War Crimes Prosecution Watch: Volume 12, Issue 15

 


FREDERICK K. COX
INTERNATIONAL LAW CENTER

Founder/Advisor
Michael P. Scharf

War Crimes Prosecution Watch

Volume 12 – Issue 15
October 2, 2017

Editor-in-Chief
James Prowse

Technical Editor-in-Chief
Samantha Smyth

Managing Editors
Rina Mwiti
Alexandra Mooney

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.

Contents

AFRICA

CENTRAL AFRICA

Central African Republic

Sudan & South Sudan

Democratic Republic of the Congo

WEST AFRICA

Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

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

Mali

EAST AFRICA

Uganda

Kenya

Rwanda (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda)

Somalia

NORTH AFRICA

Libya

EUROPE

Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina, War Crimes Chamber

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Domestic Prosecutions In The Former Yugoslavia

MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA

Iraq

Syria

Yemen

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal

War Crimes Investigations in Burma

AMERICAS

North & Central America

South America

TOPICS

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Terrorism

Piracy

Gender-Based Violence

Commentary and Perspectives

WORTH READING


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Universal Rights Group: Analysis of high level speeches to UNGA72 – What are the World’s Human Rights Priorities in 2017-2018?

What are the world’s human rights priorities in 2017 and what to look out for in 2018?
Human rights analysis of high level speeches at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly
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What are the human rights situations and issues that keep world leaders up at night in 2017? What are the human rights priorities of governments for the next twelve months?

The best place to get a sense of both is the general debate of the UN General Assembly (GA) in New York, held each year in October, where the world’s presidents, prime minsters, foreign ministers and assorted dignitaries meet to pronounce on global developments, crises, and trends.

With that in mind, today the Universal Rights Group NYC launches the first of what will become an annual analysis of the speeches of world leaders at the UNGA – a human rights-orientated analysis designed to pick out key words, key themes and key ideas from the nearly 200 high level speeches delivered every year at beginning of each GA session.

Every year, the general debate focuses on a different main theme – although leaders are of course free to address any issue. This year, the 72nd session of the GA (GA72) addressed the overall theme: ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.’

The debate, chaired by the incoming President of the GA, Miroslav Lajcak of Slovakia, began on 19th September and ended yesterday afternoon, 25th September 2017. It saw the participation of over 197 high-level dignitaries, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, two kings, two princes, one emir, 69 presidents, 35 prime ministers, eight vice presidents, and 58 ministers.

URG NYC’s detailed analysis of their 196 speeches identified reference to 1,874 human rights-related topics or subjects. When clustered and prioritised (only themes raised by at least four different speakers were included in the final analysis), it was possible to identify around 107 broad themes.

The results of this groundbreaking assessment are presented below via two ‘word clouds,’ one summarising key thematic human rights issues and one relaying the most talked about country-specific human rights situations (i.e. situations of alleged violations). For each, the size of the word reflects the total number of mentions of the given theme or situation.

Key findings from URG NYC’s analysis include:

  • The most widely referenced human rights topic, by States in 2017, was sustainable development / SDGs / 2030 Agenda and human rights. This mirrors an increased focus on the relationship between implementation of the SDGs and implementation of human rights obligations – something the Secretary-General has termed ‘two converging agendas’ – at the Human Rights Council in 2017.
  • Again mirroring developments at the Council, URG’s analysis of speeches at the GA found a strong focus on the prevention of human rights violations and strengthening the UN’s response to emerging crises.
  • Other key human rights issues and priorities for 2017-2018, include: the human rights dimension of climate change, terrorism, extreme poverty, and preventing violent extremism/radicalisation…
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Copyright © 2017 Universal Rights Group, All rights reserved.

International Center for Transitional Justice: Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar a Deepening Crisis

Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar
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Amid Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar, Where Does Transitional Justice Stand?

Over the past month, more than 400,000 members of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim community have been driven from their homes as part of an ethnic-cleansing campaign led by the military. What lies at the root of the current violence? How is it connected to the country’s political transition? And does transitional justice have a role to play? Anna Myriam Roccatello, who oversees ICTJ’s work in Myanmar, answers those questions and more.

“What we now finally call ethnic cleansing in Myanmar has gone on for years,” Roccatello says. “Had efforts to acknowledge victims been more actively supported by the international community in the last several years, the political dynamic might be different. Moving forward, once the violence stops, accountability and reforms must be pursued with renewed vigor to ensure a sustainable peace. Doing so will hopefully provide the opportunity to address the massive violations against not only the Rohingya, but against all victims of the regime.”

