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Understanding The Illegality Of The Iraq - Afghanistan Wars And What to Do About it

 

 

 

Accounting For Genocide

 

 

Chris Coverdale :

 

Holding Britain’s Leaders to account for the wars with Afghanistan and Iraq and 3.5 million casualties.

 

 

Make Wars History

 

“But as elected Members of Parliament, we all know that we will be judged not only on our intentions, but on the results, the consequences of our decisions… Yes of course there will be consequences if the House approves the Government’s motion.   Our forces will almost certainly be involved in military action.  Some may be killed; so too, will innocent Iraqi civilians...  I urge the House to vote with the Government tonight.”

 

                                          Jack Straw 18th March 2003

 

 

“War is essentially an evil thing.  Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world.  To initiate a war of aggression therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

                                   Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946

 

 

The results of Parliament’s unlawful decisions to wage war with Iraq and Afghanistan are now abundantly clear and it is time that those responsible for killing and injuring so many innocent people must answer in court for their crimes.

 

The Crimes

 

In the six years since Parliament authorised the war with Iraq MPs have caused the violent deaths of 1 million people, including 300,000 children; they have maimed and injured 2.5 million and have driven 4 million into exile and destitution.  None of the victims had done anything to harm Britain or the USA, was given an opportunity to plead for their life in court or was shown any mercy before they were violently maimed, injured or killed in the worst massacres of modern times.  

 

Parliament’s choice to turn down the peaceful non-violent options and to choose instead to continue its’ illegal use of modern high explosive weapons such as cruise missiles, rockets, cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions against villages, towns and cities in Afghanistan and Iraq has caused an average daily death toll of 450 civilians of whom 150 are children.  

 

The decision to use indiscriminate high explosive weaponry ensures that innocent men, women and children suffer horrendously. The range of causes of death occurring throughout these wars includes decapitation, dismemberment, disembowelling, crushing, burning, bleeding to death, as well as the lingering painful deaths caused by cancer and the lack of medicines or treatment.

 

These massacres are the worst atrocities in UK or US history.  Not only are they illegal, breaching all of the laws of war, but they constitute the criminal offences of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes against peace. The wars and killings must be stopped now and the political, civil and military leaders responsible for them must be arrested, prosecuted and tried for their crimes.

 

 

Who is responsible ?

 

In a democracy the supreme sovereign body responsible for governing the nation is its Parliament or Congress.  In Britain, Europe’s least democratic state, Parliament shares responsibility for government with the monarch, and thus every member of both Houses of Parliament together with the Queen are individually and collectively accountable in law for the consequences of government decisions.  

 

Britain’s political, civil and military leaders must be made to answer for the consequences of their unlawful decisions to wage war, and in particular for the 3.5 million innocent people injured and killed as a direct consequence of their decision to attack the people of Afghanistan and Iraq.   When Parliament made the unlawful decision to use armed force it ignored the binding terms of The International Treaty for the Renunciation of War and the UN Charter which both require states to settle all disputes peacefully.  Britain cannot allow its political, civil and military leaders to ignore and breach the binding terms of the world’s most important treaties. 

 

Each of our leaders could at any time during the last seven years have brought these wars and the killings to an end.   Instead, they chose to support this heinous Government policy, and as a result they condemned 300,000 children to a violent and painful death and 700,000 to a life of misery burdened with debilitating injuries, the loss of family and friends and the destruction of their country.    

 

Rather than work assiduously to stop the crimes, halt the killings and obey, uphold and enforce the law as is their public duty, the Queen and 1400 members of both Houses of Parliament chose instead to support the policy of waging two illegal wars of aggression. By condoning the use of armed force and the use of indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction against Afghanistan and Iraq knowing that innocent men, women and children would be injured and killed, every sitting member of both Houses of Parliament committed crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes against peace under the domestic and international laws of war.  

 

For seven years while the daily indiscriminate killing of civilians has continued apace neither the Queen nor any Member of either House of Parliament has taken a single effective action to halt or reverse the orders to HM armed forces.  This horrific abuse of their legally binding duties must be punished.  Concerted international action must be taken now to arrest and prosecute Britain’s political, civil and military leaders for their heinous abuses of the rule of law.

 

 

“In the opinion of the Tribunal, those who wage aggressive war are doing that which is equally illegal, and of much greater moment than a breach of one of the rules of the Hague Convention… Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced.”

 

                                                        Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946.

 

Who is accountable in law for the actions of Parliament ?

 

                   “It is not what we say or feel that makes us what we are; it is what we do or fail to do.”

 

Although thirty to forty MPs have regularly spoken out against the war and 142 MPs voted against the war with Iraq in March 2003, actions for which they are to be commended, not one of them has resigned their seat, returned their salary, reported the war crimes and war criminals to police, refused to pay tax, informed the media or their constituents of the illegal nature of the wars or encouraged the public to join a lawful rebellion.  This abject failure to act[1] to prevent the worst crimes known to law makes every sitting MP and Peer complicit in the crimes.  In law, a person’s words are not enough on their own to disprove a criminal offence; it is a person’s deeds or failures to act that count in court.   By failing to act to prevent the killings, halt the wars or hold Government Ministers to account for their actions, sitting members of both Houses of Parliament[2] and the Queen as Head of State committed the same crime that Germany’s leaders committed when they condoned Adolf Hitler’s policies to attack and occupy 11 independent nation states during WWII.  

 

 

MPs’ and Peers’ individual and collective responsibility

 

On accession to their positions in public life the Queen[3] and every sitting member of both Houses of Parliament took an oath to govern according to law.   By taking up positions in public life and by accepting money from the public purse they confirmed their part in the decisions of Parliament and the government of Britain.  Just as every member of the Cabinet is individually and collectively responsible for the decisions of Cabinet and accountable for the consequences of those decisions, every member of a board of directors is individually and collectively responsible for the decisions of the board and is accountable for the consequences, and every employee of a government department is jointly responsible for the actions of their department and accountable in law for the consequences, so too are members of Parliament individually and collectively responsible for the actions of Government and accountable to a court for the consequences.   

