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Legal Matters

World order and peace depend on active action against the crimes of perpetrators

Human history has been witness to crimes of different sorts and scales. In face of such crimes and offences, international organizations have certain responsibilities, which if carried out timely and successfully would lead to the establishment of justice and hopefully prevention of crimes. However, the present status of the world is far from calling it a just and peaceful place; this very fact challenges the idea that total dependence on international organizations is the best and only means to establish justice and peace in the world. The following article attempts to focus on the role nations can play in forming a world filled with peace and justice.

The bitter experience of war and conflict, killing and bloodshed on a global scale prompted the international community to consider a fundamental solution to maintain international peace and security after World War II. In fact, it can be said that the experiences of these wars shocked the international community and created the idea that basic and effective measures should be taken to punish perpetrators in order to prevent the recurrence of horrific crimes and even the outbreak of war. Therefore, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been established with the aim of enabling the effective prosecution of perpetrators of serious human rights crimes and ending their impunity. Developments in international criminal law show that the ICC is selective about the punishment of international offenders because the Court's financial and human resources are limited in its jurisdiction to prosecute all international crimes. In such a context, the free and justice-seeking people of the world can play a key role.

Upon reviewing the recent history, one easily notices instances of crimes and violations of human rights in regard to which international organizations has remained silent. The Myanmar government, for example, has killed 24,000 people in 2018 alone in the face of widespread international silence, forcing more than one million Rohingya to flee to neighboring countries.[1] The silence of the international community against the actions of hostile governments in the so-called third world countries also falls into this category. The US government, for example, has conducted hundreds of military operations in Afghanistan over the past year, most of which, such as the August 20, 2021 drone strike in Kabul, killed innocent people.[2] In another place, the Boko Haram terrorist group has killed more than hundreds of thousands of people in terrorist attacks in Africa since 2009. “More than two million people in Nigeria have been forced to flee their homes due to the conflict in the country,” said Mahamadou Issoufou, the then chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).[3] The most important issue regarding Boko Haram and similar cases is the indecision of the international community in dealing with the crimes and trial of the main founders and supporters of these anti-human actions in Western societies. In some other cases, the silence of the communities led to the spread of crimes and even massive genocide. For example, the largest and most catastrophic genocide in Europe took place in in Serbia from 1992 to 1995. In the face of the West's silence, 8,372 people were killed and another 10,000 are still missing.[4] Despite of all, the perpetrators have not been punished and most Serbs do not consider it as genocide.

It is noteworthy that the perpetrators of this crime appealed to the International Criminal Court[5]; That is, after 25 years, the perpetrators of this horrific crime are still free. Recent cases include the massacre of the Bambuti pygmies by the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC). MLC, according to UN figures, led an ethnic cleansing campaign which caused 60,000 to 70,000 Bambuti pygmies lose their life.[6] The interesting thing is that in the silence of the media, the only main defendant in this case was completely acquitted in June 2018 by the ICC Court of Appeals.[7] These cases show a real need for a unified global call for justice and the prosecution of such perpetrators. An issue that has been forgotten in today's world.

Retribution has long been considered as a goal to penalize perpetrators, and criminal law has been greatly influenced by it. Public opinion, with all its might, has placed it at the forefront of the goals of punishment. This influence was such that from the establishment of the first social organization until the end of the eighteenth century, the reaction to crime manifested itself in the forms of private, religious and political retribution, correspondingly. Perhaps the consideration of healing and revenge as the first goal of punishment in the course of history has been due to the fact that this feature had a natural and inherent theme in it. Seeking justice, like retribution, is one of the innate characteristics of human being and is intertwined with his nature. To begin with, it should be known that from the point of view of those who have targeted the execution of justice, retribution is a practical punishment for an act committed by the perpetrator. In other words, society does the same to the perpetrator in response to misconduct. Such treatment of the perpetrator is due to the fact that everyone, due to moral responsibility, must face the consequence of his behavior and the perpetrator is punished justly for their actions, and no crime will go unpunished.

Undoubtedly, the message of seeking justice is the sweetest message for the suffering people and crisis-stricken societies of the world today, which suffer from the bitterness of oppression and the sting of discrimination and unreasonable inequalities, and it is a sign of peace and happiness. Moreover, seeking justice against perpetrators makes it impossible to repeat similar cases and prevents these behaviors from becoming a paradigm. For instance, on the morning of January 3rd, 2020, the United States assassinated General Qasem Soleimani and a number of his entourage near Baghdad Airport on the direct orders of the then US President—Donald Trump.[8] The assassination of General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was one of the important issues that the world showed with its disregard and lack of serious stance on which it has practically no obligation to pursue or protect human rights. While such a great injustice was done to the two nations of Iran and Iraq, even the member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference did not show the slightest priority on this issue, even in the form of a statement and a complaint to other international organizations. Thus, seeking justice and the issue of retribution are still abandoned in many countries of the world. It seems that the free people of the world must once again take a clear stance on seeking justice.

In fact, in addition to achieving the need for greater convergence in the execution of justice, especially on crimes against individuals, the establishment of a fair trial and the punishment of the perpetrators are an urgent need worldwide. The prosecution of cases of such crimes in a fair court can promise more efforts by countries around the world to respect justice and human dignity. Certainly, dogmatic and political interventions have caused states to fail to respect and ask for justice. Avoiding political work will lead to greater cohesion and synergy between countries. Failure to pay attention to the punishment of the perpetrators of these crimes, especially in case of the martyrdom of General Soleimani and his companions, leads to the repetition of violent and inhumane events in the world. When the free people of the world do not take a firm stand against the crimes of some countries such as Saudi Arabia against the people of Yemen and Syria or the Zionist regime against Palestine or the United States against the people of Iran, the possibility of repeating these crimes for other countries and nations is very possible.

Source: Khamenei.ir


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