Intellectuals damn US war on Iraq

Dozens of activists holding an unofficial tribunal to put the US-led war in Iraq on trial have recommended that US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair be investigated for crimes against humanity.

    Indian author Arundhati Roy spoke for the panel

    The World Tribunal on Iraq, meeting in an old Ottoman minting house in Istanbul on Monday, held three days of speeches, discussions and testimony from witnesses, including soldiers who served in Iraq.

    It recommended "an exhaustive investigation of those responsible for crimes of aggression and crimes against humanity in Iraq, beginning with ... Bush ... Tony Blair ... and other government officials from the coalition of the willing," said prize-winning Indian author Arundhati Roy, spokeswoman for the panel.

    Participants also asked for the immediate withdrawal of forces from Iraq; that governments prosecuting the war in Iraq pay war reparations; and that US military prisons such as Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay be shut down.

    Profiteers

    They also urged action against companies that allegedly profited from the war.

    The tribunal was based on the
    Russell Tribunal model 

    The informal tribunal also accused the United Nations Security Council of failing to protect Iraq against a crime of aggression.

    The session was the third and final session of the group, featuring dozens of intellectuals, scholars and authors, as well as activists. The first two sessions took place in Brussels and New York.

    In attendance

    Other prominent attendees included international legal scholar Richard Falk, two former United Nations assistant secretaries-general and Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues.

    The World Tribunal on Iraq is modelled on the Russell Tribunal, which was convened by philosopher Bertrand Russell in 1967 to investigate the Vietnam war.

    The Russell Tribunal received heavy publicity due to the attendance of literary luminaries and Nobel prize winners, but was widely viewed as a biased show trial.

    SOURCE: AFP


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