Archive for category UN Security Council
ICC rejects Gbagbo application for provisional release: The request by former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo for provisional release was denied by the ICC on Wednesday, 29 October 2014. Gbagbo, who faces charges of crimes against humanity, had asked the Court to be briefly released in order to attend his mother’s funeral. ICC judges in a written ruling found they could not grant the request “when doing so runs such a risk of endangering the population in Cote d’Ivoire, Court staff and Mr. Gbagbo himself.” (ABC News).
UN HR Committee urges Israel to investigate crimes committed against Gaza: In a report released Thursday, 30 October 2014, the U.N. Human Rights Committee urged the Israeli government to “thoroughly, effectively, independently and impartially” investigate crimes committed in the Gaza Strip. The report further requested Israel to uphold the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and ensure those most responsible for the alleged violations are prosecuted and sanctioned. The latest Israel-Palestine conflict this year lasted 51 days and claimed more than 2,100 lives. (JURIST).
Amnesty says war crimes committed by Libyan militia: Amnesty International posted satellite images on its website this Thursday, 30 October 2014, indicating that fighters from both sides of the conflict in Libya have committed war crimes. Amnesty International also posted a statement finding that “[a]rmed groups have possibly summarily killed, tortured or ill-treated detainees in their custody and are targeting civilians based on their origins or perceived political allegiances.” The conflict in Libya was triggered in August after armed forces from the western city of Misrata seized Tripoli. (Reuters).
UN experts calls on UN GA to refer N. Korea to ICC: U.N. human rights expert Marzuki Darusman addressed a committee of the General Assembly on 28 October 2014. Darusman urged the committee dealing with human rights issues to refer the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the ICC for alleged crimes against humanity. Darusman was a member of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the DPRK which released a 400-page report in February concerning the situation in the country. (UN News Centre).
Cases investigated for Syrian war crimes: The Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) is preparing cases against three Syrian government officials allegedly responsible for serious violations of international law. CIJA leader William Wiley says the group has reviewed over 500,000 pages of documents and information gathered from defectors and prisoners in Syria. Where the cases would be heard, however, remains unknown. Courts in Syria have been unwilling to hear the evidence against the government officials and an ICC referral has been prevented by Russian and Chinese veto power at the U.N. (Reuters).
Korea may allow UN visit in exchange for dropping push for referral: Special U.N. human rights investigator Marzuki Darusman told reporters this week that diplomats from North Korea have granted his request to visit the country. The visit is supposedly conditioned on the deletion of two provision of the General Assembly resolution urging the Security Council to refer North Korea to the ICC. The provisions concern the recommendation that the ICC prosecute human rights abuses in the country and the warning that the Court prosecute North Korea’s leader for crimes against humanity. Darusman is a member of the panel that issued the U.N. report earlier this year drawing attention to reports of alleged human rights abuses in North Korea. (The New York Times).
ICT of Bangladesh sentences Nizami to death: Jamaat-e-Islami leader Motiur Rahman Nizama was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh. Specifically, Nizama was found guilty of orchestrating the killing of scholars during the 1971 Liberation War. Security was heightened throughout Bangladesh’s major cities before the judgment, which had been postponed from June of this year, as similar verdicts against Nizami’s senior lieutenants caused severe unrest and political violence. (The Guardian).
Bensouda emphasises role of justice in peace and security at UNSC meeting: ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda briefed the U.N. Security Council in New York on Thursday, 23 October 2014. Bensouda discussed the importance to the ICC and the U.N. Security Council of preserving the rights of civilians during conflicts and protecting peacekeeping missions. Bensouda also stressed the continued need for coordination and cooperation between all parties, including States Parties, in regards to U.N. Security Council referrals and resolutions. Bensouda noted that “[t]he Council assumes a crucial role in the emerging system of international criminal justice and must embrace this role with all the opportunities for constructive engagement that it provides.” (ICC).
Netherlands rejects Syrian asylum seekers suspected of war crimes: It has been reported at least five Syrian asylum seekers suspected of involvement in war crimes have been denied refugee status in the Netherlands. Some fifteen more asylum seekers from Syria are supposedly still under investigation. Netherlands stopped deporting those suspected of war crimes back to Syria in 2011 for security concerns. (Dutch News.nl).
Bensouda attends Darfur Women’s Symposium in DC: ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda participated in the American-based Women’s Action Group symposium titled “Women and Genocide in the 21st Century: The Case of Darfur” this past weekend in Washington D.C. Bensouda stressed that the ICC will continue to cooperate with Darfur and work toward the arrest of President Omar Al Bashir. Bensouda further urged all States Parties to the ICC to fulfill their obligations and hand Al Bashir over to the Court. The symposium focused on the alleged genocide in Darfur and the need to protect women. (allAfrica).
ICT of Bangladesh accused dies in prison waiting for appeal: Former chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party, Ghulam Azam, died of a heart attack on Thursday night in a prison cell. Azam was found guilty over a year ago by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh for crimes against humanity and war crimes during the 1971 war of independence against Pakistan. He was sentenced for 90 years in prison for conspiracy, planning, incitement, complicity, and murder. Azam’s death occurs a day after the Supreme Court scheduled appeal proceedings concerning his sentencing for 2 December 2014. (The Guardian, Business Standard) (For additional information on this topic, please click here).
