National Prosecutions

8/28/2018

It has been one year since hundreds of thousands of Rohingya were forcibly displaced from their homes in northern Myanmar by the Burmese military and allied ethnic militias in what the United Nations has described as ethnic cleansing. Over the past year nearly one million people have fled to Bangladesh where they live in 32 squalid and overcrowded camps supported by the government of Bangladesh and the international community. Here are the voices of a handful of refugees on the prospects of returning to their homeland.

8/28/2018

After a years-long investigation, United Nations experts said that Myanmar’s army commander and other top generals should face trial in an international court for crimes of genocide against Rohingya Muslims. The experts said they found evidence of genocidal intent in the operation, citing the rhetoric of hate directed at the Rohingya and the level of organization indicating a plan for destruction. Myanmar has rejected the allegations.

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8/23/2018

The Chief of Defense Staff of The Gambia has confirmed that four soldiers who are alleged to have been a part  of the ‘Jungulars’ - a unit of elite soldiers who participated in extra-judicial killings and torture at the behest of ex-President Yahya Jammeh - have been released from custody due to lack of evidence. 11 former Jungulars are still being held as investigations continue.

8/21/2018

On Sunday, Colombia’s President Ivan Duque promised to institute extra measures to curb the killings of social leaders after ignoring the crisis for several months. Since the right-wing leader’s electoral victory in June, the murder of social activists has escalated. Since the former guerrilla group FARC signed a peace deal with the former President in 2016, at least 337 community leaders and human rights defenders have been assassinated. The President has expressed unwillingness to endorse the peace process and accompanying war crimes tribunal and truth commission.

8/16/2018

After months of negotiations aimed at ending South Sudan’s civil war, President Salva Kir and rebel leader Riek Machar recently signed new power-sharing and ceasefire agreements. The latest agreement paves the way for a three-year transitional government of national unity and reaffirms a cease-fire that was originally signed in July. However, regional and western powers remain skeptical that the newest agreement will not end in bloodshed as the previous ten agreements signed between the two leaders have.

8/14/2018

As Syrian President Bashar Assad tightens his grip in Syria, activists who lost the challenge to Assad on the streets of Syria are waging a new fight in European courts. In June, Germany’s Federal Supreme Court issued charges and an international arrest warrant for one of Syria’s most senior military officials. A network of over 30 exiled Syrian lawyers across Europe has been helping to collect evidence and documentation of crimes against humanity for use in an envisioned future prosecution.

8/14/2018

This week marks five years since at least 1,000 people were killed by security forces in Rabaa Square in Cairo, while protesting against the coup that deposed democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. Perpetrators have not been held accountable and there have been no new investigations or memorialization to mark the tragic anniversary.

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8/14/2018

As Ethiopia continues its breathtaking reforms, questions have arisen about how the government will deal with the injustices committed by security forces behind prison walls. While Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has denounced the abuses prisoners suffered as “state-sponsored terrorism,” he has thus far not announced plans to investigate the abuses or set up a process for victims to seek redress. Many former prisoners suffer medical and psychological complications stemming from torture they endured during their detention.

8/13/2018

General Abdul Rashid Dostum, the vice president of Afghanistan, recently returned to the Central Asian country after two years exile in Turkey. He initially fled in 2016 after credible accusations of rape against him were aired on national TV. Despite having a long history of human rights violations, Kabul laid out a red carpet for the general, drawing attention to concerns over impunity.

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8/13/2018

The President of Ivory Coast has pardoned 800 people, many of whom were accused of fomenting violence during post-election violence in 2010-2011. Simone Gbagbo, the former first lady who is accused of organizing street fighters when her husband, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to accept his electoral defeat in 2010, was among those granted amnesty.

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