Archive for category Uncategorized
Hissene Habre Trial to begin July 20: The Extraordinary African Chambers in the courts of Senegal has announced that the trial of the former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre is set to begin July 20, 2015. Habre’s trial will be the first in which the courts of one country prosecute the former ruler of another for alleged human rights crimes. (HRW)
Rebel forces committing “systematic” crimes in DRC, UN Report says: A United Nations human rights report released today says that a Uganda-based rebel group has committed grave violations of international humanitarian law in the fractured north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The report alleges that the ADF has attacked 35 villages and killed at least 237 civilians. A call has been made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to redouble efforts to hold the ones responsible the atrocities accountable. (UN News)
UN Representative meets with ICC judges on sexual violence in conflict: The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict met with ICC judges to discuss ideas aimed at ending impunity for mass crimes for social and gender-based violence. The round table discussion reaffirms the ICC’s commitment to working together with the United Nations and other relevant actors toward that end. (ICC)
Ngudjolo faces immigration challenge after acquittal at ICC: Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui is being held in custody in the Netherlands pending deportation after his 2012 acquittal of war crimes and crimes against humanity was confirmed by the ICC. The former militia leader does not have a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands but fears being deported back to Congo for safety reasons. Ngudjolo’s defence have filed motions seeking asylum and also intend to appeal his detention and deportation. (ICC Observer).
Rwandan court upholds conviction of former justice minister for role in genocide: On 27 February 2015, Rwanda’s former justice minister’s sentence of life imprisonment for “being an accomplice to carry out . . . genocide” was upheld by the country’s high court. Agnes Ntamabyariro was convicted six years ago for crimes committed during the 1994 conflict in Rwanda in which 800,000 were killed. Lawyers for Ntamabyariro said the former justice minister may appeal the confirmation due to the severity of the punishment. (News 24).
US Government makes move to deport 150 Bosnian immigrants on war crimes allegations: U.S. immigration officials have identified some 300 Bosnian immigrants living in the United States believed to have been involved in war crimes and “ethnic cleansing” during the 1990s conflict in the former Yugoslavia. It is being reported that at least 150 of those identified, many of them former Bosnian soldiers, may be deported. Kathleen O’Connor, a human rights prosecutor at the Justice Department urged witnesses to come forward regarding war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and stressed that “justice can be served in the United States despite the fact that many years have gone by and that the conduct occurred overseas.” (New York Times).
Rwandan investigators urge action against BBC for program questioning genocide: Rwandan investigators are urging the government to ban BBC radio programs questioning the 1994 genocide from the country’s airwaves. Former top Rwandan prosecutor Martin Ngoga found the BBC “abused press freedom and free speech, violated its own editorial guidelines (and) transgressed journalistic standards.” The BBC has denied the accusations and said it had no intentions of “downplay[ing] or conceal[ing] the horrifying events of 1994.” (Malay Mail).
Bensouda urges Kony to surrender for trial at ICC: ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda urged Joseph Kony, a rebel chief of the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army, to surrender to the Court and stand trial. Bensouda vowed the rebel chief would receive a fair, independent and impartial trial. The Lord’s Resistance Army is accused of killing some 100,000 people in a conflict in northern Uganda nearly three decades ago. (Standard Digital).
Preparation made for a Special Court on Kosovo: Kosovo is preparing for the creation of a Special Court to prosecute killings and organ trafficking during the conflict in Kosovo; said Prime Minister Isa Mustafa on Monday, 2 March 2015. Specifically, the court will look at crimes by the former Kosovo Liberation Army against Serbs. Prime Minister Mustafa said experts were working to “harmonise the legislation related to the Special Court, the court’s statute and amendments to the Constitution that are required for the laws and statute to be adopted.” (InSerbia).
ICT Bangladesh sentences former Jamaat leader to death: Abdus Subhan is now the ninth leader from the Jamaat-e-Islami party to be convicted by the tribunal for war crimes. Subhan has been sentenced to death for the killing of 400 villagers in Northern Bangladesh during the 1971 Bangladesh war for independence.
Amnesty concerned about ongoing abuse in Ukraine: Evidence has surfaced showing pro-Russian separatists allegedly subjecting detained Ukrainian soldiers to various kinds of abuse. Such abuse would be considered a war crime. Amnesty International is in the process of documenting additional accounts of misconduct by both sides of the conflict and urges both parties to treat detainees humanely.
France to re-examine case of former Argentine officer accused of war crimes: Mario Sandoval is an Argentinian ex-police officer accused of committing crimes against humanity during the country’s “dirty war.” Argentina has been asking for his extradition since 2012. France’s highest court struck down a decision to pursue the extradition, however, Argentinian officials are hopeful the extradition may still occur.