 

It was submitted [by the defendants] that international law is concerned with the action of sovereign states, and provides no punishment for individuals; and further, that where the act in question is an act of state, those who carry it out are not personally responsible, but are protected by the doctrine of the sovereignty of the State.  In the opinion of the Tribunal, both these submissions must be rejected.  That international law imposes duties and liabilities upon individuals as well as upon States has long been recognised…

The very essence of the [London] Charter is that individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual State.   He who violates the laws of war cannot obtain immunity while acting in pursuance of the authority of the State, if the State in authorising action moves outside its competence under international law…

That a soldier was ordered to kill or torture in violation of the international law of war has never been recognised as a defence to such acts of brutality, though, as the Charter here provides, the order may be urged in mitigation of the punishment.   The true test, which is found in varying degrees in the criminal law of most nations, is not the existence of the order, but whether moral choice was in fact possible…

Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal Judgement

Crime by association

 

“Whosoever shall aid, abet, counsel, or procure the commission of any indictable offence, whether the same be an offence at common law or by virtue of any Act passed or to be passed, shall be liable to be tried, indicted and punished as a principal offender.” 

   The Accessories and Abettors Act 1861

 

If a representative disagrees with the decisions or actions of the Parliament or Congress of which they are a part, he or she must resign[4] from their office or accept the consequences of the decision not to resign.  In law, by making the moral choice to stay in Parliament and accept reimbursement from the public purse for carrying out their public duties, MPs participate in the decisions of Parliament’ and are liable for the consequences of those decisions.   Parliament is the supreme governing body in Britain, and as such sitting members are individually and jointly responsible and accountable in law for the actions of the Government of the day.  In this case every MP and Peer has freely chosen to stay in Parliament and has chosen to accept the responsibilities of office.  In law, each MP and Peer is criminally liable for all the war crimes committed by HM armed forces, and the forces of Britain’s Coalition partners during their period of office.   For example, every MP and Peer in Parliament at the time of the United States’ forces attack on Fallujah is individually and collectively responsible for the injuries, deaths and crimes committed during that attack, and as such can be prosecuted as an accessory to the crimes under the Accessories and Abettors Act 1861.    

 

MPs and Peers committed genocide

 

It is quite clear that the former and current Prime Minister, the former and Current Attorney General, members of the Cabinet, Members of both Houses of Parliament, civil servants, military commanders, law officers, advisors, journalists and taxpayers have violated the domestic and international laws of war and committed genocide against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan:

 

 

A summary of the facts

 

In early 2002 at a meeting in Washington the former Prime Minister of Great Britain [Tony Blair] in response to a request by the former President of the United States of America [George W. Bush] decided to form a Coalition with the United States to mount a full scale armed invasion and occupation of the State of Iraq with the unlawful stated intentions of removing the regime of Saddam Hussein and destroying Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction[5].   Subsequently the Prime Minister and members of HM Government gave unlawful orders to HM armed forces to deploy to the Middle East in readiness for the armed attack on Iraq.   In a vote in Parliament on March 18th 2003 412 MPs voted in favour of war knowing that the armed attacks by Coalition forces using high-explosive weapons would result in the death and injury of Iraqi citizens.  The invasion and occupation of Iraq by Coalition armed forces has caused injury and death to 3,000,000 Iraqi citizens. 

 

 

Multiple war crimes committed against the people of Iraq

 

We contend that by order of Parliament HM Armed Forces joined a Coalition of States and took part in the illegal armed invasion and occupation of Iraq in which they used indiscriminate high explosive weapons such as cruise missiles, rockets, cluster bombs, mortars and depleted uranium artillery shells in thousands of separate attacks against villages, towns and cities in Iraq killing tens of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children.  By setting out to destroy and subsequently killing thousands of Iraqi citizens Ministers of State, Members of Parliament and others committed crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, conduct ancillary to such crimes, a crime against peace, complicity in a crime against peace, murder, conspiracy to murder and incitement to murder which are criminal offences under sections 51 and 52 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001, Article 25 of the Rome Statute, Articles VI and VII of the Nuremburg Principles, the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, the Criminal Law Act 1977, the Accessories and Abettors Act 1861, the Landmines Act 1988, the Chemical and Biological Weapons Acts the Geneva Conventions and other international and domestic statutes, as well as constituting crimes in common law and customary international law. 

 

The domestic law against genocide

 

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the domestic law against genocide is contained in the International Criminal Court Act 2001[6],

 

It is an offence against the law of England and Wales for a person to commit genocide, a crime against humanity or a war crime, or to engage in conduct ancillary to such an act.   This applies to acts committed in England or Wales or outside the UK by a UK national, resident or person subject to UK service jurisdiction[7].  

 

For the purpose of this Statute, “genocide” means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part…”

 

The international law against genocide

 

The Genocide Convention which was signed in 1948 has been ratified by most major nations including Israel [1951] and the USA [1988].  In 1998 this was superseded by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which added crimes against humanity and war crimes to the universal offence of genocide and simultaneously set up a law enforcement authority in The Hague.    

 

Rome Statute   -   Article 25   -   Individual criminal responsibility

 

3.     In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person :

 

(a)     Commits such a crime, whether as an individual, jointly with another or through another person, regardless of whether that other person is criminally responsible;

 

(b)    Orders, solicits or induces the commission of such a crime which in fact occurs or is attempted;

 

(c)    For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission, including providing the means for its commission;

 

(d)     In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either:

 

(i)   Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; or

(ii)  Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime;  

 

(e)     In respect of the crime of genocide, directly and publicly incites others to commit genocide;

 

(f)     Attempts to commit such a crime by taking action that commences its execution by means of a substantial step, but the crime does not occur because of circumstances independent of the person's intentions.  However, a person who abandons the effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevents the completion of the crime shall not be liable for punishment under this Statute for the attempt to commit that crime if that person completely and voluntarily gave up the criminal purpose.

 

When has a crime of genocide taken place ?

 

Genocide, a particularly horrific type of mass murder, takes place whenever a government or ruling group develops and implements a policy to destroy members of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.   In law, waging aggressive war and killing people because of their nationality constitutes an act of genocide.

 

It is clear that genocide occurred in both Afghanistan and Iraq because the victims were killed by Coalition forces for the sole reason that they were members of the Iraqi and Afghan national groups.   Prior to the attacks, the victims lived peacefully in villages, towns and cities doing nothing to warrant a fatal attack.  To attack them on at least 100,000 separate occasions using modern sophisticated high-explosive weapons is a deliberate act of genocide as well as a crime against humanity.  

