Normally at IWCR we like to keep to a policy of maximum facts, minimum opinion.
This post is an exception.
In our opinion, what is happening in the Middle East, particularly in Bahrain and in Libya, could be regarded as a direct result of the failure of the world to prosecute war crimes.
Everybody in power, from the top leaders through the ranks of the military and government institutions right down to the individuals who are asked to shoot at unarmed protesters, should be aware that at some time in the near future, they may have answer for their actions in a court of law. If this were to be true, governing powers would take this into consideration when deciding on the course of actions they should take against unarmed civilians, and in many cases would decide against such actions.
Regrettably, governing powers currently do not have to take this into consideration as they are aware the chances of their being made to answer for their crimes by the international community are very low. This means there is very little deterence for those in power to avoid committing such crimes.
As a result of this, there may be at this very moment, innocent people who are being arrested, tortured, raped, assaulted and murdered with impunity.
The moment the international community is able to persistently, successfully and routinely prosecute war crimes suspects, regardless of their position, nationality, race or religion is the day innocent people will be afforded some protection from the horrors we are now witnessing.
Prosecuting War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity is one of the most important issues facing the international community today, and its success will mean a concrete improvement in many people’s lives throughout the world.