5 Dec 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Syrian war crimes evidence strongest since Nuremberg trials, says prosecutor
ABC News, 05 Dec 2018

Evidence of war crimes is often hard to find — it gets destroyed in the conflict, or no records are kept in the first place. But war crimes prosecutor Stephen Rapp has told The World Today that the evidence of war crimes in Syria is the strongest since Nazi war crimes in World War II. And he thinks prosecution of the highest echelons of the Syrian regime, including President Bashar al-Assad, is inevitable. Mr Rapp said the group he chairs, Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA), is working with Syrians inside the country and has been able to access more than 750,000 pages of regime documents.

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US law firm says Myanmar committed genocide against Rohingya
Al Jazeera, 04 Dec 2018

An international law firm hired by the United States State Department to investigate last year's military crackdown on the Rohingya in Myanmar, says it has found evidence of genocide, urging the international community to establish a criminal investigation into the atrocities and ensure justice for the victims. The Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) said on Monday that its findings, based on interviews with more than 1,000 Muslim-majority Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh as a result of the crackdown in Rakhine state, also found reasonable grounds to conclude that the army committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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Innovative DNA Recovery Techniques Could Help Victims Catch Rapists in Kenya
AllAfrica, 04 Dec 2018

A huge global health challenge is physical and sexual violence against women and girls, affecting more than one third of all women globally. One way to tackle this violent crime is through DNA profiling. Since its discovery in 1984, it has revolutionised criminal investigations and prosecutions. It has become a reliable tool for identifying perpetrators and supporting claims of sexual contact. It's particularly effective when the perpetrators are either unknown to the victim, are repeat offenders, or in situations where they deny allegations of sexual contact. But in places with displaced communities, and with high rates of conflict and poverty, cases of sexual violence are frequently under-reported and victims rarely get justice. This is often because there aren't effective responses to sexual violence and because DNA often can't be recovered in these settings.

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International justice: tackling impunity in Asia
The Interpreter, 29 Nov 2018

Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, high ranking officials of the Pol Pot regime, have been sentenced to life imprisonment twice over for their role in the genocide of the Cham Muslim and ethnic Vietnamese minorities during the Khmer Rouge era. The landmark judgment delivered this month by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) found the pair guilty of crimes against humanity, including murder, forced marriage and rape, forced labour, among others.

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