Civil society members of the Coalition for the ICC share their expectations for accountability for grave crimes in Guinea, Georgia, Colombia, Burundi and Kenya this year.
Trials in Guinea for 2008 Conakry stadium massacre
Mathilde Chiffert, Guinea programme coordinator, International Federation for Human Rights
“The victims of the Conakry stadium massacre on 28 September 2008 hope to soon see six years of investigations result in a trial that will bring justice and reparations. Guinea’s president should publicly commit to opening the trial in 2016. It would be an opportunity for the government to show the world that those responsible for these crimes can successfully be held account before national courts. Guinea could become a remarkable example of cooperation with the ICC, which has been conducting a preliminary examination since 2009, and the 28 September case a landmark in the implementation of the ICC’s principle of complementary.”
An ICC investigation in Georgia
Ana Natsvlishvili, chair, Georgian Young Lawyers Association
“Seven years after the August 2008 Georgian-Russian conflict over South Ossetia, no effective national investigations have been carried out and perpetrators continue to live with impunity while victims of grave crimes are left without redress. We welcome the ICC prosecutor’s move to open an investigation into the situation and hope that justice will be served. Effective investigation and prosecution is not only the right of victims, but the duty of the international community to keep its promise that most serious crimes must not go unpunished.”
Guarantees for victims in Colombia’s peace/justice deal
“We welcome the important agreement reached in Havana on the establishment of a Special Jurisdiction for Peace, value that the agreement has incorporated several proposals put forward by victims and human rights organizations, as well as included standards from international human rights law […]. We insist that upon its implementation, the agreement should guarantee the deepest participation of victims and human rights organizations, taking into account conditions of security that can guarantee their fundamental rights to truth, justice, integral reparation and guarantees of non-repetition.”
Investigations into grave crimes in Burundi
The League for Human Rights in the Great Lakes, Burundi
“In May 2015, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda warned that her office could investigate violence in Burundi that followed President Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term. If Burundian authorities do not investigate, an international investigation should follow. The ICC should continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Accountability for Kenya’s 2007-08 post-election violence – at home and internationally
Andrew Songa, program manager, civil and political rights, Kenya Human Rights Commission
“The unfolding legacy of Kenya’s transitional justice process is likely to reach its high water mark in 2016. The president has effectively shut the door to domestic prosecutions for the 2007-8 post-election violence. He has pledged restorative justice for victims. But that has not been actioned to date. The ICC remains the only viable pillar of hope for justice. We hope that the Ruto/Sang case proceeds to conclusion. In addition, a positive determination of the pending appeal on the prosecutor’s request for referral of Kenya to the Assembly of States Parties for non-cooperation and the witness tampering cases would be monumental in bridging the impunity gap. Without these, 2016 may be the year we admit that Kenya’s transitional justice agenda, and accountability for grievous ICC crimes, has unfortunately gone the wrong way.”
State cooperation to make international justice effective
Costa Rica MP Ronny Monge Salas, member of Parliamentarians for Global Action
“We cannot fight against impunity without providing the Court with the appropriate instruments to uphold the values of democracy, rule of law, human rights and most of all justice for victims. Costa Rica’s commitment remains resolute. That is why, in July 2015, I tabled a bill to reinforce the cooperation of my country with the ICC. More states should do the same in 2016.”
This article was originally published in the 2015-16 Global Justice Monitor, the annual international justice review of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, a civil society network in 150 countries.
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