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Case Studies of Colombia, United Kingdom, Georgia, Guinea

(The Hague) – The prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has important leverage to encourage countries to investigate and prosecute grave international crimes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.…
Relatives hold pictures of their beloved during a March 6, 2009 march in Bogota against the “false positive” killings and enforced disappearances.
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First Indictment for Atrocities During Liberia’s 1989-96 War

(Brussels) – The Belgian authorities’ arrest of a Liberian for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during Liberia’s first civil war is a major advance for justice. It is the first arrest for crimes that violate international law committed…
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FFormer Associate of Charles Taylor, Rebels Identified in Freetown

(Nairobi) – The Sierra Leone authorities should open a criminal investigation of a suspected arms supplier for his alleged involvement in international crimes during Sierra Leone’s civil war. This would be Sierra Leone’s first purely domestic prosecution…
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Peace Without Justice Not Sustainable

Colombia will only achieve sustainable peace by protecting victims’ right to justice, Human Rights Watch said today in advance of peace talks between the Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas. The talks will…
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Sierra Leone Special Court Offers Lessons for Prosecuting Highest-Level Suspects

(Brussels) – The trial of the former Liberian President Charles Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity during Sierra Leone’s armed conflict was a largely well-run proceeding, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The trial…
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Senegal Should Bring Chad’s Former Dictator to Justice ‘Without Further Delay’

(Brussels) –The ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 20, 2012, that Senegal must prosecute “without further delay” or extradite Chad’s former dictator Hissène Habré is a great victory for his victims, a coalition of human rights…
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(New York) – The sentencing of Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison on May 30, 2012 by the Special Court for Sierra Leone is a landmark in ensuring justice for the victims of Sierra Leone's brutal armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said today. “Crucial…
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World Less Hospitable for Leaders Who Commit Grave Crimes

(The Hague) – The conviction on April 26, 2012, of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, for serious international crimes during Sierra Leone’s brutal armed conflict provides justice for victims and shows that no one is above the law, Human…
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Senegal Refuses to Prosecute Chad’s ex-Dictator; Trial Should Move to Belgium

(The Hague) – The International Court of Justice (ICJ) should order Senegal to extradite the former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré to Belgium, Human Rights Watch and Chadian victims groups said today. Hearings on Belgium’s application for an…
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International Court of Justice Schedules Hearings in Case of Chad’s Ex-Dictator

(The Hague) – The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has set arguments to begin on March 12, 2012, in a case between Belgium and Senegal over the fate of the former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré. The case could result in a binding legal order…
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Torture Panel Tells Senegal to Prosecute or Extradite Habré

(Geneva) – The United Nations Committee against Torture (“the Committee”) has called on Senegal to comply with its obligation to prosecute or extradite Chad's exiled former dictator, Hissène Habré, Human Rights Watch said today. The Committee's action…
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(Washington, DC) – The killing of four captive members of the Colombian security forces by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) shows the guerrilla group’s blatant disregard for human life and the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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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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Reason for Fighting Cannot Reduce Penalties

(New York) - The decision by Sierra Leone’s war crimes court to reject sentence reductions for two convicted militia members because they fought for a “legitimate cause” is crucial in ensuring justice for all victims of human rights violations, Human…
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Secretary-General to Address ICC Meeting at UN Headquarters

(New York) - The United Nations secretariat and the 105 states that have joined the International Criminal Court should step up support for the court so that it can bring justice for war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today as the ICC opens its annual…
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(New York)- United Nations Security Council leaders meeting today to discuss peace and security in Africa should not leave justice off the agenda, Human Rights Watch said. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is chairing the meeting this afternoon in New York…
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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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(New York) - The war crimes court for Sierra Leone has handed down the first convictions by a UN-backed tribunal for the crime of recruiting and using child soldiers. Human Rights Watch said that these convictions are a ground-breaking step toward ending…
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Landmark Step in Bringing Justice for Human Rights Violations

(The Hague) - The trial beginning June 4 of former Liberian President Charles Taylor for war crimes committed during Sierra Leone’s 11-year brutal armed conflict sends a strong signal that no one is above the law. Taylor’s trial by the UN-backed Special…
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‘Universal Jurisdiction’ Prosecutions Bring Justice for Victims

(Brussels) – Prosecutors in Europe are using the concept of universal jurisdiction to pursue foreign war criminals in national courts, a strategy that is gaining momentum across the continent and should be expanded, Human Rights Watch said in a report…