Thomas Lubanga. Photo: via Bing (CC).
Thomas Lubanga. Photo: via Bing (CC).

ICC to receive observations from DRC government on Art 110 reduction of Lubanga sentence: The Registry of the ICC has reported to the three appointed judges of the court’s Appeals Chambers that the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has objected to a reduction of the sentence of Thomas Lubanga. Lubanga is currently serving the 14-year sentence he was given on 10 July 2012 for the war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 years and using them to participate actively in hostilities. Pursuant to Article 110 of the ICC Statute – which provides that at the two-thirds point of a sentence the Court must review whether the sentence should be reduced – the three Appeals Chamber judges appointed for the sentence review ordered the DRC to file their observations on the matter by 8 September 2017. The government of the DRC responded to this order on the 8th of September, informing the Court Registry of the negative opinion of the Congolese government on a reduction of the sentence of Lubanga, but in its response the government referred to an annexed letter which was not attached – the Registry is therefore currently following up to obtain the letter. (ICC Court Record dated 5 September 2017, ICC Court Record dated 11 September 2017)

 

UK Met Police asked to investigate UAE torture of Qatari victims: The UK’s Metropolitan Police service’s war crimes unit, SO15, has commenced a preliminary assessment of a referral of allegations that up to 10 security and political officials in the United Arab Emirates authorized the torture of three Qatari citizens detained in the UAE. The referral received by the war crimes unit requests that a scoping exercise is carried out pursuant to the Crown Prosecution Service’s SO16 guidelines and Section 134 of the 1988 Criminal Justice Act – the latter of which gives the UK universal jurisdiction over the crime of torture. The three Qatari nationals – Dr Mahmoud Abdul Rahman Al Jaidah, Hamad Ali Muhammad Ali Al Hammadi and Yousef Abdul Samad Al Mullah – were detained in the UAE between 2013 and 2014, and between them their allegations include being beaten, subjected to electric shocks, hung upside down, drugged, kept in solitary confinement and threatened with death. Barrister Rodney Dixon, who is representing the Qataris, has stated that: “We have highlighted in our file that there’s a history of widespread, systematic torture in the UAE. The police have said they will commence a scoping exercise in accordance with joint police [and] Crown Prosecution Service guidelines.” (The Guardian)