29 May 2009 – The independent team of investigators tasked by the United Nations Human Rights Council with examining alleged rights abuses and violations of international law during the recent conflict in Gaza will begin a week-long trip to the area this weekend.
The fact-finding mission, headed by Richard Goldstone, former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, will enter Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah crossing point on 1 June in the first of its planned field visits.
“The mission plans to meet with all concerned parties, including non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations and groups, UN agencies, victims and witnesses of alleged violations and other persons who may provide information with regard to the facts under investigation,” the group said in a statement issued in Geneva.
The other members of the mission include Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science at the University of London; Hina Jilani, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders; and Colonel (retired from the Irish Armed Forces) Desmond Travers, member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI).
This fact-finding mission is separate from the four-member UN Board of Inquiry, led by Ian Martin of the United Kingdom, which examined incidents involving death and damage at the world body’s premises in Gaza during Israel’s military operation.
A summary of that report was sent by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the Security Council earlier this month.