In Global Justice news this week: Governments undermining the International Criminal Court, confirmation of charges in the case of Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi for alleged cultural war crimes opens at ICC on 1 March, UN warns about commission of war crimes in Syria and much more.
Governments are undermining the International Criminal Court, United Nations’ human rights bodies and regional mechanisms in an effort to evade oversight of their domestic records, warned Amnesty International this week in its annual human rights report.
“Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said AI Secretary General Salil Shetty. “Millions of people are suffering enormously at the hands of states and armed groups, while governments are shamelessly painting the protection of human rights as a threat to security, law and order or national ‘values’.”
The report also highlighted impunity as a key cause and driver of conflicts and instability in Africa, saying here was little or no accountability for crimes under international law committed by security forces and armed groups in countries as disparate as Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. Yet the opening last year trial in Senegal of former Chadian President Hissène Habré represents a watershed moment for international justice, said AI.
International Criminal Court investigations
Democratic Republic of Congo: ICC Judges rejected evidence of former UN envoy on child soldiers at the trial of Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda.
Uganda: Civil society experts on peace and reconciliation issues share prospects of recovery for victims from the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) following last month’s opening of the confirmation of charges at the ICC against former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen.
Darfur: AI highlighted the ICC case against Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir in its annual report and criticized countries in southern Africa for failing to arrest the Sudan leader last June. Serbia, an ICC member state has awarded a medal of merit to al-Bashir.
Kenya: ICC trial judges said it will take time before they decide on the “no case to answer” motion in the trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and broadcaster Joshua Sang. George Kegoro, executive director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, reflects on prospects for justice in Kenya. Journalists for Justice shared stories about the horrors of Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence. Kenya has offered Israel help dealing with ICC.
Georgia: Nika Jeiranashvili of the Open Society Georgia Foundation outlined the high stakes for the recently-opened ICC investigation into the 2008 South Ossetian conflict, arguing that both Georgia and Russia have much to gain from full cooperation.
ICC preliminary examinations
Colombia: AI criticized the transitional justice deal between Colombia’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) alleging it does not meet international standards on truth, justice and reparation to victims.
Nigeria: Alleged war crimes continue to be perpetrated by the Nigerian military in the war against Boko Haram.
Palestine: ICC prosecutor shared remarks on the ongoing preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine.
Campaign for Global Justice
ICC counsels issued a declaration on Africa’s threat to withdraw from the Rome Statute as civil society highlighted that withdrawal would entrench impunity and undermine the spirit of international law.
Abductions, killings and fear crush Burundi says Human Rights Watch.
The former ICC President warned that referring North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to the ICC could disrupt the country’s leadership.
Civil society alerted that Haiti’s political crisis is drawing out the prosecution of Ex-Dictator Duvalier.
US President Barack Obama delivered his plan to close Guantanamo Bay to Congress this week.
Alleged attacks on a UN base sheltering in South Sudan.
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