15 Sep 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice

NPWJ press release

Open appeal to UN Member States to ensure the adoption of a resolution creating an investigative mechanism on Afghanistan at the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council
No Peace Without Justice, 09 Sep 2021

We, the undersigned organisations, write to urge UN Member States to ensure the adoption of a robust resolution to establish a Fact-Finding Mission or similar independent investigative mechanism on Afghanistan as a matter of priority at the upcoming 48th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). We express our profound regret at the failure of the recent HRC special session on Afghanistan to deliver a credible response to the escalating human rights crisis gripping the country. 



Lebanon: UN Rights Body Should Investigate Beirut Blast
Human Rights Watch, 15 Sep 2021

Member states at the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) should establish an international, independent, and impartial investigative mission, such as a one-year fact-finding mission, into the Beirut port explosion of August 4, 2020, 145 Lebanese and international rights groups, survivors, and families of the victims said today in a joint letter. This letter follows a similar one sent by 115 rights groups, survivors, and families of the victims in June 2021.


With Taliban in Power, Only International Action Can Save Afghans
Human Rights Watch, 14 Sep 2021

The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan has magnified concerns about an accelerating human rights crisis in the country. Already the world’s deadliest conflict since 2017, Afghanistan had seen a steady rise in attacks on civilians in the past year, many by the Taliban and others by the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State. Now, with the Taliban in power, a large number of journalists and human rights defenders are in hiding and trying to leave the country, fearing Taliban reprisals. 


Central African Republic: Important Step for Justice
Human Rights Watch, 14 Sep 2021

The Special Criminal Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic, in an important step for justice, has brought charges against Capt. Eugène Ngaïkosset, known within the country as “The Butcher of Paoua,” Human Rights Watch said. His arrest was confirmed on September 4, 2021. On September 10 the SCC announced that it had charged Ngaïkosset with crimes against humanity, but did not specify details of the charges. 


Liberia: Massaquoi War Crimes Trial Resumes in Monrovia
All Africa, 13 Sep 2021

The trial of Gibril Massaquoi, the former Revolutionary United Front commander accused of murder, aggravated rape and aggravated war crimes during the 1999-2003 civil war in Liberia, returns to Monrovia this week. The trial of the 51-year-old Sierra Leonean is being conducted by the District Court of Tampere in Finland where Massaquoi has been living since 2008 working as a cleaner and postman. In March 2020, the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested him in a Tampere parking lot after investigating his suspected links to war crimes in Liberia.


Towards a New Treaty on Crimes Against Humanity: Next Steps
Just Security, 13 Sep 2021

Is it time for a new global treaty on crimes against humanity? Ever since the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative published a Proposed Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity in 2010, there has been a robust global conversation about the possibility of negotiating and adopting such a treaty, along the lines of the Genocide and Geneva Conventions adopted after World War II following the Nuremberg Trials.