Virtually every single country on this lovely planet of ours spends fair amount of its treasure to build and operate a judicial system. Some are more or less justice minded, others are claiming to be and use their system to oppress the people, to date none is even close to perfect, but all do serve a vital function. Absence such systems knowing there is no consequence for their actions the societies’ predators will do even more harm than otherwise.
After two World Wars, many regional conflicts and too many massacres the concept of having an International judiciary to prosecute past and sitting criminal bigwigs of the world has taken root and been materialized in the form of the International Criminal Court.
The permanent tribunal is tasked to prosecute individuals for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocides which have taken place on or after 2002 when ICC came into being.
Prior to ICC, should things go wrong the world class criminals be it head of state, some military or militia head, massacre inciting hate monger and others of this nature could look forward to retirement in some place in the world enjoying their ill gotten wealth and at times plotting a come back.
But ICC has changed the provision of the usual golden retirement package this class of criminals had come to expect. Nowadays they have to look over their shoulders at all times for they are subject to arrest and appearance at the ICC.
The cornerstone to all is the accepted reality that human beings have inalienable rights and those who willfully violate other human beings’ rights have to face the music for their crime.
Many nongovernment and nonprofit entities have come into being which by documenting and making them court ready remind the world-class criminals that their actions will have severe personal consequences and that these entities will be there to make sure it happens.
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center is one such entity. IHRDC has been more fortunate than other such centers for one of its founders, Payam Akhvan, has had hands on recent experience with ICC in prosecuting criminals and therefore knows what to document to best assist the prosecution of the IRR, Islamist Rapist Republic, many criminals when their time comes.
And that is precisely why the news of U.S. government cutting off its share of funding the IHRDC’s meager operating budget came as a total surprise. Albright in a more limited capacity, the center will survive, but the signal this unwise decision by the Obama administration sends is far more devastating to the human rights advocacy the world over and a pleasing tune to the tyrants.
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