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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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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
News

Sentencing of Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi of Mali

(Geneva) – The International Criminal Court’s sentencing on September 27, 2016 of Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi for his role in destroying historical and religious monuments in Timbuktu, Mali, sends a clear message that attacking the world’s historical treasures…
News
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.
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.
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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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Rights Body Stops Short of Urging Syria Referral to International Criminal Court

The United Nations Human Rights Council took bold action to address the chronically poor human rights situations in Belarus and Eritrea, Human Rights Watch said today, at the closing of the council’s 20th session. The council unanimously condemned the “…
News

Credible Accusations of Disappearances, Executions, and Organ-Trafficking

(New York) - The United States and European governments should demand thorough and impartial criminal investigations in Kosovo and Albania into allegations of serious crimes by former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members, Human Rights Watch said today.…
News
Many people in Bosnia and beyond thought they would never see Radovan Karadzic standing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It seemed almost beyond the dreams of the rape victims that I interviewed in Bosnia in…
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The fact that Radovan Karadzic will face trial has important ramifications for the case against Omar Bashir, which must not now be delayed. Most obviously, the arrest of Radovan Karadzic is good news for the victims of the Bosnian war and their relatives…
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Slobodan Milosevic conducted his legal defense much as he did his political life: with bombast, bullying and belligerence. Observing Milosevic for weeks and weeks in The Hague in the first half of his four-year trial, it became quickly clear to me that he…
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Bringing to justice those who commit atrocities has obvious appeal. It provides redress for victims and their families, punishes perpetrators, and deters others from replicating their crimes. But is the price too high? Critics argue that the threat of…
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U.S. President George W. Bush will be traveling to Africa from July 7-12, visiting Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, and Nigeria. This packet from Human Rights Watch includes material for each stop along the way. A brief overview of the Bush…
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Former Yugoslav States Should Reject ICC Side Agreements

The Bush administration's pressure on Croatia and Slovenia in pursuit of a special exemption from the International Criminal Court (ICC) while rightly insisting on cooperation with the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal is blatant hypocrisy.    In recent days,…