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Amnesty International wants justice to prevail at ICC

18 September 2013, 13:51 Dennis Omido

Nairobi - Amnesty International (AI) says it expects trials for President Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and Joshua Sang to be fair and that the rights of the accused, the victims and the witnesses will be respected.

“The Prosecution’s evidence must be thoroughly tested, the rights of the accused must be fully respected and victims and witnesses must be provided with effective protection and support,” reads a statement on AI’s official website.

According to AI, the trials should act as an eye opener to the government and enable it to investigate and prosecute other crimes under international law that the ICC is not able to deal with and generate broader support to address impunity by ensuring national justice, truth and reparation.

Is the ICC just ‘hunting Africans’?   

On whether the ICC is only hunting African leaders, AI says what ICC is doing is giving justice to African victims subjected to crimes against humanity and is supported by African governments which are signatories to the Rome Statue.

“Africans hold senior positions in the ICC – the Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, is from Gambia and four of the Court’s 18 judges are African,” says AI.

Witness withdrawal

AI also raised concern over the withdrawal of witnesses from the cases saying it raises serious concerns about the safety of those willing to testify at the trials and about the effectiveness of the proceedings themselves, adding that victims and witnesses must be able to engage with the judicial process safely.

Venue relocation

According to AI, the proceedings of cases should have been held in Arusha to bring them closer to the victims but since ICC raised some security concerns, then the trials should proceed in The Hague regardless of the logistical challenges posed to the defendants.


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