ICC: Ntaganda goes on hunger strike

09 September 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg
Laywer Stephan Bourgon at the opening of Bosco Ntaganda's trial in September 2015 (Photo: Twitter/ ICC-CPI)
Image caption: 
Laywer Stephan Bourgon at the opening of Bosco Ntaganda's trial in September 2015 (Photo: Twitter/ ICC-CPI)

Former Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda on trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) has gone on hunger strike to protest long-standing restrictions on his phone calls and visitors to the detention unit, his lawyer said Friday.

“I can confirm that Bosco Ntaganda is no longer attending hearings and stopped eating as of September 7, ” lawyer Stephane Bourgon said. Ntaganda is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity for attacks by his troops on non-Hema civilians in the northern Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003 [blog].

According to Bourgon the trigger for this “serious event” was the August 18 decision by ICC judges to uphold restrictions on Ntaganda's phone calls and visitors to the detention unit. The restrictions have been in place since 2014 after the trial chamber concluded there was reason to believe he was trying to influence witnesses in his case.

“This has been an ongoing issue and (Ntaganda) does not take this action lightly we are not trying to blackmail (the court). He situation is that my client would rather be dead than where he is now,” Bourgon said.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

article
19 February 2007 by Laetitia Grotti

One year ago on January 6, 2006, the 17 members of Morocco's Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) were closing up shop after submitting their final report to King Mohammed VI. The Moroccan truth commission had received a flood of compliments from the international community praising the recommendations in its report, especially those advocating legislative and constitutional reforms. One year later, however, the results have been rather mixed.

article
11 September 2006 by our correspondent in Arusha

After having tried high-ranking officers, ministers, businessmen, priests, journalists, local officials and militiamen, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is in uncharted waters. On September 11, the most famous rwandese troubadour of his generation will stand trial for genocide. 

article
23 October 2006 by Christine Chaumeau

China is keeping a polite distance from international criminal justice. Beijing is hardly disinterested, but China does want to make sure that these new global mechanisms are not going to infringe upon its sovereignty by delving into particularly sensitive cases such as Tibet. 

article
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.

article
06 November 2006 by Pierre Hazan

France's attitude towards international criminal justice is marked by ambiguity. Paris subscribes to a vision of the world in which international humanitarian law is considered a way to curb violence against civilian populations, but at the same time it is wary of an unchecked judicial system that could end up prosecuting French soldiers engaged in areas where it has old and deep-rooted interests.