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2013 brought many grim setbacks, yet there were still some important signs of progress

With the slaughter of civilians in Syria still horribly unrestrained, it is easy to be discouraged about human rights. There is, of course, every reason for outrage about Syria, and about the international community's narrow focus on peace talks, unlikely…
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If leaders of the M23 rebels are allowed to reintegrate into the Congolese army, the message will be clear: rape, pillage and murder will go unpunished. On Nov. 19, armed men from a rebel group called the M23 were looking for a prominent civil…
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Despite supporting a brutal rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda is about to take a seat on the U.N. Security Council. Few countries dare challenge the Security Council the way Rwanda does; even fewer get away with it. Yet on…
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Rebel leader Thomas Lubanga may now be in jail, but Rwanda continues to support his co-accused, Bosco Ntaganda

The sentencing on Tuesday of Thomas Lubanga, a rebel leader from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo was a rare victory for Congolese victims of atrocities. There have been few occasions during my 13 years of documenting abuses in Congo by Lubanga and…
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Last month, the first woman ever was convicted of genocide by an international court. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, Rwanda's former minister for family and women's affairs, guilty of genocide, war crimes and…
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As a newly minted investigator at the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda in 1995, I was not sure how people in Kigali, Rwanda's capital, would respond when I told them my line of work. In casual conversations at local restaurants I was surprised…
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Fifteen years ago, efforts at genocide killed about 800,000 Rwandans. Now that tragedy is providing the government with a cover for repression.

During a gruesome three months in 1994, about 800,000 Rwandans were murdered as part of a calculated effort by a group of Hutu extremists to eradicate the country's Tutsi population. The genocide ended only with the military victory of the Rwandan…
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In January 2008 hopes for peace in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo soared when the government and 22 armed groups signed a ceasefire agreement in Goma, capital of North Kivu province. But the fragile peace process is now broken and needs urgently to…
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The case of Fulgence Kayishema

Human Rights Watch Amicus Brief to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in the case of Fulgence Kayishema in Opposition to Rule 11bis Transfer. On 25 October 2007, Human Rights Watch (hereinafter “HRW”) filed its request for leave to appear as…
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Bringing their tormentors to book is an important way for victims to recover their dignity

John Laughland suggests that human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, are more concerned about the conviction of former heads of state than about them getting fair trials. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Fujimori's trial could…
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The force that once saved Rwanda has resorted to abuses of its own while the rest of the world looks away again

Ten years ago this month, the Rwandan genocide came to an end. For months, the world had stood by and done nothing, while Rwandan leaders organized the murder of more than half a million people. It was a rebel group, not the United Nations or any…
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In her reflections on justice and reconciliation after the Rwandan genocide ("The Legacies of Collective Violence," April/May 2002) Helena Cobban asks how best to restore health to a society smashed by devastating violence. Her prescription —…
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The global movement to end impunity for human rights abuses faces a daunting question

Reviewed in this article: Robert I. Rotberg and Dennis Thompson. Eds.: Truth v. Justice: The Morality of Truth Commissions Priscilla B. Hayner: Unspeakable Truths Confronting State Terror and Atrocity Ruti G. Teitel: Transitional…