18 January 2010

Stop Gordon Brown Allowing Israeli War Criminals a Free Pass

Brown Fears that Blair May be Next
Of course it’ no surprise. New Labour’s first Prime Minister Tony Blair was and is a war criminal and his successor Gordon Brown went along with everything Blair proposed and helped finance it. So it’s no surprise that the Calvinist Brown wants to give a free pass to Israeli war criminals. After all, isn’t it shocking that Tzipi Livni, Foreign Minister when phosphorous bombs were raining down on the heads of the children at Beit Lahia’s UN school, when ambulances were being deliberately targetted, when civilians with white flags were cold bloodedly shot down, should be in fear of arrest?
These are the values that New Labour espouse and it is up to us to ensure that the principle that war criminals should not be allowed to escape justice, wherever they are, should not be done away with for the convenience of the United State’s satellite in the Middle East. Tony Greenstein

Universal Jurisdiction

National courts prosecute serious human rights violations committed anywhere in the world.
As genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances are crimes under international law, all states should investigate and prosecute the crimes before their national courts.

Recognizing that impunity exists mainly when the national authorities of countries affected by the crimes fail to act, it is important that the national criminal and civil justice systems of all countries can step in to prosecute the crimes on behalf of the international community and award reparations to victims.

Amnesty International campaigns for all governments to empower their national courts to take on this important role by enacting and using legislation providing for universal jurisdiction. Such legislation should enable national authorities to investigate and prosecute any person suspected of the crimes, regardless of where the crime was committed or the nationality of the accused and the victim and to award reparations to victims and their families.

In doing so, governments will ensure that their countries cannot be used as safe havens by the worst criminals.

Amnesty International’s legal memorandum, Universal Jurisdiction: the duty of states to enact and implement legislation, documents more than 125 states that have universal jurisdiction over at least one of the crimes. The organization is campaigning for all states to enact universal jurisdiction legislation over all six crimes.

Since the end of the Second World War, more than 15 countries have exercised universal jurisdiction in investigations or prosecutions of persons suspected of crimes under international law, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Senegal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and others, such as Mexico, have extradited persons to countries for prosecution based on universal jurisdiction.

URGENT: Save our war crimes legislation

Dear Supporter,

We urgently need your help to prevent the Government from seriously undermining the law on Universal Jurisdiction. If the government are successful, magistrates will lose their powers to issue arrest warrants for foreign nationals visiting the UK who are suspected of the worst human rights violations.

We expect an announcement on a legislation change this week – please email Gordon Brown today.

What is Universal Jurisdiction?
Universal Jurisdiction allows national courts to prosecute anybody suspected of serious human rights violations such as genocide and war crimes committed anywhere in the world.

What would be the consequences of the change?
The UK could become a safe haven for the world’s worst criminals. In seeking to avoid any future attempts to prosecute suspected war criminals, the Government would subvert the judiciary’s independence and integrity, it would fail to meet its commitments under international law and it would undermine the rights of victims to obtain justice, truth and reparations.
Why is Amnesty objecting so strongly?
No person and no country is above the law and whether we are talking about Israel, Sudan, Congo or Rwanda, there should be an absolute commitment from Britain to help detain and bring to trial those suspected of the world’s worst crimes.

Take action today by emailing the Prime Minister. There's still time to save our war crimes legislation, but we must act now.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely, Kristyan Benedict
Campaign Manager
Crisis Response & Country Priorities

Email Gordon Brown
If you have any queries or feedback about this email or Amnesty's work, please get in touch with our Supporter Care team on sct@amnesty.org.uk or on +44 (0)20 7033 1777 +44 (0)20 7033 1777 .

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