30 September 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Myanmar Desertions Offer an Opening for Rohingya Justice
The Diplomat , 30 Sep 2020

The long-term persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which dates back to the 1970s, has become particularly grave in recent years, as increasing crackdowns have coincided with mounting challenges to the pursuit of justice. However, a new opportunity for justice for the Rohingya has recently opened, in the form of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

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France approves Rwanda genocide suspect’s transfer to UN tribunal
Al Jazeera , 30 Sep 2020

France’s top appeals court ruled on Wednesday that alleged Rwandan genocide financier Felicien Kabuga be transferred to a United Nations tribunal in Tanzania to stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. UN prosecutors accuse the former tea and coffee tycoon of bankrolling and importing huge numbers of machetes for ethnic Hutu fighters that killed hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda during a 100-day period in 1994.

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Azerbaijan and Armenia reject talks as Karabakh conflict zone spreads
Reuters, 29 Sep 2020

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another on Tuesday of firing directly into each other’s territory and rejected pressure to hold peace talks as their conflict over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh threatened to mushroom into all-out war.

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Hague court begins long-delayed hearings on Kosovan war crimes
The Guardian , 29 Sep 2020

A special court in The Hague has begun hearings on war crimes committed by Kosovo’s former separatist fighters, more than two decades after its war for independence from Serbia and nine years after a prosecutor was first appointed to investigate reports of atrocities. Over the past week the Kosovo specialist chambers have ordered the arrest of three former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), who were detained by EU police and transferred to the Netherlands. Two of them have already appeared before a judge, in a specially built courtroom fitted with transparent screens as a precaution against coronavirus.

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No Accountability for War Crimes in Sri Lanka
Foreign Affairs , 29 Sep 2020

Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war ended in a bloodbath in May 2009. Government forces decisively defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam at the cost of tens of thousands of civilian lives. According to credible allegations, the Sri Lankan military intentionally shelled hospitals as well as areas it had designated safe “No Fire Zones.” Further evidence supports claims of torture, sexual assault, and the extrajudicial execution of combatants. Yet 11 years after these atrocities, no justice has been served. Despite sustained demands from the Tamil community, Sri Lanka’s leaders have steadfastly refused to investigate these grisly events or prosecute their perpetrators.

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