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Independent Investigation Into Human Rights Abuses

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

13 October 2000

MDE 15/039/2000

197/00

Amnesty International reiterated its urgent call for an independent international investigation by the United Nations into the serious human rights abuses in Israel and the Occupied Territories, including the areas under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, since 29 September.

The human rights organization recalled the responsibility of the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to respect and maintain the rule of law, which includes the protection of human life and safety at all times. There should be no impunity for individuals who carry out unlawful killings and other human rights abuses, of which both Palestinians and Israelis have fallen victim in the last two weeks.

Amnesty International condemned the torture and killings of the Israeli soldiers in Ramallah/al-Bireh yesterday, and called on the Palestinian Authority to ensure that the killings are promptly and thoroughly investigated and that the perpetrators are brought to justice in trials which meet international standards.

Amnesty International also condemned the punitive attacks on Palestinian facilities carried out by Israeli forces yesterday in the wake of the killings, and which resulted in the injury of at least 25 people.

Over the last two weeks AI has consistently condemned the excessive and extensive use of lethal force in situations where lives were not at imminent risk, and which has resulted in the deaths of about 100 people.

Amnesty International reiterates its call for a United Nations' investigative team. This investigative team should be independent and include criminal justice and other experts known for their impartiality and integrity, to investigate all serious huma rights abuses that took place since 29 September in Israel, the Occupied Territories and south Lebanon.

"To ensure independence and impartiality of the international investigation, its members should exclude persons whose background could appear to lack impartiality," Amnesty International said.

"The investigation should be properly resourced and include ballistic, forensic or other technical experts that may be required. It should report to the Commission on Human Rights, the General Assembly and the Security Council, and the authorities concerned should be obliged to cooperate fully with the investigation."

See also:

Israel/Occupied Territories: Amnesty International expresses concern for civilians' safety 11 October 2000 AI Index MDE 15/036/2000 - News Service Nr. 197

Israel/Occupied Territories/Lebanon: Amnesty International calls for UN investigation 9 October 2000 AI Index MDE 15/035/2000 - News service Nr. 193

Israel/Occupied Territories: Amnesty International sends delegates to Israel 4 October 2000 AI Index MDE 15/034/2000 - News Service Nr. 189

Israel and the Occupied Territories: Civilians' lives must be respected 2 October 2000 AI Index MDE 15/032/2000 - News Service Nr. 187

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