Michael P. Scharf
War Crimes Prosecution Watch
Volume 11 – Issue 23
January 23, 2017
Kevin J. Vogel
Jeradon Z. Mura
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
- UN News Centre: UN condemns deadly ambush that leaves one ‘blue helmet’ dead in Central African Republic
- The Washington Post: In Central African Republic, ‘impunity on staggering scale’
- UN News Centre: Central African Republic: UN-backed humanitarian plan aims to save 2.2 million lives
- Al Jazeera: South Sudan Rejects 4,000 Additional UN Peacekeepers
- Time/Yahoo News: President Obama Signs Executive Order Easing Sanctions Against Sudan
- Reuters: Sudan Extends Ceasefire by Six Months
- International Criminal Court: Ntaganda case: ICC Trial Chamber VI rejects challenge to jurisdiction over two war crimes counts
- International Justice Monitor: Judges Affirm That ICC Can Try Ntaganda Over Rape of UPC Child Soldiers
- International Justice Monitor: Ntaganda’s Trial Resumes at the ICC
- International Justice Monitor: Recorded Testimony of Witness Who Declined to Testify at Ntaganda Trial Admitted Into Evidence
- The Guardian: Mutinous Ivory Coast soldiers seize control of three cities
- BBC: Ivory Coast defence minister freed by mutinous soldiers
- BBC: Ivory Coast unrest: Calm reported after two-day mutiny
- CNN: Deal reached with soldiers in Ivory Coast?
- Reuters: Nigeria Militants Say Readying Fighters to Hit ‘Enemy’ in Niger Delta
- Human Rights Watch: Nigeria: Disturbing Intolerance of Dissent
- Deutsche Welle: Nigeria Grants Asylum to Gambian Strongman
- Voice of America: Bomb Blasts at Nigeria’s Maiduguri University Kill 5
- Associated Press: Nigerian Air Force Bombs Refugee Camp, More Than 100 Dead
- allAfrica: West Africa: Mali’s Keita Hails ‘Loyal’ Hollande At France–Africa Summit
- News24: African Leaders Vow To End Conflict
- ABC News: UN Chief: Consider Sanctions on Those Thwarting Mali Peace
- DailyMail: Trial of Ugandan LRA warlord Dominic Ongwen resumes in The Hague
- Human Rights Watch: The Long Wait for Justice in Northern Uganda
- Standard Digital: Opposition Threatens to Sue Aden Duale at ICC Over Recorded Remarks
- Daily Nation: HRW Report Puts Kenya on the Spot Over Human Rights Abuses
- Newshub: Rwandan genocide fugitive may be hiding in NZ
- The Star Kenya: 20 French Officials Face Prosecution in Rwanda over 1994 Genocide
- News of Rwanda: Testing Phase Of The Genocide In Rwanda Before 1994
- Garowe Online: Somalia’s election is fraud, women not meant to be leaders, says Al Shabaab spokesman
- Garowe Online: Somalia: Galmudug forces block MPs from filing motion against President
- VOA News: Three Killed in Mogadishu Blast
- Garowe Online: Somalia: Puntland parades weapons seized from IS fighters
- Wall Street Journal: Somalia’s Crooked Route to Democracy
- The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Trial Verdict upheld in Mensur MemiČ et al.
- Balkan Insight: Bosnia Indicts Two for Crimes Against Brcko Serbs
- Balkan Insight: Radovan Karadzic’s Ex-Advisor Goes on Trial
- The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Indictment confirmed in the case v. Slobodan Taranjac et al.
- The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Indictment confirmed in the case v. Elvir MuminoviČ et al.
