This week, amid ongoing violence in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority announced plans to join the ICC, but gave no timetable for when it would occur. The announcement came after Palestinian officials filed a complaint to the ICC accusing Israel of war crimes.
Seventeen human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI), sent a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urging him to ratify the Rome Statute. AI separately called for an ICC investigation of the events in Israel and Palestine, laying out the different avenues through which the Court could assert jurisdiction. The group also demanded that an attack on a school in Gaza be investigated as a war crime.
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council called for the international community to intervene to protect Gaza’s civilians, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights detailed the alleged human rights violations that have occurred since the conflict began earlier this month.ICC prosecutor condemns escalating violence in Libya
On 25 July, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda issued a statement regarding reports on escalating militias attacks in Libya. Bensouda called on all parties in Libya to refrain from targeting civilians and reiterated that her office will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute crimes that fall under ICC jurisdiction.
Earlier this week, Libyan UN Representative Ibrahim Al-Dabashi cautioned the armed groups battling in Tripoli that their attacks on citizens can be considered violations against human rights and expressed his desire to have them tried before the ICC.
Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) voiced concern over the wave of violence following the cease fire between the Seleka rebels and the anti-Balaka militia. A spokesperson for the Seleka group said that the ceasefire had been broken after its troops came under attack by anti-Balaka forces.
Researchers found that gold and diamond mines in the CAR are fueling the religious tension and clashes between the groups.
ICC judges ruled that the prosecution’s requests for Uhuru Kenyatta’s financial and other records from the Kenyan government are appropriate and that the government does not need Kenyatta’s permission to turn over most of the records. Kenyatta’s defense team continued to press the ICC to dismiss the case against Kenyatta, citing a lack of evidence.
Victims in the case against William Ruto and Joshua Sang told the ICC that they have been forced to bury their dead in public cemeteries far from the land they were forcibly evicted from during the post-election violence.
The United Nations Mission in Darfur pledged protection and security to the displaced in West Darfur. Darfur refugees criticized the memorandum of understanding signed between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North and top Janjaweed leader Musa Hilal.
Congolese President Joseph Kabila selected Jeanine Mabunda Lioko as his special representative to combat sexual violence and the recruitment of child soldiers in the DRC.
US and European officials demanded an immediate ceasefire in Libya and called on the UN to take action to end the violence. Several countries evacuated their diplomats from the country, as did the European Union.
The International Federation for Human Rights welcomed the first opportunity for victims of the conflict in northern Mali to testify in court, and urged that justice not to be sacrificed in peace talks. The UN Security Council praised the adoption of a roadmap for peace talks by the Malian government and Tuareg-led rebel troops, but urged both parties to maintain their ceasefire. The Council also called for peace talks to begin by 17 August.
French authorities arrested a former extremist leader allegedly responsible for the abduction of five humanitarian workers and the murder of a French citizen.
HRW condemned the Colombia FARC rebels for attacking rural Afro-Colombian areas. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos warned that continued attacks by the FARC could end peace talks with the government.
The New York Times reported that the Nigeria insurgent group Boko Haram has seemingly shifted strategies from violent attacks on civilians to purposely targeting political figures after they kidnapped the wife of Cameroon’s vice prime minister in an attack that left at least three people dead. Another Boko Haram attack killed eight and destroyed a bridge in the town of Katarko. A suicide bombing at a college in the city of Kano was also blamed on the group.
The Coalition and PGA urged the Malaysian government to join the ICC after officials reasoned that the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in the Ukraine could be considered a war crime. Meanwhile, a Malaysian MP and secretary of PGA’s Malaysian chapter M. Kula Segaran blamed Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail for delaying Malaysia’s ratification of the Rome Statute. Dutch authorities said that those responsible for the downing of flight MH17 will likely be tried in Dutch or Malaysian courts, not by the ICC.
Nigerian Ambassador to the Netherlands Dr. Nimota N. Akanbi released a statement commemorating Nigeria’s ratification of the Rome Statute.
The Coalition’s Niall Matthews presented on the ICC and its functions during a Civil Society Institute two-day training course for media, lawyers and activists in Armenia.
The Coalition’s Stephen Lamony told the Institute for War & Peace Reporting that the immunity given to heads of state in the proposed expansion of the African Court is incompatible with many African states’ domestic laws.
HRW condemned Syrian bomb attacks on civilians and urged Russia and China to allow the UN Security Council to refer Syria to the ICC.
A Cypriot MEP announced plans to ask the ICC to investigate alleged illegal settlements in Turkish-controlled areas of northern Cyprus.