The ICJ announced that it will begin observing the inquest proceedings related to the killing of 17 Action Internationale Contre la Faim (ACF) humanitarian workers in August 2006.
The ICJ’s observer, Michael Birnbaum (Queens Counsel), will be monitoring the proceedings for compliance with international standards.
The ICJ said that this inquest should be the first stage in the process of establishing the cause of death of these 17 Sri Lankan aid workers, identifying who was responsible for their execution-style killings and commencing prosecutions against those responsible.
The ICJ also reiterated its call on the Government of Sri Lanka to take practical steps to ensure that witnesses are properly protected against threats to their lives and well-being. At this time it is essential that witnesses have the necessary security to come forward and share whatever evidence they may have relevant to the case.
Mr Michael Birnbaum (Queens Counsel) has practiced for over 35 years as a criminal barrister both prosecuting and defending including domestic and extradition work. For nearly 15 years he has sat, and continues to sit, as a Recorder (deputy judge). Mr Michael Birnbaum QC has conducted trial observations in Nigeria and Sierra Leone and written numerous opinions and amicus briefs on human rights issues including cases in the USA, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. He frequently represents defendants appealing to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council from Caribbean courts.
Sri Lanka-Proceedings death workers-web-2006-Tam (full text in Tamil, PDF)
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