US troubled by freezing of Egyptian human rights defenders' assets

The United States has said that it is troubled by the decision of an Egyptian court to freeze the assets of human rights defenders. “This decision comes against a wider backdrop of restrictions on Egyptian civil society activity and will produce neither stability nor security,” the State Department said in a press release on Wednesday. The full text of the press release is below. The United States is troubled by the decision by an Egyptian court after a judicial process to freeze the assets of additional human rights defenders, including Mozn Hassan of Nazra for Feminist Studies and Mohamed...

Former Chad leader appears war crimes conviction

The former leader of Chad, Hissene Habre this week sought to appeal his conviction for war crimes committed during his rule in the 1980s. Mr Habre was sentenced in Senegal in May 2016 to life imprisonment for instructing torture and mass murder during his time in office. Claiming the composition of the jury was unfair and there were irregularities in the trial, Habre's defence team was quoted by Reuters as saying, "the decisions must be annulled and invalidated." "I am not proud of the conditions in which the accused was tried," said Habre's lawyer Mounir Ballal. See here and here .

‘Impunity on staggering scale in CAR’ – Amnesty International

Amnesty International called on the international community to expedite efforts in setting up a hybrid with international judges will try war crimes suspect in the Central African Republic, warning that “impunity on a staggering scale” exists in the country. In a new report entitled “The long wait for justice: Accountability in Central African Republic”, the human rights organisation stressed the need to radically reform the country’s justice system and witness protection programs. “Thousands of victims of human rights abuses across CAR are still waiting for justice to be served, while...

Karadzic’s former advisor on trial for crimes against humanity

Radovan Karadzic’s senior advisor Jovan Tintor went on trial in Bosnian courts for charges of unlawful detention, torture, forced labour and murder of Bosniak and Croat victims. Mr Tintor was the former president of the Crisis Committee of the Vogosca municipality. The charges against him outline eight counts of widespread and systematic attack against the non-Serb population in the municipality from April to August in 1992. He pleaded not guilty. The defense will bring forward that the president position of the Crisis Committee was taken over by another person in late May of 1992. “We shall...

Indian state police raped at least 16 women in counter-insurgent operation, watchdog finds

Indian policemen raped or sexually assaulted at least 16 women in a 2015 operation against communist insurgents in Chhattisgarh, the country's human rights watchdog has found. The National Human Rights Commission issued a notice to the Chhattisgarh state government that state police had raped and sexually or physically assualted at least 16 tribal women, with the testimonies of 20 victims still to be heard. The commission also held the state liable for the crimes and have asked state leaders to respond against having to pay compensation in the form of 'interim monetary relief' to the victims...

Israel to cut UN contribution in protest of Security Council resolution

Israel will be cutting its contribution to the UN in protest of a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements. Approximately six million dollars will be cut, which the country's UN mission says represents the portion of Israel's contribution allocated to 'anti-Israel bodies'. The bodies mentioned were the UN agency for Palestinian refugees known as UNRWA, the Division for Palestinian Rights, the committee investigating Israeli practices affecting Palestinian human rights, and information programs on “the Question of Palestine”. Read more on the Guardian .

No charges laid over abuse claims against French peacekeeping soldiers in CAR

Three French judges investing claims of rape perpetrated by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) have not requested to bring charges. A Paris prosecutor is to make the final decision whether charges should be laid – otherwise the case could be closed. The investigation is on the allegation that up to six soldiers sexually assaulted children that they had been mandated to protect in M’Poko three years ago. The abuse is alleged to have occurred in a centre for displaced communities between when the peacekeeping operation began in March of 2013 till June of 2014. An...

Former Kosovo PM arrested in France

Ramush Haradinaj, former Prime Minister of Kosovo and guerilla commander during the Kosovo war, has been arrested in France on Serbian warrant. “He was stopped by French authorities based on an arrest warrant issued by Serbia in 2004, which for us is unacceptable,” stated Kosovo’s foreign ministry. The ministry further stated that action is being taken to secure Haradinaj’s release. Haradinaj is considered by Serbia to be a war criminal for leading an insurgency during the conflict in 1998-1999. He was tried and acquitted twice of war crimes at the UN court in The Hague. Sources from the...

Myanmar govt commission says no evidence of Rohingya genocide

A commission carried out by the Myanmar government rejected allegations of genocide against the Rohingya population in its interim report, published this week. The report described reports of human rights violations as "external allegations". Warning readers against believing "fabricated news and rumours", it said there was “insufficient evidence of mass rape”. Human Rights Watch expressed concern over the report. HRW's deputy Asia director, Phil Robertson, said, "this commission is looking more and more like the Myanmar government whitewash mechanism that we feared it would be." "This...

Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter, PM calls for pardon

An Israeli soldier was on Wednesday convicted of manslaughter for shooting dead an injured Palestinian. Sergeant Elor Azaria was found guilty by a three judge panel in a military court in Tel Aviv and will be sentenced on Sunday. The incident, which was captured on film by a Palestinian human rights activist, took place in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank on March 24. The case has sparked protests in Israeli, with many Israelis demonstrating against the conviction. Responding to the verdict on his Facebook page, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said "I support giving Elor...

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