Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Impunity is a threat to peace"

From the website of Human Rights Watch

Standing Firm against Impunity
By Sara Darehshori
Published in El Mundo
August 1, 2008

Many people in Bosnia and beyond thought they would never see Radovan Karadzic standing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It seemed almost beyond the dreams of the rape victims that I interviewed in Bosnia in 1993, or those held in concentration camps But even then, in the midst of the conflict and in very difficult circumstances, local civilians had painstakingly gathered detailed testimonies from survivors in the hope that one day, there would be justice for these crimes. Even after the Yugoslav tribunal was established and had issued indictments against Karadzic for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, it seemed unlikely that he would ever be arrested. And yet this week he faced a panel of judges for his role in the massacre of men and boys after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995, as well ascrimes in various cities across Bosnia, including the shelling of Sarajevo during the city’s siege.

In the case of Sudan, the Security Council already determined that the impunity for ongoing crimes in Darfur was itself a threat to peace and security when it referred the situation to the ICC. Nothing has happened to change that assessment: ttacks by government forces and aligned janjaweed continue. Moreover, the Darfur peace talks have been stalled for nine months for reasons unrelated to the ICC or to the possibility of a warrant against Bashir. No one has been held to account in Sudan’s national courts in relation to the attacks in Darfur. Thus, it is unclear what can be gained by deferring international judicial processes now.
read the full article: