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Sunday, Jul. 31, 2005 at 8:31 PM
The World Tribunal on Iraq met in Istanbul from 24-26 June 2005. The principal objective of the WTI is to tell and disseminate the truth about the Iraq War, underscoring the accountability of those responsible and underlining the significance of justice for the Iraqi people.
Here is the final declaration of the jury of conscience :
wti_jury.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x265
DECLARATION OF THE JURY OF CONSCIENCE
WORLD TRIBUNAL ON IRAQ - ISTANBUL
23rd - 27th JUNE 2005
27th June 2005, Istanbul
In February 2003, weeks before an illegal war
was initiated against Iraq, millions of people protested in the
streets of the world. That call went unheeded. No international
institution had the courage or conscience to stand up to the threat
of aggression of the US and UK governments. No one could stop them.
It is two years later now. Iraq has been invaded, occupied, and
devastated. The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty,
on our safety, on our future, on us all. We, people of conscience,
decided to stand up. We formed the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) to
demand justice and a peaceful future.
The legitimacy of the World Tribunal on Iraq
is located in the collective conscience of humanity. This, the
Istanbul session of the WTI, is the culmination of a series of 20
hearings held in different cities of the world focusing on the
illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. The conclusions of these
sessions and/or inquiries held in Barcelona, Brussels, Copenhagen,
Genoa, Hiroshima, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Mumbai, New York,
Ostersund, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Stockholm, Tunis, various cities in
Japan and Germany are appended to this Declaration in a separate
We, the Jury of Conscience, from 10 different
countries, met in Istanbul. We heard 54 testimonies from a Panel of
Advocates and Witnesses who came from across the world, including
from Iraq, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The World Tribunal on Iraq met in Istanbul
from 24-26 June 2005. The principal objective of the WTI is to tell
and disseminate the truth about the Iraq War, underscoring the
accountability of those responsible and underlining the
significance of justice for the Iraqi people.
I. Overview of Findings
- The invasion and occupation of Iraq was and
is illegal. The reasons given by the US and UK governments for the
invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003 have proven to be
false. Much evidence supports the conclusion that a major motive
for the war was to control and dominate the Middle East and its
vast reserves of oil as a part of the US drive for global
- Blatant falsehoods about the presence of
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and a link between Al Qaeda
terrorism and the Saddam Hussein regime were manufactured in order
to create public support for a "preemptive" assault upon a
sovereign independent nation.
- Iraq has been under siege for years. The
imposition of severe inhumane economic sanctions on 6 August 1990,
the establishment of no-fly zones in the Northern and Southern
parts of Iraq, and the concomitant bombing of the country were all
aimed at degrading and weakening Iraq's human and material
resources and capacities in order to facilitate its subsequent
invasion and occupation. In this enterprise the US and British
leaderships had the benefit of a complicit UN Security Council.
- In pursuit of their agenda of empire, the
Bush and Blair governments blatantly ignored the massive opposition
to the war expressed by millions of people around the world. They
embarked upon one of the most unjust, immoral, and cowardly wars in
- Established international political-legal
mechanisms have failed to prevent this attack and to hold the
perpetrators accountable. The impunity that the US government and
its allies enjoy has created a serious international crisis that
questions the import and significance of international law, of
human rights covenants and of the ability of international
institutions including the United Nations to address the crisis
with any degree of authority or dignity.
- The US/UK occupation of Iraq of the last 27
months has led to the destruction and devastation of the Iraqi
state and society. Law and order have broken down, resulting in a
pervasive lack of human security. The physical infrastructure is in
shambles; the health care delivery system is in poor condition; the
education system has virtually ceased to function; there is massive
environmental and ecological devastation; and the cultural and
archaeological heritage of the Iraqi people has been
- The occupation has intentionally exacerbated
ethnic, sectarian and religious divisions in Iraqi society, with
the aim of undermining Iraq's identity and integrity as a nation.
This is in keeping with the familiar imperial policy of divide and
rule. Moreover, it has facilitated rising levels of violence
against women, increased gender oppression and reinforced
- The imposition of the UN sanctions in 1990
caused untold suffering and thousands of deaths. The situation has
worsened after the occupation. At least 100,000 civilians have been
killed; 60,000 are being held in US custody in inhumane conditions,
without charges; thousands have disappeared; and torture has become
- The illegal privatization, deregulation, and
liberalization of the Iraqi economy by the occupation regime has
coerced the country into becoming a client economy that is
controlled by the IMF and the World Bank, both of which are
integral to the Washington Consensus. The occupying forces have
also acquired control over Iraq's oil reserves.
