Category Archives: Sri Lanka

8 January 2016 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS – Transfer of Ntaganza to Rwanda delayed, Guatemala arrests 14 for CAH, Sri Lankan WC investigation to be planned and Ukraine to sue Russia at ICJ

Transfer of Ntaganzwa to Rwanda delayed by DRC authorities: The Congolese government has not decided whether it will extradite Genocide suspect Ladislas Ntaganzwa to Rwanda, yet. Ntaganzwa was arrested on 7 December 2015 in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Prosecutor-General Richard Muhumuza said that the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) is following up to see to it that authorities in Kinshasa transfer Ntaganzwa to Rwanda. The MICT succeeded the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and Muhumza said Ntaganzwa’s arrest in the DRC was based on an ICTR international arrest warrant. Muhumza also stated that, “Jurisdiction in seeking transfer for a person indicted by the ICTR belongs with MICT. And it is not extradition but transfer as per the transfer order issued by an ICTR Trial Chamber. However, we will ultimately be the jurisdiction to try him upon transfer.” During a briefing last month, Prosecutor of the Mechanism, Judge Hassan B. Jallow informed the United Nations Security Council of Ntaganzwa’s arrest and urged the Kinshasa authorities to transfer him to Rwanda without delay. While the ICTR was in the process of shutting down, Ntaganzwa was an indicted suspect at large before the ICTR upon his arrest in December. The ICTR then decided to transfer his case for trial to the Rwandan judiciary system. Ntaganzwa is alleged to have committed genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1994 Genocide of the Tutsis. (allAfrica)

Photo: Surizar via Flickr (CC).

Photo: Surizar via Flickr (CC).

Guatemala arrests 14 former officials for crimes against humanity: On Wednesday 6 January, Guatemalan prosecutors announced that 14 former military and government official had been arrested for crimes committed during Guatemala’s civil war.  The 14 suspects are facing charges of crimes against humanity for killings and disappearances of individuals by security forces under the command of the accused officials.  The suspects include Benedicto Lucas Garcia, a former army commander and brother of former President Fernando Romeo Lucas Garcia, who was alleged to have started a paramilitary group during the civil war which lasted from 1960 to 1996.  Also accused is Francisco Luis Gordillo, a former general, who is known for assisting former President Jose Efrain Rios Montt, who is due to begin a retrial in separate proceedings genocide and crimes against humanity, to power in the 1980s.  In a statement attorney general Thelma Aldana stated that “The cases that we have documented were (attacks) against the non-combatant civilian population including children,” and are among “the largest forced disappearances in Latin America.” The 14 detained are expected to appear in court on Friday 8 January. (The Guardian, VOA, Thomas Reuters Foundation)

Sri Lankan FM says development of war crimes investigation mechanism beginning soon: Sri Lanka has begun the process of setting up domestic mechanisms to probe alleged war crimes against ethnic Tamils, with the consultation for the domestic mechanism beginning next week. The mechanisms will be used to begin investigations into alleged war crimes. Minister Mangala Samaraweera specifically said that, “The domestic mechanisms through which we are trying to address this past, are in the process of being developed and the consultation process to design these mechanisms will begin next week.” During the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Borge Brende’s visit to Sri Lanka, Samaraweera told him that, “You are coming to Sri Lanka at a time when Sri Lanka is trying to come to terms with its past and to forge ahead.” In 2014, Sri Lanka was the subject of a UN Human Rights Council resolution which called for an international investigation into alleged war cries and rights abuses blamed both on the government troops and the LTTE. A joint resolution was later adopted that allowed for a domestic mechanism and offered Sri Lanka technical support to set it up. (DNA India)

International Court of Justice. Photo: serapheus via Flickr (CC)

International Court of Justice. Photo: serapheus via Flickr (CC)

Ukraine plans to bring Russia before ICJ on allegations of financing terrorism: On Tuesday, 5 January 2016, a Ukrainian official said that the nation is planning on suing Russia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on claims of financing terrorism. The claims are in regards to the Russian annexation of Donbas and Crimea, a conflict that has been a prevalent topic ever since the Crimean Annexation in March 2014. The Justice Minister for the Ukraine, Pavlo Petrenko told press that the pretrial procedure has already began and that he anticipates many other suits to come against Russia from the Ukraine this year. The conflict has been labeled as the biggest crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War with U.S. President Barack Obama condemning Russia’s military intervention in the Ukraine as a violation of international law. (Jurist)

 

5 January 2016 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS – Ruto / Sang ICC trial to resume, ICTY to address Karadzic and Seselj in 2016 and Sri Lankan Pres speak on WC court

ICC Premanent Premises, The Hague. Photo: by ICL Media Review (rights reserved).

