In Global Justice news last week: Rwanda welcomes ICC suspect Omar al-Bashir as ICC gets support at African Union summit; ICC judges censure Uganda and Djibouti for not arresting al-Bashir in May as Chilcot Inquiry’s potential impact on ICC preliminary examination assessed; No Peace Without Justice presents report on crimes against Iraqi minorities to European Parliament; El Salvador throws out civil war amnesty law; reflections on two-year anniversary of MH17 tragedy; and much more.
Al-Bashir in Rwanda as ICC gets support at AU summit
International Criminal Court fugitive Omar al-Bashir arrived in Rwanda for today’s concluding session of the 27th African Union summit as a contingent of countries, reportedly including Senegal, Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria, Botswana, and Ivory Coast, opposed proposals for collective withdrawal from the ICC being tabled. There remains a chance that heads-of-state will discuss the matter.
Civil society activists as well as the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability have stressed the ICC’s continued significance in Africa while others encouraged AU leaders to engage in constructive discussions with the ICC and its backers. The South African Human Rights Commission specifically reached out to South Africa’s international relations and cooperation minister to express concern over the country’s waning commitment to the Rome Statute.
While Rwanda is not an ICC member state, the decision to welcome al-Bashir flies in the face of the international community’s efforts to re-establish the rule of law through the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda following the country’s 1990s genocide. Al-Bashir is suspected by the ICC of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in relation to the conflict in Darfur, Sudan.
ICC judges last week found that ICC member states Djibouti and Uganda failed to cooperate with direct requests to arrest and surrender the Sudanese president while on their territories in May this year. At the time, the Coalition urged Djibouti and Uganda to uphold their obligations under the Rome Statute. ICC judges have referred to the Court’s governing body, the Assembly of States Parties, and the UN Security Council, which referred the situation to the ICC in the first place. Djibouti faced a similar non-cooperation finding and referral regarding its failure to arrest al-Bashir in 2011.
As the world celebrates Nelson Mandela Day, here’s a reminder of what one of the “greatest architects of justice” had to say about the ICC and Africa.
Libya: Gaddafi son Saif al-Islam still in jail and receiving no amnesty, according to Libyan local authorities
Democratic Republic of Congo: Witness in Bosco Ntaganda trial expects compensation for torched houses
Côte d’Ivoire: Free Gbagbo campaign in Accra has already gathered more than three million signatures
Kenya: ICC judges decline to consider reparation request of victims in terminated Ruto and Sang case
ICC preliminary examinations
Palestine: New Amnesty report urges Palestine and Israel officials to deal with war crimes
Nigeria: Will Nigerian governors be convicted by the International Criminal Court?
Ukraine: Disaster is reminder that civilians pay heavy toll in armed conflict, says OSCE Chief Monitor in Ukraine on second anniversary of MH17 tragedy. Meanwhile, UN report on 2014-2016 killings highlights “rampant impunity”
Campaign for Global Justice
EU on International Justice Day: Justice safeguards equality, cohesion and resilience – EU remains committed to universal acceptance of ICC’s jurisdiction
ICC President calls for solidarity and global support for justice
Transitions in transitional justice: reflections on International Criminal Justice Day
PGA: Parliamentary roundtable in Kyiv, Ukraine an opportunity to re-launch the national debate on the need for Ukraine to ratify, without delay, the Rome Statute of the ICC. They also emphasize the need for full cooperation of States Parties to the ICC
Human Rights Watch’s Liz Evenson reflects on the progress of the ICC and its place at a crossroads
Avocats San Frontièrs encourages those to not overlook the consequences of international crimes
The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) urges the Indonesian government to implement comprehensive justice for victims of human rights abuses
The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability explains misconceptions surrounding the ICC and calls on African States to show support for the fight against impunity
Around the world
Coalition Steering Committee member No Peace Without Justice released a new report entitled No Way Home: Iraq’s Minorities on the Verge of Disappearance, documenting alleged crimes by ISIS and other forces against northern Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities from the fall of Mosul in June 2014 to February 2016, including murder, maiming, abduction and forced marriage and sexual enslavement of unknown numbers of women and girls. Watch the presentation of the report at the European Parliament.
New ABA-ICC Project study: over half of United States public believe ICC a good example of female empowerment; similar number believe ICC aligned with US values
Could Canada be formally investigated by the ICC for detainee torture?
More than 1000 people in Cameroon accused of supporting Boko Haram have been held in horrific conditions, some tortured to death, reports Amnesty International
ELSAM: Indonesia should immediately implement a comprehensive justice for victims
Syria, Bosnia and Chechnya: The Challenge of Documenting War
In historic ruling, El Salvador rejects civil war amnesty law
NGOs claim government siege of Syria town led to dozens starved to death
Pakistan militants accuse India of genocide in disputed Kashmir territory