Amnesty International challenges British draft law protecting war criminals

[ 15/12/2010 – 10:06 AM ]


LONDON, (PIC)– Amnesty International is challenging amendments the British government has proposed that shield war criminals who step foot in London. The measures the UK suggested are to limit the courts from issuing arrest warrants against war criminals visiting the country.

The House of Commons began Monday discussing proposed measures in a draft law on social responsibility and police reform that make arrest warrants require for the first time approval by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the UK before they are issued.

The principle of universal jurisdiction allows prosecution of those accused of highly dangerous crimes, such as torture, before UK courts even if the offenses occurred outside of the state or by citizens of other countries.

The British government announced that the system of issuing arrest warrants for charges of war crimes was subjected to abuse by political groups citing on their behalf insubstantial evidence. But they did not offer any examples of the courts issuing warrants under such circumstances.

Amnesty International’s UK branch director Kate Allen said: British MPs should stand by the victims of war and torture and guarantee to drop these dangerous measures from the new draft law for police reform.

What kind of reform makes people suspected of the worst crimes able to flee from justice? she added.

Adopting the measures would send the wrong signal making the UK appear to be tolerant of crimes related to war and torture, Allen went on to explain.

England’s step was kicked off after Israel became outraged over several attempts to issue arrest warrants against Israeli war criminals and UK leaders vowed to amend laws in their favor.

Amnesty International challenges British draft law protecting war criminals.

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