09 December 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice

Articles

UAE sees ‘seeds of progress’ on Gulf crisis, says envoy to US
Aljazeera, 09 Dec 2020

There were “seeds of progress” in resolving a long-running Gulf Arab dispute and a commitment to “tone things down” as the parties work for a solution to end the rift with neighbouring Qatar, according to the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Washington. Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba’s comments on Tuesday to a US think-tank were more cautious than those of ally Saudi Arabia, whose foreign minister last week said significant progress was made and a final agreement was within reach.

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UN rights chief urges France to scrap part of draft security law
Aljazeera, 09 Dec 2020

The United Nations’ human rights chief has urged France to withdraw a controversial part of its “Global Security Bill” that would curb the freedom to share images identifying police. Michelle Bachelet called on Wednesday for the withdrawal of “Article 24” of the draft security law.

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Statement of the Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on the conclusion of the preliminary examination of the situation in Iraq/United Kingdom
International Criminal Court, 09 Dec 2020

“Today, I announce the conclusion of the preliminary examination into the situation in Iraq/United Kingdom (UK) following a thorough process. I have decided, as set out in my Office's detailed report to close the preliminary examination and not to open an investigation. In 2014, my Office re-opened the preliminary examination into the situation in Iraq/UK on the basis of new information received. Since then, my Office has been rigorously examining allegations of crimes committed by UK nationals in Iraq during the course of the UK's military involvement in Iraq. In particular, the Office has focussed on a sub-set of allegations related to the mistreatment of Iraqi detainees in UK custody.” Fatou Bensouda

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International Genocide Day: Listen to the Victims
No Peace Without Justice, 09 Dec 2020

"[No Peace Without Justice] stand beside victims, we pledge to play our part in preventing and punishing this crime and we both pledge and encourage others to continue listening to the people who are most affected by this crime and have the highest stake in ending impunity for it."

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UK should ban use of spit hoods and Tasers on children, says Unicef
The Guardian, 08 Dec 2020

In a report, Unicef UK said the government should prohibit their use on children under the age of 18, and called on the Home Office to assess the reasons “for the disproportionate use of spit hoods on BAME children in England”. It also recommended an increase in the age of criminal responsibility from 10 in England.

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Human Rights Watch Briefing Note for the NineteenthSession of the International Criminal Court Assembly of States Parties
Human Rights Watch, 07 Dec 2020

The states parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will meet from December 14 to 16, 2020 in The Hague for the annual session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) and, tentatively, from December 17 to 23, 2020 in New York in a resume session. Although the session was originally scheduled to take place in New York, public health restrictions in place for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic necessitated dividing the sessions between The Hague and New York, with some participants taking part remotely. In the context of this unprecedented global health crisis, states parties have crucial work to do, including electing the next generation of court leadership, furthering steps to strengthen the court’s delivery of justice, and renewing support for the court.

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End Europe’s Backing of Egypt’s Repression
Human Rights Watch, 07 Dec 2020

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is making the most of this period of global turmoil to entrench the relentless repression that has been his trademark. His seven-year rule has seen tens of thousands of political detentions in often horrendous conditions, the arrest and abuse of LGBT people, women activists, and social media influencers, systematic torture, and the free use of lethal force. His government’s latest move is to detain the director and key staff of one of the few remaining independent institutions reporting on his crackdown, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). They were released on Thursday, but the criminal charges against them have not been dropped, and EIPR’s assets remain frozen.

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