Tuesday, February 05, 2008

International Tribunal on the Crimes Committed by the Israeli Army in Lebanon

An international citizen's tribunal on the crimes committed by the Israeli army in Lebanon

Brussels, 22-23-24 February 2008

An international citizen's tribunal on the crimes committed by the Israeli army in Lebanon will be held in Brussels, Belgium, on February 22-24, 2008. The International Action Center has endorsed this tribunal and the work of the Commitee of International Citizens that is organizing the tribunal. More information is below:

To contact the organizers: Email: contact.tribunal@yahoo.fr Blog: http://www.tciccg.over-blog.com

Proposal for setting up international citizen's tribunal on deeds committed by Israeli army & secret services in Lebanon & occupied Palestinian territories

JUSTICE FOR LEBANON! Feb. 22-24, 2008, Brussels Int'l Jury Schedule

The crimes committed by the Israeli army in Lebanon during the summer 2006 are a violent affront to the universal human conscience. These are criminal acts, as many people feel instinctively. They are different from the acts that take place in all armed conflict committed by the aggressor as well as by the aggressed. But feeling is not enough.

The facts must be established. They must then be assessed in light of existing international law. This should be done with the detachment and rigor of a process that excludes any a priori conclusions, the results of which will convince all people of good will.

The international community is not an autonomous political and juridical body. It is but a summation of positions adopted by a certain number of governments. In many situations it has proved incapable of applying existing law by distancing itself from geopolitical or ideological contingencies. This impunity has covered up the numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity that have been committed since the end of World War II.

The unilateral attitude of the United States of America, like the double-speak of many European governments, make it necessary for those defending the law to take the place of failed political powers. The American administration is against any questioning of Israel’s role in acts committed in Lebanon. EU countries like Germany, Great Britain, Finland and France refuse to support a request formulated at the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the use by the Israeli armed forces of arms that are prohibited by international law.

The systematic disinformation practiced by an overwhelming majority of the media deprives Western public opinion of balanced information. All this justifies an initiative by the citizens themselves.

A group of citizens gathering human rights or ecological activists, humanitarian workers, jurists, political scientists, all friends of Lebanon, enjoying the support of more than 300 opinion leaders all over the world, is planning to organize, in Brussels (Belgium), on 22-23-24 February 2008, the meeting of an “international jury of conscience”.

During the opening session, a statement of charge will introduce the process. It is based on a report issued by the Human Rights Committee of the Lebanese Parliament about the crimes committed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF – official name of the Israeli armed forces) between 12 July and 14 August 2006 in Lebanon.

The following sessions will give the opportunity to testify to Lebanese victims and survivors, to Lebanese and foreign witnesses, to Lebanese jurists, to representative of international human rights organizations. The Israeli side will have the possibility to present explanations. The jury, formed by prominent magistrates from the 5 continents, will present conclusions. On Saturday evening, a roundtable will give the floor to international experts on Lebanon.

Such an initiative requests funds. The organizing team has to buy flights tickets and to book hotel rooms for all the people coming from Lebanon but also for the 5 members of the jury. The renting of the rooms in the conference center and the fees for the translators have also to be paid. The total budget reaches 125.000 US dollars.

Feel free to support a citizen’s initiative that must take place due to the lack of concern by official sides.

Raoul Marc JENNAR & Leila GHANEM, co-organizers

Hosting Bank account : URFIG, Bruxelles, IBAN : BE60 0682 3497 7170; BIC : GKCCBEBB, with this message : “support to the International Jury of Conscience Lebanon”

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