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Universal Jurisdiction: Belgian prosecutors can investigate crimes under international law committed abroad.

, Index number: IOR 53/001/2003

Amnesty International reiterates that Belgian prosecutors have jurisdiction under international law to investigate on behalf of the entire international community crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed abroad even when the suspect is not present in the state where the prosecutors are located. The case involves killings of at least 900 Palestinian civilian men, women and children in refugee camps in the suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon in September 1982. Amnesty International also stated that the contention by the Procureur Général (Chief Prosecutor) that international law prohibited national prosecutors from investigating crimes under international law committed abroad by suspects not found in the territory where the prosecutors are located is an assertion that has no basis whatsoever under international law.

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