National Prosecutions

7/18/2018

Egypt’s parliament recently passed a law that could make senior military officers immune from investigation and prosecution over alleged offenses committed while the country’s constitution was suspended between July 2013 and January 2016.  The law also makes those named by President Sisi officers for life and accords them wide-ranging privileges. Hundreds of people were killed in August 2013 when security forces broke up protests in support of former President Mohamed Mursi.

7/18/2018

A Colombian army general, for the first time, apologized to victims for his alleged role in the mass execution of civilians. Prosecutors alleged General Henry Torres was one of the commanders who took part in the killing of at least 4,500 civilians during administration of former President Alvaro Uribe.

7/18/2018

In a recently released report on Human Rights and Democracy in 2017 the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was concerned by the limited progress of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. The report pointed to on-going allegations of torture by Sri Lankan security forces and described the progress towards establishing transitional justice mechanism as “worryingly slow.” The UK provides significant assistance to Sri Lanka including support for police reform, demining, inter-faith dialogue, and support of the UN’s Peacebuilding Priority Plan.

7/18/2018

Spain’s government has announced plans to establish a truth commission to investigate crimes against humanity committed by the regime of Francisco Franco, more than 40 years after his death. Under the new law, the criminal records of those convicted for opposing Franco would be cleared and organizations that celebrate the memory of the dictator would be outlawed. Justice advocates are also urging the government to make reforms to the 1977 Amnesty Law.

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7/11/2018

Tunisian women are playing a special role in the Truth and Dignity Commission (TDC) which is investigating abuses committed under previous regimes. The TDC’s women’s sub-commission strives to make sure that women’s voices are heard and the struggles they endured are acknowledged. Since the high-profile televised testimony of a handful of women victims and a cross-country outreach campaign, the number of complaints filed before the TDC by women has gone from 5 percent to 25 percent.

7/11/2018

Eight Ivoirians, believed to be loyalists of ex-Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, are expected to be extradited back to Cote d’Ivoire after fleeing to Liberia in 2011. The Ivorian government accuses the men of rape, murder, arson, and theft of property during the 2010-2011 civil conflict that followed ex-President Gbagbo refusing to concede the election to current President Alassne Outtara. While rights groups accuse both sides of committing crimes against humanity during the conflict, only loyalists of the ex-President have been held accountable.

7/10/2018

Santiago Uribe, the brother of ex-President Alvaro Uribe, is awaiting trial on charges that he commanded a death squad suspected in the murder of hundreds of people during the nation’s long civil war. But with the victory of ex-President Uribe’s hand-picked successor, Ivan Duque, in the presidential elections last month, some Colombians wonder whether the case will move forward. Duque has proposed replacing the three top courts with just one, which would eliminate the Supreme Court, the body investigating Santiago Uribe.

7/10/2018

Human rights groups recently warned that Nepal’s efforts to deliver justice to victims of the civil war do not meet international standards and risk letting the worst offenders go unpunished. After the Supreme Court of Nepal ruled in 2015 that laws passed to remedy war-era grievances did not meet international scrutiny, the government began drafting and debating an amended law. However, in a recent joint statement Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists say the latest draft legislation still makes it difficult to prosecute serious crimes.

7/6/2018

Doctors, lawyers, and activists in Syria are working to bring perpetrators of gender-based violence to justice, as well as to help rehabilitate victims. Syrian activists are working to break down the stigmas surrounding sexual violence, with the goals of documenting the abuses for future legal battles against those responsible in the Syrian government and military and helping victims deal with their trauma.

7/6/2018

Mexico’s newly elected president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ran on a platform calling for amnesty and reconciliation for nonviolent offenders in the country’s ongoing drug war. His team says they plan to pair low-level amnesty with intensified investigations into the most disturbing cases, with the goal of holding more powerful people accountable instead of vulnerable pawns. 

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