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International Center for Transitional Justice: In Focus – The Pursuit of Justice in Sri Lanka

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ICTJ ICTJ In Focus 72
September 2017

In Focus

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Divided by Years of Conflict, Sri Lankans Have Yet to See the Promise of Justice Fulfilled Divided by Years of Conflict, Sri Lankans Have Yet to See the Promise of Justice FulfilledWhere does transitional justice stand in Sri Lanka? Kelli Muddell, Director of ICTJ’s Gender Justice Program, explores the country’s contested historical narratives.

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Is the United States Ready for a Truth-Telling Process?Is the United States Ready for a Truth-Telling Process?Fania Davis thinks the time has come for a truth-telling process about racial injustice in the United States, and she is working to make it a reality. We sat down with her and her colleague, Jodie Geddes, to discuss their vision for a national process, what they hope it would achieve, and what they have learned from their conversations with local leaders so far.

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Two Judgments in Chile Mark Progress in Prosecuting State Agents for Enforced Disappearances    Two Judgments in Chile Mark Progress in Prosecuting State Agents for Enforced DisappearancesChile has shown slow but steady progress on ​criminal justice​​. Two recent court decisions convicted a total of 139 ​state ​agents for their roles in the enforced disappearances of 21 Chileans. The rulings – one handed down by the Supreme Court, the other by a first instance judge – highlight the growing momentum towards obtaining justice for victims of the 1973-1990 dictatorship​.​

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Publications

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When No One Calls It Rape: Addressing Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys

Sexual violence against men and boys in times of conflict or repression is alarmingly common— and takes a markedly consistent form across contexts in terms of how it affects victims and societies as a human rights violation that is taboo to talk about. It has been committed in all cultures, geographic regions, and time periods.

Handbook on Complementarity

Where should justice for some of the world’s worst crimes be done? In national courts or at the International Criminal Court in The Hague? Our Handbook on Complementarity explores those questions, laying out the interconnected relationship between the ICC and national court systems in the global fight against impunity.

More Publications

Upcoming Events

October 09 – 13, 2017

Negotiating Peace and Justice: ICTJ’s 2017 Intensive Course on Transitional Justice and Peace ProcessesLocation: Barcelona, SpainView Details

November 07 – 08, 2017

The Interface of National Security and Humanitarian Law in Situations of Low-Intensity Armed Conflict / High Intensity EmergencyLocation: Ulster University, Jordanstown campus View Details

More Events
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ICTJ | 40 Fulton Street, Floor 20 | New York, NY USA 10038 | Tel: +1 917 637 3800

War Crimes Prosecution Watch: Volume 12, Issue 13 – September 5, 2017

 


FREDERICK K. COX
INTERNATIONAL LAW CENTER

Founder/Advisor
Michael P. Scharf

War Crimes Prosecution Watch

Volume 12 – Issue 13
September 5, 2017

Editor-in-Chief
James Prowse

Technical Editor-in-Chief
Samantha Smyth

Managing Editors
Rina Mwiti
Alexandra Mooney

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.

Contents

AFRICA

CENTRAL AFRICA

Central African Republic

Sudan & South Sudan

Democratic Republic of the Congo

WEST AFRICA

Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

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

Mali

EAST AFRICA

Uganda

Kenya

Rwanda (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda)

Somalia

NORTH AFRICA

Libya

EUROPE

Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina, War Crimes Chamber

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Domestic Prosecutions In The Former Yugoslavia

MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA

Iraq

Syria

Yemen

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal

War Crimes Investigations in Burma

Israel and Palestine

AMERICAS

North & Central America

South America

TOPICS

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Terrorism

Piracy

Gender-Based Violence

WORTH READING


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International Center for Transitional Justice: World Report August 2017 – Transitional Justice News and Analysis

ICTJ World Report

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ICTJ ICTJ World Report
August 2017

In Focus

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“This Is Us”: White Supremacy in the United StatesIn the wake of Charlottesville, some took to Twitter to distance the United States from the white supremacist march using #ThisIsNotUs. But this is us, writes Virginie Ladisch, and white Americans have an obligation to educate themselves about the history and persistence of white supremacy in their country.