- Any law or institution created under the
aegis of occupation is devoid of both legal and moral authority.
The recently concluded election, the Constituent Assembly, the
current government, and the drafting committee for the Constitution
are therefore all illegitimate.
- There is widespread opposition to the
occupation. Political, social, and civil resistance through
peaceful means is subjected to repression by the occupying forces.
It is the occupation and its brutality that has provoked a strong
armed resistance and certain acts of desperation. By the principles
embodied in the UN Charter and in international law, the popular
national resistance to the occupation is legitimate and justified.
It deserves the support of people everywhere who care for justice
On the basis of the preceding findings and
recalling the Charter of the United Nations and other legal
documents indicated in the appendix, the jury has established the
A. Against the Governments of the US and the
- Planning, preparing, and waging the
supreme crime of a war of aggression in contravention of the United
Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles. Evidence for this
can be found in the leaked Downing Street Memo of 23rd
July, 2002, in which it was revealed: "Military action was now seen
as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military
action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the
intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
Intelligence was manufactured to willfully deceive the people of
the US, the UK, and their elected representatives.
- Targeting the civilian population of Iraq
and civilian infrastructure by intentionally directing attacks
upon civilians and hospitals, medical centers, residential
neighborhoods, electricity stations, and water purification
facilities. The complete destruction of the city of Falluja in
itself constitutes a glaring example of such crimes.
- Using disproportionate force and weapon
systems with indiscriminate effects, such as cluster munitions,
incendiary bombs, depleted uranium (DU), and chemical weapons.
Detailed evidence was presented to the Tribunal by expert witnesses
that leukemia had risen sharply in children under the age of five
residing in those areas that had been targeted by DU weapons.
- Using DU munitions in spite of all the
warnings presented by scientists and war veterans on their
devastating long-term effects on human beings and the
environment. The US Administration, claiming lack of
scientifically established proof of the harmful effects of DU,
decided to risk the lives of millions for several generations
rather than discontinue its use on account of the potential risks.
This alone displays the Administration's wanton disregard for human
life. The Tribunal heard testimony concerning the current
obstruction by the US Administration of the efforts of Iraqi
universities to collect data and conduct research on the issue.
- Failing to safeguard the lives of
civilians during military activities and during the occupation
period thereafter. This is evidenced, for example, by "shock
and awe" bombing techniques and the conduct of occupying forces at
- Actively creating conditions under which
the status of Iraqi women has seriously been degraded, contrary
to the repeated claims of the leaders of the coalition forces.
Women's freedom of movement has severely been limited, restricting
their access to the public sphere, to education, livelihood,
political and social engagement. Testimony was provided that sexual
violence and sex trafficking have increased since the occupation of
- Using deadly violence against peaceful
protestors, including the April 2003 killing of more than a
dozen peaceful protestors in Falluja.
- Imposing punishments without charge or
trial, including collective punishment, on the people of Iraq.
Repeated testimonies pointed to "snatch and grab" operations,
disappearances and assassinations.
- Subjecting Iraqi soldiers and civilians to
torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. Degrading
treatment includes subjecting Iraqi soldiers and civilians to acts
of racial, ethnic, religious, and gender discrimination, as well as
denying Iraqi soldiers Prisoner of War status as required by the
Geneva Conventions. Abundant testimony was provided of unlawful
arrests and detentions, without due process of law. Well known and
egregious examples of torture and cruel and inhuman treatment
occurred in Abu Ghraib prison as well as in Mosul, Camp Bucca, and
Basra. The employment of mercenaries and private contractors to
carry out torture has served to undermine accountability.
- Re-writing the laws of a country that has
been illegally invaded and occupied, in violation of
international covenants on the responsibilities of occupying
powers, in order to amass illegal profits (through such measures as
Order 39, signed by L. Paul Bremer III for the Coalition
Provisional Authority, which allows foreign investors to buy and
takeover Iraq's state-owned enterprises and to repatriate 100
percent of their profits and assets at any point) and to control
Iraq's oil. Evidence was presented of a number of corporations that
had profited from such transactions.
