Friday, June 27, 2008

Wilders Prosecuted by Jordanian Court (II)

Continued from Part I

Professor Afshin Ellian cautions in his column today "Jordan is an Enemy of the Dutch State" for far reaching consequences in international affairs if Jordan's demands for extradition and prosecution of Wilders on the grounds of his convictions would come to pass.

He writes: "International relations are ruled by the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs. War crimes and gross violations of human rights constitute the exception. A recent example is the situation in Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe lost all moral and legal legitimacy in international circles. But as a rule sovereign states do not prosecute each other or each other's representatives. If they would, chaos and violent conflicts would ensue."

Quite. It can be argued if the allowance of idealistic exceptions is advisable at all as a course of action in international law. The slippery slope we find ourselves in today is the result of such exceptions. The Western world thought intervention in Kosovo on humanitarian grounds was warranted; but with hindsight public opinion was cynically manipulated, as the Serb population was further marginalized in the pursuit of a Greater Albania. And what to think of Spain's relentless wish to prosecute Chilian Generalissimo Pinochet?

- Caption: From Insights on Law & Society 2.3 (Spring/Summer 2002): 23 -

Ellian provides a further example in the ravings of Iran's President Ahmadinejad who has demanded the final destruction of Israel. "This is clearly a criminal statement. Yet as the representative of a sovereign state he enjoys immunity. As do the Jordanian Hamasoid parliamentarians. The Jordanian judiciary is a nuisance."

The Court's decision on June 10 to prosecute Wilders on the grounds of his views - not of his deeds - is a unique, international case. He is an MP in a parliamentary democracy. Even if only tacitly accepted, it would be a dangerous precedent towards undemocratic countries. Appealing to this case Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and many others will in the future be able to prosecute any Western politician they do not like. (...) "

"Wilders isn't safe in Muslim countries. They can arrest and extradite him at will. Once Jordan issues a warrant for his arrest, the problem will be internationalised and Interpol must act. The issue is no longer limited to Geert Wilders and his opinions alone.''

The Dutch Government in the meantime is reacting inadequately in Ellian's eyes, proposing a "risk analysis" prior to each visit abroad, followed by a guarantee for Wilders' immunity.

The state of Jordan is carrying the can for this international outrage, writes Ellian. The Government as well as the Queen must unambiguously press upon the absolute ruler of Jordan to change course. Ellian would go as far as the Netherlands and the E.U. to severe diplomatic ties if necessary.

Ellian wonders if the affair isn't really a case of diplomatic blackmail with a view to extracting development funds? If that is true the Netherlands must answer the question if it is prepared to give in to such demands. Ellian doesn't go this far, but experts in Muslim ethics might even see in the affair a demand for Jizyah, the poll tax payable by infidels. Who's to say what's next in legal jihad?

With the above in mind perhaps the Hollits and other Europeans can develop a beginning of an understanding for the American reluctance towards international legal institutions like the ICC in The Hague.

- Filed on Articles in "Legal Jihad" -


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