6 June 2012 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice

Articles

Africa: Ivorian Government Foes Wage, Plot Attacks – Investigate, Prosecute War Criminals from Côte d’Ivoir Conflict in Liberia
By AllAfrica, 06 Jun 2012

Armed militants hostile to the Ivorian government have recruited Liberian children and carried out deadly cross-border raids on Ivorian villages in recent months, Human Rights Watch said today. Liberian authorities have failed to investigate and prosecute dozens of Liberian and Ivorian nationals who crossed into Liberia after committing war crimes during Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010-2011 post-election crisis, some of whom have been implicated in recent attacks, Human Rights Watch said. 

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Malawi to arrest President Al-Bashir if he attends African Summit
By Hirondelle News Agency, 06 Jun 2012

In a closed door meeting with British Secretary of State for International Affairs, Andrew Mitchell in Blantyre, Malawian President Joyce Banda reportedly assured him that her country would arrest President Al-Bashir, who is expected in Malawi in July 2012, with other African leaders for the 19th Summit of the African Union. According to Africa Review website, Malawi had initially sought the opinion of the AU to convince President Bashir not to attend the summit, but the continental bloc said they had no mandate to stop a sitting president of a member country from attending. 

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UN condemns Canadian security practices over risk of torture, rights violations
By The Canadian Press, 06 Jun 2012

The United Nations is taking Canada to task for security practices it says expose Canadians and others to torture and allow war criminals to escape international justice. A new report by the UN Committee Against Torture accuses Ottawa of being “complicit” to human rights violation committed against three Arab-Canadian men held in Syria after 9-11. The UN has asked Ottawa to respond to the report by June 2013, but the Harper government was quick to condemn the agency for the criticism.  

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Mauritania: Global Coalition Urges Country to Join International Criminal Court
By AllAfrica, 05 Jun 2012

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court-a global network of more than 2,500 non-governmental and civil society organizations in 150 countries advocating for a fair, effective and independent International Criminal Court (ICC)-today called on Mauritania to embrace a new system of international justice and advance the rule of law by acceding to the Rome Statute.
The Coalition has chosen Mauritania as the focus for its June 2011 Universal Ratification Campaign, a monthly campaign launched to encourage countries to join the Rome Statute-the founding treaty of the first permanent international court capable of trying perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. 

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Security Council urged to take steps to ensure arrest of Sudanese leaders for war crimes
By UN News Centre, 05 Jun 2012

Luis Moreno-Ocampo today called on the Security Council to adopt measures to ensure the arrest of Sudanese leaders indicted for war crimes, stressing that the Government’s refusal to arrest President Omar Al-Bashir constitutes “a direct challenge to the Council’s authority. […] It is for the Council to determine the measures to be adopted to ensure the compliance of the Government of Sudan.” Ocampo went on to state that “The victims will receive a clear message: they are not ignored. And the perpetrators will receive a clear message: there will be no impunity. Time is running out,” he added. 

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Gaddafi can stay in Libya pending Court’s decision
By Hirondelle News Agency, 04 Jun 2012

A Preliminary chamber of the International Criminal Court granted Libya the right to postpone its execution of the ICC’s request for surrender of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, pending its final determination of Libya’s challenge to the admissibility of the case, dated May 1, 2012. Libya denied on Friday information according to which Zintan rebels were refusing to hand Gaddafi over to the central government if past-due salaries were not paid. 

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Cut off aid to states helping Sudan’s Bashir: ICC prosecutor
By Michelle Nichols, Reuters, 04 Jun 2012

Aid should be cut off to states that help Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir evade arrest for war crimes to convince them to hand him over to the International Criminal Court if he visits those countries, prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said on Monday. The ICC indicted Bashir in 2009; Bashir’s government in Khartoum has dismissed the charges as politically motivated and baseless. Ocampo, who finishes his term this month at court based in The Hague, said it was time to get creative about trying to arrest Bashir.  

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France in favour of referring Syria’s case to the ICC
By Hirondelle News Agency, 29 May 2012

 In an interview to the French daily Le Monde, the new Minster for Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius declared that “those responsible for the crimes committed in Syria will end up answering for their actions in the courts”. He added that France was “in favour of referring the matter to the ICC”. Syria is not part of the Rome statute. To start an investigation, ICC must be requested to do so by the UN Security Council. However, there has been so far a “lack of consensus at the UN Security Council, because of the Russians and Chinese”, Fabius noted.

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