 

Under international law the ONLY people using armed force lawfully in Iraq and Afghanistan are the Iraqi and Afghan citizens fighting to defend their country from invasion and occupation.   Every other person associated in any way with the conflicts is acting unlawfully, and if the killings satisfy the other elements of the crime [specified below] then the perpetrator and their associates are guilty of genocide and can be charged under the law of England and Wales with a crime of ‘genocide’ or ‘conduct ancillary to genocide’ under sections 51 and 52 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001.  

 

 

Describing the victims as ‘enemy’, ‘terrorists’, ‘insurgents’, ‘rebels’ ‘militants’ or ‘infidels’ is a propaganda ploy used by political leaders, journalists and the media to cover the fact that innocent people are being killed because of their nationality or because they own the rights to large quantities of oil.   It makes no difference in court to plead that the victim was an enemy combatant.   If they were killed because of their nationality, race, religion or ethnicity then a crime of genocide has taken place. 

 

What elements distinguish genocide from mass murder

 

The legislation specifies four elements of the crime[8] that must be in place before a court can convict a person for the crime of ‘genocide by killing’.   They are:-

    

1.     The perpetrator killed [4] one or more persons.

2.     Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, ethnic, racial or religious group.

3.     The perpetrator intended to destroy, in whole or in part, that national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such.

4.     The conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against that group or was conduct that could itself effect such destruction.

 

      Notes [4] The term killed is interchangeable with the term “caused death”

 

Evidence that the attacks on Iraq constitute genocide

 

For a factual and moving description of the crimes and the consequences of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq please read the speech given by Dr Omar Al-Kubaisy to the European Parliament on March 18th 2009.  [Appendix I]

 

(1)   The perpetrator killed [caused the deaths of] one or more persons

 

Through the use of weapons such as cruise missiles, rockets, cluster bombs, mortars, machine guns, rifles, hand grenades and depleted uranium artillery shells against targets in Iraq, Coalition armed forces under the orders of their political and military commanders killed at least 100,000 Iraqi citizens and an unknown number of Afghans.  In addition, for every death caused by the direct actions of Coalition forces, a further 5 deaths were caused indirectly by factors linked to the invasion and occupation.   These include such factors as deaths from:-

 

unexploded cluster bombs and munitions exploding when they are touched accidentally by children playing or farmers tending their crops;

 

cancers and associated illnesses caused by the clouds of radio active dust particles, metals and destroyed Iraqi tanks resulting from depleted uranium munitions used by Coalition forces and spread across large parts of Iraq; 

 

infighting between Sunni, Shia and Kurdish groups caused by the illegal dismantling of the Iraqi army, police and law enforcement authorities;

 

untreated illnesses and injuries caused by the destruction of hospitals and medical facilities, shortages of essential medicines, equipment and doctors;

 

suicide bombers attacking opposition groups and Coalition forces;

retribution, murders and deaths in custody caused by Coalition forces and private security forces operating outside the law;

 

the destruction of essential water and power supplies causing pollution, water-born diseases and malnutrition causing further avoidable deaths;  

 

Whatever the final number of proven deaths, they will exceed 100,000 and will meet the first criterion – the perpetrators killed one or more persons.

 

(2)     Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, ethnic, racial or religious group.

 

The vast majority of the victims are civilian residents.  The sole reason for targeting and killing these men, women and children is that they were Iraqis or Afghans living in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Iraq Body Count has gathered and kept detailed records and a tally of certificated deaths of Iraqi civilians caused by military or para-military action since the war with Iraq began in 2003.  Although incomplete, these records are the best available and they identify by name, gender, location and date a total of 100,000 violent deaths caused by the Coalition invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Together with sketchy details[9] of 3 to 6 million Afghans whose deaths were caused by Coalition forces this should be enough to prove the second criterion, such persons belonged to a particular national group. 

 

(3)     The perpetrator intended to destroy, in whole or in part, that national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such.

 

This is the criterion for genocide that is often considered the most difficult to prove.  As with all deaths a court must be presented with evidence that the perpetrator intended to kill his or her victims and it wasn’t simply a case of accidental death.  

 

Establishing intent

 

A person’s intent can be interpreted from an examination of their actions; by watching what they do, rather than accepting what they say.  By comparing and contrasting their chosen course of action with other viable alternative options which they rejected one can establish a person’s ‘intent’.  Most criminals will do all they can to keep their real intent hidden from view and use statements of worthy ends to reassure everyone of their upright moral lawful standpoint.    

 

Proof of intent

 

The legal definition of intent is defined in the legislation as:-

 

(a) a person has intent (i) in relation to conduct, where he means to engage in the conduct, and (ii) in relation to a consequence, where he means to cause the consequence or is aware that it will occur in the ordinary course of events; and

(b) “knowledge” means awareness that a circumstance exists or a consequence will occur in the ordinary course of events. 

 

That Britain’s Ministers and MPs set out with the intention of destroying part of a national group can be established from six separate evidential sources:-

 

(a)  the perpetrators’ published oral and written statements,

(b) the perpetrators’ choice of conduct [course of action],

(c)  the perpetrators’ repetition of conduct after consequences are known,

(d) the perpetrators’ rejection of all non-violent options and alternatives,

(e)  the perpetrators’ prior knowledge of the consequences of their decisions,

(f)   the perpetrators’ prior knowledge of the law and crimes of war.

 

(a)  Published statements

 

The former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, made numerous public assertions about the war with Iraq that indicate his state of mind and his intentions; “it was the right thing to do”, “I had to make a hard decision”, “there will be casualties”.  These and other statements made in TV and radio interviews as well as statements in Cabinet and in No 10 made prior to and during the conflict confirm that he knew that his chosen course of action (the use of armed force) would cause the death of Iraqis.

 

Perhaps the most telling statement is one that Blair made to members of the Armed Forces at the Basra airbase shortly before his resignation during his ‘farewell’ tour of Iraq; as reported by Martin Amis in the Guardian of 2nd June 2007 and repeated by Martin Bell in his book The Truth That Sticks.

 

“So we are killing more of them than they kill us…… You’re getting back out there after them.  It’s brilliant actually.”  

 

This statement shows clearly that Tony Blair was intent on killing Iraqi citizens.  It is almost as if he was treating the war, the killings and the suffering of innocent men, women and children as if it was a political game.   This has to be one of the most horrific statements ever made by a British Prime Minister, and the fact that it was accepted without comment or action by every Cabinet member, every member of both Houses of Parliament, the Bishops, the Queen, military commanders and the media is an appalling indictment of the poor quality of leadership in Britain.       

