Bosco Ntaganda. Photo: ecosocialojocritico.wordpress.com via Bing (CC).
Bosco Ntaganda. Photo: ecosocialojocritico.wordpress.com via Bing (CC).

NTAGANDA Defence supportive of holding hearing for closing statements in DRC region: On 30 January 2018, the Defence for Bosco Ntanganda filed its submissions supporting the ICC’s Trial Chamber’s VI Order on the hearing of the parties’ closing statements in the DRC region. The Ntanganda Defence favoured the order, however, it said that for the measure to be meaningful, it was best that the hearing be held in Bunia, or a location in close proximity to where the events giving rise to the charges against Bosco Ntanganda are alleged to have taken place. The Chamber issued the Order with a view to bringing the administration of justice closer to the local population, in the region where the crimes are alleged to have occurred. Bosco Ntanganda, the alleged former deputy chief of staff and commander of operations of the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo, voluntarily surrendered to the ICC’s custody on 22 March 2013 and his trial commenced on 2 September 2015. He is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity including rape, sexual slavery or forcible transfer committed against the non-Hema population in Ituri Province, DRC. (Ntaganda Defence Submissions)

UN Secretery General, Antonio Guterres. Photo: semiodata.fr via Bing.
UN Secretery General, Antonio Guterres. Photo: semiodata.fr via Bing.

UNSG establishes an International Commission of Inquiry to investigate alleged human rights abuses and IHL violations in Mali: On 19 January 2018, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced the establishment of an International Commission of Inquiry with a one year mandate to investigate alleged human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in Mali since 1 January 2012. The establishment of the Commission comes in response to a request made by the government of Mali in 2016. According to the terms of reference, the Commission will operate in close cooperation with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which was established by the UN Security Council in April 2013. In his letter, Guterres also stated that he expects the Commission to complement the work of the ICC in the ongoing investigation of crimes in Mali. The ICC investigation into the situation in Mali opened in January 2013 in order to investigate and prosecute alleged war crimes committed in Mali since January 2012, with its main focus on three northern regions, Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu. To date, the ICC has issued one judgment in the case concerning the situation in Mali. On 27 September 2016, Trial Chamber VIII sentenced Mr Al Mahdi to nine years in prison for his role as co-perpetrator of the war crime of intentionally directing attacks against historic monuments and buildings dedicated to religion, including nine mausoleums and one mosque in Timbuktu, Mali, in June and July 2012. (Relief Web)

Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: getrealphilippines.com via Bing (CC).
Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: getrealphilippines.com via Bing (CC).

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL calls for ICC investigation into alleged unlawful killings in Philippines “war on drugs”:  On 30 January 2018, James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director of Southeast Asia and the Pacific expressed deep concern about the resumption of the anti-drug operations carried out by the Philippine National Police and called for ICC investigations into all unlawful killings committed by all perpetrators during the “war on drugs.” President Duterte took office in June 2016 and his anti-drug campaign has led to large-scale extrajudicial violence targeting marginalised populations in poor regions in particular. The National Police is said to be operating with almost total immunity whilst thousands of victims have been reported unlawfully killed during President Duterte’s tenure. To date, three police officers have been charged by the Department of Justice with the killing of a teenage boy, Kian Loyd delos Santos. (Amnesty International)

Post by: Zuzana Drexlerova