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AfricaMillions of citizens voted in the presidentital election in Kenya amidst fears of a recurrence of voter-fraud and widespread violence that marked past elections.  Opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed “massive” fraud following the reelection of Uhuru Kenyatta, leading to protests. At least five died in the aftermath. Appeals judges at the International Criminal Court ordered to review the case of Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of Cote d’Ivoire who is being charged for crimes against humanity, to determine whether or not he should be released from detention while still on trial. A notorious warlord wanted for crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, surrendered to UN peacekeepers and was transferred to stand trial for his allegations. Prosecutors at the ICC have endorsed 121 witnesses, including some forced wives, in the trial of Dominic Ongwen, a former child soldier turned rebel commander accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in northern Uganda. An estimated 80,000 apartheid victims still have not benefited from the special reparations fund issued by the Department of Justice in South Africa through the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, and reported struggling financially with the minimal compensation awarded to them. The Minister of Federal Government in Sudan renewed its efforts to involve armed movements in national peace processes, and to reintegrate demobilized fighters into all states. The proposed genocide apology from Germany for colonial-era massacres committed in Namibia from 1904 to 1908 has been delayed, further impeding upon redress for the approximately 75,000 victims killed by German authorities. The United Nations announced that it was investigating mass graves found in a town in Mali, where various human rights abuses were also discovered by the UN mission in the country over competition for land control.

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Americas

Colombia’s transitional justice system received case files on 12,000 alleged military criminals and is in the process of verifying which cases qualify as war crimes. The country will institute a transitional justice tribunal and truth commission in the coming months following the selection of judges. The UN also removed more than 7,000 weapons from demobilization zones where former FARC guerillas handed their arms over under the peace deal. Governments in the Caribbean strengthened pressure on Europe to pay reparations for human rights violations committed during the transatlantic slave trade, and included Norway and Sweden in their list of countries to be held accountable. Nurses of the Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health in Canada are working to seek justice for the hundreds of Indigenous women victims who were forcibly sterilized in Canadian hospitals in the 1970s, and to raise awareness about health care discrimination against Indigenous women specifically. Ottawa also announced its first Indigenous court, which is meant to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in Canada’s criminal justice system. In Argentina, four former federal judges in Argentina were sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity committed during the country’s last dictatorship

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AsiaThe International Commission of Jurists urged reform in Nepal’s transitional justice measures in a discussion paper focused on the inclusion of victims and human rights organizations. Likewise, the budget for rehabilitation allotted for more than seven hundred kamaiya families in the country reportedly failed to utilize 120 million of its rupees or reach just land compensation, but government officials are working on special programs to settle the freed communities. An International Crisis Group report revealed that Tamil speaking women in Sri Lanka are still seeking truth and justice for wartime human rights violations, and that little has been accomplished to reach reconciliation among communities. Aung San Suu Kyi encouraged national dialogue and the inclusion of the military in Myanmar’s move to civilian rule at the Forum on Myanmar Democratic Transition. Meanwhile in the country, women continue to struggle to have their voices heard in peace processes, and are building a rights movement to access full participation.

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EuropeA court in Kosovo ruled to detain Agim Sahitaj for committing war crimes against Kosovo Albanian civilians in 1999. The proposed Albanian language law in Macedonia that came from the country’s 2001 Ohrid peace accord and would extend the use of Albanian throughout the region, is set to appear before parliament for adoption soon. The initial releases of the approximately 6,000 men and women held in the Omarska detention camp in Bosnia in 1992 was commemorated on the sixth of August, and victims and other civilians honored those who died under the command of the Bosnian Serb forces. Poland demanded compensation from Germany for World War II damages, claiming that the country has failed to take full political, moral, and financial responsibility.

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MenaFollowing protests, Tunisia‘s parliament delayed voting on a bill that calls for amnesty for former public officials accused of corruption during the rule of president Ben Ali. President Michel Aoun of Lebanon visited the historic region of Chouf to celebrate the 16th anniversary of reconciliation between Christian and Druze communities in Mount Lebanon that facilitated co-existence following the country’s Civil War. German prosecutors arrested a 29-year-old man from Syria for alleged war crimes that he committed with the Islamic State after he joined in 2014.

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Publications

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Not Without Dignity: Views of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon on Displacement, Conditions of Return, and CoexistenceDiscussions about a future return of refugees and coexistence among groups currently at war in Syria must begin now, even in the face of ongoing violence and displacement.

Lessons in Truth-Seeking: International Experiences Informing United States InitiativesThis report disscusses the Greensboro Truth and Reonciliation Commission’s Final Report on the 1979 killings of five anti-Ku Klux Klan demonstrators. It focuses on a meeting of representatives from truth recovery efforts around the world to assess the Greensboro experience.

