National Prosecutions

5/21/2020

Former Congolese vice president and militia leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, who was acquitted of war crimes by the court in 2018, was not entitled to any damages or compensation, judges at the International Criminal Court ruled on Monday.

Bemba’s lawyers had sought nearly 70 million euros ($75 million dollars) in compensation for unlawful detention, legal fees and losses due to the alleged mismanagement of assets seized by the court.

On Monday the judges ruled that “no grave and manifest miscarriage of justice occurred” and rejected the claims.

5/19/2020

Félicien Kabuga, one of the most wanted suspects of the Rwandan genocide, has been arrested near Paris, the French justice ministry has announced.

Mr. Kabuga was detained in a dawn raid in Asnières-sur-Seine, where he had been living under a false identity.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has charged the 84-year-old with genocide and crimes against humanity.

He is alleged to have been the main financier of the ethnic Hutu extremists who slaughtered 800,000 people in 1994.

5/19/2020

Sparing almost no corner of the world from its wrath, the COVID-19 pandemic has now spread to every country. In an effort to slow the contagion, governments in most countries have been taking drastic measures requiring all residents other than essential workers to confine themselves in their homes, and shutting down vast sectors of their economies. The impact has been crushing. COVID-19 has profoundly affected every country where ICTJ currently works: Armenia, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Uganda. We recently caught up with ICTJ’s heads of country programs to learn more about the impact the pandemic is having on transitional justice and society more broadly.

5/14/2020

Myanmar’s army said on Wednesday it was investigating soldiers filmed beating and threatening to kill suspected insurgents in the western state of Rakhine, where dozens of people have been killed during an upsurge of fighting in recent weeks.

Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for the armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, told Reuters by phone that a tribunal had been formed and soldiers had been detained.

5/12/2020

Prosecutors in the Central African Republic on Thursday announced a probe into suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity after more than two dozen people were massacred last month.

The inquiry will focus on events in the northeastern town of Ndele on April 29, chief prosecutor Eric Didier Tambo told AFP.

According to the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSCA, 28 people were killed, of whom at least 21 were civilians, on April 29. At least 13 people were killed on March 11.

5/7/2020

Islamic State (ISIS) fighters used a stunning gorge in northeastern Syria as a mass grave for their victims, a human rights group has revealed, after it deployed a drone to confirm the suspicions.

“Al-Hota gorge, once a beautiful natural site, has become a place of horror and reckoning,” said Sara Kayyali, Human Rights Watch’s Syria researcher.

“Exposing what happened there, and at the other mass graves in Syria, is crucial to determining what happened to the thousands of people ISIS executed and holding their killers to account.”

5/4/2020

A Myanmar government spokesman on Friday dismissed allegations by the departing United Nations rights envoy that the military was committing fresh war crimes in Rakhine state as “biased”, blaming rebels for violations.

Yanghee Lee, special rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar, said in her final statement on Wednesday the army was engaged in activities against rebels that may amount to “war crimes and crimes against humanity” in Rakhine and Chin states.

4/27/2020

Three alleged Irish Republican Army (IRA) members accused of training Colombian rebels in bomb-making techniques have been granted amnesty nearly two decades after they were arrested, as part of the South American nation’s ongoing peace process.

Niall Connolly, James Monaghan, and Martin McCauley, who became known as the Colombia Three, were arrested at Bogotá’s El Dorado airport in 2001. They were charged with travelling on false documents and teaching members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (or FARC) how to build improvised mortar bombs.

4/27/2020

Former President de Klerk’s denial that apartheid was a crime against humanity is cause for reflection on Freedom Day.

Freedom Day, celebrated every year on April 27, commemorates South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994 — the first time in the history of the country that non-white citizens were allowed to vote.

That election saw Nelson Mandela replace Frederik Willem de Klerk to become South Africa’s first Black president.

4/23/2020

Beatriz Méndez sifts through heaps of yellowed newspaper clippings in her small home in the Colombian capital, Bogotá.

She collected them over the last 14 years as testament to her fight for justice after her son, Weimar, and her nephew, Edward, were killed.

For four years, Ms. Méndez was in the dark about how her son and nephew had been killed. Then she heard a group of women talking on a radio program about cases similar to those of Weimar and Edward. She got in touch with them and joined their collective, the Mothers of False Positives (Mafapo).

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