5 May 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice

NPWJ press release

NPWJ commemorates World Press Freedom Day
NPWJ Press Release, 03 May 2021

On this World Press Freedom Day, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) want to extend a special salute and recognition to those all those brave activists who are engaged in the daily struggle to secure the full recognition of freedom of press as well as to pay tribute to those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

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Côte d’Ivoire: Can former president Gbagbo claim damages from the ICC?
The Africa Report, 03 May 2021

He is now totally free. Acquitted definitively on 31 March by the International Criminal Court (ICC), Côte d’Ivoire’s former president Laurent Gbagbo is now planning his return home from Brussels, where he lives. Accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during the post-election crisis of 2010-2011, which left more than 3,000 people dead, the Ivorian former president was arrested on 11 April 2011 in Abidjan by President Alassane Ouattara’s forces.

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In Colombia, 19 Are Killed in Pandemic-Related Protests
The New York Times, 03 May 2021

At least 19 people were killed and hundreds more injured during days of protests across Colombia, in which tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to demonstrate against a tax overhaul meant to fill a pandemic-related fiscal hole. On Sunday, President Iván Duque announced that he would withdraw the current proposal, and instead seek a new plan, this time borne out of consensus.

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Syria: Amnesty announced ahead of presidential elections
Middle East Eye, 02 May 2021

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree on Sunday authorising the release of prisoners, including those convicted for misdemeanours or complicity in acts of "terrorism," just weeks before planned presidential elections on 26 May. The election is the second such poll since the start of the country's decade-long civil war. Assad, who has ruled the country since the death of his father in 2000, is widely expected to secure a fourth term.

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DRC: Prioritize justice for serious crimes
Amnesty International, 30 Apr 2021

The Democratic Republic of Congo's newly appointed government should adopt a clear strategy for holding those suspected of criminal responsibility for grave human rights violations accountable, a coalition of 50 Congolese and international nongovernmental groups said today. President Felix Tshisekedi’s new government, led by Prime Minister Sama Lukonde, has a historic chance to address past and recent serious crimes under international law, including those described in the 2010 United Nations Mapping Report. The government should deliver justice and reparations for victims and their families and carry out the long-awaited security sector vetting and reforms.

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Iraqi Kurds plan special court to try suspected Islamic State fighters
The Guardian, 30 Apr 2021

Iraqi Kurdish officials plan to establish a special criminal court to prosecute accused Islamic State (Isis) members in a move that could lead to senior members of the terror group being brought to Iraq to face trial. Legislation introduced to the Kurdish parliament on Wednesday has raised the possibility that suspects detained in the years since the extremist group's collapse could be transferred to a court in the northern city to Erbil to be prosecuted with international backing.

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Apartheid and Persecution: The Forgotten Crimes Against Humanity
Human Rights Watch, 30 Apr 2021

The use of the word ‘apartheid’  in its legal meaning  can sometimes, but not always, generate considerable power and attention. The related crime against humanity of persecution never seems to attract the same interest. Our finding in 2020 that the Myanmar authorities  were committing the crime against humanity of apartheid against ethnic Rohingya received considerable coverage of the facts of their mistreatment, though less about the crime itself.

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