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Hassan Bouba Should Be Re-Arrested After Surprise Release from Detention

(Nairobi) – The Central African Republic government should coordinate with United Nations peacekeepers to ensure that war crimes suspect Hassan Bouba, who was released from detention in defiance of court orders and escorted home by national gendarmes…
Hassan Bouba Ali (R) with Ali Darassa (C) surrounded by other UPC leaders, during a meeting at their headquarters in Alindao, October 2017.
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Important Step for Justice; Special Criminal Court Arrests Former Armed Group Leader

(Nairobi) – The Special Criminal Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic has arrested and brought charges against a government minister for war crimes and crimes against humanity in an important step for justice, Human Rights Watch said today. A…
Hassan Bouba Ali (R) with Ali Darassa (C) surrounded by other UPC leaders, during a meeting at their headquarters in Alindao, October 2017.
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Special Criminal Court Charges Sanctioned Commander

(Bangui) – The Special Criminal Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic, in an important step for justice, has brought charges against Capt. Eugène Ngaïkosset, known within the country as “The Butcher of Paoua,” Human Rights Watch said. His…
Special Prosecutor Toussaint Muntazini (right) and five other judges of Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) sit at the National Assembly in Bangui, having been sworn in on June 30, 2017.
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Repeal Prevention of Terrorism Act to Meet International Commitments

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government’s pardon of 16 prisoners convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), however welcome, does not address the urgent need to repeal the draconian law, Human Rights Watch said today. The European…
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's addresses parliament in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 20, 2020.
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Concerns of Government Retaliation Against Rights Advocates

(New York) – The United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka is a victory for victims of abuses to help them obtain information, accountability, and justice, Human Rights Watch said today. The UN and member countries should emphasize…
In this April 6, 2015, file photo, Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil women sit holding placards with portraits of their missing relatives as they protest out side a railway station in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
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Milestone for Justice for Victims of Conflict Since 2012

Update: On February 8, 2021, the International Criminal Court announced that it had postponed the start of the trial to February 16. Human Rights Watch will send an update on February 15 to confirm that date. Correction: This news release has been…
Alfred Yékatom, left, and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona, right, taken on Nov. 23, 2018 and Jan. 25, 2019 respectively when they appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
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What is the background in the Central African Republic to these cases?   How did the ICC become involved in the Central African Republic? Who are Alfred Yékatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona? When did Yékatom and Ngaïssona first face…
Alfred Yékatom, left, and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona, right, taken on Nov. 23, 2018 and Jan. 25, 2019 respectively when they appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
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UN Human Rights Council Should Pursue Accountability

(Geneva) – Sri Lanka’s government is aggressively attacking efforts to hold officials to account for past grave abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 93-page report, “Open Wounds and Mounting Dangers: Blocking…
A older man in glasses clapping
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Verdict in Dominic Ongwen Case Set for February 4

(The Hague) – The International Criminal Court’s trial of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Dominic Ongwen, in which a verdict is due on February 4, 2021, has been a significant step toward justice for atrocities committed by the group in…
Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, waits for the judge to arrive as he made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
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Who is Dominic Ongwen? What is the Lord’s Resistance Army? How did the ICC come to bring charges against Ongwen? What are the charges against Ongwen? How does Ongwen’s experience as a child soldier affect judicial proceedings against…
Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, waits for the judge to arrive as he made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
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Important Step Needs Follow-Up with Higher Level Suspects

The surrender by Central African Republic authorities of the first Seleka-rebel suspect to face charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an important step toward justice for serious crimes committed by the two main warring factions in the…
ICC permanent premises
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Human Rights Watch Interviewed Militia Leader on Video in 2014

(Nairobi) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) announcement on July 16, 2020 of the upcoming trial of two militia leaders is a significant step for justice for grave crimes committed in the Central African Republic, Human Rights Watch said today,…
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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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Presidential Pardon Shows Rajapaksa’s Indifference to Army Atrocities

(New York) – Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s pardon of a soldier convicted of massacring eight civilians, including children, shows the administration’s disregard for justice for the worst abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, center, sings the national anthem during an event to mark the anniversary of country's independence from British colonial rule in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
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Rajapaksa Government Should Uphold Commitments to UN Rights Council

(New York) – Sri Lankan security forces and intelligence agencies have intensified surveillance and threats against families of victims of enforced disappearance and activists supporting them since Gotabaya Rajapaksa became president in…
A woman holds a picture of a missing relative at a protest calling for investigations into enforced disappearances, Colombo, Sri Lanka, February 14, 2020.
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Provide Justice for Past Crimes, Prevent Future Abuses

(New York) – The winner of Sri Lanka’s presidential election on November 16, 2019 will face enormous challenges to deliver justice for past crimes and prevent future abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. Since Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in 2009,…
Sri Lanka's elections chief Mahinda Deshapriya displays ballot boxes that will be used in the upcoming presidential election in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. The voting is scheduled to be held on Nov. 16.
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Reinvigorate Commitment to Justice for Civil War Atrocities

(New York) – Sri Lankan authorities have failed to bring to justice those responsible for the execution-style killing of 17 aid workers 13 years ago, Human Right Watch said today. On August 4, 2006, alleged Sri Lankan security forces…
Candles are burned at the memorial for slain humanitarian workers from Action Contre La Faim in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, August 11, 2006.
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Without Progress on Justice, Abuses Persist

(New York) – Ten years since the end of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war, the government has failed to provide justice for the conflict’s many victims, Human Rights Watch said today. The conflict ended on May 18, 2009, with the total defeat…
Women mourn at the graves of their relatives who died in 2009 during the last days of the war in Mullivaikkal, Sri Lanka, May 18, 2015.
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Militia Leaders Should Face Justice Instead

(Nairobi) – Prosecutors in the Central African Republic should investigate militia leaders recently awarded government positions. On March 24, a presidential decree named the armed groups leaders Ali Darassa, leader of the…
From left to right: Sidiki Abass, Mahamat Al Khatim, and Ali Darassa.
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ICC Takes Custody of First Suspect in Second Investigation

  (Nairobi) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has a new opportunity to deliver justice to victims in the Central African Republic as it takes its first suspect into custody in its investigation of serious crimes committed…
A picture of the ICC logo on a glass wall.