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12 I ORLD NEWSW Passion Islam I February 2010
Over 80 MPs oppose changing
law for Israeli war criminals
The British government is in a dilemma
over plans to restrict the arrest of
Israeli leaders for alleged war crime
with more than 80 MPs declaring their
opposition to any changes to the UK
So far, 86 MPs have signed an
Early Day Motion to parliament,
warning that they would vote against
any legislation to limit the power of
courts to issue warrants for human
rights abusers under the principle of
universal jurisdiction.
Universal jurisdiction, which
allows arrests wherever crimes are
committed, is as “essential as part of
the cause of bringing to justice those
who commit crimes against humanity,”
the motion said, according to a copy
seen by IRNA.
been delayed with the Foreign Office
charges of political interference.
separate resolution, supported
citing “technical difficulties.”
Human rights groups have
by 10 MPs, further warns that any
The problem for the government is
accused the British government of
proposed changes to UK legislation
that it has a working majority of only
seeking to avoid its responsibility to
uphold international law and bring war
“would compromise the UK’s
63 MPs and would need the support
criminals to justice.
obligations under the Fourth Geneva
of opposition Conservatives to force
The Muslim Council of Britain
Convention to seek out and prosecute
legislative changes through the House
(MCB) has also warned that Britain
persons suspected of war crimes.”
of Commons.
was jeopardising its international
Last month, the British government
The arrest of Israeli military
reputation by interfering in the law
pledged to alter the law after
and political leaders has become
to prevent Israeli leaders being
apologising to Israel when a warrant
easier following the UN-sponsored
was issued for the arrest of former
Goldstone report on the extent of
“Law in our legal system is the
foreign minister Tzipi Livni over her
war crimes committed in Gaza as it
same for all – friend or foe. Your
role in the latest Gaza massacres,
is an evidential document in British
proposed step will treat ‘political
forcing her to cancel a visit to the UK. jurisdiction.
friends’ differently and indeed more
According to the Jewish Chronicle, The apparent change in the law is
favourably than those who may face
Justice Minister Jack Straw was due to require any arrests to be approved
same allegations but for whom a
to present proposals to parliament to by the attorney general, who is also different process will apply,” said MCB
alter the law, but then reported it had a cabinet minister, but this has led to secretary general Abdul Bari.
Government restores links with MCB
British Ministers have restored official Navy if it stopped arms intended for to the organisation’s agreed policies,
ties with the Muslim Council of Britain Hamas being smuggled into Gaza. avoiding a repeat of the issues which
(MCB) which were severed after a Ties were cut by Denham’s arose after one member signed the
senior council member was accused predecessor Hazel Blears, who said Istanbul Declaration.
of supporting attacks on British she was also concerned the document “The MCB has stated its categorical
soldiers. called for attacks on Jews and their opposition to attacks on British
John Denham, the Communities supporters. defence interests and confirmed its
Secretary, has made the decision A spokesman for the Department unwavering support for British troops
after the MCB, Britain’s leading for Communities and Local across the world.
Muslim group, stated its opposition to Government said the MCB had stated “It has also made clear that it
violence. its “categorical” opposition to attacks stands firmly against anti-Semitism
Links were severed in March last on British troops. and other forms of racism.
year when it emerged that deputy He said: “The Muslim Council “The significance of these actions on
secretary-general Dr Daud Abdullah of Britain has made a commitment the part of the MCB has led to the
had signed a public declaration of to Government to examine their Government lifting the suspension
support for Palestinian group Hamas. internal processes and ensure that of its formal relationship with that
The Istanbul declaration document the personal actions of all members, organisation.
appeared to advocate attacks on the including senior leaders, remain true
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