Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Monday, December 20, 2010

Opposing impunity for war criminals

From the letters page of the Guardian last Monday:

 We are joining the chorus of voices against government proposals (contained in the police reform and social responsibility bill) to give the director of public prosecutions a power of veto over arrest warrants for war crimes suspects who are visiting the UK. These warrants are issued very rarely by extremely senior district judges in Westminster, and only in response to submissions from victims accompanied by substantial evidence against the suspect. Giving a power of veto to the DPP would risk: political interference by ministers in the arrest of war crimes suspects; delaying proceedings, allowing suspects to escape justice; and would constitute a gross interference with the rights of the victim and the responsibilities of the judiciary.

Ministers and diplomats are already protected by immunity when carrying out their public duties, but this change in the law would risk creating a culture of impunity in the minds of those politicians and military leaders who already treat international law with cavalier disregard. We call on parliamentarians in both houses and of all parties to support international law and reject these proposals.

Richard Burden MP

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Alex Cunningham MP

Mark Durkan MP

Jonathan Edwards MP

Clive Efford MP

Paul Flynn MP

Mike Hancock MP

Cathy Jamieson MP

Gerald Kaufman MP

Ian Lavery MP

Andy Love MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Kerry McCarthy MP

John Mcdonnell MP

George Mudie MP

Ian Murray MP

Sandra Osborne MP

Yasmin Qureshi MP

Joan Ruddock MP

Bob Russell MP

Baroness Jenny Tonge

Mike Wood MP

Billy Hayes, CWU

Paul Kenny, GMB

Chris Kitchen, NUM

Kevin Courtney, NUT

Hugh Lanning, PCS

Bob Crow, RMT

Betty Hunter, Palestine Solidarity Campaign

John Austin

Victoria Brittain

Caryl Churchill

Jocelyn Hurndall

Dan Judelson

Bruce Kent

Ken Loach

Kika Markham

Prof Karma Nabulsi

David Polden

Prof Hilary Rose

Prof Steven Rose

Alexei Sayle

Clare Short

Keith Sonnet

Ahdaf Soueif

Dr Benjamin Zephaniah

Revd Canon Garth Hewitt, Amos TrustAbe Hayeem, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine

Len Aldis, Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society

Chris Doyle, CAABU

Estella Schmid, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)

Kate Hudson, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)

Ismail Patel, Friends of Al Aqsa

Brenda Heard, Friends of Lebanon, London

Liz Davies, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Mary Nazzal-Batayneh, Human Rights Legal Aid Fund

Pat Price-Tomes, ICAHD UK

International Solidarity Movement (ISM) London

George Farebrother, Institute for Law Accountability and Peace

Diana Neslen, Jews for Justice for Palestinians

Martin Linton, Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East

John McHugo, Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine

Daud Abdullah, Middle East Monitor (Memo)

Pat Gaffney, Pax Christi

Frank Barat, Russell Tribunal UK

Dr Alan Mackinnon, chair, Scottish CND

Hugh Humphries, Scottish Friends of Palestine

Michael Marten, Scottish Palestinian Forum

Lindsey German, Stop the War, Tahrir Swift, Women Solidarity for Independent and Unified Iraq

John Hilary, War on Want

Sarah Lasenby, NOW Network of Oxford Women for Justice and Peace

Marguerite Finn, Norwich Branch Of Women's International League Of Peace And Freedom (Wilpf)

Nigel Day, Oxford Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)

It makes me very proud that my own MP, Ian Murray (Scottish Labour) is one of the signatories

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