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Opdateret 02.06.2017

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 webmaster: Ruth Jensen

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18 July 2011


      PRESS STATEMENT

ARCHBISHOP TUTU AND WINNIE MANDELA

TO HELP TO DETERMINE IF TREATMENT OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE BY ISRAEL MEETS CRITERIA OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION AGAINST THE CRIME OF APARTHEID

What are the consequences for Israel-Palestine and the  international community?

The third session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine is to convene in Cape Town in November 2011 to answer the question whether the treatment of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories fits the international legal definitions of the crime of apartheid.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine is an international peoples’ tribunal created following governmental inaction regarding Israel’s recognised violations of international law. The Russell Tribunal is a powerful international civil society coalition, which dates back to the 1960s and the Vietnam War, and is committed to fighting crimes under international law and to enhancing international accountability.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was established in March 2009 after the Israeli military bombardment of Gaza of December 2008-January 2009, which killed over 1 400 people mainly civilians. The first session in Barcelona in March 2010 considered the complicity of the European Union and its member states in not holding Israel accountable to the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions and other instruments of international law.

Given the 2004 opinion of the International Court of Justice that the “wall” is illegal and should be dismantled, the second session of the Tribunal met in London in November 2010, and considered the complicity of international corporations in illegal profiteering from the occupation of Palestine.

A fourth session of the Tribunal will meet in New York in 2012 to consider the complicity of the United Nations and United States in not holding Israel accountable to numerous UN resolutions and decisions regarding Palestine.

Members of the international support committee of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine include Nobel prize laureates, a former UN secretary general, two former heads of state, other personalities who have held high political office and representatives of civil society, writers, journalists, poets, actors, film directors, scientists, professors, lawyers and judges (see website: www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com).

The jury of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine is composed of international personalities known for their actions and moral integrity, and include:

Ronnie Kasrils, former South African government minister, writer and activist; Michael Mansfield, British barrister; Jose Antonio Martin Pallin, emeritus judge of the Spanish Supreme Court; Cynthia McKinney former member of the US Congress.

The Tribunal will meet in Cape Town on November 5 and 6, 2011, and will be opened by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. International authorities will testify whether the State of Israel’s conduct in Israel-Palestine meets the criteria of the UN Convention Against The Crime Of Apartheid. Expert South African witnesses will include Professor John Dugard, Professor Steven Friedman, Advocate Max du Plessis, and Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who will share her experiences of apartheid.

The State of Israel has been invited to make a presentation.

The South African support committee established to organise the Cape Town session is chaired by Judge Siraj Desai, and includes Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, Mercia Andrews, Mohammed Groenewald, Edwin Arrison and Terry Crawford-Browne. The committee is supported by non-governmental organisations including Cosatu and the Palestine Solidarity Group.

This statement was issued for Senator Pierre Galand, international co-ordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.  For more information, please call Roger Friedman 027 (0) 83 272 5036 or email rogerf@oryxmedia.co.za

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