19 August 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Special Tribunal for Lebanon is Set to Issue Historic Ruling on the Assassination of PM Hariri
Just Security, 17 Aug 2020

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (SLT) will issue its long-awaited judgment tomorrow in the Ayyash et al. case involving the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in Beirut. Hariri was leading an effort to end Syrian interference in Lebanon, which suggests a potential motive for his assassination by Shi’ite Hezbollah, historically aligned with Syria (and Iran for that matter). The trial has proceeded since 2014 with the defendants in absentia.

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Venezuela: Human rights organizations call on UN Human Rights Council to extend and strengthen Fact-Finding Mission
Amnesty International, 17 Aug 2020

85 national and international human rights organizations have launched a call on states at the UN Human Rights Council to renew and strengthen the important mandate of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela during the upcoming Council session in September. States should ensure that the Fact-Finding Mission has sufficient funding and is empowered to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyze evidence for future prosecutions or other accountability purposes, including international justice mechanisms, in order to avoid impunity for crimes under international law and gross human rights violations committed in Venezuela.

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U.N. Security Council rejects U.S. bid to extend Iran arms embargo: Pompeo
Reuters, 15 Aug 2020

(Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council on Friday rejected a U.S. bid to extend an arms embargo on Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. The Security Council “rejected a reasonable resolution to extend the 13-year old arms embargo on Iran and paved the way for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell conventional weapons without specific UN restrictions in place for the first time in over a decade,” he said.

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Colombian Authorities Must Seek Justice for Brutal Massacre of 5 Afro-Colombian Teenagers
ReliefWeb, 13 Aug 2020

 On August 11, five Afro-Colombian teenagers were found brutally tortured and murdered in Cali, in southwest Colombia. According to press reports, they had left their homes that morning to go fly kites. This occurred in Llano Verde, a neighborhood in eastern Cali where the majority of families were forcibly displaced as a result of the armed conflict. For years, local activists and organizations have been calling for resources that would help provide their youth pathways out of poverty and deadly violence. This year, those pleas have become more urgent as criminal organizations have stepped up their efforts to forcefully recruit young people in the neighborhood.

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