Posted by Lilly from ? (188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, September 18, 2002 at 12:44PM :
September 17, 2002
Agence France Presse
Amnesty International Launches Petition Against US Impunity Agreements
Amnesty International Tuesday launched an online petition urging all governments against signing impunity agreements with the United States following the country's withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The London-based human rights organization has urged the world to "say no" to the United States' "attack on international justice".
Amnesty will present the signatures to governments around the world, with those received by September 27 being forwarded to European Union political leaders in advance of a September 30 meeting of EU foreign ministers.
The United States has approached governments requesting them to enter into "unlawful agreements" that they will not surrender US nationals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes to the ICC, Amnesty said in a statement.
"In many cases, the US government is threatening to withdraw military assistance from countries that will not agree," said the rights group, adding that East Timor, Israel, Romania and Tajikistan had already signed impunity agreements with the United States.
The ICC is the first permanent court to try cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, though the United States withdrew its signature from the court's statute two months before it came into force on July 1.
The United States claims its citizens are uniquely vulnerable to politically biased prosecutions, and has used its veto in the UN Security Council to get a one-year exemption from the court for any of its citizens on a UN mission.
Copyright 2002 AFP
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