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International Criminal Court - Key meeting dominated by African Union opposition to trials of Kenyan leaders

    November 20, 2013

    World leaders must reject requests by the African Union to weaken the principle that no-one, regardless of their status, has immunity from prosecution for crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, said Amnesty International. 

    The session is expected to be dominated by the African Union’s calls to suspend the ICC’s trials of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto in view of their official status as President and Deputy President of Kenya respectively. 

    Both men are accused of committing crimes against humanity during the post-election violence of 2007-8 that left over 1,000 dead and 600,000 displaced.

    Representatives of 122 countries which have joined the International Criminal Court will be asked to endorse changes to the Court’s rule that accused persons must attend trial and could discuss possible retrograde amendments to the Rome Statute at the 12 th Assembly of State Parties at The Hague on 20-28 November.

    “Fifteen years after the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Assembly of States Parties will address some of the biggest challenges that they have ever faced,” says Stephanie Barbour, Amnesty International’s Head of the Centre for International Justice.  

    “The future ability of the ICC to deliver justice to the millions of victims of crimes under international law as a court of last resort is being questioned and threatened. It is imperative that states parties show their support, both politically and financially, for the ICC at this crucial time.”

    Amnesty International has prepared  recommendations for the ASP meeting.

    The following experts will attend the ASP meeting and are available for comment.

    Stephanie Barbour
    Head of Office, Centre for International Justice

    Jonathan O’Donohue
    Legal Adviser, Amnesty International

    Justus Nyang’aya
    Director, Amnesty International Kenya

    Tawanda Hondora
    Deputy Director, Law and Policy Programme


    For further information contact John Tackaberry, Media Relations                  (613)744-7667# 236

    Briefing:  ICC: Recommendations To the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of State Parties (20 to 28 November 2013)