9 Jan 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Venezuela: Suspected Plotters Tortured
Human Rights Watch, 09 Jan 2019

Venezuelan intelligence and security forces have detained and tortured military personnel accused of plotting against the government, Human Rights Watch and the Venezuelan nongovernmental group Foro Penal said today. Authorities have also detained and tortured the family members of some suspects in an effort to determine their whereabouts. Some detainees were subjected to egregious abuses that amount to torture to force them to provide information about alleged conspiracies. In most cases, members of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) or the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) carried out the arrests.

Read More

Historic Guatemalan anti-corruption battle endangered
The Washington Post, 08 Jan 2019

A decade-long, U.N.-assisted anti-corruption effort that brought down a president faced extinction after the Guatemalan government ended the agreement, drawing condemnation Tuesday from transparency and rights groups. The U.N. anti-corruption commission, known by its initials as the CICIG, has angered President Jimmy Morales after it helped investigate him, his sons and his brother on accusations of corruption they deny. Morales has barred commission members from renewing visas and entering the country, and he dropped the final shoe Monday when his government tried to expel the group, giving its prosecutors a day to leave the country.

Read More

Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Detained Children Tortured
Human Rights Watch, 08 Jan 2019

The Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq is torturing children to confess to involvement with the Islamic State (ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today. Children told Human Rights Watch that in 2017 and 2018, security officers, known as Asayish, used beatings, stress positions, and electric shock on boys in their custody. Most said they had no access to a lawyer and they were not allowed to read the confessions Asayish wrote and forced them to sign.

Read More

Gambia reconciliation process to look into former leader's abuses
Al Jazeera, 08 Jan 2019

The Gambia's truth and reconciliation commission for Yaya Jammeh-era crimes opened Monday. For 22 years, between 1994 and 2016, sexual violence, enforced disappearances, torture, and wholesale massacres became state policy. They were most often carried out with impunity. Other victims, witnesses and even perpetrators are expected to come forward to testify at the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), which has broad powers to administer compensation to victims and, crucially, suggest alleged perpetrators for prosecution.

Read More

Sudan: Security Forces Killing, Detaining Protesters
Human Rights Watch, 07 Jan 2019

Sudanese security forces have been using live ammunition and other forms of excessive force against protesters and arbitrarily detaining them. Sudanese activists and medical workers estimate that at least 40 people have been killed, including children, since protests began on December 19, 2018. The Sudanese authorities should investigate all reported killings, injuries and other abuses, and hold those responsible to account.

Read More

'Not sufficient': UN on Saudi trial into Jamal Khashoggi killing
Al Jazeera, 04 Jan 2019

The United Nations human rights office has said it could not assess the fairness of a trial taking place in Saudi Arabia into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, adding that it was "not sufficient". Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani on Friday reiterated the UN office's call for an independent investigation "with international involvement". The comments from the UN official came a day after the high-profile trial of the 11 suspects charged with the Washington Post columnist's murder opened in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Thursday. A Saudi prosecutor sought the death sentence for five of the 11 suspects linked to the October 2 killing that caused a global outrage.

Read More