 

Further evidence that members of the Cabinet ‘intended’ that their decision would result in the deaths of innocent Iraqi civilians is contained in the speech by Jack Straw in Parliament on March 18th 2003 (Hansard Vol 401 No.65 Page 902).

 

“But as elected Members of Parliament, we all know that we will be judged not only on our intentions, but on the results, the consequences of our decisions… Yes of course there will be consequences if the House approves the Government’s motion.   Our forces will almost certainly be involved in military action.  Some may be killed; so too, will innocent Iraqi civilians...  I urge the House to vote with the Government tonight.”

 

This statement shows that Jack Straw intentionally engaged in an action which he knew and understood would lead to the deaths of innocent Iraqis.  In law, this is unassailable evidence that he intended to destroy, at least in part, the Iraqi national group as such, a crime of genocide.  Coming shortly before the armed attacks took place it is also evidence of ‘conspiracy to murder’, ‘incitement to murder’, ‘incitement to commit a crime against humanity’, ‘complicity in a crime against peace’ and many other offences in common law and customary international law.

 

In respect of the crime of genocide, directly and publicly incites others to commit genocide;

 

Article 25.3(e) of the Rome Statute makes it quite clear that a person commits genocide if they directly and publicly incite others to commit genocide.   When Jack Straw called on MPs in Parliament to vote with the government, and when Tony Blair congratulated soldiers for the quantity of killing they were both directly and publicly inciting others to kill innocent Iraqis, an act of genocide.   These are probably the clearest pieces of evidence of ‘incitement to commit genocide’ ever obtained from Ministers of State and they provide clear unassailable evidence that Tony Blair and Jack Straw knew before ordering the attack to take place that their words and actions would cause the deaths of Iraqi men, women and children.  These statements on their own are enough to prove to the satisfaction of a court that they were intending to kill Iraqi citizens for the sole reason that they were Iraqi citizens which in law satisfies the criteria for the crime of genocide.  

 

(b) the perpetrators’ choice of conduct [course of action],

 

The former and current Prime Ministers, members of the Cabinet and MPs chose to wage aggressive war and to use armed force in the certain knowledge that Iraqis would be killed.  Although they had at least 100 peaceful legal options open to them such as negotiating peacefully, continuing with the UNMOVIC weapons inspections, continuing the destruction of Iraq’s long range rockets, allowing the UN Security Council to find a peaceful solution, withdrawing totally from involvement with Iraq, disabling Iraq’s military communications systems, instigating anti-government sanctions, continuing UN sanctions etc, they chose to pursue the illegal actions of waging a war of aggression and using armed force in the certain knowledge that the consequence would be injury and death to thousands of Iraqis; further proof of their ‘intent to commit genocide’.

 

(c) the perpetrators’ repetition of conduct once consequences were known.

 

Even four years after the war started and after hundreds of thousands of totally innocent Iraqis had been killed and injured Tony Blair was urging the troops to continue the killing.   If a person’s actions lead to the death of an individual and the perpetrator then halts his or her activities on the grounds that the deaths were accidental and unintentional the perpetrator goes some way to proving that the initial death or deaths were not ‘intended’.  If however the perpetrators, knowing perfectly well that more innocent people will be killed, repeat the course of action and kill more people they demonstrate their ‘intent to kill’.  Because MPs and Peers were aware of the mortal consequences [deaths and injuries to men women and children] of their decision to wage war and because they have failed for six years to withdraw or reverse Parliament’s orders, they have proved conclusively that they were acting with intent to kill; and as their ‘intent to kill’ was focussed on Afghans and Iraqis this will be taken by a court and a jury as proof positive of ‘intent to commit genocide’.  

   

(d) the perpetrators rejection of non-violent options and alternatives

 

When a person is faced with a number of alternative courses of action and then deliberately chooses to pursue the only option leading to death and destruction over the numerous options leading to life, negotiation and assistance, their free choice of the sole course of action resulting in death proves their ‘intent to kill’.  If they had chosen the path of peaceful negotiation their choice would have proved their ‘intent to negotiate’ and their ‘intent to act peacefully’.  Just as with the bombings in London, Birmingham and Omagh, where the IRA attacked targets in Britain knowing that British citizens would be killed and injured, so British Ministers of State and MPs ordered armed attacks on villages, towns and cities in Iraq and Afghanistan using high explosive lethal weapons in the certain knowledge that thousands of members of the Iraqi and Afghan national groups would be killed and injured.  This deliberate choice by MPs of the sole course of action that would result in the deaths of innocent members of a national group, proves ‘intent to kill’ and ‘intent to commit genocide’.

 

(e)  the perpetrators prior knowledge of the consequences of their decisions.

 

A person only chooses to use a cruise missile if they intend to kill people in the vicinity of the explosion; a person only chooses to use cluster bombs [an indiscriminate weapon containing up to 256 bomblets] if they intend to kill large numbers of men, women and children within three kilometres of the target; if a person chooses to use depleted uranium tipped artillery shells with a half life of four thousand years knowing that it will cause birth defects, cancers, deformities and miscarriages it demonstrates their intention to “cause serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.   Any person, who makes the deliberate choice to use weapons of this nature in the knowledge that such weapons by their nature and design will kill indiscriminately, intends to kill large numbers of people.   If Ministers and other offenders had wanted to forcefully disarm or temporarily disable Iraqi nationals they could have ordered the use of tear gas or Tasers or other non fatal options. Their choice of indiscriminate high explosive weapons demonstrates their ‘intent’ to destroy part of the Iraqi national group; their ‘intent to commit genocide’.

 

(f) the perpetrators’ prior knowledge of the law and the criminal offences.

 

Further evidence of Ministers’ intent to kill is provided in the Secret Legal Advice from the Attorney General to the former Prime Minister of March 7th 2003 [2 weeks in advance of the invasion].  In the final section of his advice, the Attorney General draws the Prime Minister’s attention to the potential unlawful consequences of going ahead with the war. 

