10 March 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice

Articles

Malaysia court allows rights groups to challenge Myanmar deportations
Reuters, 09 Mar 2021

A Malaysian court on Tuesday granted international human rights groups permission to challenge the recent deportation of Myanmar nationals, a major step in a country where the law bars immigration decisions from being questioned in court. The Malaysian government last month deported 1,086 people it claimed were illegal immigrants on three Myanmar navy ships. It did so just hours after an interim court order banning the group’s removal, pending a legal bid by Amnesty International and Asylum Access to halt the plan amid fears there were asylum seekers and children among the group. The ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Tuesday paves the way for a full hearing on the deportations and extends a stay barring the removal of another 114 Myanmar nationals until the end of the judicial review.

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‘It’s not safe’: Report finds children want life away from Syria
Al Jazeera, 09 Mar 2021

Hundreds of Syrian children say they cannot imagine leading a life in their war-torn country, with many citing discrimination and poverty as main factors, a new report says. The 40-page study, released on Tuesday by Save the Children, comes as Syria marks 10 years since the beginning of its bloody war, now widely seen as a proxy conflict.

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'This can't be the end of the matter': Advocates, lawmakers press Biden to punish Saudi crown prince
USA Today News, 09 Mar 2021

Several prominent human rights advocates blasted President Joe Biden on Tuesday for failing to directly penalize Saudi Arabia's crown prince for his role in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. It comes as Democrats in Congress are also calling for a more aggressive U.S. response targeting Mohammad Bin Salman, with lawmakers actively considering legislative options if the Biden administration refuses to sanction the crown prince.

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France to declassify secret colonial-era documents on Algeria War
Africa News, 09 Mar 2021

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a decision to speed up the declassification of secret documents related to Algeria’s 1954-62 war of independence from France. The measures come as part of efforts to speed up access for researchers to the documents and as France aims to reconcile with its colonial past.

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International Criminal Court Launches Case Law Database
International Criminal Court, 09 Mar 2021

Today, 9 March 2021, the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched the ICC Case Law Database. The database provides free and easy access to the Court's jurisprudence on, among other topics, core international crimes and international criminal procedure, the rights of the accused and the rights of victims. The database can be consulted at: https://legal-tools.org/cld.

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Myanmar’s unrepentant, brutal military.
The New York Times, 09 Mar 2021

Since a coup last month, the Tatmadaw, as the military in Myanmar is known, is now fully back in charge, and its brutal practices are being watched with horror by the rest of the world. It recently turned its guns on the masses in response to a nationwide civil disobedience movement. It is the latest in the Tatmadaw’s long legacy of atrocities since it first came to power in a 1962 coup. Over the past few years, the Tatmadaw has waged war against ethnic rebel armies in three states — Rakhine, Shan and Kachin — and displaced 700,000 Rohingya Muslims. Survivors and witnesses described a brutal campaign, including killings, systematic rapes and abuse. The soldiers often used men and boys as human shields.

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ICC awards $30m to victims of DR Congo rebel leader Ntaganda
Al Jazeera, 08 Mar 2021

International Criminal Court judges have awarded $30m in reparations to victims of crimes for which a Congolese rebel leader was convicted, with those victims including child soldiers and survivors of rape and sexual slavery. The judges said Bosco Ntaganda did not have the resources to pay the compensation himself. Instead, they asked the tribunal’s own Trust Fund to help set up and finance vocational and other programmes to support victims of his crimes.

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What’s behind the Morocco-Germany diplomatic dispute?
Al Jazeera, 08 Mar 2021

Some analysts believe the measures are an attempt by the North African state to make a stand over its claim to the sovereignty of disputed Western Sahara. Also last week, the European Court of Justice – as previously scheduled – heard submissions over the Morocco-European Union trade agreement which are disputed by the Polisario Front, which fights for the independence of Western Sahara. In Rabat, anger is brewing over Germany’s criticism of former US President Donald Trump’s decision in January this year to recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. Trump broke with decades of US diplomatic tradition to recognise the Moroccan claim to the disputed territory in return for Rabat normalising relations with Israel.

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Senegal opposition leader faces rape charge in court as followers intensify protests
Reuters, 06 Mar 2021

A lawyer for Ousmane Sonko said he was being charged with rape and making threats, allegations that have led to clashes since his arrest on Wednesday between his stone-throwing supporters and police in several towns. Four people have died in a the violence, Senegal’s Interior Minister Antoine Felix Abdoulaye Diome, said in broadcast on national television on Friday, calling the protests as an “organised insurrection.”

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Will Biden’s return to multilateralism extend to the ICC?
Al Jazeera, 06 Mar 2021

US President Joe Biden’s election victory has raised the prospect of increased United States support and engagement with the International Criminal Court (ICC). Many observers cited Biden’s emphasis on multilateralism and his support for the international tribunal as ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations as positive signs. But the Biden administration has not revoked former President Donald Trump’s September 2020 executive order that imposed sanctions on ICC personnel, including prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, raising fresh questions about what policy Biden plans to pursue.

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