International Criminal Court (ICC)
ICC: UNSG urges ratification of the Rome Statute
En la apertura de la 12ª Sesión de la Asamblea de los Estados Parte de la Corte Penal Internacional (ICC), el Secretario General de la ONU Ban Ki-moon, instó a los Estados miembro a ratificar Estatuto de Roma. Ban dijo que para ser plenamente eficaz, el Estatuto de Roma debe ser ratificado universalmente. Sin embargo, 43 Estados no lo han firmado ni ratificado y 31 todavía tienen que ratificarlo. Otros desafíos a los que se enfrenta la organización son finalizar los juicios sin una demora indebida, afrontar la falta de recursos y la escasez de personal, que se haga justicia de forma independiente, imparcial y de conformidad con el derecho y las normas internacionales de derechos humanos y que sea percibida como tal. (UN, 20/11/13; Jurist, 21/11/13).
CONGO, DR: Four arrested accused of falsifying evidence
Police forces in Belgium, France, The Netherlands and the DR Congo have arrested Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Narcisse Arido and Fidèle Babala Wandu, accusing them of corruptly influencing witnesses, tampering with evidence and knowingly presenting false evidence in the trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. Arrested in 2008, Bemba, who was formerly the Vice President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Commander-in-Chief of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic during 2002 and 2003 (ICC, Jurist 24/11/13; Europa Press, 25/11/13).
LIBYA: ICC prosecutor encourages Libya to establish a comprehensive strategy that goes farther than its agreement with the Court
International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda declared before the UNSC that her office has signed an agreement with Libya to share tasks to prosecute the suspected perpetrators of crimes committed in Libya since 15 February 2011. Thanks to this agreement, the ICC will mainly focus on suspects outside Libya, while Libyan judicial authorities will focus on those within the country. While Libya's engagement with the ICC and the draft law that would make rape during armed conflict a war crime in Libya are steps in the right direction, some challenges remain, such as torture, the killing of detainees and tensions regarding the Tawergha minority. Bensouda has encouraged the Libyan government to establish a comprehensive strategy to address serious crimes committed in the country (ICC, 14/11/13; Hirondelle News, 15/11/13).
    Ad Hoc International Criminal Tribunals
BALKANS: ICTY marks 20 years of work on war crime jurisprudence
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has highlighted its legacy in the former Yugoslavia, including its overall accomplishments and challenges, its contribution to the promotion of the rule of law in the region and the mechanisms of victim and witness protection and support in war crimes trials before national courts. Created by the UN in 1990 to judge crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of the law and customs of war, as well as serious breaches of the Geneva Conventions, the ICTY has indicted 161 individuals and heard more than 4,500 witnesses to date. It currently has 25 proceedings pending. During the celebratory conference, the families of victims of the Bosnian Civil War accused the ICTY of being partial and ineffective, deploring the recent acquittal of several senior Serb officials because none were convicted of crimes committed in the conflict (TPIY, 18/11/13; EP, 27/11/13) (ICTY, 18/11/13).
BANGLADESH: Two given the death penalty will not be extradited
The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) has sentenced Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan, members of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, to death in absentia for abducting and murdering 18 people during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Mueen Uddin, who lives in the UK, will not be extradited, as the UK does not extradite people facing the death penalty. US citizen Ashrafuzzaman Khan will not be extradited either, as there is no extradition treaty between the US and Bangladesh. The trials, described as flawed by Human Rights Watch, limited the number of defence witnesses. The ICTB also indicted Syed Mohammad Qaisar, Bangladesh's former State Minister for Agriculture, for 18 war crimes allegedly committed in 1971 and charged Jamaat-e-Islami leader Azharul Islam with six accounts of crimes against humanity in a massacre in Rangpur district in 1971 in which more than 1,200 people were killed (Jurist, 04, 11 and 12/11/13; BBC, 03 and 05/11/13; The Daily Star, 03/11/13).
CAMBODIA: Extraordinary Chambers still face financial shortage
A senior United Nations official has appealed to the international community to provide funding to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), which is still facing financial problems. A hybrid court established in 2001 to try those most responsible for the crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime, the ECCC is funded by voluntary donations that have dropped off in recent years. After working without pay for months, the ECCC's staff went on strike in September (UN, 07/11/13; Jurist, 08/11/13).
    Ordinary Justice and Traditional Justice Systems
AFGHANISTAN – USA: Uncertainty over the inclusion of war crime investigations in the security deal with USA
The consultative Loya Jirga assembly has debated a bilateral security agreement that sets the terms for the US military presence in Afghanistan after the end of 2014 and has asked Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign it before the end of 2013. President Karzai said he will follow the assembly's recommendation on the condition that US forces do not conduct house raids. Another matter of disagreement regards the jurisdiction for crimes committed on Afghan soil. Many Afghans would like to see an increase in accountability for cases prosecuted on US bases in Afghanistan. The USA is expected to maintain more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan while criticism continues that US troops are killing civilians with impunity. Amnesty International had demanded more transparency and accountability for war crimes allegedly committed by US military forces in the country and has called for compensation to victim's families (AI, 20/11/13; Europa Press, 21/11/13; CNN, 24/11/13).
