National Prosecutions

Communications Associate, Editor


A new report on attacks on schools in Syria harnesses documentation to call attention to atrocities and advance storytelling, truth seeking, acknowledgment. It is the product of Save Syrian Schools, a collaborative project led by 10 Syrian civil society organizations and the ICTJ that demands an end to the killing of Syrian children and justice for the bombing of schools.  


Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office (AG) recently charged 13 former Chiquita executives for financing paramilitary death squads. According to the AG, between 1997 and 2004, executives of the US-based corporation paid $1.7 million to the United Self-Defenders of Colombia, a paramilitary group who are accused of killing 4,335 people, disappearing 1,306 people, and forcibly displacing 1,675 others. The charges are a result of Colombian Prosecutor General Humberto Martinez’s effort to investigate and prosecute corporate funding of paramilitary squads.


Many families of people who were disappeared during Nepal’s civil war, which pitted Maoist insurgents against the Nepalese government and lasted from 1996 to 2006, have yet to receive compensation as promised by the government. While families who have documented evidence of their loved-ones’ disappearance have had their complaints fully registered, those whose evidence is thought to be lacking are being deprived of compensation.

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A court in Sri Lanka has ordered the arrest of the country’s top military officer in connection with the abduction and murder of 11 people during the island’s civil war. According to the court Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne helped a navy intelligence officer, who was accused of leading a hit squad in the final years of the country’s brutal civil war, escape prosecution. There have been persistent allegations that senior military personnel and regime figures loyal to the former President were responsible for a number of high-profile murders.


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.


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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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.


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.


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.


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.