11 Aug 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice

Articles

Egypt: Investigate evidence of extrajudicial executions by Egyptian army in North Sinai
Amnesty International, 11 Aug 2021

The Egyptian Public Prosecutor must urgently investigate what appear to be extrajudicial executions by members of the military in North Sinai, said Amnesty International following an analysis of a military propaganda video. A video released by the spokesperson of the Egyptian armed forces on 1 August as an update on operations against militants, shows a soldier shooting a person at close range while asleep in a makeshift tent. Another clip shows an unarmed man pounded by bullets from above, as he is running in the desert, before falling to the ground.

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Colombia’s FARC rebels recruited more than 18,000 children: Court
Al Jazeera, 10 Aug 2021

Colombia’s now-demobilised FARC rebels recruited more than 18,000 children into their ranks across a 20-year period, a transitional justice court (JEP) has said, accusing the group of subjecting the children to abuses and treatment that amounts to war crimes. The JEP’s investigation relates to case 07, which concerns the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s (FARC) recruitment and use of minors between 1996 and 2016.

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Is Europe doing enough to prosecute ISIS fighters for Yazidi genocide?
Euronews, 10 Aug 2021

Seven years on from a genocide that killed an estimated 10,000 Yazidi people in northern Iraq, European countries are grappling with how to prosecute those responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the 21st century. In early August 2014 in Sinjar province, members of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group began murdering men who refused to convert to Islam and leaving their bodies in unmarked mass graves, according to the United Nations.

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UK plan thwarts access to truth over Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’
UN News, 10 Aug 2021

Two independent experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday expressed serious concern over a United Kingdom plan to end prosecutions for grave violations committed during the 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland, long known as “the Troubles”. The move was announced by Brandon Lewis, UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in July, and would ban all conflict-related prosecutions through the introduction of a statute of limitations to apply equally to all Troubles-related incidents. This “would effectively institute a de-facto amnesty and blanket impunity for the grave human rights violations committed during that period,” according to the experts.

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Will The Biden Administration Recognize The Atrocities Against The Rohingyas For What They Are?
Forbes, 10 Aug 2021

On August 10, 2021, 95 international human rights organizations have sent an open letter to the Biden Administration calling for an official recognition of the atrocities against the Rohingyas as genocide and crimes against humanity. As the Trump Administration failed to do so, the Biden Administration has the opportunity to set the record straight, call the atrocities for what they are, and respond accordingly.

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Sweden: Iran War Crimes Trial Opens
Human Rights Watch, 09 Aug 2021

The opening of a landmark trial in Sweden on August 10, 2021 of an Iranian citizen accused of participating in the mass execution of political prisoners is an important moment for victims long denied recognition and justice. On July 27, Swedish prosecutors announced their decision to prosecute an Iranian citizen for “committing grave war crimes and murder in Iran during 1988.” Prosecutors did not reveal the identity of the suspect, who has been detained in Sweden since November 2019.

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Kosovo Hopes Trials in Absentia Will Boost War Crimes Convictions
Balkan Transitional Justice, 06 Aug 2021

In the absence of legal cooperation with Serbia, Kosovo has changed its legislation to make it easier to try suspects in their absence - but sceptics say this doesn’t necessarily mean that more war criminals will go to jail. UNMIK Regulation 2001/1 stated that “no person may be tried in absentia as defined in the applicable Yugoslav Criminal Code or the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court” that was issued in July 1998. After 2009, almost all of UNMIK’s regulations were repealed or superseded by proper laws, but trials in absentia were not included in Kosovo’s legal framework. Then in 2019, in an attempt to boost prosecutions of war crimes, the Kosovo Assembly adopted an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code to allow trials in absentia in cases involving the offences against international humanitarian law and international criminal law that were committed between January 1990 and June 1999.

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