By Dr Shahid Qureshi: –
Silence is betrayal now for the Civilized World and Pakistan cannot allow a ‘Bosnia’ in Kashmir where Serbians were allowed to commit genocide and rape women in thousands, kill innocent civilians’ men, women and children? In the current situation in Kashmir can be freed in weeks only if Saudi Arabia, UAE and Gulf Countries just order the cancellation of visas and deportation of Indians working and living there. They just need to ask the Indian Hindus to convert to Islam or you will be deported back to India. That is what BJP and RSS fundamentalist Hindus are doing to Muslims in India now apart from killing and lynching people on the streets. I am very sure their embassies of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Gulf countries are reporting back to their countries as a normal practice, so I don’t need present any evidence.
On the other hand, all the NGOs and human rights bodies should make record of the soldiers and officer involved in ‘war crimes’ in occupied Kashmir that’s including the deployment of 30,000 Hindu ‘Black Water’ to commit rapes and torture against the civilians, men, women and children. They should take the photos and videos of everyone deployed outside their homes including these mercenaries, so they be tried in ‘war crimes’ courts as well as put a travel ban’.
Indian Prime Minister Narendar Modi and Indian Army Chief and other should be declared as ‘War Criminals’ by Supreme Court of Azad Kashmir in Muzaffarabad and arrest warrants should be sent to Interpol. As the crimes are committed in the Kashmiri territory therefore, the court has jurisdiction as it is established in the liberated part of Kashmir, that is legal under all war conventions and UN charter. We have the case law when a Spanish Court issued an arrest warrant against the Chilean dictator General Pinochet while he was on official visit to the United Kingdom.
“It became an address to remember: 20 Devonshire Place, Marylebone. For it was here, behind the front door of The London Clinic, that former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet was arrested on the night of October 16, 1998. Pinochet, who was 82, was in the UK recovering from back surgery at the time, but was woken up by police and informed that he was under arrest for crimes against humanity on the basis of an international warrant issued by Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón.
The specific allegations concerned not only human rights abuses committed against Spanish citizens in Chile during the military regime established after the coup of September 11, 1973, but also the murder, torture, hostage-taking and genocide of Chileans and other nationals.
Overnight, the London Clinic arrest became a symbol of hope for justice and redress. For Pinochet – who died in 2006 – was, first and foremost, one of the most infamous dictators of the 1970s and 1980s. Pinochet’s 1973 military coup overthrew Chile’s democratically-elected president, Salvador Allende, and installed a brutal and repressive mandate in his place. Indeed, the dictatorship’s abuses gave rise to one of the largest human rights campaigns in the world.
Following a dramatic legal battle, the British courts rejected Pinochet’s claim that he was entitled to immunity as a former head of state and ruled that he could be extradited to Spain to stand trial. Although this never occurred – UK home secretary, Jack Straw, ultimately allowed Pinochet to return home after 503 days of arrest on the grounds of ill health – Pinochet’s detention marked a turning point in the development of international law and international relations.
Why it matters
It set two important precedents. First, it revitalised the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows states or international organisations to prosecute individuals regardless of the place where the crimes were committed and the nationality of the perpetrators and victims. Second, it withdrew the immunity of heads of state or ex heads of state for human rights violations.
Although the Geneva Conventions of 1949 requested that states establish and exercise universal jurisdiction for war crimes and crimes against humanity, this principle had not been widely invoked in national tribunals prior to Pinochet’s UK arrest. Apart from the trial of the German-Austrian Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Israel there were few examples of cases brought to courts on the basis of such a doctrine before 1998.
But as a result of the Pinochet case, the notion of sovereignty, traditionally understood as the right of a state to respect the independence of other states, had to be redefined. The idea that governments are unaccountable to courts located in foreign states for their domestic policies changed, so that all states now became subject to fundamental human rights norms. Never again could tyrants use immunity as a means to avoid criminal responsibility.
