30 June 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice

Articles

Myanmar to release 2,000 prisoners, drops charges against actors
Al Jazeera, 30 Jun 2021

Myanmar’s military authorities plan to release about 2,000 people from jails across the country, according to reports on Wednesday, as state television said the generals were dropping charges against actors and other celebrities who took part in the anti-coup protests. At least 700 of the prisoners will be released from Yangon’s Insein jail, prison chief Zaw Zaw told the Reuters news agency.

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Malian authorities urged to ‘break the cycle of impunity’ for human rights violations
UN News, 29 Jun 2021

Rampant impunity for human rights violations in Mali is posing serious risks for the protection of civilians in the West African country, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday. Repeated attacks over the past six months by groups such as the Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), as well as inter-communal violence, have resulted in numerous casualties, she said. At the same time, there has been a sharp increase in violations committed by national forces. 

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Namibia/Germany: Vekuii Rukoro’s fight for true genocide reparations dies out with him
The Africa Report, 29 Jun 2021

$580m per year, for 40 years. This is the amount for reparations that Vekuii Rukoro, the Herero community’s charismatic leader, claimed from Berlin for the genocide that the German empire had committed in Namibia between 1904 and 1908. Long described as the ‘forgotten genocide’, the Herero and Nama genocide was considered as the first of the 20th century. According to historians, it claimed the lives of 70,000 people: 60,000 Herero and 10,000 Nama. In 1985, the ‘Whitaker Report’ was presented before the UN. It established that between 1904 and 1908, 80% of the Herero and 50% of the Nama were exterminated by Germans.

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Sudan agrees to hand over Darfur war crimes accused
BBC, 28 Jun 2021

Sudan says it will surrender former officials who are wanted for alleged war crimes in the Darfur region to the International Criminal Court (ICC). As yet, Sudan has not named the individuals being handed over. The country's rulers had already promised to surrender ex-President Omar al-Bashir who was in power during the conflict but this has not yet happened. Bashir was ousted by the military after mass protests in 2019 and is now serving a jail sentence for corruption.

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The Mladić Appeal Judgment and the Enduring Legacy of the Hague Tribunals
Just Security, 28 Jun 2021

On June 8, Ratko Mladić, the Bosnian Serb commander, lost his appeal before the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) Appeals Chamber in The Hague, Netherlands. The Appeals Chamber in Prosecutor v. Ratko  Mladić affirmed Mladić’s convictions for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity perpetrated during the war in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995, as well as his sentence of life imprisonment.

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Bangladesh: Hold Security Forces Accountable for Torture
Human Rights Watch, 26 Jun 2021

The Bangladesh government has failed to address widespread allegations of torture and ill-treatment by its security forces, ten rights groups said on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The groups called on the United Nations and concerned governments to take decisive action. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Bangladesh, including both the police and soldiers seconded into civilian law enforcement, are credibly accused of torture and ill-treatment of detainees and suspects. 

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Liberia: Deputy Speaker Koffa Wants International Criminal Court Prosecute Liberian War Criminals
AllAfrica, 24 Jun 2021

A high-ranking member of the Liberian Legislature, Deputy House Speaker, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa has called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to lead the process in prosecuting those who committed war crimes during Liberia's deadly civil wars. Cllr. Koffa, the former Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said the ICC is the best option to handle the process than a war and economic crimes court.

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