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

Gambian President Threatens to Eliminate Mandinka Ethnic Group

By Samantha Netzband

Impunity Watch Reporter

BANJUL, Gambia—Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh, has threatened the Mandinka ethnic group by calling them “donkeys and vermin” and threatening that “I will kill you like ants and nothing will come of it.”  His statements were made at political rally early in June and sparked reminders of the Rwandan genocide.  An editorial was published condemning Jammeh’s actions in reference to the 1994 genocide.  The first sentence states “one would have thought that what happened in Rwanda in 1994 would have served as a lesson to the world.”

Dieng UN
UN Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide condemns Jammeh’s rhetoric.  (Photo Courtesy of UN News Centre)

The United Nations Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adam Dieng, condemned Jammeh’s speech.  Dieng claimed that Jammeh’s words were dehumanizing and dangerous coming from a public leader.  As a head of state Jammeh has an obligation under human rights to law to protect his people.  Dieng is one of many who urged him to do just that while criticizing his inflammatory remarks.

Jammeh’s remarks are based of his conclusion that the Mandinka are not actually Gambian.  Reports show that his claims are false and this isn’t the first time he has been debunked.  He has also claimed that the Senegalese number 950,000 in the country’s population even though that would mean nearly half the population is Senegalese.

Another editorial calls out Jammeh similarly to the United Nations.  Joll of News said it was dangerous for a president to call out an ethnicity.  They cite the need to learn from the violent past as well as the duty of the president to “govern without any ill will”.  It is unclear whether or not Jammeh has responded to both the United Nations concern and the concerns of citizens.

For further information, please see: 

All Africa – Gambia: UN Adviser Condemns President’s Reported Threats Against Ethnic Group – 10 June 2016

Joll of News – Gambia: Jammeh Crosses the Red Line – 7 June 2016

Joll of News – Gambia: Editorial – Tribalism is a No Go Area – 6 June 2016

UN News Centre – Gambia: UN adviser condemns President’s reported threats against ethnic group – 10 June 2016





Drought Leads to Severe Food Insecurity and Need for aid

By Portia K. Skenandore-Wheelock
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

Severe drought since mid-2014 has obliterated crops and intensified hunger for 2.8 million people in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Although the latest El Nino has ended, it caused a shift in weather patterns throughout the world and sea levels to rise to their highest levels in nineteen years, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Disaster response advisor for Central America at the U.N. humanitarian agency (OCHA) Gianni Morelli said, “People are and have been selling their assets to survive, selling land and seeds, reducing the number of meals a day and reducing their amount of protein intake. Right now the situation is very serious, and it’s fragile.” The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates some 3.5 million people are struggling to feed themselves in Central America’s “dry corridor” and 2.8 million rely on food aid to survive.

In Guatemala, areas like Chiquimula are severely impacted and the drought has worsened the hunger problem, especially among the country’s large indigenous population. Children as young as two are being treated for malnutrition at local clinics. Fresh water is also becoming scarce in this area as the level of the Jupilingo River has dropped and the hillsides deforested. Local resident Elda Perez Recinos said, “We walk three hours a day to get water, and after that we go out to look for firewood.” Experts call the period between June and September “seasonal hunger.” During this period between harvests the Guatemalan government has to provide food assistance to a million people but the drought has further depleted the harvests and limited the yield and income for farmers.

Sparse rain fall through the “dry corridor” has left farmers with one crop per year and hungry families. (Photo courtesy of the Associated Press)

In El Salvador, President Salvador Sanchez Ceren declared a water shortage emergency for the first time in its history earlier this year, citing the effects of the El Nino phenomenon and climate change.

In April the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said it is providing food aid including rice and beans as well as cash for people to buy food at local markets. The Embassy of the United States of America in Honduras has contributed 75 percent of the funds received to serve drought-affected families in Honduras. The Minister Counselor of the Embassy of the United States of America said, “Investing in the health and nutrition of families is investing in the future of your communities.  That’s why it is important that you, the beneficiary, invest in feeding your family and that the works carried out in your communities are works for the benefit of all. Such long-term improvements including schools, roads, and drains strengthen you to be able to face future emergencies.”

