UN slams US for rejecting court treaty

  • From: "Muslim-News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 13:01:06 +0100

LONDON, May 7: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson on
Tuesday criticized Washington's abandonment of a new international court
for the world's worst crimes, calling it regrettable and worrying. 

Her words were echoed by European Commission President Romano Prodi, who
stressed that the new court would continue regardless. 

Joining a chorus of international condemnation, Robinson said the US
stance set a bad precedent but that the International Criminal Court
should survive without backing from the world's only superpower. 

"I believe it has been a remarkable success story...the International
Criminal Court will go forward strongly and will make a great difference
in accountability and ending impunity," Robinson told a news conference
during a visit to London. 

US President George W. Bush's government announced on Monday it would
pull out of the treaty setting up the court, due mostly to fears it
could be used against US military personnel. 

That disappointed major US allies and infuriated human rights
organizations, which accused Washington of ending a decades-old
tradition of leading prosecution of war criminals since the Nuremberg
trials at the end of World War Two. 

"WORRYING IMPLICATIONS": "It's worrying and I'm concerned that the
United States has not just let the matter rest as it was - that they
were unlikely to ratify - but has actually taken symbolically a much
more serious step of disengaging from this whole process," Robinson
said. The United States signed the treaty in 2000. 

Former US President Bill Clinton's government had signed the treaty
setting up the court so Washington could participate in talks on
arrangements for the new body. But both administrations said they did
not intend to ask the Senate to ratify, saying the court could be used
for politically motivated prosecutions of US officials or military
personnel. 

The US renunciation of obligation to cooperate with the court - meaning
it could, for example, ignore extradition requests - "could have
worrying implications" for other nations bound by treaties, Robinson
said. 

Source:  Reuters

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