United States


Earlier this week the United States (US) deported a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard back to Germany. Jakiw Palij was an armed guard at the Trawniki camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943, the same year 6,000 prisoners in the camps and tens of thousands of over prisoners held in occupied Poland were murdered.

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One hundred seventeen years after the United States military carted off three church bells as war trophies from a town in central Philippines, the U.S. government has announced it will return the bells. The bells were initially seized during American occupation of the islands when, after an ambush that claimed the lives of 48 American soldiers, an American commander ordered his forces to kill every male older than 10 years.


Indigenous peoples are still some of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities around the world. In a conflict, they are often some of the most affected as their resource-rich territories are coveted by powerful and violent groups, their identity and loyalty perceived with mistrust, and their basic humanity and rights questioned by warring parties. Outside conflict zones, indigenous groups have been forced to battle the slow erosion of their languages, cultures, and traditions while struggling against the effects of centuries of genocide, colonialism, and exclusion.


Last week, Robert Seth Hayes, a black revolutionary imprisoned for 45 years for the murder of a New York City transit officer in 1973, was released from a maximum security prison in the United States. Nineteen black liberationists remain in prison, 40 or more years after they were convicted of violent acts related to the black liberation struggle in the United States.


The remains of 55 American soldiers were recently returned to the United States by the government of North Korea. The transfer is meant to fulfill a commitment made by Kim Jong Un during his summit with US President Donald Trump in June, and comes amid a tentative thaw in tensions on the Korean peninsula. However negotiations have stalled recently over the details of proposed “de-nuclearization” and the status of American troops in neighboring South Korea.

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Anthony Bradley, a professor of religion, theology, and ethics at King’s College in New York City, persuasively argues that the United States needs to embrace a transitional justice approach to begin healing the wounds of Jim Crow racial segregation.


The United States Department of Justice revived its investigation into the murder of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old African-American boy whose brutal murder 63 years ago in the state of Mississippi for allegedly talking to a European-American woman became an iconic case for the Civil Rights movement. At his public funeral in Chicago his mutilated body was displayed in an open casket, exposing once again the vicious reality of American racism. The murderers were acquitted by an all-white jury but a year later publicly admitted their guilt.


The public school board in Richmond, Virginia voted to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School to Barack Obama Elementary School. J.E.B. Stuart was a confederate general during the American civil war who fought to keep African Americans enslaved. Barack Obama was the nation’s first African American president. The renaming follows a growing movement across the country to take down or replace monuments to the Confederacy.

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ICTJ's Virginie Ladisch spoke with Heythem Guesmi, a young Tunisian activist who is fighting systemic oppression, economic exclusion, and impunity that persist despite the Revolution’s initial success, and Thenjiwe McHarris, a young organizer working with Black Lives Matter in the United States—a movement whose urgency also stems from historic marginalization leading to widespread impunity and systematic failures in law enforcement.


Mohammed Jabbateh, 51, given lengthy jail term owing to nature of crimes he sought to hide.

A former Liberian warlord known as “Jungle Jabbah” has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in a groundbreaking judgment by a US court for lying about his role in Liberia’ civil war and the atrocities he committed.