12 January 2022 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice

Articles

India’s top court to investigate calls for ‘genocide’ of Muslims
Al Jazeera, 12 Jan 2022

India’s Supreme Court has issued notice to a northern Himalayan state following a petition that sought to prosecute several Hindu religious leaders for allegedly calling for a “genocide” of Muslims at a closed-door meeting last month. According to a police complaint, the religious leaders called on Hindus to arm themselves to kill Muslims during a meeting in the northern holy town of Haridwar, in Uttarakhand, in December.

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Why people love accusing Jews of genocide
The Washington Post, 10 Jan 2022

Last week, David Bateman, a prominent Utah entrepreneur and Republican political donor, sent an unusual email to his state’s business and political leaders, including Gov. Spencer Cox. The subject line? “Genocide.” The topic: Jews. But Bateman’s message was not about the Holocaust, or about Jews being the victims of mass murder. Instead, he accused them of perpetrating it.

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Syria's intelligence apparatus on trial in Germany
Deutsche Welle, 10 Jan 2022

In a landmark case, Syrian regime officers are being tried for crimes against humanity. The court aims to probe the defendants' alleged crimes as well as cast light on Bashar Assad's system of torture and oppression. The German prosecutors' capacity to try the charges — against Syrian nationals accused of torturing and murdering other Syrians in Syria — in a German court is made possible by the country's Code of Crimes Against International Law, which came into force in June 2002.

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20 Years of US Torture – and Counting
Human Rights Watch, 09 Jan 2022

Twenty years after Guantánamo Bay detention operations commenced on January 11, 2002, a new report assesses the massive costs of US unlawful transfers, secret detention, and torture after the September 11, 2001, attacks. The report, from the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute and Human Rights Watch, outlines how these abuses trample on the rights of victims and suspects, create a burden to US taxpayers, and damage counterterrorism efforts worldwide, ultimately jeopardizing universal human rights protections for everyone.

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Bosnia’s Dodik: From moderate to genocide-denying autocrat
The Associated Press, 08 Jan 2022

He was once described in Washington as an anti-nationalist “breath of fresh air” in the murderous, genocide-scarred Balkan morass of ethnically divided Bosnia. How times change. This week Bosnian Serb political leader Milorad Dodik, now a genocide-denying secessionist, was slapped with new U.S. sanctions for alleged corruption. He responded in typical style, saying the days when the United States and other Western democracies “modeled Bosnia to their taste” are long gone.

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Sweden and France launch joint team to prosecute IS fighters over crimes against Yazidis
Middle East Eye, 07 Jan 2022

Sweden and France have launched a joint team to investigate crimes against humanity and war crimes carried out by foreign fighters from the Islamic State (IS) group against the Yazidi minority. The two countries' ongoing investigations are coordinated by the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust). "The main aim of the JIT will be to identify FTFs [foreign terrorist fighters] who were involved in core international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, primarily perpetrated against members of the Yazidi minority during the armed conflict in Syria and Iraq," read a statement released by Eurojust on Friday.

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US judge rejects torture claims by ISIL ‘Beatles’ defendant
Al Jazeera, 06 Jan 2022

Incriminating statements made by a British national charged with a significant role in the torture and beheading of American and British hostages held by ISIL (ISIS) can be used against him at trial, a judge in the United States has ruled. El Shafee Elsheikh sought to have statements admitting his role in the scheme tossed out, claiming they were obtained through torture after he was captured. Elsheikh is one of four ISIL members nicknamed “the Beatles” by their captives because of their English accents.

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Ex-paramilitaries stand trial for Guatemala civil war rape of 36 indigenous women
Reuters, 05 Jan 2022

Five former Guatemalan paramilitaries went on trial on Wednesday on charges of raping 36 women from the indigenous Achi group from 1981 to 1985 during the Central American country's decades-long civil war. The paramilitary Civil Self-Defense Patrols (PACs) were created by the Guatemalan army during the conflict to control the indigenous population. Since the signing of peace agreements in 1996, they have been accused of serious human rights violations.

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