ICC Premanent Premises, The Hague. Photo: by ICL Media Review (rights reserved).

Ruto and Sang trial resume at ICC on 14 January: The case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang will resume 14 and 15 January at the ICC. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda closed her case against Ruto and Sang on 4 September 2015. After that both parties filed a no case to answer motion requesting the ICC acquit them of the charges stemming from post-election violence, including murder, forcible transfer of populations and persecution. The defence submits that the case as presented by the OTP has “completely broken down” and alleges that the Prosecution relies on hearsay evidence. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda opposed the motions and stated that the defence arguments are speculative and “fail to provide adequate grounds to dismiss any of the charges.” (All Africa, All Africa)

ICTY to deliver verdict in Karadzic case in 2016: Within the first quarter of 2016, the ICTY is set to deliver the verdict in the case against Radovan Karadzic in which he is accused of genocide in Srebrenica and other crimes allegedly committed between 1992 and 1995. His trial started in 2009 and nearly 600 witnesses testified, and over 11,000 exhibits were presented. The prosecution argued that Karadzic was responsible for masterminding genocide, forced expulsions and persecution on a massive scale with the aim of destroying the entire Bosniak community. Karadzic admitted that crimes were committed during the period but insisted that he never ordered them. The court is also set to address how to proceed with the war crimes cases against Vojislav Seselj and Goran Hadzic. (Balkan Insight)

Sri Lankan President answers questions on special court for war crimes: President Maithiripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka said on Sunday, 3 January 2016 that the government would not act “in haste” in setting up a special court on allegations of violations of human rights in the last stages of the civil war. Mr. Sirisena stated that first an evaluation of what happened during the war should occur, and then “subsequent steps” would be necessary and that the implementation should be a “collective exercise”. The President also said that he would make a statement in Parliament on 9 January to initiate the process of drafting a new constitution, but that only after a “comprehensive, organized and nationwide” debate would a decision be made whether a fresh Constitution was needed, or if amendments to the existing Constitution were sufficient. (The Hindu)

3 December 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS – Lazarevic arrives in Serbia and Sri Lanka on war crimes investigations

Lazarevic arrives in Serbia after early release from ICTY:

Vladimir Lazarevic. Photo: sense-agency.com via Bing (CC).

Vladimir Lazarevic. Photo: sense-agency.com via Bing (CC).

Former Yugoslav Army official Vladimir Lazarevic arrived in Nis, Serbia after being awarded an early release from the ICTY. He was flown home by the Serbian government and accompanied by two senior Serbian ministers, Justice Minister Nikola Selakovic and Defence Minister Bratislav Gasic. This was the first time Serbian ministers accompanied a convict home after release by the Hague. He was welcomed by hundreds of people carrying banners and chanting “Lazarevic, our hero.” He was also welcomed by Serbian labour minister Aleksandar Vulin, the head of Serbian army Ljubisa Dikovic, Serbian Orthodox bishop Teodosije and the mayor of Nis, Zoran Perisic. At the airport, Lazarevic told the media, “I am thanking everyone who came here today to share with me and my family the happiness that I feel for managing to survive The Hague’s gallows.” In 2014, Lazarevic’s sentence was reduced at an appeal from fifteen to fourteen years in prison after his conviction was upheld for crimes against humanity during the Kosovo war in 1999. In the same case, former deputy Prime Minister, Nikola Sainovic, was sentenced to eighteen years; former chief of staff of the Yugoslav Army, Dragoljub Ojdanic, to fifteen years; the former commander of the Yugoslav Army, Nebojsa Pavkovic, to 22 years and head of Serbia’s police forces in Kosovo, Sreten Lukic, to twenty years. Pavkovic and Lukic remain in prison while Ojdanic and Sainovic have already been granted early release. (Balkan Insight)

 

 


