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Al Jadeed journalist Karma Khayat flanked by defence lawyers at the opening hearing of her contempt trial (Photo: Flickr/STLebanon)
04 May 2015

IJT 181 examines what two contempt cases at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon show about the main in absentia trial seeking to uncover who killed Lebanese ex-premier Rafik Hariri.

Other features:

  • Will Kenya’s restorative justice fund sideline truth commission findings?
  • Will new reparations body in Ivory Coast fulfill promise? 
  • Hopeful to move forward, Bosnian millennials try to unearth war skeletons

News briefs:

  • Netherlands court backs decision not to prosecute Dutchbat soldiers over Srebrenica deaths
  • ​Controversial Libyan Senussi trial to enter final phase
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Activists in Prijedor on White Armband Day 2014 hold a banner reading: "Because it concerns me" (Photo: Jer me se tice)
04 May 2015 by Nidzara Ahmetasevic, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Bosnia’s wartime past is still an overly politicized topic. Twenty years on, the 1992-1995 conflict remains so controversial that most high-school history books mention it just briefly, if at all, to avoid tension. Only in the last few years has a space opened to hear different voices, including the many twenty- and thirty-somethings who have questions. The movement is unfolding on Facebook and other online forums and blogs. Documentaries and virtual and real-life get-togethers organized by grassroots movements unite likeminded youth who want to uncover the reality of the war.

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Kenya's TJRC "had no political champions," says Mutuma Ruteere, director of the Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies in Nairobi (Photo: Flickr/unisgeneva/UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)
04 May 2015 by Abdullahi Boru, Nairobi (Kenya)

Earlier this year Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in his state of the union address not only apologized on behalf of the state for past human rights abuses, but also announced a three-year, 10 billion Kenyan-shilling (96 million-euro) “restorative justice” fund for victims of such atrocities. But critics say much is unclear about the plan and how it will co-exist with reparations processes and procedures envisaged by the now defunct Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) [IJT-162].

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Dutchbat march on Veterans Day 2014 in The Hague (Photo: Flickr/faceme)
04 May 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg, Belgrade (Serbia)

A district court in the Netherlands last week confirmed a 2013 decision by prosecutors not to charge former Dutchbat commander Thom Karremans and two subordinates for three deaths in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. The victims were among the nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslims killed while under supposed protection by Dutch UN peacekeepers.

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Niamba Privat shares images taken after a May 2011 attack at his Yopougon home during post-election violence in Ivory Coast (Photo: Christin Roby)
04 May 2015 by Christin Roby, Abidjan (Ivory Coast)

Wounds, physical and psychological, heal slowly for many victims of the 2011 post-election crisis in Ivory Coast that killed over 3,000 residents and ended with former President Laurent Gbagbo’s ouster by Alassane Ouattara.

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Outside al-Hadba prison in Tripoli, where the trial of Senussi and co-defendants opened on 14 April 2014 (Photo: Chris Stephen)
04 May 2015 by Chris Stephen

The controversial trial of Libya’s former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi will enter its “final” stage on 20 May, court authorities announced this week. After a case lasting just over a year, during which a Libyan civil war broke out [IJT-176], prosecutors say they are prepared to finish proceedings, the country’s Al Nabaa television station reported Sunday.  

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The ICC trial chamber acquitted Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
21 April 2015 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Over two years since his initial acquittal by the International Criminal Court (ICC), former Congolese militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui is still in the Netherlands fighting another legal battle: to get asylum in the ICC’s host country.

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A medical examining room at the ICTY (Photo: Flickr/ICTY)
21 April 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg, Belgrade (Serbia)

The on-going controversy over the provisional release of Serbian ultra nationalist Vojislav Seselj [IJT-179] from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has recast the spotlight on how courts deal with ailing accused. It also begets a fundamental question: what determines if someone is fit to stand trial?

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Thomas Kwoyelo (centre) and his lead counsel, Caleb Alaka, at the Internal Crimes Division (Photo: Samuel Egadu Okiror)
21 April 2015 by Samuel Egadu Okiror, Kampala (Uganda)

Five years after the trial was halted, the Ugandan Supreme Court delivered an eagerly awaited decision in the war crimes case against Thomas Kwoyelo [IJT-176]. But instead of providing clarity, the ruling to lift the former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander’s amnesty has been slammed by critics, calling it an example of double standards and selective prosecution.

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Thomas Kwoyelo (centre) and his lead counsel, Caleb Alaka, at the Internal Crimes Division (Photo: Samuel Egadu Okiror)
21 April 2015

IJT 180 examines a debate surrounding selective justice for LRA commanders following a Ugandan Supreme Court ruling on amnesty.

Other features:

  • An extended feature looks at how international courts deal with ailing and elderly defendants in the dock, and what determines if they are even fit for trial.
  • On Sri Lanka, we hear how the new government is dealing with past war crimes.

In short news, there are updates on:

  • The Dutch asylum claim of DRC ex-militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui...
  • ​.. and the ICTR’s swan song of an appeals case, involving Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the first woman to be tried and convicted by an international war crimes court.

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