- The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Indictment confirmed in the case v. Slavko MilovanoviČ
- Balkan Insight: Croatian ‘Salami King’ Awaits War Profiteering Trial
- Balkan Insight: Kosovo Charges ‘Extradited Serbian’ with War Crimes
- Balkan Insight: Croatia Tries Soldier for Operation Storm Killings
- RT: French court orders release of ex-Kosovo PM as Serbia demands extradition over ‘war crimes’
- Balkan Insight: Serbia Demands Haradinaj’s Extradition from France
- Balkan Insight: Kosovo MP Fatmir Limaj’s War Crimes Trial Opens
- Balkan Insight: Kosovo Indicts KLA Ex-Guerrilla for War Crimes
- Balkan Insight: Croatian Serb Policeman Charged over Village Raid
- Reuters: Iraqi forces battle Islamic State near Tigris river in Mosul
- Yahoo News: Iraq forces retake IS-bombed ‘Jonah’s tomb’ in Mosul
- Chicago Tribune: Troops take ‘full control’ of eastern Mosul from Islamic State, Iraq says
- Reuters: As Caliphate Crumbles, Islamic State Lashes Out in Iraq
- Sputniknews: Beleaguered Daesh Driving a Wedge into Terror-Fighting Coalition in Iraq
- BBC News: Syria conflict: Car bomb kills 11 in government-held town
- The Guardian: UN warns of war crimes over disruption to water supply north of Damascus
- The Daily: Assad’s Newest War Tactic: Dehydration
- Gulf News: Clashes kill 9 near Damascus despite truce
- The Washington Post: Dozens killed in northern Syrian town as truck bomb rips through busy market
- Foreign Policy: U.S. Allies Slam Brakes on Obama’s Parting Blow at Putin
- Human Rights Watch: Yemen: No Accountability for War Crimes
- Yemen News Agency (SABA): YNGOC strongly condemns Saudi air strike on Yemen school
- Human Rights Watch: Letter to Saudi-Led Coalition Joint Incidents Assessment Team Regarding Yemen Investigations
- Relief Web: United States announces $76 million in humanitarian assistance for Yemen
- Relief Web: Over Two Million Yemenis Displaced by Conflict: IOM
- The Cambodia Daily: Meas Muth is Unfazed as Tribunal Investigation Concludes
- Khmer Times: Investigation into Case 003 Complete
- The Daily Star: STL defense turns attention to Ogero
- The Daily Star: Ogero official briefs STL on data transmission process
- The Daily Star: STL reviews cellular evidence ahead of expert testimony
- The Daily Star: Aoun meets with STL head, calls for more transparency
- New Age BD: WAR CRIMES: ICT takes charges against Kishoreganj suspects into cognizance
- The Financial Express: Trial of Khaleda to be held in people’s court: PM
- Bdnews24.com: Dead man’s trial leaves war crimes tribunal unhappy
- Gulf Times: Bangladesh war crimes court sentences 12 to death in 2016
- Time: Around 22,000 Rohingya Have Fled Military Violence in Burma in the Past Week
- Asian Correspondent: Burma: Rights Groups Urge Govt to Probe Case of Missing Kachin Christian Leaders
- Catholic Herald: Rights Groups Concerned by Disappearances of Burma Pastors
- The Irrawaddy: Civil Society Groups Highlight Continued Abuses During UN Visit
- Haaretz: Israeli Soldier Convicted of Manslaughter for Lethal Shooting of Wounded Palestinian Assailant
- The New York Times: 4 Die in Jerusalem Attack as Palestinian Rams Truck Into Soldiers
- The Times of Israel: Netanyahu, in secret talks with publisher, named ‘hostile’ journalists he wanted sidelined
- BBC News: Israel-Palestinian conflict: Summit warns against unilateral actions
- National Post: Federal Court upholds deportation of Tamil Tigers fundraiser who has fought to stay in Canada for 22 years
- Waterloo Region Record: Canada silent on whether it will press on with Oberlander case
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: ICE arrests former Guatemalan special forces member linked to 1980s massacre
- Colombia Reports: Colombia military assassinated more civilians under Uribe than FARC did in 30 years
- Colombia Reports: More than 15,000 ‘FARC’ crimes will go unpunished because suspects are dead
- Colombia Reports: Human Rights Court convicts Colombia for Medellin war crimes
- Yahoo News: Italy sentences two former South American leaders to life in prison for Operation Condor murders
- Kathmandu Post: Heal the pain
- Reuters: Rights watchdog raps Nepal over war crimes
- NewsGhana.com: Burundi lacks expertise to identify massacre victims
- myRepublica: TRC working to set up regional office in Dipayal
- The New York Times: Greek Fugitive Is Arrested in Athens Shootout
- USA Today: U.S. adds Osama bin Laden’s son to global terrorist list
