THE HANDSTAND

MAY 2005

World tribunal on iraq

LETTER FROM JOHN BERGER + UPDATE ON SESSIONS
The records have to be kept and, by definition, the perpetrators, far from keeping records, try to destroy them. They are killers of the innocent and of memory. The records are required to inspire still further the mounting opposition to the new global tyranny. The new tyrants, incomparably over-armed, can win every war - both military and economic. Yet they are losing the war (this is how they call it) of communication. They are not winning the support of world public opinion. More and more people are saying NO. Finally this will be the tyranny's undoing. But after how many more tragedies, invasions and collateral disasters? After how much more of the new poverty the tyranny engenders? Hence the urgency of keeping records, of remembering, of assembling the evidence, so that the accusations become unforgettable, and proverbial on every continent. More and more people are going to say NO, for this is the precondition today for saying YES to all we are determined to save and everything we love.

John Berger
18.06.2003
Paris-Mieussy

BUSH AND BLAIR ARE CALLED TO JUSTICE AT DIFFERENT EMBASSIES AROUND THE WORLD


17 May 2005 - At various Embassies around the world today, representatives of the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) delivered law summons and letters inviting US President Bush and UK Prime Minister Blair to the culminating session of the World Tribunal on Iraq to be held in Istanbul between 23-27 June, 2005. The letter of invitation is signed by leading international figures; Prof. Richard Falk, Ken Coates, Prof. Baskin Oran, Dr. Nadje Al-Ali, Prof. Joel Kovel, Denis J. Halliday, Dr. Jayan Nayar, Hans von Sponeck, Haifa Zangana and Prof. Johan Galtung.

In several Capitals around the world including Istanbul, Brussels, Tokyo and Lizbon the Embassies of the United States and the United Kingdom were the targets of the WTI representatives delivering law summons reading “Mr. Bush you are being called to attend the World Tribunal on Iraq in Istanbul”. The activists also presented letters to the Embassy officials. In addition, letters were also sent by post in New York, Stockholm and Amsterdam to to the US and UK officials.

Hon. George W. Bush

President

White House

United States of America                                                                      

                                                                                                            17 May 2005                                                                                                 

Dear Mr. President,

 

We are writing to you to invite you to the culminating session of the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) that will take place in Istanbul between 23-27 June 2005.

 

The WTI is a worldwide undertaking to reclaim justice. It aims to record the severe wrongs, crimes and violations that were committed in the process leading up to the war against Iraq, during the combat operations, and throughout the ensuing occupation. These continue to be widespread to this day.

 

The Tribunal consists of commissions of inquiry and sessions held around the world over the past two years, investigating various issues related to the war on Iraq, such as the legality of the war, the role of the United Nations, war crimes and the role of the media.

 

The session in Istanbul will reach a decision following an examination of the results of the previous sessions as well as new reports and testimonies, while evaluating the implications of the war against Iraq for the world at large.

 

We, on behalf of the peoples of the world who believe in justice, start from the conviction that you have been acting in violation of common values of humanity, international treaties and international law, seek for you to attend the culminating session of the World Tribunal on Iraq on 24-26 June, 2005 in Istanbul, to respond to the claims and to have your say or to delegate  a representative to offer explanations on your behalf. You may find the context of this undertaking and the claims raised in a text appended to this letter.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

On behalf of the Panel of Advocates of the World Tribunal on Iraq

Prof. Richard Falk,

Ken Coates,

Prof. Baskin Oran,

Dr. Nadje Al-Ali,

Prof. Joel Kovel,

Denis J. Halliday,

Dr. Jayan Nayar,

Hans von Sponeck,

Haifa Zangana.

Prof. Johan Galtung

 

APPENDIX:

 

Context of Claims and the World Tribunal on Iraq:

 

We, the peoples of the world who believe in justice, claiming that you have been acting in violation of the will of millions of Iraqis and the will of the global public against this war have taken the initiative to investigate alleged violations of international treaties and international law in the face of the failure of official institutions to do so.

Questions, discussion and protests pertaining to the illegality and illegitimacy of the military operation against Iraq, its background and the subsequent occupation; the ongoing resistance of the people of Iraq; the evident inability and failure of international institutions and mechanisms to address the issue fully, to take effective measures to address the grievances, to undo the wrongs and to challenge the state of exception single-handedly imposed by the US, have altogether created the circumstances calling for this civilian undertaking --the World Tribunal on Iraq. The WTI process is a search for and determination to establish the truth, which has become a moral obligation for us all, with a genuine desire and will to see justice established as a driving force underlying the whole endeavour.

