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Catholic Commission highlights war crimes warning for Australia


Melbourne's Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace has amplified the warning of 42 eminent international law experts who signed a statement declaring that an invasion of Iraq may constitute a war crime and crimes against humanity.

The opinion was sent yesterday to all Federal Parliamentarians, and appeared in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

The legal experts state that estimates of civilian deaths in Iraq suggest that up to quarter of a million people may die as a result of an attack using conventional weapons, and many more will suffer homelessness, malnutrition and other serious health and environmental consequences in its aftermath.

"From what we know of the likely civilian devastation of the coalition's war strategies, there are strong arguments that an attack on Iraq may involve the commission of both war crimes and crimes against humanity."

"International humanitarian law places significant limits on the means and methods of warfare," they continue. "The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their 1977 Protocols set out some of these limits."

SOURCE
Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace

LINKS
Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace
International Criminal Court
Lawyers warn of war crimes in Iraq (ABC 'AM')
Iraq could end in International Court (news24)
Islam: Iraq War Favors Radicals in Africa [according to PIME missionaries] (Vidimus Dominum)
Iraq: Possible War to Make World Hunger Worse (Vidimus Dominum)
Defend war actions: Bishop [Holohan of Bunbury] (Bunbury Mail)
Vatican official, Muslim leader send letters to Bush, Blair, Saddam (Catholic News Service)
Vatican summons ambassadors, steps up diplomatic efforts on Iraq (Catholic News Service)
[Australian Catholic Social Justice Council] Bishop says war debate should be informed (26/2/03)

27 Feb 2003