Head of Human Rights Watch to resign after nearly 3 decades
The longtime leader of Human Rights Watch announced Tuesday he will step down this summer as executive director after nearly three decades at the helm of one of the world's leading advocacy organizations. Kenneth Roth ran the New York-based group as it shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for its efforts to ban anti-personnel land mines. The group also pushed to establish the International Criminal Court for prosecuting war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.news.yahoo.com
Venezuela seeks to take over ICC investigation into killings
Venezuela has asked the International Criminal Court to defer to authorities in the Latin American nation its investigation into allegations of torture and extrajudicial killings committed by security forces under President Nicolás Maduro’s rule.
ICC prosecutor launches Ukraine war crimes investigation
The International Criminal Court prosecutor has launched an investigation that could target senior officials believed responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide amid a rising civilian death toll and widespread destruction of property during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Philippines' Duterte will 'die first' before facing ICC
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s top legal adviser has lashed out at the International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate allegations of crimes against humanity during his bloody war on drugs, accusing the body of being used as a pawn by the popular leader’s political opponents as an election nears.
Philippines' Duterte will 'die first' before facing ICC
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte would rather “die first” before facing an international tribunal, his spokesman said Thursday, the day after the International Criminal Court announced it would investigate allegations of crimes against humanity during his bloody war on drugs. Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, said the president was unfazed when he’d informed him late Wednesday of the court’s decision. “The president didn’t have any reaction, because from the get go, he has said that he’ll die first before he faces any international courts,” Roque told reporters.news.yahoo.com
Philippines: Int'l court probe of drug killings is insulting
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will never cooperate with a possible International Criminal Court investigation into the thousands of killings under his anti-drugs crackdown, his spokesman said Tuesday, calling an international inquiry insulting to the country’s justice system. A leading Duterte critic, jailed opposition Sen. Leila de Lima, said the Philippine leader may now be harboring fears of “being dragged in chains to the Hague” to be tried as “an enemy of mankind.” Outgoing ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Monday that a preliminary examination found reason to believe crimes against humanity had been committed during Duterte's crackdown on drugs between July 1, 2016, and March 16, 2019.news.yahoo.com
AP Interview: ICC prosecutor sees 'reset' under Biden
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Monday that the global tribunal’s relationship with the United States — plunged into the deep freeze by former President Donald Trump — is undergoing a “reset” under his successor, Joe Biden. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda made the comments in an interview with The Associated Press, on the day Biden was meeting NATO allies in Brussels to reaffirm Washington’s commitment to the military alliance — in another break from the Trump era of deep skepticism toward multilateralism. Bensouda spoke to AP at the court’s headquarters in The Hague on the eve of leaving office after her nine-year term as the ICC’s chief prosecutor.news.yahoo.com
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ICC launches war crimes probe into Israeli practices
It also raised the possibility of arrest warrants being issued against Israeli officials suspected of war crimes, making it potentially risky to travel abroad. A preliminary probe by Bensouda in 2019 had found a “reasonable basis” to open a war crimes case. Since joining the court in 2015, they have pushed for a war crimes probe against Israel. The ICC is meant to serve as a court of last resort when countries’ own judicial systems are unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute war crimes. Netanyahu was prime minister during the 2014 Gaza war and has been a strong advocate of the settlements.
British lawyer Karim Khan elected next ICC prosecutor
-FILE- In this Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, file photo the sun bounces off the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)THE HAGUE – More than 120 countries elected British lawyer Karim Khan on Friday as the next prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, one of the toughest jobs in international law because the tribunal seeks justice for the world’s worst atrocities -- war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Khan, who has specialized in international criminal law and international human rights law, was widely seen as the favorite to get the job. He has worked as a prosecutor at the tribunal prosecuting war crimes in former Yugoslavia and crimes against humanity and genocide in Rwanda. Khan is no stranger to the International Criminal Court, known as the ICC, having acted as a defense lawyer for Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and persuading judges to throw out prosecution charges against his client.
EXPLAINER: Israeli settlements may face new scrutiny
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2017 file photo, Palestinian laborers work at a construction site in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem. But Israel’s settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem appears to be open to even tougher scrutiny. In a 2-1 ruling last week, judges granted her that jurisdiction in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. It says the West Bank is “disputed,” not occupied, and its fate should be decided through negotiations. Shany said the court ruling means that Israeli settlement policy could come under hard-to-defend scrutiny.
ICC officials in Sudan seek cooperation for Darfur justice
The ICC charged al-Bashir with war crimes and genocide for allegedly masterminding the campaign of attacks in Darfur. (AP Photo/Mohamed Abuamrain)CAIRO – Sudan’s justice minister met with officials from the International Criminal Court in the capital of Khartoum on Sunday to discuss cooperation with the tribunal in the trials related to the Darfur conflict, his office said. Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari said Sudanese authorities are conducting “internal deliberations” over “the best ways of cooperation” with the ICC. The ICC charged al-Bashir with war crimes and genocide for allegedly masterminding the campaign of attacks in Darfur. Two other senior figures of al-Bashir’s rule accused by the ICC of war crimes and crimes against humanity also are under arrest in Khartoum.
Welcoming ICC ruling, Palestinian family hopes for justice
The ICC ruling opened the door for possible war crimes probes into Israeli military actions during that war and Israeli settlement construction on war-won land. Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, welcomed the ICC’s finding, calling it “an important step” toward justice for the Palestinian people. The closing of the Israeli probe led the Bakr family to seek justice from a higher body. On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the court ruling as a “perversion of justice" and vowed to fight it. Palestinian expert Jamil Sarhan, head of the Independent Commission for Human Rights' Gaza office, was cautious about the ICC's ruling.
ICC clears way for war crimes probe of Israeli actions
FILE - In this Tuesday Aug. 28, 2018 file photo, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands. The ICC says its jurisdiction extends to territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, appearing to clear the way for its chief prosecutor to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions. Bensouda, said in 2019 that there was a reasonable basis to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip as well as Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. (Bas Czerwinski/Pool file via AP, File)JERUSALEM – The International Criminal Court said Friday that its jurisdiction extends to territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, potentially clearing the way for its chief prosecutor to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions. The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said in 2019 that there was a “reasonable basis” to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip as well as Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.
ICC convicts Ugandan rebel commander of war crimes
(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)THE HAGUE – The International Criminal Court on Thursday convicted a one-time child soldier who morphed into a brutal commander in the notorious Ugandan rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army of dozens of war crimes and crimes against humanity, ranging from multiple murders to forced marriages. As an adult, he was personally responsible for encouraging and committing against others the very crimes that he himself suffered as a child. When military pressure forced the LRA out of Uganda in 2005, the rebels scattered across parts of central Africa. AdKony became internationally notorious in 2012 when the U.S.-based advocacy group Invisible Children made a viral video highlighting the LRA’s crimes. Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, chairman of the northern Ugandan district of Gulu, told The Associated Press there were “mixed reactions” among local people.
ICC prosecutor slams 'wholly unacceptable' US sanctions
FILE- In this Wednesday, April 4, 2018 file photo, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda waits at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. The outgoing prosecutor of the International Criminal Court hit out Monday at sanctions slapped on her by the Trump Adminstration in her last speech to an annual gathering of the court's member states before she leaves office next year. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, FILE)THE HAGUE – The outgoing prosecutor of the International Criminal Court hit out Monday at sanctions slapped on her by the Trump Administration in her final speech to an annual gathering of the court's member states before she leaves office next year. Bensouda said that the measures were an attack on the court and its member states and represented “a dangerous precedent for a rule-based international system." In her speech, Bensouda also urged the court's member states to adequately fund prosecutions as her office comes under increasing pressure to probe alleged atrocities around the globe.
ICC prosecutor ready to open investigation into Ukraine
THE HAGUE – The International Criminal Court's prosecutor said Friday that a preliminary probe has found “a reasonable basis at this time to believe” that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed in Ukraine which merit a full-scale investigation. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the suspected crimes and the failure of courts in Ukraine and Russia to successfully prosecute them mean that the next step for ICC prosecutors will be to request authorization from judges to open a formal investigation. Without going into details of the alleged crimes, Bensouda said in a statement that her preliminary investigation found three “clusters of victimization;” crimes committed during hostilities, during detentions and crimes committed in Crimea. The ICC is a court of last resort that only takes cases when member states do not or cannot prosecute them in domestic courts. Earlier Friday, Bensouda whose term as prosecutor at the ICC is drawing to a close, said she also was ready to seek authorization for a full-scale investigation into the conflict between Nigerian forces and the Boko Haram extremist group.
