International Criminal Court May Investigate Army Killings in Colombia
News from Colombia |
on: Sunday, 2 November 2008
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who yesterday described extrajudicial killings by the Colombian Army as "widespread and systematic", has said that the International Criminal Court (ICC) could intervene if the Colombian Government does not put an end to the killings. According to Commissioner NaviPillay, the executions may be classified as a "crime against humanity", giving the ICC jurisdiction, if the Colombian authorities do not act.
"An offence becomes a crime against humanity when it is widespread and systematic against a civilian population. We are observing and keeping track of the number of extrajudicial killings, which do appear to be systematic and widespread, in my view," Pillay said. If a country does is unable or unwilling to investigate "the ICC would have the authority to intervene," she added.
Before being appointed as UN High Commissioner, Pillay, a South African national, was herself a judge on the ICC.
See also UN Says Army Systematically Killing Civilians in Colombia (Nov 1st)