14 Mar 2012 NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice

NPWJ in the news

CPI / affaire Thomas Lubanga : NPWJ se réjouit du premier verdict émis par la CPI
Afrik.com, 14 Mar 2012

 Déclaration d’Alison Smith, Conseillère Juridique de No Peace Without Justice :

« No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) et le Parti Radical Non-Violent, Transnational et Transparti (NRPTT) se réjouissent du premier verdict rendu par la Cour Pénale Internationale (CPI) qui marque une étape décisive dans sa jeune histoire et un tournant historique en ce qui concerne la reconnaissance des droits fondamentaux des enfants. Pour la première fois, les crimes de guerre pour conscription, enrôlement ou utilisation d’enfants-soldats afin de participer activement aux hostilités ont été jugés par la CPI.

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Guatemala: Ex-soldier Sentenced to 6060 Years for 1982 Massacre
The NYTimes, 14 Mar 2012

A former soldier was sentenced late Monday to 6060 years in prison for his role in the 1982 massacre of 201 Mayan peasants in the village of Dos Erres during Guatemala’s civil war. Pedro Pimentel Ríos, part of a group of 17 soldiers accused of the killings, was ordered to serve 30 years for each killing and an additional 30 years for crimes against humanity.

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ICC finds Congolese warlord Lubanga guilty of war crimes
France 24, 14 Mar 2012

Delivering its first ruling since it was founded a decade ago, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has found Congolese rebel warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty of recruiting and deploying child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Prosecution challenges acquittal of MRND officials on conspiracy charge
Hirondelle News Agency, 13 Mar 2012

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Hassan Bubacar Jallow, has lodged a notice of appeal against the judgment of the Tribunal for not convicting two former top Rwandan politicians, Matthieu Ngirumpatse and Edouard Karemera, of the charge of conspiracy to commit genocide.

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Chad: International Court of Justice Starts Hearings On Hissene Habre
Hirondelles News Agency, 12 Mar 2012

Senegal, as a signatory to the international Convention against Torture, has an obligation to ensure that ex-president of Chad Hissène Habré faces justice, the Belgian Foreign Ministry's legal affairs director said on Monday. Paul Rietjens was speaking before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, as it launched hearings over the Habré case. The hearings follow a request from Belgium in 2009. Brussels wants ICJ judges to order Senegal to try Habré or extradite him to Belgium, where he has been indicted since 2005 for crimes against humanity and torture. Habré has been living in exile in Senegal since 1990.

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Invisible Children to address questions in a new film on Monday
CNN, 12 Mar 2012

Invisible Children, the nonprofit group that produced a hugely popular half-hour documentary about the notorious African warlord Joseph Kony, says it will release a new film Monday to respond to criticism and questions over its approach.
The group's "KONY 2012" video had been viewed more than 72 million times on YouTube by late Sunday night. Invisible Children, based in San Diego, says it wants to make Kony a household name and drum up global support to end the murders, rapes, abuses and abductions committed by the Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa.
But with the popularity of the video and kudos to the filmmakers for raising awareness of an African tragedy came a flurry of questions about Invisible Children's intentions, its transparency and whether the social media frenzy was too little, too late.

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Why Not a Massacre Tribunal in Afghanistan?
By Mark Mcdonald, NYTimes, 12 Mar 2012

An arrest, a presidential apology, local outrage and anger, a plea for calm and the promise of investigations — that’s the usual rapid-reaction scenario after incidents like the apparent slaughter of 16 Afghan civilians, 9 of them children, by an American sergeant.
What is almost never considered, however, is a trial of the perpetrator in the country where the crime took place. It’s one of the reasons the United States “unjoined” the International Criminal Court and forces other countries to sign bilateral agreements that protect American soldiers from prosecution abroad.

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Kenya: ICC Rejects Appeal By Ocampo 4
By Charles Kerich, AllAfrica, 10 Mar 2012

The trials of William Ruto, Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura and Joshua Arap Sang will now go on after the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court yesterday dismissed their appeal against the confirmation of charges against them.
The chamber by a majority delivered a ruling that dismissed arguments by the four that the initial ruling was wrong. Judges Ekaterina Trendafilova and Cuno Tarfuser ruled against the four, while Judge Hans Peter-Kaul (who has dissented three times in the past saying the ICC did not have jurisdiction of the two Kenyan cases) abstained from giving an opinion in yesterday's ruling.

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UN panel urges nations to help stop Libyan abuses
By John Heilprin, 09 Mar 2012

A U.N. expert panel on Friday handed diplomats a confidential list of names of alleged perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya. In its report to the U.N.'s top human rights body, the panel also recommended that countries help Libya's interim government strengthen efforts to stop and punish killing, civilian attacks and other abuses.Forces loyal to late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and opposition fighters both committed war crimes during the conflict in the Arab country last year, the U.N.-appointed Commission of Inquiry on Libya said in the report to the U.N.'s 47-nation Human Rights Council.
Panel chairman and Canadian judge Philippe Kirsch told reporters in Geneva that it had turned over the names of alleged perpetrators and said some attacks continue by anti-Gadhafi forces.
The council could recommend action to the U.N. Security Council, which could then refer the issue to the International Criminal Court or investigate further.

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