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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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British Authorities Have Dismal Record of Addressing War Crimes

(London) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s decision to close a preliminary examination of alleged war crimes by British forces in Iraq is likely to fuel the perception of a double standard in international justice, Human Rights…
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Witness Protection Essential

(Brussels) – The indictment made public on June 24, 2020 against Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi and other former Kosovo Liberation Army leaders advances justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity during and after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, Human…
Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi during a press conference in Kosovo capital Pristina on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. © 2019 Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
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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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Today the Iraq Inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot, published its report on lessons to be learned from the United Kingdom’s involvement in the Iraq war. The following comment can be attributed to Clive Baldwin, senior legal advisor at Human…
Iraq Inquiry Report 2016
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Witness Protection Required

(Brussels) - The Kosovo government and assembly took an important step toward justice on August 3, 2015, by creating a special court to try serious crimes committed after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, Human Rights Watch said today. The Kosovo government and…
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Meeting in Washington with Prime Minister

(Washington, DC) – US Vice President Joe Biden should urge Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucić to take concrete steps to advance human rights protection, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Biden released today. Biden and Vucić will meet this week…
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Justice Needed for Post-War Crimes

(Brussels) – Kosovo’s newly formed parliament should promptly enact the legislative and constitutional changes required for the special court on post-war atrocity crimes to function, Human Rights Watch said today. Kosovo held parliamentary elections on…
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Parliament Should Also Endorse EU Law Mission Extension

(Brussels) – Kosovo’s parliament should approve the establishment of a special court located abroad to try alleged war crimes and other serious crimes committed during and after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war. The parliament should also agree to extend the…
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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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(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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UN Court Needs Ongoing Support in Remaining Trials

(Brussels) – The opening of the trial of Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb wartime military commander, is a salient reminder that justice catches up with those accused of atrocity crimes. Mladic’s trial for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide…
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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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(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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European Court Says UK Violated Rights of Iraqis in Killings case

(London) - A European Court of Human Rights ruling on July 7, 2011, in a case involving the killings of Iraqi civilians by UK soldiers, is a landmark judgment in the universal application of human rights, seven UK and international human rights groups…
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Credible Accusations of Disappearances, Executions, and Organ-Trafficking

(New York) - The United States and European governments should demand thorough and impartial criminal investigations in Kosovo and Albania into allegations of serious crimes by former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Greater Pressure on Serbia to Ensure Arrests is Vital to EU Credibility

(Brussels) - The European Union's commitment to international justice will be measured by its willingness to pressure Serbia in the months to come to arrest the two remaining war crimes suspects, Human Rights Watch said today. EU member states decided on…
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Keep Full Cooperation With War Crimes Tribunal as Condition for Closer Ties With Serbia

(Brussels) - The European Union (EU) should demonstrate its commitment to justice by requiring Serbia to arrest the Bosnian Serb's wartime military leader, Ratko Mladic, before allowing Serbia to establish closer ties with the EU, Human Rights Watch said…