05 Sep 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice


Myanmar court sentences Reuters reporters to 7 years in jail
The Boston Globe, 03 Sep 2018

A Myanmar court sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in prison Monday on charges of illegal possession of official documents, a ruling met with international condemnation that will add to outrage over the military’s human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had been reporting on the brutal crackdown on the Rohingya when they were arrested and charged with violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, punishable by up to 14 years in prison. They had pleaded not guilty, contending that they were framed by police.

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"This is what true leaders look like" - High Commissioner Zeid's parting message
UN OHCHR, 30 Aug 2018

Winston Churchill famously claimed that of all human qualities, courage was the most esteemed, because it guaranteed all others. He was right. Courage—moral courage—is the companion of great leadership. No politician could ever be viewed as exceptional unless he or she had it in spades. And historically there would have been no social progress if not for the presence of specific humans dissenting and breaking from herd-inspired suspicion and fear.

At best, courage is self-sacrificing, non-violent, modest and based on universal principles—and immensely powerful. Think Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. Regrettably, courage is also rare: think Gandhi or MLK again. And dangerous: both men were assassinated.

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I'm a revolutionary, not a criminal, Congo's 'Terminator' tells ICC
The Guardian, 30 Aug 2018

A notorious Congolese warlord known as the “Terminator” for his alleged brutality has protested his innocence at the close of his trial at the international criminal court, telling judges: “I am a revolutionary, not a criminal.” Bosco Ntaganda is charged with 13 counts of war crimes and six of crimes against humanity, all allegedly committed in 2002 and 2003 in Ituri in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He told the court he was “at peace with myself … I hope that you now realise that the ‘Terminator’ described by the prosecutor is not me.”

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Here’s Why the Security Council Should Not Refer Burmese Authorities to the International Criminal Court
UN Dispatch, 30 Aug 2018

Confirming what close observers have long suspected, investigators from the United Nations have determined that Burmese authorities have committed genocide against the Rohingya population. Without any prospects of the Burmese government investigating and prosecuting atrocities committed against a people they don’t even recognize, the latest revelations have predictably led to renewed calls for the United Nations Security Council to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa names team to probe soldiers role in post-election violence
Reuters, 29 Aug 2018

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday named a commission including a South African ex-president and a British human rights lawyer to investigate the death of six people in an army crackdown on post-election protests early this month. In keeping with his earlier promise to get to the bottom of the much criticized army action after he was declared the first elected head of state since Robert Mugabe’s removal from power in November, Mnangagwa said the panel would be expected to make public its findings within three months.

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