Extracts from this piece were first published on Labour List.org:
Last month I was proud to nominate Channel 4 News for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Their astonishing documentary, ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’, dramatically revealed war crimes at the end of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict in 2009, and has alerted Governments across the world of the need to respect human rights.
The images broadcast by Channel 4 were among the most harrowing ever to appear on TV. They depicted what the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings described as evidence of “definitive war crimes”.
40,000 civilians, mostly from the Tamil community, were killed in the last few months of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict alone.
The UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts has stated there was a “grave assault on the entire regime of international law”. Since the war’s end, the UN Committee Against Torture has raised serious concerns about allegations of widespread on-going “torture and ill-treatment perpetrated by state actors, both the military and the police”.
Justice must prevail and that is why, in a Parliamentary debate last week, I and fellow Labour MPs called on Britain to support an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate these crimes …
In my letter nominating Channel 4 News to the Nobel committee, I said “By bringing to light the breaches of international conventions by the Government of Sri Lanka in a bold manner and by piecing together numerous forms of evidence in a coherent way, the value of independent journalism to the building of a peaceful global order in the century ahead has been amply demonstrated.”
Crimes such as those revealed in Channel 4’s documentary deserve to be investigated. Justice must be served.”
– Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham & Morden
Vice Chair of the APPG for Tamils
If you missed it, watch it below, it was first presented on 15th June 2011: