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Campaign Demands End To Illegal Wars And Deaths

makewarshistory | 23.03.2009 11:17 | Anti-militarism | Iraq | Terror War | World

On the 6th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war Make Wars History has issued a press release...

For information in the Laws of War visit or download this document:


On the sixth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, the Campaign to Make Wars History has written to every MP demanding that Parliament ends its illegal killing of Iraqi and Afghan civilians, especially the children.

In the letter, Chris Coverdale, a lawyer and a founder member of the Campaign, states that: “Since Parliament, the Government and the Queen took us into the illegal war with Iraq we have caused the violent deaths of more than 1 million people, including 300,000 children. This massacre is the worst atrocity in British history and constitutes the crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity under national and international war law”.

“Now that the reasons for the war in Iraq have been shown to be false, and the attacks on Iraqi and Afghan civilians have been shown to be unlawful, why is Parliament continuing to authorise further killings? None of our victims is harming British interests, is allowed to plead for his or her life in court or has been shown any mercy before they have been violently killed. Is this what we mean by British justice? Is this how we want our taxes spent? Is this what we want from our MPs?”

“When the judges at Nuremburg convicted and hanged Germany’s leaders, they ruled that everyone has a legal duty to disobey illegal government orders. This means that British servicemen and women must refuse to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq, taxpayers must refuse to pay taxes and Parliament must end the killing. To avoid prosecution under the laws of war MPs must recall the troops, report war crimes and criminals to police, and withhold the money and weapons that are keeping the conflicts going.”

Attached are (i) a copy of the letter to MPs with Articles 25 and 27 of the Rome Statute and (ii) a summary of the Laws of War. Contacts: Make Wars History 020 8374 0742, Chris Coverdale 020 8540 2865.

Gordon Brown MP
The House of Commons,
London SW1A 0AA
20th March 2009

Mr Brown,

“To initiate a war of aggression therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946

It is six years since Parliament, the British Government and the Queen took Britain into the illegal war with Iraq. When will you take action to end the violations of war law, the war crimes and the unlawful killings in Iraq and Afghanistan?

As one of the 1500 people ultimately responsible for governing Britain and for renewing the illegal orders to Britain’s forces to attack the Iraqi and Afghan people, you are personally criminally liable in law for the violations of war law and war crimes committed by Coalition forces during your term as an MP. By condoning and financing the orders to HM Armed Forces to wage war and use weapons of mass destruction such as cruise missiles, rockets, cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions against civilian targets you have taken part in the mass killing of 1 million people, including 300,000 children, you have maimed and injured 2.5 million and driven 4 million into exile and destitution. None of your victims had done anything to harm Britain, was given an opportunity to plead for their life in court or was shown mercy before Parliament caused their violent, cruel deaths.

I assume that you know that waging a war of aggression against an independent nation state is the most serious crime known to mankind and that it is the same crime for which Germany’s leaders were convicted and hanged at Nuremburg in 1946. I am certain that you know that the wilful killing of a child is a crime of murder, and that killing 300,000 Iraqi children is genocide and a crime against humanity; so why are you continuing to command our armed forces to commit these horrendous crimes? When you took your seat in Parliament you swore on oath to govern according to law; so when will you abide by that oath and bring an end to these heinous violations of the domestic and international laws of war?

I have enclosed with this letter a copy of Articles 25 and 27 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. This is the international law, ratified by Britain in 2001, that prohibits genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and conduct ancillary to such crimes. I suggest that you read it very carefully because, as you will see in Article 27, it applies to you and to every British citizen without exception.

I must point out that the legislation does provide you with an opportunity to avoid a criminal prosecution. Article 25.3(f) of the Rome Statute makes it clear that, if a person completely and voluntarily gives up the criminal purpose, abandons the effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevents the completion of the crime, he or she will not be liable for punishment under the Statute for the attempt to commit the crime. This does NOT mean that you are not criminally liable for other war crimes, but rather that you might avoid prosecution if you can demonstrate that you made every possible effort to prevent further offences of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes from taking place.

To give yourself a chance of avoiding prosecution for war crimes you must ensure that the killing stops immediately. At the very least you need to:-

(1) Write to the Privy Council and the Queen demanding that they reverse all unlawful active service orders and command the immediate withdrawal of all UK Armed Forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.
(2) Sign and vote for an EDM halting payments to the MOD. [By stopping the funds that pay for the crimes you will stop the killing within hours]
(3) Inform the Chancellor of the Exchequer that paying tax which is then used to facilitate war crimes is an offence of ‘accessory to the crimes’ [Rome Statute Article 25.3(c)] and therefore you will withhold tax and instruct your constituents to withhold their taxes until the crimes have ceased.
(4) Set up / attend a briefing meeting on the laws of war, the law officers’ false legal advice, the war crimes committed by British citizens and the personal responsibilities of MPs for war law enforcement.
(5) Report war crimes committed by British citizens to your local Chief Constable and ask him or her to initiate a criminal investigation.

For sixty years law officers have deceived Parliament, the armed forces and the public over the laws of war and as a result Britain has waged five illegal wars since 1998 killing and injuring over three million people. The massacre of Iraqi men, women and children, for which you share responsibility, is not only a crime of genocide but it is the worst atrocity in British history. That so many lives have been lost because corrupt law officers deceived the nation over the laws of war is an appalling state of affairs that Parliament must correct before another life is lost.

You have a moral and legal duty to your constituents, the nation and the world to obey, uphold and enforce war law. If anything in this letter is unclear, if you need to find out more about the laws governing the use of armed force or if you need to know more about your own criminal liabilities then please arrange for a representative of your political party to contact us to arrange a meeting.

Chris Coverdale

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Article 25 - Individual criminal responsibility
1. The Court shall have jurisdiction over natural persons pursuant to this Statute.

2. A person who commits a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court shall be individually responsible and liable for punishment in accordance with this Statute.

3. In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person:
(a) Commits such a crime, whether as an individual, jointly with another or through another person, regardless of whether that other person is criminally responsible;
(b) Orders, solicits or induces the commission of such a crime which in fact occurs or is attempted;
(c) For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission, including providing the means for its commission;
(d) In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either:
(i) Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; or
(ii) Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime;
(e) In respect of the crime of genocide, directly and publicly incites others to commit genocide;
(f) Attempts to commit such a crime by taking action that commences its execution by means of a substantial step, but the crime does not occur because of circumstances independent of the person's intentions. However, a person who abandons the effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevents the completion of the crime shall not be liable for punishment under this Statute for the attempt to commit that crime if that person completely and voluntarily gave up the criminal purpose.
4. No provision in this Statute relating to individual criminal responsibility shall affect the responsibility of States under international law.

Article 27 - Irrelevance of official capacity
1. This Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence.

2. Immunities or special procedural rules which may attach to the official capacity of a person, whether under national or international law, shall not bar the Court from exercising its jurisdiction over such a person.

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