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Justice for 3R Abuses an Important Step Toward Accountability

On December 17, the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) announced it will send its first case to trial. This is a significant moment in the difficult effort to see justice for heinous abuses committed in the most recent conflicts…
Judges from the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) listen to arguments in a hearing
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Justice, Solidarity Crucial to Confront Abuses Past and Present

On December 10, 2019, Abubacarr Tambadou, then Gambia’s justice minister, posed a question to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. “Why is the world standing by and allowing such horrors again in our lifetime?” It was the first…
Anti-coup protesters run from teargas deployed by the police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.
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Satellite Imagery, Thermal Anomalies Data Show Numerous Burnings

Since October 29, numerous fires have severely damaged Thantlang, a remote town in Myanmar’s northwestern Chin State. The evidence from space is undeniable: residential homes, places of worship, commercial buildings, and more have been reduced to ash…
A screenshot of accumulated fire detections
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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
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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

Challenge Chokehold on Desperately Needed Humanitarian Aid, Call for Independent Inquiry

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today to consider its response to yesterday’s decision by Ethiopia’s federal government to declare seven senior UN officials as “persona non grata,” unwelcome in the country. The…
An organizer asks displaced Tigrayans to queue as they wait to receive food at a school in Mekele, in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, May 5, 2021.
News

International Community Needs to Increase Efforts to Help Afghans at Risk

A set of bombing attacks at the southeast gate of Kabul’s international airport on Thursday killed over 60 Afghans and at least 12 US soldiers, and wounded many more. The airport’s gates have reportedly now been closed, apparently bringing an end to…
Smoke rises from an explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.
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August 31 Departure Leaves Many Fearing Persecution Behind

Thousands of Afghans fearing persecution by the Taliban remain waiting outside Kabul’s airport, or sheltering in their homes, hoping be evacuated out of Afghanistan. But the United States-led multinational airlift is about to wrap up.…
People inside an aircraft line up to disembark
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
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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
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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

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.
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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
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News Comes in Wake of Forced Downing of Plane, Activists Arrest

With global condemnation still raging over the brazen forced downing of an airplane to detain journalist and activist Raman Pratasevich, it’s welcome news that German prosecutors may be looking to open a preliminary inquiry into other alleged serious…
Belarusian police block a street during  opposition rally
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Five Years After Chadian Dictator’s Guilty Verdict, Victims Still Await Justice

Five years ago, on May 30, 2016, an African Union-backed court in Dakar, Senegal, convicted former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture, including sexual violence and rape. The court sentenced him to life…
Victims of former Chad dictator Hissène Habré demonstrate reparations
News

Member Countries Should Extend Prosecutor Full Support

Israeli forces have launched relentless airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, while Hamas and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have fired rockets at Israeli population centers. At least 227 people, including 64 children have been killed in Gaza, 72,000 people…
ICC permanent premises
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Dominic Ongwen’s Status as Child Victim Factors into Punishment

The International Criminal Court (ICC) today imposed a 25-year-sentence on Dominic Ongwen, a former leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The sentence marks an important milestone in the search for justice for victims of the grave international…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
News

Prime Minister’s Letter at Odds with Rule of Law

In a deeply unsettling letter made public this week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asserted the United Kingdom’s strong opposition to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Palestine investigation. The letter, sent to the Conservative…
ICC permanent premises
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Biden’s U-Turn on Pledge Heightens Risks to Civilians in Yemen, Libya

United States President Joe Biden called in early February for “ending all American support for offensive operations in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.” At the time, I, like many human rights advocates who have been documenting abuses committed…
Southern Transitional Council forces backed by the United Arab Emirates prepare to storm the presidential palace in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen on August 9, 2019.