More Publications

Upcoming Events

October 09 – 13, 2017

Negotiating Peace and Justice: ICTJ’s 2017 Intensive Course on Transitional Justice and Peace Processes Location: Barcelona, Spain View Details

October 17 – 22, 2017

22nd Workshop in Budapest: Practices of Memory and Knowledge Production Location: Budapest, Hungary View Details

More Events
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War Crimes Prosecution Watch: Volume 12, Issue 12 – August 21, 2017

 


FREDERICK K. COX
INTERNATIONAL LAW CENTER

Founder/Advisor
Michael P. Scharf

War Crimes Prosecution Watch

Volume 12 – Issue 12
August 21, 2017

Editor-in-Chief
James Prowse

Technical Editor-in-Chief
Samantha Smyth

Managing Editors
Rina Mwiti
Alexandra Mooney

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.

Contents

AFRICA

CENTRAL AFRICA

Central African Republic

Sudan & South Sudan

Democratic Republic of the Congo

WEST AFRICA

Mali

EAST AFRICA

Uganda

Kenya

Rwanda (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda)

Somalia

NORTH AFRICA

Libya

EUROPE

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Domestic Prosecutions In The Former Yugoslavia

MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA

Iraq

Syria

Yemen

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal

War Crimes Investigations in Burma

Israel and Palestine

AMERICAS

North & Central America

South America

TOPICS

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Terrorism

Piracy

Commentary and Perspectives

WORTH READING


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Jurist: Trump and North Korea – Beware the Boogeyman

Trump and North Korea: Beware the Boogeyman

JURIST Guest Columnist David M. Crane of the Syracuse University College of Law discusses how President Trump is using the conflict with North Korea to divert attention from his own shortcomings…

Tyrants need a war. Looking back over the past hundred years one finds that tyrants come to power in conflict and remains in power largely due to conflict. It centers the populace, distracting them from other societal challenges to include their civil liberties.

Politically weak or insecure leaders also need a distraction. I call those distractions boogeymen–nations, a peoples, or culture that the leader perceives to be a threat to the national security. This boogeyman also distracts from the political challenges both real and imagined that leader faces. Hitler had the Jews; Stalin capitalism; the Ayatollah the “Great Satin,” and Assad “terrorists” by way of a few examples.

Dictators and other leaders need a populace that is afraid. Fear is a powerful psychological tool to govern with and leaders use it for various reasons. A populace that is afraid of “something” looks to its leader for security and a solution. This is where the shadow of a boogeyman is useful. Fear can bring a society together in common cause.

Historically these conflicts created by a tyrant, dictator or insecure leader rarely succeed. The immediate result may be a distraction, but in the long term that nation, and its leader, end up weakened and in some cases worse off than they were before the conflict. Various circumstances intervene that were unintended consequences. History shows that these unintended consequences rarely benefit a leader.

Only the citizens of that country suffer those consequences. Simply put some of their loved ones do not come home. Tens of thousands perish their nation weakened politically and economically by the conflict. The nation itself loses stature internationally. Weakened trade through sanctions and other action only bring more unrest and insecurity.

The result is a country in worse shape than before the conflict. It all blows up in the tyrant’s face, with more unrest and division a result. In this information age, conflict is bad for global trade and business, unlike the industrial age where conflict was good for business. The world suffers from this type of threat and conflict as well.

As our President, politically weak, deeply insecure and challenged on all fronts looks for a distraction and a boogeyman, he conveniently has been handed one in the guise of Kim Jong-un and North Korea. From the President’s point of view, he has a “twofer,” a threat worthy of a conflict and a boogeyman. To maintain his political relevancy (and to silence whatever demons whisper to him) a looming crisis with nuclear implications is just what the doctor ordered. Words such as “fire and fury” ring true to him.

Suddenly the Russia scandal is off the front page. No one is talking about collusion, conspiracy, perjury or obstruction of justice. Attention is diverted across the Pacific Ocean to a hermit kingdom led by a crafty leader who uses just this type of tension to maintain his own power.

Kim Jong-un is a dictator, he needs a looming conflict, and he needs that boogeyman, as well, to distract his citizenry away from daily famine towards an impending attack by their boogeyman, the United States. The President has handed him politically a reason to lead his nation and consolidate power on a silver platter.

