Press Release – Obama Docket
Johannesburg- Johannesburg based Muslim Lawyers Association today lodged a Complaint with the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and the South African Police Services (SAPS) in terms of international customary law as well as the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Act 2002 (the ICC Act) calling for USA President Barack Obama to be investigated, charged, arrested and tried in a South African Court for War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and Genocide. This comes shortly after the announcement that Obama will be visiting South Africa on an official trip, his first since taking up a second term in office.
The complaint, dubbed the “Obama Docket” encourages South Africa to take seriously its domestic and international obligations and to act against International War Criminals lest they consider South Africa a safe haven and travel here freely with impunity.
In terms of the ICC Act, diplomatic immunity is not a defence and a Head of State is not immune from prosecution for the aforementioned crimes. The Complaint asks for Obama’s arrest when he enters South Africa or the securing of his attendance at a trial by other lawful means.
In the alternative, the complaint requires South Africa as a State Party to the Rome Statute, to refer the case to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Hague to exercise Jurisdiction in terms of the Rome Statute.
The Obama administration’s Drone programme which has resulted in massive losses of innocent lives in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan. The programme is responsible for extra-judicial killings both innocent civilians as well as US citizens abroad. The drone strike policy has continued unabated with total disregard for territorial sovereignty and this is cited as the primary reason that Obama should be investigated and tried for War Crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
The large number of well documented civilian deaths are said to constitute international crimes and the complaint refers to numerous International Reports which have documented evidence on the USA drone policies. Other crimes cited include extra judicial renditions and torture.
The MLA aims to use the freedoms enshrined in the South African Constitution and the provisions of the ICC Act to seek justice for those victims of drone attacks who have not been afforded their most basic right, the right to life.
For further details please contact Attorney Yousha Tayob: 0829265408