Sri Lanka former President 
Kumaratunga voices preference for international judges in WC investigations: Former President of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Kumaratunga, announced that she would prefer foreign judges to ensure the credibility of the upcoming war crimes investigations. On Tuesday, Kumaratunga told reporters that even a report commissioned by her predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa had made the same recommendation. Additionally, International rights groups had pressed for international judges and prosecutors to be involved in the Sri Lanka war crimes probe. However, the current administration opposes using outside judges. Kumaratunga commented that, “I think the reason that this (Sirisena) government is opposed to outsiders (as judges) is because there is a power-hungry former president who will make this an issue to get people on the streets and cause bloodshed.” She added, “We have ended the war nearly seven years ago, but we have not won the peace… no reconciliation is possible without accepting the mistakes of the past.” Moreover, Kumaratunga voiced her opinion that the country’s judiciary had been corrupted and highly politicized under Rajapaksa’s rule but she felt the government could use members of the local bar, retired judges, and other upright individuals in the judiciary in order to restore the confidence level. In January of 2016, a special court is set to begin its work in investigating the major atrocities that occurred during the last few months of the war, resulting in at least 100,000 civilians being killed between 1972 and 2009. (Economy Next)

 

2 December 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS – ICTY arrest warrants, Mladic defense witness, Sri Lankan war crimes court

ICTY issues warrant for two Seselj attorneys, alleges witness tampering:  On Tuesday, 1 December, the ICTY made public arrest warrants for two lawyers and a former associate of Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj.  Specifically, the lawyers are “charged with contempt of the Tribunal for allegedly having threatened, intimated, offered bribes to, or otherwise interfered with two witnesses.”  The ICTY initially issued the three arrest warrants as confidential in January of this year but decided to make them public as the Serbian government had not complied.  The arrest warrants request Serbia to surrender the three suspects to the Tribunal or “immediately report . . . if they are unable to execute this warrant or arrest and indicate the reasons for such non execution.”  (Yahoo).

Mural of Ratko Mladic. Photo: Emmanuel in Europe via Bing (CC).

Mural of Ratko Mladic. Photo: Emmanuel in Europe via Bing (CC).

Witness for Mladic describes Serb hope for “self-determination”:  A defence witness testified that “Serbs advocated separation” in the ICTY trial against Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic on Tuesday, 1 December.  The witness, a Serbian historian, indicated Serbs during the 1992-95 war did not believe they could share “a common state” with Bosniaks and Croats.  The testimony is meant to disprove that the expulsion of Bosniaks and Croats from the Serbian state was “evidence of ethnic cleansing.”  Mladic currently faces charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes at the ICTY.  (Balkan Transitional Justice).

Sri Lanka to start up war crimes court on UN suggestion:  Top Sri Lankan officials announced on Tuesday, 1 December, that the Sri Lankan government would soon establish a special court to investigate alleged war crimes committed during the end of the county’s 26-year civil war.  Chandrika Kumaratunga, head of the reconciliation unit of the Sri Lankan government, stated the special court would be domestic but agreeable to international technical assistance.  Kumaratunga said “No reconciliation is possible without accepting the mistakes of the past. They will not be chasing behind every soldier, but the main line of command will be looked at.”  (Reuters).

26 October 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS – Mladic witness, Screbrenica complaint and Sri Lanka war crimes

Families of Srebrenica victims bring Dutch UN commanders to European Court of HR:

Photo: matsj via Flickr (CC).

Photo: matsj via Flickr (CC).

The families of three Bosnian-Muslim victims who were killed in the 1995 have filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) against Dutch commanders for violations under the European Convention on Human Rights. The complaint was brought by relatives of Muhamed Nuhanovic, his father Ibro, and Rizo Mustafic. In 2010, relatives of the victims took the Dutchbat commanders to court, saying the three were expelled from a military base into the hands of Bosnian Serb forces, resulting in their death. The Dutch government said last year it would pay the families 20,000 euros each in compensation after a civil court ruling that the state was liable for the deaths. A Dutch appeals court in April 2015 ruled that Dutchbat Commander Thom Karremans, his Deputy Rob Franken, and Personal Officer Berend Oosterveen should not be prosecuted. In 1995, Serb forces commanded by Ratko Mladic slaughtered approximately 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the darkest episode of the country’s civil war. (Yahoo! News)