- BBC News: Syria conflict: Car bomb kills 11 in government-held town
- BBC News: Egypt police station suicide attack kills eight in Sinai
- UN News Centre: UN condemns terrorist attack in Jerusalem by Palestinian assailant
- The Washington Times: House chairman urges Obama to stop Gitmo transfers, cites terrorists’ return to battlefield
- Reuters: Kurdish militants claim responsibility for Izmir attack that killed two
- Maritime Executive: Eight Fishermen Killed by Pirates Off Mindanao
- Maritime Executive: Piracy Agreement to Cover Other Illicit Activity
- The Virginian-Pilot: Kidnappings at sea reach 10-year high despite fall in pirate attacks
- Maritime Executive: Abu Sayyaf Releases Two Seafarers
- American Journal of Transportation: Civilization Ends at the Waterline: 2016 IMB Piracy Report
- Thomas Reuters Foundation News: Tears of joy as water washes away years of gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea
- Just Security: Top 10 Gender and Security Developments of 2016
- Americas Quarterly: Fighting Gender Violence: What Brazil, Argentina and Others Are Doing
- Coastweek: Kenyans fight gender-based violence problem with new technology
- The Institute for Women’s Policy Research: Afghanistan’s Domestic Violence Loophole
- allAfrica: Africa: Protection of Culprits of Gender Violence Robs Women of Their Rights
By Sarah Lafen
Impunity Watch Desk Reporter, Europe
The human rights activist group Amnesty International issued a warning that Europe’s counter-terrorism measures are eroding basic human rights, and have been for the past two years. The report released by Amnesty, titled ‘Dangerously Disproportionate: The Ever-Expanding National Security State in Europe,’ gives a detailed look into the anti-terrorism measures employed by 14 European countries, and explains how those measures impact basic human rights. The report also warns that a security state is becoming the “new normal” in the 14 countries which were examined.
Amnesty attributes the restrictive measures to the recent string of terrorist attacks in Europe. John Dalhuisen, Amnesty’s Europe director, explained that “Europe’s human rights framework, which was so carefully constructed after the Second World War, is being rapidly dismantled.” Dominique Curis, Amnesty’s director in France, urged the need to “dismantle the paradigm that says there is the state of emergency or nothing in the fight against terrorism, that security equals restriction of rights equals state of emergency.”
Kate Allen, director of Amnesty’s UK branch, compared the restrictive measures to those of Big Brother from author George Orwell’s book 1984, calling the surveillance state from the book “alive and dangerously well in Europe today.” Allen explained the understandable need for protection from such attacks, however such measures should not be implemented at the cost of fundamental human rights.
Activist groups such as Amnesty criticize the state of emergency that was enacted after the attacks in Paris, and has since been renewed five times, as “extreme.” Government officials, however, view this as a necessary security measure in protecting against future attacks. Manuel Valls, French Prime Minister and presidential hopeful, told reporters that “[t]his terrorist threat will last a generation. Today we have to live with a kind of permanent state of emergency.”
Amnesty’s report is also at odds with independent reviewer of terrorism legislation David Anderson QC’s report. Anderson believes that the anti-terrorism legislation is an appropriate and proportionate reaction to the current threat Europe faces. European Union representatives have voiced their disagreement with the conclusions in Amnesty’s report as well, urging that human rights remain paramount in their eyes.
For more information, please see:
On Jan. 10, 2017, INSCT Faculty Member David M. Crane joined Andrew Beiter, Education Director, iamsyria.org, at a webinar presented by the New York State Council for the Social Studies (NYSCSS). NYSCSS is a statewide professional organization of school social studies educators.
During the webinar, Crane and Beiter discussed the humanitarian crisis in Syria, the rise of ISIS, and the current situation on the ground, as well as how teachers can approach this topic with students and how students can take action.
Thanks to NYSCSS, this webinar has been released as a video presentation using Adobe Connect. Click here to watch.
