#GlobalJusticeWeekly – Human Rights Council calls for accountability in Gaza

Forty-five countries voted in support of the resolution on the Gaza conflict. © FIDH

Forty-five countries voted in support of the resolution on the Gaza conflict. © FIDH

Late last week, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) approved a resolution calling for perpetrators of war crimes allegedly committed during the 2014 Gaza conflict to be held accountable and urging Israel and Palestine to cooperate fully with any ICC inquiries into the matter.

The resolution was supported by 45 countries, with only the United States voting against.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) welcomed the resolution’s adoption, while Al-Haq noted the unanimous support it received from the EU. The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies organized a number of events in support of accountability Israel and Palestine during the HRC session. Amnesty International launched a digital tool to map human rights violations in Gaza. Several other members of our Coalition have welcomed a UN panel’s report on the Gaza conflict and called on states to support the ICC’s preliminary examination into the situation.

This week, the Israeli government decided to open talks with the ICC prosecutor, though reportedly only to make clear its position that the Court lacks authority over Israel.

Coalition staff celebrate International Justice Day. © CICC

Coalition staff celebrate International Justice Day. © CICC

Tell the world why #JusticeMatters to you
In commemoration of International Justice Day (IJD), this week the ICC launched it’s #JusticeMatters social media campaign. To participate, take a photo explaining what justice means to you and post it on the Court’s IJD Facebook page. You can also change your social media profile pictures to special #JusticeMatters graphics we’ve made for the occasion.

International Justice Day commemorates the adoption of the ICC Rome Statute on 17 July 1998. Stay tuned to our blog next week for special posts and to read about the IJD celebrations our members are planning.



Central African Republic
The UN dismissed 20 peacekeepers from the CAR for the use of excessive force. French investigators questioned children allegedly sexually abused by French troops in the CAR.

Kenya
The ICC prosecutor is seeking to put into evidence a document authored by the Party for National Unity government that implicates Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto in a conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity. Broadcaster Joshua Sang told the Daily Nation that the charges against him at the ICC have turned his life upside down.

Darfur
South Africa’s chief justice will meet with President Jacob Zuma to discuss the government’s failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. Former UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said that the South African government should have arrested Al-Bashir.

Farmers in West Darfur were evicted from their land by settlers reportedly protected by government-sponsored militias. The Sudanese government will deploy a joint police and military force to East Darfur to deal with tribal conflict, while the governor of Central Darfur granted emergency powers to security forces to end local criminality and conflict. Displaced persons and refugees from Darfur presented a package of demands to the UN Security Council regarding security in the region.

Democratic Republic of Congo
Judges postponed the start of the Bosco Ntaganda trial to September. Witnesses and victims in the case are concerned over their safety.

Libya
The prime minister of Libya’s internationally recognized government said that he is hopeful a peace deal can be reached, but the rival parliament in Tripoli rejected a UN peace proposal. At least 10 civilians were killed in three car-bombings in Libya, and at least 14 people were killed in fighting between militias in Benghazi.

Mali
Militant group Ansar Dine claimed it carried out multiple attacks across Mali. French troops killed an Al Qaeda militant that had been released in exchange for a French hostage.

Uganda
The ICC unveiled a 735,000 Euro project to provide rehabilitation for victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda. President Yoweri Museveni assured local leaders that victims of the LRA conflict would receive compensation. LRA leader Joseph Kony’s health is reportedly failing.

Côte d’Ivoire
Twenty people, including fighters loyal to President Alassane Ouattara, were reportedly charged with crimes committed during the 2010-11 post-electoral violence. Ivoire Justice interviewed the head of Côte d’Ivoire’s National Commission for Reconciliation and Compensation of Victims (in French).

Preliminary Examinations
A FARC negotiator said that Colombia’s president must make strong gestures towards peace in order to avoid further conflict in the country. The FARC also announced a one-month unilateral ceasefire.

Guinea‘s former military ruler, Moussa Dadis Camar,a was indicted for his role in the 2009 Conakry stadium massacre. Human Rights Watch (HRW) called the indictment a major step towards justice. FIDH also welcomed the indictment. A week prior to the indictment, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda visited Guinea to update herself on domestic investigations and proceedings in the country.

The Boko Haram offered to free the kidnapped Chibok girls in exchange for some of its leaders being held by the government, while Nigeria’s president met for the first time with activists campaigning for the girls’ release. A suspected Boko Haram attack killed at least 25 people in Zaria, while over 40 people were killed in two bombings in Jos. Nigerian troops reportedly arrested the ‘mastermind’ of the bombings.

What else is happening?
The Southern Africa Litigation Centre’s Angela Mudukuti argued African countries should critically engage with the ICC to improve the institution rather than withdraw from it.

The ICC prosecutor released a draft strategic plan for 2016-2018. The ICC held a high-level conference on cooperation in Costa Rica.

Russia vetoed a resolution recognizing the Srebrenica massacre as genocide, saying that singling out Bosnian Serbs would create further division in the Balkans. Amnesty International, No Peace Without Justice and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect criticized the veto as harmful to efforts to respond to and prevent future atrocities.

Former Chadian leader Hissène Habré is set to go on trial on 20 July. The International Center for Transitional Justice interviewed HRW’s Reed Brody on the role of victims and civil society in the trial.

HRW called for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to stand trial for alleged crimes against humanity.

Former Guatemalan leader Efrain Rios Montt could be declared unfit to stand trial just weeks before the scheduled start of his retrial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The International Bar Association’s Wendy Betts discussed the verification of citizen-captured information for use as evidence.

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