 

“You will wish to take account of the ways in which the matter might be brought before a court… Two further, though probably more remote possibilities are an attempted prosecution for murder on the grounds that the military action is unlawful and an attempted prosecution for the crime of aggression.  Aggression is a crime under customary international law which automatically forms part of domestic law…”  

 

The Attorney General points out the possibility of facing prosecution for the crimes of ‘murder’ and ‘aggression’.  This suggests that two weeks before the debate in Parliament, both Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, knew full well that waging a war of aggression with Iraq was a crime of aggression and that by killing innocent Iraqis they would be committing the crime of murder.

 

Proof that MPs and Peers intended to commit genocide

 

These six sections of evidence together provide proof that individually and collectively members of the United States Congress, Britain’s Parliament and others deliberately and intentionally set out to destroy part of the Iraqi and Afghan national groups as such, and in doing so committed the criminal offences of genocide and conduct ancillary to genocide.

 

(4) The conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against that group or was conduct that could itself effect such destruction.

 

The state policy, authorised by Congress and Parliament of using trained military forces to use high-explosive indiscriminate weapons to attack undefended villages, towns and cities across Afghanistan and Iraq killing and injuring thousands of innocent civilians quite clearly constitutes ‘a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against the group’ and as such satisfies the fourth criterion for genocide.  In addition thousands of attacks by Coalition aircraft in which high explosive bombs and rockets killed several people simultaneously constitute ‘conduct that could itself effect such destruction’ and as such satisfy the fourth criterion for genocide.  

 

Irrelevance of official position as a Member of Parliament

 

The Rome Statute clearly states that the law against genocide applies to everyone regardless of their official position or role in society.   

 

Article 27   -   Irrelevance of official capacity

 

1.   This Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence.

2.  Immunities or special procedural rules which may attach to the official capacity of a person, whether under national or international law, shall not bar the Court from exercising its jurisdiction over such a person.

MPs committed crimes of genocide and conduct ancillary to genocide

 

We assert that by making public and private statements in support of the war with Iraq, by voting in Parliament in favour of armed action, by condoning the actions of the Prime Minister, by paying tax, by taking part in debates, by agreeing to Government policies, by supporting and condoning orders to HM Armed Forces to conduct armed attacks against Iraq and by providing assistance with the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan in the certain knowledge that men, women and children would be killed, the Queen, members of HM Government, Members of both Houses of Parliament, civil servants, armed forces commanders and others did aid, abet, counsel and procure the commission of genocide against the Iraqi and Afghan people and as accessories to genocide are liable to be tried, indicted and punished as principal offenders for crimes under sections 51 and 52 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001 and Article 25 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

 

What will you do to end the killing?

 

The main reason why Britain continues to take a leading part in these unlawful wars and heinous crimes is that none of our leaders and no more than a dozen members of the public have taken practical steps to disassociate themselves from the crimes.    Under the laws of war, anyone who takes part as a principal or an accessory to genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes commits a crime and is liable to punishment.   However under Article 25.3(f) of the Rome Statute it is possible to avoid prosecution IF a person demonstrates to the court that he or she has abandoned their support for the crime, given up the criminal purpose and is doing all they can to prevent the completion of the crimes.    

 

What you can do to end the killing.

 

1.     Report war crimes to Police.  Take this report to your local police informing them that Britain’s leaders, including your MP, are breaching the laws of war and ask them to carry out their duty in law to investigate the crimes, arrest local offenders and together with the Crown Prosecution Service prosecute them for violations of the laws of war.  The police can establish whether or not your local MP is amongst those who have taken action to end the killing, have renounced their support for the war and are doing all they can to end it.

 

2.     Join the tax rebellion.  As it is a criminal offence to aid, abet or assist an act of genocide, it is a crime to pay tax to a government that is killing people because of their nationality, ethnicity, race or religion.  This means that anyone who has paid tax to British, American or Coalition Governments since they commenced their attacks on the Afghan and Iraqi people is an accessory to the crimes and is criminally liable as an accessory to genocide and crimes against humanity.  If you wish to end your personal complicity in this crime you must stop paying tax immediately, inform your local tax collector[10] and MP that you are doing so and let them know that you will withhold all tax payments until the war crimes have ceased and the troops have been brought home.

 

3.     Contact your MP.  Give him or her a copy of this report and point out that they are violating the laws of war.   Ask them what they have done in response to our letter of March 20th to end the killings [see Appendix 2].  If they have done nothing then ask them why not?  If by the time you speak to them they have not tabled or signed an EDM[11] ending the war, ask them why they haven’t and if they cannot come up with a good reason tell them that you will report them to the police for their violations of war law.   You could also remind them that they are working for you not for Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Nick Clegg or any political party, and unless they take every action in their power immediately to end the killing you will never vote for them or their political party again and you will do all in your power to ensure that they answer for their crimes in court.  

 

                                                          Chris Coverdale - Make Wars History - March 2009

 

 

Appendix I

 

The Honourable Ms. Luisa Morgantine,

Vice-President;

European Parliament

Members of the European Parliament
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to thank you very much, as well as our colleagues who have given us this opportunity to have the honour in meeting with you and speaking to you to convey to you a clear and honest picture of the health situation as well as the dire humanitarian situation experienced by the afflicted people of Iraq.  It is an excruciatingly  tragic and unbearable situation which cries out to all the liberals of the world and to all those interested in the lives of people in this vast universe,  to get seriously and effectively involved, to proclaim the word of truth and to standup and work to save mankind, to provide and preserve  the minimum of the simplest and most basic rights for a happy and dignified life, freedom, secure habitat and prosperous employment  in a state of mental and physical energy without suffering and pain, hardship and discrimination, especially when this person lives in a land and country like Iraq, to which God has given such great natural wealth of water, oil, precious metals, and a rich soil all of which guarantee achieving a decent living.

I come from Mesopotamia, (The Land Between The Two Rivers), very ancient and has always been called "the black land" because of its prosperity, its crowded population and its abundance of good living conditions; because of its people's ancient civilization and its contributions to human civilization: the first letter and alphabet, the pen, and law, thousands of years ago, as you have read in ancient history.

Iraq, ladies and gentlemen, with its wealth and its generosity, attracted many peoples and ethnicities over the ages, as a result of which the aforesaid elements have made up a mosaic of the people. It has been inhabited by peoples of numerous different nationalities, ethnicities and religions in security and peace, as well as in compatibility, harmony and stability in spite of the fact that it has experienced numerous foreign waves of invasions, and large attempted invasions, desirous of its great wealth and its geopolitical strategic position over the ages. Iraq has come out of these experiences after fighting to the death and defending its land and territory to emerge victorious, united and unified.

