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Member Countries Should Ensure Publicity of Process

Further leadership changes are underway at the International Criminal Court (ICC) as its member countries approach the December election of the court’s next deputy prosecutors. On October 10, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan submitted two shortlists of…
ICC permanent premises
News

Confirmation of Charges Hearing in Commander Case Starts Today

Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) begins the pretrial hearing in the case of a former commander of the Seleka rebel group, who is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic. The case is an important…
An ICC billboard in Bangui in September 2021, announcing Said’s confirmation of charges hearing.
News

Théoneste Bagosora Sentence a Lesson in Accountability

Late last month, Malian officials announced that a former Rwandan army colonel convicted of masterminding the slaughter of at least half a million people during the 1994 genocide had died. Théoneste Bagosora, who was 80, was serving a 35-year sentence…
Théoneste Bagosora reacts as he sits in the court at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in Arusha, Tanzania on December 18, 2008.
News

Efficient, Fair Trial Should Hold 2009 Stadium Abusers Accountable

(Conakry) – The trial of suspects in the massacre of more than 150 people and the rape of dozens of women in a Guinea stadium on September 28, 2009, should begin as soon as possible, six human rights groups said today. Twelve years later, victims and…
News

Special Criminal Court Charges Sanctioned Commander

(Bangui) – The Special Criminal Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic, in an important step for justice, has brought charges against Capt. Eugène Ngaïkosset, known within the country as “The Butcher of Paoua,” Human Rights Watch said. His…
Special Prosecutor Toussaint Muntazini (right) and five other judges of Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) sit at the National Assembly in Bangui, having been sworn in on June 30, 2017.
News

Habré was Convicted in Historic Trial in Senegal

Former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré died of Covid-19 on August 24 in Dakar, Senegal’s capital, where he was serving a life sentence for serious international crimes. He was held accountable following a landmark effort to ensure justice for his role…
A man in a white hat surrounded by soldiers
News

Universal Jurisdiction Provides Opening for Justice for Long-Ignored Crimes

(Stockholm) – The opening of a landmark trial in Sweden on August 10, 2021 of an Iranian citizen accused of participating in the mass execution of political prisoners is an important moment for victims long denied recognition and justice. On July…
A human rights exhibition on Iran during the international campaign to demand justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre, held near the French National Assembly in Paris, November 14, 2017.
News

Police, Civil Servants Detained Incommunicado in Ghazni, Malistan, Kandahar

(New York) – Taliban forces advancing in Ghazni, Kandahar, and other Afghan provinces have summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government, Human Rights Watch said today. Residents from various…
202108asia_afghanistan_taliban_summary_exectuions
News

Successes, Challenges in the Global Fight Against Impunity

Tomorrow is International Criminal Justice Day, marking the anniversary of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) founding treaty, the Rome Statute. Looking at the past year, justice comes in different forms, and, despite serious challenges,…
Protesters hold up pictures of victims of extrajudicial killings during Human Rights Day protests in Manila
News

Wrongful Prosecutions Violate Rights to Counsel, Fair Trial of Accused

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have recently arbitrarily arrested at least six lawyers defending political prisoners, violating both the lawyers’ rights and those of their clients, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests deprive defendants…
Police car is seen on a street during the military coup demonstration.
News

Twenty Rights Groups Call for Justice and Accountability

Human Rights Watch today joined Afghan and international human rights organizations calling for a United Nations-mandated fact-finding mission to investigate escalating attacks on civilians in Afghanistan to promote justice and accountability.…
The mother of a schoolgirl who was among those killed in the brutal May 8, 2021 bombing of the Sayed ul-Shuhada girls' school stands inside a classroom with bouquets of flowers on empty desks as a tribute to the dead, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 16, 2021. 
News

Repeal Prevention of Terrorism Act to Meet International Commitments

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government’s pardon of 16 prisoners convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), however welcome, does not address the urgent need to repeal the draconian law, Human Rights Watch said today. The European…
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's addresses parliament in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 20, 2020.
News

Rights Groups Call for Decisive Action on International Day for Victims

(New York) – The Bangladesh government has failed to address widespread allegations of torture and ill-treatment by its security forces, ten rights groups said on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The groups called on the…
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) officials stand alert inside a truck in front of Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka, Bangladesh on February 20, 2021.
News

Biden Should Support International Accountability Efforts, Confront Past Torture

(Washington, DC) – The United States should reaffirm support for justice for victims of grave international crimes around the world, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. As the administration of President Joe Biden renews the United…
Displaced people in Ardamata camp in El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, welcoming the start of proceedings in the case against “Janjaweed” militia leader Ali Kosheib at the International Criminal Court.
News

Switzerland and Liberia Should Build on Important Progress

(Geneva) – The conviction of a former Liberian rebel leader by a Swiss court for war crimes during Liberia’s first civil war is a landmark step for Liberian victims and Switzerland’s efforts to hold those responsible for grave crimes to account, Human…
Switzerland's national flag flies over the entrance of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (Bundesstrafgericht) in Bellinzona, Switzerland March 5, 2020.
News

Reinforce Office’s Independence; Meet Victims’ Hopes for Justice

(The Hague) – The new prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) should seize opportunities to strengthen the court’s delivery of justice for victims, Human Rights Watch said today. Karim Khan, the court’s third prosecutor, will be sworn in…
ICC permanent premises
News

Leaders Show Little Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

Last week, an appeals panel of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) upheld the 2017 genocide conviction of Bosnian Serb wartime military commander Ratko Mladić. Chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said of Mladić, “His name…
A woman among the graves of victims of the Srebrenica genocide, at the memorial cemetery in Potocari, near Srebrenica, Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
News

Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
News

UN Human Rights Council Should Launch Own Investigation

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s chilling promise to “drug pushers, holdup men, and do-nothings, you better get out […] because I’ll kill you” may finally come back to haunt him. Today the International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou…
Protesters hold up pictures of victims of extrajudicial killings during Human Rights Day protests in Manila
News

One Year Anniversary of Wanchalearm Satsaksit’s Abduction

(New York) – The Cambodian authorities have failed to seriously investigate the enforced disappearance of the prominent Thai activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit in Phnom Penh one year ago, Human Rights Watch said today. During this time, Thailand’s…
Sitanun Satsaksit holds a portrait of her brother, Wanchalearm, who was forcibly disappeared while living in exile in Cambodia on June 4, 2020.