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Ten prisoners charged with war crimes released after appealing to the ECHR
Ten prisoners accused of war crimes during the Bosnian Civil War have been released following a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Six of the prisoners had been convicted of genocide in the Srebrenica massacre, two others were high-ranking Serbian officials convicted of establishing and training paramilitary squads and the other two, General Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, are currently on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The ECHR argued that the strict 2003 Bosnian Criminal Code was wrongly being used, rather than the 1976 code in force when the crimes were committed. The EU and the OSCE expressed their concern about this situation, which has led to the release of individuals responsible for heinous crimes (Jurist, 19/11/13; ICTJ 21/11/13).
COLOMBIA: Three guerrilla commanders indicted for war crimes
The National Prosecution Unit for Justice and Peace has indicted guerrilla commanders for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Commander Elda Neyis Mosquera García of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (known as FARC, its acronym in Spanish) is accused of victimising 2,500 people as a result of her criminal activity. The FARC's Eli Mejia Mendoza is charged with victimising 1,500 people directly and indirectly between 1998 and 1999 and Olimpo de Jesús Sánchez Caro, Deputy Commander of the demobilised Guevara Revolutionary Army (known as ERG, its acronym in Spanish) will be tried for 168 cases of forced disappearance, kidnapping, forced displacement, illegal recruitment and gender crimes allegedly committed between 1986 and 2008. These prosecutions are part of the plan of the National Prosecution Unit for Justice and Peace to give priority to those mainly responsible for war crimes (Europa Press, 11/24/13).
CONGO, DR: 39 Congolese soldiers prosecuted for mass rape
A military court has begun the trial of 39 government soldiers accused of murder, looting, mass rape and other acts of sexual violence against at least 103 women and 33 girls as soldiers retreated after a rebel offensive in Minova, south of Goma, in November 2012. The trial comes following months of international pressure after 12 officers were suspended but no soldiers tried. The UN then threatened to stop funding army units suspected of committing abuse. The trial has been criticised for prosecuting so few high-ranking officers and some victims have said that their alleged rapists are not among the 39 defendants (BBC, 20/11/13).
DENMARK – RWANDA – ECHR: Rwandan citizen appeals to the ECHR to block his extradition to Rwanda
Emmanuel Mbarushimana, a primary school inspector accused of participating in the Rwandan genocide, has challenged the Supreme Court of Denmark's decision to extradite him to Rwanda, claiming to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that he would not receive a fair trial if judged by a Rwandan court. While many Rwandan citizens have been prosecuted in different European countries for genocide in recent months, this is the first time that this allegation has been made to the ECHR and could block Denmark's deportation for years (Jurist, 08/11/13, Hirondelle News, 09/11/13).
FRANCE – RWANDA: Appeals Court approves extradition of two Rwandan genocide suspects
For the first time in its history, the French Appeals Court has authorised the extradition of Claude Muhayimana and Innocent Musabyimana, wanted by Rwanda for their suspected participation in the 1994 genocide. Muhayimana is accused of participating in the massacre of ethnic Tutsis in the town of Kibuye, while Musabyimana's alleged crimes took place in Gisenyi province. In the past, France has extradited individuals to face charges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania, but it has not yet extradited anyone to Rwanda itself to stand trial. The French Court deemed for the first time that the Rwandan defendants would get a fair trial in their country and that their lives would not be in danger. The two men announced that they would now appeal to the Court of Cassation, France's highest court (Jurist, 13/11/13; Hirondelle News, 15/11/13).
KOSOVO: 19 people charged with war crimes
The prosecutor of the Kosovo Special Prosecution Office (SPRK) has indicted 15 people for torture, mistreating prisoners and murdering civilians at a Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) detention centre in Likovac in 1998 and charged four others with war crimes against the civilian population, including the torture and rape of two Albanian civilians allegedly committed in Vaganica and Likovac in 1998-1999. Various Kosovar courts and organisations have prosecuted war crimes, resulting in the conviction of both Serb and Kosovar defendants (Jurist, 08/11/13; EULEX, 8, 13/11/13).
MALAYSIA: Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal charges Israel with genocide
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCT) has charged the commanding Israeli general in military control of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, Amos Yaron, of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in occupied Lebanon in September of 1982. It has also charged the state of Israel with killing, causing serious bodily harm and deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction of the Palestinian people, constituting the crime of genocide. The KLWCT was launched by the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War, a non-governmental organisation founded by Malaysian former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to investigate war crimes that have been neglected by established institutions such as the International Criminal Court (Global Research, 25/11/13; Scoop, 27/11/13).
