25 Nov 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice

Articles

Nepal: Stalling on Justice for Conflict-Era Crimes
Human Rights Watch , 25 Nov 2020

The authorities in Nepal are preventing police and prosecutors from pursuing conflict-era cases of human rights violations, undermining the rule of law and efforts for security sector reform, Human Rights Watch and Advocacy Forum said in a report released today. During the 10-year armed conflict between government forces and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) that ended in 2006, thousands of people were forcibly disappeared, tortured, raped, or killed.

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Ethiopia war destabilising east Africa, warns EU
Reuters, 25 Nov 2020

Fighting between Ethiopia’s military and regional forces from the northern Tigray region is seriously destabilising the East African and Horn region and hostilities should halt, the European Union foreign policy chief said. Hundreds of people have been killed since fighting began on Nov. 4, more than 41,000 refugees have fled to Sudan and there are reports of militias targeting civilians.

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Saudi Arabia to put women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul on trial
The Guardian , 24 Nov 2020

Saudi Arabia will put women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul on trial on Wednesday, more than 900 days after she was detained, and just after the country wrapped up hosting duties on a virtual G20 summit, her family have been told. Hathloul is on hunger strike and has been held incommunicado for nearly a month. A UN women’s rights committee recently expressed alarm about her failing health. Her sister Lina al-Hathloul fears she is being pressured into giving false confessions that could be used against her in court.

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Myanmar submits 2nd Rohingya report to top UN court
Anadolu Agency , 24 Nov 2020

Merely meeting ICJ’s technical deadlines not enough, says rights group, urging concrete steps to protect Rohingya.Myanmar has submitted a second report to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in compliance with its order to protect Rohingya community. The report was filed by a representative of the Myanmar government on Monday in compliance with the court’s order to protect Rohingya from genocide. However, the report will not be made public at this time, a US-based rights group Global Justice Center said in a statement.
 

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DR Congo: War crimes conviction ‘an important victory’ for justice – UN envoy
UN News, 24 Nov 2020

Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, and her counterpart on Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, lauded the Cour Militaire Opérationnelle of North Kivu for the conviction and sentencing of Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka – part of the Nduma Defence of Congo armed group (NDC-Sheka) – on charges that included rape, sexual slavery and the recruitment of children.  

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Australia confronts its war crimes in Afghanistan: Britain should do the same
Open Democracy , 23 Nov 2020

As the sun sets on Donald Trump’s presidency, Australia’s pursuit of justice for its atrocities in Afghanistan is a sign of changing winds on war crimes among Britain’s closest military allies. Boris Johnson continues to support impunity for British troops accused of killing sprees and other abuses in Afghanistan and elsewhere, but it is not too late for him to change course.

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A special Kosovo war crimes court will try its ex-president. So how do ‘hybrid’ courts work?
The Washington Post , 23 Nov 2020

Kosovo’s former president Hashim Thaci stepped down this month to face war crimes charges in The Hague. Thaci, a former high-ranking member of the Kosovo Liberation Army that fought against Serbia in the 1990s, was indicted by the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (KSC & SPO), an unusual criminal court with a unique institutional setup. Established through a constitutional amendment and parliamentary legislation, the KSC & SPO is part of Kosovo’s domestic court system. At the same time, it is heavily internationalized. Created in conjunction with the European Union and based in the Netherlands, the court is staffed by international judges and prosecutors and applies both Kosovar laws and international customary and human rights law when making its decisions.

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