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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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On February 6, the European Commission will present its new strategy for the enlargement of the EU. People in the Western Balkans may greet the news with scepticism. But if the EU institutions and states are really willing to end the EU…
Roma refugees from Kosovo drink water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 13, 2012
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Opposition to Withdrawal by States

The African Union made headlines Tuesday for purportedly agreeing to mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. The reality is more complex. The decision by AU member states welcomes the announced withdrawals by South Africa,…
A general view shows the headquarters of the African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2017.
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The withdrawals by South Africa and Burundi from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) pose a real challenge to the evolving system of international justice centered on the ICC. Coming after escalating criticism…
A picture of the ICC logo on a glass wall.
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November 14, 2016 To the Presidents of African States Parties to the International Criminal Court, We write to commend your government for its membership and support for the International Criminal Court, and to encourage your…
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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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Latest Move Shows Government’s Disregard for Victims

(Nairobi) – Burundi has taken a major step backward by officially withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Watch said today. Other African ICC members should distance themselves from Burundi’s withdrawal and affirm their support for…
Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015.
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Members Should Reaffirm Support for International Court

(Johannesburg) – South Africa’s announced withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty represents an enormous blow to its commitment to justice for atrocity crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. ICC members…
The Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
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Government Approves Withdrawal from International Criminal Court

The vote by Burundi’s National Assembly and Senate approving withdrawal from the International Criminal Court is the latest move by a government intent on shielding its poor human rights record from international scrutiny. …
On October 13, 2015, police shot dead Christophe Nkezabahizi, his wife, nephew, and his two teenage children in Bujumbura. No one has been held accountable for their deaths.
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It was just a bolt of pink cotton lying on the floor of a school gym but more than 20 years later, it haunts me still – soldiers tore off strips of that cloth, blindfolded dozens of men, trucked them to a nearby field, shot them, and buried all but a…
Two Bosnian Muslim women cry over a coffin July 10, 2005 with remains of their relative in a factory hall in Potocari where 610 victims of Srebrenica massacre wait for the funeral.
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A public debate at the UN on April 10 will serve up a revisionist denial of the worst killings in Europe since the end of World War II: the ethnic slaughter in the former Yugoslavia that horrified the world in the 1990s. While the session's ostensible…
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US Says Working on Sending Bosco Ntaganda to the ICC

(Washington, DC) – The United States government indicated it would send the Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to be tried for grave international crimes. Ntaganda turned himself in to the US embassy in Kigali…
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Rwandan Officials Should Immediately Halt All Support or Face Sanctions

(Goma) – M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are responsible for widespread war crimes, including summary executions, rapes, and forced recruitment. Thirty-three of those executed were young men and boys who tried to escape the rebels’…
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Rebel leader Thomas Lubanga may now be in jail, but Rwanda continues to support his co-accused, Bosco Ntaganda

The sentencing on Tuesday of Thomas Lubanga, a rebel leader from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo was a rare victory for Congolese victims of atrocities. There have been few occasions during my 13 years of documenting abuses in Congo by Lubanga and…
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Rejection of Warrant Request Not a Ruling on DRC Crimes

(Brussels) – The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) should urgently submit information sought by the court in the case against a Rwandan rebel leader whose forces are still committing atrocities in eastern Democratic Republic of the…
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Last month, the first woman ever was convicted of genocide by an international court. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, Rwanda's former minister for family and women's affairs, guilty of genocide, war crimes and…
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The Risks of Putting Justice Aside for Peace

Introduction I. Afghanistan II. Burundi III. Democratic Republic of the Congo IV. Indonesia Conclusion Introduction Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, the belief that those responsible for serious human rights abuses should be…