Posted by News Express | 5 January 2020 | 1,277 times
The United States acted arbitrarily and outside the confines of the Customary International Law, including Human Rights Law, by assassinating Major-General Qasem Soleimani, the Commander of the Iranian Quds Force, a unit of the country’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, the International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety) said on Saturday.
“The world can fare better in the context of international safety, peace, security and justice only when laws and due processes are strictly followed or resorted to all the times,” the group noted in a statement issued at Ezinifite, Aguata in Anambra State, Eastern Nigeria. The statement was signed by Intersociety Board Chair Emeka Umeagbalasi and Barr Chinaza Ndidiamaka Bernard, Head of Int’l Justice & Human Rights.
“The United States therefore must avoid dragging the global community into another devastating and protracted world violent conflict where weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological and nuclear) and small arms and light weapons will once again and in ‘industrial scale’ reduce humans to ashes or foods for flies and termites and properties to rubbles. The United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran and their malevolent or benevolent allies must totally avoid disastrously dragging the global community from ‘the US-Iran cold war’ back to active hostilities where no one or property will be left out,” Intersociety added.
It further said in the statement: “The Quds Force is a unit in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) specializing in unconventional warfare such as terrorist activities and sponsorships and military intelligence operations.
“It has been severally accused of responsibility for extraterritorial operations and had in the past decades rendered supports to violent non-state actors in many countries, including Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank; the Yemeni Houthis, and Shia militias in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan
“The Quds Force reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei and was until commanded by Major General Qasem Soleimani until he was killed by a U.S. drone strike at Baghdad International Airport on 3 January 2020, after which Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani was same day named or appointed as commander.
“Although the direct and clandestine activities of the Force had in the past decades led to death and incapacitation of many innocent and defenseless civilians particularly women and children and destruction and devastation of properties, both government and individually owned; but spirit and letters of the int’l law and due processes must at all times be applied. ‘Battle-field related deaths’ in active hostilities are allowed internationally provided they strictly emanate from ‘combatants’ and exclude civilians and prisoners of war and other uninvolved parties.
“That is to say that international law including the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the int’l human rights and humanitarian laws do not support any form of extra judicial killings or summary executions including the 3rd Jan 2020 referenced assassination; with exception being where such steps are strictly necessary so as to stop ‘imminent violent attacks’ against a population or VIPs. Consequences of such dastardly, under int’l law, act attracts both State and individual responsibilities.
“We are in agreement with Dr. Agnes Callamard, the UN Rapportuer on Extra Judicial Killings or Summary Executions to the effect that, the targeted killings of Qasem Soleiman and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis are most likely unlawful and violate international human rights law.
“Outside the context of active hostilities, the use of drones or other means for targeted killing is almost never likely to be legal. Lawful justifications for such killings are very narrowly defined and it is hard to imagine how any of these can apply to these killings.”
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