Today's UN vote adopting key recommendations of the Goldstone report on the conflict in Gaza and southern Israel earlier this year is vitally important for ensuring that those, on both sides, who committed war crimes and other violations of international law will now be held to account, said Amnesty International.
"Both Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been served due notice, in this defining General Assembly resolution, that they must immediately conduct credible, independent investigations into the alleged grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed during the conflict, said Yvonne Terlingen, Head of Amnesty International's Office at the UN today.
"The clock is now running and we urge both parties to act without further delay. The UN has spoken up today for accountability and for an end to the cycle of impunity that has for so long obstructed the search for peace and justice between Israelis and Palestinians."
The UN General Assembly resolution, based on the findings of the UN Fact Finding Mission led by Justice Goldstone, which concluded that both Israeli and Palestinian forces committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity, was adopted by a large majority: 114 states voted in favour, 18 voted against and 44 abstained. The USA and 7 European Union (EU) states voted against the resolution while Russia abstained.
The convictions of US and Italian intelligence agents for their
involvement in the abduction of Usama Mostafa Hassan Nasr (better known
as Abu Omar) mark a step toward accountability for crimes committed in
the course of the USA’s “rendition” programme
Amnesty International today warned hundreds of people – including many women and children – may be left homeless tomorrow morning if plans to demolish their homes to make way for a commercial development go ahead.
The assault of two independent journalists in Tunisia and the arrest of a third in the wake of last week’s elections must be punished, Amnesty International said today. “It appears that these three journalists were targeted because they have criticized the government and opposed the re-election, for a fifth term, of President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme. “This is an extremely worrying development, indicating that there is likely to be no let-up in the Tunisian government’s repression of dissent.” Slim Boukhdhir, an independent journalist who has previously been jailed for writing articles critical of the government, was stopped in the street and forced into a car last Wednesday evening by five men in plain clothes, all believed to be police or security officials.
Today at the United Nation years of discussions and debates, the vast majority of governments – 153 in total - agreed a timetable to establish a "strong and robust" Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with the "highest common standards" to control international transfers of conventional arms. There is currently no global Treaty on the conventional arms trade.
Barack Obama should follow the lead of the UN General Assembly and take all necessary steps to end its economic embargo against Cuba, said Amnesty International today after the UN body condemned US sanctions against the island.
The German government should immediately launch a credible, transparent investigation into a 4 September airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that killed scores of people, many of them civilians, Amnesty International said today.
The German military said on Thursday that NATO’s investigation suggested the airstrike, which targeted two fuel tanker trucks that had been hijacked by Taleban fighters five hours earlier, was appropriate even though it led to civilian casualties.
Amnesty international’s investigation into the Kunduz incident suggests that the laws of war may have been violated during the airstrike.