By Region

    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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    Week in Review: Bangui rejects hate message, Euro-MPs make an appeal
    16.07.18
    Ephrem RUGIRIRIZA, JusticeInfo.Net

    Central Africans from all sides have come out strongly against a message calling on Christians to avenge the deaths of priests and members of the faithful killed in recent days. That call came in a communiqué from the “Church Defence League”, a hitherto unknown organization which says it wants to “denounce the lack of action by national authorities and Catholic church leaders in the face of violence against priests and religious people”, according  to Radio Ndeke Luka. The Catholic church, Muslim organizations, journalists’ associations and other members of civil society have come out as...

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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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    ICC Prosecutor says Bemba acquittal based on false testimony
    05.07.18
    Stéphanie Maupas,correspondent in The Hague

    As the International Criminal Court (ICC) prepared to hold a hearing this July 5 in a second, witness tampering case against Congolese Senator Jean-Pierre Bemba and his co-accused, the Prosecutor says his acquittal in early June for crimes in the Central African Republic (CAR) was based partly on false testimonies. 48 hours before the witness tampering sentencing debates, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court filed a new deposition. Fatou Bensouda considers that witness tampering by the former Congolese vice-president had an impact on the acquittal decision of June 8. Whilst...

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    Opinion : transitional justice amendment in Nepal not "acceptable" , according to victims
    22.06.18
    Ram Kumar Bhandari

    The government of Nepal is preparing to register a new bill of controversial and highly contested transitional justice act in the parliament after 3 and half years of two transitional bodies formed in February 2015. In a historic verdicts of Supreme Court (26 February 2015) on behalf of conflict victims legal petitions against flaws in the previous Act (the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act, 2014), government established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Disappeared Commission to investigate war era (1996-2006) crimes without...

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    "Recognizing sexual violence in conflict is part of sexual equality"
    21.06.18
    Frédéric Burnand, correspondent in Geneva

    Better fighting sexual violence in conflict, prosecuting perpetrators more efficiently and strengthening judicial procedures so that victims can get justice and reparation – this was the focus of a conference organized in Geneva by the NGO TRIAL International on June 18-19. TRIAL’s specialist in the field Lucie Canal talked to JusticeInfo about the progress made in the fighting such atrocities which have been ignored all too long. JusticeInfo: Why this focus now? Lucie Canal: For several years our organization has been working more and more on sexual violence, especially in the Democratic...

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    War-ravaged South Sudan at a glance
    20.06.18
    AFP

    South Sudan, the world's newest country, has been mired in a devastating civil war for more than four years, with tens of thousands of people killed, nearly four million displaced and its economy in ruins. War broke out when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup just two years after the country gained independence from Sudan in 2011. With the two men to meet on Wednesday in the latest international effort to stop the fighting, here is some background. - World's youngest state - Before independence, the south of Sudan was ravaged by two civil wars (1956-1972 and 1983-2005) that pitted mainly Christian and animist insurgents in the south...

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    Spain's new government to remove Franco's remains from mausoleum
    18.06.18
    AFP

    Spain's new Socialist government is determined to remove the remains of Francisco Franco from a vast mausoleum near Madrid and turn it into a place of "reconciliation" for a country still coming to terms with the dictator's legacy. "We don't have a date yet, but the government will do it," Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said late Monday during his first television interview since being sworn in on June 2 after toppling his conservative predecessor Mariano Rajoy in a confidence vote. He recalled that a non-binding motion approved last year in parliament called for Franco's remains to be...

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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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    Colombia's new president Ivan Duque is an anti-FARC hardliner
    17.06.18
    AFP

    Ivan Duque's election victory in Colombia makes him the youngest president in his country's modern history, and gives him a strong mandate to overhaul the government's fragile peace deal with the former rebel group FARC. He campaigned on a ticket to rewrite the peace deal signed with the FARC by outgoing center-right president Juan Manuel Santos. His vanquished leftist opponent, Gustavo Petro, supports the deal. A lawyer with a degree in economics, Duque represents many Colombian voters who were outraged by concessions given to the former rebels, including reduced sentences for those who confessed to their crimes. He has vowed to make "structural changes" to the 2016 agreement,...