ICTY says Mladic witness died of natural causes: The ICTY has confirmed that the initial results of an autopsy have concluded that Dusan Dunjic died of natural causes. Dutch authorities conducted an autopsy on Dunjic in the presence of a Serbian pathologist, Djordje Alimpijevic. Dunjic was a Serbian doctor and an expert court witness in the Ratko Mladic trial who was found dead in his hotel room the day before he was due to testify. The defense case in Mladic’s trial is expected to end in November 2017. (Yahoo! News) (B92)

Former Sri Lanka President states opposition to war crimes tribunal: In a speech delivered at a Buddhist temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Former President Mahinda Rajapakse said he opposed establishing a war crimes tribunal. Rajapakse also urged all the parties in the island nation not to allow the passage of a resolution aimed at persecuting members of Sri Lanka’s armed forces. “If a separate criminal justice [tribunal] is to be set up with foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators, our ordinary law as well as the constitution itself will have to be amended”, Rajapakse added. In response, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said “I wish to stress that this would be a Sri Lankan process, not a hybrid process. It will be the Sri Lankan institutions and systems who will be implementing the process.” The Sri Lankan government has maintained that the process to fix accountability as mandated by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will be purely domestic. Sri Lankan troops defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 after a 40-year civil war, and international agencies including the UNHRC have been calling for a war crimes tribunal in the island nation in response to alleged human rights violations by rebels and government troops. (Gulf Times) (NDTV)

22 October 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

Former Israeli PM sued in US for extrajudicial killing and torture of American killed on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla:

Mavi Marmara. Photo: alresalah.ps via Bing (CC).

Mavi Marmara. Photo: alresalah.ps via Bing (CC).

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is being sued in the United States under the Alien Tort Statute, Torture Victim Protection Act & U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act over his nation’s deadly raid of six Turkish boats in 2010. The Turkish parents of 19-year-old Furkan Dogan, who was killed in the raid, are suing Barak in federal court in Los Angeles on October 16. Barak is being accused of planning and ordering the attack on the Flotilla which resulted in war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the extrajudicial killing and torture of the deceased. He was served with papers on 20 October 2015 after he gave a speech near Los Angeles. Rodney Dixon, a London-based attorney in Los Angeles for the litigation says the lawsuit is “a major breakthrough.” Dan Stormer, a Los Angeles attorney also working on the case added that Dogan’s family deserves justice. On 31 May 2010, Israeli forces raided a Gaza-bound flotilla of mostly Turkish activists which resulted in the death of 9 people, including the victim who was a U.S. citizen born in New York. The ICC is currently considering an appeal from the Prosecutor on whether the Prosecution will be ordered to review their decision not to investigate the crimes committed by IDF soldiers on the Flotilla after the Pre-Trial Chamber found that the Prosecution should review its decision. (New York Times, Reuters, TRT World)

Expert defense witness due to testify for Mladic before the ICTY found dead: Expert witness for the Defense in the case of Prosecutor v. Ratko Mladic, Dušan Dunjić, was found dead at his hotel by a hotel staff member and a Tribunal representative. Mr. Dunjic was a forensic expert from Serbia and has previously testified as a defense expert in other cases at the Hague Tribunal and was expected to testify in Mladic’s case the day he was found deceased in his hotel room. Emergency services personnel were notified immediately and Dutch authorities are conducting an investigation into Mr. Dunjic’s death. Ratko Mladic is the wartime commander of the Bosnian Serb Army and is on trial for genocide against approximately 7,000 Bosniaks from Srebrenica in 1995, as well as the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. (ICTY WebsiteBalkan Insight)

Women testify at Habre trial about rape by soldiers and Habre:

Hissene Habre. Photo: The Guardian: Ibrahima Ndiaye/AP via Bing (CC).

Hissene Habre. Photo: The Guardian: Ibrahima Ndiaye/AP via Bing (CC).

