Activists file legal complaints calling for removal and dismantlement of illegal US NATO nuclear weapons

Joint Bombspotting and Greenpeace press release

Press release - 6 November, 2006
At local police stations all over Europe, anti-nuclear activists will today begin filing official complaints under international humanitarian law to bring governments before the court because of their role in NATO's illegal nuclear weapons strategy. In a joint Bombspotting and Greenpeace initiative the groups call for the removal and dismantlement of the illegal US nuclear weapons deployed in Europe. Greenpeace and Bombspotting are encouraging people to file their own legal complaints and have placed information needed to make a complaint on the Internet[1] .

480[2] US NATOnuclear weapons remain in Europe in Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands,Turkey and the UK under NATO. The complaints to be filed against governments byindividuals from groups in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal andTurkey demand the enforcement of international humanitarian law. TheInternational Court of Justice indicated in its Advisory Opinion from 1996 therules of international law applying to nuclear weapons. The use or threat ofnuclear weapons is contrary to these rules of international law, because nuclearweapons cause   unnecessary sufferingand are indiscriminate. Thecomplaint points out the complicity of governments in NATO nucleardecision-making and consequent responsibility and requests that the police takethe relevant national judicial route to hold governments accountable to therules of international law.

Last month NATO condemned North Korea's nuclear test as “an extremelyserious threat to peace and security in the world.” At the same time NATOcontinues to maintain these weapons in Europe.” Everyday that US nuclearweapons remain in Europe and, that NATO maintains plans for their use,international law is being broken. While we support the criticism of NorthKorea in developing nuclear weapons the position of NATO is severely underminedby their own flagrant disregard for the law. NATO should put its own nuclearhouse in order and eliminate its own extremely serious threat to peace andsecurity,” said Bombspotting campaigner Roel Stynen.

Donna Mattfield, Disarmament Campaigner at Greenpeace Internationaladded “on 28th and 29th November NATO’s state leaderswill meet in Riga, Latvia, to begin a process to review the mandate of theAlliance. This is an opportunity for European leaders to meet their ownobligation to disarm the world of nuclear weapons and to do what the majorityof people in Europe want [3] by removing USnuclear weapons from European soil”.

On 24th November,a bailiff will bring a summons to end NATO's illegal policy to NATO SecretaryGeneral De Hoop-Scheffer. The summons will remind De Hoop-Scheffer of hisobligations under international law.

Bombspotting – Roel Stynen, +32 499 213 212

Greenpeace International – Donna Mattfield +31 646 177537

Notes: [1][2] Hans Kristensen, “U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe: A Review of Post-Cold War Policy, Force Levels, and War Planning” (Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington DC, February 2005)[3] Full poll results: