02 December 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Afghan government, Taliban announce breakthrough deal to pursue peace talks
Reuters, 02 Dec 2020

Afghan government and Taliban representatives said on Wednesday they had reached a preliminary deal to press on with peace talks, their first written agreement in 19 yeas of war and welcomed by the United Nations and Washington.

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Liberia: Milestone Swiss Trial for Wartime Atrocities
Human Rights Watch , 01 Dec 2020

On December 3, 2020, a criminal court in the city of Bellinzona, Switzerland, will convene the trial of Alieu Kosiah, a former commander of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy armed group, known as ULIMO. Kosiah is the first person to be tried for war crimes in a non-military criminal court in Switzerland and is the first Liberian to be put on trial for alleged crimes committed during the first Liberian civil war, from 1989 to 1996.

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Jihadi paranoia: why we (still) need to rethink the debate on terrorism and political violence
Open Democracy , 30 Nov 2020

The violent attacks which took place in Paris, Nice and Vienna this month have put the “Jihadi threat” back to the forefront of the debate across Europe. The rapid escalation of events seems to confirm that there is now an urgent need to think and approach the dimension of violence with a much needed emotional distance, always difficult to find during such terrible acts. To us, hard repressive and more invasive measures – already implemented by the concerned governments but also proposed at the EU level – not only increase the polarization of the debate but might fuel frustrations, sense of exclusion and resentment from parts of our societies and eventually generate counter-productive effects. In particular, the dominant discussion in France and elsewhere as encouraged by many politicians, media but also part of the academic circle transmits a dangerous, we could call it, jihadi paranoia.

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Dehumanising: Israeli groups’ verdict on military invasions of Palestinian homes
The Guardian , 29 Nov 2020

Critical report details the trauma of families as soldiers describe midnight raids in the occupied territories. A damning report by three Israeli human rights groups has condemned the military’s widespread practice of entering Palestinian homes in the occupied territories, often in the middle of the night. The report, which includes testimonies of soldiers, doctors and Palestinian families, claims that Israeli troops enter homes on average more than 250 times every month to conduct arrests but also for other purposes including “mapping” houses, to use roofs for observation posts or to search for money, weapons or for intelligence purposes.

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Leadership of U.N. Human Rights Body Becomes Proxy Battle for World Powers
The New York Times, 29 Nov 2020

A fight over the council’s presidency is seen by some as an effort by China, Russia and Saudi Arabia to put a more compliant state in control ahead of greater involvement by the Biden administration.

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Yemen: in a country stalked by disease, Covid barely registers
The Guardian , 27 Nov 2020

Elsewhere in the overwhelmed hospital, children are suffering with cholera, diphtheria and dengue fever, contagious diseases that have stalked Yemen since the outbreak of war six years ago. For patients and doctors here, in what the UN says is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, coronavirus barely registers.

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