2 May 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Appeals Court to Hear Recusal Motion for Judge in Molina Theissen Case on Wednesday
By International Justice Monitor , 02 May 2018

On Wednesday, the High Risk Appellate Court will hear the recusal motion presented by the defense lawyers of Benedicto Lucas Garcia, Manuel Callejas y Callejas, Francisco Gordillo Martínez, Edilberto Letona Linares, and Hugo Zaldaña Rojas against Judge Pablo Xitumul. Judge Xitumul is the President of High Risk Court “C,” which is hearing the Molina Theissen case. Five senior military officials face charges of crimes against humanity and aggravated sexual violation against Emma Molina Theissen; three of the officials also face charges for the enforced disappearance of Emma’s 14-year-old brother Marco Antonio in 1981. The five officials were detained on January 6, 2016, and in March 2017, the preliminary judge determined that there was sufficient evidence to send them to trial. The public trial started in Guatemala City on March 1 of this year.

Read More

Rwanda's Paul Kagame Accuses the International Criminal Court of Being "A Court to Try Africans, Not People From Across the World"
by All Africa, Kylie Kiunguyu, 02 May 2018

Rwanda is one of the African countries that is not party to the Rome Statute and President Kagame has criticised the International Criminal Court for being a "fraudulent institution" that has become a tool for controlling Africa. Following his 2017 joint venture with Sudanese President Omar Bashir to confront the International Criminal Court (ICC), Rwandan President Paul Kagame has repeated his harsh criticism of that court for what he says is an open bias against Africa. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Kagame has said that the court has failed to dispense justice anywhere else.

Read More

2017 was deadliest year on record for Colombian human rights defenders
by the Guardian, 01 May 2018

Killings of human rights defenders in Colombia, many of them by hit men or “sicarios”, have soared since the accord was signed, according to evidence submitted by rights groups to the international criminal court. Last year, the first full year of peace in Colombia after half a century of conflict, was the deadliest on record for human rights defenders, with 121 killed, compared with 60 killings in 2016.Human rights groups, which documented 609 killings of right defenders from 1 November 2002 to September 2017 in the country, say the Colombian government is failing to investigate the crimes properly. They are urging the ICC to open a formal investigation.

Read More

US team probing alleged atrocities against Rohingya
by the Straits Times, 27 Apr 2018

WASHINGTON/COX'S BAZAR (Bangladesh) - The US government is conducting an intensive examination of alleged atrocities against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, in an investigation that could be used to prosecute Myanmar's military for crimes against humanity, US officials say. The undertaking, led by the State Department, has involved more than a thousand interviews of Rohingya men and women in refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh, where almost 700,000 Rohingya have fled after a military crackdown last year in Myanmar's north-western Rakhine state, two US officials said. The work is modelled on a US forensic investigation of mass atrocities in Sudan's Darfur region in 2004, which led to a US declaration of genocide that culminated in economic sanctions against the Sudanese government.

Read More