10 July 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Saudi Arabia is making the world complicit in a miscarriage of justice
The Washington Post, 09 Jul 2019

The trial of 11 defendants in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is underway in Saudi Arabia behind closed doors. But it is unlikely to deliver real justice. While five unnamed defendants face the death penalty, top Saudi officials have not been investigated or charged in Khashoggi’s brutal, premeditated killing. As detailed in my report to the United Nations last month, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible for Khashoggi’s extrajudicial execution, enforced disappearance and torture. The evidence suggests that 15 Saudi agents acted under their official status and used state resources to commit murder. High-level officials in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, oversaw the elaborate planning, which involved private jets, diplomatic clearances, a forensic doctor and Saudi consular staff in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia has since failed to investigate the crime in good faith. Khashoggi’s murder is not a Saudi domestic matter.

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Guatemala: Red alert for threats to justice and human rights
Amnesty International, 09 Jul 2019

Guatemala is on the verge of wiping out more than a decade of efforts to strengthen its criminal justice system and access to justice as a result of recent actions by the country’s highest authorities, Amnesty International warned in a new report released today. In Last Chance for Justice, the organization exposes the serious setbacks and imminent risks to human rights in Guatemala as a result of measures taken by the Jimmy Morales administration, the Public Prosecutor's Office led by Consuelo Porras, the judiciary, and the national Congress.

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DRC warlord 'the Terminator' convicted of war crimes
The Guardian, 08 Jul 2019

A warlord responsible for mass murder, rape and abduction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been convicted of war crimes by the international criminal court. Bosco Ntaganda, 45, was a key militia leader who ordered the massacre of civilians in DRC’s restive Ituri province in 2002 and 2003, judges in The Hague said.

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Researching the inner workings of the International Criminal Court
Open Democracy, 02 Jul 2019

Many people have strong opinions about the International Criminal Court (ICC). According to its supporters, who are less numerous now than previously, the ICC is an essential tool for ending impunity, since it provides a unique mechanism for prosecuting massive violations of human rights when governments are unable or unwilling to intervene. According to a growing number of critics, the ICC is costly and overly bureaucratic, and its prosecutions are selective and increasingly unsuccessful. Despite many differences, both supporters and critics are united around one central point: the public and official face of the ICC is only part of a much larger story. Most of the political and legal action takes place off stage, and can therefore be difficult to access and analyse. The inner workings of the ICC present a number of methodological and ethical challenges for researchers.

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