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Important Problems Remain

UK troops who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity overseas, can still be prosecuted in UK courts. In May the UK government reversed course on a plan that would have effectively immunized from prosecution UK forces who allegedly committed…
The International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, November 7, 2019. 
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Supporting the Government’s Proposal to Establish Specialized Mixed Chambers and other related Judicial Reforms

The Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) has been the theatre of grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law over the past two decades. The International Criminal Court(ICC) opened an investigation in Congo in 2004 and has brought…
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In this age of austerity, the nearly 27 percent budget boost requested by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its prosecutor’s office leaps out. It’s the clearest sign yet of fresh thinking coming out of the office’s new leadership. The ICC…
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As of February 15, 2013, 122 countries have ratified the Rome Statute. In alphabetical order, they are:   Afghanistan 10 February 2003 Albania 31 January 2003 Andorra 30 April 2001 Antigua & Barbuda 18 June 2001 Argentina 8 February…
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Since 1998, Human Rights Watch researchers extensively documented serious human rights violations committed by all warring factions in Sierra Leone, and pressed for the perpetrators of the crimes to be held accountable. Human Rights Watch maintained a…
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The conflicts in Sierra Leone and Liberia were characterized by extensive use of child soldiers. Until a few years ago it was almost unheard of for an individual commander to face penalties for using child soldiers. Today, recruiting or using children…
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The 14-year armed conflict in Liberia was characterized by serious crimes in violation of international law. Since the end of the conflict in 2003, Liberia has made tangible progress in addressing endemic corruption by creating the legislative framework…
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The devastating eleven-year armed conflict in Sierra Leone was characterized by extreme brutality and widespread human rights abuses against civilians. The majority of the crimes were perpetrated by rebels from the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC…
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Following the end of the conflict in Sierra Leone in 2002, the domestic justice system lacked the capacity to hold perpetrators of crimes accountable. Prompted by a request from Sierra Leone President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to the United Nations, the Special…
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The Taylor trial and judgment reflect a major departure from the impunity that heads of state have traditionally enjoyed when they are implicated in the gravest crimes. It also builds on the precedent set by the trial of former Serbian president Slobodan…
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A Victory for Congo's Children

Yesterday in The Hague, the International Criminal Court (ICC) found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty of recruiting and using child soldiers under age 15 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, making him the ICC’s first convicted war criminal.…
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Bosco Ntaganda collaborated with Lubanga as chief of military operations in the Union of Congolese Patriots’ military branch. The ICC has also issued an arrest warrant against him on war crimes charges of conscripting, enlisting and using children in…
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Human Rights Watch has worked strenuously to bring to the world’s attention grave crimes committed by Lubanga’s armed group, the Congolese Patriotic Union, as well as other rebel militias during the conflict in Ituri, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (…
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In October, 2011, the Obama administration said it would send 100 US military advisers to central Africa to help the region’s armies combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a vicious Ugandan rebel group. Human Rights Watch has pressed the US government…
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Former President Gbagbo Charged With Crimes Against Humanity

Late in the afternoon on November 29, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo was removed from his prison cell in the dusty northern town of Korhogo and served with an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC). He was then put aboard a…
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Human Rights Watch report leads to arrests in Cuska killings

On May 14, 1999, during NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia, Serbian security forces descended on the small village of Cuska in western Kosovo. The armed men rounded up the villagers, all ethnic Albanians, killing some and demanding money and valuables…