[News] International Association of Democratic Lawyers on Puerto Rico & Gaza

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jun 18 10:25:16 EDT 2009



The General Assembly of the International Association of Democratic 
Lawyers, at its 17th Congress in Hanoi, Vietnam, having received and 
considered the report of the Association of American Jurists on the 
situation in Puerto Rico:

1.     Reaffirms that Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United 
States since it was invaded and occupied by the U.S. on 25 July 1898;

2.     Demands that the long-outstanding colonial situation of Puerto 
Rico be reviewed and discussed in all of its aspects before the 
General Assembly of the United Nations.

3.     Calls upon the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights to 
investigate, report and make appropriate recommendations concerning 
allegations that the Puerto Rican patriot Filiberto Ojeda Rios was a 
victim of extrajudicial execution by agents of the United States.

4.     Censures the government of Puerto Rico's actions in attempting 
to dismantle the Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico, one of the most 
important institutions defending the rights of the poor and Puerto 
Rican civil society.

5.     Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all 
Puerto Rican political prisoners held in the jails of the United States.

Other resolutions adopted by the IADL congress can be viewed on their 
website, <http://www.iadllaw.org/>www.iadllaw.org.


The General Assembly of the International Association of Democratic 
Lawyers, at its 17th Congress in Hanoi, Vietnam, having received and 
considered many well-documented reports of violations of 
international humanitarian law and international human rights in 
respect of Israel's acts of aggression against the Occupied 
Palestinian Territory of Gaza:

REITERATES its call for the General Assembly, under Article 22 of the 
UN Charter and SC Resolution 377, to establish a Special Tribunal to 
hold accountable the government  of Israel for its war crimes 
committed in Gaza during Israel's invasion in December 2008 and January 2009;

DECLARES that Israel's invasion and bombardment of Gaza was an 
illegal act of aggression, in violation of the principles of the 
Nuremberg Charter, and the definition of aggression contained in the 
U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3314 (1974).  In addition, its 
military attacks were a violation of its obligations to seek peaceful 
resolution of the situation under the U.N. Charter.

AFFIRMS that Israel's bombing violated the Geneva Conventions in at 
least the following ways:

1.      It constituted collective punishment of the entire 1.5 
million people in Gaza for the acts of a few militants;

2.      It targeted civilians in one of the most densely populated 
areas of the world; and

3.      It was a disproportionate response.  Moreover, Israel's 
sealing off of the Gazan border has caused severe humanitarian crisis 
which affected the whole population.

DEPLORES the use by Israel of incendiary weapons, such as white 
phosphorous, which are outlawed by international conventions, to 
inflict damage and destruction on civilian targets;

FIRMLY REJECTS any claims by Israel that its illegal aggression was a 
justified act of self-defence under Article 51 of the UN 
Charter.  Israel is the occupying power in Gaza, and any attack which 
originates from Gaza on Israel is within its territory, and does not 
trigger the right of self-defense.  As the occupying power, Israel 
has given up its right to claim self-defence under Article 51.

REAFFIRMS the right of the people of Gaza under international law to 
resist oppressive domination and, in accordance with UN Resolution 
3314, Article 7, to fight for their self-determination.  The response 
of the people of Gaza was a justified resistance.

ASSERTS that the international legal community has the obligation to 
hold Israel accountable for its obligations under international and 
humanitarian law.  A Special Tribunal is required to ensure that that 
Israel's violations in Gaza are fully investigated, and that the rule 
of law is applied to all State Parties within the international community.

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