• Human Rights Watch considers international justice—accountability for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity—to be an essential element of building respect for human rights. We actively engage with the work of the International Criminal Court and other international tribunals as well as the efforts of national courts, including in Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Bosnia, to bring perpetrators of the worst crimes to justice. Human Rights Watch also supports the efforts of national courts to use their domestic laws to try those charged with serious crimes in violation of international law, regardless of where the crimes occurred.

  • Former Côte d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo attends a confirmation of charges hearing in his pre-trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague on February 19, 2013.
    The June 12, 2014 decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) by a majority of judges in the case of former Côte d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo should remind those in positions of power that they are not immune from justice. A majority of Pre-Trial Chamber I confirmed the charges of crimes against humanity against Gbagbo and moved the case to trial.

Reports

International Justice

  • Jul 19, 2014
    The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) is killing, kidnapping, and threatening religious and ethnic minorities in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Since capturing Mosul on June 10, 2014, the armed Sunni extremist group has seized at least 200 Turkmen, Shabaks, and Yazidis, killed at least 11 of them, and ordered all Christians to convert to Islam, pay “tribute” money, or leave Mosul by July 19.
  • Jul 15, 2014
    Israeli air attacks in Gaza investigated by Human Rights Watch have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war. Israel should end unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian property. Deliberate or reckless attacks violating the laws of war are war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.
  • Jul 11, 2014
    Iraqi security forces and militias affiliated with the government appear to have unlawfully executed at least 255 prisoners in six Iraqi cities and villages since June 9, 2014. In all but one case, the executions took place while the fighters were fleeing Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and other armed groups. The vast majority of security forces and militias are Shia, while the murdered prisoners were Sunni. At least eight of those killed were boys.
  • Jul 10, 2014
    It was a warm, sunny Sunday, July 6, and the Netherlands was celebrating the victory of its football team in the quarter finals of the World Cup. Hardly anybody was paying attention as the Dutch authorities put three Congolese men, whose asylum applications had been turned down by the Netherlands’ highest court a week earlier, on a plane and sent them back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When they arrived in Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, the men were immediately taken to prison.
  • Jul 4, 2014
  • Jul 4, 2014
    The Netherlands’ State Secretary of Security and Justice should use his discretion to delay the deportation of three International Criminal Court (ICC) witnesses, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to State Secretary Fred Teeven. On June 27, 2014, the highest Dutch court, the State Council, denied the witnesses’ asylum requests and authorized their return to the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo).
  • Jun 30, 2014

    In several cities in eastern Ukraine, following the February 21, 2014 ousting of President Viktor Yanukovich, violence sporadically raged between pro- and anti-Kiev crowds. By mid-March, in several cities, particularly Donetsk and Luhansk, armed groups, initially calling themselves “self-defense units,” seized and occupied administrative buildings. Their demands ranged from making Ukraine a federation, to separation of their regions from the rest of Ukraine, to joining Russia.

  • Jun 30, 2014

    Ukrainian government forces and armed insurgents in eastern Ukraine must respect the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said in a document published today. “Eastern Ukraine: Questions and Answers about the Laws of War” examines the development of the insurgency in eastern Ukraine into an internal armed conflict and the applicable international law that all the parties must respect.

  • Jun 26, 2014
    The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor should accept a request from the Central African Republic government to open a new investigation into serious crimes committed in the country.
  • Jun 25, 2014
    South Sudan’s new war is characterized by horrific attacks on civilians, often because of their ethnicity and presumed allegiances. The abuses began with widespread and systematic attacks against and killings of Nuer in the capital Juba, ethnically profiled, pulled from cars, ordered out of their homes in house-to-house searches, shot and killed, rounded up, unlawfully detained, in some cases tortured by government security forces.