More than 1,000 lawyers call for Gaza ceasefire
More than 1,070 members of the legal profession have called on the UK government to press for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the West Bank and to take urgent steps to ensure the UK government does not violate international humanitarian law or aid or assist its violation by others.
The letter, originally sent to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps on 26 October was also sent to all MSPs. It has been signed by over 1,000 lawyers.
The lawyers urge the government to call for an immediate ceasefire, the urgent provision of humanitarian assistance to Gaza, the return of hostages in Gaza, the immediate halt of weapons exports to Israel, and to work towards a just, lasting and sustainable peaceful settlement for all those in the region.
Nicole Busby, professor of human rights, equality and justice, at the University of Glasgow said: “UN Special Rapporteurs warn there is a ‘grave risk of genocide’ of Palestinians. Indiscriminate killings and forcibly relocating civilians are clear breaches of international humanitarian law. Time is running out and the Scottish Parliament must demonstrate its commitment to human rights by voting for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza to prevent further loss of lives in the region.”
Solicitor Aamer Anwar said: “Every day that passes without a ceasefire means the loss of innocent life - for those politicians who say a vote will make no difference, this vote is the barest minimum they are being asked for. How exactly can we expect Palestinian children to believe in peace, when we justify the eradication of entire generations of their families before their very eyes- the failure to act now will be unforgiveable & an act of complicity.”
Brian Fee KC, former chairman of the General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland commented: “The suffering being inflicted on civilians in Gaza is simply unconscionable, unjustifiable and illegal. Thousands of innocent victims cannot be regarded as some sort of legitimate collateral damage. It is incumbent on Western Governments including Britain to call for an immediate ceasefire.”
Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh KC added: “The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has made clear that “the collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians amounts also to a war crime, as does the unlawful forcible evacuation of civilians” by Israel in Gaza. The British Government is duty bound not to support such serious violations of international law and to do everything in its power to bring them to an end.”