27 September 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice


Tunisia must live up to promises to end impunity for security forces at UN Human Rights Council
By Amnesty International, 27 Sep 2017

The use of torture in custody and human rights violations committed in the name of security and counterterrorism will continue unabated unless Tunisia lives up to the commitments it has made today at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, said Amnesty International. During today’s session, the outcome of the third Universal Period Review of Tunisia’s human rights record was adopted. The Tunisian authorities accepted 189 recommendations on how to improve the country’s human rights record, including pledging to boost accountability for abuses by security forces, eliminate torture and other ill-treatment and ensure that counterterrorism and national security measures do not jeopardize human rights. “The commitments made by Tunisia today are a step in the right direction. But the government must swiftly implement these reforms if its promises of human rights progress are to be realised,” said Heba Morayef, North Africa Research Director at Amnesty International.

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Burma: Military Commits Crimes Against Humanity
By Human Rights Watch, 25 Sep 2017

Burmese security forces are committing crimes against humanity against the Rohingya population in Burma, Human Rights Watch said today. The military has committed forced deportation, murder, rape, and persecution against Rohingya Muslims in northern Rakhine State, resulting in countless deaths and mass displacement. The United Nations Security Council and concerned countries should urgently impose targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on the Burmese military to stop further crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said.

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In Switzerland, proceeding for war crimes against Rifaat-Al Assad
By TRIAL International, 25 Sep 2017

Geneva 25 September 2017 – A collective of lawyers has revealed today the existence of criminal proceedings in Switzerland against Rifaat Al-Assad for war crimes committed in Syria in the 1980s. TRIAL International confirms it has, after a thorough investigation, denounced the former vice-president to the Swiss judicial authorities. A solid case is now in the hands of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), who must now bring to its close this exemplary and historical case.Since 2013 and following a criminal complaint by TRIAL International, Rifaat Al-Assad is the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland for war crimes. But four years later, the NGO is worried the case is at a stalemate, despite the significant amount of evidence at hand. This morning, the complainants’ lawyers have publicly challenged the OAG and denounced a denial of justice for their clients – who are all victims of the Syrian regime’s barbarity.

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ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, participates in the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly: “Backing the ICC is to support humanity’s progress towards a more just world
By International Criminal Court, 25 Sep 2017

Last week, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court"), Mrs Fatou Bensouda, participated in the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly ("UNGA") held at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States.  With  over 190 Heads of State and Ministerial led delegations present, the Prosecutor's participation presented a unique, efficient and cost-effective opportunity to engage and advance the work of her Office, strengthen support and further mainstream the mandate of the ICC at this annual UN platform.

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