We have an insecure and an unstable leader in our President now in a possible “dance of death” with a brutal tyrant who is “crazy like a fox.” In my mind, this does not auger well for our national security or international peace and security. To these leaders all this is necessary for political power reasons. Without this tension and possible apocalyptic conflict, their relevancy is threatened. Even if we do not jump into the abyss toward war on the Korean Peninsula, it shows that our President is willing to put our populace in jeopardy for his own political gain.

The actual boogeyman in all this is our own President. Willing to sacrifice it all for personal gain and power. Where are the “the Generals” who actually control the national security apparatus, the White House Chief of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Advisor? Are they going to let this happen? They know the true consequences of war. The President does not. Beware the boogeyman!

David M. Crane is a professor at Syracuse University College of Law. He is the founding Chief Prosecutor of the International War Crimes Tribunal in West Africa called the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He is also the founder of the Syrian Accountability Project.

Suggested citation: David M. Crane, Trump and North Korea: Beware the Boogeyman, JURIST – Academic Commentary, August 11, 2017, http://jurist.org/forum/2017/08/David-Crane-beware-the-boogeyman.php

War Crimes Prosecution Watch: Volume 12, Issue 11 – August 7, 2017

Case School of Law Logo

 
Founder/Advisor
Michael P. Scharf
 
War Crimes Prosecution Watch
Volume 12 – Issue 11
August 7, 2017
PILPG Logo
Editor-in-Chief
James Prowse
Managing Editors
Rina Mwiti
Alexandra Mooney
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.

Contents


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International Center for Transitional Justice: In Focus – With Elections Just Days Away, Kenya Must Learn From Its Past

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ICTJ ICTJ In Focus 71
August 2017

In Focus

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Kenya's Security Sector Needs to Learn from the Past to Safeguard the Nation at this Critical MomentKenya’s Security Sector Needs to Learn from the Past to Safeguard the Nation at this Critical MomentKenya is just days away from the 2017 general election, but challenges dot the horizon, including the recent assassination of an election official. ICTJ’s Chris Gitari calls for a strong, accountable security sector and the implementation of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Report.

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What Role Can Transitional Justice Play in Confronting Racial Injustice in the United States?What Role Can Transitional Justice Play in Confronting Racial Injustice in the United States?As grassroots efforts to confront the legacy of racial injustice in the United States take hold from New Orleans to Maine and beyond, how can transitional justice experiences around the world inform their work? That was a major focus of a recent conference ICTJ co-convened, hosted by Kean University.

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After the Rupture: Understanding Transitional Justice and ReconciliationAfter the Rupture: Understanding Transitional Justice and ReconciliationIs reconciliation a central aim of transitional justice processes? Or does it have different bearings in different settings? A new paper presents possible understandings of the concept of reconciliation as well as its relationship to the field of transitional justice.

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Publications

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Victims Fighting Impunity Transitional Justice in the African Great Lakes RegionIn many countries of the African Great Lakes region, state-led approaches to transitional justice have been created by wide-ranging agreements or policies that have been later forgotten or only partially implemented.

Justice Mosaics: How Context Shapes Transitional Justice in Fractured SocietiesWhat hope is there for justice for victims of atrocities in profoundly fractured societies, where systems of government have broken down and social and political divisions run deep? What is the role of transitional justice in forging peace in countries like Colombia, after decades of conflict? Or in countries like Tunisia, after years of repression and corrosive corruption?

More Publications

Upcoming Events

July 26 – September 03, 2017

The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America Location: Brooklyn Museum View Details

October 09 – 13, 2017

Negotiating Peace and Justice: ICTJ’s 2017 Intensive Course on Transitional Justice and Peace ProcessesLocation: Barcelona, SpainView Details

More Events
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International Center for Transitional Justice: World Report July 2017 – Transitional Justice News and Analysis

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ICTJ World Report
July 2017

 

 

 

In Focus

A Noble Dream: The Tenacious Pursuit of Justice in Guatemala

Bring General Rios Montt and other high ranking members of the military to trial in the Guatemalan courts for genocide? In 1999 it was a noble dream for justice, but one with little apparent possibility of ever coming true. On International Justice Day, walk the long path to justice that led to this historic trial?

