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Boris Johnson press briefing May 24 2020 header4.jpg
World News

UK Christian charities condemn PM's comments about investigation into war crimes in Palestine

Christian Aid and CAFOD are among charities who have said Boris Johnson's response to news of an international investigation into war crimes in Palestine risks putting justice out of reach. 

The International Criminal Court recently announced that they would be investigating alleged grave crimes committed in Occupied Palestinian territory. 

Boris Johnson responded to this announcement in a letter to Conservative Friends of Israel by saying that the investigation "gives the impression of being a partial and prejudicial attack on a friend and ally of the UK’s". 

 

Twelve charities have signed a statement, condeming his words, saying: "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. 

"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 favour.' 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."

Christian Aid and Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) are joined by Amos Trust, Friends of Birzeit University, War on Want, Welfare Association, Embrace the Middle East and Interpal, among others. 

They continue: "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 

"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 international community must 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 statement is also signed by Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) and Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability (ABCD Bethlehem). 

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