Pan-African petition to ICC: prosecute Western powers for crimes
--stop the West from using court to “recolonize Africa”
A Pan-African delegation will on Monday, June 18, 2012 deliver a petition in The Hague, Netherlands, demanding that the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutes some Western powers and NATO for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Africa and Haiti.
The countries named are the US, Britain, France, Italy and Canada.
The petition comes just days after the swearing into office of the first African ICC Chief Prosecutor, Gambia’s Fatou Bensouda, who said last Friday “As I begin my tenure, moving forward in consolidating current practices, the office will continue to forge ahead with its investigations and prosecutions.”
According to human rights lawyer, Roger Wareham, the Pan African delegation to The Hague maintains that the ICC has become another weapon in the Western countries' campaign to recolonize Africa and African people.
Rights lawyer Wareham said, the crimes the Western powers are being charged with were committed during NATO’s invasion of Libya and the overthrow and assassination of Libya's former leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi; and the US-led overthrow of Haiti's duly elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004.
They are also citing the French military intervention that resulted in the capture and arrest of President Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast; and the sanctions campaign designed to punish President Robert Mugabe for returning the land stolen by white settlers to the indigenous people of Zimbabwe, among others.
“This campaign to the ICC began on May 19, 2011 when the December 12th Movement and several organizations (the Nation of Islam, CEMOTAP, WADU, AAPRP) which had gathered to celebrate Malcolm X's birthday pledged to hold a "Millions March in Harlem" rally to protest US/NATO bombing of Libya, attacks on Zimbabwe and the racist US assault on Black folks. The hugely successful rally was held on August 13 and was followed up with an historic International People's Tribunal at Columbia University Law School on January 14, 2012. The judges at the IPT, attorneys Lennox Hinds, David Comissiong and Rosemari Mealy found that the evidence presented made a prima facie case of crimes committed. It is the IPT findings which serve as the basis for the papers which the delegation will submit to the ICC on the morning of June 18,” PAMBAZUKA News quotes rights lawyer Wareham as saying.
Back in January this year Judges at the International People's Tribunal at Columbia University Law School found that the evidence presented made a prima facie case of crimes against humanity committed by Western powers, PAMBAZUKA News reported.