Investigating the Freedom Flotilla Attack - by Stephen Lendman
On June 2, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) approved formation of an international committee (like the Goldstone Commission) to probe the Flotilla attack, saying it will include lawyers and international law and human rights experts, its findings to be presented in September (during the Council's three week session in Geneva) after visiting Gaza and contacting Israel, Turkey, Greece, and the Freedom Flotilla coalition.
HRC's panel includes:
-- Desmond de Silva, a UK lawyer and former chief prosecutor for the Sierra Leone Special Court investigation into widespread killings there;
-- Karl Hudson-Phillips, a former International Criminal Court (ICC) judge and former Trinidad and Tobago attorney general and parliament member; and
-- Malaysia's Mary Shanthi Dairiam, active in gender equality issues, including on the UN Development Program's gender equity task force.
In emergency session, the HCR criticized Israel's "outrageous attack on aid ships attempting to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip," calling it "piracy, (an) act of aggression, (a) brutal massacre, (an) act of terrorism, (a) war crime, (a) crime against humanity -unprovoked....unwarranted....atrocious, (and) brutal," calling activists "peaceful...innocent...noble...unarmed, (and) defenseless," setting the tone for what's to come, HRC president Sihasak Phuangketkeow saying:
"This is not about finger-pointing. It's about establishing the facts of what took place because the incident was a humanitarian tragedy and it's in the interests of everyone. So I'm hopeful and I'm urging all the parties concerned to render their full cooperation, because it is in their interests and it's in the interests of the international community as a whole."