Turkish human rights groups calls for Barack arrest warrant 14Jan10 January 15, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  14 January 2010

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Turkish human rights group Mazlumder has demanded that a warrant be issued for the arrest of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

According to a statement issued by Mazlumder on Wednesday night, the request is based on international criminal law that calls for all accused of perpetrating war crimes to be tried in accordance with universal jurisdiction and Turkish law, according to Israeli daily Ynet. The call for his arrest is anchored in accusations put forward in the Goldstone report relating to Barack’s involvement in Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s assault on Gaza last winter.

Barack is due to visit Turkey in the coming days, the daily added.

“Israel perpetrated genocide and crimes against humanity. IDF forces bombed the UN building, hospitals, and schools. As was proven by lab tests performed by Turkish universities, they also used phosphorous bombs, which are forbidden. It is known that Israel used an assortment of ammunitions that caused physiological and psychological diseases among the Gazan population,” the Israeli daily Ynet quoted the statement as saying.

The request has reportedly been made in the past, the daily added, citing that Turkish Minister of Justic Mehmet Ali Shahin had previously rejected it.

“We know that Barak will arrive in Turkey on the 17th of the month … [we] need to put him trial and prevent every other Israeli who is responsible for war crimes from entering Turkey freely. We remind the Turkish prosecution of its role. We remind them that Britain has already decided to arrest Tzipi Livni when she was slated to arrive in the country.”

“We remind them that Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert must also be arrested according to Article CMK-98 of the Turkish law, which grants us the right to try them.”

In December, a similar arrest warrant was issued against Tzipi Livni for her involvement in last winter’s war, prompting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to affect a change in law, granting the General Attorney a veto power over the issuance of arrest warrants for internationals accused of war crimes visiting the UK.

In February 2009, a request to issue arrest warrants for then Prime Minister Ehud Barack, Livni and President Shimon Peres was called for in Turkey, which were then rejected by the Ankara general prosecutor.


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