- Willfully devastating the environment,
contaminating it by depleted uranium (DU) weapons, combined with
the plumes from burning oil wells, as well as huge oil spills, and
destroying agricultural lands. Deliberately disrupting the water
and waste removal systems, in a manner verging on
biological-chemical warfare. Failing to prevent the looting and
dispersal of radioactive material from nuclear sites. Extensive
documentation is available on air and water pollution, land
degradation, and radioactive pollution.
- Failing to protect humanity's rich
archaeological and cultural heritage in Iraq by allowing the
looting of museums and established historical sites and positioning
military bases in culturally and archaeologically sensitive
locations. This took place despite prior warnings from UNESCO and
Iraqi museum officials.
- Obstructing the right to information,
including the censoring of Iraqi media, such as
newspapers (e.g., al-Hawza, al-Mashriq, and
al-Mustaqila) and radio stations (Baghdad Radio), the
shutting down of the Baghdad offices of Al Jazeera Television,
targeting international journalists, imprisoning and killing
academics, intellectuals and scientists.
- Redefining torture in violation of
international law, to allow use of torture and illegal
detentions, including holding more than 500 people at
Guantanamo Bay without charging them or allowing them any access
to legal protection, and using "extraordinary renditions" to send
people to be tortured in other countries known to commit human
rights abuses and torture prisoners.
- Committing a crime against peace by
violating the will of the global anti-war movement. In an
unprecedented display of public conscience millions of people
across the world stood in opposition to the imminent attack on
Iraq. The attack rendered them effectively voiceless. This amounts
to a declaration by the US government and its allies to millions of
people that their voices can be ignored, suppressed and silenced
with complete impunity.
- Engaging in policies to wage permanent war
on sovereign nations. Syria and Iran have already been declared
as potential targets. In declaring a "global war on terror," the US
government has given itself the exclusive right to use aggressive
military force against any target of its choosing. Ethnic and
religious hostilities are being fueled in different parts of the
world. The US occupation of Iraq has further emboldened the Israeli
occupation in Palestine and increased the repression of the
Palestinian people. The focus on state security and the escalation
of militarization has caused a serious deterioration of human
security and civil rights across the world.
B. Against the Security Council of the
- Failing to protect the Iraqi people
against the crime of aggression.
- Imposing harsh economic sanctions on
Iraq, despite knowledge that sanctions were directly
contributing to the massive loss of civilian lives and harming
- Allowing the United States and United
Kingdom to carry out illegal bombings in the no-fly zones,
using false pretenses of enforcing UN resolutions, and at no point
allowing discussion in the Security Council of this violation, and
thereby being complicit and responsible for loss of civilian life
and destruction of Iraqi infrastructure.
- Allowing the United States to dominate the
United Nations and hold itself above any accountability by
other member nations.
- Failure to stop war crimes and crimes
against humanity by the United States and its coalition partners in
- Failure to hold the United States and its
coalition partners accountable for violations of international law
during the invasion and occupation, giving official sanction to
the occupation and therefore, both by acts of commission and acts
of omission becoming a collaborator in an illegal occupation.
C. Against the Governments of the Coalition
of the Willing
Collaborating in the invasion and occupation
of Iraq, thus sharing responsibility in the crimes committed.
D. Against the Governments of Other
Allowing the use of military bases and air
space, and providing other logistical support, for the invasion and
occupation, and hence being complicit in the crimes committed.
E. Against the Private Corporations which
have won contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq and which have
sued for and received "reparation awards" from the illegal
Profiting from the war with complicity in the
crimes described above, of invasion and occupation.
F. Against the Major Corporate Media
- Disseminating the deliberate falsehoods
spread by the governments of the US and the UK and failing to
adequately investigate this misinformation, even in the face of
abundant evidence to the contrary. Among the corporate media houses
that bear special responsibility for promoting the lies about
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, we name the New York
Times, in particular their reporter Judith Miller, whose main
source was on the payroll of the CIA. We also name Fox News, CNN,
NBC, CBS, ABC, the BBC and ITN. This list also includes but is not
limited to, The Express, The Sun, The Observer
and Washington Post.
- Failing to report the atrocities being
committed against Iraqi people by the occupying forces,
neglecting the duty to give privilege and dignity to voices of
suffering and marginalizing the global voices for peace and
- Failing to report fairly on the ongoing
occupation; silencing and discrediting dissenting voices and
failing to adequately report on the full national costs and
consequences of the invasion and occupation of Iraq; disseminating
the propaganda of the occupation regime that seeks to justify the
continuation of its presence in Iraq on false grounds.
