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German Rights Group accuses Dias of war-crimes

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 4 May 2011 09:39 No Comment]

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) Tuesday released a document which the group claimed "sub­s­tan­ti­ates al­le­ga­tions of war crimes com­mitt­ed by the 57 Di­vi­sion of the Sri Lankan Army un­der the com­mand of Ja­gath Dias." ECCHR appealed to the German Government to take the allegations levelled against Major General Dias’ 57 Division seriously, and to seriously investigate his [Dias's] individual criminal responsibility. ECCHR also appealed to the German Government to withdraw the diplomatic visa of Major General Dias as well as declare him a persona non grata.

The allegations follow the filing of a complaint by Switzerland Council of Eezham Tamils (SCET), the Norwegian Council of Eezham Tamils (NCET), and the US based NGO, Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) in July of last year, against the Federal Republic of Germany with the European Courts of Human Rights (ECHR) for violating the ‘European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’ in accepting Maj. Gen. (retd.) Jegath Dias as deputy Counsel in Sri Lanka’s embassy.

The European Court of Human Rights is yet to respond to the filed complaint.

ECCHR’s war crime allegations

"In breach of its obligations under international law, in particular those outlined in the Geneva Conventions and its Additional Protocols, the German Government failed to to investigate and accordingly prosecute allegations of war crimes. Instead, it granted a suspect of war crimes a diplomatic passport. As such, one of the main suspects has now been in residence in Berlin for almost one and a half years, allowing him to threaten members of the Tamil diaspora whenever they contact their embassy," the ECCHR complaint said.

Criminal Justice in Germany

German judicial system, based on the principles of Roman Law, is a civil law system where judges base their decision on comprehensive system of legal codes.

The website of the Rights Group says, "ECCHR ini­ti­ates, de­vel­ops, and sup­ports high-im­pact, strate­g­ic hu­man rights liti­ga­tion to hold state and non-state ac­tors ac­count­able for the vi­o­la­tions of the rights of the most vul­n­er­able. ECCHR fo­cus­es on cas­es with the great­est like­li­hood of sett­ing prece­dents and ad­vanc­ing poli­cies that strengthen the le­gal frame­work for glob­al hu­man rights ac­count­a­bil­i­ty. ECCHR ac­tive­ly liti­gates cas­es and but al­so re­search­es, in­vesti­gates, and helps to co­or­d­i­nate the de­vel­op­ment strate­gies of le­gal ad­vo­ca­cy around cas­es."

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