23 March 2022 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Danish Siddiqui: Slain India journalist's parents take Taliban to court
BBC News, 23 Mar 2022

The parents of Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui are seeking legal action against the Taliban over their son's death. The 38-year-old Reuters journalist was killed last year after a Taliban ambush while reporting in Afghanistan. His parents have moved the International Criminal Court (ICC) against six Taliban leaders. They allege that the the Taliban took him into custody, tortured and killed him before mutilating his body.

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Explainer: How could Russia's Putin be prosecuted for war crimes in Ukraine?
Reuters, 22 Mar 2022

U.S. President Joe Biden has publicly called Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal, but legal experts said a prosecution of Putin or other Russian leaders would face high hurdles and could take years, as outlined below: How is a war crime defined? The International Criminal Court in The Hague defines war crimes as "grave breaches" of the post-World War Two Geneva Conventions, agreements which lay out the international humanitarian laws to be followed in war time. Breaches include deliberately targeting civilians and attacking legitimate military targets where civilian casualties would be “excessive,” legal experts said. 

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Myanmar: Momentum for justice as US to label Rohingya crackdown genocide
Amnesty International, 21 Mar 2022

Responding to reports that the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to announce that Myanmar’s military has committed genocide and crimes against humanity during its violent campaign against the Rohingya minority, Erwin van der Borght, Amnesty International’s Interim Regional Director, said: “Nearly five years after 740,000 people were driven from their homes at gunpoint in 2017, Rohingya families and survivors have yet to receive justice for the unimaginable horrors inflicted upon them. Momentum for international justice must be accelerated to end the rampant culture of impunity in Myanmar, where no senior figures have ever faced the consequences of their appalling campaign against the Rohingya people. 

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How Technology Might Bring War Criminals To Justice In Ukraine
Forbes, 21 Mar 2022

There are rules when it comes to war. Russia just isn’t following them. Video and photographs from the besieged port city of Mariupol in southeast Ukraine have seared images into the global consciousness of pregnant women evacuating a bombed hospital – one woman being carried through the rubble on a stretcher, her pelvis bloodied; another woman walking down the stairs of the destroyed building in polka dot pajamas with cuts and bruises on her face. 

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Is Vladimir Putin a war criminal, and who decides?
The Guardian, 17 Mar 2022

Joe Biden called Vladimir Putin a "war criminal" on Wednesday for the unfolding onslaught in Ukraine, where hospitals and maternity wards have been bombed. But declaring someone a war criminal is not as simple as just saying the words. There are set definitions and processes for determining who is a war criminal and how they should be punished.

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UN court orders Russia to halt invasion of Ukraine
Al Jazeera, 16 Mar 2022

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Russia to cease military actions in Ukraine  immediately, saying it is “profoundly concerned” by Moscow’s use of force. “The Russian Federation shall immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on Feb 24, 2022 on the territory of Ukraine,” judges at the United Nations’ highest court said in a 13-2 decision on Wednesday. 

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