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World Report

Africa

Victims of past election violence in Kenya demanded compensation before the next election. In the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, soldiers were convicted for the murder of militia members, which is also where authorities found a dozen more mass graves. The UN denounced the decision by a DRC military tribunal to not prosecute seven soldiers for crimes against humanity. South Africa’s African National Congress political party declared support for the country’s withdrawal from the ICC following a corresponding court decision. An inquiry into the death of an apartheid-era activist has been re-opened. Uganda’s Amnesty Commission failed to reintegrate and resettle ex-rebels. A bishop in Liberia encouraged the establishment of a war crimes court to preserve and ensure the nation’s democracy. In the Gambia, a draft bill on Truth and Reconciliation was beginning to be reviewed by the country’s judiciary. On July 4th, Rwanda celebrated Liberation day, commemorating the day the 1994 genocide ended, while UN court proceedings continued the review of a criminal’s case who had requested exoneration. A parliament member of Zambia called for the inclusion of peace and conflict resolution studies into national education curriculum.

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Americas

Colombia’s FARC rebel group disarmed after decades of war. The UN Security Council agreed to monitor Colombia’s peace process until 2020, while the ICC is pushing for prosecutions of members of various generals, corporals and the country’s Armed Forces commander. In Argentina, four former military officers were arrested for crimes against humanity committed in 1976. The former dictator of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, is having his case reviewed after his daughter claimed that he was falsely sentenced. Canada apologized and gave a reparations payment to a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, after a court concluded that his rights were abused. In Mexico, dozens of NGO’s requested an ICC investigation of crimes against humanity in a prison in the state of Coahuila.

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Asia

In Nepal, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) began looking into rights violations. The TRC and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons called on the Prime Minister to extend their term until the probe into war-era cases concludes. Nepalese families of war victims will receive a reparations payment through the Relief and Rehabilitation Unit under the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction. In Myanmar, a tribunal will be held this fall to highlight atrocities committed against the Rohingya. The country also released child soldiers that fought under the former junta. In Cambodia, a production honoring victims of the nation’s conflict will begin on a global scale and a peace museum will open to acknowledge the country’s history. The UN-backed Cambodian tribunal trying Khmer Rouge atrocities admitted that only some perpetrators will face justice. Prosecutors delivered closing arguments in the case against Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, focusing on the genocide charges they face. Taiwan will declassify records to continue transitional justice efforts. Additionally, a Taiwanese act took effect in order to protect indigenous languages and cultures.

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Europe

In the Netherlands, a Hague Appeals Court confirmed that Dutch UN peacekeepers were partly liable for a 1995 massacre near Srebrenica. An Amsterdam city hall named for a Nazi accomplice is in the process of being renamed. On July 11th, Bosnia remembered the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. The appeals chamber of the Bosnian state court confirmed the conviction of a former military policeman for committing crimes against humanity in the Bihac area in the summer of 1992.In Croatia, victims are awaiting justice for crimes committed at a prison camp in Serbia. In Scandinavia, a Truth Commission began in Finland to unveil discrimination of the Sámi people. In France, a former judge was selected to aid the UN in prosecuting Syrian war crimes. Meanwhile, a family seeks in the United States seeks to regain a painting they say was plundered in Nazi Germany. A 98-year old Minnesota man who was accused of Nazi war crimes in Poland. In Kosovo, a court will charge former guerrillas for crimes committed in the country’s war. Elsewhere, holocaust survivors in Romania became eligible for reparations. In Spain a court began investigating a war crime in Syria, on behalf of the victim’s family member in Madrid.

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Mena

In Syria, victims of a chemical weapons attack demanded accountability for the crime, and hundreds of refugees returned to their Syrian homes after unsafe conditions arose in Lebanese refugee camps. Lebanon’s human rights minister called for an investigation into the deaths of four Syrian refugees. In Afghanistan, the ICC delayed investigating war crimes due to “substantial” new information from Kabul. Australian special forces are being investigated for war crimes committed in two Afghan provinces. In other news, Israel paid compensation to Turkish victims of a 2010 raid on a flotilla. Regarding Saudi Arabia, British arms sales will continue following a decision from the London high court, despite their use in alleged war crimes in Yemen.

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Publications

Not Without Dignity: Views of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon on Displacement, Conditions of Return, and Coexistence

Discussions about a future return of refugees and coexistence among groups currently at war in Syria must begin now, even in the face of ongoing violence and displacement.

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When No One Calls It Rape: Addressing Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys

Sexual violence against men and boys in times of conflict or repression is alarmingly common— and takes a markedly consistent form across contexts in terms of how it affects victims and societies as a human rights violation that is taboo to talk about. It has been committed in all cultures, geographic regions, and time periods.

