The International Association of Democratic Lawyers, (IADL) a worldwide NGO of progressive law professionals with consultative status at ECOSOC in the UN, reaffirms its support to the Palestinian people and their legitimate struggle against occupation, aggression, apartheid policies and continuous violations of the rights of the Palestinian people.
Several members of the EU’s Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee have proposed a resolution calling for the EU to assist the International Criminal Court (ICC) in investigating and prosecuting the Israeli government for its war crimes against Palestinians in the occupied territories. The resolution was pushed forward by Swedish Social Democrat Evin Incir, who is also the EU’s rapporteur for recommendations of relations with the Palestinian Authority (PA). The resolution was proposed on 27 June, with 41 votes in favor, 21 against, and nine abstentions, with a plenary vote scheduled for July.
You can indict Vladimir Putin over war crimes in Ukraine. But if you do, you’d better indict Joe Biden as well. That is the message that Professor Alfred de Zayas, world-renowned human rights and international law expert, gave “MintCast” host Alan MacLeod on today’s episode of the series. A Swiss-American lawyer, academic and United Nations official with over 50 years’ experience in the field of human rights, de Zayas joins us for a wide-ranging discussion about international law and Ukraine, U.S. sanctions, whistleblowers, the successes and failures of the United Nations and its bodies, and the growth of a new and cynical “human rights industry” that weaponizes the concept to attack foreign governments.
On March 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted and issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova. They are the first and only white people to be indicted by the court. All 44 of those previously indicted have been Africans. Neither Russia, China, nor the US have accepted the court’s jurisdiction. The US Congress even passed what’s colloquially known as the Hague Invasion Act , which makes it lawful—not internationally, but lawful according to US statute—for the US to invade the Netherlands to save any US official, service member, or citizen, or those of any of its allies, should they ever be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, no matter how heinous or well-documented the crime.
On March 17, the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, introduced an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Llova-Belova. The warrant, which accused Putin and Lolva-Belova of conducting the “unlawful deportation” of Ukrainian children to a “network of camps” across the Russian Federation, inspired a wave of incendiary commentary in the West. US Sen. Lindsey Graham, perhaps the most aggressive cheerleader in Congress for war with Russia, proclaimed: “The ICC has an arrest warrant for Putin because he has organized the kidnapping of at least 16,000 Ukrainian children from their families and sent them to Russia.
Many countries in the Global South have denounced the International Criminal Court as a neocolonial institution, biased in favor of the West. Its leadership has been dominated by Europeans, and as of 2016, only Africans had been brought to trial at the court. In a rare point of agreement, the United States has also opposed the International Criminal Court (ICC) since its inception. The US is not a member of the ICC, and Washington has even imposed sanctions on its top officials and threatened to arrest judges and prosecutors. In fact, when the court first opened in the Netherlands in 2002, the United States passed a law known as the “Hague Invasion Act.”
On March 17, a little more than one year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), announced that the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) had issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for the commission of war crimes in Ukraine. The PTC also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, for the same war crimes. While the U.S. celebrates the arrest warrant against Putin, it has pressured the ICC to refrain from prosecuting Israelis and Americans. There is a double standard in the ICC’s treatment of the situations in Ukraine and Palestine.
Al Jazeera has submitted a request for an investigation into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh by the International Criminal Court. The Doha-based network said that its case presented to the tribunal follows “a full and detailed investigation.” Al Jazeera added that its submission presents new evidence showing that Abu Akleh, a longtime television correspondent for the network, was deliberately killed while reporting on an Israeli raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin during May. After initially blaming Palestinians, and following unprecedented international scrutiny, Israel eventually admitted that one of its soldiers likely killed the iconic journalist but claimed that it was unintentional.
Although the United States has tried mightily to undermine the International Criminal Court (ICC) since it became operational in 2002, the U.S. government is now pushing for the ICC to prosecute Russian leaders for war crimes in Ukraine. Apparently, Washington thinks the ICC is reliable enough to try Russians but not to bring U.S. or Israeli officials to justice. On March 15, the Senate unanimously passed S. Res 546, which “encourages member states to petition the ICC or other appropriate international tribunal to take any appropriate steps to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian Armed Forces.” When he introduced the resolution, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said, “This is a proper exercise of jurisdiction.
Venezuela has submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) a new report containing evidence on the damage caused by the illegal sanctions—the unilateral coercive measures imposed by authorities of the United States and the European Union. The report also provides evidence on how the United States government and the European Union have intentionally issued them in order to make the Venezuelan people suffer painful situations, to create conditions for overthrowing the constitutionally elected government of President Maduro. This was announced by the Executive Vice President of the Republic, Delcy Rodríguez, at a press conference at the Miraflores Palace on Tuesday, August 24.
The Biden administration will remove in the coming days sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on officials at the International Criminal Court, according to a report issued on Wednesday night. Sources familiar with the matter said the move could happen as soon as this week or next, but an official cautioned that no formal decision has yet been announced. Last year, former US President Donald Trump imposed economic and travel sanctions against International Criminal Court employees investigating abuses by Americans and its allies, including the occupation state of ‘Israel’.
Palestinian organisations have urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to move swiftly in holding Israel to account for its actions in the Occupied Territories after a landmark decision on Friday. Judges ruled that it is within the court’s remit hear war crimes allegations made against Israel in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. In a preliminary investigation opened six years ago, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda focused on 2014’s Israeli aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip, which left 2,257 Palestinians dead, along with 74 Israeli soldiers. In December 2019, Ms Bensouda said there was “a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”
On 2 September 2020, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced the imposition of sanctions on Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and prosecution jurisdiction director for authorizing such an investigation, including war crimes committed by U.S. forces, for which U.S. officials bear responsibility. These sanctions were based on a declaration by U.S. President Trump of a national emergency on this subject in June of 2020. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) rejects as outrageous these sanctions on senior prosecution officials of the International Criminal Court.
US sanctions against two International Criminal Court officials are “unacceptable and unprecedented” and should be reversed, said the EU’s top diplomat, while the French foreign minister called them “a grave attack” on the court. The sanctions are “unacceptable and unprecedented measures that attempt to obstruct the court's investigations and judicial proceedings,” EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell said in a statement on Thursday. The US should “reconsider its position and reverse the measures it has taken,” Borrell added. His comments came shortly after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian condemned the sanctions as “a grave attack against the court,” saying it put into question “multilateralism and the independence of the judiciary.”
The Trump administration has sought to weaken or abandon various international agencies since 2016. Now it’s taking aim at the International Criminal Court, a global tribunal that investigates and prosecutes war crimes, torture and genocide. Claiming the ICC’s investigation into alleged war crimes by U.S. forces in Afghanistan poses a national security threat, President Donald Trump issued an executive order on June 11 effectively criminalizing anyone who works at the ICC. Its lawyers, judges, human rights researchers and staff could now have their U.S. bank accounts frozen, U.S. visas revoked and travel to the U.S. denied.