On 19-22 October 2015, four women who were allegedly sent to the desert north of Chad in 1988 as sex slaves for the army of Hissene Habre testified to multiple rapes by soldiers at the camp, one testifying to being raped by Habre himself while she was 13 years old. The four women, Khadidja Hassan Zidane, Kaltouma Deffalah, Haoua Brahim, and Hadje Merami Ali, all testified that before their release they were forced to swear on the Koran to never talk about their experiences. The women remained silent for over three decades. Deffalah said that she was “very proud and strong to be here today telling [her] story when this man [Habre], who was once the dictator, is sitting there silently.” Habre is accused of tens of thousands of political killings and systematic torture during his rule from 1982-1990 and the trial is the first in the world where the courts of one country prosecute the former ruler of another country for alleged human rights crimes. The trial is in its seventh week and is expected to last into December. The victims’ lawyers have asked that the charges of rape, sexual enslavement, or other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity be added to the indictment. (Human Rights Watch)

Spain calls for meetings on International court on terrorism: On Wednesday, 21 October 2015, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Garcia-Margallo said that on 4 November 2015 the Spanish and Romanian mission to the United Nations will call a meeting among UN member states to discuss creating a special international criminal court on terrorism. The meeting is needed because the International Criminal Court (ICC) does not have jurisdiction over some countries where terrorism is prevalent and Margallo said it was important to create a special court on terrorism that has jurisdiction over all of the cases. Spain is one of 10 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council and holds the rotating council presidency for October. Prior to Margallo’s statement, victims of terrorism told 15 members of the Security Council of their horrific experiences. Spanish Minister for Interior Affairs Jorge Fernandez Diaz said that Spain sympathized with victims of terrorism due to its own experiences, in particular the Madrid train bombing of 2004. (Xinhua News Agency)

Judge Agius elected President of ICTY:

ICTY building. Photo: ICTY photos via Flickr (CC)

ICTY building. Photo: ICTY photos via Flickr (CC)

On 21 October 2015, Judge Carmel (Lino) Agius was elected as President of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for a two-year term, effective 17 November 2015. Judge Agius served as vice-President of the ICTY for the last four years and is the first Maltese judge to be elected President of an international tribunal or court. As President of the ICTY, Judge Agius will report to the Security Council and the General Assembly of the UN and is expected to make his first address to the Security Council on 9 December 2015. In his place as vice-President of the ICTY, Judge Daqun Liu (China) was elected. Judge Agius is currently an Appeals Chamber judge of the ICTY and the ICTR and was presiding judge of Trial Chamber II of the ICTY from 2003-2010. He will now preside over all appeals. (Times of Malta)

Report from Sri Lankan judge on war crimes submitted to Parliament: A Sri Lankan judge concluded that allegations of war crimes committed by Sri Lankan troops are “credible.” This conclusion was made subsequent to the United Nations human rights office presenting a report last month which laid out the findings made during an inquiry beginning in 2013. The report was commissioned by Mahinda Rajapakse, former strongman leader, and the findings mark the first time a domestic inquiry has concluded there is evidence of the army committing war crimes. Rajapakse’s successor, Maithripala Sirisena, has vowed to punish the war crimes and set up a truth commission and reparations office. However, the island has resisted allowing a foreign inquiry, due to many members of the island considering it to be an infringement of sovereignty. Judge Maxwell Paranagama oversaw the latest inquiry where Britain’s Channel 4 created a documentary examining the claims and purportedly showed Sri Lankan soldiers executing Tamil prisoners. The Paranagama commission recommended that the government set up an internationally monitored judicial inquiry to ensure accountability, in line with last month’s Human Right’s Council resolution. (Kuwait Times)

21 October 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

Romanian Court hears CAH case against former president: On Wednesday, 21 October, former Romanian President Ion Iliescu appeared before the country’s High Court of Cassation and Justice on charges of crimes against humanity.  The 85 year old former President is being held responsible for the deaths of 4 people, the shooting of 3 and depriving some 1,000 of their freedom in connection with anti-government protest in Romania in June 1990.  Iliescu made no statements at the appearance but has previously denied wrongdoing in the protest that killed 6 and injured hundreds.  (The Washington Post).

Domestic-appointed judge in Sri Lanka Inquiry cites evidence of war crimes: On Wednesday, 21 October, it was reported retired judge Maxwell Paranagama found “credible” allegations of war crimes committed by Sri Lankan forces during the country’s 26-year civil war.  Specifically, Paranagama, who was appointed by the Sri Lankan government to investigate the crimes committed during the conflict, said there were “credible allegations which . . . may show that some members of the armed forces committed acts during the final phase of the war that amounted to war crimes giving rise to individual criminal responsibility.”  Paranagama’s findings were part of the first government sponsored investigation into the conflict and Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena said the findings will be followed by an investigation by a truth and reconciliation commission.  Last month the U.N. released a report accusing both sides of committing war crimes during the end of the conflict.  (BBC).

