Freedom Newspaper: Please see my letter to the International Criminal Court regarding The Gambia’s President and the ICC’s response to me. I am currently working with attorneys regarding prosecuting The Gambia’s leader and I would like witnesses to come forward that have had their human rights violated by the government of The Gambia in regards to political opponents, LGBT individuals, women, children, reporters and et cetera. I strongly believe that it is time for human rights violation in The Gambia to end because all Gambians should have the right to have life, liberty and to pursue a good quality pursuit of happiness.
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Isaiah X. Smith
Isaiah Smith Campaign
P.O Box 163411
Fort Worth, Texas, 76161
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International Criminal Court ID: LFG-2015-ICC-0005
Office of the Prosecutor Post Office Box 19519 2500 CM
The Hague The Netherlands
Sent via: Electronic mail July 16th , 2015
Re: Request for investigation into violations of the Rome Statute
Honorable Fatou Bensouda,
My name is Isaiah X. Smith and I am writing to the Office of the Prosecutor to International Criminal Court for the purpose of requesting the Office of the Prosecutor of the high international criminal court to investigate all of my assertions listed in the letter “proprio motu.” I ask that from your office because my letter contains information that a personage would conclude is a basis of information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court to investigate.
- General Information and Facts
The Republic of Gambia is a country in West Africa. That country has a “presidential republic” system. The current President of the Republic of Gambia is Yahya Jammeh. Mr. Yahya Jammeh was born on May 25th, 1965. He assumed office in July 22nd, 1994. His official government position is the President of the Republic of Gambia and his office’s address is as follows:
President Yahya Jammeh Private Mail Bag State House, Banjul, The Gambia The website to the Office of the President of the Republic of Gambia is located here: http://www.statehouse.gm/
- Complaint and other Facts
President Yahya Jammeh stated officially in a public speech in the Wolof language this year of 2015 that, “If you are a man and want to marry another man in this country and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it.” In the year of 2008, the aforementioned individual advised all individuals attracted to Page 2 of 5 members of the “same-sex” to flee his country or he would otherwise “chop their heads off.”
It is rumored that President Yahya Jammeh has acted out on his words, in other words that he has kept his word and that he carried out and or had individuals carry out those serious violations in his country. Those aforementioned statements are extremely concerning because it is coming for a head political figure of a nation. The actions listed in his statements are a violation of the Rome Statute and since it was stated by the top political figure in that foreign country, there is little resistance to stop any violations to international law for taking place. The statements are even more concerning because the Republic of Gambia has a history of engaging and tolerating without respect of prosecution of serious human rights violations.
In other words, it appears that the government of that country acts without respect to an individual’s “domestic” constitutional or international rights. The White House in my opinion was disgusted by President Jammeh’s statement of this year (2015). In response to the 2015 statement made by President Jammeh, the White Houses’ National Security Advisor Susan Rice issued a public statement on May 16th , 2015 in which the United States Government condemned the actions of President Jammeh.
A link to the press release that is currently on the White House’s page is as follows: The White House https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/16/ statement-national-security advisor-susan-e-rice-lgbt-rights Several others news sources have reported stories on this affair, such as the Huffington Post, Vice Magazine and et cetera.
Links to those news stories can be seen in Attachment A below for evidence purposes. III. The Internal Criminal Court’s Jurisdiction regarding this complaint It appears that the Office of the Prosecutor to the International Criminal Court does have jurisdiction to investigate my assertions. The things that I am complaining about is of international concern and are serious. Plus this took place on the territory of a State Party or a State that otherwise accepts the jurisdiction of the Court. The Republic of Gambia has been a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Specifically the Republic of Gambia is a sovereign state that has ratified, or has otherwise become party to, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Thus the International Criminal Court does have jurisdiction over the allegations listed in this letter. The events that took place in this letter occurred after July 1st , 2002.
Also according to the ICC website, the principle of “complementarity” provides that certain cases will be inadmissible even though the Court has jurisdiction. One reason why I strongly believe that a “complementarity” argument would not stand for this case is because these incidents listed in this letter are not being investigated or prosecuted by a State (the Republic of Page 3 of 5 Gambia) that has jurisdiction to do so. That “state” is also and would theoretically be unwilling or is unable to genuinely carry out the investigation or prosecution. That is especially due to “anti-gay” laws set forth in the Republic of Gambia and due to the political power that President Yahya Jammeh has in his country. IV.
History of gay personages in the African Continent Contrary to some ideologies regarding homosexuality, homosexuality is in no way un-African or un-human. Same-sex relationships were greatly tolerated and even accepted prior to the colonial era. When the British colonial period took place, the British Empire took over countries and they established laws against homosexuality, which was not officially decriminalized in England and Wales until around the late 1960s.
Researchers have consistently proven that homophobia in the African continent was established thanks to colonialism. The colonialism era was a time in history that the implementing of anti-gay legislation started to take place throughout the African continent.
Before the colonialism era, many traditional cultures in Africa were extremely accepting towards individuals of different sexualities and gender expression. The colonial invasion into the African continent changed the inclusiveness of the then African values and the invaders have rewritten history through spreading their intolerance and their “unnatural” ideology around. African tribal chiefs and village courts back then were basically abolished by the Europeans and they were substituted for the European Penal Code System, which was a set of laws that was based on the way in which European society was based. Those new set of laws outlawed gender identity expression, homosexuality and any other things that were viewed as not being European or in compliance with heterosexuality, also called “heteronormativity.”
Heteronormativity is defined as the ideology that the only “true and legit” way of life in our world is by being heterosexual. So it is saddening to see documentaries of homophobia in the African continent because I know homophobia’s roots and how it was established on the Africa continent.
