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  Boys playing with toy guns run into a village alley in Bagram, Afghanistan, 2009 (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein)
30 January 2018 by Stephanie van den Berg

Judges at the international Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague are set to consider whether the prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will be allowed to open a case into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan after she filed her request last November. With her request the court also opened the procedure for victims’ representation where those who may be directly concerned by the specific situation can register to have their views and concerns regarding a possible investigation heard. But on the eve of January 31 – the deadline for such submissions – victims’ organizations and observers on the ground say the court is not doing enough to reach the thousands of people affected.

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Families of disappeared persons, murder victims and victims of human rights abuses during a visit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Coahuila Mexico in September 2015 (Photo: Flickr/Ginnette Riquelme/CIDH)
26 September 2017 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Every few weeks it seems one NGO or another is lobbying to get its issue onto the agenda of the ICC’s prosecutor. It’s a tribute to the way that the International Criminal Court has come to be seen as an avenue for justice. But it also means that there’s a lot of noise, without necessarily much action. 

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Helen Mack, sister of murdered Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack, speaks at March 2015 meeting of La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) (Photo: Flickr/cidh/Daniel Cima)
02 December 2015

IJT 188 takes a close look at Guatemala's newly opened 'high-risk' court, which many hope will expedite lawsuits concerning the country's decades-long armed conflict. 

Other features:

  • In the Netherlands, an Afghan army commander-turned-Dutch national was arrested and accused of war crimes allegedly committed in 1979.
  • In Bangladesh, two men were hanged for committing international crimes during the war of independence, compelling many Bangladeshis to celebrate and international human rights organizations to question the International Crimes Tribunal's fairness.
  • While ICC state parties held their annual meeting last month in The Hague, groups discussed on the side whether ecocide could become the fifth crime against peace.

 

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A sign marks the entrance of the asylum application centre of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (Photo: Flickr/directie_voorlichting_venj)
12 November 2015 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)

In an extraordinary case testing the boundaries of universal jurisdiction and refugee law, an alleged war criminal of Afghan origin who had acquired Dutch nationality has been arrested in the Netherlands at the initiative of victims.

 

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16 September 2009 by -

Chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, is gathering information about possible war crimes committed by NATO soldiers, Al Qaeda and insurgents in Afghanistan.

By Thijs Bouwknegt
 

Afghanistan is a party to the Rome Statute and “any war crime or crime against humanity committed on its territory by Afghan nationals or foreigners is of interest to the court”, Ocampo told reporters September 9th.

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