ARC/K NEWSLETTERS

Cultural Heritage Alert - Iran

 

Arc/k Project vehemently opposes U.S. President Donald Trump’s public threat to attack Iranian sites of cultural heritage. As part of President Trump’s warning against retaliation by Iran for the recent U.S. drone strike against General Qassem Soleimani, the president is not only advocating a breach of treaties of which the U.S. is a signatory, if carried out, this destruction of heritage would constitute a war crime as recognized by international law — and would indeed be a crime against humanity.

“The laws of war prohibit deliberate attacks on civilian objects not being used for military purposes. Objects of great importance to a people’s cultural heritage must not be the object of attack. Article 53 of Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions specifically prohibits any acts of hostility against cultural objects, including making such objects the target of reprisals. The U.S. Law of War Manual (2016), which has extensive provisions relating to the protection of cultural property, incorporates this provision into U.S. law. The U.S. is also a party to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954), which similarly prohibits such attacks.” —Human Rights Watch

In 2017, furthermore, the United Nations Security Council, in which the United States wields veto power, unanimously passed a resolution condemning the destruction of heritage sites.

The U.S. government should immediately clarify that the U.S. will comply with the laws of war in the unfortunate event of further escalation by either party. 

We strongly urge everyone who cares about cultural treasures to contact their local representative or congressperson and vociferously denounce this public threat. Global heritage should never be used as a bargaining chip and we at Arc/k Project hope that a loud response from those inside and outside the U.S. will make the U.S. president think twice about considering such options.

Please take a moment of your day to speak up and work with us to help protect cultural heritage.

 


ADVOCACY WITH ARC/K

 

1. Contact your Congress members. Use GovTrack.us to find out who represents you in Congress.

2. Customize your message. We’ve created a sample message for you below.

3. Communicate your message by either calling or using their web contact form.

“Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms….

I vehemently oppose U.S. President Donald Trump’s public threat to attack Iranian sites of cultural heritage. As part of President Trump’s warning against retaliation by Iran for the recent U.S. drone strike against General Qassem Soleimani, the president is not only advocating a breach of treaties of which the U.S. is a signatory, if carried out, this destruction of heritage would constitute a war crime as recognized by international law — and would indeed be a crime against humanity.

“The laws of war prohibit deliberate attacks on civilian objects not being used for military purposes. Objects of great importance to a people’s cultural heritage must not be the object of attack. Article 53 of Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions specifically prohibits any acts of hostility against cultural objects, including making such objects the target of reprisals. The U.S. Law of War Manual (2016), which has extensive provisions relating to the protection of cultural property, incorporates this provision into US law. The U.S. is also a party to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954), which similarly prohibits such attacks.” — Human Rights Watch

In 2017, furthermore, the United Nations Security Council, in which the United States wields veto power, unanimously passed a resolution condemning the destruction of heritage sites.

Global heritage should never be used as a bargaining chip. The U.S. government should immediately clarify that the U.S. will comply with the laws of war in the unfortunate event of further escalation by either party.”

Image: The Shah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran – a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site. Crowdsourced photogrammetry by The Arc/k Project.