LONDON, Thursday, April 15, 2021 (WAFA) – United Kingdom charities yesterday condemned statements by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territory.
In a letter to the Conservative Friends of Israel, Johnson wrote: “We oppose the ICC’s investigation into war crimes in Palestine,” while asserting that it does not have jurisdiction in this instance. “This investigation gives impression of being a partial and prejudicial attack on a friend and ally of the UK’s,” wrote the British PM.
“We condemn the Prime Minister’s statement on the ICC’s investigation into alleged grave crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). This investigation is bringing victims, survivors and their families one step closer to justice – but political interference by states, such as the UK, risks pushing that out of reach,” said the charities in a statement.
“The investigation is the first genuine hope that alleged perpetrators of the most serious crimes will be held to account for their actions. The ICC is committed to undertaking an investigation that is ‘conducted independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor’. Providing impartial justice and ending decades of impunity would bring the prospect of lasting peace closer and would signal an end to the suffering endured by generations across the region,” they said.
“The UK Government could be a bastion of international law and human rights - but instead it is undermining international criminal proceedings and standing in the way of justice. No longer can the UK Government genuinely assert that ‘Promoting international criminal justice and the rule of law are fundamental elements of the United Kingdom’s foreign policy’. Rather, the Prime Minister's statement sets a wholly dangerous precedent by the UK, that may impact victims of grave crimes and threatens the viability, objectives, and the future of the court itself.”
The charities called on the international community to be consistent in its support for accountability and the rule of law, regardless of the context. “The UK Government should respect the impartiality and independence of the court, and should support – rather than substantially undermine – international legal frameworks and judicial mechanisms.”
The Palestine Mission to the UK also condemned Johnson’s stand on the ICC.