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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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Item 6 - Universal Periodic Review

We regret that the government of Saint Lucia has, once again, refused to accept the recommendations to decriminalize same-sex relations between consenting adults. Articles 132 and 133 of the criminal code punish so-called “gross indecency” and “…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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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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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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Laws Prohibiting Same-Sex Conduct Fuel Hate, Violence

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights today made public a decision calling on Jamaica to repeal laws prohibiting consensual same-sex conduct. The commission’s conclusions in Gareth Henry and Simone Carline Edwards v. Jamaica are by some…
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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.
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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…
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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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35th Ordinary Session

Human Rights Watch respectfully submits this written presentation to contribute testimony from children to the discussion on the impact of Covid-19 on children at the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of…
Schoolchildren attend class at a school in Norton, west of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, September 10, 2019.
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Russian and Central African Authorities Have Put Little Effort Into Finding the Perpetrators

In July 2018, three Russian journalists, Orkhan Dzhemal, Alexander Rastorguyev and Kirill Radchenko set off to the Central African Republic to film a documentary on the alleged presence of a Russian private military company. After they arrived in…
Flowers are placed by portraits of slain journalists Alexander Rastorguyev, Kirill Radchenko, and Orkhan Dzhemal, at the Russian Journalists’ Union building in Moscow on August 1, 2018.
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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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Questions Remain About Peace Deal’s Promotion of Justice

In the Central African Republic a year after the government and 14 armed groups signed a peace accord, civilians remain at significant risk from serious human rights abuses. The deal, commonly known as the Khartoum Accord, was…
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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Former President’s Time Marked by Anarchy, Misrule, and Abuse

Two former leaders accused of serious abuse have recently returned to Central Africa Republic. Only two weeks after the return of former Central African Republic president Francois Bozizé to the country, former rebel, turned…
Former Central African Republic president Michel Djotodia (C) is received in Bangui on January 10, 2020 by political supporters.
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Former President Should Be Held Accountable for Past Crimes

Last week, former Central African Republic president Francois Bozizé returned to the country after more than six years in exile. Earlier this month, his party’s spokesman said Bozizé would stand for presidential elections in December 2020. …
Seleka fighters standing outside former President François Bozizé’s villa at the Bossembélé military training center.
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ICC Rules Trial of Militia Leaders Can Proceed

On December 11, the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for Central African Republic militia leaders Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona and Alfred Yekatom. While they can appeal the…
Anti-Balaka fighters in Gambo, Mboumou province, Central African Republic, on August 16, 2017.