01 March 2023 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice


International concern as conflict grows in breakaway Somaliland
Al Jazeera, 01 Mar 2023

The UN said last week that more than 185,000 people had been uprooted from their homes owing to the clashes, with aid workers struggling to respond to the situation due to inadequate resources. Women and children accounted for an estimated 89 percent of the displaced population, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement. Many were reportedly seeking shelter under trees or inside schools, which have been forced to shut. In addition to those displaced inside Somaliland, more than 60,000 others have fled to Ethiopia’s Somali region to escape the violence, the UN’s refugee agency said.

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Myanmar: New shipments of aviation fuel revealed despite the military’s war crimes
Amnesty International, 01 Mar 2023

“We have traced new shipments of aviation fuel that have likely ended up in the hands of Myanmar’s military, which has consistently conducted unlawful air strikes. These attacks regularly kill civilians, including children, yet planes can only take off if they have fuel,” said Montse Ferrer, Amnesty International’s Researcher and Advisor on Business and Human Rights. [...] Since companies continue to export aviation fuel to Myanmar, even while knowing the role that it plays in enabling war crimes being committed by the military, the international community must act.

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Trinidad and Tobago: Bring Home Nationals from Northeast Syria
Human Rights Watch, 28 Feb 2023

Over 90 nationals of Trinidad and Tobago, including at least 56 children, are unlawfully detained in life-threatening conditions as Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and family members in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The government of Trinidad and Tobago has taken almost no action to help them return, even as countries including the United States and Barbados repatriate their own nationals.

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Bosnia’s Genocide Denial Law: Why Prosecutors Haven’t Charged Anyone
Balkan Insight, 28 Feb 2023

BIRN has obtained documents showing why Bosnian prosecutors haven’t filed a single indictment a year and a half after a legal ban on denying the Srebrenica genocide and glorifying war criminals was imposed. In July 2021, Radovan Kovacevic defended a decision by his boss, Bosnian Serb political leader Milorad Dodik, to launch a petition against the recently-imposed ban on genocide denial. “So there’s no confusion, I’m Radovan Kovacevic, I respect all the victims of Srebrenica, but I state clearly: ‘There was no genocide in Srebrenica’,” the then adviser to Dodik told media. 

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Migrant Deaths Shine Light on Europe’s Harder Line and Broken Promises
The New York Times, 27 Feb 2023

At least 63 people died in a shipwreck off Italy’s coast, reviving memories of a crash in 2013 that killed hundreds and the work that did not get done in its aftermath. [...] “We will do anything we can, with the means that we have, to change the situation,” José Manuel Barroso, then the president of the European Commission, said at the time. But a horrific shipwreck on Sunday about a hundred yards from Italy’s Calabrian coast, which killed at least 63 people, including many children, has made it painfully clear that the situation has not changed. If anything, the bloc’s consensus against migrants has broadened and hardened.

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Tunisia: President Intensifies Attacks on Judicial Independence
Human Rights Watch, 27 Feb 2023

Tunisian authorities should immediately reinstate judges and prosecutors President Kais Saied arbitrarily dismissed as part of what he called an anti-corruption campaign, and reverse all measures taken to crush judicial independence, Human Rights Watch said today. The Justice Ministry has refused to reinstate 49 magistrates – a term that includes both judges and prosecutors – despite an administrative court order on August 9, 2022, to do so, a ruling that authorities cannot appeal.

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