Amnesty wants justice

amnesty_intJOHANNESBURG - International human rights group, Amnesty International, wants the United Nations to hold Zimbabwe accountable for atrocities and other human rights violations against its people. The challenge is contained in a report entitled, Universal Jurisdiction: UN General Assembly should support this essential international justice tool.

In a country-by-country analysis, about Zimbabwe and India, Amnesty said, This legal memorandum is designed to serve as a self-contained, comprehensive explanation for prosecutors, judges and ministries of justice and foreign affairs of the solid basis in customary and conventional international law for universal jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, torture, extrajudicial executions and “disappearances”, so that they can ensure that such jurisdiction is exercised effectively.

The memorandum defines the crimes subject to universal jurisdiction. It identifies the relevant scholarly writings and other evidence demonstrating that international law permits states to exercise universal jurisdiction or to extradite suspects to a state able and willing to do so. In particular, the memorandum reviews the extensive state practice concerning universal jurisdiction at the national and international level – such as national legislation, jurisprudence, adoption of international instruments and government statements – for each crime separately, country by country.

Amnesty said it was publishing the report to assist governments in preparing to discuss this essential tool to bring to justice persons responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances.

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