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Watering Down Universal Jurisdiction
Will Benefit All War Criminals

Thursday 22 July 2010

Palestine Solidarity Campaign calls for no change to current law

Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, announced today that the Government will attempt to change the law on universal jurisdiction, making it harder to issue arrest warrants in the UK against human rights violators.

Sarah Colborne, director of campaigns and operations at Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: 'Ken Clarke's proposed legislation will make it easier for Israeli political and military leaders, who have been accused by the UN of war crimes in Gaza , to come to the UK without fear of prosecution. During Operation Cast Lead last year, Israel dropped burning white phosphorus on women and children in Gaza, used civilians as human shields and bombed a UN compound where people were sheltering, and yet our politicians are bending over backwards to welcome Israeli leaders to this country. A chance for the Palestinians to see those who committed war crimes against them brought to justice is being snatched away by our cynical coalition government.'

She added: 'Our government is doing its best to allow those who commit crimes against humanity to visit Britain , without a thought for the human rights of their victims. How much lower can Cameron and Clegg stoop? If this legislation is passed, it will affect not only the people of Palestine , but victims of war crimes around the world. It must be stopped  - there should be no safe haven for war criminals here. '

Media contact: Sarah Colborne 020 7700 6192

sarah.colborne@palestinecampaign.org

Editors' Notes

  • In October 2009, Israel 's vice premier, Moshe Ya'alon, decided not to travel to the UK for fear of being arrested for war crimes.
  • In September 2009, an attempt was made to issue a warrant to Ehud Barak, Israel 's defence minister, at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton . The Foreign Office upgraded his status to 'special status' to give him diplomatic immunity from arrest.
  • In December 2009, an arrest warrant was issued in the UK for Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, who was due to visit London

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The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK . Join PSC today!

Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Box BM PSA
London
WC1N 3XX

Tel:   020 7700 6192
Fax:  020 7609 7779

Email: info@palestinecampaign.org

Web: www.palestinecampaign.org