05 August 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


UN pledges to help Mali rebuild heritage sites damaged in conflict
BBC News, 04 Aug 2020

The UN's cultural organisation, Unesco, is backing a $1m (£767,000) plan to help restore the heritage of central Mali damaged by recent armed conflict. The Cliff of Bandiagara is famous for its homes carved into the rock as well as the traditional way of life. Unesco says inter-communal fighting has destroyed a number of villages in the area - also known as the Land of the Dogon - as well as artefacts. "Culture is not only all too often a victim of protracted armed conflicts - it is also a critical source of resilience and an important foundation for peacebuilding," Unesco Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a statement.

Six years after genocide, international community must prioritize justice for Yazidi community
UN News, 03 Aug 2020

Six years after ISIL launched a genocidal campaign against the Yazidi religious minority in Iraq, the international community must live up to its promise to deliver justice, survivor and Nobel Peace Laureate Nadia Murad told a virtual event. Ms. Murad said although 100,000 Yazidis have returned to their homeland in Sinjar, in northern Iraq, they lack vital services such as healthcare and education. Meanwhile, scores more remain in camps, nearly 3,000 kidnapped women and girls are still missing, and dozens of mass graves have yet to be exhumed. 

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US: Probation, Parole Feed Mass Incarceration Crisis
Human Rights Watch, 31 Jul 2020

 (New York, NY) – Probation and parole are promoted as alternatives to incarceration that help people get back on their feet, but instead feed bloated jail and prison populations in the United States, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a joint report. The 225-page report, “Revoked: How Probation and Parole Feed Mass Incarceration in the United States,” finds that supervision – probation and parole – drives high numbers of people, disproportionately those who are Black and brown, right back to jail or prison, while in large part failing to help them get needed services and resources.

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Cambodia/Thailand: Court ruling on Mitr Phol watershed moment for corporate accountability in SE Asia
Amnesty International, 31 Jul 2020

Responding to the decision by the Bangkok South Civil Court to grant Class Action Lawsuit (CAL) status to more than 700 Cambodian families who are suing Thai sugar giant Mitr Phol after being forcibly evicted from their homes in 2008-09, Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns, said: “Today’s ruling is a watershed moment for human rights and corporate accountability in Southeast Asia. The decision rightly recognises that national borders must not provide corporations with a free pass to act with impunity, nor should they pose a barrier to anyone seeking justice for alleged human rights abuses.

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Afghanistan Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Midyear Report: 1 January - 30 June 2020
ReliefWeb, 27 Jul 2020

UN urges parties to prioritize protection of civilians and start talks. The first half of 2020 witnessed fluctuating levels of violence impacting civilians in Afghanistan, with the United Nations documenting 3,458 civilian casualties (1,282 killed and 2,176 injured), according to a new report. While the civilian casualty figures represent a 13 per cent decrease as compared to the first six months of 2019, Afghanistan remains one of the deadliest conflicts in the world for civilians.

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