19 May 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice


Beyond the Coup in Myanmar: A Crisis Born from Impunity
Just Security, 18 May 2021

Of the coup’s many potential causes, perhaps the most overt is that military leadership thought they could get away with it. The military’s constitutional insulation from civilian oversight and control, the failure thus far to hold them accountable for human rights abuses and international crimes, and even periodic cheerleading from the international community for a “democratic transition” emboldened the military into thinking that subverting the will of the people could be done without major consequence.

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Israel-Gaza: What the law says about the fighting
BBC, 16 May 2021

International law regulates the use of military force by states and the conduct of hostilities. As in virtually every modern conflict, there is intense debate on the legality of the actions of the two main sides involved here - Israel and Hamas.

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Thirty sentenced to death over anti-police clashes in DR Congo
Al Jazeera, 15 May 2021

Thirty people were sentenced to death in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after a one-day trial for their role in anti-police violence marking the end of Ramadan in the capital. A policeman was killed in Kinshasa on Thursday as rival Muslim groups fought over the right to mark the end of Ramadan at a major sports stadium.

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A crackdown on journalists in Tigray
The New York Times, 14 May 2021

Six months into the war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, where thousands have died amid reports of widespread human rights abuses, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has sought to quell critical coverage of the conflict by targeting the independent news media, according to human rights organzations.

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Uganda: Museveni’s latest government must reverse decline on human rights
Amnesty International, 12 May 2021

Uganda’s government must use its latest term to reverse the ongoing deterioration in respect for human rights, said Amnesty International ahead of President Yoweri Museveni’s sixth swearing-in as leader of the east African country. Museveni was announced winner with 58.6% of the votes in elections held in January, ahead of his leading opponent Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, who received 34.8%, according to the Electoral Commission, an outcome he disputed and challenged in court. The election followed a campaign characterized by human rights violations including unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests of opposition leaders and supporters, and attacks on journalists.

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Iraq: assassinations, repression, and the struggles of daily life
Open Democracy, 12 May 2021

Years of of lethal state failure have devastated the people of Iraq, whose daily life today is fraught with challenges, with little hope in sight. The state never runs out of promises that it will punish and hold accountable the perpetrators, but ordinary Iraqis continue to die so easily. All in all, Iraq Body Count recorded 235 violent civilian deaths in the first four months of 2021 alone. The assassinations, says a statement from the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, are proof that the security system is failing to protect activists.

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