08 Apr 2020 – NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Myanmar: 3 Charged for COVID-19 Street Art
Human Rights Watch, 08 Apr 2020

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s government should immediately drop all criminal charges against three street artists arrested for painting a mural that raises awareness about the coronavirus pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. The artists, Zayar Hnaung, Ja Sai, and Naw Htun Aung, were charged on April 3, 2020 for violating Myanmar’s law criminalizing speech that “insults” religion. 

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Coronavirus has shown that it is possible to change the US criminal justice system
The Guardian, 07 Apr 2020

Dismantling mass incarceration in the United States is not a question of possibility or costs, but a matter of imagination and will. Take the relationship between the criminal legal system and the Covid-19 outbreak. Families and activists have demanded the release of people currently detained in jails, prisons and immigrant detention facilities, and in some cases, they have won. New York has released 300 elders from Rikers Island – not enough, but a start.

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Deadly attack on women's prison in Yemen a 'war crime': Analyst
AlJazeera, 06 Apr 2020

 Shelling by Houthi rebels hit a women's prison in the country's southwestern province of Taiz, killing at least five prisoners, Yemeni officials have said. The attack on Sunday also wounded two dozen prisoners, including four children staying with their jailed mothers, at the central prison in the government-held province, the officials said.

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Bangladesh: End Wave of COVID-19 ‘Rumor’ Arrests
Human Rights Watch, 31 Mar 2020

(New York) – The Bangladesh government appears to be cracking down on free speech as COVID-19 hits the country, silencing those who express concern over the government’s handling of the epidemic, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should stop targeting academics and arresting people for speaking out about the coronavirus epidemic, and ensure that accurate and timely information about the virus is accessible and available to all.

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Congo-Kinshasa: Crime Victims Worried About the Effectiveness of Reparations Following Lubanga's Release
AllAfrica, 30 Mar 2020

Some victims of crimes committed in the northeastern province of Ituri in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) fear reprisals and see reparations for victims moving away from their communities in the wake of the release of Thomas Lubanga, the first person convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes committed in the region. "We accept his release, despite our position, but we don't want him in Ituri at the present time, when there is a bloodbath in Djugu. It's to avoid the worst. Don't they say, 'If you've already been bitten by the snake, is it not better to fear even the lizard?'" 

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