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HRW: US, EU "treating war crimes with kid gloves"

Sept. 30, 2009 8:55 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 1, 2009 1:47 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma’an - “The failure of the United States and European Union governments to endorse the report of the [UN] Gaza fact-finding mission sends a message that serious laws-of-war violations will be treated with kid gloves when committed by an ally,” Human Rights Watch said Wednesday

The HRW statement condemned what they called a failure of the US and EU to support the recommendation of the UN-mandated Goldstone that the war crimes outlined in the report be investigated by the International Criminal Court. The American response to the report was that it was "unbalanced" and "deeply flawed." HRW said the country’s officials never provided “real facts to support those assertions.”

The UK, France, and Germany, made no comment about the report, and a Swedish ambassador to the UN said the report was credible, but did not endorse action that would see the conclusions of the report brought to fruition.

The HRW assessment of the report was that it was a “careful assessment of the violations committed by both sides in the conflict, which closely corresponds to findings by Human Rights Watch and other independent groups.”

"The US effort to dismiss the Goldstone report was downright shameful for an administration that claims to promote the rule of law and accountability for war crimes," said Juliette de Rivero, Geneva director at Human Rights Watch. "It was also deeply disappointing that key EU governments did not seize this valuable opportunity to demand justice for victims on both sides of the conflict. The report's detailed findings and its careful recommendations deserve support, not dismissal and silence."

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