EU mustn’t undermine justice for war crimes in Israel/OPT
(Brussels, 26 September 2011) Following his speech at the United Nations on 23 September, when the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, sought full UN membership, Amnesty International has warned the European Union not to block access to justice for victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Media reports suggest the EU has proposed to broker an agreement offering Palestinians enhanced status on condition they do not have recourse to the International Criminal Court.
“The EU mustn’t use the ICC as a bargaining counter. Any solution should fully respect the human rights of Palestinians and Israelis, including access to justice, truth and reparation”, said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “It would be outrageous for the EU to reinforce impunity by preventing victims of the Gaza conflict and other crimes under international law from receiving justice through the ICC.”
Amnesty International has told the EU that any such action would directly contravene the EU’s ‘common position’ promoting the ICC, which calls on all EU countries to support the court, and would undermine the court itself, as well as other EU objectives, for example those covering justice in Libya and Syria. The alleged EU deal appears to offer impunity for crimes under international law, during the 2008/9 conflict and in future, by preventing the ICC from investigating and prosecuting such crimes.
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