Endorsement by Turkish and international human
Ankara/Geneva/Vienna, 1 June 2004/P/RE/18726c-is
In a message addressed to the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, representatives of Turkish and international human rights organizations have endorsed the initiative of the I.P.O. for the establishment of an International War Crimes Commission for Iraq.
Following is the text of the declaration signed by the Presidents of three leading human rights organizations in Turkey and by the representative of the Geneva-based International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination:
We, the undersigned, who are the presidents or co-directors of international and/or national organizations of human rights, with wide membership and supporters, consider it imperative to affix our signatures to and take pleasure in supporting the timely call of the Vienna-based International Progress Organization (IPO) for the establishment of an International War Crimes Commission for Iraq by the United Nations General Assembly.
With the experiences of the My Lai massacre and similar horrendous incidents still fresh in the conscience of the world at large, and especially in those of us who have done their best for decades to serve the ideals of humankind, we concur in the principled vigilance of all defenders of human rights watchful of any abuse of legal norms.
Cognizant that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Iraq, that the Geneva Conventions have been seriously violated over and over again and in the most shocking manner, and that the repeated reminders of some other international bodies were not heeded, it is our considered opinion that the General Assembly, as always, is the most trustworthy international body able to establish, on the basis of Article 22 of the UN Charter, an International War Crimes Commission for Iraq with the authority of documenting the crimes in question.
We respectfully insist on this pressing and constructive role that befits the former deliberations of this illustrious Assembly.
HÜSNÜ ÖNDÜL, Barrister; President, Human Rights Association (IHD), Ankara
NEVZAT HELVACI, Barrister; President, Turkish Human Rights Organization (TIMAK), Ankara
YAVUZ ÖNEN, President, Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TIHV), Ankara
Dr. TÜRKKAYA ATAÖV, Professor of International Relations; member of the Central Executive Council, International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Geneva