- Inciting an ideological climate of fear,
racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia, which is then used to
justify and legitimize violence perpetrated by the armies of the
- Disseminating an ideology that glorifies
masculinity and combat, while normalizing war as a policy
- Complicity in the waging of an aggressive
war and perpetuating a regime of occupation that is widely
regarded as guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- Enabling, through the validation and
dissemination of disinformation, the fraudulent misappropriation of
human and financial resources for an illegal war waged on false
- Promoting corporate-military perspectives
on "security" which are counter-productive to the fundamental
concerns and priorities of the global population and have
seriously endangered civilian populations.
Recognizing the right of the Iraqi people to
resist the illegal occupation of their country and to develop
independent institutions, and affirming that the right to resist
the occupation is the right to wage a struggle for
self-determination, freedom, and independence as derived from the
Charter of the United Nations, we the Jury of Conscience declare
our solidarity with the people of Iraq.
- The immediate and unconditional withdrawal of
the Coalition forces from Iraq.
- That Coalition governments make war
reparations and pay compensation to Iraq for the humanitarian,
economic, ecological, and cultural devastation they have caused by
their illegal invasion and occupation.
- That all laws, contracts, treaties, and
institutions established under occupation, which the Iraqi people
deem inimical to their interests, be considered null and void.
- That the Guantanamo Bay prison and all other
offshore US military prisons be closed immediately, that the names
of the prisoners be disclosed, that they receive POW status, and
receive due process.
- That there be an exhaustive investigation of
those responsible for the crime of aggression, war crimes and
crimes against humanity in Iraq, beginning with George W. Bush,
President of the United States of America, Tony Blair, Prime
Minister of the United Kingdom, those in key decision-making
positions in these countries and in the Coalition of the Willing,
those in the military chain-of-command who master-minded the
strategy for and carried out this criminal war, starting from the
very top and going down; as well as personalities in Iraq who
helped prepare this illegal invasion and supported the
We list some
of the most obvious names to be included in such investigation:
- prime ministers of the Coalition of the
Willing, such as Junichiro Koizumi of Japan, Jose Maria Aznar of
Spain, Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso and
Santana Lopes of Portugal, Roh Moo Hyun of South Korea, Anders Fogh
Rasmussen of Denmark;
- public officials such as Dick Cheney, Donald
H. Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Colin L. Powell, Condoleezza Rice,
Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Alberto Gonzales, L. Paul Bremer from
the US, and Jack Straw, Geoffrey Hoon, John Reid, Adam Ingram from
- military commanders beginning with: Gen.
Richard Myers, Gen. Tommy Franks, Gen. John P. Abizaid, Gen.
Ricardo S. Sanchez, Gen. Thomas Metz, Gen. John R. Vines, Gen.
George Casey from the US; Gen. Mike Jackson, Gen. John Kiszely, Air
Marshal Brian Burridge, Gen. Peter Wall, Rear Admiral David
Snelson, Gen. Robin Brims, Air Vice-Marshal Glenn Torpy from the
UK; and chiefs of staff and commanding officers of all coalition
countries with troops in Iraq.
- Iraqi collaborators such as Ahmed Chalabi,
Iyad Allawi, Abdul Aziz Al Hakim, Gen. Abdul Qader Mohammed Jassem
Mohan, among others.
- That a process of accountability is initiated
to hold those morally and personally responsible for their
participation in this illegal war, such as journalists who
deliberately lied, corporate media outlets that promoted racial,
ethnic and religious hatred, and CEOs of multinational corporations
that profited from this war;
- That people throughout the world launch
nonviolent actions against US and UK corporations that directly
profit from this war. Examples of such corporations include
Halliburton, Bechtel, The Carlyle Group, CACI Inc., Titan
Corporation, Kellog, Brown and Root (subsidiary of Halliburton),
DynCorp, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Texaco, British Petroleum. The
following companies have sued Iraq and received "reparation
awards": Toys R Us, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Shell, Nestle, Pepsi,
Phillip Morris, Sheraton, Mobil. Such actions may take the form of
direct actions such as shutting down their offices, consumer
boycotts, and pressure on shareholders to divest.
- That young people and soldiers act on
conscientious objection and refuse to enlist and participate in an
illegal war. Also, that countries provide conscientious objectors
with political asylum.
- That the international campaign for
dismantling all US military bases abroad be reinforced.
- That people around the world resist and
reject any effort by any of their governments to provide material,
logistical, or moral support to the occupation of Iraq.
