Historic Ceasefire Between Colombia and Farc

By Cintia Garcia

Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BOGOTA, Colombia— A historical bilateral ceasefire was signed on Thursday June 25th between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) and the Colombian state. After 52 years of fighting both parties have agreed to put down their arms—a step closer to final peace accords.

Colombians in Bogota celebrate the end of war. (Photo Courtesy of BBC)

According to BBC, Farc leader Rodrigo Londono proclaimed, “let this be the last day of the war.” Although Farc previously committed to a unilateral ceasefire a year ago and the government has ceased its actions against Farc, this ceasefire officially puts an end to civil war.  At the signing on Thursday both parties agreed that FARC will put its arms down within 180 days of the final peace agreements, transition programs will be in place for the 7,000 FARC members which includes 23 temporary zones and 8 camps, civilians will not be allowed to enter FARC camps, and the United Nations will monitor and receive the weapons.

Although the details of the ceasefire implementation need to be approved, the signing on Thursday in Havana, Cuba is one step closer to closing a bloody chapter in Colombian history. Approximately 220,00 people were killed due to the conflict and millions have been displaced as a result. The civil war is one of the longest wars in history. Many Colombians poured out to the capital in Colombia to see this historic day as a nation. For many like Graciela Pataquiva, a retired school teacher has never seen peace, “I’m 76 and have lived this war all my life—I never thought the time would come when these characters would sign peace.”

FARC is the largest most powerful non-military organization in the western hemisphere. The organization was created in 1964 by farm workers and land workers against socio-economic inequalities, which the state responded against. FARC has had an estimated 20,000 fighters including children soldiers. Over the past few years FARC has lost funding, reduced in numbers, and lost key leaders which made this a pinnacle time to reach peace agreements.

For more information, please see:

BBC – Who Are the FARC? – 23 June 2016

NPR – Farc Reberls, Colombian Government Sign Cease-Fire Deal – 23 June 2016

REUTERS – Tears of joy as Rebels Sign Ceasefire With Colombian Government – 23 June 2016

BBC – Colombia Farc: Celebrations After Ceasefire Ends Five Decades of War – 24 June 2016

The Economist – Peace, at Last, in Colombia – 25 June 2016




PILPG: War Crimes Prosecution Watch Volume 11, Issue 8 – June 27, 2016

Case School of Law Logo


Michael P. Scharf

War Crimes Prosecution Watch

Volume 11 – Issue 8
June 27, 2016


Kevin J. Vogel

Technical Editor-in-Chief
Jeradon Z. Mura

Managing Editors
Dustin Narcisse
Victoria Sarant

War Crimes Prosecution Watch is a bi-weekly e-newsletter that compiles official documents and articles from major news sources detailing and analyzing salient issues pertaining to the investigation and prosecution of war crimes throughout the world. To subscribe, please email warcrimeswatch@pilpg.org and type “subscribe” in the subject line.

Opinions expressed in the articles herein represent the views of their authors and are not necessarily those of the War Crimes Prosecution Watch staff, the Case Western Reserve University School of Law or Public International Law & Policy Group.


Central African Republic

Sudan & South Sudan

Democratic Republic of the Congo


Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Lake Chad Region — Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon





Rwanda (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda)




Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina, War Crimes Chamber

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Domestic Prosecutions In The Former Yugoslavia


Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia



Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal

War Crimes Investigations in Burma


North & Central America

South America


Truth and Reconciliation Commission



Gender-Based Violence

Commentary and Perspectives

The Killing of no Less than 12,679 due to Torture, 99% of them at the Hands of the Syrian Regime Forces

SNHR has published its annual report on torture practices inside detention centers and the victims of torture toll. The report was published on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture entitled: “The Rest of detainees must be Rescued”
The report methodology is based on SNHR archive that have been built through ongoing and daily monitoring and documenting since 2011. All statistics and numbers are recorded with names, pictures, place and date of death or detention and other details. In light of the exceptional difficulties and the huge magnitude of violations, this report only contains the minimum of the violations that we were able to document. Also, the report contains eight accounts of survivors of torture from the various conflict parties.
The report notes that the toll of victims of torture who died between March 2011 and June 2016 is 12,679 individuals at least including 163 children and 53 women; among them were 12,569 individuals killed by government forces including 160 children and 38 women. The report also recorded that 18 individuals were killed by the self-management forces including one child and one woman while 29 individuals were killed by ISIS including one child and 13 women. Additionally, 15 individuals were killed by Al-Nussra Front and 19 were killed by armed opposition factions including one child and one woman. The repost also recorded the death of two individuals due to torture by unidentified groups.
The report holds the Syrian regime responsible for 99% of the victims who died due to torture inside detention centers.

