Attempts made so far
STOP PRESS: 11.05 BST, 14th June 2012. Tom Grundy has just attempted a citizen’s arrest of Tony Blair in Hong Kong. Here is his press release:
PRESS RELEASE: 14/6/12
Images, video and update to follow. Contact: Tom Grundy – Hong Kong-based British activist. (+852) 68411717 / firstname.lastname@example.org
“This evening, I attempted a citizen’s arrest upon Tony Blair, who was speaking at Hong Kong University. I did this in the hope of renewing debate around the solid war crimes case against him, and in order that the campaign to conduct citizen’s arrests against Blair continues whenever and wherever he goes. The action was legal under cap. 221 of the Laws of Hong Kong, section 101(2) which allows for citizen’s arrest upon suspicion of serious crimes. He mis-led the British public over the 2003 Iraq invasion and caused the deaths of at least 100,000 people. I believe it to be abhorrent that HKU is sponsoring a talk about faith hosted by a man who set religious tolerance back decades.
Blair admitted in 2009 that he would have gone to war regardless of Iraq’s alleged WMDs – international law does not allow a war of aggression in the name of regime change. He stated in 2002 that Iraq’s production of WMDs was ‘beyond doubt’ and thus misled the British people. The use of depleted uranium and cluster bombs may constitute ‘aggression’ in that they are indiscriminate and cause large civilian causalities. His actions leading the Iraq invasion were therefore a clear violation of…
Article 5.2 of the 1998 International Criminal Court Rome Statute (awaiting adoption).
the Court… “shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression once a provision is adopted in accordance with articles 121 and 123 defining the crime and setting out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to this crime.”
Article 33 and 51 of the UN Charter.
“Article 33: 1. The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.
2. The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, call upon the parties to settle their dispute by such means.”
“Article 51: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”
Principle VI of the 1946 Nuremburg Principles – Crimes against peace
“(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).””
UN agreements therefore uphold:
1949 Geneva Convention IV: Article 146
“The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention.”
1907 Hague Convention IV: Article 3
“A belligerent party which violates the provisions of the said regulations shall, if the case demands, be liable to pay compensation. It shall be responsible for all the acts committed by persons forming part of its armed forces.”
1. 29th January 2010. Grace McCann tried to arrest Tony Blair as he left the Chilcot Inquiry. She was restrained by police. Her attempt was reported by Sky News and the Independent. She qualifies for the first bounty for an attempted citizen’s arrest of Tony Blair: £2,619.67. This is one quarter of the money in the pot at the time of her attempt. Grace has kindly donated £2000 to the ICRC and the remainder of her award to the Stop the War Coalition and Iraq Body Count.
2. 22nd March 2010. David Cronin attempted a citizens’ arrest of Tony Blair as he was about to enter a hearing on Palestine in the European Parliament. David approached him, put a hand on his arm and said: “Mr Blair, this is a citizens’ arrest.” He was then pushed away by one of Blair’s bodyguards, whereupon he shouted “You are guilty of war crimes”. His attempt was reported in the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Guardian, the Irish Times and other outlets.
We raised the question of whether David might fit the definition of a colleague of the site’s founder, George Monbiot, in which case (rule 7), he wouldn’t qualify for the award. This is because David has occasionally contributed articles to the Guardian. But as the two of them had never met or communicated before and as David is neither employed by nor contracted to the Guardian, we decided that he cannot be considered a colleague. He has now met all the criteria for the bounty and has been sent a cheque for £2,801.98. David has generously decided to give the money to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza.
3. 4th September 2010. Kate O’Sullivan attempted to make a citizen’s arrest of Tony Blair at his book signing in Eason’s bookstore in Dublin, Ireland. She made it into the book signing and told him face to face that she was arresting him. She was removed but no charges were brought against her. Her attempt has met all the criteria for the bounty and she has been sent a cheque for £3,129.02.
The attempt was reported widely by the mainstream press including The Telegraph, The Irish Times, Sky News, Press Association and in the Guardian. Tony Blair has now cancelled his booksigning at Waterstones on the 8th September
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