UN rights council names team to probe Israel flotilla raid

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The UN Human Rights Council said Friday it had appointed three experts to conduct an independent probe into whether Israel's raid on Gaza-bound aid ships violated international law.

Briton Desmond de Silva, Malaysian Mary Shanthi Dairiam and Karl Hudson-Phillips from Trinidad and Tobago, would undertake the mission to "investigate violations of international law... resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance," said the council in a statement.

Hudson-Phillips was a judge at the International Criminal Court, de Silva was chief prosecutor of the UN court for Sierra Leone while Dairiam serves on the gender equality taskforce of the UN Development Programme.

They are expected to draw up a plan of action as well as contact relevant parties before travelling to the region.

A report on their findings was scheduled to be made to the Human Rights Council during its 15th session in September.

"The expertise, independence and impartiality of the members of the mission will be devoted to clarifying the events which took place that day and their legality," said president of the council, Sihasak Phuangketkeow.

"We call upon all parties to fully cooperate with the mission and hope that this mission will contribute to peace in the region and justice for the victims."

The 47-member state Human Rights Council had condemned Israel's "outrageous attack on aid ships attempting to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip during an emergency session in June.

During that sitting, the council also ordered the setting up of the independent international probe.

Israeli's move at the end of May which left nine people dead had sparked global outrage.

© 2010 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • Laura posted:

    on 23rd July 2010, 19:41:56 - Reply

    Guilty before proven guilty. That is the unfair way Israel is treated. The world is upside down. What about the atrocities of the terrorists on board who stabbed, shot and beat the Israeli soldiers including cutting off one of their ears? Of course, most of the world isn't interested. Reuters crop some more knives out of photos, no one cares.