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How a Small African Nation Took on Myanmar’s Crisis – and Won

It was a year ago that you started pursuing the unique approach to holding Myanmar accountable in the ICJ. How did that come about? The idea of a country without any connection to the crimes bringing a case to the International Court of Justice had…
Abdul Kareem, a Rohingya Muslim, carries his mother, Alima Khatoon, to a refugee camp after crossing from Burma into Bangladesh on Sept. 16, 2017.
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Persistence Over Many Years Helps Bring Bosco Ntaganda to Justice

How long had you been investigating Ntaganda’s abuses? I started documenting his abuses when I first moved to Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in 2008. Bosco Ntaganda was a member of the Rwandan-backed CNDP (Congrès national pour la…
Bosco Ntaganda sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court
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This potential investigation sounds like big news, especially if alleged US crimes are examined. What kinds of crimes have taken place in Afghanistan since 2003? The prosecutor said she is seeking permission to investigate alleged crimes against…
Afghan family leaves site of attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 22, 2016. © 2016 Reuters
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Swedish and German Authorities Pursuing Cases for War Crimes in Syria

What kind of cases have been brought to trial so far? To date, seven cases for war crimes in Syria were brought to trial, three in Sweden and four in Germany. These few cases have mostly been against members of the Islamic State [ISIS], Jabhat…
Illustration © 2017 Brian Stauffer for Human Rights Watch
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Many people in Lukodi, in northern Uganda, were killed and abducted by the brutal rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in 2004. Today, a former LRA commander, Dominic Ongwen, is on trial for these crimes and others at the…
A community member in Lukodi stands next to a memorial of a May 19, 2004 massacre, one of the atrocities for which Dominic Ongwen is facing charges before the International Criminal Court. Over 4,000 victims are participating in the trial.
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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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…