Iraq War Crimes Tribunal in NYC, August 26, 2004
Summary of the Berlin Hearing and plans in Germany to focus on German complicity in the Iraq war
I testify tonight to summarize the finding of the German opening conference for an international tribunal on the aggression against Iraq on June 19, 2004 in Berlin.
The one-day hearing examined severe violations of international law during the war and during the following and de facto still continuing occupation. Its conclusion was that it is urgently necessary to hold further investigation and prosecution of the charges introduced at the hearing.
Contemporary experts in international law argued that the attack against Iraq constituted a clear breach of international law. George W. Bush as well as Tony Blair and all the other responsible participants are demonstrated to be guilty of waging a war of aggression – a severe crime according to international law.
And according to German and international law, the support supplied by Germany through providing the US military with territory and airspace clearly constitutes complicity with this crime.
Witnesses also testified that the ongoing occupation is in continuous violation of humanitarian law, including the Hague Regulations and Geneva Conventions, and human rights law, including the International Bill of Rights. These violations include insufficient supply of the population, lacking provision of security, arbitrary use of violence against the civilian population, wrongful arrest of civilians, maltreatment, abuse, and torture, and economic pillage, ecological destruction, and social devastation of the country.
The invasion of Iraq was the final point of a long war. This war had systematically eroded the institutional base for the lives of 22 million people. It did this by subjecting the country to a state of siege and continuous bombing. The murderous sanction regime is regarded as responsible for the death of more than one and a half million people and raises questions with regard to the genocide convention.
In Germany, the tribunal activities that are to lead to an international tribunal in Berlin will be continued. This tribunal will focus on the complicity of the German Government through its support of 14 years of aggression against Iraq.