Thursday, October 29, 2009

Concealed Evidence now Available

According to annex III of the Goldstone Report, the Fact-finding Mission (FFM) received 31 submissions from members of the public and NGO's, including a group of fifteen Australian lawyers, Take-a-Pen, Yvonne Green , NGO Monitor, Elihu Richter, Ian Lacey, Maurice Ostroff, Bnai Brith and Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs among others. See these at

As the Goldstone Report failed to address highly relevant and credible information contained in these memoranda it was feared that in the absence of an opportunity to examine this important evidence it would be impossible for the public as well as the UNHRC to whom the Mission was reporting, to properly evaluate it.

As a result Judge Goldstone was asked as long ago as last August, that all submissions received by the Fact-finding Mission be made available on the Mission's web site for the benefit of the public and more importantly for members of the UNHRC, the SC and the GA,.Although Judge Goldstone firmly agreed to support this request, the secretariat has carry it out. (The UK parliamentary Select Committees make a practice of archiving for public view, all memoranda received from the public).

The following reply to this request was sent by the secretariat. "In relation to your query as to whether the submissions made to the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict in response to the Mission's call of 8 June 2009 would be posted on the UNFFMGC webpage, after further reviewing the material, we have concluded that it would not be appropriate to post them. The reason is that some of the submissions include names of individuals who are indicated as sources of some of the information provided, without indication of their consent to be named publicly. In doubt, and out of respect for those individuals, it would not be possible to make such information public. In the circumstances, doing otherwise would be contrary to established practice with regard to source protection. Rather than being selective in posting information, we have preferred to adopt one standard and all submissions will be retained in the Mission's archives, together with all other documentation received by the Mission. It goes without saying that it remains the prerogative of the authors of the submissions that do not present such problems to publicize them as they consider most appropriate. We have already indicated so to those submitting organizations who have inquired about the same matter".

The reason given by the secretariat blatantly conflicts with the spirit of the FFM's aforementioned call for submissions which states unambiguously "Unless otherwise indicated by the author, the Mission will assume that submissions can be made public" See

So now even the mission's secretariat doesn't agree with Goldstone.

No comments: