Monthly News Update: Domestic Prosecution of International Crimes - June 2019

BY CLEO MEINICKE, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE PILPG-NL

THIS UPDATE COLLECTS NEWS ON THE TOPIC OF DOMESTIC PROSECUTIONS OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMES. LAWYERING JUSTICE WILL TAKE A BREAK FROM POSTING UPDATES UNTIL AFTER THE SUMMER. 

AFRICA 

Egypt | HRW: Egypt forces and militants responsible for crimes against humanity in Sinai Peninsula

Based on a two-year investigation into the conditions of civilians in Sinai, Human Rights Watch found widespread abuses against civilians by both the Egyptian government and militants in the Sinai Peninsula. These actions are part of the government’s fight against the ISIS-affiliate militants in Sinai, but Human Rights Watch claims that while both groups are guilty of committing atrocities against civilians, the Egyptian government is responsible for the majority of the abuses. [May 28, 2019]

Liberia | Liberia: War Crimes Court in Sight?

President George Manneh Weah met with the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Eboe-Osuji, to discuss the role of the ICC in promoting peace and security in the world. [July 1, 2019]

Rwanda | New fund to fight people negating, denying genocide launched

The fund “Umurinzi Support Fund” was launched to follow up on cases of negation or denial of the 1994 Genocide and prosecute the responsible persons. Many perpetrators and their accomplices still continue to deny the Genocide. [June 8, 2019]

Sudan | Ex-Sudan leader Bashir appears before prosecutor to face corruption charges

Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was taken from Kober prison into the capital Khartoum to the prosecutor's office to face corruptions charges. Prosecutor Alaeddin Dafallah told reporters that the former strongman was facing charges of "possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally." [June 16, 2019]

ASIA

Bangladesh | SC starts appeal hearing of war criminal Azharul

The appeal hearing of war criminal Azharul started. On December 30, 2014 he was sentenced to death for war crimes committed in Rangpur. [June 18, 2019]

Bangladesh | War crime evidence found against 11 men, including USA citizen

Based on an International Crimes Tribunal report evidence exists against eleven alleged war crimminals of Shalla and Dirai police station at Sunamganj. All of these were members of the Pakistan Democratic Parts during the 1971 Liberation War. The investigation agency charged the 11 accused for crimes against humanity, which includes murder, mass killing, confinement, abduction, torture, and rape. [June 17, 2019]

Myanmar | U.N. investigator reports possible fresh war crimes in Myanmar

Myanmar security forces and insurgents are currently committing more human rights violations against civilians that may amount to fresh war crimes, a United Nations investigator said. The government troops are fighting ethnic rebels in conflict-torn Rakhine and Chin states. [July 2, 2019]

 

CENTRAL AMERICA CARIBBEANS 

El Salvador | In El Salvador, Left Joins Right in Asking for War-Crimes Amnesty

During El Salvador’s civil war approximately 75,000 civilians were killed. The two opposing parties, the FMLN and Arena, take up a substantive number of seats in the Legislative Assembly now and support a legislation calling for de facto amnesty for crimes committed during the war. [May 28, 2019]

Guatemala | Eight Years Imprisonment for Mensur Dakic for War Crimes

Guatemalan police have arrested the former military commander Luis Enrique Mendoza accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. He has been hiding since an arrest warrant was issued in 2011 due to his role in the massacre of 1,771 Maya Ixil villagers in 1982. [June 16, 2019]

Nicaragua | Nicaraguan Lawmakers OK Amnesty for Crimes During Protests

Lawmakers allied to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on Saturday approved an amnesty bill for crimes related to last year's anti-government protests, over staunch criticism from the opposition. [June 8, 2019] 

 

EUROPE

France| Chad rebel leader faces charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes in Paris

Two opponents of Chadian President Idriss Deby are heard by a Paris public prosecutor for alleged crimes against humanity and links to child soldier operations in Chad and Sudan between December 2005 and July 2010. [June 21, 2019]

Germany | Yazidi women sue Germany for failing to prosecute German ISIS jihadis for war crimes