Sri Lanka requests delay on UN war crimes report: Sri Lankan officials have asked the UN for a delay in the releasing of the report investigating the atrocities of the war between the Tamil Tigers and government forces. A delay in the report’s release until August should give enough time for internal mechanisms to be established. UN officials said the timetable for the report’s release has not been changed as of it. (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (BBC, Reuters)
UN Libya Mission concerned over deteriorating political, human rights situation: The UN has released a report lamenting the conditions in Libya. The report highlights the vulnerable situation of migrants in Libya as well as those behind bars with no foreseeable way to challenge their incarceration. There is hope that once the State institutions are strong enough, Libya will stabilize and the fact finding and reconciliation commission will be able to operate more effectively. (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (UN, Jurist)
HRW Report details mass Sudan rapes last October: According to HRW, Sudanese army forces raped more than 200 women and girls in an organized attack on the north Darfur town of Tabit in October 2014. The UN and AU have been urged to take aggressive steps to stop any further abuses from occurring. HRW has also urged the ICC to further investigate Darfur and push for more involvement. (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (HRW, Reuters)
ECOWAS Court highlights importance of regional human rights mechanism: The President of West Africa’s Community Court has called on the community and the ECOWAS Commission for the development of an instrument that will ensure the human rights of the 300 million citizens of West Africa. The new ECOWAS Court President has also called for more enforcement in regards to the court’s authority in order to strengthen its presence. (All Africa)
Chui Acquittal Appeal Decision Expected 24 February: Former leader of National Integrationist Front, Mathieu Ngudjolo, was originally charged with various counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes on 18 December 2012. On 21 December 2012, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui was released from custody. On 20 December 2012, the Office of the Prosecutor appealed the verdict. The Appeals Chamber of the ICC will deliver its verdict in regards to the appeal on the 24 February 2015. (ICC).
Libya Parliament Cancels Political Isolation Law: Libyan parliament members passed a law in 2013 blacking Gaddafi-era officials from taking part in politics. However, this law was passed amid extraneous pressures being applied to law makers in Tripoli by armed groups. The parliament has effectively revoked the law but concerns over whether the Tobruk-based legislature will accept its revocation remain at the forefront. (BBC).
UN Urges Kosovo to Establish Special Court for War Crimes: Secretary General Ban Ki-moon lauded the work of the United Nations Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo, but remains persistent in his desire establish a special court to try cases arising from the findings of the European Union Special Investigative Task Force. (b92).
UN Human Rights Council Names New Head of Gaza Inquiry: The United Nations Human Rights Council has formed an inquiry to investigate the possible occurrence of war crimes which took place during the summer’s Gaza conflict. The former chairman, William Schabas, resigned among accusations of bias. He has been replaced with Mary McGowan Davis, a former justice of the New York Supreme Court. (NYTimes).
New Sri Lanka President sends delegate to UN to discuss war crimes investigation: A political change in Sri Lankan politics has opened the doors to UN influence. The newly formed government is planning to investigate accusations of human rights of abuses which allegedly took place amid its civil war. Government officials plan to begin the investigation at a local level before making the decision to bring in foreign experts. (Reuters).
Rights groups call for investigations into killings, war crimes in Libya: Amnesty International has called on the UN to implement sanctions and conduct investigations in response to the possible commission of war crimes in Libya. The UN is currently negotiating with some of Libya’s factions in order to form a unity government in hopes of returning stability back to the nation. (Reuters).
LRA Commander appears at ICC; Uganda unlikely to challenge admissibility: Dominic Ongwen has come before the ICC charged with seven counts of crimes against humanity. As a former member of the LRA, Ongwen was alledgedly involved in various accounts of murder and enslavement. Though a fierce critic of the ICC, Uganda does not plan to challenge the admissibility of the case being heard at the ICC because the LRA has become a regional problem. (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (BBC, Bloomberg)
ICTY transfers documents in first phases of transition to court residual mechanism: The ICTY has transferred its records pertaining to the cases of Duško Tadić, Sefer Halilović and to the contempt of court case against Milan Vujin to the MICT. The MICT was established in 2010 and tasked with the responsibility of preserving the legacy of the ICTY and the Rwanda Tribunal. (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (ICTY, The Hague)
ECCC Chambers orders Defence to appear November 17: Defence teams currently boycotting hearings in Case 002/02 have been ordered to appear November 17 before the ECCC. Accordingly, both teams have been threatened with counsel substitution if the boycott continues. The defence teams argue that more time for trial preparation is needed but such arguments have been largely brushed aside by the ECCC. (Phnom Penh Post).
STL Judge postpones contempt hearing for news editor al-Khayyat: Khayyat and its parent company have been accused of contempt and obstruction of justice in connection with the disclosure of personal details of secret witnesses in the Hariri case. A delay in the hearing has come in response to a request from the defense sufficient time to investigate. Once trial begins, both sides expect a speedy conclusion. (Daily Star).
ICC President appeals for widespread adoption of Rome Statute: On 30 October 2014, Judge Sang-Hyun Song in his capacity as President of the ICC plead his case for the adoption of the Rome Statute by States while in front of the UN General Assembly. Judge Song highlighted the similarities shared between the ICC and the UN. (The Hague).