Archive for category UN Human Rights Council

25 August 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

Citing UN report, Commissioner Pillay highlights continuing crimes in Syria: Commissioner Pillay has voiced frustration about the continuation of violence, which is ongoing in civil war. It is estimated that 191,000 have died as a result of the conflict.   Pilly calls for the international community to awake from its paralysis so as to contribute to an end to fighting.   For additional information on this topic, please click here.)  (Reuters, Guardian).

ICT of Bangladesh anticipates Qaisar verdict:  The verdict on the war crimes accused former state minister of Jatiya Party Syed Mihammad Qausar is expected any day. Qaisar was indicted on February 2 on 16 charges of crimes against humanity, which he had alledgedly committed in Habiganj and Brahmanbaria during the 1971 Liberation War. (Dhaka Trib).

Sri Lanka refuses entry to UN Investigators: The Sri Lankan government has decided not to grant visas to UN investigators tasked with probing for evidence in connection with war crimes committed during the country’s decade long separatist conflict. The UNHRC estimates that as many as 40,000 civilians may have been killed during the final months of the conflict. The Sri Lankan government believes the investigation will fail to be impartial.  For additional information on this topic, please click here.)  (Yahho, IBtimes).

UN Commissioner warns of crimes against humanity in Iraq: The UN human rights chief has affirmed the condemnation of the war crimes being committed in Iraq by the group ISIL. There are reports of murder, kidnapping, ethnic cleansing and slavery. Such atrocities are likely to amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Commissioner Pillay urges the international community to ensure that the perpetrators do not escape with impunity. (UN News).

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2014 August 18 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

North Korea to release war crimes report in response to international reports: North Korea has announced its commitment to put forth an “all-inclusive” report detailing the human rights performance of the regime. The investigation into alleged human rights abuses will be performed by the state-run DPRK. (DW).

Sri Lanka responds to allegations of war crimes: Sri Lankan officials have accused Navi Pillay of showing a lack of objectivity when dealing with alleged war crimes. The ministry goes on to accuse MS. Pillay of exaggerating claims and having an agenda set to influence the investigation. Ms. Pillay’s spokeswoman responded to these allegations by encouraging the ministry to engage with the investigation. (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (ABC, Reuters).

Hostages taken on August 10 released in Nigeria: Chadian troops have managed to rescue 85 people kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists from communities in Nigeria. An official stated that 65 men and 22 women had been rescued but more than 30 are still thought be held by the extremists. (DW)

International monitors expect DRC Trial will show local capacity for justice:  The case against Lt. Col. Bedi Mobuli Egangela is set to begin this Monday. It is speculated that this will be a very symbolic case for the Congolese. Such a case will also test the stamina of the local population for pursuing charges against alleged war criminals. (BBC).

 UN reports ongoing violence against women and children in Iraq:  High ranking UN officials have called for the immediate protection of civilians against the possibility of sexual crimes.   It is suspected that some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons have been forced into sexual slavery. WHO has made numerous attempts to being aid to the most devastated areas but the lack of airline travel and continuous influx of refugees has made it difficult to effectively treat the humanitarian crisis. (UN News).

 

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28 July 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

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).

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30 June 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC Judge departs for health reasons:  Judge Hans-Peter Kaul has resigned from the ICC for health reasons.  Judge Kaul served as an ICC Judge for 11 years and was fundamental in the development of the ICC.  His resignation will take effect on 1 July 2014.  (ICC).

Prosecution and Defence in Katanga Trial abandon appeals:  The decision in The Prosecutor v. Germain Katagna.  The judgment is not final.  The decision made by the Defence for Germain Katanga and the Office of the Prosecutor to discontinue their appeals against the judgment of Trial Chamber II of the ICC on 25 June 2014.  (ICC).

UN Human Rights Office alarmed by Venezuela violence:  Continued reports of human rights violations reportedly taking place in Venezuela is of concern to the UN.  National human rights organizations estimate that more that 3,120 people were detained between February and May 2014.  The High Commissioner has called for Venezuelan authorities to respect the rights of those citizen involved in peaceful demonstrations.  The High Commissioner has also renewed his calls on the Government of Venezuela to accept all visit requests by UN experts.  (UN News).

HRW implores ICC to investigate crimes in CAR:  The CAR interim president, Catherine Samba-Panza, formally asked the ICC prosecutor to open an investigation, acknowledging that Central African courts are not in a position to carry out necessary investigations.  The CAR has been in a state of acute crisis since 2013.  It is expected that the ICC prosecutor will accept the request.  (UN News).

ICTR affirms sentence against Bizimungu:  The ICTR unanimously affirmed the 30-year prison sentence for former army chief Augustin Bizimungu for his role in the 1994 genocide during which he called for the murder of minority Tutsis.  (Yahoo News).

 

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9 April 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

UN human rights chief: Atrocities committed by Syrian regime “far outweigh” rebel actions: On Tuesday, 8 April 2014, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay briefed the U.N. Security Council on the human rights abuses committed in Syria. Pillay urged the deadlocked Security Council to refer to the ICC both the Syrian government and the opposition groups, but noted “the actions of the forces of the government—killings, cruelty, persons in detention, disappearances—far outweigh” those of the rebels. Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari dismissed Pillay’s comments as biased and claimed the High Commissioner had ignored numerous letters he sent documenting abuse by the opposition. (CBC News).

