National Prosecutions

9/20/2018

The Human Rights Council today held a general debate on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention. In the general debate, speakers reiterated serious concern about the rising intolerance against migrants and minorities, fed by racism and populism that were practiced by mainstream political parties. The abuse of the social media, which fuelled tensions and violence in several countries, underlined the need to explore the ways to stem misperceptions and misunderstandings while not compromising the freedom of expression.

9/20/2018

In his state of the nation address last week, Gambian President Adama Barrow told lawmakers that a National Human Rights Commission and Anti-Corruption Commission were at different stages of implementation. According to President Barrow, the Human Rights Commission will be constituted before the end of 2018 and the Anti-Corruption Commission will be submitted to his cabinet for final review and approval soon.

9/20/2018

A growing number of fighters granted amnesty under the 2016 peace deal have picked up arms, again, against paramilitary groups in Colombia. The rebels say that they feel themselves under threat by a range of paramilitary groups that rushed to take control of the territory that the rebels left when they signed the peace deal. Former rebel leaders are urging the fighters not to return to battle, but also say they understand their reasons for fighting, considering the dangers they now face as civilians under the right-wing government of newly inaugurated president Ivan Duque.

9/20/2018

The report from a United Nations (UN) factfinding mission on abuses committed by the Burmese army against the Rohingya people was presented to the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday. The report calls for the Burmese army, known as the Tatmadaw, to be stripped of its quota of parliamentary seats and brought under civilian oversite, and for the prosecution of senior military leaders for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

Head of Program, Côte d’Ivoire

9/19/2018

On the eve of Côte d'Ivoire’s 58th independence anniversary, in a dubious attempt at “social cohesion,” President Alassane Ouattara granted amnesty to 800 persons accused or convicted of crimes against the state during the post-election crisis of 2010-2011. Former First Lady Simone Gbagbo — who had been tried for undermining state security — and other high-ranking officials associated with former President Laurent Gbagbo’s party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), were among those released. The lapses in accountability and acknowledgment in Cote d’Ivoire have emboldened perpetrators and made it impossible for many victims to move on with their lives. The challenges of transitional justice processes present clear obstacles to the sustainable peace that the people of Cote d’Ivoire have been working toward.

9/13/2018

Last week, a court in Cairo sentenced 75 people to death, including top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, in a mass trial. The political wing of the organization has urged the international community to take measures to halt their execution and investigate the “improper” trial. In addition to those sentenced to death, nearly 600 others received prison terms for inciting violence and organizing protests against the military coup that overthrew Egypt’s first freely elected President, Mohammed Morsi.

9/13/2018

Thousands of Tamil families in northern Sri Lanka lost contact with loved ones in the final stretch of the brutal civil war that ended nearly 10 years ago and have yet to hear from them. The Sinhalese-dominated government denies that they are holding people in detention centers or secret prisons, and also dismisses as fabrication that those who disappeared were killed in extrajudicial killings.

9/11/2018

Last week, judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided that the court has jurisdiction over alleged deportations of Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh. While Myanmar is not a signatory to the ICC, Bangladesh is, and, since an element of the crime (crossing the border) occurred in Bangladesh, the court has ruled it has jurisdiction for this crime. The ruling paves the way for the court to further investigate alleged crimes against humanity committed by Myanmar’s military against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities.

9/11/2018

Yesterday, American National Security Adviser John Bolton called the International Criminal Court (ICC) illegitimate and threatened officials there with sanctions and criminal prosecution over an ICC investigation into alleged American war crimes in Afghanistan. He also announced the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, DC, because of its calls for an ICC inquiry into Israel.

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9/11/2018

 

In the last few years, hundreds of thousands of Chinese Uighur Muslims have been taken to internment camps where they are forced into a high-pressure indoctrination program, including forced lectures, singing hymns praising the Chinese Communist Party, and writing “self-criticism essays.” Beijing has been long unnerved by the Uighur minority and, since 2014, the government has escalated a crackdown against Islamic practice and orchestrated an unforgiving drive to turn ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities into loyal citizens and supporters of the party.

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