The Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA) today lodged a complaint with the various law enforcement agencies, including the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Hawks, calling for Barak Obama to be investigated, charged and arrested for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The Media Review Network, fully supports this unprecedented stand taken by the MLA. Obama must be charged as soon as he steps onto South African soil during his upcoming tour of three African counties.

As a result of the US so called “war on terror”, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as state-sponsored terror in countries such as Pakistan and Yemen, Obama, in his capacity as Commander- in- Chief of US forces, must be held accountable for the countless deaths of innocent men, women and children in these countries. The calculated use of the unmanned drones, has given Obama the licence to decide who lives and who dies. In the name of “homeland security”, Obama has waged his wars on foreign lands, destroying the very fabric of those societies.

The Media Review Network calls upon the South African Judiciary, including the South African Police Services (SAPS), not to abdicate their international responsibilities since we are signatories to the Rome Statute as well as the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

Zaakir Ahmed Mayet
Chairman
Media Review Network
Cell No: 084 786 4003

For further information contact Ibrahim Vawda, Senior Researcher: Media Review Network, 011 837 3220 or 072 295 0088

PRESS RELEASE by MLA: OBAMA DOCKET

Johannesburg- Johannesburg based Muslim Lawyers Association today lodged a Complaint with the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and the South African Police Services (SAPS) in terms of international customary law as well as the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Act 2002 (the ICC Act) calling for USA President Barack Obama to be investigated, charged, arrested and tried in a South African Court for War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and Genocide. This comes shortly after the announcement that Obama will be visiting South Africa on an official trip, his first since taking up a second term in office.

The complaint, dubbed the “Obama Docket” encourages South Africa to take seriously its domestic and international obligations and to act against International War Criminals lest they consider South Africa a safe haven and travel here freely with impunity.

In terms of the ICC Act, diplomatic immunity is not a defence and a Head of State is not immune from prosecution for the aforementioned crimes. The Complaint asks for Obama’s arrest when he enters South Africa or the securing of his attendance at a trial by other lawful means.

In the alternative, the complaint requires South Africa as a State Party to the Rome Statute, to refer the case to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Hague to exercise Jurisdiction in terms of the Rome Statute.

The Obama administration’s Drone programme which has resulted in massive losses of innocent lives in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan. The programme is responsible for extra-judicial killings both innocent civilians as well as US citizens abroad. The drone strike policy has continued unabated with total disregard for territorial sovereignty and this is cited as the primary reason that Obama should be investigated and tried for War Crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The large number of well documented civilian deaths are said to constitute international crimes and the complaint refers to numerous International Reports which have documented evidence on the USA drone policies. Other crimes cited include extra judicial renditions and torture.

The MLA aims to use the freedoms enshrined in the South African Constitution and the provisions of the ICC Act to seek justice for those victims of drone attacks who have not been afforded their most basic right, the right to life.

For further details please contact Attorney Yousha Tayob: 0829265408

Or : www.mlajhb.com
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE OBAMA DOCKET

1. The MLA has submitted a complaint to the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions (“the NDPP”) , the Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation of the South African Police Service (“the DIPCI”), the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (“the SAPS”), the Honourable Minister of Safety and Security and the Director General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, being the Central Authority in terms of inter alia The Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act 27 of 2002 (“the ICC Act”) ,requesting the institution of a criminal investigation, and the arrest and prosecution of Barack Hussein Obama (“Obama”) for war crimes, genocide as well as crimes against humanity committed by him.

2. With the supporting annexures, the complaintcomprises 658 pages. As the complaint requests a criminal investigation the full complaint is not made available to the public.

3. This document provides a general overview.

4. The MLA requests the authorities:

4.1. to initiate an investigation into the conduct of the president of the United States of America, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA (“the accused”),

4.2. to effect the arrest of the accused or secure his presence for trial by other lawful means, and

4.3. to prosecute the accused in respect of the offences outlined below, or

4.4. to refer the case against the accused to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to exercise jurisdiction in accordance with Article 13 and 14 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court on 17th July 1998 and ratified by the Republic on 10th November 2000. (a copy of the Statute is attached as an Annexure to the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act 2002)

5. The MLA submits that inaction by the authorities would be an open invitation to the accused to extend his nefarious extra judicial killing spree to include the killing of South Africans within South Africa and to assassinate persons merely suspected of being terrorists by the USA who happen to be on South African soil.

6. The most basic of all human rights is the right to life. The right to life is guaranteed by article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There are 167 signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; giving the rules embodied therein universal status under International Law.

7. The MLA submits that South Africa, through its ratification of the Rome Statute and subsequent domestication thereof through the ICC Act, assumed a number of binding obligations. Parliament’s intention in this respect was unambiguous; namely that South Africa committed itself to the investigation of international crimes and the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators thereof.