We, the Jury of Conscience, hope that the
scope and specificity of these recommendations will lay the
groundwork for a world in which international institutions will be
shaped and reshaped by the will of people and not by fear and
self-interest, where journalists and intellectuals will not remain
mute, where the will of the people of the world will be central,
and human security will prevail over state security and corporate
Arundhati Roy, India, Spokesperson
of the Jury of Conscience
Ahmet Ozturk, Turkey
Ayse Erzan, Turkey
Chandra Muzaffar, Malaysia
David Krieger, USA
Eve Ensler, USA
Francois Houtart, Belgium
Jae-Bok Kim, South Korea
Mehmet Tarhan, Turkey
Miguel Angel De Los Santos Cruz, Mexico
Murat Belge, Turkey
Rela Mazali, Israel
Salaam Al Jobourie, Iraq
Taty Almeida, Argentina
International Law Appendix
This international law appendix is intended
to back up the Jury Statement that rests its assessments primarily
on a moral and political appraisal of the Iraq War. The Statement
relies upon the extensive testimony given in written and oral form
by international law experts who have a world-class scholarly
reputation during the Istanbul Culminating Session of the World
Tribunal on Iraq (WTI). It also reflects the testimony and
submissions on related issues of war crimes and the failure of the
United Nations to protect Iraq against aggression.
The Jury of Conscience was not a body
composed of jurists or international law experts. It did not hear
arguments supporting the legality of the invasion of Iraq as would
have been made before a judicial body under the authority of either
the state or an international institution acting on behalf of the
international community. The World Tribunal on Iraq throughout all
of its session proceeded from a sense of moral and political
outrage of concerned citizens from all over the world, with respect
to the war. The Tribunal was not interested in a debate solely as
to legality. The legal issues were relevant to the extent that they
added weight to the moral and political purpose of the Tribunal,
which was to expose the Iraq War as the crime it is, appealing to
and drawing upon the deep bonds that link us all in our humanity.
Therefore the Tribunal sought testimony and evidence to call into
question the mantle of respectability thrown over the Iraq War by
the aggressors, and the false impression disseminated by mainstream
media, that the Iraq War was in any sense justified by political
circumstances, moral considerations, or legal analysis.
The WTI is a worldwide process dedicated to
reclaiming justice on behalf of the peoples of the world. It aims
to record the severe wrongs, crimes, and violations that were
committed in the process leading up to the aggression against Iraq,
during the war, and throughout the ensuing occupation, continuing
with unabated fury to this day. The role of international law is
understood in light of these WTI goals.
The concerns of the WTI range much further
than the demand for the implementation of international law,
especially as much of this law currently serves the interests of
wealth and power. Nevertheless, international law with respect to
the use of force and recourse to war is important in relation to
the work of the WTI. International law is useful for the WTI for
the following reasons:
- International law grounds the political and
moral demand for the criminal indictment and prosecution of those
responsible for the Iraq War, and it clarifies the extent of
criminal accountability as extending to corporate and media
- International law rejects the dangerous
imperialist claims of the United States and the United Kingdom to
be exempt from international legal obligations.
In addition, the WTI makes use of
international law to fulfill its mission:
- The WTI connects a call for global
justice with the demand for the implementation of international
law, but also for a rethinking of the premises and operations of
international law so that it might be of greater relevance to the
achievement of human security in the future;
- The WTI demands an interrogation as to
why international institutions, particularly the United Nations,
proved powerless against US unilateralism and aggression;
- The WTI insists that United Nations
exercise its constitutional responsibility to protect its Members
from aggression and illegal occupation;
- The WTI possesses the authority, as
representing civil society, to declare and seek enforcement of
international legal obligations when states and the United Nations
fail to uphold international law in matters of war and peace.
It is important to distinguish:
- violations of international law, including
the UN Charter, by a state; and
- crimes associated with these violation
committed by political and military leaders, government
officials, corporations and their officers, soldiers and private
contractors, journalists and media personnel.
- International law consists of (1)
international treaties, including the UN Charter [see list of
documents]; (2) international customary law [especially in relation
to the conduct of states in war]; (3) international criminal law [a
sub-category of (1) resting on treaties and agreements among
states, based on the framework of the Nuremberg Judgment in 1945,
unanimously affirmed by the UN General Assembly's adoption of the
Nuremberg Principles in 1946, Res. 95(I)].
