Israel/Occupied Territories: Amnesty International calls on the UN
Security Council to immediately deploy an independent investigation into
human rights abuses in Jenin
 

16 April 2002
AI Index MDE 15/049/2002 - News Service Nr. 67


 Israel/Occupied Territories: Amnesty International calls on the UN Security
Council to immediately deploy an independent investigation into human rights
abuses in Jenin
 

Amnesty International, whose delegates are now carrying out investigations
in Jenin, called on the Security Council to instruct the UN
Secretary-General to deploy, without delay, an authoritative team of
international experts to investigate the alleged human rights abuses that
took place in Jenin within the past twelve days.

        "According to the principles of international law, when deaths have
occurred in disputed circumstances there must be an impartial investigation
with the cooperation of all sides," said Amnesty International.  "We are
calling for international experts  to be deployed  and permitted to enter
Jenin NOW with a mandate to carry out a prompt, independent and thorough
investigation and to report their findings publicly."

        Amnesty International said that an adequately resourced independent
international investigation  team should be composed of persons, known for
their impartiality and integrity, with proven expertise in the conduct of
criminal and forensic investigations. It should include experts in the field
of forensics, ballistics, human rights and humanitarian law. The team should
also include people who have proven expertise in the protection and support
of victims and witnesses, including women and children.  The team should
report publicly as soon as possible.

        In order for the team to carry out its functions both sides must
cooperate fully, and grant the team unimpeded access to people, places and
documents said the organization.

        The agreement before Israel's High Court of Justice allowing access
to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which, like every other
organization, was unable to gain access to Jenin after 3 April was "a first
step". The agreement came in answer to petitions demanding that the Israeli
Defence Forces do not bury Palestinian bodies.

        The organization also welcomed the resolution of the UN Commission
on Human Rights on 5 April mandating the High Commissioner for Human Rights
to lead a mission to the Occupied Territories and to report her findings to
the Commission. However, the Israeli Government has not yet agreed to this
mission. Amnesty International believes a specific inquiry, with full powers
and resources to an conduct in-depth investigations into the allegations
concerning Jenin, is urgently required based on the reports received by its
delegates in the region.
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