14 October 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice

Articles

Trump Administration Sued Over International Criminal Court Sanctions
Bloomberg Law , 14 Oct 2020

The Open Society Justice Initiative is fighting back, filing a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York. The suit challenges a June executive order sanctioning senior ICC officials, including Fatou Bensouda, the court’s chief prosecutor. The executive order appears to be retaliation for the ICC’s investigation of alleged wrongdoing by U.S. personnel in Afghanistan. 

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Myanmar: ‘Shocking’ killing of children allegedly used as human shields
UN News, 14 Oct 2020

The two boys were killed in a crossfire between Myanmar’s military, known as the Tatmadaw, and the separatist Arakan Army. The incident occurred on 5 October in Buthidaung township – a hotspot for army abuses against children for non-combat purposes, since mid-2019, the UN agencies said in a statement, on Wednesday.  UN agencies in Myanmar have expressed ‘sadness’ and ‘shock’ over the killing of two boys, allegedly used as human shields by security forces in the country’s northern Rakhine province, earlier this month. 
 

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Liberia: Human Rights Defenders Target Those Preventing Establishment of War Crimes Court
All Africa , 13 Oct 2020

The Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP) has called for the imposition of multiple sanctions on public officials and those preventing the implementation of the recommendations contained in the final report of the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), especially the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia. According to the group's head, Mr. Hassan Bility, "deceitful and hypocritical politicians" in Liberia continue to compromise citizens' popular call for the prosecution of those who committed atrocities and war crimes in Liberia for political reasons.

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The silence of our friends: what has been the global civil society response to the war in Nagorno Karabakh?
Open Democracy , 12 Oct 2020

Since Azerbaijan launched a military strike along the entire line of contact with Nagorno Karabakh on 27 September, a war has been raging. Parties to the conflict include Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Moreover, there are growing reports from international news sources that Syrian mercenaries have also been recruited to fight against the Armenian side. A week on, hundreds have lost their lives and the once thriving capital of Nagorno Karabakh, Stepanakert, along with other cities and villages have been heavily bombarded. And yet, for much of the international community, this war seems to barely register as a blip on their radar.

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What next for Kyrgyzstan?
Open Democracy , 12 Oct 2020

Less than a week ago, residents of Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, took to the streets to protest the conduct and results of parliamentary elections. President Sooronbay Jeenbekov went into hiding, but later announced that he was willing to annul the results of the elections and step down as the country’s leader. What ensued was a power vacuum and a free-for-all among a dizzying array of political groupings - some established and some seemingly assembled on the fly. At duelling meetings held in various points across the capital, various groups put forward candidates for the position of interim prime minister, and coalitions rose and fell quickly.

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Armenia/Azerbaijan: Civilians must be protected from use of banned cluster bombs
Amnesty International , 05 Oct 2020

Protection of civilians caught in the escalating conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region must be prioritised, Amnesty International said today, after corroborating the use of banned cluster bombs in the region. Over the weekend, footage consistent with the use of cluster munitions in the city of Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, was published by the region’s de facto authorities. They also reported an unidentified number of civilian casualties after further shelling in Stepanakert and the town of Shushi.

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