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    Pay more attention to witness protection and reparations, says sexual violence expert
    16.06.18
    Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo

    Sexual violence in conflict is one of the most important but also hardest crimes to prosecute. Swiss NGO TRIAL International, a partner of JusticeInfo and Fondation Hirondelle that supports victims of international crimes, is putting the spotlight on this at a series of events in Geneva on June 18-19 to mark its fifteenth anniversary.  Kim Thuy Seelinger, director of the sexual violence project at the Human Rights Center of Berkeley University in California, will be among the participants. She spoke to JusticeInfo. JusticeInfo: What are the specific challenges and difficulties of...

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    Jean-Pierre Bemba, former Congolese warlord and Kabila foe
    12.06.18
    AFP

    Jean-Pierre Bemba, who was provisionally freed Tuesday by the International Criminal Court following an acquittal last week, is a former warlord and adversary of Congolese President Joseph Kabila. His interim release relates to a case in which he was handed a one-year jail sentence and fined 300,000 euros ($350,000) in 2017 for bribing witnesses during his main war crimes trial. He is still awaiting sentencing on July 4 in a secondary trial which he lost on appeal. Bemba, a former vice president of the Democratic Republic of Congo however won his main war crimes trial on appeal in which he was previously convicted and sentenced to 18 years for rapes, killings and looting committed by...

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    DRC's Jean-Pierre Bemba: key dates
    12.06.18
    AFP

    Key dates of DR Congo's Jean-Pierre Bemba, acquitted on appeal on warcrimes charges by the International Criminal Court (ICC), and whose interim release was ordered on Tuesday: - November 4, 1962: Born in Bogada in the northwest Equateur province, his father was a rich businessman close to former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. - 1997: Leaves Kinshasa when the late rebel leader Laurent Desire Kabila overthrows Mobutu. - 1998: Founds the rebel Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), backed by neighbouring Uganda and opposed to the Kabila regime. - October 2002-March 2003: Sends his private militiamen to the Central African Republic to help put down a coup against then president...

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    Legal Witnessing and Mass Human Rights Violations: Remembering Atrocities
    12.06.18
    Benjamin Thorne

    International criminal courts and tribunals, such as the ICT for Rwanda, are commonly understood within legal scholarship as the primary tool that is utilized after mass human rights violations. This is so not only in addressing impunity, but also in uncovering the truth of what happened and why. Victims play a pivotal role in these processes of justice. However, there are significant limitations in legal collective understandings of the past. In legal transitional justice scholarship, these have received sparse critical investigation.   Legal witnesses and their contribution to tribunals...

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    Feasible Justice: Has Colombia Over-Promised and Under-Delivered Reparations for its 8.6 Million Victims?
    12.06.18
    Julia Zulver, University of Oxford

     Colombia’s unprecedented reparations programme guarantees financial, land restitution, and holistic benefits for millions of victims. With only 7% payment to date, however, the government faces the challenge of making good on promises to its citizenry, undermining the potential for building lasting peace. In 2016, after four years of official negotiations, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP, Spanish acronym) were finally able to negotiate a definitive peace, and the country is now in a full-scale transition away from its violent past. The...

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    Teachers’ Influence: Transitional Justice and the Impact of Education
    12.06.18
    Dr. John Sturtz

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, recently advocated a deeper form of education – one that “goes beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic to include skills and values that can equip people to act with responsibility and care…guided by human rights education to make informed choices in life, to approach situations with critical and independent thought, and to empathize with other points of view.” Education is an important part of transitional justice and calls for new ideas about what and how we teach young people. If the goal is to use...

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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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    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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