International Criminal Court Under Fire
Amadi Ajamu | 9/4/2014, 10:17 a.m.
Special to the AmNews
The criminal case brought before the International Criminal Court in the Hague against the United States, Britain, Canada, France and NATO allies in 2012 is aggressively moving forward. This historic case focuses on war crimes and human rights abuses against Libya, Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, Palestine and Black people in the United States of America.
In the past two years, these crimes and abuses have continued unabated. The ICC’s refusal to investigate has become increasingly apparent and troublesome. Lead attorney Roger S. Wareham explains, “On September 5, we will deliver more critical information to the ICC on our case. We will also hold an international conference at the Community Centre Stanfasti, 1e Laakdwarsweg 7, 2521 SP; The Hague. The conference’s theme is ‘The ICC: Institution of Even-handed Justice or Willing Weapon of Western Recolonization?’”
The conference has an expert panel of international jurists and activists, including attorney Lennox Hinds of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the National Conference of Black Lawyers, who represented defendants in the Rwanda tribunal; Queens Counsel Courtenay Griffiths, who represented former Liberian President Charles Taylor in the Sierra Leone tribunal; Mireille Fanon-Mendes, chairperson of the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and head of the Frantz Fanon Foundation; and Wareham, international secretary-general of the International Association Against Torture and member of the December 12th Movement International Secretariat, who has been actively involved over the past 25 years in the United Nations, exposing human rights violations committed by Western countries, particularly against people of African descent.
Wareham stated, “We will examine the role played by the ICC in current world events. This is the latest stage of a campaign catalyzed by the March 2011 U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973, which opened the door to regime change in Libya and the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi. The ICC’s indictment of Gaddafi played an important role in legitimizing this criminal abuse of the international peacekeeping system.
“Recent events have further exposed the contradictions and racism of the ICC. The racist, militarized response of United States law enforcement to Black people’s protests of the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., clearly violates international law. But the U.S. has de facto immunity from ICC prosecution.
In January, British NGOs brought a detailed 250-page dossier to the ICC. “The Responsibility of U.K. Officials for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse in Iraq from 2003-2008” raises the issue of why the ICC has failed to charge the U.K. or any of the other members of the “Coalition of the Willing” with similar crimes.
“The conference will look at the following issues: the ICC’s sole prosecutorial focus on Africa; the legal conflicts of interests in the Rome Statute regarding the role of the U.N. Security Council and the ICC; the political nature of international prosecutions, a case study of the Charles Taylor trial; the ICC’s refusal to investigate Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity; the role of the U.S. in determining ICC prosecutions while simultaneously avoiding indictment for its own criminal acts; how ICC funding provisos eliminate the voice of developing countries in determining who gets prosecuted; and the proposal for African countries to withdraw from the ICC.
“We will have updates on the situation in Haiti, Libya, Cote d’Ivoire and the U.S. The conference will reach conclusions and make recommendations.”
A “Report Back to the Community” will be held Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church, 230 Malcolm X Blvd. at 122nd Street in Harlem. For more information, contact the December 12th Movement International Secretariat at 718-398-1766 or email D12M@aol.com.