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Human Rights Council Panel commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention

As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention, I wish to address the crucial role of the International Criminal Court in realizing its ideals. This year also marks the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the ICC’s…
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News
Armed conflicts that have given rise to horrific war crimes in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan are all beyond the reach of the ‘court of last resort,’ the International Criminal Court (ICC). But domestic courts in Europe are stepping into the void and…
Former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon
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First Lady’s Acquittal Highlights ICC Process As Critical Path for Victims

(Nairobi) – The acquittal in Côte d’Ivoire of former Ivorian first lady Simone Gbagbo for crimes against humanity based on a process marred by fair trial concerns and a critical lack of evidence shows the importance of the International Criminal Court’s…
Ivory Coast's former first lady Simone Gbagbo at the Palace of Justice in Abidjan on December 26, 2014.
News

Security Forces, Prisoners, Women, Among Those Executed

(Erbil) – The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) executed and dumped the bodies of possibly hundreds of detainees at a site near Mosul, Human Rights Watch said today. Multiple witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the bodies of those killed,…
‘Hammam al-Alil mass grave marked and fenced’ Caption: A marked and fenced ISIS mass grave in Hammam al-Alil, 30 kilometers south of Mosul, discovered in November 2016.
News

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.
News

Countries Commit to Working Within the ICC System

A slew of African countries reaffirmed their backing for the International Criminal Court (ICC) during the past two days, giving much-needed support to the court in the wake of recently announced withdrawals by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia.  …
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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.
News

Pushback Against AU Call for Withdrawal

The 27th African Union (AU) summit closed Monday evening without an AU call for immediate mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court in the face of strong pushback from Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and even ICC non-member Algeria,…
A general view shows delegates during the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 31, 2016.
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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“Unimaginable Horrors”

The “unimaginable horrors” that the Islamic State (ISIS) is committing against the minority Yezidis, documented in a report released on June 16 by the UN-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Syrian Arab Republic, shows the…
Report
Summary “We want to end impunity in Ivory Coast. No one is above the law. All those that committed blood crimes will be punished ... There will be no exceptions.” —Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, Dakar, May…
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Hold Fair Trials for 2010-2011 Post-Election Abuses

(Abidjan) – Côte d’Ivoire has not yet delivered justice for victims of grave crimes by both sides in the country’s 2010-2011 post-election crisis, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. President Alassane Ouattara and his new justice minister…
Victims of the 2010-2011 post-election crisis hold placards reading 'We claim justice, justice justice' at a gathering in the Kouassai district of Abidjan on February 28, 2013,
News

Essential for Durable Peace

(New York) – Justice for Syrian victims and accountability for those who have committed grave abuses should be on the agenda at United Nations-mediated peace talks in Geneva. The Syrian government and major Syrian opposition groups will meet in Geneva on…
Relatives mourn as a man carries the body of a dead boy in a blanket at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Sheikh Khodr area in Aleppo on September 30, 2014.
News
As the African Union summit closed on January 31, 2016, Kenyan media ignited with reports that the African Union endorsed mass withdrawal of African countries from the International Criminal Court. But the reality is a lot less newsworthy than the main…
A general view shows delegates during the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 31, 2016.
News
Just five short years ago, it seemed impossible to think that one day the former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo would be sitting in the dock of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Yet here he was today, listening patiently as a…
Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo awaits the start of his trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, January 28, 2016.
News

Concrete Action Needed Against Pro-Ouattara Forces

(The Hague) – The International Criminal Court trial of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and his former youth minister, Charles Blé Goudé, which begins on January 28, 2016, shows that justice can reach those who once appeared untouchable, Human…
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Questions and Answers

Who are Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé, and why are they on trial? Why is this trial important? Isn’t Simone Gbagbo, the former first lady, also wanted by the ICC? What happened in Côte d’Ivoire? Will the…
Laurent Gbagbo at the ICC 2013
News

Repeated Strikes on Douma Kill At Least 112

(New York) – The United Nations Security Council should impose an arms embargo on the Syrian government following the government’s repeated air attacks on Douma’s popular markets and residential areas on August 16, 2015. The attacks killed at least 112…
Syrian emergency personnel gather around dead bodies wrapped in shrouds following air strikes by Syrian government forces on a marketplace in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of the capital Damascus, Syria on August 16, 2015.
Report
Summary In October 2011, judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) authorized the court’s prosecutor to open an investigation into crimes committed during Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010-2011 post-election crisis. The crisis began after…
News

Gaps in Case Selection, Limited Outreach Undermined Impact

  (The Hague) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) missed important opportunities to maximize the impact of its work in Côte d’Ivoire, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report offers…
newsstand in Abidjan