03 June 2020 – NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Impunity and annexation: 'Israel has its cake and eats it too'
AlJazeera, 03 Jun 2020

 The annexation of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, as well as the strategic and fertile Jordan Valley, could begin as early as July 1, Israel's government says. While the details of the annexation plan remain vague, recently reinstalled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated his intention to annex the Jordan Valley while on the campaign trail last year. Since then, the United States has proposed its own Middle East plan that envisions Israel applying sovereignty to the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, and Netanyahu has since reaffirmed his pledges. Many countries, as well as the United Nations and the European Union, have warned against such a move, noting that unilateral annexation would breach international law and would be a devastating blow to the prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Argentinian court decision brings hope for Rohingya
Anadolu Agency, 02 Jun 2020

A court in South American country of Argentina has decided to pursue a case against Myanmar's leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi and senior officers in the military over the genocide and persecution against Rohingya community. In a statement issued on Monday, Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK) said that Argentina’s Federal Criminal Chamber No. 1 has accepted its petition and asked to collect more information on the Rohingya genocide. The court, in its decision on May 29, overturned a previous order when it had rejected to admit a similar petition seeking to probe the role of Myanmar leadership in the acts of genocide. “A court in Buenos Aires on Friday overturned a previous order of not to pursue a case against [Myanmar’s] State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and senior officers in the Tatmadaw [the Myanmar military],” the statement said. “The court has now requested more information from the International Criminal Court (ICC), to ensure that the case in Argentina would not duplicate other efforts of justice,” the statement added. 

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What Kabuga’s arrest means for international criminal justice – and Rwanda
The Conversation, 01 Jun 2020

Félicien Kabuga, the Hutu financier of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, has been captured after 26 years in hiding. More than 800,000 Rwandans, primarily Tutsis, were slaughtered by their countrymen in 100 days of genocide. Kabuga was arrested by French police in a sting operation in a suburb of Paris on May 17. They were acting on an indictment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1997. Despite a global arrest warrant accompanied by a $5 million bounty, Kabuga avoided authorities for 26 years. Despite the arrest, there are a number of reasons that Kabuga’s case does not represent a simple triumph for justice. 

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Maria Arena demand firm support for the International Criminal Court
European Parliament News, 29 May 2020

Statement by the Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Maria Arena, following Friday’s exchange of views with International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. “We were honoured by the virtual presence today, at the meeting of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. The Prosecutor's essential work touches upon some of the greatest challenges facing the rules-based international order, accountability and humanity. The ICC system has been strongly supported by the EU and this Parliament from the very beginning. Preliminary examinations and investigations are often sensitive by nature, and this is why the ICC represents an essential step forward for the international community to end impunity and protect people who are victims of horrible crimes in the 21st century. 

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Myanmar updates U.N. court on 'confidential' Rohingya measures
Reuters Africa, 25 May 2020

Myanmar has filed a report on its adherence to measures to protect its Rohingya Muslim minority imposed by the United Nations’ highest court, but details of the document have not been published. Mainly-Muslim Gambia filed a suit against Myanmar in November at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing it of “ongoing genocide” against the Rohingya after expelling more than 730,000. Pending a final ruling, ICJ judges imposed provisional measures obliging Myanmar to protect any evidence of crimes and prevent acts of violence. They also instructed Myanmar to update them every six months. 

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