Archive for category Crimes against Humanity

16 December 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC Prosecutor unable to pursue Darfur investigations; cites non-cooperation:  According to statements from the prosecutor of the ICC, current investigations in Sudan’s Darfur region will cease.  The situation in Darfur is in the process of deterioration and little has been done by the council to assist in the prosecutor’s attempt to being perpetrators to justice.  The ICC and the UN consider the violence in Sudan to be a serious concern, but little can be accomplished without cooperation from Sudan and neighboring countries. The investigations in Darfur will remain in a state of hibernation until further notice. (For additional information on this topic, please click here, here) (ICC, UN, Aljazeera)

Ten officials arrested in Bosnia, suspected of war crimes:  Bosnian officials have made the arrest of ten Bosnian Serb wartime officials arrested on suspicion of committing war crimes.  The men are suspected of planning, supervising and conducting the persecution of around 120 Bosnians from a village near the eastern town of Zvornik on July 14, 1992.  (Reuters)

Local DRC Court sentences leader to life in prison for crimes against humanity:   Lieutenant Colonel Bedi Mobuli Engangela has been sentenced to life in prison by a court in the DRC for perpetrating crimes against humanity.  Engangela was in command of a unit which was accused of gang rapes and other crimes.  (Yahoo)

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11 December 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC confirms charges against Blé Goudé: ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I confirmed charges of crimes against humanity against former Ivorian political leader Charles Blé Goudé today, 11 December 2014. The Chamber determined that substantial grounds existed to believe Blé Goudé committed or attempted to commit murder, rape and other inhumane acts in the Ivory Coast between December 2010 and April 2011. The Chamber examined more than 40,000 pages of evidence, including some 130 witness statements and 1200 audio and video recordings. (ICC).

ICC rejects Ivory Coast admissibility challenge after Mrs. Gbagbo appears in Abijan Court: Today, 11 December 2014, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I rejected Simone Gbagbo’s admissibility challenge and reminded the country of its obligation to surrender the Ivorian politician to the Court. The Chamber found the Ivory Coast was “not taking tangible, concrete and progressive steps aimed at ascertaining whether Simone Gbagbo is criminally responsible for the same conduct that is alleged in the case before the Court.” Gbagbo is accused of murder, rape and other inhumane acts and persecution committed in the Ivory Coast between December 2010 and April 2011. (ICC).

UN officials say impunity should not be allowed following US torture report: On Tuesday, 9 December 2014, the U.S. Senate intelligence committee released a report finding that the U.S. government used torture. Some U.N. officials, such as U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Ben Emmerson Q.C., have called for the prosecution of U.S. officials responsible. Furthermore, U.N. High Commission for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein stated that it’s “crystal clear” that the U.S. should ensure accountability and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that “prohibition against torture is absolute.” In addition, executive director of Amnesty International USA, Steven W. Hawkins stated that “Under the UN Convention against torture, no exceptional circumstances whatsoever can be invoked to justify torture, and all those responsible for authorizing or carrying out torture or other ill-treatment must be fully investigated.” (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (The Guardian, Huffington Post).

ASP rejects Kenya’s agenda to address conduct of judges and prosecutors: Kenya’s request to add a supplementary agenda item relating to the conduct of the ICC and Prosecutor’s Office to the Assembly of States Parties annual meeting was rejected. Newly elected ASP President Sidiki Kaba explained “The Bureau does not recommend inclusion of the Kenyan agenda item on conduct of the Court and Prosecutor.” Kenya accuses the ICC of frivolous prosecutions, incorrect statutory interpretations of the Rome Statute and politicizing cases. (All Africa).

ICC Ruto defence team submit video and media evidence to show violence not incited: Defence for William Ruto submitted to the ICC video and newspaper clippings showing the Kenyan Deputy President did not incite violence. One video clip allegedly showed Ruto encouraging different communities to stay united and urged Kalenjins to welcome former President Mwai Kibaki and his family attending the memorial of freedom fighter ceremony in 2005. (Capital News).