- In the War on Iraq the three principles
of customary international law have been violated: (1) Principle of
Proportionality: force can only be used to attain permissible legal
objectives, and then only to the extent required by 'military
necessity'; (2) Principle of Discrimination: force and weaponry can
only be used if confined to military targets; indiscriminate
weapons and tactics are prohibited; (3) Principle of Humanity:
force must never be used to cause unnecessary suffering and maximum
care must be taken to protect civilian society, including its
- The War on Iraq violates the Nuremberg
Principles that set forth the following essential guidelines (as
formulated by the International Law Commission of the UN in 1950 in
response to request from General Assembly):
Any person who commits an act which
constitutes a crime under international law is responsible
therefore and liable to punishment.
The fact that internal law does not impose a
penalty for an act, which constitutes a crime under international
law, does not relieve the person who committed the act from
responsibility under international law.
The fact that a person who committed an act
which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of
State or responsible Government official does not relieve him from
responsibility under international law.
The fact that a person acted pursuant to
order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from
responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was
in fact possible to him.
Any person charged with a crime under
international law has the right to a fair trial on the facts and
The crimes hereinafter set out are
punishable as crimes under; international law:
a) Crimes against peace:
i. Planning, preparation, initiation or
waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of
international treaties, agreements or assurances;
ii. Participation in a common plan or
conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned
b) War crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war
which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill treatment or
deportation to slave-labor or for any other purpose of civilian
population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill treatment of
prisoners of war, of persons on the seas, killing of hostages,
plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of
cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by
c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement,
deportation and other inhuman acts done against any civilian
population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious
grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried
on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or
any war crime.
Complicity in the commission of a crime
against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set
forth in Principles VI is a crime under international law.
Violations and Crimes:
I. The invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003,
together with the continuing occupation of Iraq, constitutes a
violation of the core obligation of the United Nations Charter:
- resolving international conflicts by
recourse to force or the threat of force is unconditionally
prohibited by Article 2(4) of the Charter;
- the only exception to this probation is the
right of states to act in self-defense against a prior armed attack
as allowed by Article 51, but with the requirement that defending
state report its claim to the Security Council;
- the claims of the US/UK Governments based on
doctrines of 'preemption' or 'preventive war' have no standing in
international law, and reliance on such specious arguments was in
any event unsupported by facts; even if weapons of mass destruction
had existed in Iraq it would not provide a legal justification for
the invasion; nor would the claim that 'regime change' would
liberate the Iraqi people from dictatorial rule violative of human
- with respect to Iraq there existed no basis
for claiming self-defense or acting on the basis of a Security
Council authorization; the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent
occupation of the country constitutes a continuing aggression
against a sovereign state and member of the UN in violation of
- the cumulative effect of these violations is
to create a strong factual and legal foundation for the indictment,
prosecution, and punishment of the individuals responsible for
planning, initiating, and waging a crime of aggression against
II. Iraq War by the invading military
forces, principally those of the United States and United Kingdom,
and subsequent occupation, violated the law of war such as the
Geneva Conventions on the Humanitarian Laws of War (1949),
Additional Protocols to Geneva Conventions (1977) and Hague
Conventions on the Laws of War (1899, 1907) in numerous respects,
including the following:
- use of cluster bombs, napalm, depleted
- bombing of civilian targets and areas (e.g.
markets, restaurants, media facilities, religious and cultural
- intense and indiscriminate military
operations against many cities and towns causing massive civilian
casualties (e.g. Najaf, Falluja);
- repeated and systematic use of torture and
degrading treatment of Iraqi civilian and military personnel
detained in prison facilities or covertly transferred to foreign
countries known for torture and severe prison conditions;
- overall failure to protect the civilian
population and their property, cultural heritage (shootings at
check points; house raids; lootings of museums and other cultural
sites; refusal to assess extent of civilian death and damage) [see
especially common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions imposing duty
to take special measures to protect civilian population to the
extent possible) (Also Geneva Convention IV specifies the
obligations of the occupying power in Articles 47-78);
- the cumulative effect of this pattern of
flagrant and extensive violations of the laws of war is to create
the foundation for the indictment, prosecution, and punishment of
those individuals responsible, as policy makers, leaders, and as
implementers at various levels of command;
- Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions reads:
"The High Contracting Parties, including US/UK, undertake to
respect and ensure respect for the present Convention in all
circumstances." The American legal specialists in Office of the
Legal Counsel in the White House, in the Justice Department, and
Department of Defense who advised on the 'legality' of torture and
other behavior that violates the law of war are priority targets
for indictment and prosecution.