I, an experienced doctor and cardiac specialist, who is experienced in the treatment of  heart disease and  who has served in his specialty in The State of Iraq for the past 4 decades,  stand in your presence and addresses you.  I have lived with and through the rule of several successive governments and political regimes which you know.  I haven't any particular party or political fealty and affiliation. My people as well as my students and my colleagues in Iraq bare witness to my service in the medical, health and military and civilian medical services fields, professionally as well as academically.  I specialized and trained in European hospitals in England, Italy, Ireland, France and here in Belgium, specializing in heart disease during the critical periods of the long war and the chocking embargo.  I transferred the most up to date technical skills and research you had achieved in the cardiac field in order to benefit Iraq's patients as well as its doctors at a time when Iraqis suffered from the scourge of a technical, scientific and economic embargo which lasted for 13 years; I also witnessed the invasion of Iraq and when I also saw with my own two eyes, on the 9th and 10th April, 2003, how the invading tanks invaded my cardiac center and burned, looted and plundered the largest center for cardiac surgery in the center of Baghdad in plain sight of the entire world, for it to be left open for further plunder for many days to come under the invader's auspices.  

In this center we used to perform 8 open heart surgeries on Iraqi adults and children, daily. European doctors from England, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain and Germany volunteered their work there as a humanitarian contribution to the center. I recall a telephone call from a colleague from the South of France who had worked in the past with us in the Center, when Baghdad and the area in which the center is situated was undergoing heavy aerial bombardment, during the invasion, begging me to leave the center with the rest of my colleagues in order to escape because the center was a target, as he seemed to believe from the direct satellite pictures. I remember when tears poured down my cheeks whilst watching the Cardiac Center burn and I was screaming at the commanding officer of the group which supervised the operation from the top of a tank, saying to "me stop your tears, we will build you a greater, larger and more up to date Center”. 

Gentlemen, Members of the European Parliament and Distinguished audience, when my colleagues and medical students in Iraq knew that I was going to be present amongst you, I was asked by their Union which was lately formed and carries a membership of more than 350 doctors,  to carry forth their concerns and suffering as a result of the seriously deteriorated health situation in Iraq; their letter which arrived 2 days before my arrival, here, is in my possession.   I left Iraq after continuing to work and restore parts of the Center with my colleagues, up to 5th March, 2005, when I received a letter threatening to liquidate and kill me in company with 10 other colleagues who are all cardiac specialists, should we not  leave Iraq before this date.  Its letters still follow me like ghosts and the style in which it was written still fills me with horror and pain. 

Gentlemen, before the invasion and despite the cruel embargo, there were 18 Faculties of Medicine, six of which were established during the period of the embargo,  six dental colleges,  four pharmacological faculties, and  tens of colleges, institutes and schools of nursing, assistant doctors and aides, in Iraq. The first Faculty of Medicine in Baghdad, was opened in 1927 whose first dean, for a very long time, was the English Doctor, Sanderson, the author of the golden memories of his decades long medical service in Iraq called "10,000 Nights and a Night in Iraq". 

In Iraq, we had more than 39,000 hospital beds in efficiently run teaching hospitals, as well as city and town hospitals, as well as medical clinics and centers in the country.   We had more than 34,000 registered doctors, 20% of whom were specialists and we used to graduate more than 1,000 doctors annually.   We also had 30 Post Graduate Studies of Medical Specialization, granting the Iraqi Board to more than 250 doctors annually.  These personnel carried out their duties and responsibilities with great efficiency towards the injured and the disabled during a long war and during the period when Iraq was boycotted scientifically for a very long time.

The Founding Constitution of The Iraqi State in the 1920s granted the right to all Iraqis to free education and state medical treatment and preventative medicine (national health insurance).  These services were established throughout Iraq's countryside, villages and cities, throughout all its provinces. 

The Educational system in Iraq is British in its method since its establishment, and Europe understands and knows the standards and efficiency of Iraqi doctors as well as the standards of medical teaching and health care in Iraq; a large percentage of these doctors, today, is spread throughout Europe and Britain.   The World Health Organization, UNESCO, UNICEF, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF RED CROSS, and other world organizations evaluated Iraq's achievements positively in vaccination programmes, family medical care, general health, child health, rehabilitation of the disabled, birth control and the decline in mortality of the under 5s and of the newly born since 1980, which put an end to the spread of infectious diseases and  epidemics such as Cholera, Infantile Paralysis, Meningitis, Diphtheria  and   Whooping Cough, and TuberculosisIn addition to this, Iraq was the foremost in the region in controlling HIV Aids and in fighting addiction and drug abuse as well as establishing School Health Programmes and establishing Protective Child and Maternal Centers as well as establishing specialized centers for Fertility, Cancer, Cardiac and Vascular, Orthopedic, Glandular, Radio Isotopes, Nerves, Ophthalmology, Paralysis, Rehabilitation and Prosthetics, Toxicity, Herbal Medicine, and even Acupuncture Treatment.

Iraqi women have contributed heavily to Iraq's medical journey and history, and in addition to all the aforementioned the great success of The Food Programme and the Dispensing of Medicines for all chronic disease, as well as the widespread institution of local health clinics and national health insurance.  The beneficial use of the Oil For Food and Medicine Programme led to mitigating the bad effects of the imposed embargo on Iraq on its medical imports before the occupation. 

The  method of importing medicines and medical equipment and supplies since the '70s in the last century was successful in importing safe, effective and solid medicines from international, multi national solid, well-known companies, so was the local manufacture of medicine, enjoying the same specifications as that of the imported, both of which succumbed to identical analyses and tests as well as to efficient central registry in order to safeguard society from its possible  resultant catastrophic effects. The importation of medicines was limited to the Organization for Medicinal Imports – The Ministry of Health, with scientific supervision of a committee specially chosen for its efficiency. 

Gentlemen, Members of the European Parliament and Distinguished Colleagues and Audience: 

What did the invasion of Iraq after April 2003 do to the health and humanitarian situation in Iraq, as we commemorate its repugnant and abominable anniversary?