More efficient irrigation systems and drought-resistant crops can help farmers better adjust and prepare for long dry spells. Until then, the effects of poor harvests and lost livestock will continue to hurt families as the rainy season has started a month late with inconsistent rainfall.

For further information, please see:

Appeal Democrat – Drought Heightens Seasonal Food Scarcity in Guatemala – 13 June 2016

Reuters – El Salvador declares drought emergency for first time ever – 14 April 2016

Thomas Reuters Foundation News – Nearly 3mln People Need Food aid in Drought-hit Central America – UN – 27 May 2016

World Food Programme – Honduras: Thousands of Drought-Hit Families Receive Food Assistance to Ensure Their Food Security – 6 April 2016

NATO Military Drills in Poland Prepare for Possible Conflict with Russia

By Sarah Lafen

Impunity Watch Desk Reporter, Europe

WARSAW, Poland — On Friday, the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) wrapped up a 10-day training exercise simulating a Russian attack on Poland.  NATO sent over 30,000 troops, military vehicles, aircraft, and ships from over 20 countries to the military base in Wederzyn, Poland to take part in military drills and exercises.  This joint-military effort is the largest since the end of the Cold War, and is a part of Anakonda 2016 – a Polish national exercise which seeks to train national forces into an allied, multinational environment.

Polish Soldiers perform a mock-medical evacuation in an Anakonda 2016 training exercise (Photo Courtesy of NPR)

American units, as well as non-NATO forces such as Sweden and Finland, participated in the training drills in Poland.  Drills included collaborative helicopter attacks which included communications between Polish pilots and American air traffic controllers, hiking through dense forests, clearing houses room-by-room, and live fire drills.  The goal of these training exercises was to train Poland, along with other Eastern-European forces which used to be allied with the Soviet, to work together with the United States and Western European troops.

Many view the joint-military effort as one of prudent preparation.  Polish Defense Minister Antoni Maciarewicz states that they now feel prepared for “the worst” and for “any bad eventualities.”  Evelyn Farkas of the Atlantic Counsel characterized this joint-military effort as one which will send a message to Russia that NATO is prepared to respond if Russia attempts to “step…into one of our allied countries.”  NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said the alliance has maintained communication with Russia throughout Anakonda 2016, however “practical cooperation” has been suspended since the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Some leaders view the preparation and training as dangerous.  John Mearsheimer, a University of Chicago political scientist who specializes in European security issues, calls the training a dangerous “poke at the Russian bear,” and thinks it will be perceived by Russia as a threat which will give them more motivation to invade the Baltic States.   German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir categorized the NATO training as “counterproductive to regional security,” and instead urged NATO to replace the training drills with more cooperation with Russia.

Russia has also spoken out against Anakonda 2016.  Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that the “war games” of Anakonda 2016 “do not contribute to the atmosphere of trust and safety on the continent.”

For more information, please see:

NBC — Huge NATO Drills in Poland Prepare West for Possible Conflict with Russia — 19 June 2016

BBC — German Minister Warns NATO Against ‘Warmongering’ — 18 June 2016

NPR — NATO War Games in Poland Get Russia’s Attention — 17 June 2016

U.S. Army Europe — What is Anakonda?

In Paraguay, Only the Farmworkers Stand Trial

By Cintia Garcia
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay

The Paraguayan lower house speaker Hugo Velazquez has asked for an investigation into the death of eleven peasants during the Curuguaty massacre. Hugo Velazquez announced his commitment to opening an investigation after meeting with the slain peasant’s family members and Amnesty International.

Protestors Stand Outside the Courthouse. (Photo Courtesy of Telesur)

In an interview with EFE, Velazquez stated that “the only way to achieve true justice is by sentencing those responsible for the massacre on both sides.” Currently only farmworkers stand on trial for the death of six policemen that died during the Curuguaty massacre. The trial is in the final stages of closing arguments which were given this week. A verdict is to be rendered by the twenty-third of June. Paraguay’s attorney general requested a sentence of eight to forty years in prison for the peasants on trial. Of these peasants three are women who face eight years in prison for criminal association, invasion of private property, and complicity. The remaining peasants face charges of premeditated homicide, invasion of property, and criminal association.

