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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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Amid Olympics, Legal Action Highlights Need to End Abuse in Sport

(New York) – The Malian authorities’ arrest and indictment of a coach accused of sexual harassment and assault of teenage female basketball players is an important step for protecting children and women athletes from abuse, Human Rights Watch said…
Former President of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Hamane Niang attends the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 official mascot launch ceremony on April 18, 2018 in Beijing, China.
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Governments Need to Match Commitments with Action

Earlier in July, governments, philanthropies, and the private sector pledged almost $40 billion at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris to fight gender inequality over the next five years. The aim is to accelerate progress on women’s and girls’…
A girl holds the hand of a boy in Agadez, Niger on October 9, 2018.
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Government, IOC, FIBA Should Investigate Players’ Allegations

(June 14, 2021) – Players from Mali’s Under-18 girls’ national basketball team have reported sexual abuse by the head coach, but the Mali Basketball Federation has failed to act on their reports, Human Rights Watch said today. Malian law enforcement…
Former President of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Hamane Niang attends the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 official mascot launch ceremony on April 18, 2018 in Beijing, China.
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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
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Investigate Alleged Security Force Abuses in Mopti Region

(Bamako) – Malian soldiers have allegedly killed at least 34 villagers, forcibly disappeared at least 16 people, and severely mistreated detainees during counterterrorism operations in Mali’s central Mopti region, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A member of the Malian Armed Forces (FAMA) patrols a road in central Mali, February 2020.
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Other 3R Commanders Should be Held Accountable for Crimes

The death of one of the most brutal warlords in the Central African Republic was confirmed earlier this month. Sidiki Abbas, the president and founder of Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation, or 3R, leaves a legacy of ruthless violence and abuse in the…
Sidiki Abass (also known as Bi Sidi Souleymane), commander of a group called Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation, or 3R, at the peace deal signing ceremony in Bangui, Central African Republic, on February 6, 2019.
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Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
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Two Years Since Over 150 Civilians Killed in Ogossagou Village

The worst atrocity in Mali’s recent history occurred two years ago, on March 23, when over 150 civilians were massacred in Ogossagou village. Dozens of survivors described to Human Rights Watch how heavily armed ethnic Dogon men attacked the village…
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Lack of Evidence, Prolonged Pretrial Detention

(Bamako) – Mali’s justice officials should scrupulously respect due process rights in the case of five men detained since December 2020 for allegedly plotting a coup against the Malian transitional government, Human Rights Watch said today.  …
The Administrative Park in Mali’s capital, Bamako, in which the Ministry of Justice is located, January 2017.
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European Court of Human Rights Reiterates Obligation to Investigate Alleged War Crimes

The facts surrounding the January 3 French airstrike near Bounti, in central Mali, which villagers claim killed 19 civilians at a wedding, remain disputed. The French government continues to  oppose carrying out an investigation into the attack,…
French Mirage 2000 jet fighter
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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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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.
News

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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Credible, Impartial Inquiry Needed into Alleged Civilian Deaths

The Malian and French governments should promptly and impartially investigate the French airstrike on January 3, 2021, in central Mali that killed 19 people alleged by local residents to be civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. In a January 7…
French Mirage 2000 jet fighter
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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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First International Day to Protect Education from Attack Addresses Violations Globally

(New York) – The Central Sahel has seen a significant spike in attacks on students, teachers, and schools since 2018, according to a new report released today by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA). The report is launched…
A school in northern Burkina Faso is abandoned after an attack by an armed group.
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Respect Judicial Independence, Address Accountability for Atrocities

(Bamako) – Mali’s military junta should fully respect human rights and judicial independence and support efforts to ensure accountability for past atrocities, including those involving the security forces, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Leaders of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, including its leader Col. Assimi Goita, center, and spokesman Ismael Wague, left, and group member Malick Diaw, center-left, with a ECOWAS delegation, Aug. 22, 2020. © 2020 AP