24 January 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Afghanistan and the ICC: a ‘brave’ first step, but a long road ahead
by IRIN News, 23 Jan 2018

Widespread abuses. Rampant impunity. Forgotten victims. Afghanistan was just the kind of case that the founders had in mind when they set up the International Criminal Court to bring powerful people to justice. More than 15 years later, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has asked judges for permission to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country. But with the government, militants and US forces in the prosecutor’s sights, is the ICC promising more than it can deliver to the countless victims who have suffered decades of violence and abuse?

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Despite the Hurdles, Argentina Continues to Seek Truth and Justice
The Wire, 23 Jan 2018

Buenos Aires: Thirty-four years after Argentina’s return to democracy, more than 500 cases involving human rights abuses committed during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship are making their way through the courts. This high number not only shows that the process of truth and justice is ongoing, but also reflects the delays and the slow process of justice. Since the human rights trials got underway again in 2003, after amnesty laws were overturned, 200 sentences have been handed down, but 140 of them have been appealed.

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Venezuelan Authorities Should Pay for their Crimes
by Human Rights Watch , 23 Jan 2018

The Lima Group—a coalition of 11 Latin American governments and Canada that is monitoring Venezuela’s crisis—will meet in Santiago today to address the situation in Venezuela. After their first meeting in Lima in August, the group published a comprehensive statement that condemned the assault on democratic order and the systematic violation of human rights in Venezuela. The 12 said they would not recognize Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly (created by the government to sideline a body led by its opponents), pledged to stop the transfer of weapons to Venezuela, and expressed concern about the humanitarian crisis and the government’s refusal to accept international aid.

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Philippines: Duterte’s ‘Drug War’ Claims 12,000+ Lives
by Human Rights Watch , 18 Jan 2018

(New York) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “drug war” entered its second year in 2017, resulting in the killing of more than 12,000 drug suspects, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. Duterte has responded to increased criticism of his anti-drug campaign by impugning, harassing, and threatening critics of the government and human rights defenders. Since the “drug war” began on June 30, 2016, Duterte and his officials have publicly reviled, humiliated and, in one instance, jailed human rights advocates. Senator Leila de Lima, the president’s chief critic, has been detained since February 2017 on politically motivated drug charges in apparent retaliation for leading a Senate inquiry into the drug war killings and, early on, opening an investigation of the Davao Death Squad in Davao City, where Duterte was mayor for more than 20 years.

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