Ivory Coast tensions rise as president seeks 3rd term
Youth play soccer next to a barricade that was set on a street after protests, earlier this year, against the decision of President Alassane Ouattara's to run for a third term in Bonoua, in the outskirts of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. “The violence seen in Ivory Coast during the first pre-election crisis of 2010 must not be repeated.”The 2010 presidential election brought months of violence after then-President Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede defeat to Ouattara. “Ivory Coast wants peace, we don’t accept disorder," Ouattara said. There will be no elections on Oct. 31 in Ivory Coast," N’Guessan said in an interview this week with France 24 and Radio France Internationale. Guillaume Soro, a former prime minister and president of the National Assembly, remains in France after his return to Ivory Coast was thwarted by criminal charges his followers say were politically motivated.
Guinea votes to see if president can extend decade in power
(AP Photo/Sadak Souici)CONAKRY – Guinean President Alpha Conde sought extend his decade in power in Sunday's election held after the country's constitution was changed earlier this year to allow the 82-year-old leader to run for another term. Guinea's election contest already has inflamed ethnic tensions too, prompting the United Nations chief to urge Guineans to refrain from ethnic profiling and violence. And he will be president from tonight.”Lancey Dioubate said he was supporting the incumbent Conde's quest for a third term. Conde came to power in 2010 in the country’s first democratic elections since independence from France in 1958. “I particularly condemn the use of inflammatory rhetoric by some political actors during their electoral campaign, leading to growing ethnic tensions among the people of Guinea,” ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said.
Guinea's president, 82, seeks to prolong rule in Sunday vote
(AP Photo/Sadak Souici)CONAKRY – Guinean President Alpha Conde, 82, is seeking a third term in office Sunday, insisting his attempt to prolong his rule does not make him a dictator even as opposition protesters slam his candidacy as an illegal power grab. In recent days, opposition supporters have clashed with ruling party activists in northern Guinea, leaving dozens injured. Conde made history in 2010 when he became Guinea's first democratically elected president since independence from France in 1958, raising hopes that the country could finally emerge from a long history of corrupt rule. Sunday's vote is also the third match-up between Conde and his long-time rival Cellou Dalein Diallo, whom he defeated in 2010 and 2015. Diallo, the opposition candidate, is urging the international community to monitor Sunday's vote, accusing the government of rigging the electoral lists.
Bolivia calls on ICC to investigate Morales over blockades
After 14 years in power, Morales resigned under pressure from the military and police on Nov. 10 amid widespread protests and disturbances alleging he was attempting to fraudulently claim reelection. Morales was the country's first Indigenous president and remains a powerful influence in the country. In addition, the government is also responsible for the massacre in November's protests and doesn't say anything, lawmaker Sergio Choque said. Prosecutors will weigh whether they have jurisdiction and whether the case is admissible under the court's rules before deciding whether to launch an investigation. The sanctions were immediately denounced by the court, the United Nations and human rights advocates.
More than half of war crimes court's members back tribunal
The Hague-based court was created in 2002 to prosecute war crimes, crimes of humanity and genocide in countries where authorities cannot or will not bring perpetrators to justice. It sends the crucial message that ICC states have the courts back and they will not be cowed in their commitment to seeing justice for crimes against humanity and war crimes.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced the tribunal as a kangaroo court that has been unsuccessful and inefficient in its mandate to prosecute war crimes. The court personnel could also be banned from the U.S. for prosecuting Israelis for alleged abuses against Palestinians, he said. That ruling marked the first time the courts prosecutor was cleared to investigate U.S. forces. The case involves allegations of war crimes committed by Afghan national security forces, Taliban and Haqqani network militants, as well as by U.S. forces and intelligence officials in Afghanistan since May 2003.
International Criminal Court condemns US sanctions order
FILE- In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands. President Donald Trump has lobbed a broadside attack against the International Criminal Court. He's authorizing economic sanctions and travel restrictions against court workers directly involved in investigating American troops and intelligence officials for possible war crimes in Afghanistan without U.S. consent. The executive order Trump signed on Thursday marks his administrations latest attack against international organizations, treaties and agreements that do not hew to its policies. Trumps order would block the financial assets of court employees and bar them and their immediate relatives from entering the United States.
Trump OKs sanctions against international tribunal employees
Since taking office, Trump has withdrawn from the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal and two arms control treaties with Russia. The Hague-based court was created in 2002 to prosecute war crimes and crimes of humanity and genocide in areas where perpetrators might not otherwise face justice. Unlike those treaties and agreements, though, the United States has never been a member of the International Criminal Court. Administrations of both parties have been concerned about the potential for political prosecutions of American troops and officials for alleged war crimes and other atrocities. Bensouda had asked ICC judges to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan that could have involved Americans.