PUCL Bulletin, November 2002

Amnesty International petition opposes impunity agrements with the United States

On Tuesday 17 September 2002, Amnesty International launched a worldwide petition for individuals around the world to call on all governments not to enter into impunity agreements currently being proposed by the United States not to surrender US nationals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes to the new International Criminal Court.

The International Criminal Court will investigate and prosecute people accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The USA is attacking this new system of international justice by pressing states around the world to enter into impunity agreements. In many cases the US government is threatening to withdraw military assistance from countries that will not agree. Such agreements are unlawful under international law. They threaten to undermine international efforts to stop criminals ever again planning and committing the worst crimes known to humanity.

Already four governments - East Timor, Israel, Romania and Tajikistan - have agreed to sign such an agreement. It is essential that other governments do not support the US initiative.

The petition will be open for signature on Amnesty International's website - www.amnesty.org - and national Amnesty International websites for one month. Amnesty International will submit the final petition to all governments. The organization will also submit those signatures received by 27 September to a meeting of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs who will meet to consider the issue on 30 September.

Please sign the petition and forward information about it to your friends, colleagues and other organizations to sign.

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