Archive for category Libya
ICC opens investigation into recent war crimes and CAH in CAR: A report issued by the ICC on Wednesday, 24 September 2014, confirms that an investigation has been opened into crimes committed in the Central African Republic by the mainly-Muslim Seleka alliance and the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia. The allegations include murder, rape and recruiting of child soldiers. Investigators for the ICC will now begin the process of gathering evidence to support charges against those suspected of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity since the conflict began in 2013. (Reuters).
African Commission undertakes fact finding mission into CAR violations: From 10 to 14 September 2014, a three member delegation of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights conducted a find finding mission in the Central African Republic. The mission consisted of, among other things, discussions with CAR officials, working sessions with UN representatives, meetings with NGOs, visits to refugee camps and gathering of testimony from victims and witness. The delegation intends to issue a detailed report with recommendations to the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in January 2015. In the meantime, the delegation has expressed concern that serious violations of human rights have and are continuing to be committed in the CAR. (ReliefWeb).
Karadzic trial closing arguments to be held on 29 August: The ICTY has scheduled closing arguments for 29 September 2014, in the case against Radovan Karadzic. The former Bosnian Serb president faces charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or custom of wars for crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict. (ICTY).
Sweden arrests two Rwandans for involvement in 1994 genocide: Two unidentified Rwandans suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide have been arrested in Sweden. The arrests come some two months after a Swedish appeals court confirmed a genocide conviction against Stanislas Mbanenande, a low level commander involved in five massacres in western Rwanda. (All Africa).
HRW says assassination spree in Libya possible CAH: The scores of political assassinations in Libya since 2012 may amount to crimes against humanity, said Human Rights Watch. These assassinations include the 19 September 2014, killing of five civilians, two activists, members of the security forces and a cleric in the eastern city of Benghazi. Human Rights Watch stated that the failure and unwillingness of the government of Libya to initiate investigations into the crimes and prosecute those responsible has “fostered a culture of impunity that has fueled further abuses.” (Human Rights Watch).
Israel and Palestine consider investigations and next steps for crimes on both sides: The Israeli military is investigating suspected war crimes committed by its operations during the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip. It is estimated more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed in Israel’s military campaign in July and August this year. Palestine’s Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the country will soon decide whether to sign the Rome Statute of the ICC and be able to file a complaint against Israel in the Court for war crimes. (For more information on this topic, please click here) (The Times of Israel, McClatchy DC).
ECCC announces 17 October as date for final phase of trial: The second phase of the trial of Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan at the ECCC is scheduled to being on 17 October 2014. In this final phase, the two former senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge face allegations of genocide, forced labor and political purges. The two were convicted last month of crimes against humanity for their roles in forced evacuations. (Voice of America).
NGO report provides new evidence of HR violations by Sri Lanka: The British rights group, Freedom From Torture, released a report today, 24 September 2014, documenting acts of detention, torture and sexual violence in Sri Lanka. The acts, carried out by Sri Lanka’s security forces, have mostly been aimed at ethnic Tamils and have occurred since the country’s civil war ended in 2009. Sri Lanka’s cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella claims the “report is totally biased” and Freedom From Torture “have anti-Sri Lanka elements and continue undue pressure on Sri Lanka by leveling baseless allegations.” (UCA News).
Appeals Chamber affirms ICC inadmissibility decision in Senussi jurisdiction case: On 2 April 2013, Libyan authorities filed a challenge to the admissibility of the case with regard to Senussi before Pre-Trial Chamber I. On 11 October 2013, Pre-Trial Chamber I decided that the case against Senussi was inadmissible before the Court. On 24 July 2014, the Appeals Chamber of the ICC unanimously confirmed Pre-Trial Chamber I’s decision. (ICC).
UN Human Rights Commissioner suggests MH17 events may constitute war crimes: Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has stated that the shooting down of the commercial airliner may amount to a war crime. The black boxes onboard the airliner appears to confirm the impact of a missile. Continued conflict in the region has displaced more than 200,000 people and made it difficult to secure the crash site. (For additional information on this topic, click here.) (BBC, DW).
