#GlobalJustice Weekly – Civil society urges action on threats to ICC advocates

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Al-Haq representative to the International Criminal Court Nada Kiswanson at the 12th session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute. © CICC

The latest in Global Justice news: Al-Haq representative to the International Criminal Court Nada Kiswanson facing death threats; allegations of witness-tampering in Ongwen ICC trial; Georgian NGO sues Russia at European Court for Human Rights; UN Security Council approves regional protection force for UN mission in South Sudan; and much more.

Death threats for activist working on Palestine-ICC in The Hague

Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad last week broke the story of ongoing death threats to human rights activist Nada Kiswanson related to her work advocating for justice for grave crimes in Palestine at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. As the ICC representative of Coalition member Al-Haq, Kiswanson relays information towards the ICC Office of the Prosecutor’s examination into alleged grave crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The Coalition denounced the attacks as hate crimes, calling for those responsible to be brought to justice and for Dutch authorities to do more to meet their obligations, as the host state to the ICC, to protect international justice advocates in the Netherlands.

“The Coalition for the International Criminal Court comprises thousands of NGOs, tens of millions of supporters; an attack on any of our members is a threat to all of us. The Coalition will continue to defend all ICC advocates and it is vital that the Dutch authorities and the ICC continue to protect all who strive for international justice to prevail,” said Coalition Convenor William R. Pace.

Al-Haq, Open Society Justice Initiative, Parliamentarians for Global Action, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (Observatory), and Amnesty International all issued statements condemning the attacks. The Observatory issued an urgent appeal to Israeli authorities to investigate the matter.

In an NRC interview, ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel acknowledged the vital contributions by NGOs and human rights defenders to the ICC’s investigations and preliminary examinations and noted the Netherlands’ obligation as host state to guarantee the safety of those facilitating the Court’s work.

Read more reactions

International Criminal Court investigations 

Democratic Republic of Congo: Armed groups kill 14 people in string of overnight attacks

Sudan: al-Bashir attends inauguration of Chadian president

Uganda: Ongwen faces allegations of witness-tampering at ICC

Côte d’Ivoire: State aiming to restore victim’s rights by offering reparations to those affected by 2010’s post-election violence

Georgia: Parliament speaker says lack of diplomatic relations with Russia prevents full investigation of Russia-Georgia war.  Georgian NGO sues Russia at European Court for Human Rights.

Mali: With Al-Mahdi trial to open on 22 August 2016, Arguendo experts discuss attacks on cultural property as war crimes.

Kenya: Expert argues that government should have been more vigilant in preventing sexual violence after 2007 elections, and three additional lessons from ICC’s Kenya “debacle”

ICC preliminary examinations

Burundi: Refugees tell of rape as a weapon of war. Amnesty International says UN torture findings must serve notice

Colombia: Foreign donors pledge millions of dollars toward creation of truth commission and other transitional justice instruments. Sexual violence by FARC guerrilas exposed amidst peace talks

Nigeria: Nigerian court tries 20 soldiers over Boko Haram crimes

Campaign for Global Justice

Expert calls on ICC, UN, and AU to cooperate toward justice for children of conflict in South Sudan

UN asks Burundi to protect ethnic minorities from violence; stop reprisals on civil society

ISS Africa new policy brief: how the AU can support CAR’s peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction

Around the world

France concerned by reports of a deadly chemical attack in Aleppo. Experts warn that such attacks may normalize war crimes in Syria

United States decries alleged ISIS genocide of Christians, Shiites, Yazidis

Human Rights Watch reports domestic investigations into excessive police force at Armenia protest

UN Security Council approves regional protection force for UN mission in South Sudan

Pre-trial of former LRA commander Thomas Kwoyelo opens at Uganda High Court 

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