Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Photo: mintpressnews.com via Bing (CC).
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Photo: mintpressnews.com via Bing (CC).

Commission of Inquiry by the Myanmar government finds no CAH during violence in Rakhine: Myanmar Vice President Myint Swe announced on 6 August 2017 that an inquiry conducted by the government’s ‘Rakhine Investigative Commission’ into violence in Rakhine state in 2015 found that no crimes of humanity had been committed. The report provides that some crimes were committed, but attributed these to individual members of the security forces; the report states that no evidence was found to confirm wider claims of ethnic cleansing rape, gang rape, torture, and killings. The government’s findings were dismissed as “without a credible basis” by Human Rights Watch. Separately, the UN has set up an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the violence in Myanmar, but the government has denied access to the UN commission. A preliminary UN report in February 2017 indicates that the treatment of the Rohingya Muslim population by Myanmar security forces likely amounts to crimes against humanity, and UN Special Rapporteur on the human right situation in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, has voiced her concern over the worsening human rights situation in the country following her recent visit.   (Jurist, Human Rights Watch)

 

Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic. Photo: theguardian.com via Bing.
Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic. Photo: theguardian.com via Bing.

UN MICT allows Stanisic to attend trial through webcast: In light of the chronic illness of defendant Jovica Stanisic, the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) has introduced a new legal precedent whereby the trial may continue with Stanisic following proceedings via webcast from his home in Serbia (rather than being physically present in the Hague court). Stanisic is currently on provisional release under strict conditions, and has waived his right to be present in the courtroom; his long-term condition, pouchitis, is debilitating (though not life-threatening) according to Dutch and Serbian medical opinion. Since his initial arrest in 2003, his condition has significantly slowed the progress of his case before the ICTY and now the MICT, thus the Court’s recent decision to allow Stanisic to remain in Belgrade and follow proceedings remotely is likely to allow his trial to proceed with less delay. Stanisic is charged with crimes against humanity, allegedly committed in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina between 1991 and 1995 – following the ICTY Appeal Chamber’s 2015 quashing of his initial 2013 acquittal, his retrial is now proceeding before the MICT. (Balkan Insight)

Syrian man charged with war crimes in Germany: The German federal prosecutor’s office has announced the arrest of a Syrian national and alleged member of the Islamic State, who is accused of committing war crimes and of “membership in a terrorist organization.” Prosecutors allege that the man joined the Nusra Front group in 2013, and subsequently joined the Islamic State a year later. He is accused of, inter alia, abusing three prisoners while in charge of monitoring an Islamic State jail; assaulting a truck driver with his rifle at a traffic checkpoint; and executing a prisoner in 2014. (Kurdistan24)