For Immediate Distribution: Wednesday December 10, 2008 10:00 a.m. (Beirut time).
(Kindly Forward to your Media Contacts and colleagues. Thank you.
ICAI HOKOK, the Beirut based International Coalition against Impunity, is filing today with the Office of the Prosecution of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Holland a Complaint and Communication charging Israel and five of its leaders with egregious violations of International law and the Rome Statute stemming from Israel’s actions its continuing blockade of Gaza.
Lebanese lawyer, May el Khansa arrived in The Hague on Tuesday December 9, leading an International delegation of Lawyers to complete the filing formalities and to meet with ICC Court officials.
American International Lawyer and Human Rights advocate, Dr. Franklin Lamb, who drafted the ICC Submission, explained today that HOKOK and its international affiliates have requested that the ICC conduct the investigatory phase of its work inside Gaza, citing the Rome Statute which allows the Court to ‘Circuit’ and travel to an area where Rome Statute crimes are alleged to be occurring.
“It is entirely appropriate”, Lamb added, “that this Case on behalf of our dear brothers and sisters in Gaza and all people of good will in this Holy Season of Peace, is filed today, as December 10 marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We ask the International Community to join this Case and submit the results of their investigations of Gaza to the Court“.
Lamb welcomed Monday’s support from Geneva by American International Law Professor Richard Falk, the Special UN Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, and commended Falk for calling for Israel’s crimes in Gaza to be Investigated and Adjudicated by the International Criminal Court.
In recent days the desperate plight of the civilian population of Gaza has been acknowledged by such respected international figures as the Secretary General of the United Nations, the President of the General Assembly, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.