. On Press TV was mentioned that the Iranians, endorsed by the Supreme Leader, are seeking indictments of certain Israeli officials for war crimes.

  5. I understand from an article by the Dutch jurist H.Verrijn Stuart in the “Nederlands Juristenblad” of 1/30/09 that Sudan is not a member state of the ICC either. The case against Bashir was transferred to the Court by the Security Council on the basis of art.13 of the ICC Statute and chapter VII of the UN Charter. In principle this procedure can also be followed against Israel – but a US veto would of course be a certainty in that case.

    Verrijn Stuart points out that the case against the Serbian Bosnian war leader Radovan Karadzic, who is presently waiting for his trial in a prison in The Hague, is not very different from one that can be brought against certain Israeli leaders. The core of the case against him seems to be based on his Directive 7 which said: “Complete the physical separation of Srebenicas from Zepa as soon as possible, preventing every communication between individuals in the two enclaves. By planned and well thought out combat operations, create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebenica.”

    Srebenica too was for a long time cut off from supplies, journalists were kept out, aid workers were targeted and their work was made impossible.

    Even though the chance that an Israeli leader will be indicted by the ICC is presently remote, national courts have greater opportunities for taking action. Israel has recognised that in its warning to serving military officers to contact its department of justice first before undertaking a trip abroad and in its endeavour to preserve these officers’ anonymity. It has, inter alia, learned from the case of its cabinet minister Ami Ayalon, some time ago before the Gaza onslaught, who had to quickly turn back when on a trip to Holland when he learned that Dutch courts were interested in him. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights had lodged a complaint against him since he was deemed responsible for the deeds of torture committed by Shin Bet while he was its director.

    Furthermore, local nationals can be prosecuted for supplying weaponry to a party committing war crimes. The Dutchman Frans van Anraat got a prison term of 17 years for supplying chemical materials to Sadam Hussein for instance.

    Presently the supply of weaponry to Israel seems to be totally uncontrolled.

  6. To expand a little on Arie’s comments.

    From the 4th Geneva Convention:

    Article 146.

    The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article.

    (I have omitted detail, see http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebART/380-600168?OpenDocument)

    Article 147.

    Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

    The grave breaches detailed in Art 147 are incorporated into the domestic law of all signatories. There is no need to use the ICC. Although it might be more appropriate the political obstacles already referred to by other contributors makes using the ICC problematic.
    All that is required is the opportunity to arrest and the political will by signatories’ governments to prosecute, or at least not to obstruct prosecution.

    Many senior members and former members of the Israeli military are already effectively prohibited from travel to Europe. This is such a potential problem for Israelis that Ehud Barak felt it necessary to promise legal aid to those committing war crimes during the recent Gaza atrocity. Personally, I’d go for prosecutions relating to “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” because whilst they may not be the most serious, they are the most easily proved, least contentious and there must be vast numbers of prosecutable Israelis, for instance, each and every settler, all the directors and employees of companies involved in constructing settlements, practically anyone who has so much as looked at a D9, etc, etc.

    This is also a problem for those US citizens involved in the Torture and Rendition programmes of the last administration, unless Obama decides to prosecute them in the US.

    With respect to Arie’s comment “prison term of 17 years for supplying chemical materials to Sadam Hussein”: I hope Rummy and Cheney have heard that. Loudly and often.

    1. “This is such a potential problem for Israelis that Ehud Barak felt it necessary to promise legal aid to those committing war crimes during the recent Gaza atrocity.”

      Hello, Miles,
      Can you give some documentation for this?

      Thanks,
      ellen

  7. With respect to the Iranian complaint made to Interpol: Quoting from Interpols website

    “INTERPOL has neither been requested to issue by Iran, nor has it issued on behalf of Iran or any of its 187 member countries any Red Notices for persons wanted internationally or other requests seeking the arrest of senior Israeli officials for alleged war crimes in relation to the Gaza offensive in December and January.”

    INTERPOL’s Constitution strictly prohibits the Organization from making ‘any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character’.

    1. In any case I think trying to use Interpol in relation to this is misguided. Interpol needs the same kind of universal acceptance the Red Cross enjoys. However much I might wish it were different, the prosecution of Israeli War Crimes is a highly contentious and political issue.

  8. Isn’t this all too reminiscent of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted? The deed has been done, is being done right now and will continue to be done no matter what the Internationa Criminal Court declares in these matters. Do you know why?

    It’s the time differential. At the time of the crime, the ICC is a distant dot on the horizon, a future scenario that does not loom large in the minds of the perpetrators. Even if it does, the chances are that the guilty parties involved will be able to go to ground and avoid whatever the ICC might subsequently throw at them. Certain people always tend to think they can get away with it. The fact that they often do is probably reason enough.

    The dilemma, as I see it, is this. If we are all merely content to play catch-up when, really, we should be well ahead of the game, then the situation is unlikely to improve.

    http://yorketowers.com

    Being ahead of the game.

    This has never been, nor will it ever be, a small problem.
    So, think BIG, just for once. It can make all the difference.

  9. Before we send anyone related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, PLEASE send BushCo to the Hague first. They’re the ones that deserve it above all.

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