Lawmakers, as well as, both local and international human rights organizations have made allegations of irregularities during the trial. For example, the police force was forbidden from attending the trial but during the closing arguments and under the direction of the attorney general 20 policemen dressed as civilians entered courtroom illegally and were escorted out of the room. The policemen attended the trial illegally to prevent family and friends of the peasants from attending. Lawmakers claim that actions that have been taken by the attorney general demonstrates a bias towards the policemen.

The Curuguaty massacre occurred on June 15, 2012 when seventy farmworkers occupied the state owned Morumbi property that spans 4938 acres. Businessman and Politician Blas N. Riquelme obtained ownership of the Morumbi property when dictator Alfredo Stroessner gave it to Mr. Riquelme. The peasants believe the transaction was illegal. Mr. Riquelme requested the eviction of the farmworkers and the police responded by sending three hundred armed policemen to evict the farmworkers. The clash quickly turned into a violent conflict. Immediately following the massacre President Fernando Lugo, a leftist progressive, was taken out of office and blamed for the incident. He was the first progressive to rule the country in over sixty years. It is believed the massacre was a pretext for a coup.

For more information, please see:

EFE—Lawmakers Want Probe Into death of 11 Peasants in Paraguay Massacre—13 June 2016

Fox News Latino—Lawmakers Want Probe Into Death of 11 Peasants in Paraguay Massacre—13 June 2016

Telesur—Paraguay: 12 Landless Capesinos Face up to 40 Years in Prison—16 June 2016

Telesur—Paraguay’s Curuguaty Massacre: A Pretext for a Coup—14 June 2016

Egyptian Courts Sentence Three Journalists to Death

by Zachary Lucas
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

CAIRO, Egypt — An Egyptian Court sentenced six people to death including two Al Jazeera journalists. The six people convicted were accused of espionage in relation to leaked documents to Qatar.

Judge Mohammed Shrin Fahmy presided over the case (Photo Courtesy of Chicago Tribune)

The presiding judge in the case, Judge Mohammed Shirin Fahmy, recommended the death sentence for the six people accused of leaking secret documents to Qatar. All capital offense cases are then delivered to Egypt’s Grand Mufti, the nation’s top Muslim theological authority, for approval. Judge Fahmy quoted the Mufti’s office saying that the six defendants brought harm to their country by providing Qatar with documents concerning the Egyptian army. Judge Fahmy stated they betrayed their country for ideology.

The two Al Jazeera journalists were identified as Ibrahim Mohammed Helal, former director of news at Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel, and Alaa Omar Mohammed Sablan, former Al Jazeera producter. The other journalist convicted was Asmaa Mohammed al-Khatib, a reporter for Rasd. Rasd is a media network widely suspected of having ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. All three journalists were tried in abstentia.

Al Jazeera condemned the verdicts against their former employees stating that the sentences were “politicized” and  “legally baseless.” Amnesty International also called for the “ludicrous charges” to be dropped. Both organizations stated these kinds of convictions of journalists are an affront to freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Along with the six death sentences, the Egyptian Court also sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to life in prison. Morsi, the first democratically elected Egyptian president, was ousted by the Egyptian army in 2013 following a popular uprising against Morsi’s leadership. Morsi was found guilty of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a political party that is now-banned in Egypt. Morsi was acquitted of espionage charges.

Since Morsi’s ouster by the military, Egypt’s relations with Qatar have been strained. During Morsi’s time in power, he was supported by Qatar, a tiny but wealthy nation in the region. Egypt claims that Qatar undermines its national security by supporting Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar stated that the convictions went “against the truth” and that they harm relations between the two countries.

For more information, please see

ABC News — Egyptian Court Sentences 2 Al-Jazeera Employees to Death — 18 June 2016

Chicago Tribune — Egyptian court sentences 2 Al-Jazeera journalists to death, former president to 25 years — 19 June 2016

CNN — Egypt sentences 6 people to death, including 2 Al Jazeera journalists — 19 June 2016

The Star — Qatar slams Egypt over death sentences in Al Jazeera espionage case — 19 June 2016

Yahoo — Egypt sentences 2 Al-Jazeera journalists to death, ousted president Morsi gets life — 19 June 2016

Brazil’s Chief Prosecutor Targets key Political Figures

By Cintia Garcia
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BRASILIA, Brazil—As suspended Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff presently stands in impeachment trial for failing to comply with fiscal rules, the chief prosecutor has called for new arrests. The chief prosecutor Rodrigo Janot has ordered the arrest of Brazil’s ex-president Jose Sarney, senate speaker Renan Calheiros, ex-lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha, and PMDB leader Romero Juca. All four are members of the PMDB party, the largest political party in Brazil.

