war crimes

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24 September 2014 by Stephanie van den Berg

Despite successes, national war crimes units still rely too heavily on local counterparts, says a Human Rights Watch report comparing three EU members that use universal jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. For the 109-page report ‘The long arm of justice’, Leslie Haskell looked at how war crimes units in the Netherlands, Germany and France operated and what could be learnt from them. HRW chose the Netherlands for having the oldest and most robust unit, and France and Germany for having units less than five years old. 

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ICTY 'Wanted' posters from 2000 and 2011 after Hadzic's arrest
24 September 2014 by Sandra Milic, The Hague (The Netherlands)

For more than a month, former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic has tried to convince judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that he had no actual clout during the war in Croatia and his fiery media appearances during the 1991-1995 conflict were just for show. The last ICTY fugitive to be caught in 2011, Hadzic was prime minister of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Eastern Slavonia and later president of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina.

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24 September 2014 by Stephanie van den Berg

Last week, Belgium arrested and indicted Liberian Martina Johnson on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for alleged participation in Operation Octopus, a brutal battle for capital city Monrovia in 1992. This is the first-ever indictment for international crimes during the country’s first civil war, lasting from 1989 to 1996. Human rights organizations say Johnson was a close confidante of former Liberian president Charles Taylor and served as a general in his National Patriotic Front for Liberia (NPFL). 

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05 November 2014 by Samuel Okiror

Uganda’s government programme for the social and economic reintegration of some 27,000 amnesty-granted former armed rebels has stalled, leaving thousands with few options to earn a living.

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Image from July 2013 protest in New York City against US military intervention in Syria (Photo: Flickr/fleshmanpix)
05 November 2014 by Karina Hof, The Hague (The Netherlands)

A justice mechanism to deal with the Syrian conflict has seemed low on the world’s agenda. This week brought news of US government funding cuts for a widely commended NGO gathering Syrian war crimes evidence. The Russian and Chinese vetoes of a Syria referral by the UN Security Council to the International Criminal Court keep a trial in The Hague unlikely. And it is hard to focus on accountability when the YouTubed horror films of ISIS have all but upstaged Assad regime atrocities and the Syrian opposition seems locked in an endless cycle of reincarnation.

 

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05 November 2014 by David Bergman

A spate of rulings against leaders of Bangladesh’s biggest Islamist opposition party for atrocities during the war in 1971 shows the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) forging ahead – despite continuing criticism from outside the country.

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05 November 2014 by Una Hajdari, Pristina (Kosovo)

Kosovo was rocked last week by accusations in the country’s leading daily, Koha Ditore, that top officials from the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), which prosecutes corruption and war crimes cases, took bribes to release two defendants.  

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05 November 2014 by Nidzara Ahmetasevic

Criticism in Bosnia of national war crimes prosecutions has been mounting, with victims’ organizations saying Sarajevo is not doing enough to bring all perpetrators in the bloody 1992-1995 conflict to justice and the European Union last month noting an “unsatisfactory pace”. 

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03 December 2014 by Paul Vrieze, Rangoon (Myanmar)

A recent independent report finds three senior military officers could be held responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by Myanmar army personnel during an offensive against ethnic armed groups in the east of the country.

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17 December 2014 by Una Hajdari, Pristina (Kosovo)

Plans to form a special court for prosecuting crimes allegedly committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) gained ground last week with the election of a new prosecutor and Pristina’s announcement of a new government.

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