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    Political resistance: how cross-cutting frictions drive and define transitional justice in Tunisia
    18.07.18
    Mariam Salehi

    Transitional justice is inherently political. It emerges from political concerns, influences politics and power structures. In a transitional society, transitional justice has an important role to play in shaping the ‘new political architecture’,[i] in deciding who may participate in what capacity in future politics, as well as in granting access to material and non-material resources that in turn may facilitate access to decision-making procedures and positions of power. After the uprising in 2010/11 that culminated in the fall of the authoritarian regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia...

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    “If the ICC had jurisdiction in Syria, it might save many lives”
    16.07.18
    Stéphanie MAUPAS, The Hague

    On July 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) celebrates the 20th anniversary of its founding document, the Rome treaty. Interview with Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW). Justice Info: What is the significance of this 20th anniversary? Kenneth Roth: I think the creation of the ICC twenty years ago was an historic moment, because it signals theoretical commitment by the international community to attack the impunity that so often stood behind mass atrocities. So many abusive governments had figured out that if they kill or compromise their domestic...

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    EU needs Special Representative on International Justice, say Euro-MPs
    09.07.18
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    A group of European Parliament members have asked top EU diplomat Federica Mogherini to appoint as a matter of urgency a special representative on international humanitarian law and international justice. In a letter sent on June 29 to Federica Mogherini, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, 34 members of the parliament in Strasbourg call for the “urgent establishment of a European Union Special Representative for International Humanitarian Law and International Justice”. The signatories suggest this should be decided for the 20th anniversary on...

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    France upholds life sentences for Rwanda genocide mayors
    06.07.18
    AFP

    A French court on Friday upheld life sentences for two former Rwandan mayors for taking part in the massacre of hundreds of ethnic Tutsis during the country's 1994 genocide. Octavien Ngenzi, 60, and Tito Barahira, 67, had launched an appeal after they were found guilty in 2016 of crimes against humanity, genocide and summary executions in their village of Kabarondo. Relatives of the pair sobbed quietly as the ruling was read out in court, while Ngenzi and Barahira listened in silence. They will have five days to decide whether they will appeal the ruling again to a higher...

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    Sexual violence in conflict: how international guidelines can help investigators
    18.06.18
    Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo

    Swiss NGO TRIAL International, a partner of JusticeInfo that supports victims of international crimes, is putting the spotlight on sexual violence in conflict at a series of events in Geneva on June 18-19 to mark its fifteenth anniversary. Among the participants is Danaé van der Straten Ponthoz, who has in particular worked with TRIAL and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), and is the co-author of the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict (the “Protocol”). She spoke to...

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    The possibility of transitional justice post-Mugabe in Zimbabwe
    13.06.18
    Dr Thompson Chengeta

     Through a reign of terror and a ruinous economic policy, the ZANU-PF Government of Zimbabwe [GoZ] not only violated the rights of Zimbabweans but broke the relationship between the Government and its citizens. In order to rebuild Zimbabwe, the broken relationship must be mended. As African elders say, “the ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people”. The recently initiated transitional justice processes such as the national peace and reconciliation have the potential to fix the relationship between the GoZ and its citizens. Nevertheless, while scholars and organisations may...

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    Gambia: Fatou Jatta, HIV activist who went through Yahya Jammeh “HIV cure program” asks for justice
    12.06.18
    Maxime Domegni

    In The Gambia, according to local media, over 9,000 Gambians went through Yahya Jammeh’s so-called 'treatment program', with a majority of HIV patients. “The testimony of survivors makes obvious that significant numbers of deaths resulted from Jammeh's HIV cure”, notes the international advocacy organization AIDS-Free World.  "Shocked and outraged by the actions of the former dictator of The Gambia…AIDS-Free World is determined to defend people living with HIV who, like those who suffered at Jammeh's hands, have experienced a gross violation of their rights”, Sarah Bosha, Legal Research and...

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    ICC acquits warlord and former congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba
    08.06.18
    Jan HENNOP

    International war crimes judges Friday acquitted former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba on appeal, overturning an 18-year sentence for war crimes committed in the Central African Republic (CAR). "Mr Bemba cannot be held criminally liable for the crimes committed by his troops in the Central African Republic," presiding judge Christine Van den Wyngaert told the International Criminal Court in The Hague. "The Appeals Chamber in this instant reverses the conviction against Mr Bemba... and in relation to the remaining criminal acts it enters an acquittal," Van den Wyngaert...

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    Gambian to continue to be “resilient, peaceful and resolute”, commends Ade Lekoetje, UN representativ
    07.06.18
    Maxime Domegni

    Since Yahya Jammeh’s left the power in The Gambia, in January 2017, the country is going through a delicate political transition and running a transitional justice process. After getting rid of the dictatorship, the young and vulnerable Gambian democracy, has to rely on the supports from the international community. One of the main actors of the diplomatic support to one of the smallest countries of Africa is the United Nations System. We met, in The Gambia, Ade Lekoetje,the UN Resident Coordinator, for an exclusive interview. Though she believes the transitional justice is going...

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    UN schizophrenia and the choice of international judges
    31.05.18
    Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial advisor and professor at Neuchâtel University

    International criminal justice puts forward the idea of universal, detached justice delivered by judges who are themselves completely independent and impartial because they are not part of the reality of societies at war whose crimes they judge. But the practices of the United Nations, international and mixed tribunals are questionable in terms of this ideal of justice. The blindfold on the eyes of Justice is a symbol of impartiality. It signifies that justice is (or should be) delivered objectively, without fear or favour, independently of the identity, power or weakness of the accused...

