Human Rights Organization Cites Cost of Inaction; Launches 'Demand Justice Now' Campaign on ICC Anniversary
(Washington, D.C.) —Vienna Colucci, director of policy for Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement in commemoration of International Justice Day:
"Today marks the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC), a milestone that would not have been possible without the sustained, concerted efforts of civil society, like-minded governments and international organizations. Only when the international community applies this same dogged determination toward broadening the reach of the Court and enforcing its warrants will we advance progress in the fight against impunity."
"When we look to the crises that are unfolding in the world today – including in Syria, Sudan and South Sudan, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo – we can see a clear link between the failure to secure accountability and the ongoing commission of grave human rights abuses."
"In Syria, it has been clear for months that grave crimes are being committed on a mass scale, yet the Russian Federation and other states continue to block the U.N.Security Council from referring the situation to the ICC prosecutor for investigation. Fresh reports of mass killings in the town of al-Treimseh are further proof of the urgent need for action."
Among other demands, Amnesty International is calling on the U.N. Security Council to immediately refer the situation in Syria to the ICC. In addition, the human rights group is calling on the U.N. Secretary General to provide all necessary resources to support the arrest and surrender of fugitives from the ICC.
"Since 2006, the ICC has issued two arrest warrants for Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda. The failure to arrest him can be seen today in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where he and other members of armed groups remain free to commit further human rights abuses against civilians."
Today, Amnesty International launches its Demand Justice Now campaign (www.demandjusticenow.org) to arrest and surrender those charged by the ICC and to support victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.