Kenyan Government approaches ASP over violations of the Rome Statute: Kenya has sought out the Assembly of State Parties to explore its concerns of ICC conduct in relation to the situations in Kenya. Kenya sent a letter to the ASP on 16 October 2014 to explore these concerns in depth at the upcoming meeting in New York. It is currently unclear the exact requests made by the Kenyan government however the letter requested ‘immediate remedial solution’ to the trials involving Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto. (allAfrica)
UN investigators asks China to support referral of N. Korea crimes to ICC: Head of the UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea, Michael Kirby, has asked China to support the referral of Pyongyang’s actions to the ICC on suspicion of crimes against humanity. Western diplomats have speculated that China will use its veto power on the UN Security Council to vote against North Korea’s referral. However, Kirby stated on Wednesday 22 October 2014 that this result should not be assumed as China has only ten vetoes against resolutions in the council. North Korea’s crimes will soon be discussed in the U.N. General Assembly’s Third Committee, which can put political pressure on countries targeted by its resolution. (Reuters)
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).
HRW issues report on South Sudan crimes: According to HRW, extraordinary acts of cruelty that amount to war crimes in South Sudan have been committed since fighting began in December of 2013. Government and opposition forces have been called upon by HRW to end the cycle of violence against civilians immediately. There are hopes that the UN Security Council will impose an arms embargo to limit the number of weapons coming into the war torn country. (HRW).
Argentina submits ICJ application against U.S.: The Argentinean government has asked the ICJ to take action against the US over an alleged breach of its sovereignty as it defaulted on its debt. However, no action will occur “unless and until” the US accepts the court’s jurisdiction. (The Guardian).
KRT tribunal convicts and sentences two to life appeals anticipated: Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan have been sentenced to life in prison for committing crimes against humanity related to their role in the country’s 1970 terror. The two men were high ranking officials in the Khmer Rouge government during the “killing Fields” era from 1975-1979. (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (Aljazeera, UN News).
UN Leaders concerned over recent violence in Iraq: Irina Bokova, a senior UN official, has called for an immediate stop to what she has termed as an “emerging cultural cleansing.” Civilians are currently under attack by ISIL and many remain stranded with limited access to humanitarian aid. More than 200,000 people are believed to have made their way to Dahuk governorate in the Kurdistan region, looking for assistance.
Banda Case scheduled to begin 18 November: Trial Chamber IV of the ICC scheduled the opening of the trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain on 18 November 2014. Banda faces three charges of war crimes allegedly committed in Darfur, Sudan. (ICC).
ICC judges reject appeal for interim release in Bemba Trial: On 11 July 2014, the Appeals Chamber of the ICC read a summary of the judgments explaining why, after a thorough examination, it was decided to dismiss the appeal related to the rejection of interim release of Bemba. The dismissal was decided by was of a five judge majority. The two dissenting judges concluded that the matter should be remanded to the Pre-Trial Chamber for a new decision on the each of the suspect5s’ requests for interim release.
Seselj requests court compensation for lengthy detention: Former deputy prime minister of Serbia, Vojislav Seselj, has been in custody since he voluntarily turned himself over to authorities in 2003. Seselj’s trial began in 2006 and he is still awaiting a verdict. He has recently demanded 12 million euros as compensation for what he is calling an unlawful deprivation of his liberty as a result of his nearly decade long detention. (Irish Times).
Security Council, Secretary General call for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire: The UN Security Council called for a cease fire between the Israelis and Palestinians on 12 July 2014. The Security Council would like to see an immediate de-escalation of the current violence and for both parties to respect international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians. (For additional information on this topic, please click here). (UN News).
UN Rapporteur condemns ongoing violence against women in Honduras: An independent UN human rights expert has called on the Government of Honduras to address the ongoing violence currently affecting a large population of Honduran women. Honduras is currently in a state of transition and violence against women is on the rise. Such a combination has lead to a lack of resources for victims and a incident underreporting. The report created by the UN expert will be presented to the Council in June 2015. (UN News).
ICC allows Kenyan Human Rights Commission Report on 2007-08 violence: The KNCHR is a controversial document which contains information related to the 2007-08 post-election violence. The report was introduced by Prosecutor Anton Steynberg and tabled at the Waki commission. Transcripts that were used in the preparation of the report were also admitted. (All Africa).
Ruto / Sang trial adjourns to July for final witness: On Tuesday, 24 June 2014, the ICC trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang was adjourned due to the health of a prosecution witness. When the Court resumes in July, the prosecution may present additional witnesses depending on an Appeals Chamber decision. The prosecution sought the compelled testimony of eight witnesses who have refused to testify. (All Africa).
ICTY asks Netherlands and Serbia to comment on possible provisional release of Seselj: The Netherlands, as the host country of the ICTY, and the Serbian government have seven days to comment on guarantees for a possible provisional release of former Serbian leader Vojislav Seselj. Specifically, Serbia must guarantee the former leader will be escorted by authorities at all times, including to his place of provisional release, upon his return to the Netherlands and for any movements for medical reasons. The Serbian government must also ensure Seselj is placed under house arrest and does not contact or influence victims or witnesses. Lastly, Serbia must guarantee that the government can immediately arrest Seselj in the event he violates any of the conditions of provisional release. (InSerbia).
HRW calls for investigation into misreporting of human rights in Sudan by AU / UN: Human Rights Watch has urged the U.N. Security Council to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into alleged cover-ups and inaccurate reporting by African Union / U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur. The call by Human Rights Watch comes two months after a report was published alleging peacekeepers failed to accurately report on the bombing of populated areas and the attacking of villages by the Sudanese government. While noting the dangerous situation peacekeepers face and the pressure from the government, a representative from Human Rights Watch nonetheless finds the accusations “devastating.” (Human Rights Watch).