View Report

More Publications

Upcoming Events

November 07 – 08, 2017

The Interface of National Security and Humanitarian Law in Situations of Low-Intensity Armed Conflict / High Intensity Emergency Location: Ulster University, Jordanstown campus View Details

October 09 – 13, 2017

Negotiating Peace and Justice: ICTJ’s 2017 Intensive Course on Transitional Justice and Peace Processes Location: Barcelona, Spain View Details

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War Crimes Prosecution Watch: Volume 12, Issue 10 – July 24, 2017

 


FREDERICK K. COX
INTERNATIONAL LAW CENTER

Founder/Advisor
Michael P. Scharf

War Crimes Prosecution Watch

Volume 12 – Issue 10
July 24, 2017

Editor-in-Chief
James Prowse

Technical Editor-in-Chief
Samantha Smyth

Managing Editors
Rina Mwiti
Alexandra Mooney

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.

Contents

AFRICA

CENTRAL AFRICA

Central African Republic

Sudan & South Sudan

Democratic Republic of the Congo

WEST AFRICA

Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

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

Mali

EAST AFRICA

Uganda

Kenya

Rwanda (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda)

Somalia

NORTH AFRICA

Libya

EUROPE

Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina, War Crimes Chamber

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Domestic Prosecutions In The Former Yugoslavia

MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA

Iraq

Syria

Yemen

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal

War Crimes Investigations in Burma

Israel and Palestine

AMERICAS

North & Central America

South America

TOPICS

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Terrorism

Piracy

Gender-Based Violence

Commentary and Perspectives

WORTH READING


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Jurist: A Step Backward: The Closure of the Office of Global Criminal Justice

A Step Backward: The Closure of the Office of Global Criminal Justice

JURIST Guest Columnists, David M. Crane, of Syracuse University School of Law, and Richard Goldstone, former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, discuss the widespread implications of the US decision to close the Office of Global Criminal Justice…


W
ith the raspy barking of a US President in the background trying to “Make America Great Again,” the world shrinks away in surprise and confusion. As the light begins to wane on that bright and shining experiment on the hill called “America”, the international community faces the yawning maw of a retrenching America, once again looking inward, shrinking away from a leadership position it has held since World War II. Unprepared for any of this, the West is losing its way uncertain and weakened. They look for any indication of someone to lead.

It will not be America. From the environment to trade, the US has chosen to step away from not only legal but also moral obligations. This past week another indication of further retrenchment was manifest when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that he was closing the Office of Global Criminal Justice (OGCJ), the office where the US asserts leadership and support for international justice and holding accountable those who feed upon their own citizens. Like much else this new US administration has done, this is wrong!

The United States has been the cornerstone for the creation of modern international criminal law. It played the leading role at the International Criminal Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1945, the subsequent Council 10 trials, up to and including the establishment of the tribunals and courts for Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia, as well as the International Criminal Court. BUT FOR the support of the United States, most of these justice mechanisms would not have come into existence or would have had existential and overwhelming challenges at the beginning. The United States has always been at the forefront in creating justice mechanisms.

Past administrations have had policy differences with the world community on the administration of international justice, but, at the end of the day, they did not waiver in the perception that the rule of law is important for a more stable world. This administration, a newly forming kleptocracy, is facing the rule of law with almost a blatant disregard, certainly a jaw-dropping disrespect not seen in the history of the republic. Ruefully, commentators have said that in Washington “nothing matters.”

The reasons for the closure of the OGCJ appears to be couched in the devastating cuts that must come from a 30% reduction in the State Department’s budget this fiscal year causing necessary cuts throughout the department. Efficiencies need to be made, but closure of the OGCJ will actually bring greater cost in the end. A small office with no operating budget other than the few personnel costs and the like, really does not cost the department much at all. Yet their global footprint is much larger than the numbers assigned to the OGCJ, almost equal to the more expensive bureaus.

The office travels the world, sits at all of the key meetings, conferences and other efforts putting the moral force of the world’s leading liberal democracy forcefully on the table of justice to ensure that reasonable outcomes and solutions are had as the world deals with unprecedented challenges related to atrocity, unrest and instability around the world.