At center interim president Michael Temer with Mr. Juca and Mr. Calheiros. (Photo Courtesy of Reuters)

The four politicians are accused of obstructing a two year investigations in the corruption scandal known as Operation Car Wash. The corruption scandal surrounds the state-owned oil company, Petrobras. The order to arrest the four political powerhouses stems from a taped telephone conversation. The alleged voices in the recordings are of Mr. Calheiros, Mr. Sarney, and Mr. Juca in which they discuss derailing the investigation. The conversation was leaked by a Brazilian newspaper. The tapes were produced by senator Sergio Machado who ran a Petrobras-owned logistic company. He made the recordings in return of a plea deal.

Prior to the leaked conversation, Mr. Cunha was removed by the Supreme Court as the lower house speaker for obstructing Justice. He is under investigation for receiving “kickbacks” from Petrobras contracts and for hiding 16 million in Switzerland. Mr. Cunha never declared the bank accounts.

The accused have denied the allegations. Mr. Calheiros stated that the request is “unreasonable, disproportionate and abusive.” If the allegations are true, this would be a severe blow to current interim president, vice president Michel Temer a member of the PMDB party. Since becoming president both members of his party and cabinet members have been removed from office. These events would further support ousted President Dilma Rousseff claim that her impeachment trial is masking a coup led by the opposition party PMDB.

In order for the arrest to proceed, the Supreme Court must approve the arrest. The Supreme Court’s approval is necessary because three of the four men are current members of the senate. The Supreme Court has refused to deny or affirm the truth of the allegations.

For more information, please see:

Aljazeera—Brazil Prosecutor Seeks Arrest of top Politicians—7 June 2016

BBC—Brazil Crisis: A Timeline—12 May 2016

BBC—Brazil Prosecutor Seeks Arrest of top Politicians, Media Report—7 June 2016

Reuters—Brazilian Prosecutors Targets Senior Ruling Party Leaders: Report—7 June 2016

Al Jadid: Syrian Children and the Exit from the Dark Tunnel!

