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2003-04-15

International Attorneys Announce Plans to Investigate War Crimes in Iraq: Alleged Crimes By Both U.S. and Iraq Would Be Examined

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A multinational coalition of attorney and legal groups has announced plans to investigate alleged war crimes in Iraq for potential prosecution by the young International Criminal Court or other legal bodies. This according to an article from the Inter Press Service.

The move is motivated in part by Washington’s recent declaration that it plans to set up its own tribunal to try alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the nation that it invaded last month, despite widespread calls for an international body that would also examine U.S. conduct in Iraq.

The U.S. military has been condemned for using weapons such as cluster bombs and depleted uranium in its invasion that have a devastating impact on civilians. It is also accused by human rights groups of targeting known civilian sites and journalists’ offices.

The first phase of the coalition’s initiative will take place May 24-25 when five international law experts meet in London to establish the criteria for determining what constitutes ’’war crimes, crimes against humanity and aggression."

Three months later, the tribunal will sit again in Rome to decide if significant evidence exists that war crimes were committed in Iraq.

  • Phil Shiner, Public Interest Lawyers (UK).

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