HRW implores India to deny al-Bashir visit: On Monday, 19 October, Human Rights Watch released a statement, along with some 20 other international and nongovernmental organizations, urging India to withdraw its invitation to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi next week.  The Sudanese President currently faces two arrest warrants issued by the ICC for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur.  India is not a member to the ICC or subject to the Court’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute.  Nonetheless, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution in 2005 asking all country’s to cooperate with the ICC’s investigation into al-Bashir.  (Human Rights Watch).

UN Security Council. Photo: François Proulx via Flickr (CC).

UN Security Council. Photo: François Proulx via Flickr (CC).

5 October 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

UN says bombing of Kunduz hospital might be a war crime: 

Photo: thehindu.com via Bing (CC).

Photo: thehindu.com via Bing (CC).

United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has stated publicly that the seriousness of the Kunduz hospital bombing may amount to a war crime, if established as deliberate in a court of law. Hussein also stated that; “this deeply shocking event should be promptly, thoroughly and independently investigated and the results should be made public.” Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has issued a statement describing the attack as “an abhorrent and a grave violation of international humanitarian law.” Nato has confirmed that U.S. air strikes were targeting Taliban fighters in the area and is investigating whether its aircraft could be responsible, said U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter. In a further breakdown of the casualties, MSF said that 19 people died in the attack and 37 were injured, with 5 being in critical condition. The atrocity occurred on Saturday, 3 October 2015, during an airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (The telegraph, DNA) (For additional information please click here)

 

Sudan criticizes politicization of ICC before GA: In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, 2 October 2015, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour accused the International Criminal Court (ICC) of being a political tool to target African leaders. Specifically, Ghandour said that “the relationship between the Security Council and the International Criminal Court….has shown again and again that the scourge of politicization has turned it into a tool for targeting African leaders.” Ghandour also called for “the implementation of a structural reform process of the United Nations and the Security Council, in conformity with the principal of fair and equitable representation of all countries.” These remarks came in response to the Hague-based ICC’s allegations that Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir committed genocide and crimes against humanity in his campaign during the Darfur conflict. Others indicted by the ICC include; Laurent Gbago, former president of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, and Muammar Gaddafi, the later leader of Libya. Members of the ICC are obligated to act on arrest warrants but Bashir rejects the court’s authority and has managed to travel in Africa and most recently was welcomed in Beijing by Chinese President Xi Jinpig. (Reuters, Yahoo! News) (For additional information please click here)

 

UN HR Council adopts resolution on justice and reconciliation in Sri Lanka: On 1 October 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution on Reconciliation, Accountability, and Human Rights in Sri Lanka. The Resolution is coupled with the Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) and the Report of the High Commissioner to turn the focus on full implementation of recommendations and provisions. Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham, President of the United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) stated that he welcomed the Human Right Council’s “endorsement to establish a credible judicial mechanism fully capable of prosecuting those most responsible for the magnitude of crimes depicted in the OISL Report.” Arulanantham also added that the immediate establishment of an in-country OHCHR office would significantly help put to the rest the victims’ doubts and fears while providing the government expertise. Finally, Arulanantham thanked the United States, the United Kingdom, Montenegro, Macedonia and European states for their leadership in strengthening the resolution. (PR Newswire)

 

SA Government asks for further time to respond to Court’s questions on Bashir: Today, 5 October 2015, South Africa has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) for additional time to formulate their explanation of why it allowed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir evade an arrest warrant while visiting the country in June. As a signatory to the Rome Statute, the ICC’s governing body of law, South Africa is required to implement warrants from the court. However, when Bashir visited for the African Union summit the government refused to arrest him and allowed him to leave the country. The High Court then made a ruling stating that Pretoria was under legal obligation to exercise the warrant and ICC judges asked South Africa for an explanation last month. South Africa, which argued that Bashir enjoyed diplomatic immunity during his visit, said it needed more time to assess the legality of its position. South Africa also said that it would approach the political body of the ICC for clarity on how the immunity of serving heads of state that are not parties to the Rome Statute should be handled. (Yahoo! News)

 

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