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Monday, June 13, 2011

Fairford Air Tattoo Weekly Report No. 3

In light of the kind offer from the police to ride around the perimeter of the base with us, we are continuing to look at the legal implications of the offer, and in particular the specific violations of the Geneva Convention and international law associated with depleted uranium and climate change that any excessive policing would support.

An excellent report has just been released on the impact of depleted uranium and it lists specific violations of the Geneval Convention associated with DU:

Article 35 of Protocol I, a 1977 amendment of the Geneva Conventions, prohibits any means or methods of warfare that cause superfluous injuries or unnecessary suffering among 168 signatory nations. Article 35 also prohibits those nations from resorting to means of war that could inflict extensive and long-term damage on human health and the environment. The observed impacts of DU in Iraq suggest that DU weapons fall under Article 35 as prohibited weapons, by the very nature of their suspected long-lasting effects on human health and the environment.

Article 36 (of Protocol 1) also obliges any state studying, developing, or acquiring a new weapon to hold a legal review of that weapon. This binding law also requires the 168 signatory states to ensure that any new weapon or means of warfare does not contravene international law, which thereby prohibits the use of weapons that cause widespread, long-term damage, as is being experienced in the aftermath of DU weapons usage in Iraq.

Article 51 (of Protocol I) prohibits indiscriminate attacks “which employ a method or means of combat” of which the effects “cannot be limited as required,” which certainly characterizes attacks involving DU.

Further more, Nations who are party to the Geneva convention, must enact and enforce legislation penalizing any of these crimes. Nations are also obligated to search for persons alleged to have committed these crimes, or ordered them to be committed (Rome Statute of International Criminal Court, Article 28). If a person has been ordered to commit the crime, that does not negate their responsibility under Rome Statute of International Criminal Court, Article 33.

As regards climate change, we will also highlight to the police that we have no choice but to take direct action as Serious Fraud Office and other police forces continue to allow fraudulent environmental claims in violation of the Fraud Act, 2006, (e.g. at present no action is being pursued by the SFO at Birmingham Airport) and that it is inconceivable that events such as this would be allowed to continue if the organisers and aviation industry were truthful about their environmental impact.
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