World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Forcibly transferring relatives would violate law

Israel / Occupied Territories: Forcibly transferring relatives of suspected Palestinian suicide bombers would violate international law

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

19 July 2002 MDE 15/120/2002

Early this morning Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have arrested 21 male relatives of Palestinians suspected of having been involved in recent attacks against Israelis. The IDF threatens to transfer them from the West Bank to Gaza.

"The forcible transfer of these people under these circumstances is collective punishment," Amnesty International said. "We call on the Israeli government not to carry out such measures."

"If anyone of those arrested is suspected of a recognizably criminal offence, he should be promptly charged and brought to trial. Otherwise, he should be released," the organization added.

Under international humanitarian law collective punishment is illegal: "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed." (Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention). Protected persons are those living in territory which is under military occupation, as is the case with the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967.

The unlawful transfer of protected persons constitutes a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Under the Rome Statute, which reflects customary international law, such violations may also constitute crimes against humanity.

The IDF also demolished at least two homes of the 21 people arrested. That too amounts to collective punishment prohibited by international humanitarian law.

The 21 detainees include the brothers and fathers of 'Ali Ajuri, suspected of organizing the Tel Aviv suicide bombing, and of Nasser and 'Asem Abu Asida, allegedly responsible for the attack on a bus near Emmanuel.

The Israeli government has reportedly asked the Attorney General for a legal opinion on transferring Palestinians from the West Bank to Gaza or deporting them to other countries.

Background: Forcible transfer involves movement against a person's will within national frontiers. Deportation involves movement against a person's will across national frontiers.

Amnesty International's opposition to the transfer of the 21 detainees is based on the following international standards:

Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits "[c]ollective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation" as well as "[r]eprisals against protected persons and their property."

Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines "unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person" as a grave breach of the Convention and therefore a war crime.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which reflects customary international law, defines as a war crime in Article 8(2)(b)(viii) "the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory" by the occupying power.

Under Article 7 (d) of the Rome Statute, the deportation or forcible transfer of population would also constitute a crime against humanity, when carried out in a widespread or systematic way, as part of a governmental policy.

The Rome Statute defines deportation or forcible transfer of population as "forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under international law".


You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact. International.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news