8. It is apparent from the ICC act that a Head of State or member of Government such as the accused may be prosecuted and that Diplomatic immunity is not a defence.

9. During his presidency the accused ordered and/or sanctioned the widespread use of unmanned aerial vehicles (uav’s or drones) for the extra territorial, extra judicial killing of persons considered by the US government to be a threat to the safety of the USA. Such killings continue unabated and the accused continues to implement the policy.

10. Such murders have been committed in sovereign territories and has extended to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and on African soil in Somalia. They are ongoing.

11. Such persons as are identified to be assassinated are not arrested or tried in a Court of law. They are assassinated on the basis of mere accusations levelled against them. The alleged evidence is kept secret. There is no judicial oversight to determine if listed persons are indeed guilty of any alleged crime. They are deprived of a hearing (let alone a fair one) as well as an opportunity to present mitigating factors even if found to be guilty. There are no due process rights and such persons are not treated as human beings.

12. The process of identifying listed persons is secret. There is no accountability at all – just plain, simple, brazen murder.

13. At all times material the accused knew or foresaw the possibility that the use of drones to carry out the assassination of listed persons would cause civilian casualties.

14. This notwithstanding, the accused implemented the policy, indifferent to its consequences on innocent lives including those of children.

15. The result is that the world at large is not immune from the acts of the accused. No person who is considered by the USA government to be a threat to the USA is safe in any country anywhere in the world, nor is the territory where such person is domiciled or resident immune from USA drone strikes.

16. The USA armed forces, headed by the accused, have demonstrated an utter disregard for the territorial sovereignty of nation states and have time and time again, with alarming regularity, simply invaded the air space of sovereign states to carry out attacks and assassinations. The territorial sovereignty of every country is thus threatened by the USA policy which the accused has implemented and continues to implement.

17. During his term in office, the accused has intentionallysanctioned the use of drones in a manner which offends the fundamental principles of due process, distinction, proportionality, humanity, military necessity and has violated the international laws of war and international humanitarian law.

18. He has also assassinated his own citizens: Anwar Al Awlaqi, Abdul Rahman Al Awlaqi and Sameer Khan were all adherents of the Islamic faith.Anwar Al Awlaqi and his 16 year old son Abdul Rahman Al Awlaqi as well as Sameer Khan were all US citizens.

19. On the direct instructions of the accused, they were each assassinated in two separate drone attacks, two weeks apart from each other by the USA armed forces in Yemen.

20. Many innocent civilians including woman and children have been murdered by unlawful drone attacks.

21. There is no valid reason as to why the USA cannot capture persons that it suspects as being terrorists and provide such persons with due process and the full protection that the law affords to arrested persons

22. Instead the USA has murdered persons without providing supporting evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

23. Pakistani High Court Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan issued a ruling on 9 May 2013 declaring the ongoing USA drone strikes against the tribal areas in Pakistan illegal under international law, adding that they amount to a “war crime” when they kill innocent people. The ruling follows a case filed by an Islamabad legal aid charity on behalf of victims of the March 2011 by the accused sanctioned drone attack on government officials and tribal elders in North Waziristan. Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, who presided over the case, cited a litany of international laws and agreements, which such conduct breached, ranging from the UN Charter to the UN Millennium Declaration and the Geneva Conventions. He also called for the USA government to redress Pakistani civilian victims of USA drone strikes, and for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to establish a war crimes tribunal to investigate further injustices.The learned judge states in the judgment that “the US decision making Troika, the president, the Pentagon and the CIA have joined hands to carry out drone strikes in north and south Waziristan on spy information to hit and kill foreign elements labelled to be enemies (paragraph 5).”

24. The learned judge held that the policy violates the Geneva Convention and Article 7 of the Additional Protocol 1 because the killings were not necessary and the use of force was disproportionate. The learned judge held further that the forming of an opinion by the CIA that the strikes target groups of men who are alleged militants having links with alleged terrorist groups is based on figments of imagination.

25. The accused’s criminal conduct is not restricted to assassinations, murder and drone attacks.

26. The accused has also utilised a systematic policy of enforced disappearance of persons known colloquially as “extra-judicial renditions”.

27. He continues to keep Guantanamo Bay open and continues the unlawful detention and torture of its inmates.

28. USA Secret prisons or black sites have also been uncovered on African soil in Somalia,

Some supporting material

29. http://www.cageprisoners.com/

30. http://www.livingunderdrones.org

31. http://droneswatch.org/tag/shahzad-akbar/

32. http://truth-out.org/news/item/10907-cover-up-of-civilian-drone-deaths-revealed-by-new-evidence

33. http://www.policymic.com/articles/15340/drone-strikes-in-pakistan-have-killed-thousands-of-civilians

MRN

Author: MRN Network

The aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.