28 Nov 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Syria must account for thousands of detainees who died in custody - U.N.
Reuters, 28 Nov 2018

U.N. war crimes investigators called on Syria on Wednesday to tell families what happened to their relatives who disappeared and provide the medical records and remains of those who died or were executed in custody.
No progress can be made towards a lasting peace to end the nearly eight-year-old war without justice, the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said.

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Attorney general: ICC can’t rule on conflict as there is no Palestinian state
The Time of Israel, 27 Nov 2018

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said Monday he is drafting a legal opinion that refutes the International Criminal Court’s legitimacy to discuss matters pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because “there is no Palestinian state.”
Jerusalem has long argued that the court has no jurisdiction over matters relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, since it has no jurisdiction over Israel (which is not a member state) or the West Bank and Gaza — as Palestine is not a state.

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Christian CAR militia leader 'Rambo' charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity
Daily Sabah, 23 Nov 2018

A Central African Republic militia leader and lawmaker who goes by the nickname Rambo appeared at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday, where he faces 14 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, torture and using child soldiers during his country's bitter conflict.
Prosecutors at the global court allege that 43-year-old Alfred Yekatom commanded some 3,000 fighters in a predominantly Christian militia that killed Muslims in attacks between December 2013 and August 2014 in and around the capital, Bangui.

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Will smuggled files lead to justice for the Assad regime's victims?
The Economist, 22 Nov 2018

 When rebels seized the Syrian city of Idlib in 2015, a teacher called Mouhtar (not his real name) broke into a government intelligence office and stole thousands of files. Using a makeshift raft, he smuggled copies of the documents across the Orontes river and into Turkey. The originals he wrapped in plastic bags and stashed in a farmhouse. The files, says Mouhtar, reveal the inner workings of the government’s security apparatus, which has been accused of numerous atrocities.

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