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Exhumations from May 2015 on a Periprava site believed to be a graveyard for camp victims (Photo: IICCMER)
03 June 2015 by Isabelle Wesselingh, Bucharest (Romania)

Many in the Bucharest courtroom held their breaths when, after a long day of gruelling testimonies, Mihai Dionisie got up and walked towards the man who ran the Romanian labour camp where he was held nearly 50 years ago. But the 81-year-old witness, who had told the court of beatings, unbearable hunger and inhumane work targets, simply extended his arm and shook hands with the former camp commander.

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Names of ESMA navy officers are displayed at the Espacio Memoria y Derechos Humanos (Photo: Luciana Bertoia)
03 June 2015 by Luciana Bertoia, Buenos Aires (Argentina)

A memorial museum newly opened at the location of one of the most infamous illegal detention centres during Argentina’s dictatorship illustrates a national debate about how to commemorate such sites. 

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United Nations Operation in Burundi disarms rebel forces in Mbanda in February 2005 (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Martine Perret)
03 June 2015 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Over the last month, Burundi has hit the headlines as the president put himself forward to be elected for a controversial third term, resulting in street protests, thousands of refugees who fled instability and an attempted coup. Behind the issues of elections and constitutionalism are also those of justice following Burundi’s long-running civil war. The international community supported an intensive process of negotiation and the signing of the Arusha Accord in 2000. But in the decade and a half since, its provisions on justice have been debated though never fully implemented.

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International Criminal Court in The Hague (Photo: Flickr/josefstuefer).jpg
03 June 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The custody battle between Ivory Coast and the International Criminal Court over Simone Gbagbo continues as the ICC upheld its ruling for the Ivorian ex-first lady to be tried internationally despite national proceedings that already slapped her with a two-decade jail sentence.

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Exhumations from May 2015 on a Periprava site believed to be a graveyard for camp victims (Photo: IICCMER)
03 June 2015

IJT 183 delves into an emotional trial in Romania in which Communist labour camp survivors confront their ex-commander.

Other features:

  • The first-ever ICTR trial transfer could be recalled from Rwanda
  • A new museum at a former detention centre reignites Argentina's debate on memorials
  • The world wrongly gambled on peace without justice in Burundi, says transitional justice expert in a Q&A

News brief:

  • Ivorian ex-first lady Simone Gbagbo is still wanted in The Hague
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Rwandan genocide court artwork by Surian Soosay (Photo: Flickr/ssoosay)
02 June 2015 by Clive Muhenga, Arusha (Tanzania)

The UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) has for the first time said that a genocide case handed over to the Rwandan judiciary by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) may have to be returned, due to fair trial concerns. If taken, the decision would be a serious setback for the Arusha court’s exit strategy.
 

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Former Khmer Rouge minister Ieng Thirith, charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and breaches of the Geneva Conventions, appears at a pretrial hearing at the Cambodia tribunal in 2010. (Photo: Flickr/ECCC POOL/Tang Chhin Sothy)
20 May 2015

IJT 182 explores how so-called chivalrous beliefs and practices may be behind the rare prosecution of female war crimes suspects.

Other features:

  • A tug-of-war between Uganda and DRC over the extradition of Jamil Mukulu highlights trouble with judicial cooperation in Africa.
  • Colombian and Guatemalan survivors of sexual violence during their countries' armed conflicts fight for justice.
  • The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement tries to excise Balkan suspects of war crimes.

News brief:

  • A trial date for Chadian ex-dictator Hissène Habré has finally been set.
     
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Former Khmer Rouge minister Ieng Thirith, charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and breaches of the Geneva Conventions, appears at a pretrial hearing at the Cambodia tribunal in 2010. (Photo: Flickr/ECCC POOL/Tang Chhin Sothy)
20 May 2015 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)

In the Holocaust, women conducted medical experiments and guarded concentration camps. During the Rwandan genocide, they managed roadblocks and burned buildings with people inside. Women have been involved in almost every type of mass violence, a recent Dutch study has found. Still, the number who are prosecuted and convicted is significantly lower than men.

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Ligature used to bind victims hands in Srebrenica, unearthed during an exhumation there. (Photo: Flickr/ICTY)
19 May 2015 by Ella Sonja West, Chicago (US)

Two months ago, the Balkans were rocked by a story in The New York Times that the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was set to deport 150 Bosnians who lied on their immigration applications about involvement in the 1992-1995 war. ICE policies, however, may in fact be more nuanced than suggested by the headlines. And yet they still face criticism for their one-sided approach to Balkan immigrants.

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A demonstration outside the Guatemalan embassy in Mexico against the overturned sentence of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt (Photo: Flickr/Amnistía Mexico)
18 May 2015 by Louisa Reynolds, Guatemala City (Guatemala)

After decades of slow justice, Colombian and Guatemalan victims of sexual crimes committed during their respective countries’ armed conflicts are fighting to get their cases heard. In late April, Colombian human rights organizations called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to intervene and start prosecuting. Meanwhile, in Guatemala late last year, after decades of silence and neglect, victims of sexual violence achieved an important victory when a landmark sexual slavery trial opened.

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