Co-founded by Crane, iamsyria.org is a public outreach effort to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, especially aimed at schools. It offers zero-prep, Common Core-friendly lesson plans; educational background articles; ground-truth facts about the civil war; and information on how to take action.
by Yesim Usluca
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The Islamic State (ISIS) has evolved the use of commercial drones to release explosive devices and grenades on civilian targets in districts of Mosul.
ISIS’s newest effort to modernize technology lies in modifying commercial drones for use as “weapons that terrorize the city of Mosul[.]” Off-the-shelf drones are capable of flying for up to half an hour with a range of several miles, and can easily be afforded by terrorist groups. The improvised drones, which are made up of a “plastic tube attached to a camera drone,” can drop 40 milimeter grenades. This creates a medium through which ISIS can engage in acts of terrorism from afar, thus reducing the risk of death to members of the group.
During the week of January 9th, a U.S. Army commander stated that ISIS was using these improvised weapons as part of their effort to avoid losing control of the “former ISIS stronghold of Mosul.” At the time, ISIS had carried out a strike on a market in Eastern Mosul, where eight people were injured. A young boy, Hussein, stated that he had been shopping with his family when a “small ISIL plane dropped a grenade on [them].” He was later treated for a “broken bone protruding from his foot.”
ISIS has a history of using drones to record footage for propaganda videos and to conduct aerial surveillance. A research fellow at a U.K. military think tank, Mr. Justin Bronk, stated that ISIS is “known for turning things they can get hold of into weapons.”
International fear has developed over the possibility of ISIS leaving behind an “army of brainwashed and dangerous children[.]” Mosul’s youth have been exposed to long-term messages of hate while ISIS has occupied the country’s second largest city. They have further been taught “how to become terrorists and suicide bombers[,]” while learning the “extreme views of Muslim Sharia law[.]”
The Iraqi Commission for Human Rights urged the United Nations (U.N.) to “save a generation of children from religious extremism.” The Commission’s media director, Mr. Jawad al-Shamri, stated that two years ago, ISIS started modifying school syllabi to teach children how to make explosive belts, prepare booby traps and take female hostages.
For more information, please see:
Atrocity Alert is a weekly publication by the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect highlighting and updating situations where populations are at risk of, or are enduring, mass atrocity crimes.
An ECOWAS-led military intervention appears imminent in The Gambia. Following the country’s 1 December election, which opposition leader Adama Barrow won, current President Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year rule is scheduled to come to an end at midnight tonight. Yesterday, 17 January, President Jammeh declared a state of emergency, making all demonstrations illegal and curtailing other civil liberties. Jammeh appears willing to use force to prevent the impending inauguration of President-elect Barrow.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has repeatedly called upon President Jammeh to accept his electoral defeat and step down. An ECOWAS mediation mission, including Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and former President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama, met with President Jammeh in The Gambia on 13 January. The following day ECOWAS military leaders also met in Abuja, Nigeria. ECOWAS has a long established policy of opposing coups and unconstitutional changes of government in West Africa.
Following numerous failed mediation attempts, ECOWAS troops are now stationed on the Senegalese border, while a Nigerian warship is currently off the coast of The Gambia. The UN Security Council is also considering a resolution on the situation in The Gambia.
President Jammeh has ruled The Gambia since a military coup in 1994 and has a history of inciting ethnic division. In June 2016 President Jammeh threatened to eliminate the entire Mandinka ethnic group, whom he does not consider to be authentic Gambians. UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, condemned President Jammeh’s “public stigmatization, dehumanization and threats against the Mandinka,” arguing that they constituted possible incitement to commit mass atrocities. President Jammeh has also previously threatened to “slit the throats” of all gay men in The Gambia and some of his supporters have recently blamed political instability in the country on gays and their alleged foreign supporters. In his attempt to hold onto power, President Jammeh may try to foment these divisions and systematically target civilians whom he considers a threat to his rule.
Due to fears regarding current political instability, at least 26,000 people have fled The Gambia into Senegal as of 16 January, according to the regional office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
If President Jammeh does not stand down by midnight tonight, the UN Security Council and ECOWAS should work together to secure a peaceful transition in The Gambia and prevent any further incitement to violence on the basis of ethnicity, sexual orientation, or presumed political allegiance. If ECOWAS intervenes, all measures need to be taken to ensure the protection of civilians and respect for human rights.