Read the entire Report here:


Brexit’s Impact on Immigration into Britain

By Sarah Lafen

Impunity Watch Desk Reporter, Europe

LONDON, England — Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) is likely to signal a massive influx of immigration into the country from other European Nations as well as from countries around the world.  Negotiations regarding Brexit are expected to take at least two years.

Leave campaign supporters cheer on the Brexit decision on Friday (Photo Courtesy of NBC News)

Until those negotiations are final and Britain formally withdraws from the EU, Britain is obligated to continue to grant access to any EU citizen who wishes to enter the country.  An estimated 500,000 Eastern Europeans are predicted to migrate into Britain within the next two years, before Britain’s borders close.  Chris Grayling, a senior minister on the Leave side of the government, predicts Britain will take some action to restrict a huge influx of migrants prior to Britain’s official withdrawal if necessary, however states that doing so would break EU rules of free movement between the countries.

Trade between Britain and EU countries will play a major role in the maintenance, decrease, or increase of immigration into Britain post-Brexit.  If Britain chooses to maintain free trade with the EU, they can remain in the European Economic Area (EEA).  By remaining in the EEA, Britain would have to keep free movement of labor, which would have little effect on the country’s economic and immigration levels.  If Britain chooses to leave the EEA, other EU nations might feel “scorned” by Britain’s departure, and could demand the imposition of certain immigration policies in return for free trade with Britain.  Britain may choose not to remain in the EEA, however, since one of the platforms of the Leave campaign includes the goal of regaining control over immigration into the country.  The Leave campaign maintains their stance on immigration control despite research which has shown that immigration into Britain has helped bolster the country’s economy.

Some predict that Britain will pursue a more selective immigration process once their exit from the EU is complete.  Such a system might mirror that which is currently used in Canada and Australia – a point-based system which invites skilled migration into the country.  This system puts a cap on how many people are admitted into the country per profession.  Britain currently uses a point system to grant visas to non-EU immigrants, however it is unclear whether or not that system will change in light of Brexit.

EU citizens who are currently residing in Britain will be allowed to remain in Britain indefinitely.

For more information, please see:

NY Times — A Lesson From ‘Brexit’: On Immigration, Feelings Trump Facts — 26 June 2016

Mirror — Brexit to Cause Immigration Surge as 500,000 Eastern Europeans ‘Will Rush in Before Borders Close’ — 25 June 2016

Financial Times — What Will Brexit Mean for Immigration? — 24 June 2016

The Daily Signal — How Immigration Fueled the Brexit Result — 23 June 2016

CNN — Brexit: What Will Immigration Look Like if Britain Leaves the EU? — 20 June 2016

Kenyan Court Upholds Anal Test to Determine Sexual Orientation

By: Samantha Netzband
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya –A Kenyan court recently ruled that anal testing to determine sexual orientation is constitutional.  The anal testing is typically done alongside HIV and Hepatitis B testing without the consent of the party that is being tested.


Two men kiss an act that would be forbidden in Kenya where homosexuality is a crime. (Photo Courtesy of International Business Times)

The ruling comes from the case brought forth by two men who were tested against their will at Madarkaka Hospital.  The two men were arrested in February 2015 on suspicion of having sex.  In Kenya, gay sex is illegal and punishable by a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Mombasa high court judge Mathew Emukule said in his ruling “I find no violation of human dignity, right to privacy and right to freedom of the petitioners.”  Emukule also said that if the men didn’t want to undergo the tests their attorneys should have sought injunctions before the tests were administered. Emukule’s opinion is in direct opposition to the arguments of the petitioner that argued anal examinations are “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment that can often amount to torture.”

With the ruling happening less than a week after the attack at an LGBTQ club in Orlando, Florida the LGBTQ rights community has vowed to appeal.  Eric Gitari, the executive director of the Kenyan National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (KNGLHRC), explained that rulings like the one delivered by Emukule make it more difficult to encourage the LGBTQ community to come forward to have their rights affirmed.  Encouragement is difficult when courts instead affirm violations of LGBTQ people’s rights.

KNGLHRC questions whether the testing is a good use of the countries scarce resources.  According to Human Rights Watch the forced anal exams are rare in Kenya, but are used in other countries such as Cameroon, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda and Zambia.  Human rights groups from KNGLHRC to Amnesty International believe that the ruling will set a precedent arresting people on suspicion of being gay and being subject to the invasive tests.  Until the appeals are heard anal exams will still be allowed.

For further information, please see: 

Human Rights Watch — Kenya: Court Upholds Forced Anal Exams — 16 June 2016

Inquisitr — Kenya Court: Forced Anal Exams to Determine Sexual Orientation are Legal — 17 June 2016

National Post — I find no violation of human dignity’: Kenya upholds use of anal probes to test for gay sex, a jailable offence — 16 June 2016

USA Today — Kenyan court: Anal exams to test sexual orientation are legal — 16 June 2016