African Court President meets with AU Commission Chairperson and EU delegation: Throughout this week, Justice Augustino Ramadhani, President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, has met with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and Gary Quince, Head of the European Union Delegation to the AU. Discussion with both included efforts to raise awareness of the Arusha-based African Court and help with its progression. Specifically, Ramadhani stressed that “We are in the process of attracting more African countries to ratify the Protocol” establishing the Court. (All Africa).

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8 December 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

Following withdrawal of Kenyatta charges, Amnesty calls for justice for victims: President Kenyatta’s charges for crimes against humanity were dropped last week and Amnesty International now demands justice for the victims. Amnesty’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region, Muthoni Wanyeki, stated that the ICC and the Kenyan government are failing the victims. Mitchelle Kagiri, Amnesty’s deputy regional director for East Africa, stated that the ICC should reopen investigations to find areas that were missed. (World Bulletin)

Israel initiates investigations into crimes in Gaza: The Israeli military has initiated investigations into crimes that occurred during the war between Israeli and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip this past summer. The war lasted for fifty days and ended on August 23rd. The Israeli military already faced accusations of war crimes from Amnesty International and an inquiry from the United Nations Human Rights Council. (The New York Times)

ICT Bangladesh to amend tribunal’s founding act to include prosecution of an organisation: The International Criminal Tribunal Act of 1973 did not contain a provision for trying organisations in the court. The government is now trying to amend the Act in order to bring organisations like Jamaat-e-Islami before the court. The government wants to try Jamaat-e-Islami for crimes against humanity during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. The proposed amendment will be given to the cabinet this December or in January. (Dhaka Tribune)

Interpol issues red notices for Muslim Brotherhood leaders: Interpol issued over forty arrest warrants for Muslim Brotherhood leaders this past week. This included Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, head of the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars. An Egyptian security official stated that those on the warrant list are wanted for different terror-related crimes. He also stated that Egyptian authorities helped persuade Interpol that these members of the Muslim Brotherhood were fugitives and terrorists. (Albawaba News)

UNSC to evaluate N. Korea HR record: The United Nations Security Council will meet later this month due to ten of the fifteen members requesting to discuss North Korea’s rights record in a letter to Chadian Ambassador Cherif Mahamat Zene, whose country currently holds the council’s presidency. The meeting concerns referring Pyongyang to the ICC for crimes against humanity. UN diplomats stated that it was likely that China would block the move to refer North Korea to the ICC with its veto power. (China Post)

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5 December 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC Prosecutor withdraws charges against Kenyan President Kenyatta: Prosecutors at the ICC dropped the charges against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta for crimes against humanity. Kenyatta was indicted for inciting post-election violence in 2007. The charges were dropped after the ICC gave prosecutors a one-week deadline to submit evidence against Kenyatta or to drop the charges. Prosecutors had asked for more time to build its case on more than one occasion, claiming witnesses had been bribed or intimidated. The ICC gave this one-week ultimatum stating that any further delays would be “contrary to the interest of justice.” (BBC) (for additional information please click here)

Former UNAMID spokesperson asks Bensouda to push UNSC for Sudan inquiry: Aicha Elbasri, former United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur spokesperson, asked prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, to look into an alleged cover-up by UN peacekeepers in Sudan. Elbasri pushed Bensouda to ask the United Nations Security Council to look further into these matters. Elbasri’s letter stated that the UN peacekeepers assigned to investigate the claims of manipulating the truth about Darfur were part of “an internal, partial, biased and secretive process.” Elbasri stepped down as spokesperson in April 2013 with claims that she had been prevented from informing the public about the events occurring in Darfur. (Sudan Tribune)

ECCC Prosecution appeals judges’ decision not to consider foreseeable crimes: The Trial Chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal refused ECCC prosecutor’s claims against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan in crimes that the two did not directly order or oversee. The prosecutors are now appealing that decision stating that the defendants should be held accountable for crimes that were reasonably foreseeable. Chea and Samphan both are already facing life sentences for crimes against humanity and are appealing those decisions. William Smith, international deputy co-prosecutor, stated that the Trial Chamber should be able to consider crimes such as rape that were foreseeable from actions of the accused. (Cambodia Daily)

