Sanctions and justice required for crimes against humanity in Myanmar - HRW

Myanmar’s security forces are committing crimes against humanity against the Rohingya population in Myanmar, said Human Rights Watch in a statement released Monday. The rights organisation said the military had committed forced deportation, murder, rape and persecution against Rohingya Muslims in the northern Rakhine State. Human Rights Watch called for the United Nations Security Council and governments to impose targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on the Burmese military to stop further crimes. The group further called on the council to discuss measures to bring those responsible for...

Australian soldier who severed hands of Taliban fighter cleared of war crimes

An Australian SAS corporal has been cleared of war crimes by the country’s federal police after it emerged he cut the hands off two suspected Taliban fighters during a military operation in 2013. The soldier was part of a joint Afghan national security service and Australian Special Operations Task Group operation to kill or capture a senior Taliban commander. The mission, in which the target was not captured, left four alleged insurgents dead. When the soldier in question searched the bodies, he went on to sever the right hands of the dead men with a surgical scalpel. A classified internal...

Dozens of skulls found at Bosnian mass grave site

At least 86 skulls have been uncovered by forensic experts in Bosnia last week as they exhumed the site of a mass grave. Forensic experts found the skulls alongside other body parts in Mount Vlasic, reports Reuters. Serbian security forces summarily executed dozens of Bosnian Muslim and Croat prisoners at the site on 21 August 1992. Survivors told of how they were lined up at the edge of the ravine before being shot. “We hope that the search for the victims of this massacre has completed today,” said Lejla Cengic from the Missing Persons Institute. A war crimes court based at The Hague jailed...

Turkey president threatens to close tap on Kurdish oil exports following independence referendum

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan denounced the Independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan and threatened to close the Turkish border with the region this week. Pledging to stop all exports from the Kurdish Rregional Governemnt (KRG) that passed through the Turkish border, Mr Erdogan said, “Our armed forces are on the borders with Iraq to do whatever it takes. We will neverl allow anyone or anything to go from Turkey to Iraq. After this let’s see through which channels they will send their oil through.. and who they will sell to. The valve is with us. It’s finished the moment we close it.”...

Kurds cast vote in independence referendum

Kurds in Iraq on Monday morning began casting their vote in a referendum on independence. Voting began at 8am local time and will end at 6pm. The results are expected to be announced in 72 hours. The deputy prime minister, Qubad Talabani of the Kurdistan Regional Government was quoted by Rudaw as saying, "I congratulate the people of the Kurdistan Region. Today is a historical day." "It is the beginning of a struggle today in which we hope after a talking process with Iraq, with our neighbors, friends and rivals, to be able to reach our nation's objectives, be able to fulfill the dream that...

Kurdistan warned of failed partnership with Iraq in 2015 - Barzani interview

Kurdistan’s president Masoud Barzani reiterated that his people will to not be “subordinates” to Baghdad. Noting that he told the US president in 2015 that Kurdistan’s partnership with Iraq had failed, Mr Barzani stressed that the landmark independence referendum was not a pressure card but a first step towards genuine sovereignty for the Kurdish people. Speaking to The Guardian on Friday the Kurdish President stressed Iraq failed to function as a federal parliament and was ‘chauvinistic’ in nature, stating, “From world war one until now, we are not a part of Iraq. It’s a theocratic,...

UN Sec-Gen meets with Kurdistan Foreign Minister ahead of independence referendum

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres met with Kurdistan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. A United Nations statement released after the meeting said the meeting involved discussions on the upcoming referendum, the national reconciliation process and the passing of a UN Security Council resolution to hold ISIS accountable for its crimes. The meeting took place after Kurdistan’s president Masoud Barzani addressed a 40,000 rally on Friday to mark the end of the official referendum campaign reports ruddaw.net. Simultaneously,...

Outgoing prosecutor calls out Syrian ambassador on chemical weapons in farewell speech

An outgoing member of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria slammed international inaction over war crimes in the country, before directly telling Syria’s ambassador his government had used chemical weapons, in a farewell speech in Geneva this week. Veteran prosecutor Carla del Ponte stated that she had resigned “to put an end to my frustration”. Speaking after the Commission of Inquiry presented its latest report, Ms Del Ponte told the council “We could not obtain from the international community and the Security Council a resolution putting in place a tribunal, an ad hoc tribunal for all...

Palestinian human rights groups submit Israeli war crimes dossier to ICC

Four Palestinian human rights organisations have submitted a dossier to the International Criminal Court which details alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. "This communication, which is based on factual information collected by the four organisations, covers the following crimes against humanity in accordance with the Rome Statute: murder, deportation or transfer of population, persecution, apartheid," one of the group's representatives told Al Jazeera. In a statement released on Wednesday the...

UN Security Council authorises investigative team to collect evidence of IS crimes in Iraq

The UN Security Council on Thursday authorised the establishment of an investigative team to collect, store and maintain evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by Islamic State in Iraq. A resolution, which was drafted by the UK and asks the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres to create such a team, was adopted by all 15 states of the Council. The team will be led by a Special Adviser, who will be appointed by Mr Guterres and will have an initial mandate of two years. The use of any evidence for trials or other investigations would “be determined in agreement...

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