Justice Richard Goldstone, who gained respect internationally for his work in the UN International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda and his human rights work in Argentina, South Africa and Kosovo led an investigation into violations of international law committed by all parties involved in the fighting last winter in Gaza and southern Israel. The UN mandated investigation found that both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups committed grave violations of international law, including war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity, during the conflict. The report supports Amnesty International’s own findings of war crimes committed by both sides.
See prior blog post for more details.
Remarks from the State Department and specifically Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan E. Rice do not bode well for the report’s reception in the Human Rights Council and the recommendation that the HR Council take concrete steps to move the process of accountability forward. Ambassador Rice has said she has ‘serious concerns’ about the mission’s mandate and that it is imperative to not get distracted and look forward to resolve the conflict.
Amnesty International believes that justice and accountability can never be an impediment to peace, but are the foundation to an enduring peace in the region. And that the recommendations contained in the Goldstone report are the best hope for achieving justice for the victims and to end the atmosphere of impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators from both sides and help end the cycle of violence.
Justice Richard Goldstone is scheduled to present the findings of his team’s investigation Tuesday, September 29th to the Human Rights Council. The HR Council will then discuss the findings and has the ability to refer the report and its recommendations for consideration by the UN Security Council. The United States recently joined the HR Council and has the ability to sway the council one way or the other.
Send a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ambassador Susan Rice urging them to support the recommendations contained in Justice Richard Goldstone’s report.