In other words, I know the history behind homophobia which is absolutely disgusting. Being in a same-sex relationship is not unnatural or “evil” but killing other individuals and threatening to do so on the basis of the formation of a person is disgusting and that is “evil.” V. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all individuals have a right to be treated equally under the law. See UDHR, Art. I.
All individuals have a right to liberty. See UDHR, Art. III. All individuals have a right to be treated fairly and to be free from torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. See UDHR, Art. V. All individuals have a right to recognition under the law. See UDRH, Art. VI. Lastly but not entirely, all individuals are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in Page 4 of 5 violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. See UDHR, Art. VII.
It is extremely imperative for “governmental bodies” and for “governmental figures” in our world to abide by and to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Even if “equal treatment” was not a part of international law, that is a “birth right” that all individuals are born with and should have. VI. Conclusion All individuals have a “birth” right to be themselves and to not fear being attacked of killed by their government on the basis of the way in which they are.
I am not asking the Office of the Prosecutor to the International Criminal Court to investigate my assertions due to President Yahya Jammeh’s opinions on homosexuality, but because his threats are to my research violations of international law, especially if they are carried out. There is reason to believe that his threats are and were carried out to this day. Even if his threats were and are not carried out, it is of concern that he will and that those threats will be tolerated without respect to prosecution, in regards to his own people.
I would respectfully ask your office to please investigate my. Please investigate to consider whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes have been committed and the gravity of the crimes that were or could have been committed. Please note that I do understand that your office can only investigate violations to the Rome Statute, and please note that is what this letter is asking you to do. Albert Einstein once said that the world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. In order to prevent “evil” from getting away with violations, I am officially submitting you this letter.
Please do not take this letter as legal advice because this letter is not and was never intended to be legal advice. VII. A Response to this letter I would respectfully request the International Criminal Court to send me an acknowledgement letter as well as status updates as to this complaint.
You can reach me via electronic mail (preferred) at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach me via mail at: Isaiah Smith Campaign P.O Box 163411 Fort Worth, Texas, 76161
Respectfully submitted, Isaiah X. Smith Isaiah Smith Campaign P.O Box 163411 Fort Worth, Texas, 76161 www.isaiahxsmith.com Page 5 of 5 ATTACHMENT A
- Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/yahya-jammeh-homosexualsgambia_n_3000249.html
- Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/05/12/gambiaspresident-threatens-to-slit-the-throats-of-gay-men/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/01/06/5-crazy-thingsabout-the-gambian-dictator-who-just-survived-a-coup-attempt/
- Yahoo News http://news.yahoo.com/us-slams-gambias-president-unconscionable-gay-comments- 223012790.html
- Pink News http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/05/17/gambian-president-condemned-by-us-forthreat-to-slit-gay-mens-throats/ http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2008/06/15/eu-may-rebuke-ghanian-president-overthreats-against-gays/
- Advocate News http://www.advocate.com/world/2015/05/13/i-will-slit-your-throat-gambian-presidentgay-men
- The Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/gambian-president-yayah-jammehthreatens-to-slit-the-throats-of-gay-people-10244938.html
- Vice News https://news.vice.com/article/gambian-president-says-he-will-slit-gay-mens-throats-inpublic-speech
- Reuters News http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/10/us-gambia-rights-donorsidUSKBN0JO19520141210
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT’s RESPONSE Post Office Box 19519, 2500 CM
The Hague, The Netherlands Boîte postale 19519, 2500 CM La Haye, Pays Bas Telephone / Téléphone: + 31 70 5158515 • Facsimile / Télécopie: + 31 70 5158555 • http://www.icc-cpi.int Le Bureau du Procureur
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT’s RESPONSE
The Office of the Prosecutor Our Reference: OTP-CR-318/15 The Hague, Monday, 02 November 2015
Dear Sir, Madam
On behalf of the Prosecutor, I thank you for your communication received on 09/09/2015, as well as any subsequent related information. As you may know, the International Criminal Court (“the ICC” or “the Court”) is governed by the Rome Statute, which entrusts the Court with a very specific and carefully defined jurisdiction and mandate.
A fundamental feature of the Rome Statute is that the Court may only exercise jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. These crimes are carefully defined in the Rome Statute (Articles 6 to 8) and further elaborated in the Elements of Crimes, adopted by the Assembly of States Parties.
Based on the information currently available, the conduct described in your communication does not appear to fall within these stringent definitions. Accordingly, as the allegations appear to fall outside the jurisdiction of the Court, the Prosecutor has confirmed that there is not a basis at this time to proceed with further analysis. The information you have submitted will be maintained in our archives, and the decision not to proceed may be reconsidered if new facts or evidence provide a reasonable basis to believe that a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court has been committed.
I hope you will appreciate that with the defined jurisdiction of the Court, many serious allegations will be beyond the reach of this institution to address. I note in this regard that the ICC is designed to complement, not replace national jurisdictions.
Thus, if you wish to pursue this matter further, you may consider raising it with appropriate national or international authorities. I am grateful for your interest in the ICC.
If you would like to learn more about the work of the ICC, I invite you to visit our website at www.icc-cpi.int.
M.P. Dillon Head of the Information & Evidence Unit Office of the Prosecutor
Post Office Box 19519, 2500 CM The Hague,
The Netherlands Boîte postale 19519,
2500 CM La Haye,
Pays Bas Telephone / Téléphone: + 31 70 5158515 • Facsimile / Télécopie: + 31 70 5158555 •
http://www.icc-cpi.int Le Bureau du Procureur The Office of the Prosecutor.