War Crimes Are Being Committed in Iraq – Letter to the Office of the International Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (Draft) – PDF

2003 War Crimes Are Being Committed in Iraq

Version 1— Shock and Awe tactics

War Crimes Are Being Committed in Iraq

[intro para describing tactics being used which would be classified as war crimes — quote media reports or whatever. By the way, we may also need to be prepared to call Saddam Hussein and allies to attack for war crimes as well. He was quoted in the press yesterday as saying that the war would be fought all over the world — do we want to be proactive and point this out asap?]

Humanitarian law dictates that warring parties may not indiscriminately attack civilians or the infrastructure on which civilians depend to live. Likewise, attacks designed to spread terror amongst civilians are not permitted.

Such tactics are illegal under the Geneva Conventions and Protocol Ito the Geneva Conventions. More recently the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) established a Court to hold war criminals to account.

If you want to see the criminals of this war prosecuted to the full extent of the law, please send a message to the International Criminal Court. The International Prosecutor is due to be appointed in the very near future. Help us ensure that the atrocities in Iraq are at the top of his or her agenda with a mountain of mail demanding justice.

To: Office of the International Prosecutor, International Criminal Court [insert intro para on tactics being used]

As you’re aware, such tactics and attacks violate the principles of humanitarian law, which require a distinction to be made between the civilian population and combatants, and between civilian infrastructure and military targets. More specifically, the Rome Statute prohibits “intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives.”

It is also illegal to launch indiscriminate attacks and acts intended to spread terror among the civilian population and the Rome Statute prohibits “intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities.”

The Rome Statute also prohibits “intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated”

Violation of the Rome Statute through the ‘shock and awe’ tactics described above therefore constitute a war crime which should be addressed by the International Criminal Court.

I therefore respectfully request you to initiate an investigation of all war crimes and crimes against humanity under Article 15 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court against any country subject to the jurisdiction of the Court.

This investigation should include all officials not limited to but including all heads of States taking part in the war.


Version 2 — Use of non-lethal chemical weapons
[intro para describing reports]

replace para 2 and 3 of the intro, and para 2 of the letter with: The use of even non-lethal tear gas and “calmative” agents constitute the use of ‘poisons or poisoned weapons’ and/or employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices.

Their use is also a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. As was tragically demonstrated during the Moscow hostage crisis, lethal results can arise from use of these agents, even with non-lethal intent.

Rest is the same.