26 May 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice

NPWJ press release

Transatlantic cooperation: NPWJ welcomes EU and US parliamentarians' strategy to strengthen fight against impunity for human rights violations
No Peace Without Justice, 25 May 2021

The inaugural meeting of the EU-US strategic inter-parliamentary consultation on human rights was held today. It is part of a series of remote gatherings organised by MEPs of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights together with the United States Helsinki Commission and the House Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives. NPWJ welcomes this initiative between like-minded parliamentary bodies and institutions.

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Hissène Habré’s Victims Continue Fight for Reparations
Human Rights Watch, 26 May 2021

Five years ago, on May 30, 2016, an African Union-backed court in Dakar, Senegal, convicted former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture, including sexual violence and rape. The court sentenced him to life in prison. Habré’s conviction, like his trial, was celebrated around the world, not just because it happened but also because of how it happened. An African court had found an African dictator guilty of atrocious crimes, thanks to a tenacious 25-year campaign mounted by his African victims and allies.

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Myanmar cardinal calls for end to violence after church attack
Al Jazeera, 26 May 2021

Myanmar’s Roman Catholic leader has called for attacks on places of worship to end after he said four people were killed and more than eight wounded when a group of mainly women and children sought refuge in a church during fighting this week. The conflict between the army and forces opposed to military rule has escalated in recent days in eastern Myanmar near the border of Shan and Kayah states, with dozens of security forces and local fighters killed, according to residents and media reports.

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Ugandan military court grants bail to some opposition activists, keeps others in jail
Reuters, 25 May 2021

A Ugandan court released on bail on Tuesday 17 of 35 opposition activists detained since the start of the year in what activists have described as a crackdown on dissent linked to a January election. The group, all supporters of singer-turned-opposition leader Bobi Wine, were originally detained on Dec. 30 for violating COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings.

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Amal Clooney calls for more charges against Darfur suspect
Reuters, 25 May 2021

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney on Tuesday argued that prosecutors should consider additional charges of sexual violence for a man accused of atrocities including rape, torture and murder during the 2003-2004 conflict in Darfur.

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Muslim countries seek U.N. probe into possible crimes in Gaza conflict
Reuters, 25 May 2021

Muslim countries are calling on the United Nations to investigate possible crimes committed during the 11-day conflict between Israel and the Palestinian military group Hamas and to establish command responsibility. The U.N. Human Rights Council will hold a special session on the latest conflict on Thursday, at the request of Pakistan, as coordinator of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the state of Palestine.

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Sweden top court deems posing with dead bodies a war crime
Jurist, 25 May 2021

According to a press release on Monday, Sweden’s Supreme Court has established that posing with a dead body during armed conflict constitutes a war crime. This comes following an array of judgements contemplating whether the term protected persons under the Act on Criminal Responsibility for Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes covers dead persons.

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Why A 2014 Investigation Into War Crimes In Israel And Gaza Is Still Unfinished
NPR, 25 May 2021

Israel and Gaza are each accusing each other of war crimes. Israel is accused of using disproportionate force against Palestinians, Hamas of launching rockets at Israeli civilians. The International Criminal Court is already investigating both sides for the same accusations during the 2014 conflict. That investigation was only announced last March, nearly seven years after the alleged crimes were committed.

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A Renewed Agenda to Advance US Interests with the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Justice Today, 23 May 2021

Almost seven years following the inaugural Arguendo essays, little has changed to alter the three proposals set forth in my own essay of June 3, 2014, which I address shortly.  No doubt the relationship between the United States government and the International Criminal Court (ICC) slid into a dark pit during the Trump administration when National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took aggressive stances against the ICC, both in their rhetoric and with sanctions against staff and supporters of the Court who were threatened and inflicted by Executive Order 13928.

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