III. The occupation of Iraq has fragrantly
violated The Right of Self-Determination of the People of Iraq:
- Article 1 of the International Covenant on
Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and of the International
Covenant on Political and Civil Rights (1966): "(1) All peoples
have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they
freely determine their political status and freely pursue their
economic, social and cultural development";
- It is evident that the occupation, by its
decrees, practices, imposition of an interim government, managed
elections, and administered constitution-making process has
violated the right of self-determination of the Iraqi people, a
fundamental element of international human rights law.
IV. The occupation of Iraq has included
massive abuses of the Iraqi civilian population, including the
widespread and pervasive reliance on torture, the practice of which
is unconditionally prohibited by international law:
- Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights: "No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" (repeated in Article 7
of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966),
including Article 4(2) that affirms there are no exceptions, even
in conditions of war or emergency) and further confirmed by the
widely ratified treaty�- Convention Against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
V. The United Nations has failed to uphold
its obligations to protect sovereign states, especially its
members, from violations of their legal rights to political
independence and territorial integrity, passively allowing Iraq to
be threatened and attacked for twelve years prior to the invasion
- the UNSC maintained sanctions on Iraq that
had a demonstrated genocidal effect on the civilian population
during the period 1991-2003;
- the UNSC refrained from censuring and
preventing repeated air strikes within Iraq territory during the
- the UNSC refrained from censuring and
preventing overt calls for the subversion and replacement of the
Iraqi government, as well as the financing and training of exiles
dedicated to armed struggle;
- the UNSC failed to condemn or act to prevent
aggressive threats or the actual initiation and conduct of an
aggressive war against Iraq in 2003, and has to a limited extent
cooperated in the illegal occupation of Iraq since the invasion
- The Jury Statement is consistent with an
objective understanding of international law, including the United
- Members of the United Nations and
governments of sovereign states have legal obligations to uphold
the Charter and act to ensure respect for the laws of war.
- All three categories of Nuremberg Crimes are
associated with the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
- The International Criminal Court should
indict, prosecute, and punish the perpetrators and collaborators
for this aggression against Iraq and the related international
crimes arising from the subsequent occupation of the country.
- The ICC should be supplemented by a
specially constituted international tribunal with authority to
indict, prosecute, and punish for crimes committed before 2002 when
the ICC was established and to the extent that crimes associated
with states not Parties to the ICC are not addressed.
- The UNGA should be encouraged to implement
international law with respect to the Iraq War and occupation.
- National courts relying on universal
jurisdiction should be urged to investigate and prosecute
individuals associated with Nuremberg Crimes in Iraq.
- Organs of civil society, including the WTI,
should act to ensure that the recommendations and conclusions of
the Jury Statement are promptly and fairly implemented.
Appendix: List of Legal Documents
- Hague Convention IV Respecting the Laws and
Customs of War on Land (1907)
- Protocol for the Prohibition of the use in
War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of
Bacteriological Methods (1925)
- General Treaty ('Pact of Paris') for the
Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy (1928)
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Geneva Conventions (I-IV) on International
Humanitarian Law (1949)
- Nuremberg Principles Recognized in the
Charter of the Tribunal and in the Nuremberg Judgment (1950)
- European Convention on Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms (1950)
- Convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide (1948)
- Convention on the Political Rights of Women
- Code of Conduct for the Armed Forces of the
United States of America (1963)
- International Convention on the Elimination
of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965)
- International Covenant on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights (1966)
- International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (1966)
- American Convention on Human Rights
- Convention on the Prohibition of the
Development, Production and Stockpiling of Biological Weapons and
Toxin Weapons (1972)
- Universal (or Algiers) Declaration of the
Rights of Peoples (1976)
- Principles of Co-Operation in the Detection,
Arrest, Extradition and Punishment of Persons Guilty of War Crimes
or Crimes Against Humanity (1973)
- Protocol Additional (I-II) to the Geneva
Conventions of 1949 (1977)
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Discrimination Against Women (1979)
- African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
- Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984)
- International Convention Against the
Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries (1989)
- Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Convention on the Prohibition of the
Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons
- Declaration for the Protection of War
- Rome Statute of the International Criminal
See also: Iraqis Endure Worse Conditions Than Under Saddam, UN Survey Finds
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