Saturday, July 24, 2010

UN Human Rights Council To Investigate The Flotilla Attack


The President of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow, today (23 July) appointed three pre-eminent experts to an independent international fact-finding mission to "investigate violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance" on 31 May.

Ambassador Sihasak made the announcement of the appointment of the three experts.

SOUNDBITE (English) Sihasak Phuangketkeow, UNHRC President:
"Well we have three very qualified people in the international independent fact finding mission. The first person is Mr. Karl T. Hudson-Philips. He is a former Judge with the International Criminal Court and he was also the Minister of Legal Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago. The second person is Sir. Desmond de Silva, he's a Queen's Counsel, he comes from the United Kingdom and he was the Chief Prosecutor for the Special Court on Sierra Leone. And the third person is a lady from Malaysia, and her name is Mary Shanthi Dairiam, and she is known for her background in Human Rights and she was also a member of the CEDAW, The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.”

The establishment of the independent international fact-finding mission was decided on 2 June 2010 through a Human Rights Council resolution. The Council had previously held an urgent debate on the raid on the Flotilla by Israeli Defence Forces.

SOUNDBITE (English) Sihasak Phuangketkeow, UNHRC President:
"The members of the panel were selected on the basis of the qualification that they have especially in the areas of international law, human rights and humanitarian law, but the main consideration was that these three persons are known for their independence, their impartiality, their integrity which I think is very important in successfully carrying out their mission."

The experts will now define their plan of action and make contact with all relevant parties prior to travelling to the region. They are expected to report on their findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council at its fifteenth session in September 2010.

SOUNDBITE (English) Sihasak Phuangketkeow, UNHRC President:
"I've been in contact with the parties concerned in the process of establishing this mission. Now that the mission has been established I think it's essential to the success of this mission that the parties concerned render their full cooperation. And the point here is that this is not about finger pointing, it's about establishing the facts of what took place because the incident was humanitarian tragedy and it's in the interests of everyone, especially the families of those who have lost their lives to establish the facts

The 47-member Human Rights Council had previously adopted a resolution strongly condemning the attack and deploring "the loss of life of innocent civilians."

UN To Investigate The Flotilla Attack:

"justghassan | July 24, 2010

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