Bush Administration Threatens to Withdraw US Peacekeeping Troops if Americans Are Not Exempted from ICC
As the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened its doors in The Hague today, the United States government showed its opposition by casting a vote in the UN Security Council to withdraw American peacekeepers in Bosnia. This vote by US Ambassador John Negroponte, which was diluted with a three-day reprieve, was a show of the Bush administration’s defiance to US allies for their repeated refusals to exempt American peacekeepers from prosecution by the ICC.
“This would create a two-tier system of justice, one for Americans and one for the rest of the world,” Richard Dicker, director of the international justice program of Human Rights Watch told The New York Times. So far, 74 countries have ratified the Rome Treaty – on December 31, 2000 former President Bill Clinton added the US signature, however, President Bush renounced it in May.
The court, created by the Rome Treaty of 1998 to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, has widespread support in the US from groups such as the Feminist Majority because it identifies gender crimes and the crime of apartheid as crimes against humanity. Article 7 of the Rome Statute presents clear language that defines gender crimes as rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity. Under this law, the Taliban’s brutal gender apartheid imposed on the women of Afghanistan would qualify as crimes against humanity and would be eligible to be tried before the ICC.
The launch of the ICC comes at a time when lawsuits are underway about alleged sex trafficking of women as young as 12 by employees of DynCorp, a private defense contractor, in Bosnia. These men, who have not faced criminal charges because of their immunity from Bosnian and US law, could technically have been charged under the ICC, according to Salon.com.
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .
8/25/2015 Fraternity Signs Promote Rape Culture, Elicit Outrage - Old Dominion University (ODU) in Virginia is receiving national attention for a fraternity's vulgar and offensive signs that were on display as first-year students moved into their dorms.
The signs, which were hung on fraternity Sigma Nu and displayed derogatory messages for incoming female students- and their mothers- have since been removed, and the University has promised disciplinary action. . . .