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Opposition to Withdrawal by States

The African Union made headlines Tuesday for purportedly agreeing to mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. The reality is more complex. The decision by AU member states welcomes the announced withdrawals by South Africa,…
A general view shows the headquarters of the African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2017.
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Pushback Against AU Call for Withdrawal

The 27th African Union (AU) summit closed Monday evening without an AU call for immediate mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court in the face of strong pushback from Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and even ICC non-member Algeria,…
A general view shows delegates during the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 31, 2016.
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The Senegalese justice minister, Sidiki Kaba, said yesterday in an interview that the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) is facing a “crisis of confidence” on the African continent because of its sole focus on Africa to date. As president of…
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Charles Taylor is staying in prison. A United Nations-backed court today delivered an appeals judgment affirming the original verdict against the former Liberian president, upholding his 50-year sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity…
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Sierra Leone passed up a chance today for victims of its brutal civil war to see justice done. Ibrahim Bah, an alleged arms dealer to the notoriously brutal Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels during the war, was supposed to face the music in court.…
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On October 30, 2008, justice for victims of atrocities committed during the course of Liberia's long and brutal years of armed conflict took a major step forward in a very unlikely location: Miami, Florida. On that afternoon, an American jury issued its…
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Senegal announced on July 12 that it had finalized a plan and a budget to investigate and try Hissène Habré, the former president of Chad who lives in exile in Senegal. Human Rights Watch has been working for eight years with Habré's victims to bring him…
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On June 20, the special war crimes court for Sierra Leone handed down its first three convictions of members of a rebel group, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council. In her sentencing statement, the judge noted that the three convicted were “responsible…
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Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was captured as he attempted to escape Nigeria on March 29, and he was transferred to the U.N.-backed war crimes court in Sierra Leone. Human Rights Watch played a leading role in pressing government and U.N.…
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On January 30, a court in Tashkent, Uzbekistan sentenced four Uzbek police officers to 20 years of imprisonment for torturing a man to death in detention. The victim, 32-year old Ravshan Haitov, died from torture just hours after police took him into…
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In July 1997, paramilitaries working with the Colombian Army killed more than thirty residents of Mapirip醤, Meta. Army general Jaime Usc醫egui was implicated in the massacre and sentenced by a military tribunal to serve only forty months in prison. In a…
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On July 10, Human Rights Watch issued a public letter to Manuel Marulanda, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (known as the FARC), Colombia's main rebel group. Based on a HRW mission to territory in Colombia…
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A Colombian Army officer whose links with abusive paramilitary groups was a focus of our February 2000 report, "The Ties That Bind: Colombia and Military-Paramilitary Links," is now being prosecuted by civilian courts, in part due to the high profile…