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    Special Central African Court must be operational for “long-term stability”
    24.05.18
    Ephrem RUGIRIRIZA, JusticeInfo.Net

    In a report on the Central African Republic (CAR) published on May 18, Human Rights Watch (HRW) calls for more political and financial support to the Special Criminal Court (SCC), which is being set up to try serious crimes committed in the country since 2003. The report, which comes as the CAR is experiencing a new upsurge of violence including in the capital Bangui, looks at the progress, obstacles and challenges for the Special Criminal Court in its initial phases. JusticeInfo.Net talked to Elise Keppler, associate director of the International Justice Programme at Human Rights...

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    Lawyer Reed Brody believes Gambian ex-dictator can be brought to justice in Ghana
    23.05.18
    Maxime Domegni

    Families of victims of the 2005 massacre of some 50 migrants in The Gambia, along with Ghanaian human rights organizations, launched a new push for the extradition of former Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh in Accra, Ghana, on Wednesday May 16. Senior Adviser to Human Rights Watch Reed Brody, who helped bring former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré to justice, was also there to support them. Brody thinks that if the socio-political and security situation in The Gambia is not ready for a trial of the former dictator, the political conditions now exist for his extradition to Ghana. Jammeh has been...

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    The challenges of reintegrating child soldiers in South Sudan
    23.05.18
    Eden Matiyas

     One of the most troubling trends of the armed conflict in South Sudan is the use of children as soldiers. South Sudan is among the ten countries with the highest number of child soldiers in the world. Yet political efforts to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate these child soldiers have been limited and challenging. Since independence in 2011, South Sudan has experienced numerous violent struggles. And according to the United Nations, ever since the eruption of the civil war in 2013, both military and opposing armed groups in the conflict have recruited about 19,000 children as...

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    Swiss judge delivers harsh criticism of Lebanon Tribunal
    17.05.18
    Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial advisor and professor at Neuchâtel University

    Robert Roth, professor of law at the University of Geneva and former judge of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has for the first time explained why he resigned from that court in September 2013. He points in particular to a lack of independence of the STL, which he says has succumbed to multiple political pressures.  On February 14, 2005, a huge explosion rocked Beirut not far from the seafront. 1,800 kilos of dynamite had just blown up the car of Lebanese ex-Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, killing him and the other occupants. One of Lebanon’s most powerful figures (although no longer in an...

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    Opinion : Nepali war victims demand real reparations and remembrance
    13.05.18
    Ram Kumar Bhandari

    In Nepal, the Conflict Victim Common Platform (CVCP) has submitted an advocacy paper on “reparative needs, rights and demands” to the Justice Minister and the country's two transitional justice bodies, in the hope of creating momentum for a national policy of reparation. Victims are urging the government to address their needs through urgent support in terms of livelihoods, health, education, employment, remembrance and recognition, based on prior consultations with victims of the civil war.  CVCP has demanded that the government declare a “national remembrance day” in memory of the...

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    Sperisen verdict “gives hope to Guatemalan victims”
    07.05.18
    Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo.net

    A 15-year prison sentence handed down by a Geneva court on former Guatemalan police chief Erwin Sperisen for complicity in the 2006 murder of seven prison inmates is an “important step in the fight against impunity for State crimes”, says Swiss NGO Trial International, which helped bring the case. It is a rare case of a person being tried in Switzerland for crimes committed on foreign soil.  The court also awarded the plaintive, the mother of one of the murdered prisoners, CHF 30,000 as compensation. “This verdict demonstrates the healthy functioning of our institutions, and gives hope to...

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    OPINION: Justice and press freedom go hand in hand
    03.05.18
    François Sergent, JusticeInfo.net

    In Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial, Joseph K’s friend Ms Burstner says: “I find stories about justice extremely interesting. Justice has a strange power of seduction, don’t you think?” This is a terrible irony given the trial in the book, which has become a symbol of totalitarianism and tyranny. Justice and press freedom are good indicators of overall freedom in a country. The UN ritually celebrates press freedom for one day on May 3, and this year the theme is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law”.It is right to link justice and media, even if their practices and ways...

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    An Armenian genocide memorial in Geneva to shine light on past and present
    26.04.18
    Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial advisor and professor at Neuchâtel University

    After long years the “Streetlights of Memory”, a work by French artist Melik Ohanian, found a home in Geneva on April 13. It first needed the Geneva parliament in 1998 and then the Swiss parliament in 2003 to recognize the Armenian genocide. It then required the determination of those defending remembrance, the City of Geneva and especially the Municipal Fund for Contemporary Art (FMAC) to get a monument selected that evokes the Armenian genocide and the evil that man can inflict on man. Finally, the promoters of the monument had to overcome the reservations of several parties, often linked...

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    Without information, no reconciliation
    23.04.18
    JusticeInfo.net

    So the victims of the past do not become the perpetrators of the future: an animated presentation of JusticeInfo.Net.

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    Karadzic urges UN judges to throw out war crimes conviction
    23.04.18
    AFP

    Once-feared Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic Monday urged UN judges to overturn his conviction for war crimes during the Balkans conflict, and either acquit him or order a new trial. Appearing at the start of his two-day appeal dressed in a dark suit and red tie, Karadzic, 72, smiled and greeted his defence team in the tribunal in The Hague. He was sentenced to 40 years behind bars in March 2016 for the bloodshed committed during the Balkan country's three-year war from 1992-1995 which killed 100,000 people and left 2.2 million others homeless. Once the most powerful Bosnian Serb...

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