ICC Prosecutor “deeply troubled” by ongoing violence in Libya: The violence in Libya continues to escalate. The Prosecutor of the ICC has called for an end to the criminal acts that fall within the jurisdiction of the Court. There are alleged reports of attacks against civilians and other instances of nom-military targeting by combatants. (UN News).
UN Report warns of possible CAH and war crimes in Iraq: According to the UN, the group ISIL and its affiliates may be responsible for carrying out CAH and imposing “untold hardship and suffering” on Iraqi civilians. Witness interviews include detailed instances of systematic attacks by ISIL on civilians with no apparent regard for causalities. The UN has expressed its concern that time is running out for the Iraqi Government to act against ISIL to ensure that its people have an opportunity to have their security and livelihoods restored. (UN News).
Amnesty insists that talks should not lead to impunity in CAR: Amnesty has expressed growing concern that delegates to the CAR National Reconciliation should be careful that their discussions do not lead to impunity for war crimes. According to Amnesty, there is credible evidence that crimes under international law have been committed by leaders in the CAR and that any perpetrators should be held accountable. (Star Africa).
Libya discusses prosecuting militia groups at ICC with Prosecutor: Libya is considering inviting the ICC to prosecute those responsible for recent violence in Tripoli and elsewhere across Libya. A decision to allow the ICC to prosecute certain cases that occurred in Libya is quite surprising when considering its refusal to allow the ICC to prosecute Saif Al-Islam and Senoussi. (Libya Herald).
Cyprus files complaint against Turkey at ICC: The petitioners call on the ICC to investigate alleged crimes committed by Turkey on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. The complaint also cites instances of Turkish involvement in connection with the transferring Turkish civilians into the occupied territory. Cyprus has been a member of the Court since 2002 and has made it clear that the ICC has jurisdiction. (Parikiaki).
ICTY Prosecution asks judges to reject Seselj request for damages over detention: Seselj has been detained by the ICTY since 24 February 2003. According to the Hague Prosecution, Seselj’s detention is lawful. Furthermore, prosecutor Marcussen states that Seselj has failed to comply with the conditions governing a provisional release. (InSerbia).
Foreign donations support ECCC: The ECCC has received enough cash donations from foreign countries in order to bridge the budget shortfall, which has caused the court to pause in the past. The ECCC will be financially healthy through the rest of 2014 but will soon require another infusion of funds. (Bangkok Post).
Charges confirmed against Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo: The ICC has ordered Laurent Gbagbo, the former President of Cote d’Ivoire, to stand trial. Gbagbo has been accused of masterminding the murder and rape of demonstrators in Abidjan, between December 2010 and April 2011. At lease 3,000 people were killed during this period of violence. (ICC, NYT, Reuters). (For additional information about this topic, please click here, here.)
Sri Lanka War Crimes investigative team announced: Navi Pillay has announced that Sandra Beidas will be coordinating the investigative team charged with probing into allegations of mass killings during the Sri Lankan civil war. Beidas appears to be a somewhat controversial pick because of her expulsion from a UN mission in South Sudan amidst allegations of writing false reports about the conduct of the South Sudanese military. The Sri Lankan government has yet to determine whether to allow the UN teams presence in the country.
Libya will pay victims reparations for rape: A decree was issued during the middle of next week recognizing the mass rapes perpetrated during the 2011 Libyan revolution as war crimes. Libya will pay rape survivors reparations. In addition, those victims harmed during the reign of the Qaddafi regime will as lobe eligible for the compensation.
ICC confirms charges against Bosco Ntaganda: The ICC has confirmed 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Bosco Ntaganda. The Prosecutor brought evidence of attempted murder, rape and sexual slavery that occurred in Congo’s Ituri district in 2002 and 2003 to the attention of the ICC. HRW expresses the hopes of many other human rights organizations which is that this decision to charge one ranking official of the ICC will lead to many more. (HRW).
CAR inquiry finds CAH and war crimes, but hesitates to affirm that genocide committed: The latest inquiry into the violence in CAR appears to contradict earlier reports of ethnic cleansing. The report states that anti-Muslim propaganda coming from non-Muslim quarters does no mean that genocide is being planned or that there is a conspiracy to commit genocide. Amnesty International objects to the findings in the latest report and argues that the displacement and violence against Muslims sectarian in nature and evidence that a genocide or massive displacement is occurring. (MWC News).