The World Tribunal on Iraq is constituted with the purpose of establishing how the US administration and its allies, through launching a ‘preemptive / preventive war’ on Iraq and its subsequent occupation, violate the world conscience and desire for dignity and justice and whether or not these actions override international law, and more specifically humanitarian law and values in a way that compromises our lives, security and futures. It is on these terms that the Tribunal will reach a decision.

 

The Tribunal aims at determining and condemning such crimes, if any, in a manner such that its resolutions affect deep and lasting reactions, arouse respect and confidence in the world public opinion and register history in the collective memory of humanity.

 

__________________________________________________

 



The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) is a worldwide undertaking to reclaim justice. It aims to record the severe wrongs, crimes and violations that were committed in the process leading up to the aggression against Iraq, during the war and throughout the ensuing occupation, that continue to be widespread to this day. It is our intention to also record the social, political, environmental and cultural devastation. In the end, the evidence gathered and presented will serve as a historical record that breaks the web of lies promulgated by the war coalition and its embedded press.

WTI is a horizontal network of local groups and individuals worldwide that work together in a non- hierarchical system. The project consists of commissions of inquiry and sessions held around the world investigating various issues related to the war on Iraq, such as the legality of the war, the role of the United Nations, war crimes and the role of the media.

On June 23rd to the 27th 2005, at the start of the third year of the occupation of Iraq, the culminating session will take place in Istanbul. This session will reach a decision following an examination of the results of the previous sessions as well as new reports and testimonies, while evaluating the implications of the aggression against Iraq for the world at large.

UPCOMING SESSIONS/HEARINGS:


Spain : May 2005
Iraqi civil society in front of the US colonial domination project: facing the challenge of recovering self-government.

Istanbul : 23-27 June 2005 – The Final Session
The Istanbul session will serve as a culmination point of the WTI process until June, taking into account the entirety of the above tribunal sessions. Based on this also, the session will take the further step of examining and exposing the implications of WTI findings.

BUSH AND BLAIR ARE CALLED TO JUSTICE

AT DIFFERENT EMBASSIES AROUND THE WORLD

Law Summons endorsed by former UN officals, renowned Academicians, Writers and former EU Parliament Member

17 May 2005, Istanbul, Brussels, Tokyo, Lizbon- At various Embassies around the world today, representatives of the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) delivered law summons and letters inviting US President Bush and UK Prime Minister Blair to the culminating session of the World Tribunal on Iraq to be held in Istanbul between 23-27 June, 2005. The letter of invitation is signed by leading international figures including Denis Halliday, Prof. Richard Falk, Ken Coates and Hans von Sponeck (1).

In several Capitals around the world including Istanbul, Brussels, Tokyo and Lizbon the Embassies of the United States and the United Kingdom were the targets of the WTI representatives delivering law summons reading "Mr. Bush you are being called to attend the World Tribunal on Iraq in Istanbul". The activists also presented letters to the Embassy officials (2). In addition, letters were also sent by post in New York, Stockholm and Amsterdam to to he US and UK officials.
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In Istanbul, following the giving of the letter to a US Embassy official who came out to meet the group, Mrs. Hilal Kuey, the spokesperson for the WTI in Turkey, said "Since the US administration does not recognize the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UK government has used its power to avoid being prosecuted for an illegal and illegitimate war, the citizens of the world have undertaken an initiative to reclaim justice. The world is calling for Bush and Blair to be held accountable for the crimes committed in Iraq."

The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) is a worldwide undertaking to reclaim justice. It aims to record the severe wrongs, crimes and violations that were committed in the process leading up to the aggression against Iraq, during the war and throughout the ensuing occupation, that continue to be widespread to this day. The project consists of commissions of inquiry and sessions held around the world investigating various issues related to the war on Iraq, such as the legality of the war, the role of the United Nations, war crimes and the role of the media as well as the social, political, environmental and cultural devastation.

On June 23rd to the 27th 2005, at the start of the third year of the occupation of Iraq, the culminating session will take place in Istanbul. This session will reach a decision following an examination of the results of the previous sessions as well as new reports and testimonies, while evaluating the implications of the aggression against Iraq for the world at large.

"We ask Mr. Bush and Blair to present their case in front of the jury of concience in Istanbul. We believe that the Istanbul hearing bears the responsibility of culminating a process already initiated, and of initiating a process yet to be imagined." concluded Mrs. Kuey.

For more information please contact,

WTI Office in Istanbul, + (90) 212 244 7370 or,

Tolga Temuge, International Communications and Media Coordinator, tolga.temuge@worldtribunal.org, + (356) 21 578 442

www.worldtribunal.org