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Iraqi lawyers call upon Iraqi government to join the ICC
27 May 2005
Please find below unofficial translations of the following documents from the National Iraqi Committee to Support the International Coalition for Joining the International Criminal Court, a group of Iraqi lawyers and other members of Iraqi civil society representing the Human Rights and Democracy Organization in Iraq, the Independent Iraqi Center for Monitoring the Elections, the Iraqi Women’s Center, and the Constitutional Studies Center:

- A letter signed by 51 members of the Committee addressed to Iraqi government officials urging Iraq to accede to the Rome Statute of the ICC.

- A report on the visit (organized by FIDH) to The Hague of a 5-member delegation from the Committee, led by lawyer Hassan Shabaan, the head of the committee.

If you would like the originals in Arabic, please email me at [email protected]

Best,
Anjali Kamat
Outreach Liaison
Middle East, North Africa and Europe
Coalition for the International Criminal Court


The Human Rights and Democracy Organization in Iraq
The Independent Iraqi Center for Monitoring the Elections
Iraqi Women’s Center
Constitutional Studies Center
Baghdad, Iraq
Al-Mansur (opposite to Dragh Mosque)


From: The National Iraqi Committee to Support the International Coalition for Joining the International Criminal Court

To the Honorable Prime Minister, the President of the Iraqi National Assembly, the Minister of Justice, the Human Rights Minister and the Minister of Women:

You know that the land and the people of Iraq have suffered the worst kinds of crimes, most of which can be classified as crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide, war crimes, and crimes of aggression – all of which are crimes against international humanitarian law. This led to the killing of thousands of Iraqis by the repressive mechanisms of the previous regime and at that time there was no legal mechanism the international community could turn to in order to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.

Now we have the International Criminal Court which was formed in accordance with the Rome State of 2002 that was adopted, with the approval of more than a 100 countries, to implement international justice to ensure the end of impunity for all perpetrators of such grave crimes.

Our delegation had the honor of visiting the Court in The Hague a few days ago on the kind invitation of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). We found it to be a court that is modern in both content and form, where the gravity and dignity of the law find their full expression, and where the law is impartial and unbiased.

As representatives of the National Coalition to support the international coalition for joining the ICC, we urge you to join the International Criminal Court so that Iraq may not fall victim to any kind of international crime or tyrant or violations of international law, and to ensure that Iraq will be a country free of any kind of violations of human rights. Please also note that joining that ICC would not in any way suspend the functions of the Iraqi Special Tribunal because implementing the Rome Statute provides for its effectiveness from the date that countries ratify the statute.

Human Rights and Democracy Organization in Iraq
The Human Rights and Democracy Organization in Iraq
The Independent Iraqi Center for Monitoring the Elections
Iraqi Women’s Center
Constitutional Studies Center

Delegation of the Human Rights and Democracy Organization at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

On the invitation of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), a delegation from our organization, headed by the lawyer Hassan Shabaan, and including the lawyers Salma Talal As-Samerai, Enas As-Samida’i, Aziz Abud Radihi, and Louai Al-Asem, visited the city of The Hague.

Our first stop was the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where at the trial of the former President of Yugoslavia, Milosevic, was the court with its five judges, the public prosecutor and the witnesses amidst glass screens, while on the right was the accused, in perfect attire and the best of health, arguing with the witnesses, the public prosecutor and even the judges and the head of the court in full freedom and without the slightest trace of fear or hesitation.

When he challenged the translation of a piece of evidence from Serbian into English, although it was from a legal translator, the tribunal responded by requesting the translators to come before it and asking for a re-translation.

Never have we seen a tribunal with this level of lawfulness, neutrality, scrupulous impartiality, and transparency which has so dazzled us by its form and content. We very much hope that Iraqi law can reach these heights.

On the second day the delegation visited the International Criminal Court, a newly formed entity which had not held any trials until the Security Council referred the Darfur situation to it.

We met with some of the judges and public prosecutors and we were given a full description of the organs of the Court and the ways of summoning and protecting witnesses and victims. This was suitable for a comparison between the law of this court, which is truly the court of our time, and that of the Iraqi Special Court.

Finally, the delegation visited the International Court of Justice, with its imposing and distinctive structure, its impressive history and its most apposite decisions. There is no argument that this is a court in all the senses of the word where justice and true equality are right on target.

These have been unforgettable days for the delegation as they visited this indescribably wondrous city replete with international courts where the truth emerges, falsehoods are destroyed, humans are fully respected and no one can escape punishment.