On September 16, a Side Event entitled “A Demand for Justice” was held at the UN Human Rights Council’s headquarters in Geneva. The event was organized by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) in partnership with the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). Several international organizations and government missions, including representatives from the Palestinian Authority’s delegation, attended the event.
Two Palestinian NGOs, Al Haq and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), presented evidence gathered by Palestinian and Israeli NGOs on domestic investigations into war crimes in relation to the Goldstone report. A further discussion dealt with different forms of reprisals faced by NGOs in Israel involved in gathering such evidence.
In addition to presenting their findings at this side event, the Palestinian NGOs were able to meet with several state delegations throughout the week. They also delivered a joint letter of appeal urging the member states of the Human Rights Council to act immediately to acknowledge and condemn the failure of all responsible parties to carry out genuine investigations with regards to the war crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel, as demanded by Resolutions passed in the HRC and GA. They further requested that the Security Council act in accordance with Chapter VII of the UN Charter and refer the situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
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