29 May 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Myanmar: Military commits war crimes in latest operation in Rakhine State
Amnesty International, 29 May 2019

Following a recent investigation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Amnesty International has gathered new evidence that the Myanmar military is committing war crimes and other human rights violations. The military operation is ongoing, raising the prospect of additional crimes being committed.
The new report, “No one can protect us”: War crimes and abuses in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, details how the Myanmar military, also known as the Tatmadaw, have killed and injured civilians in indiscriminate attacks since January 2019. The Tatmadaw forces have also carried out extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, and enforced disappearances.


Rights group accuses Egyptian forces of war crimes in Sinai
Reuters, 28 May 2019

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian security forces have committed widespread abuses against civilians in northern Sinai, some of which amount to war crimes, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday.
Egypt’s ground and air forces last year launched a major operation in Sinai to crush Islamist militants behind a wave of attacks against civilians and security forces. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the operation after gunmen killed hundreds of worshippers at a Sinai mosque months earlier.
The HRW report accused security forces of arbitrary arrests including children, torture, extrajudicial killings, collective punishment and forced evictions.
An Egyptian military spokesman denied the report, saying it was based on undocumented sources.


‘Members of the military who cooperate with Colombia’s war crimes tribunal receive no protection, despite threats’
Colombia Reports, 28 May 2019

Colombia’s security forces are allegedly intimidating and threatening members who try to talk to media or the country’s war crimes tribunal about military war crimes.
Last week, local media and Human Rights Watch warned that top commanders were summoned to attend a meeting in what has been called a “witch hunt” for the whistleblowers who alerted media about orders to double the army’s number of combat kills and captures.


Trump confirms considering pardons in US war crimes cases
France24, 24 May 2019

President Donald Trump confirmed Friday he is considering pardons for several military servicemen accused or convicted of war crimes, in what critics say would be an abuse of the powers afforded him under the US Constitution.
The New York Times reported this week, quoting administration officials, that Trump envisaged making the controversial pardons during the Memorial Day weekend in which Americans honor those who died while in the armed forces.


Netherlands wants tribunal to try some Islamic State members for 'mass atrocity crimes'
The Japan Times, 24 May 2019

UNITED NATIONS - The Netherlands called Thursday for the establishment of a tribunal to prosecute members of the Islamic State extremist group responsible for “mass atrocity crimes.”
Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok made the proposal at a U.N. Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians in conflict, saying there must be accountability and an end to impunity for violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws.
He said Islamic State fighters responsible for mass atrocities should be prosecuted, preferably in the region, and if feasible by “an ad hoc or hybrid international criminal tribunal.”