21 July 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice

NPWJ press release

NPWJ Statement on International Justice Day
NPWJ, 17 Jul 2021

As the world continues to grapple with the realities of the global pandemic, including the inequities exposed between different parts of the world, ongoing human rights violations and impunity for past crimes remind us that the fight for international justice must nonetheless continue to be a high priority. A facet of international justice that has been gaining momentum over the past year is environmental justice. No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) highlights the need for accountability and redress for crimes like illegal mining, logging and illicit trade, which significantly affect diverse communities across the globe, including those comprised by indigenous peoples, and bring destruction to ecosystems vital to these communities, such as those highlighted through our campaign “Amazonia Beyond the Crisis”. 

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FROM THE FIELD: A genocide timeline; Srebrenica massacre remembered
UN News, 20 Jul 2021

Some 8,000 boys and men were killed by Bosnian Serb forces when they overran the town of Srebrenica during a regional war in the Balkans in July 1995, the largest atrocity on European soil since the Second World War. The exhibition in the form of a timeline, explains how the genocide was planned and carried out. It’s been staged by the UN’s International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) based in The Hague.

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Syrian war crimes: French investigators probe Jaish al-Islam rebel group
DW, 19 Jul 2021

This is the first time a Western country is looking into atrocities committed by rebel groups, one being Jaish al-Islam, once considered the strongest armed opposition group in Syria. DW spoke to witnesses who say they suffered abuse and torture at the hands of the hard-liners.

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To stop mass atrocities, follow the money
Al Jazeera, 17 Jul 2021

Mass atrocities don’t come cheap. A common misconception is that everything must fail in order for international crimes – war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide – to be perpetrated against civilian populations. On the contrary, many things need to align for governments, terrorists, or rebel groups to commit atrocities. They need persuasive politics, organised institutions prepared to follow orders, and buy-in from key constituencies. And they need money – lots of it.

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Why we need to challenge genocide denialism in the Balkans
Al Jazeera, 16 Jul 2021

On June 27, 1992, at least 60 Bosniak Muslim civilians, mainly women and children, were burned to death in my hometown, Visegrad, in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. White Eagles, a Serbian paramilitary group led by Milan Lukic, forced them into a house in the town’s Bikavac neighbourhood, blocked all the exits, and set the house ablaze. My cousin’s daughter, son and wife were among the victims. Only one person, a young woman named Zehra Turjačanin, survived the fire by escaping through the small gap between the patio door of the house and the heavy objects that were placed in front of it to keep it shut.

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Rwanda's Righteous: The heroes who risked their lives to help others during genocide
France24, 16 Jul 2021

In 1994, Rwanda plunged into a murderous frenzy. In just three months, more than 800,000 Rwandans, mostly from the Tutsi minority, were massacred by members of the Hutu majority. Some Hutus risked their lives to help Tutsis and most were executed because of it. But others lived to tell the tale. Who are these heroes? Why did they make this choice? How did they do it? In this documentary, we meet the men and women who showed humanity during the darkest hours of the genocide.

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Kenya: ICC Confirms Witness Tampering Charges Lawyer Paul Gicheru
AllAfrica, 15 Jul 2021

The International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Chamber on Thursday confirmed charges against Kenyan Paul Gicheru ranging from offenses against the administration of justice and witness meddling. Gicheru had been freed on a Sh1 million bond in January following his arrested after voluntarily turning himself in. He will be allowed to travel back to Kenya once he meets the conditions set out by the court, including informing the court where travels to or resides at any given time.

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