To abbreviate my talk, and because of the constraints of time, leaflets in English will be handed out to you which will give you a clear picture in numbers which reflect the state of my country's health.  These numbers are not a figment of the imagination, but numbers extracted from studies and follow up reports carried out by international professional and humanitarian organizations, institutions and societies, referred to, opposite each fact and number mentioned.

As for the reality on the ground, CDs will be handed out to you which will, in pictures, reflect and  document a little of the suffering of the Iraqi people from the terror of bombardment and bombing, the destruction of infrastructure, violence and terror, the killing which has targeted the people and its doctors, its efficient professionals, and its scientists and academics as well as the forced displacement of people inside and outside Iraq; the suffering of women as well as the widows and the orphans and the spread of crime and sickness and epidemics; the spread of  commercialization of bad medicines and addictive drugs; the internally displaced refugee camps; their conditions as well as the condition of the detainees in the prisons of the occupation as well as in  those of the imposed authority. However, suffice it for me to state that we are in a country that :

 

1 -     70% of its doctors have emigrated.

2 -     It has lost more than 5,500 of its scientists and academics, killed, imprisoned, or emigrated.

3 -     70% of its hospitals have minimum standard performance, below the required standards in the remnants of what is destroyed, raided, or stolen.

4 -     90% of medicines in pharmacies is neither analysed nor is it registered or is bad or corrupt and contaminated; it is brought on to the black market across the borders by ghost companies and a country in which  thousands of unlicensed pharmacies and drug depots exist, run by people who are not pharmacists.

5 -     Its hospitals are used as centers for ethnic and sectarian physical liquidation and terror by the militias.

6 -     The Ministry of Health is part of a sectarian quota division system that specifies the identity of the minister and the directors general and is controlled by the theocratic political parties as well as the religious and sectarian militias. It is an institution in which financial and administrative corruption prevails and according to the Transparency Committee, more than 2 Billion US Dollars have disappeared as a result of phony ghost contracts and bribery.

7 -     There is no supervisory or monitoring role to be mentioned by the present parliamentarians who are doctors, but on the contrary, their interference may cause a negative effect on the size and the nature of the financial and administrative corruption.

8 -     Widespread mental illness and drug addiction and the widespread growth of opium poppy plantations and opium for the first time since occupation.

9 -     Alteration of basic medical purchase requirements and their replacement with insignificant lists and invoices.

10 -   The spread of epidemics and the loss of credibility of all statistics and the lack of statistics of cholera, Measles, Diphtheria and Whooping Cough, and Toxoplasmosis and a worsening situation of Tuberculosis and HIV Aids.

11  Unsafe imported foods.

12 -   A rise of incidence in cancer and the nature of the registered cases recently and a rise in cases of congenital malformation as due to the aggravated complications as a result of radioactive pollution and the burning down of trees. Pollution of rivers, as a result of the collapse of the sewage system, particularly in the Middle and the South caused by the use of Depleted Uranium and White Phosphorous as well as Cluster Bombs, and the prevention by the occupation forces of remedial measures and surveys to discover the polluted locations for sterilization and cleansing.

13 -      The proliferation of landmines in the sites of the old wars, as well as unexploded ordinance, especially in Basra and in the border areas.

14 -      Loss of cooperation and harmony with the humanitarian and voluntary organizations, such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and others, as well as financial corruption in the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, and the escape outside Iraq, of its President with US protection.

15 -   Lack of medicines and supplies and, as well as minimal financial allocations, since they  did not exceed 4% of the overall budget allocations in the best of cases, and because of rampant corruption.  

16 -   Lack of safe potable water for more than 70% of the population and the continuing lack of electricity as well as the lack of proper sanitation.

17 -   The highest rates of infant and newborn mortality in the world.

18 -   In Iraq after the occupation:

o       More than five million are displaced.

o       More than 4 million are below poverty level.

o       Approximately, 2 million widows.

o       Five million orphans.

o       Insufficient food for more than eight million.

o       More than 400,000 have been detained and imprisoned.

o       More than 28% of the population is unemployed.

 

Conclusion :

 

It is clear that human health and safety is being targeted as well as the Iraqi identity; depersonalization, and interference in the process of education and upbringing in order to weaken and divide Iraq by depletion of its capabilities and its scientific resources which is being implemented by devising a political process and service institutions based on ethnic and sectarian quotas which are inconsistent with efficiency, integrity and reconstruction, transparency and construction. 

Distinguished Members of the European Parliament:    Occupation, invasion, murder, terrorism, intimidation, and threats would not put an end to the aggravated violence because of the worsening oppression of peoples and unjustified wars that do not create freedoms and democracy.  All that the occupation built is a political process which it alleges to be legitimate, has proved that it is a failure, for the Government of Iraq is classified as the most failed in the world, and the most financially and administratively corrupt.

Thus, I urge you to work on expelling the occupation out of Iraq as soon as possible and to allow the Iraqi people and international will to achieve genuine national reconciliation between the patriotic forces and the components of the mosaic of our people and its factions so that it is an Iraqi solution with regional and international support and so that it is not a forced solution as a result of force, invasion and threats.  

International law obliges the occupying power to pay equitable compensation for all the damage committed after the occupation while the country was under its patronage. We also hope that all those involved in all the political administrations formed during the occupation,  be made accountable and tried for their planning for, and execution of the invasion of Iraq, without any justification.   Your stance  with the will and aspirations of the ill-fated Iraqi People is required and is basic for what it expresses in its message of justice and support for all the oppressed peoples, in opposition to and a cessation of all lethal wars and all occupation and imperialistic projects in the world, for they will only contribute to further violence, tension and political and economic instability which threaten the world today, with choking crises as well threatening  the heart of humanity and the achievements of the peoples of the world.

Finally, please accept from our people and ourselves, words of the deepest gratitude, of thanks and of praise as I also ask of The Brussels Tribunal for helping in granting me this opportunity. 

Dr. Omar Al–Kubaisy      

Brussels, Belgium.       

March 18th, 2009.

 

Appendix II       Make Wars History

83 PrioryGardens, London N6 5QU

www.makewarshistory.org.uk

Tel: 020 8374 0742

Every MP

The House of Commons,

London SW1A         20th March 2009

 

 

“To initiate a war of aggression therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

                                                                           Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946

 

It is six years since Parliament, the British Government and the Queen took Britain into the illegal war with Iraq.   When will you take action to end the violations of war law, the war crimes and the unlawful killings in Iraq and Afghanistan? 

