4 Jul 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Sierra Leone: New government must prioritize ending police crackdowns on peaceful protesters
by Amnesty International, 03 Jul 2018

The new government of Sierra Leone must start fulfilling its promises to improve the human rights situation in the country by lifting restrictions on peaceful demonstrations and ending entrenched impunity for police killings of protesters, Amnesty International said in a new report published today.
"A Force for Good? Restrictions on peaceful assembly and impunity for excessive use of force by the Sierra Leone police" documents how, over the past decade, peaceful anti-government protests have repeatedly been refused permission or violently dispersed with unlawful killings by police going unpunished.

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Hague court Turkish judge not reappointed due to 'terrorism' conviction
by Ibna, 03 Jul 2018

The Turkish judge Aydin Sefa Akay lost his job in the Hague because the UN secretary-general did not reappoint him due to the pressure from Ankara, after his conviction of belonging to a 'terrorist organisation' that, allegedly is behind the failed coup in 2016, in Turkey. The president of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, Theodor Meron described his colleague's removal a "dangerous precedent".

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Bemba and His Former Lawyers Ask ICC Judges Not to Send Them Back to Jail
by Wairagala Wakabi, International Justice Monitor, 01 Jul 2018

Congo’s former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba and his two former lawyers, with whom he was convicted for witnesses tampering at the International Criminal Court (ICC), have asked judges not to send them back to jail. The trio want judges to maintain the earlier sentences handed to them back in March 2017, before the court’s Appeals Chamber directed that new sentences be issued.
In a June 1 submission, Bemba’s lawyers asked that he be given a custodial sentence of 12 months, which he would not actually serve because he has already spent a longer period in pre-trial detention, plus “a substantial fine.” Bemba was initially handed a one-year prison term and a fine of €300,000.

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Amnesty calls on Malawi to ensure justice for albino victims
by Africa Times, 28 Jun 2018

Amnesty International has called on authorities in Malawi to ensure justice for victims targeted because they are albinos, a practice that has claimed the lives of 21 people since 2014 and amounts to nearly 150 total cases.
The attacks against people with albinism are fueled by stereotypical beliefs that their body parts bring wealth and good luck. Malawi – along with Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania – is identified with the markets for the cross-border trade in body parts.

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Qatar blockade case to appear before UN's highest court
by Al-Jazeera, 27 Jun 2018

Qatar says the blockade has violated human rights of nationals of both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Qatar is set to present its case against the United Arab Emirates in front of the International Court  of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, over a now year-long blockade against the Gulf nation.  
The UAE and three other countries imposed a blockade against Qatar in June 2017, which Doha argues violates human rights of both Qatari and Emirati citizens. 

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UN rights expert ‘strongly recommends’ probe by International Criminal Court into ‘decades of crimes’ in Myanmar
by UN News, 27 Jun 2018

The United Nations rights expert on Myanmar is “strongly” recommending that the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate and prosecute those allegedly responsible for “decades of crimes” in the form a grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law inside the country.

In an oral briefing to the Human Rights Council on Wednesday, Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee underscored that accountability for crimes committed in Myanmar “is the only way” to end the long-term cycle of violence.


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