By Nykoel Dinardo
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East
NEW YORK, New York – The Coalition for the International Criminal Court, CICC, has named Kuwait as its target country for October 2008. CICC is urging Kuwait to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the treaty which created the first international court capable of trying individuals for crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity. In a letter to Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait on October 1, CICC asked that ratification is made a priority.
According to the CICC, Kuwait has a growing number of human rights organizations; ratifying the Rome Statute would solidify Kuwait’s dedication to international justice. There are currently over 300 active Coalition member organizations throughout the Gulf region.
There is also a movement within Kuwait. The Kuwaiti Coalition for the International Criminal Court has made a draft ratification proposal to submit to the Kuwaiti legislature. Last year, the Kuwait Bar Association (KBA) hosted a meeting about the ICC and the Gulf States. At the meeting, members of the International Criminal Bar came to give lectures and encourage members of the KBA to become more involved.
Currently, 108 countries have ratified the Rome Statute. However, in the CICC’s Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA), there are only 3 member states, Jordan, Djibouti, and the Comoros Islands. Eleven MENA countries have signed the treaty and the CICC hopes to encourage each of these countries to become full ratifying members.
In a statement to the KBA, Hussain Al-Hereti, the Secretary of the National Assembly, encouraged Kuwait to become a member of the ICC. However, he explained that at least one Kuwaiti parliament member is worried that ratifying will open Kuwaiti Amir to trial in the ICC. Al-Hereti said that this should not be a concern as the Amir will never commit a war crime so would not be tried.
For more information, please see:
Kuwait Times – Kuwait Urged to Ratify ICC Treaty – 9 October 2008
Coalition for the International Criminal Court – Global Coalition Urges Kuwait to Ratify ICC Treaty – 12 November 2007
Kuwait Times – Lawyers Urge Kuwait to Become ICC Member – 26 March 2007
Coalition for the International Criminal Court – Issues and Campaigns: Kuwait
Coalition for the International Criminal Court – List of Ratifying Parties