Closing the OGCJ removes the United States from efforts to take on these challenges resulting in further insecurities that will challenge the national security of the United States. The small cost savings in closing this influential office will cost much more as the State Department, as well as other national security agencies, like the Department of Defense are drawn into future unrest because we no longer have the ability to prevent the destabilizing effects of atrocity, civil war and conflict. The OGCJ helped through dialog to settle disputes, unrest and the like before they developed into threats to our national security. If there were atrocities to prevent, the OGCJ contributed in the establishment of mechanisms to hold accountable those who commit those atrocities. In closing we would use the analogy that the United States built the house that we now call international criminal justice. With the closure of the OGCJ, the United States is walking out the front door and throwing the keys to the dictators, thugs and warlords who kill their own citizens.

The authors are the founding Chief Prosecutors of the international tribunals for Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.

Suggested citation: David M. Crane and Richard Goldstone, A Step Backward: The Closure of the Office of Global Criminal Justice, JURIST – Academic Commentary, July 21, 2017, http://jurist.org/forum/2017/07/Crane-Goldstone-a-step-backward.php.


This article was prepared for publication by Dave Rodkey, Managing Editor for JURIST. Please direct any questions or comments to him at commentary@jurist.org<hrheight=’1′>.

Opinions expressed in JURIST Commentary are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST’s editors, staff, donors or the University of Pittsburgh.

Awoko Newspaper: Sierra Leone News – War Crimes & Justice

Sierra Leone News: War Crimes & Justice

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) accomplished an incredible feat in convicting those most responsible for the atrocities of the Civil War (1990-2002). Their Court decisions did not bring back the many innocents who died or repair the trauma so many endured amidst the fighting, but from what I’ve read it did provide some sense of closure for a country committed to a peaceful future. According to a 2013 survey, 91% of Sierra Leoneans believed the SCSL had contributed to sustained peace in the region.
The Court tried and convicted nine people, including leaders from the RUF, the CDF, the AFRC, and even the President of Liberia, Charles Taylor. No special court tribunal had ever indicted a sitting head of state, so the SCSL set an important precedent that even presidents cannot commit war crimes with impunity. They were also the first court to convict people for the use of child soldiers, for forced marriages as a form of sexual slavery, and for attacks on UN peacekeepers. According to SCSL materials, the Court was the first international criminal tribunal to achieve their mandate since the Nuremberg trials regarding crimes by Nazi leaders during WWII.
But the legacy and implications of the SCSL goes far beyond the borders of this country. Their judicial approaches and established precedents remain a model for future criminal tribunes to follow, which might happen sooner than I thought.
Calls from human rights groups and governments across the world are growing to create a criminal tribunal for war crimes committed in Syria. Their government, lead by autocrat Bashar al-Assad, has waged a brutal war campaign against rebel groups throughout the country. It is estimated that almost half a million people have died in the six-year civil war, which shows no signs of slowing.
Early this year, Assad used the chemical weapon Sarin gas against innocent civilians killing almost 100. Many of the dead were children. The use of Sarin gas is banned throughout the world and any use of this deadly nerve agent is categorically defined as a war crime. Evidence of countless other war crimes have been levied against the Assad regime – extrajudicial killings, torture, aiding terror campaigns – and international organizations are busy gathering and protecting evidence of these atrocities.
The Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) has already collected 700,000 pages of Syrian intelligence documents including 55,000 photographs of the bodies of dead prisoners that a former forensic investigator smuggled out of the country. The UN recently established an independent organization to collect evidence that will assist in the future prosecution of those most responsible for crimes during the Syrian Civil War.
International law experts have already started to think about what that tribunal might look like. In the final months of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, international experts drafted a blueprint for the future special court to prosecute atrocity crimes during the Syrian Civil War. The committee included two former SCSL prosecutors and drew influence from the founding documents of Sierra Leone’s criminal tribunal. I can only hope that any Syrian tribunal will be as successful at the SCSL, but some experts have doubts a judicial system like the SCSL’s could be implemented in a post-war Syria.
The SCSL was hybrid system where the court was comprised of both local and international judges. Sierra Leone’s government, at the end of the war in 2002, was eager to hold war criminals accountable, so they partnered with the UN to do just that. The two entities both contributed funding, judges, and expertise to their joint goal of convicting rebel leaders and President Taylor.
That approach won’t work in Syria while Assad is still in power. He runs the government and has no interest in allowing UN prosecutors into his country to bring him and his advisors to court. The SCSL’s hybrid model will only work after Assad has been ousted from Syrian leadership. Until then, Syrian won’t know the closure Sierra Leone felt after Charles Taylor and the rebel leaders were sent to jail. Without accountability, they won’t enjoy the lasting peace that has endured in this country for the last 15 years.
Timothy’s Take
Wednesday July 19, 2017.