'Arrest Obama when he visits'
KATHARINE CHILD | 11 June, 2013 00:36
US President Barack Obama. File photo
Image by: KEVIN LAMARQUE / REUTERS
The Muslim Lawyers Association in Johannesburg wants US President Barack Obama arrested and tried for war crimes when he arrives in South Africa on June 29.
It submitted a 600-plus page document to the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions on Friday asking for an investigation into Obama's involvement in the Middle East.
Group spokesman Yousha Tayob said Obama ordered drone strikes that killed innocent civilians.
In terms of the Rome Statute, South Africa has the right to prosecute a war criminal on its territory, said Tayob.
Researchers from New York University School of Law and Stanford University Law School recently released a report entitled "Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan".
They found that in four years Obama commissioned five times more drone attacks than former president George W Bush did in his two terms in the White House .
The report estimates drones have killed between 474 and 881 civilians, including 176 children.
The US Embassy in South Africa's spokesman Jack Hillmeyer said it had "no comment".
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Bulelwa Makeke said the office had received the docket and was studying it.