26 January 2022 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice

Articles

Borrell: No place in EU for genocide deniers, supporters of war criminals
EURACTIV, 26 Jan 2022

Senior EU officials Josep Borrell and Oliver Varhelyi hailed on Tuesday Serbia’s progress toward gaining EU membership by opening Cluster 4 of the membership negotiations. On genocide denial, the EU’s chief diplomat said “there is no place in Europe to deny genocide, there is no place in Europe to celebrate war crimes and war criminals, there is no place in Europe to publicly support those who support genocide and celebrate war crimes, who undermine the integrity of countries in the neighbourhood, who threaten regional stability and reconciliation – all this cannot go with European values and aspirations.”

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Serbia extradites Bahraini dissident in cooperation with Interpol
The Guardian, 25 Jan 2022

Serbian authorities have extradited a Bahraini dissident in cooperation with Interpol despite an injunction by the European court of human rights, in the first test for the international policing organisation under the presidency of a top Emirati security official. The court also asked for further evidence from the Serbian authorities about the case and warned that failure to comply meant that Serbia risked breaching the European convention on human rights.

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A Historic Verdict, and a New Front in the Global Fight for Human Rights
The New York Times, 25 Jan 2022

On the night of July 20, 2021, Ruham Hawash lay awake unsure of where she was, mistaking her hotel bed in Koblenz, Germany, for the cramped and filthy cell in Damascus where, in 2012, she was detained and brutalized. The next day, in a German court, she would see and testify against the Syrian colonel who oversaw her torture. The trial was history-making. Two Syrian state-security officers had been arrested and charged in Germany for crimes against humanity, including torture, murder and sexual assault. It was the first time anyone from the Syrian regime would be tried for its crimes.

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Guatemala Sentences Former Fighters to 30 Years in Prison for Rape
The New York Times, 25 Jan 2022

A top Guatemalan court has sentenced five former paramilitary members to 30 years in prison for the rape of several Indigenous women in the early 1980s, during the nation’s long, bloody civil war. The sentences were handed down on Monday following a weekslong trial that resulted in convictions for crimes against humanity. The charges were based on the rape of five women at the hands of a pro-government militia fighting leftist rebels.

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German woman on trial for joining ISIL, enslaving a Yazidi woman
Al Jazeera, 25 Jan 2022

A German woman who travelled to Syria as a 15-year-old to join the ISIL (ISIS) armed group has gone on trial accused of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity. Leonora Messing, now aged 21, faced the court on Tuesday in the eastern German city of Halle on suspicion that she and her ISIL husband enslaved a Yazidi woman in Syria in 2015. During the course of the trial, scheduled to last until at least mid-May and being held behind closed doors, Messing will also face charges of membership of an armed group and weapons law violations.

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The last throes of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army
Deutsche Welle, 24 Jan 2022

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) was founded in northern Uganda in 1987 to chase President Yoweri Museveni out of office and establish a Christian theocracy. After being driven out of the country by the Ugandan military, LRA fighters instilled terror among the region's politically unstable neighbours — particularly in southern Sudan and present-day South Sudan, the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the southeastern Central African Republic (CAR).

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‘A war crime against humanity’: Yemen rebels denounce attack
Al Jazeera, 22 Jan 2022

An official from Yemen’s Houthi rebel group and medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) said on Friday that dozens of people were killed in a dawn bombing of a temporary detention centre in the northern city. “We consider this a war crime against humanity. The world should take responsibility at this critical moment in human history,” he said. An MSF spokesperson told the AFP news agency the death toll was at least 70 and that 138 others had been wounded.

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Israeli Historian to ‘Correct’ Controversial Bosnia Report After Being Accused of Genocide Denial
Haaretz, 19 Jan 2022

An Israeli historian accused of genocide denial says he will revise a controversial war crimes report he co-wrote on behalf of Bosnian Serb nationalists – an attempt critics are calling damage control after a months-long controversy over the report into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. His findings, released last summer, were widely panned by scholars, with most of the criticism directed at his claims that the massacre did not constitute an act of genocide and his assertion that “a significant number of remains exhumed from the mass graves belonged to people who were killed outside the context of mass shootings.”

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