The German government refused a request from the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces to repatriate at least 61 captured Germans who joined ISIS in Syria. Based on this, a coalition of Yazidi women filed a lawsuits against the two high-level German government officials, Justice Minister Katarina Barley and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. [May 31, 2019]

Kosovo | Kosovo President Secretly Appoints War Crimes Convict as Adviser

Rrustem Mustafa, who was the KLA’s commander in its ‘Llapi Operational Zone’ during the war was found guilty and imprisoned for four years for war crimes in 2013. The Anti-Corruption Agency now found out that he has been an adviser to Kosovo President Hashim Thaci for the last four months, of which the public was not informed of. [June 6, 2019]

Montenegro| Montenegro Convicts Ex-Soldier of Kosovo War Crime

The High Court in Podgorica on Wednesday sentenced Vlado Zmajevic to 14 years in prison for war crimes against the civilian population. He was found guilty for the murder of four Albanian civilians in the village of Zegra near Gnjilane in Kosovo during the war in 1999. [June 5, 2019]

Netherlands |Three Russians and one Ukrainian to face MH17 murder charges

Four suspects will face murder charges for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. The trial is due to start next March in the Netherlands. Prosecutors said there was enough evidence to bring criminal charges. [June 19, 2019]

Serbia | Serbia sentences ex-soldiers for 1991 war crimes in Croatia

Serbia’s special war crimes court sentenced eight former Yugoslav Army soldiers and paramilitaries on Thursday to prison for the killings of Croat civilians during the 1991-1995 war. The defendants are guilty of the killings, and of mistreating and torturing civilians in October 1991, when the then Serb-controlled Yugoslav People’s Army and paramilitaries attacked the village of Lovas in eastern Croatia. [June 20, 2019]

MIDDLE EAST

Saudi Arabia | 'Khashoggi killing was an international crime': UN rapporteur

UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard labeled the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi an “international crime.” She allegedly called on the UN Human Rights Council to look at this murder as a “springboard to take very effective measures for prevention of targeted killings.” [June 20, 2019]

Yemen | Yemen: Attack on Saudi Airport Apparent War Crime

Human Rights Watch claimed that the attack of a Saudi civilian airport on June 12, 2019 by Houthi forces in Yemen was in violation of the laws of war. The organisation argues that deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilian objects amount to war crimes and commanders are responsible for them. [June 14, 2019] 

Yemen | Houthi terrorist acts war crimes 

The Council of Ministers on Tuesday highlighted that the hostilities and terrorist operations by Iran-backed Houthi terrorist militias against Saudi Arabia amount to war crimes and a threat to regional and international security. [June 25, 2019]

 

NORTH AMERICA 

Canada | Canadian Inquiry Calls Killings of Indigenous Women Genocide

A national inquiry into the killings and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls considers the violence to amount to genocide. The inquiry holds Canada responsible for much of the conduct. [June 2, 2019]

United States | Edward Gallagher: Witness in US war crimes case admits killing IS teen

Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott witnessed Mr Gallagher stabbing a teenaged IS fighter. However, he testified that the teenager probably would have not died from the stabbing. Mr Scott revealed that after the stabbing he himself plugged the teenagers air tube that lead to his death. Mr Scott was given immunity in exchange for his testimony.  [June 20, 2019]

SOUTH AMERICA 

Colombia | Colombia’s war criminals have three months to submit to war crimes tribunal or risk prison

Colombia’s war crimes tribunal issued a public alert that war criminals should report themselves within three months. If they do not do so within that time period they lose the possibility of judicial benefits. [June 12, 2019] 

Colombia | Colombia’s war crimes tribunal receives testimonies of former child soldiers

The youth advocacy group Benposta Nacion de Muchach@s and the European Union provided Colombia’s war crimes tribunal with a report on child soldiers, detailing abuses children suffered at the hands of guerrillas and the armed forces. This report will be used by the tribunal’s ‘Case 7’ that works on investigating the “recruitment and use of boys and girls in the armed conflict.” [June 27, 2019]