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Afghanistan is Emblematic of Crises the ICC Was Created to Address

The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan has magnified concerns about an accelerating human rights crisis in the country. Already the world’s deadliest conflict since 2017, Afghanistan had seen a steady rise in attacks on civilians…
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  The impending start of the intra-Afghan peace negotiations has raised hopes for an end to Afghanistan’s long war. Among the many grave anxieties remaining, however, is whether a future agreement will address past human rights abuses or if…
The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, February 6, 2020. 
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  Recently, a panel of International Criminal Court (ICC) judges unanimously rejected Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s November 2017 request to open an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity…
The Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
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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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Governments Signal Continued Support for Court

The recent decisions by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) are generating wide attention and speculation about a mass exodus from the court by African countries.  But think it’s clear where Africa stands on…
Stella Ndirangu of ICJ Kenya
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July 17, the Day of International Criminal Justice, is the anniversary of the Rome Statute, which paved the way for the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Anniversaries are often cause for celebration, but the ICC—the world’s…
The International Criminal Court premises in The Hague. © 2016 Human Rights Watch
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The Pentagon on Friday released the findings of its inquiry into the October 3, 2015, air attack on a Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. If the report was meant to demonstrate that appropriate…
MSF Hospital Ruins
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John Kituyi, a veteran journalist and editor of the Kenyan Mirror Weekly newspaper, was murdered on April 30 as he walked home from work. The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that unidentified assailants beat Kituyi severely. He later died in…
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What are we to make of the fact that in its eleven-year history, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has prosecuted only Africans? Should the court be condemned for discrimination—for taking advantage of Africa’s weak global position—as some African…
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As the Kenyan authorities’ stubborn refusal to carry out their primary responsibilities to provide justice have made clear for victims of Kenya’s post-election violence, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is their only hope for redress. The…
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President Barack Obama’s second presidential visit to Africa kicks off in Senegal, with stops in South Africa and Tanzania. This is a good regional mix highlighting the development and governance successes that are likely to be main themes of his trip.…
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African Union Must Continue to Back the Fight Against Impunity

On May 19, African countries will kick off a special summit to celebrate 50 years of unity, first under the Organisation of African Unity and, since 2000, under the African Union. This is an opportune time for the AU to set the record straight on its…
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At his inauguration on April 9, Kenya's new president, Uhuru Kenyatta, promised to uphold "international obligations". This was most likely a reference to the International Criminal Court. Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, are to stand trial before…
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Before he was arrested last year in Uganda on terrorism charges, Al Amin Kimathi was hailed as an outspoken activist who challenged East African governments to conduct lawful counterterrorism operations. The Kenyan human rights defender had gone to Uganda…
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On May 30, International Criminal Court (ICC) judges turned down the latest effort by some in the Kenyan government to thwart the court's cases against six leading political and government officials. The "Ocampo Six" are accused of involvement on both…
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Bringing powerful politicians to justice is a tough task. But Kenya has learned the price of inaction - a pattern of political violence over decades. Now Parliament has a chance to stop the rot, hold violent politicians to account, and set an example for…
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Kenya is at a pivotal moment. After the devastating post-electoral violence a year ago, the country has an opportunity to investigate and prosecute those responsible before political tensions rise again in the run-up to new elections, probably in 2012…