18 August 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice

Articles

Nearly 1,000 killed in Myanmar since February 1 coup: Activists
Al Jazeera, 18 Aug 2021

Nearly 1,000 civilians have been killed in Myanmar since the February 1 coup, says the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), an activist group that records killings by the country’s security forces. “According to AAPP records, 1,001 innocent people have been killed,” AAPP secretary Tate Naing told the Reuters news agency on Wednesday, without elaborating on the discrepancy in the numbers.

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Last Surviving Khmer Rouge Leader, 90, Appeals Conviction for Genocide
Bloomberg, 18 Aug 2021

In his position of authority, the former head of the Khmer Rouge shared joint culpability for the regime's atrocities in Cambodia in the 1970s, prosecutors said Wednesday, rejecting defense arguments that he should not be held responsible. Khieu Samphan, 90, is appealing his 2018 conviction for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. He is the last surviving member of the inner circle of Pol Pot's radical communist regime that ruled Cambodia with an iron fist from 1975 to 1979 and was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people.

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PA: Failure to hold Israel to account increases contempt for international law
Middle East Monitor, 18 Aug 2021

The Permanent Representative of the Palestinian Authority to the UN has said that the failure to hold Israel to account for its crimes has increased its contempt for international law. Ambassador Riyad Mansour made this clear in a message to the UN Secretary General, the General Assembly and the Security Council in which he also mentioned the latest Israeli crimes against the Palestinians and their property. Mansour noted Israel's killing of four Palestinian youths in Jenin and its refugee camp on Monday. By holding on to the bodies of two of the martyrs, he said, Israel is guilty of a "flagrant violation" of international law and human rights conventions.

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‘The wounds won’t heal’: Kenya’s agonising wait for justice on killings by police
The Guardian, 17 Aug 2021

Paul Kinuthia will never forget the moment he saw his son’s body lying on the bank of the river he played in as a child. He threw his hands up in despair and begged God to intervene. It has been five years since Kinuthia’s son, Willie Kimani, a lawyer, was murdered along with his client, Josephat Mwenda and driver, Joseph Muiruri, in Nairobi in June 2016. At the time, Kimani was representing Mwenda in court, after Mwenda had been shot and injured by police.

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Taliban offers amnesty, promises women’s rights and media freedom
Al Jazeera, 17 Aug 2021

The Taliban has promised women’s rights, media freedom, and amnesty for government officials in the group’s first news conference after taking charge of the Afghan capital, Kabul. Zabihullah Mujahid, the armed group’s spokesman, said on Tuesday that the rights of women will be protected within the framework of Islam.

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ICC prosecutor urges all sides in Afghanistan to respect humanitarian law
Reuters, 17 Aug 2021

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Tuesday called on all parties in the Afghanistan conflict to respect humanitarian law. In a statement, Karim Khan noted that his office may exercise jurisdiction over any genocide, crime against humanity or war crime committed in Afghanistan since it joined the court in 2003. "I call on all parties to the hostilities to fully respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, including by ensuring the protection of civilians," Khan said, adding that he was concerned about reports of revenge killings and persecution of women and girls. Khan's call came after U.N. chief Antonio Guterres voiced similar concerns and the U.N. Security Council on Monday called for an end to fighting in Afghanistan.

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Rohingya genocide survivors to testify in Argentina court hearing
Anadolu Agency, 16 Aug 2021

Rohingya who have survived horrific brutality and sexual violence by Myanmar’s military will narrate their ordeal for the first time in a court of law on Tuesday, according to a Rohingya rights organization. The Rohingya genocide survivors, including five survivors of sexual violence, will testify in a hearing at the Federal Criminal Appeal Court in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, the Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK) said in a statement.

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Dozens of Rohingya refugees missing as boat sinks off Bangladesh
Al Jazeera, 14 Aug 2021

At least 27 Rohingya refugees have been missing after their boat sank during an attempt to escape a Bangladeshi island camp criticised by human rights groups, officials said. After the incident on Saturday, the United Nations refugee agency said it “remains concerned about reports of refugees being arrested and detained for attempting to leave Bhashan Char”.

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Africa: Bashir Handover Could Redefine ICC-Africa Ties
All Africa, 14 Aug 2021

The decision by the transitional government in Khartoum to hand over former president Omar al Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution is likely to reignite old questions about the court's relationship with Africa. But it nevertheless marks a turning point in the continent's troubled relationship with the court. Since the voluntary appearance by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto there are only a handful of precedents in which former African strongmen have been handed over to the court.

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Why Bosnia’s ban on genocide denial was a necessity
Al Jazeera, 13 Aug 2021

On July 23, the Office of the High Representative (OHR), the top international body overseeing the implementation of the peace agreement that ended Bosnia’s war, criminalised the denial and glorification of genocide in the country. The outgoing OHR head, Valentin Inzko, announced that he has introduced jail terms for anyone who “publicly condones, denies, grossly trivialises or tries to justify” the genocide or other war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Genocide in Srebrenica, war crimes and crimes against humanity … must not be forgotten or denied,” his decree read.

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