For more than five decades, the Syrian child was subjected to an orderly process of upbringing to control the phases of his growth and maturity. Following the nursery phase, which did not have an ideological formation, the child entered the realm of official popular organizations, along the North Korean model, controlling the child’s consciousness and distorting his growth.
Among the new promised generation, ideological series of “brainwashing” continued while accompanied with the development of an intelligence psychology. A seed planted very early, in the beginning stages of their burgeoning awareness, resulted in the “art” of reporting fellow students to state officials. These practices developed in scope as the students gradually advanced in age, all the way until they entered the realm of practical life.
The training for children of the “Baath Vanguards” kept them away from concepts of childhood like freedom and spontaneity. The children were subject to rounds of military training from their early childhood. Instructional political lessons instilled in their immature imaginations misleading concepts about modernism, openness, accepting the other, and pluralism.
This training forced the student to repeat empty slogans consisting of themes like the worship of the individual, along with concepts irrelevant to the child, leaving him unaware of who drafted them or of their moral or even linguistic significance. Some, mistakenly, have resorted to frivolous defenses of the Syrian regime by providing distasteful examples from totalitarian countries or countries hostile to democracy, like former East Germany. In East Germany, advocates truly believed in a clear ideology, although they tried to disseminate it among the youth through rude and poor methods. The former East German methods differed in their respect for the concept of childhood, through which they infiltrated soft and fresh minds in order to implant concepts they believed in and attempted to maintain. In the Syrian case, those in charge of the content of the message, from Vanguard supervisors, teachers, or guides, were in fact detached from the goals of their tasks, and attached instead to their real habits of flattery, submission, and corruption.
During subsequent periods of training, the Syrian youth, subject to the “Union of the Revolutionary Youth,” grew up with the concepts of “securitocracy.” This meant that their successes and prominence depended on their loyalty proven by reporting their peers and even their parents. In addition, mobilization meetings consisting of stuffing, repetition, and recitation of concepts, did nothing to aid the progression or practice of thought, but instead distanced the youth from the basic sources of consciousness, such as reading, and the development of critical thinking and sensitivity. Regardless of whether the man or woman came from a family known for its progressive and nationalist consciousness, their subjugation to this hellish machine erased everything they dared to keep from their parents’ socialization. Only rarely, if their family upbringing proved exceptionally strong, would students challenge the full swing manufacturing of illusion and intellectual poverty. The mainly security personnel, those in charge of socializing the new generation at the most delicate stage of their age, showed no concern for disseminating values or educating young generations about their roles in the collective future of their country and their people.
To arrive at the perfect conclusion of this training, the students entered the college level in parallel to the development of a political-security apparatus called the “National Union of Syrian Students.” Here, “educators” implemented stages of classification, perhaps humorous in appearance, but destructive in reality. Members would label their colleagues from “neutral” to “positive neutral,” or “negative neutral,” among other classifications, which crowded the files of the Union, as well as those of the security branches in charge of these college organizations. Besides corrupting the students’ relationships with each other, the culture of “treason, condemnation, and complaint,” also applied to their teachers, who found themselves subject to the same evaluative standards, unless they happened to be lucky or acted in blind submission to the will of the state.
Generations graduated through this dark tunnel of successive “popular organizations.” While sending children to religious schools offered the only possible form of societal resistance to these popular organizations, the majority of the administrators of  those  schools  tended to hold extremist views. At  the time, this did not bother the state, as officials believed  that  religious indoctrination would teach the students submission and obedience, and would not incite revolts against their superiors, especially when the state closely watched the religious bodies in question.
The phenomenon of private schools returned at a later stage as a result of the weakening of the influence of the “popular organizations.” However, private schools failed to raise student consciousness or initiate constructive debate. In fact, through the teachings of these schools, the youth came under the influence of the negative aspects of foreign cultures, identifying with spiritual and moral impoverishment, which in turn served a new kind of parasitic bourgeoisie, fully connected to the state.
A whole generation has suffered from this backlog of oppression. Yet, despite all the lapses and imperfections of its creations, the genie of repression eventually demanded its freedom and the freedom of its downtrodden parents. Syrian youth will be able to contribute to the process of reconstructing their country, if it will be built on a clear and transparent basis, dependent on civil peace supported by international will, though that goal may have to wait for a long time.
Translated, from the Arabic, by Elie Chalala. The author has granted Al Jadid magazine the right to translate and publish his essay. 
The Arabic version of Mr. al-Kawakibi’s essay appeared in
This essay appeared in Al Jadid, Vol. 20, no. 70 (2016).

Syrian Network for Human Rights: Levels of killings dating back to what it was before the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement

Levels of killings dating back to what it was before the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement
The Killing of 872 Civilians in May 2016, 498 amongst which were killed by government forces


This report encompasses the casualties’ death toll of who were killed by major conflict parties in Syria:
A- Government forces (army, security forces, local militias and foreign Shiite militias)
B- Russian Forces
C- Kurdish Self Management Forces (Mainly Democratic Union forces – People’s Protection Units and Asayish forces)
D- Extremist Islamic Groups
E- Armed opposition Groups
F- International Coalition Forces
G- Unidentified groups

Dutch Woman Arrested in Qatar After Reporting Rape

by Zachary Lucas
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

DOHA, Qatar – – A Dutch woman was arrested after making a rape claim to local authorities in Qatar following her alleged rape. The woman has been held since mid-March and could face charges of having sex outside of marriage.

Dutch Woman Was Arrested After Alleging Rape in Doha (Photo Courtesy of BBC)

A Dutch woman, who’s identity has not been revealed and was referred to as “Laura” by the Dutch foreign ministry, was on holiday in Doha when the incident occurred. Laura was having drinks at a bar in a hotel with friends. After one of the drinks Laura stated she felt “unwell.” She woke up the next morning in an unfamiliar apartment and realized she had been sexually assaulted.

