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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…
News
Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, thousands of Afghans have been fleeing threats of reprisal and persecution by seeking refuge abroad. Taliban officials have issued vague and doubtful pledges about respecting human rights. Credible reports…
Afghans from northern provinces who fled their homes due to the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces take refuge in a public parc in Kabul, August 13, 2021. 
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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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  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 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
News
If you were one of the world's 21.3 million refugees and woke up one day to find the country that had sheltered your family for many years now considered you to be traitors and terrorists, what would you do? What if the government had…
Some of the 360,000 Afghan refugees forced out of Pakistan in the second half of 2016 arrive at the UN refugee agency’s support center outside Kabul after an overnight journey. After living in Pakistan for decades, returning refugees hire trucks to transp
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Pressure is building on Afghan and Somali refugees to go home, even if they no longer have homes to return to. It is not surprising that this pressure is coming from governments that have been hosting huge numbers of refugees and want…
Member of Greek Red Cross helps an Afghan refugee who has just arrived from Turkey with an inflatable boat in the area of airport of Mytilene, Lesvos Island, Greece.
News
Imagine that your parents fled their country with you 30 years ago, when you were a baby. The country where you live is the only place you have ever known and your own children were born there. But you wake up one day and…
Five returning Afghan refugee children wait for their parents to register at the UN refugee agency’s support center outside Kabul after being forced out of Pakistan in October 2016. Almost 600,000 Afghans, including 360,000 registered refugees, returned h
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Refugees, rights groups, aid organisations say empathy towards refugees is fading even as deaths in Mediterranean soar.

Below is an excerpt from an Al Jazeera feature which included quotes from Bill Frelick, Human Rights Watch's Refugee Rights Director. The full feature asked refugees, human rights organizations, experts working with refugees, and those who attempt to make…
Afghan women sit with their children after arriving at a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) registration centre in Kabul, Afghanistan September 27, 2016.
News

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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As planting season started in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan this spring, so did the fighting. One farmer, Ibrahim (he uses only one name), and his family had barely tilled their land when they had to leave. Fighting had been close by for most of…
Afghan boys look out from behind a damaged wall after a Taliban attack in Kabul, Afghanistan October 6, 2015.
News
After 25 years of vicious conflict that has cost countless lives and displaced millions of people, peace has finally broken out in south-central Somalia — at least that's what Kenya says. And the UN refugee agency, the United Nations High Commission for…
A newly arrived Somali refugee is forced out of the queue outside a reception centre in the Ifo 2 refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border, in Garissa County, Kenya
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Hot, dusty wind has constantly passed through the thatch and thorn of Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps since they opened in the early 1990s. In May, however, a new wind created a chill among the estimated 340,000 mostly Somali refugees living here…
Somali refugees look through a barbed wire fence in Dadaab in 2013.
News
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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Kenya is home to the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, which provides shelter to 360,000 mostly Somali refugees. In May 2016, Kenya’s government disbanded its department responsible for refugees and announced plans to repatriate Somalis and close…
An aerial view shows makeshift shelters at the Dagahaley camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya. Photo taken April 2011.
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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