Imagine There’s No Countries . . .

Considering the Possibility and Practice of Global Citizenship

Robert Mugabe–Global Criminal

Posted by bklunk on February 11, 2009

Why It Matters : Crimes in the Time of Cholera

The US-based group Physicians for Human Rights is arguing that Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, should have charges referred against him to the International Criminal Court:

The argument boils down to this: systematically denying people access to basic health care is not terribly different than holding guns to their heads. If so,they say, why not call upon the same international laws that are normally applied in conflict settings? The United Nations is then obliged to respond comparably in both scenarios—which means mobilizing an intervention akin to those dispatched to the war zones of Kosovo, Rwanda, Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, and Darfur. If the argument works, it would expand the paradigm for invoking international human rights law.

The UN has reported that thousands of people have died in Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic and tens of thousands more are infected.  The Mugabe government seems to have acted positively to impede doing anything about this public health crisis. 

You can find PHR’s full report on Zimbabwe here.

Whose responsibility is it to respond in a situation like this?


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