Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Officially In: Stephen J. Rapp to S/WCI

On June July 7, President Obama announced his intent to Stephen J. Rapp to be Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (S/WCI) at the Department of State. Stephen Rapp has served as Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone since January 2007, leading the prosecutions of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and other persons alleged to bear the greatest responsibility for the atrocities committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone. From 2001 to 2007, Rapp served as Senior Trial Attorney and Chief of Prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, personally heading the trial team that achieved convictions of the principals of RTLM radio and Kangura newspaper—the first in history for leaders of the mass media for the crime of Incitement to Commit Genocide. Previously, he was United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa from 1993 to 2001. Prior to his tenure as U.S. Attorney, he had worked as an attorney in private practice and had served as Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency and as an elected member of the Iowa Legislature.

He received his JD degree from Drake University and his BA from Harvard College.

Related Items:

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 7-7-09 The Special Court for Sierra Leone: Rapp Biography

1 comment:

kana said...

Hon. Stephen J. Rapp,
Ambassador of War Crimes Issues,
Department of State.
Dear Hon. Sir,
Please accept our congratulations from the bottom of our hearts. The President Barack Obama selected an eminent person as an Ambassador for war crimes issues. As you are the crusader of human rights, we, the hapless Tamil people in the North and East of Sri Lanka hope to get the justice.
During the final days of the war Sri Lankan government forces mercilessly slaughtered an estimated twenty thousand (20,000) Tamil civilians who did nothing more than remain in areas designated by the Sri Lankan government itself as “no fire zones”. The Sri Lankan army gunned down even senior LTTE non-combatants who after having negotiated surrender terms through the ICRC and like organizations, walked in the open carrying white flags. It is also alleged that the injured and infirm Tamils who had been cowering in trenches in the no fire zones to avoid being shot or bombed, have been buried alive by bulldozers that heaped sand over them and closed the trenches. The Sri Lankan government’s main current preoccupation appears to be with obliterating all evidence of mass murders and burials. Sri Lankan Former Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka recently stated that the military had to overlook the traditional rules of war and even killed LTTE rebels who came to surrender carrying white flags during the war against the LTTE. He further said, " I got messages not to shoot those who are carrying white flags but we destroyed any one connected with the LTTE. That is how we won the war”. We strongly condemn his barbarisms against the international norms of the POW.
We humbly request you to bring the Sri Lankan Government officials and the military commanders responsible for the war crimes to the International War Crime Tribunal.
Thank you for your kind considerations.
Yours truly,