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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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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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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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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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Government, UN Should Protect Civilians; Advance Accountability

(Nairobi) – A new rebel coalition in the Central African Republic has created havoc in the run-up to the country’s legislative and presidential elections, scheduled for December 27, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The new coalition is…
Presidential guards stand guard in Bangui, on December 12, 2020, during the opening campaign rally for incumbent president Faustin-Archange Touadéra, seen in the poster, a candidate in the December 2020 elections.
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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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Adopt New Regulations, Increased Oversight

(Tbilisi) – Georgia’s parliament is scheduled to begin discussing a package of amendments to the country’s labor legislation this week, Human Rights Watch said today. If adopted, the amendments would offer much greater protection to workers and go a…
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With New Mandate, UN Forces Should Focus on Protection, Justice

(Nairobi) – The peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic, whose mandate the United Nations Security Council renewed on November 14, 2019, should strengthen civilian protection and maximize its role in securing justice. The…
An internally displaced camp for Peuhl in Sibut, Kemo province, Central African Republic, where survivors of the Amo attack were living in October 2019.
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Regulation, Oversight Urgently Needed to Protect Miners

(Tbilisi) – The safety of workers in Georgia’s mines is at serious risk due to insufficient government regulation and resulting mining practices that prioritize production quotas and put workers’ safety in jeopardy, Human Rights Watch said in a…
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Authorities Should Investigate the Use of Force in Protest Outside Parliament

(Tbilisi) – Riot police in Tbilisi fired rubber bullets and used teargas without warning against thousands of nonviolent protesters outside the Georgian Parliament on June 20, 2019. As a standoff continues between protesters…
In this image from video, some thousands of protesters gather outside the parliament building in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.
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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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New Killings During Talks; Rebels Seek Amnesty

The peace accord between the government of the Central African Republic and armed groups that was signed on February 6, 2019 should not deter or displace efforts to deliver justice for the gravest crimes committed during the conflict,…
Mahamat Al Khatim, commander of the Central African Patriotic Movement (Mouvement Patriotique pour la Centrafrique, MPC), at the peace deal signing ceremony in Bangui on February 6. Fighters from the MPC have committed abuses that could amount to war crim
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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.
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Peacekeepers Should Protect Displaced People’s Camp

Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic captured and executed at least nine civilians, including seven women, on September 6, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. The executions around the town of Bria in the Haute-Kotto province…
Civilians and Seleka fighters from the Popular Front for the Renaissance in the Central African Republic (Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique, FPRC) move the body of Mariam Hussein for burial on September 22, 2018. Hussein was killed t
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Political Dialogue Should Not Absolve War Criminals

(Bangui) – A general amnesty as part of the political dialogue in the Central African Republic would be incompatible with the government’s duty to bring those responsible for grave international crimes to justice and with victims’ rights to accountability…
Members of civil society in Bangui, Central African Republic, advocate for justice on the May 11, 2017, commemoration of victims’ day.
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Public Health Approaches Needed to Remedy Harmful Use of Drugs

(Tbilisi) – Georgia’s drug laws and their aggressive enforcement is causing severe and unjustifiable harm, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Drug prosecutions for consumption and possession often lead to long prison…
A sign which reads “Care instead of Punishment” is held aloft at a protest rally calling for decriminalization of personal drug use.
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3-Year Terms for Peacekeepers for Mass Murder

(Nairobi) – Three-year prison sentences for three Congolese peacekeepers convicted for the 2014 murder of 11 civilians in the Central African Republic does not reflect the gravity of the crime. The sentences deny justice to the victims…
A memorial dedicated to the commemoration of the 13 people killed by Republic of Congo peacekeepers on March 24, 2014 in Boali, Central African Republic. Twelve of the victims were summarily executed. Credit: Lewis Mudge/Human Rights Watch.
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African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
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Parliament Should Act Without Delay

(Bangui) – The Central African Republic’s Parliament should swiftly adopt the rules of procedure and evidence for the country’s Special Criminal Court, 40 Central African organizations, the International Federation for Human Rights (…
Congolese Special Prosecutor Toussaint Muntazini (R) and the five other judges of the Special Criminal Court (SCC)
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Special Criminal Court Makes Progress, Needs International Support

(Nairobi) – Recent violence in the Central African Republic makes the country’s new Special Criminal Court especially important as a means to offer justice to victims of brutal crimes committed during the country’s conflicts, Human…
Congolese Special Prosecutor Toussaint Muntazini (R) and the five other judges of the Special Criminal Court (SCC)