Laura immediately reported the incident to local authorities and was subsequently arrested. She has been detained by Qatari authorities since mid-March and could face charges of adultery and alcohol-related offenses. Laura’s attorney, Brian Lokollo, says that no charges have been officially filed and that she will appear before a judge on June 13. The alleged assailant has also been arrested and denies the rape allegations. He stated that the sex was consensual and that she had asked for money. Laura denies those accusations.

Adultery, or having sex outside of marriage, is a crime in Qatar like many other Gulf Arab nations. Under Qatar’s Penal Code, “anyone who copulates with a female above sixteen without compulsion, duress or ruse is convicted to no more than seven years in prison. The same penalty is also imposed on the female for her consent.”

Qatar’s former justice minister, Najeeb al-Nauimi, says to convince a judge her defense will have to prove that there were “no voluntary actions” between her and the alleged assailant. Even evidence that would suggests she walked next to the alleged assailant might give a judge doubt to the actions not being voluntary. Signs of force would need to be proven.

There have been similar incidents in the Gulf Arab region. In 2013, a Norwegian woman reported a rape in the United Arab Emirates and was subsequently arrested, charged, and convicted of indecent behavior, perjury and alcohol consumption. She received a sentence of 16 months, but was later pardoned and returned home.

For more information, please see:

Aljazeera-Qatar: Dutch Woman Who Alleged Rape to Appear in Court-12 June 2016

BBC-Dutch Woman Arrested in Qatar After Making Rape Claim -11 June 2016

CNN -Dutch Woman Jailed in Qatar After Reporting Rape May Face Charges – 12 June 2016

The Guardian-Dutch Woman Arrested in Qatar After Reporting Rape to Appear in Court-12 June 2016

Violent Riots Ensue in the Midst of the Euro 2016 Football Tournament

By Sarah Lafen
Impunity Watch Desk Reporter, Europe

PARIS, France — This past week at the Euro 2016 championship football tournament in Marseille, France, English and Russian fans engaged in violent fights at a match between the two countries.  After the match ended in a tied 1-1 score, Russian fans jumped over the barriers separating the two nations’ fans and swarmed the section where the British fans sat.  Some Russians were equipped with fireworks and flares which were subsequently set off within the stadium.  Witnesses stated that some attackers wore mouth guards and fighting gloves during the brawls.

Russian fans smuggled fireworks and flares in to the match (Photo Courtesy of BBC)

According to Marseille’s emergency services, over 30 people were injured in the riots, including three police officers.  As a result of the riots, multiple head wounds were sustained, a significant amount of blood was shed, one man was knocked unconscious, and another suffered a heart attack.  Police used tear gas to break up the riots.

In anticipation of potential violent outbursts, France took extra security measures to prevent riots of this exact nature.  The Minister of Interior denied 3,000 people entry to the country, based on lists of people banned from stadiums in different countries, on suspicions they would bring disruption to the national order of France.  Bars in the Vieux-Port area of Marseille closed hours earlier than they normally do.

The Union of European Football Association (UEFA) has threatened to disqualify both England and Russia if these violent riots continue.  UEFA has already begun taking disciplinary actions against the Russian Football Union, charging them with crowd disturbances, racist behavior, and for the use of fireworks within a stadium.  A decision in regards to the sanctions will be made within a few days, once all evidence has been considered.

Both England and Russia have condemned the fighting.  Russia displayed its support for the launch of an investigation into their participation in the riots, and the United Kingdom Government has offered to send British police to the England’s next match against Wales in Lens, France.  Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), the governing body of the sport, has also condemned the violence.  FIFA released a statement calling the riots “wholly unacceptable.”

So far, 17 people have been arrested in connection with the riots.

For more information, please see:

BBC — Euro 2016: England and Russia Given Disqualification Warning — 12 June 2016

CNN — Euro 2016: Dozens Injured as Crowds of Rival Fans Brawl — 12 June 2016

CNN — Euro 2016: Russia, England Threatened with Disqualification Over Violence — 12 June 2016

The Guardian — Euro 2016: England and Russia Fans Clash Before and After Match — 12 June 2016

The Guardian — England and Russia Could be Thrown out of Euro 2016 if There is More Violence — 12 June 2016

NY Times — Russia and England Fans Clash Repeatedly at European Championships — 11 June 2016