 

As one of the 1500 people ultimately responsible for governing Britain and for renewing the illegal orders to Britain’s forces to attack the Iraqi and Afghan people, you are personally criminally liable in law for the violations of war law and war crimes committed by Coalition forces during your term as an MP.  By condoning and financing the orders to HM Armed Forces to wage war and use weapons of mass destruction such as cruise missiles, rockets, cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions against civilian targets you have taken part in the mass killing of 1 million people, including 300,000 children, you have maimed and injured 2.5 million and driven 4 million into exile and destitution.  None of your victims had done anything to harm Britain, was given an opportunity to plead for their life in court or was shown mercy before Parliament caused their violent, cruel deaths.  

 

I assume that you know that waging a war of aggression against an independent nation state is the most serious crime known to mankind and that it is the same crime for which Germany’s leaders were convicted and hanged at Nuremburg in 1946.  I am certain that you know that the wilful killing of a child is a crime of murder, and that killing 300,000 Iraqi children is genocide and a crime against humanity; so why are you continuing to command our armed forces to commit these horrendous crimes?   When you took your seat in Parliament you swore on oath to govern according to law; so when will you abide by that oath and bring an end to these heinous violations of the domestic and international laws of war? 

 

I have enclosed with this letter a copy of Articles 25 and 27 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.  This is the international law, ratified by Britain in 2001, that prohibits genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and conduct ancillary to such crimes.  I suggest that you read it very carefully because, as you will see in Article 27, it applies to you and to every British citizen without exception.


 

I must point out that the legislation does provide you with an opportunity to avoid a criminal prosecution.  Article 25.3(f) of the Rome Statute makes it clear that, if a person completely and voluntarily gives up the criminal purpose, abandons the effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevents the completion of the crime, he or she will not be liable for punishment under the Statute for the attempt to commit the crime.  This does NOT mean that you are not criminally liable for other war crimes, but rather that you might avoid prosecution if you can demonstrate that you made every possible effort to prevent further offences of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes from taking place.  

 

To give yourself a chance of avoiding prosecution for war crimes you must ensure that the killing stops immediately.   At the very least you need to:-

 

(1)    Write to the Privy Council and the Queen demanding that they reverse all unlawful active service orders and command the immediate withdrawal of all UK Armed Forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. 

(2)    Sign and vote for an EDM halting payments to the MOD. [By stopping the funds that pay for the crimes you will stop the killing within hours] 

(3)    Inform the Chancellor of the Exchequer that paying tax which is then used to facilitate war crimes is an offence of ‘accessory to the crimes’ [Rome Statute Article 25.3(c)] and therefore you will withhold tax and instruct your constituents to withhold their taxes until the crimes have ceased.

(4)    Set up / attend a briefing meeting on the laws of war, the law officers’ false legal advice, the war crimes committed by British citizens and the personal responsibilities of MPs for war law enforcement. 

(5)    Report war crimes committed by British citizens to your local Chief Constable and ask him or her to initiate a criminal investigation.

 

For sixty years law officers have deceived Parliament, the armed forces and the public over the laws of war and as a result Britain has waged five illegal wars since 1998 killing and injuring over three million people.  The massacre of Iraqi men, women and children, for which you share responsibility, is not only a crime of genocide but it is the worst atrocity in British history.  That so many lives have been lost because corrupt law officers deceived the nation over the laws of war is an appalling state of affairs that Parliament must correct before another life is lost. 

 

You have a moral and legal duty to your constituents, the nation and the world to obey, uphold and enforce war law.  If anything in this letter is unclear, if you need to find out more about the laws governing the use of armed force or if you need to know more about your own criminal liabilities then please arrange for a  representative of your political party to contact us to arrange a meeting.  

 

Chris Coverdale  

 

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

 

 

Article 25   -   Individual criminal responsibility

 

1.         The Court shall have jurisdiction over natural persons pursuant to this Statute.
 
2.         A person who commits a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court shall be individually responsible and liable for punishment in accordance with this Statute.
 
3.         In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person :

(a)     Commits such a crime, whether as an individual, jointly with another or through another person, regardless of whether that other person is criminally responsible;

 

(b)     Orders, solicits or induces the commission of such a crime which in fact occurs or is attempted;

 

(c)     For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission, including providing the means for its commission;

 

(d)     In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either:

(i)     Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; or

(ii)     Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime;  

 

(e)     In respect of the crime of genocide, directly and publicly incites others to commit genocide;

 

(f)     Attempts to commit such a crime by taking action that commences its execution by means of a substantial step, but the crime does not occur because of circumstances independent of the person's intentions. However, a person who abandons the effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevents the completion of the crime shall not be liable for punishment under this Statute for the attempt to commit that crime if that person completely and voluntarily gave up the criminal purpose.

 

4.         No provision in this Statute relating to individual criminal responsibility shall affect the responsibility of States under international law.
 

                                                       Article 27   -   Irrelevance of official capacity

 

1.         This Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence.
 
2.         Immunities or special procedural rules which may attach to the official capacity of a person, whether under national or international law, shall not bar the Court from exercising its jurisdiction over such a person.

 

 

Appendix III

                                                                          THE LAWS OF WAR

 

“War between nations was renounced by the signatories of the Kellogg-Briand Treaty.  This means that it has become throughout practically the entire world an illegal thing.  Hereafter, when nations engage in armed conflict, either one or both of them must be termed violators of this general treaty law.... We denounce them as law breakers." 

         Henry Stimson, USA Secretary of State 1932

 

For eighty years law officers have deceived parliaments and the public over the laws of war.   Despite signing binding agreements never to wage a war of aggression[12], attack another country[13], kill or harm individuals[14], destroy national, ethnic, racial or religious groups[15] and promising to settle disputes peacefully, respect human rights, uphold and enforce the rule of law and act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood and co-operation[16], political leaders and Governments regularly violate these treaties killing and injuring thousands of innocent men, women and children.  The time has come for the people to compel our political leaders to obey, uphold and enforce the laws of war. 

 

All war is illegal.   

 

War was outlawed in 1928 by the International Treaty for the Renunciation of War [the Kellogg-Briand Pact].   Sixty three nations including Britain, America, France, Germany and Japan ratified the Pact condemning recourse to war and agreeing to settle disputes peacefully.   This treaty is still in force.