But 20 years on from that landmark event, what does it mean for global justice today? Has it really affected the prospects of holding political leaders to account for human rights abuses?
Undoubtedly, the Pinochet arrest in London offered an enormous window of opportunity to activists, lawyers, victims and non-governmental organisations to establish transnational networks to pursue human rights accountability.
Not only were Chilean courts persuaded to re-examine amnesties that protected many senior individuals in domestic legislation, but other Latin American countries, such as Argentina and Uruguay, also reopened human rights investigations into perpetrators of atrocities. The decision of the UK’s House of Lords to narrow the charges against Pinochet only to cases of torture, also gave particular visibility to Chile’s torture survivors, driving the creation of a Chilean National Commission to investigate those crimes.
A fairer new world?
In Europe, meanwhile, Spain turned its attentions to addressing crimes committed during the Franco era, while courts in Belgium, France and Germany extended the Pinochet precedents to human rights violations that had taken place beyond their territorial borders. The tireless efforts of human rights activists and victims that led to the 2016 conviction of the former dictator of Chad, Hissene Habré, for crimes against humanity, for example, was unquestionably inspired by the Pinochet arrest in London. Habré was arrested and tried in Senegal and sentenced to life imprisonment.
This rapid expansion of international and domestic trials to hold political leaders to account for human rights abuses forms part of a trend that political scientists have called the “justice cascade”. This does not mean perfect justice, but it has helped to legitimise the norm of individual criminal accountability for human rights violations.
The initial enthusiasm unleashed by the Pinochet case has been replaced, however, by growing scepticism in the last decade. States such as Belgium and Spain, once considered pioneers in embracing the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, have limited the power of their courts to pursue criminals outside their frontiers. In both cases, these limitations came in response to the demands of powerful states, such as the US, Israel and China, who are reluctant to see their own citizens stand trial overseas for such crimes.
The international community’s inability to end the massacre of civilians in Syria, for example, has also reinforced the pessimistic idea that human rights only prevail when the strategic interests of major state actors are not at stake.
But there is reason for hope. A report published in March 2018, by Trial International, paints a more optimistic picture. Reviewing 58 cases involving 126 individuals, the study shows a sharp increase in the number of cases brought to court based on the principle of universal jurisdiction. Indeed, the significant limitations of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to pursue human rights prosecutions – Russian and Chinese UN Security Council vetoes prevented Syria being referred to the court, for example – seems to have triggered a vigorous resurgence in the application of this doctrine via the national courts of third countries.
The promise of effective global justice that came with Pinochet’s detention in London hasn’t yet been realised. But the positive changes triggered since 1998 were made possible thanks to transnational networks of activists, lawyers, victims and human rights institutions who were able to exert pressure on states to change how they defined justice. The lesson is that while moments such as the Pinochet arrest can open windows of opportunity, the world also needs individuals, organisations and governments that are willing to make the most of them – and change things for the better.
A Chilean court has convicted the former army commander-in-chief of complicity in the deaths of 15 people following the 1973 military coup. General Juan Emilio Cheyre was sentenced to three years and a day under house arrest.
He is the most senior figure to be held accountable so far for abuses carried out during the regime of General Augusto Pinochet. The killings were carried out by the notorious “Caravan of Death”.
India is in violation of UN Security Council resolution when it amended the status of occupied Kashmir. UN secretary General have condemned and said: ‘there is no change in the status of Kashmir dispute’.
Kashmir is highest militarized zone with over 600000 troops in the world, People of Kashmir are under curfew for over 6 days imposed by the Indian occupying army, where men women and children are without food for days – your thoughts?
Over 100000 people have been killed, 22000 women have been raped, people are blinded by pallet guns by the Indian occupying forces what role church can play to resolve this issue?
How can awareness be raised with the world to show solidarity to the occupied people of Kashmir?
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international Presidential election observer for Kazakhstan, 2019, 2016 and 2015, Azerbaijan 2018 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University and visiting professor in Hebe University in China)