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Recommendations on the Fight Against Impunity for Grave International Crimes

From April 27 to May 2, 2015, the Congolese Ministry of Justice and Human Rights is convening “Etats Généraux,” a large conference to evaluate justice sector reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The conference will be held in the capital, Kinshasa…
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The rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) continues to kill civilians and abduct children in remote regions of central Africa at an alarming rate with no end in sight. Nearly three years after the LRA began its most current campaign of attacking villages and…
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The Risks of Putting Justice Aside for Peace

Introduction I. Afghanistan II. Burundi III. Democratic Republic of the Congo IV. Indonesia Conclusion Introduction Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, the belief that those responsible for serious human rights abuses should be…
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A mixed chamber and other accountability measures

Introduction I. Establishing a mixed chamber for the Congo: why, what and how? II. The role of the African Union III. Other measures to address grave crimes committed in the DRC   Introduction On October 1, 2010, the United Nations' Office of…
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Reasons to Oppose the Attorney General Interfering with the Arrest Warrant Procedure in Cases of Suspected Serious International Crimes

The organizations that have prepared this briefing paper are gravely concerned that any changes to existing law and procedure will undermine the capacity of victims of serious international crimes to hold accountable alleged perpetrators who come within…
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The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Recommendation for an Internationalized Domestic War Crimes Court

I. IntroductionII. Summary of TRC Proposal for an Internationalized Domestic Criminal CourtIII. TRC Recommendations Regarding Selection of Persons to be ProsecutedIV. Composition of the CourtV. Definitions of Crimes and Modes of LiabilityVI. Fair Trial…
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I. Introduction II. Rationale for a mixed chamber III. Legal foundation IV. International participation V. Capacity-building/sharing expertise I. Introduction Human Rights Watch has worked closely and extensively with the Congolese justice system in a…
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Early History (1300s - 1800s)The Belgians (1870s - 1959)Independence (1960 - 1990s)War (1994 - 1999)Failed Peace Efforts (1999 - 2003)Transition (2003 - 2006) A New Government but More Conflict (2006 - ) Early History 1300s The Kongo empire, a highly…
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Strengthening the Security Council’s Response to Sexual Violence and Attacks on Education in Armed Conflict

For a full decade, the UN Security Council has addressed the severe abuses that children experience in armed conflict. Its response has included a series of six resolutions (1261, 1314, 1379, 1460, 1539, and 1612), the creation of a specialized working…
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A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

Human Rights Watch is pleased with the implementation six months ago of a program for the urgent restoration of the criminal justice system in Bunia, Ituri province ("the program"). This program is the result of a joint effort by the government of the DRC…
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A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

Human Rights Watch strongly believes that accountability for serious past crimes is the foundation for post-conflict reconstruction based on the rule of law and respect for human rights. This Briefing Paper looks at the challenges in addressing impunity…
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Balkans Justice Bulletin

Introduction The trial of Bosnian Croat Dominik Ilijasevic-Como, age 38, before the Zenica Cantonal Court, began on December 16, 2002 in Zenica, in Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federation BH).2 The seven charges on the indictment arise from war-…
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A Briefing Paper to the U.N. Security Council

Liberia: Upsurge in Fighting and Humanitarian CrisisCôte d'Ivoire: On the PrecipiceGuineaSierra Leone    The Sierra Leone Special CourtProtection of Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and ECOWAS NationalsChild SoldiersUse of Proxy Forces and Support…
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Balkans Justice Bulletin

Human Rights Watch's Balkans Justice Bulletins are periodic assessments of the efforts of local and national authorities in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia and Montenegro (including Kosovo) to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes…
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Human Rights Watch Summary

Role of the indictees: Slobodan Milosevic and the other four indictees planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted the planning, preparation and execution of the campaign undertaken by forces of Yugoslavia and Serbia in Kosovo…
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Joseph Kabila, newly installed president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has inherited an intractable war, a near void of civil institutions, and a legacy of human rights abuses committed under the rule of his father, the late President…
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A Human Rights Watch Update

On September 27, 1999, formal extradition ("committal") proceedings against Gen. Augusto Pinochet will begin. These proceedings are expected to last about a week. Human Rights Watch, which took part in the Pinochet hearings before the House of Lords, has…