Posted at 0001hrs BST 20 June 2014
Proposals to grant sitting African leaders immunity from prosecution for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity will completely undermine the integrity of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, even before it becomes operational, Amnesty International said.
In an open letter Amnesty International called on African Union (AU) heads of state and government meeting in Equatorial Guinea this week not to adopt a proposed amendment which would grant immunity from prosecution to sitting government leaders and senior officials in the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.
“After the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the world committed itself to ensuring that such an atrocity could never happen again. This commitment rings hollow in the face of efforts to shield from prosecution senior African politicians who are and may be responsible for serious atrocities including mass murder, torture, rape, or the displacement of entire communities,” said Netsanet Belay Amnesty International’s Africa Director.