Wednesday, October 5, 2011

UK spread red carpet for Tzipi Livni

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is to visit Britain, after the British government, motivated by Israel, made reforms in a law on issuing arrest warrants for war criminals.

Livni, who cancelled a visit to Britain in 2009 fearing arrest over crimes committed during Gaza war, will travel to the UK on Thursday, and will meet Foreign Secretary William Hague to discuss bilateral relations between UK and Israel.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed the news, saying, "We can confirm Tzipi Livni intends to visit the UK this week. As leader of the Israeli opposition she will have a number of meetings, including with the Foreign Secretary to discuss UK Israel relations and recent events in the region."

Since 2001, UK's universal jurisdiction law has given the power to British courts to prosecute suspected war criminals and torturers, even if their crimes took place in another country. The principle of the law goes back to the belief that some crimes including genocide, torture and hostage-taking must be fought wherever the criminal can be arrested.

Last month, the British government that was under constant pressure from Israel, announced a legal reform to make it harder for anti-war campaigners to get arrest warrants against those who are suspected of committing human rights abuses in other countries.

Human rights activists have condemned the government for turning a blind eye to the tyrants and torturers and their human rights violations. Amnesty International accused the government of giving war criminals a “free ticket to escape the law.”

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