Bring President Massoud Barzani to trial for war crimes!: An open letter to UN…


June 12, 2013 – ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’, — To: The President of The United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Vuk Jeremić, and H.E. Eric H. Holder, Jr, The US Attorney General , and their successors in office.

We, a set of Human Rights activists, intellectuals and politicians in Iraqi Kurdistan and other countries, wish to uphold The United Nations Charter, The 1998 Rome Statute of The International Criminal Court, The Hague and Geneva Conventions and the Rule of International Law, especially in respect of:

1: 1949 Geneva Convention IV: Article 146

The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention.

2: 1907 Hague Convention IV: Article 3

A belligerent party which violates the provisions of the said regulations shall, if the case demands, be liable to pay compensation. It shall be responsible for all the acts committed by persons forming part of its armed forces.

We therefore call on you to indict Massoud Barzani, a close ally of the United States, in his capacity as recent President of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, so long as he is able to answer for his actions and however long it takes, in respect of our sample complaints relating to the civil conflict that broke out between his political party (Kurdistan Democratic Party) vs. his rival the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Iraqi Kurdistan between the years of 1994-1997, having culminated in death of estimated 4000-8000 innocent fighters and civilians.

We are concerned that without justice and respect for the rule of law, the future for us and our progeny in a lawless world is bleak.

The following are our sample complaints relating to the Iraqi Kurdistan Civil War 1994-1997:

1: Deceit and conspiracy for civil war, and providing false news to incite passions for civil war, causing in the order of 4-8 thousand deaths, 20 thousand refugees displacement, countless maiming and traumas.

2: Causing the breakdown of civil administration, with consequent lawlessness, especially looting, kidnapping, torture, and violence, and consequent breakdown of women’s rights, freedom of assembly, and child and adult education.

3: Failing to maintain the medical needs of the populace.

4: Despoliation of the cultural heritage of the country.

5: Seizing the assets of common people.

6: Using inhumane restraints on prisoners, including insulation, torture, humiliation, deprivation from food and medical assistance, and disregard to the sufferings of the families of victims.

7: Using Aggressive Patrolling indiscriminately, traumatizing women and children and wrecking homes and property.

8: Marking bodies of prisoners with numbers, writing, other degrading treatment.

9: Supporting indiscriminate RPG attacks resulting in destruction of public properties and damage to environment

10: Disregard of families of victims, lack of provision of financial compensation, and failure to assist them with recovery from psychological symptoms and depressions thus far.

11: Failure to help notify families of victims and relocate their whereabouts.

Perpetration of above-indicated war crimes is a serious matter of concern for both the families of victims as well Kurdish citizens of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Signatories Human Rights Activists – Kurdistan, Iraq.