12 Dec 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice

NPWJ press release

Statement by Gianfranco Dell’Alba, Chair of the NPWJ Board
No Peace Without Justice, 06 Dec 2018

'Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, dear friends,
It is my great pleasure to address this Assembly of States Parties, as the year of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute comes to a close. It has not always been smooth sailing for this young institution, to put it mildly. There have been many successes. The Court has become a fixture in the international landscape. It stands as a promise that the victims will not be forgotten, their suffering will not remain unnoticed and that justice will one day be done. This was the hope we shared during those five intense weeks in Rome, the reason we all came together since the very beginning to pour our hearts and souls into this concrete expression of the idea that the rule of law, and justice, will eventually prevail. At the same time, there have been many mistakes. The Court itself has made mistakes – it is not useful for us in this room, the Court’s strongest supporters, to turn our heads from that reality. We must instead confront that reality and ask, in a spirit of cooperation also with the Court, how can we overcome those mistakes, what role can we as States Parties and civil society play to help, and how can we apply the lessons learned moving forward [...]'

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Situation in Central African Republic II: Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona arrested for crimes against humanity and war crimes
International Criminal Court, 12 Dec 2018

Today, 12 December 2018, Mr Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona has been arrested by the authorities of the French Republic pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court"). The ICC Registrar, Mr Peter Lewis, submitted a request to the French authorities for the arrest and surrender of Mr Ngaïssona to the Court upon completion of necessary national proceedings. Pre-Trial Chamber II - composed of Judge Antoine Kesia‐Mbe Mindua, Presiding, Judge Tomoko Akane and Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala - issued the warrant of arrest against Mr Ngaïssona on 7 December 2018 for his alleged criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the western part of the Central African Republic ("CAR") between at least 5 December 2013 and at least December 2014.

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Iran: Top government officials distorted the truth about 1988 prison massacres
Amnesty International, 12 Dec 2018

Following the publication of its damning report on a three-decade long campaign of misinformation by the Iranian authorities about the mass prisoner killings of 1988, Amnesty International today published a video interview from December 1988 showing Iran’s then prime minister, Mir Hossein Mousavi, denying and distorting the truth about these crimes against humanity. The video clip has been released in response to a public debate ignited since the report’s publication about the extent to which Mir Hossein Mousavi and his government were aware of the mass killings while they were taking place between late July and early September 1988, and his role in the official campaign to conceal the truth about what happened.

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ICC and Africa
Mmegi Online, 11 Dec 2018

The regional debate over the relationship between Africa and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has equally captivated the legal and non-legal minds across the continent. The discourse has revealed many internal conflicts and dissonances over the issues of international criminal justice, the principal of universality and the ownership of the ICC and its processes. “Africa, perhaps more than other parts of the world, is in the midst of a significant period of cognitive dissonance as African states attempt to come to grips with evolving and contradictory pressures on their identities. It has experienced a significant period of democratization and improvement in human rights standards, yet many countries are still highly authoritarian states, some of which are consumed by major violent conflicts. The AU wants to create an African voice on the international scene, yet it is rife with divisions. On paper the AU has some highly developed human rights norms, yet implementation has lagged far behind, and expressions of unity from the AU seem to contradict the diversity of opinion.

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Human Rights Watch Statement for the General Debate of the International Criminal Court’s Seventeenth Assembly of States Parties
Human Rights Watch, 08 Dec 2018

Mr. President, Coming at the end of the Rome Statute’s twentieth anniversary year, this Assembly session is occurring in difficult circumstances. In Rome, the international community, in response to genocides in Rwanda and Srebrenica, created a court that could reach, wherever horrific crimes occurred, those from the most powerful countries as well as less powerful states. The 20 years since have demonstrated both the necessity and the fragility of what was achieved.

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