Atrocities in Rakhine State may amount to crimes against humanity: The latest attacks on aid groups in western Myanmar has caused severe shortages of water, food and medical supplies for Rohingya Muslims. Since last month, over 170 humanitarian aid workers were pulled from the Rakhine State, leaving some 700,000 people vulnerable. U.N. envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana said the recent attacks, coupled with the “long history of discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya community . . . could amount to crimes against humanity.” (Arab News).

UN investigator examines N. Korea abductions of Japanese citizens: Marzuki Darusman met with Japanese officials this week concerning the 1970s and 1980s abductions of Japanese citizens in North Korea. Darusman, a member of the U.N. commission that reported in February on North Korea’s crimes against humanity, recognized Japan’s assistance in preparing the report and discussed the next steps in the investigation. The U.N. report received favorable support by the Human Rights Council in March 2014 and is expected to be presented at the 17 April 2014, U.N. Security Council meeting. (Global Post).

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2 April 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC: Kenyatta trial postponed until 7 October: The ICC trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta has been postponed providing the Kenyan government additional time to disclose documents sought by the prosecution. The request by the President to terminate proceedings and the request by the prosecution to postpone the trial indefinitely were both denied by the Court. The postponement is the second for Kenyatta’s trial which is expected to resume 7 October 2014. (Voice of America).

ICC witness: Dogs and pigs fed on bodies of fallen during post-election violence in Kenya: On Monday, 31 March 2014, a prosecution witness in the ICC case against Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang testified to events after the 2007 presidential election in Kenya. The witness said tired police officers failed to collect bodies killed during the violence that were then fed on by dogs and pigs. The witness also testified that members of the Kalenjin ethnic group identified, attacked and torched the homes of Kikuyus. (All Africa).

ICJ orders temporary stay on Japan’s Antarctic whaling program: The ICJ ruled on Monday, 31 March 2014, that Japan’s “killing, taking and treating of whales” in the Antarctic was not “for the purposes of scientific research”. The Court found that Japan’s program, which was designed to study the effects of commercial whaling on the species existence, hunted too large a number of whales and failed to consider non-lethal methods. The Court ordered a temporary stay until the country could redesign it’s whaling program to be more scientific rather than commercial. (The China Post).

Rights group warn of Sri Lanka backlash in wake of UNHRC resolution: The recently passed U.N. Human Rights Council resolution calling for an independent investigation into alleged abuses committed in Sri Lanka is likely to incite backlash against human rights activists; said groups such as Amnesty International and Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice. The rights groups fear Sri Lanka will respond to the U.N. resolution with intimidation and suppression towards those who disagree or challenge the government, citing as an example the arrests of two human rights activists last month in the country. Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa has publicly rejected the U.N. resolution and said it will deter national reconciliation. (CNN World).

Norway pledges $1 million to Khmer Rouge tribunal: The international side of the ECCC received a $1 million pledge from Norway on Tuesday, 1 April 2014. The Court welcomed the pledge and hopes it encourages other donations, particularly to the Cambodian side which is facing extreme shortages of funds for national salaries. The ECCC budget approved last month estimates the cash-strapped Court needs over $60 million to continue operations. (Voice of America).

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26 March 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

South Korea joins Japan and EU on draft resolution on North Korea human rights situation: On Sunday, 23 March 2014, South Korea, Japan and the European Union presented a draft resolution to the U.N. Human Rights Council concerning the alleged human rights abuses in North Korea. The draft resolution urged the U.N. to refer the “systematic, widespread and grave violations” of human rights to an “appropriate” international judicial body. Additionally, the resolution contained recommendations by a U.N. commission established in March 2013 to officially investigate for one year North Korea’s violations of international law. It is expected that the resolution will be voted on by the 47 states making up the U.N. Human Rights Council this week. (Yonhap News Agency).

African rights court hears first freedom of expression case: The first freedom of expression case commenced in the African Court on Human and People’s Rights on Thursday, 20 March 2014. The case came before the African rights court after journalist Lohé Issa Konate was convicted in Burkina Faso of, among other things, defamation and public insult for alleging in his newspaper the State Prosecutor was corrupt. Konate was sentenced to one year imprisonment, a hefty fine and publication of his newspaper was suspended for six months. Amici submissions in the African rights court case argue Konate was denied his right to freedom of expression and his punishment was disproportionate to the crime. A judgment is expected June 2014. (Southern Africa Litigation Centre).

UN report notes Syria’s non-compliance with resolution to permit free access to humanitarian aid: The U.N. released a 13-page report on Monday, 24 March 2014, detailing the Syrian government’s failure to comply with a February 2014 resolution authorizing free access to humanitarian aid. The report, delivered to the U.N. Security Council, described a “worsening” security situation in Syria and requested “an immediate end to violence and a negotiated political solution to the conflict.” The report estimates that 200 people are dying per day in the country and over 3.5 million are in need of humanitarian aid. (Ammon News).

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