breaking news and current affairs





















Amnesty International: African leaders must not be immune



by Joseph Earnest June 20, 2014   


Newscast Media LONDON—Amnesty International has written to the African Union Summit discouraging the granting of immunity to African heads of state who have committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Amnesty argues that such a move will completely undermine the integrity of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, even before it becomes operational.


In an open letter Amnesty International called on African Union (AU) heads of state and government meeting in Equatorial Guinea this week not to adopt a proposed amendment which would grant immunity from prosecution to sitting government leaders and senior officials in the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.


"If this amendment is adopted it will also call into question the African Union’s commitment to its declared goal of ensuring justice for victims of serious crimes under international law," the open letter read. (pop-up)

The Draft Protocol on Amendments to the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights extends the Court's jurisdiction over crimes under international law. The proposed amendment to the Draft Protocol will preclude the prosecution before the Court of a sitting head of state or government or other senior official, suspected of committing acts of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity. 

Irrespective of the decision on this by the AU, the International Criminal Court (ICC) will retain the right to investigate serving African heads of state and government.

"It is vital that those responsible for atrocities must face justice, irrespective of their official positions. The adoption of this amendment would be a tremendous backward step in the long battle for accountability and human rights on the continent," said Netsanet Belay.

"How African leaders vote on this crucial amendment at the AU summit this week will provide a litmus test of leadership for each and every African government."

Amnesty International is calling for the amended Article 46A bis to be rejected and replaced with a provision such as that contained in Article 27 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Such a provision would deny immunity to heads of state and government or any other senior government official, if they are suspected of having committed and/or been complicit in the commission of a serious crime under international law, including acts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other offences contained in the Draft Protocol on Amendments to the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.  Add Comments>>










       Find newscast media on youtube for houston news and local breaking news        get newscast media news feeds for breaking news, houston local news and world news.          Get our facebook updates on world news, houston news and houston local news including sports         Twitter

 Join the Newscast Media social networks

for current events and multimedia content. 






 Copyright© Newscast Media. All Rights Reserved. Terms and Privacy Policy