Seselj rejects return to ICTY detention after provisional release: Earlier this week, the prosecution filed a motion to send nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj back to ICTY detention. Seselj was accused with Serbian war crimes, but was provisionally released to seek treatment for cancer. Seselj vowed that he would not return to the Tribunal. Chief prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, stated that despite Seselj’s health condition, Seselj has still made many comments that insult victim communities. Brammertz also stated that these comments called into question the trial chamber’s assessment of Seselj’s condition for provisional release. (Journal of Turkish Weekly)

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2 December 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

North Korea issues report countering Western human rights allegations:  In response to a report by the UN General Assembly, which recommended referring the DRKP and its leader, Kim Jong Un, to the International Criminal Court to face charges including crimes against humanity, the DRKP issued a rebuttal refuting all claims.  Despite the UN findings, it is expected that China and Russia, DRKP supporters, will use their veto power to keep any charges from being filed against the DRKP and its leader. (IBTimes).

Former Jamaat, BNP Parliament Member held, anticipating charges by ICT-1:  War crimes suspect and former BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker Mawlana Sakhawat Hossain, was arrested in Masterpara, of Uttar Khan by authorities and later brought before the ICT-1.  Sakhawat is suspected of being involved in the commission of war crimes during 1971.  It is expected that the prosecution for bring charges of war crimes against Sakhawat as soon as the necessary amount of evidence has been gathered to substantiate such allegations.  (Daily Star).

Egyptian Court refuses corruption charges against former President Mubarak:  An Egyptian court has dismissed charges against President Mubarak in connection with the death of protesters during the 2011 uprising against him.  However, Mubarak will not walk free, hw was found guilty of theft of public funds and will continue to serve the remaining time left of his three-year house arrest sentence.  Discussions of an appeal are underway.  (Aljazeera).

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1 December 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC Appeals Chamber upholds Lubanga conviction: On 1 December 2014 Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese war criminal, had his conviction of war crimes confirmed. Erkki Kourula, the Appeals Chamber presiding judge, stated that the majority rejected the appeal. Lubanga was convicted for recruiting and using child soldiers in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2002-2003. He is set to serve his 14-year prison sentence, though the eight years that he spent in jail waiting for the conclusion of his trial count towards his sentence. The confirmation of Lubanga’s sentence by the ICC marks the close of the court’s first case. (Reuter, Aljazeera) (for additional information please click here)

ICTY Prosecutor requests that Seselj provisional release revoked: After almost 12 years in detention, Serbian nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj was released last month to get treatment for cancer. ICTY prosecutors stated the Seselj must be brought back to detention after his threats heightened tension in the Balkans. Seselj has rallied supporters and is once again defending the nationalism he supported in the 1990s. Prosecutors urged the judges to order his return. Prosecutor Serge Brammertz stated that Seselj was in detention for crimes against humanity and has threatened those who were cooperating in the prosecution. Brammertz also stated that Seselj violated his temporary release by vowing never to return to detention voluntarily. (Bloomberg. Daily Mail) (for additional information please click here)

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25 November 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

Croatia considering order for review of Seselj release: The Croatian Parliament is in the process of passing a declaration to condemn the provisional release of Vojislav Seselj by the tribunal and to demand a review of Serbia’s candidacy for EU membership. If passed unanimously, the declaration would serve as strong support to the Croatian ambassador to the UNN during a debate on the work of the ICTY.  (Daje).

UNAMID shuts Darfur office amid tensions: The Sudanese government made a request on Tuesday that UNAMID exit the site where an alleged mass rape by Sudanese troops took place. The foreign ministry said Sudanese authorities closed the UNAMID office because it was outside Darfur and the mandate does not allow for an office in Khartoum.   Discussions are under way to clarify the role of the Khartoum-based office.  (Reuters).

ICT sentences former leader Hossain to death: Mobarak Hossain was found guilty of murder, abduction and torture during the 1871 civil war. He has been sentenced to death, making his the fourteenth death sentence to be handed down by the tribunal. HRW has expressed concern regarding the court’s procedures.  (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (BBC, Reuters).

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