SPAIN – CHINA: Arrest orders for Chinese officials for repression in Tibet
The Spanish National Court has issued five arrest orders for former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, former Prime Minister Li Peng, former security and police chief Qiao Shi, former Communist Party official in Tibet Chen Kuiyan and former Family Planning Minister Pen Pelyun, accusing them of crimes against humanity. In October 2013, a Spanish court indicted Hu Jintao, another former Chinese President, for actions amounting to genocide, but an arrest warrant has not yet been issued. The orders come as part of an investigation into alleged genocide committed by China against Tibet. The case was opened after two civil society organisations in support of Tibet submitted a lawsuit to the Spanish court. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and some UN human rights agencies have expressed concern over China's excessive use of force in the 2008 Tibetan demonstrations, as well as the detention and disappearance of peaceful protesters (Jurist, 19/11/13; El Diario 20/11/13).
UNITED KINGDOM – SRI LANKA: Call to investigate 2009 war crimes
In a Commonwealth Summit held in Colombo, UK Prime Minister David Cameron called on the government of Sri Lanka to set up an independent inquiry into alleged war crimes. Cameron said that if Sri Lanka does not complete a credible and independent investigation by March 2014, he would press for an international inquiry. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa responded that Sri Lanka must be allowed to complete its own investigation in its own time. Up to 40,000 Tamil civilians are said to have been killed in the final months of 2009 during the civil war between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels. India, Canada and Mauritius boycotted the summit to protest the Sri Lankan regime's alleged brutality against some Tamils (BBC, The Guardian, Times of India, 16/11/13).
THAILAND: Parliament approves and Senate rejects amnesty bill
In a 310-0 vote, Thailand's House of Representatives approved a bill that allows amnesty for offences committed during the political unrest following former Prime Minister Thaksin's ouster in the 2006 military coup. Almost two weeks later, the Senate rejected the bill by a vote of 141-0. Opposition to the bill is grounded in the belief that it is an attempt to prepare the country for the return of Thaksin, who fled Thailand in 2008 to avoid a two-year prison sentence for corruption. The opposition Democratic party called for civil disobedience and a three-day nationwide strike after the Senate's vote. Protests linked to the amnesty bill and other issues continued through the end of the month (Jurist, 1, 12/11/13; The Guardian, 12, 26/11/13).
SPAIN: Spain will not re-examine disappearances due to 1977 Amnesty Law
Ana Menendez Perez, the Permanent Representative of Spain to the UN, said before the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) that the Spanish government will not re-examine the state's action during the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War. The day before, Amnesty International (AI) had called on Spanish authorities to address these disappearances. Although Spain passed an amnesty law in 1977 to exonerate the political crimes committed during the war and the Franco regime, several parties have pushed for its revision: in October, the CED asked the Spanish government to do more to provide information about disappearances and an Argentine judge accused four former Spanish officials of human rights violations during the Franco regime (Jurist, 07/11/13).
    Peace talks
CONGO, DR: Government delays peace deal due to differences over amnesty and reintegration of M23 rebels
The DR Congolese government has asked for more time to study a peace deal with the M23 rebel group. The peace deal proposal includes case-by-case amnesty for surrendering rebels, the reintegration of rebels into the national army and permission to transform the M23 into a political group. The stalemate of the peace deal could reignite tensions with the rebels, as well as with DC Congo's neighbour Uganda, which has been trying to mediate an end to a conflict that had sent thousands of refugees across its borders (CBC, 11/11/13; Wall Street Journal, 12/11/13).
MYANMAR: Talks on the future of the military propose federal army
During a two-day meeting, eleven Burmese political party leaders, an alliance of 11 ethnic rebel groups known as the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and several civil society organisations discussed how to structure a future military that incorporates Burma's ethnic rebel militias. Organised by the governmental body Myanmar Peace Centre, the meeting, was the first formal sit-down between political party representatives and rebel leaders. The discussions addressed the creation of a federal army that would integrate ethnic armed forces. Some remaining challenges include how to make the recruitment process more inclusive, build trust among parties and grant a degree of autonomy to the regions without dividing the military (Irrawaddy, 22/11/13).
To subscribe to the bulletins or to receive information from the School for a Culture of Peace,
To unsubscribe, click here
For any comments or suggestions, please write to:
Tel. +34 93 586 88 48   |   |
Edifici MRA (Mòdul Recerca A), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 09193 Bellaterra (Barcelona)
If you cannot see the image, please click here

In compliance with Law 15/1999, of 13 December, on Protection of Personal Data, the School for a Culture of Peace informs that personal information is treated in strict confidence and incorporated into our general database in order to keep you updated on our activities.