ICC decided to fund Saif Gaddafi legal team: The ICC has made the decision to fund the defence of Saif Gaddafi as a way to increase his chances of obtaining a fair trial before the court. It is likely that Gaddafi would be sentenced to death if found guilty by a court a Libya. UK politicians and military figures have protested this action by the ICC. (Telegraph).
Former Norwegian Minister willing to testify to crimes in Sri Lanka: Erik Solheim, former international development minister for Norway, is prepared to give evidence before any recognized international tribunal detailing the atrocities he witnesses during the final months of the decades-long Sri Lankan conflict. Solheim was involved in the brokered peace agreement that fell through in 2006. (Mint).
ICC Prosecutor reiterates calls for Gaddafi handover: ICC Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, presented the seventh report regarding the situation in Libya to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, 13 May 2014. Bensouda described the deteriorating security condition in Libya, the worrisome murders and torture committed in illegal detention centers and the country’s failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice. Bensouda urged the Libyan government to comply with international law, which includes surrendering to the Court Saif Al-Islam, the son of Muammar Gaddafi, the late Libyan dictator. (For more information on this topic, please click here) (ICC, UN News Centre).
UN Secretary General advocates tribunal for S. Sudan war crimes: Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, considers the human rights abuses committed in South Sudan to amount to crimes against humanity and has voiced support for a special war crimes tribunal. The Secretary General cited a UN report released last week documenting widespread ethnic attacks and killings and the displacement of millions of people since the conflict erupted in the country in December 2013. (Aljazeera).
UN Observer at Gaddafi trial held in Tripoli; suspected of “occult practices”: One member of the UN team monitoring the trial against Muammar Gaddafi’s sons was detained for possible “black magic.” It has been reported, Ahmed Ghanem was temporarily held at the maximum security prison in Tripoli this weekend after police found written material suggesting “sorcery” and “occult practices.” As a UN official, Ghanem enjoys immunity. (The Guardian).
UN considers impact of Lethal Autonomous Weapons on humanitarian and military interests: A four day convention focusing on the technological developments, the ethical considerations and the implication of international law from the deployment of lethal autonomous weapons began this week in Geneva. At the opening session, Acting Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva Michael Moller urged delegates to take bold action in banning or restricting autonomous weapons that cause unjustified and disproportionally high civilian damage. (UN News Centre).
Prosecutor Bensouda reconsidering alleged British war crimes in Iraq: ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that the office is re-opening the “preliminary examination” of alleged war crimes by United Kingdom armed forces in Iraq from 2003 to 2008. Bensouda explained that the office received new information in January 2014 and will now consider “issues of jurisdiction, admissibility and the interest of justice.” The outcome of the preliminary examination will decide whether the Prosecutor initiates an investigation. (For more information on this topic, please click here) (ICC, Deutsche Welle).
Mladic Defense Case to start 19 May: Ratko Mladic is the former Commander of the Bosnian Serb Army Main Staff and stands accused of genocide and a number of other crimes against Bosnian Muslim. His defence case was scheduled to start May 13 but technical glitches hindered the readiness of his lawyers. Mladic is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 19 at 9:30 a.m. in courtroom 1. (For addition information on this topic, please click here.) (ICTY, IWPR).
Gaddafi Trial resumes in Tripoli; defendant remains in Zintan: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Senussi appeared via videolink at a court in Tripoli where each face a myrian of charges resulting from their allefged role in suppressing the 2011 uprising. Both remain in Zintan and remain wanted by the ICC.
ICT-Bangladesh Prosecutor pursues genocide charges against former Jatiya Party Leader: Former Jatiya Party MP Abdul Jabbar has been charged with five types of crimes against humanity during Bangladesh’s Liberation War. Formal charges were submitted to the tribunal’s registrar AKM Nasiruddin Mahmud on Sunday. It is suspected that Jabbar is currently living in the US.
UN Report suggests knowledge of Kony whereabouts: The UN Security Council is set to discuss a report that may narrow the hunt for Joseph Kony. Kony is wanted for crimes against humanity and has been successful in evading arrest. An expansive task force is currently searching a vast area in central Africa for his whereabouts.