United States


    Is the United States Ready for a Truth-Telling Process?
    18.10.17
    ICTJ

    Fania Davis thinks the time has come for a truth-telling process about racial injustice in the United States. A noted activist and the founding director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), Davis has confronted systematic racism for decades, working from Birmingham, Alabama to the Bay Area and beyond. But she noticed renewed grassroots momentum to explore the legacy of slavery in the aftermath a white police officer killing Michael Brown, a black teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri three years ago. “I see Ferguson as kind of a marker,” she said at a conference at Kean...

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    Charlottesville is part of our nation’s moral reckoning
    29.08.17
    Derek W. Black

    The number and exuberance of white nationalists who descended on Charlottesville sent emotional tremors through the nation. Some worried that this was the beginning of an expanding movement that would hearken us back to darker times. And many felt that President Donald Trump’s comments only made matters worse. The president’s implied moral equivalency between racist elements and counterprotesters emboldened the former: David Duke, a white nationalist leader and former KKK grand wizard, thanked the president for his “honesty” and willingness to “condemn the leftist terrorists.” As a...

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    Week in Review: Disunity over the past
    25.08.17
    François Sergent JusticeInfo.net

    Looking again at a divided past is part of transitional justice. How can a country, an institution come to terms with the memory of a past which still divides people? Sylvie Wuhrmann, director of the Fondation de l’Hermitage art gallery in Lausanne, Switzerland, puts it rather elegantly: “We should not punish the works of art because of their past. A museum is not a court but a place of remembrance.” The gallery is currently showing the exceptional art collection of Bürhle, a naturalized Swiss who made money selling canons to the Nazis. In an article published by our partner The...

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    Post-Charlottesville: Should we write off the past?
    22.08.17
    Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial advisor and associate professor at Neuchâtel University

    The French revolutionaries dreamed of writing off the past. But it is not so easy to throw the legacy of time past into the dustbin of history when it directly affects the present and future. This is the drama that played out recently in Charlottesville.  Through the fate of General Lee’s statue, what was at stake in Charlottesville was not what happened in the War of Secession (1861-1865), but rather the way Americans see themselves at a crucial turning point. For the first time, Americans citizens are contemplating the fact that in two decades Whites will be in the minority in the US....

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    USA : Addressing Our Tortured History, One Monument at a Time
    23.06.17
    David Tolbert

    The recent remarks of Mayor Mitch Landrieu ordering the removal of monuments honoring confederate leaders from New Orleans stands out as an important moment of moral clarity and civic courage for our country. The question is, how do we build on the success of the “take ‘em down” movement to tackle the deep, ongoing history of racial violence in the United States. We also need to see many more leaders on the local, state and national levels addressing the past truthfully, apologizing for the multitude of abuses committed against people of color and correcting our twisted historical...

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    Dealing with hate: Can America's truth and reconciliation commissions help?
    01.03.17
    Joshua F.J. Inwood, Pennsylvania State University

    Recent vandalism in Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia illustrates the all too real problem of hate crime faced by many communities in the United States. Just this February, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that for the second year in a row the number of hate groups in the United States has been growing – up from 892 in 2015 to 900 in 2017. The report also found since the election of President Donald Trump there has been a sharp increase in hate crime incidents. These incidents beg the question: How can such racial divisions be healed? I study U.S.-based truth commissions...

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    Afghan and US crimes top ICC Prosecutor’s report on preliminary probes
    15.11.16
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has just released an annual report on her preliminary examinations. For the moment , Fatou Bensouda has not announced that she is opening any new investigation or closing any case, but she is expected to announce a decision “in the very near future” with regard to preliminary examinations under way on Afghanistan and the Gaza flotilla. The report, published on the eve of the ICC Assembly of States Parties, also describes progress in the eight other situations under examination: Gabon, Burundi, Palestine, Ukraine, Iraq, Guinea, Nigeria...

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    This week in review: from Donald Trump to Libya, Tunisia and Burkina Faso
    13.11.16
    Pierre Hazan

      The week was marked by a big event, likely to have big consequences: the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. What will be the attitude of the next US administration, which takes office on January 20, on human rights? What will be its position on torture, the closure of Guantanamo or the International Criminal Court (ICC)? During his two terms, President Barack Obama took a resolutely opposite stance from the Bush administration on all these issues and expressed firm commitment to multilateralism. Will Donald Trump choose the path of isolationism, and a...

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    US: Trump Should Govern With Respect for Rights

    (Washington, DC) – United States President-elect Donald Trump should abandon campaign rhetoric that seemed to reject many of the United States’ core human rights obligations and put rights at the heart of his administration’s domestic and foreign policy agendas, Human Rights Watch said today. Official results gave Trump the necessary electoral college votes to win.  “Now that he has secured victory, President-elect Trump should move from the headline-grabbing rhetoric of hatred and govern with respect for all who live in the United States,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director at Human...

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    Kunduz: Is an “Unintentional” Hospital Bombing a War Crime?

    Was the apparently mistaken bombing of a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, by US forces a war crime? The American authorities recently completed their investigation, concluding that it was not. MSF, on the other hand, maintains that it was. Can you be responsible but not guilty? This question is loaded at a time when in many countries conventional NATO armies are involved in asymmetric conflicts with armed groups. The facts themselves are hardly in dispute. Violent clashes broke out in early October 2015 in Kunduz, where Afghan forces supported by American air...

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    Should the U.S. provide reparations for slavery and Jim Crow?

    The debate over reparations in the United States began even before slavery ended in 1865. It continues today. The overwhelming majority of academics studying the issue have supported the calls for compensating black Americans for the centuries of chattel slavery and the 100 years of lynching, mob violence and open exclusion from public and private benefits like housing, health care, voting, political office and education that occurred during the Jim Crow era. Despite this academic support, the nation is arguably no closer to consensus on this issue than it was 150 years ago. Not...

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