Civil Rights Director Appointed to International Human Rights Tribunal
March 24, 2009
CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham was recently appointed as a member of the BRussells Tribunal Advisory Board, an international hearing committee that addresses human rights issues.
The Tribunal is a network of human rights activists, intellectuals, scholars and journalists. It was set-up in the tradition of the 1967 Russell Tribunal which investigated war crimes committed during the Vietnam War.
History in Brief
Just before the Iraq war began in 2003, a petition was launched and signed by some 500 prominent artists, writers, intellectuals and academics. The petition called for moral and legal accountability for the ‘Project for the New American Century’ and for those responsible for the war against Iraq. (The 'Project for the New American Century' was a think-tank established by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz to legitimize the invasion of Iraq.) A platform of several Belgian cultural organizations was then created to carry out the petition’s first proposal: to establish a Brussells Tribunal.
At a networking conference set up by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation in June 2003, it was decided that a series of hearings would be held in different places all over the world, culminating in a final session in Istanbul. The BRussells Tribunal was the first organization to hold such a hearing on Iraq, part of a series of tribunals organized across the world
Currently, the BRussells Tribunal is also addressing ways to hold Israeli officials and government responsible for the atrocities in Gaza.