Former Khmer Rouge member's plea of amnesty rejected by war crimes tribunal

A former Khmer Rouge member's plea against the charge of genocide, citing a royal pardon and the granting of amnesty, has been rejected by a UN-backed war crimes tribunal, examining allegations of genocide, torture and war crimes during the Khmer Rouge's rule of Cambodia. Ieng Sary, 86, was the foreign minister of the Khmer Rouge regime. Sary argued that he was immune from charges of genocide after receiving a royal pardon 15 years ago and amnesty upon surrendering to the government. Rejecting his plea, the tribunal released a statement on Monday, saying, "the scope of application of the...

Farc leader killed in Colombia

Colombia’s defence ministry has announced it has killed the leader of Farc, Alfonso Cano. Cano was killed when security forces surrounded his hideout, after aerial strikes hit his camp in the remote region of Cauca in southwest Colombia. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has hailed the Cano’s death as "the most resounding blow to this organisation in its entire history" The death is seen as a severe blow to Farc who have been suffering continous setbacks since a military campaign backed by the US started in 2002. After the death of one of its founders and then leader Manuel Marulanda...

Croatia will not drop genocide case

Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor has stated that Croatia will not be dropping charges of genocide levelled against Serbia, in a case filed before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The case, was put forward in 1999 against Serbia under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In response, Serbia filed their own genocide case against Croatia in 2010, focusing on the persecution of Serbs during World War II. While Serbia has said it would be in favour of both countries withdrawing their mutual genocide lawsuits, Croatia has stood firm and...

Kashmiris observe 64th Jammu Martyrs' Day

Kashmiris across the world observed Jammu Martyrs day on Sunday, 6th November. The day marks the massacre of upto 300,000 Muslims fleeing to Pakistan. The killings occurred sixty-four years ago in the city of Jammu and are believed to have been orchestrated by Hindu extremists and the Indian army led by Maharaja Hari Singh. On the day, Kashmiris pledged to continue the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people and never forget the sacrifice made by those who died in 1947. In a statement, the chairman of the All Parties Hurriya Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said that the massacre of Kashmiris...

Report accuses Indonesian police of brutality against Papuans

Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komna) accused the country's security forces of carrying out human right violations, during a separatist rally in Papua, in a report released on Friday. The report details incidences of police brutality against Papuans, which caused the deaths of four people. “We found four examples of human rights violations: the right to life, the right to live free from torture and brutal actions, property rights and the right to not live in fear,” Komnas chairman Ifdhal Kasim told the Jakarta Globe on Friday. “The National Police should independently...

Navi Pillay on human rights, from Moldova

Speaking at the end of her visit to Moldova, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, reiterated the importance of media freedom, upholding the rule of law and freedom from torture. See here for full speech. Extracts reproduced below: "Impunity is an issue I raised in connection with torture. Torture is a serious crime and cannot be tolerated in any circumstances. " Any state official who carries out torture must be prosecuted and brought to justice. In addition, victims of torture are entitled to effective remedies, including reparations." " I am very concerned at a punitive...

War crimes accused to stand in Congo election

A militia leader, accused of horrific war crimes by UN investigators is to stand in Congo’s parliamentary elections. Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka is alleged to have been involved in mass rapes committed by his troops, the Mai Mai militia in 2010. Although Congolese prosecutors issued a warrant for Sheka’s arrest in January, he can claim immunity from prosecution, if elected as a member of parliament. Human Rights Watch have called for his immediate arrest in a statement released on Wednesday. "The failure to arrest someone who is out publicly campaigning for votes sends a message that even the most...

All sides, including NATO, will be investigated – ICC

The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has stated that pro-Gaddafi forces, the NTC and NATO will all be investigated in an independent war crimes inquiry in Libya. Speaking to the UN Security Council, Moreno-Ocampo said , “There are allegations of crimes committed by Nato forces, allegations of crimes committed by NTC-related forces … as well as allegations of additional crimes committed by pro-Gaddafi forces. These allegations will be examined impartially and independently by the prosecution.” His statement was supported by the Indian representative at...

Former Serb paramilitary arrested

A member of the Serbian Jackals (Šakali) paramilitary group was reported to have been arrested in a Belgrade suburb, after spending years on the run. The former fighter, Sinisa Misic, was wanted for the killing of 11 ethnic Albanians, during the infamous Cuska massacre in May 1999. 48 young men and boys were killed by the paramilitary forces, which allegedly targeted the village as it was the Agim Çeku, a Kosovo Liberation Army Commander and current Minister of Security Forces in Kosovo. Both his father and brother were killed in the massacre. A further nine members of the “Jackals” are on...

Malawi 'needs to take its medicine' - UN

Expressing concern regarding threats to media freedom, governance, human rights abuses and the “shrinking political space”, the UN resident representative in Malawi, Richard Dictus, said, "[Malawi] definitely have to brace ourselves for a difficult period ahead. “You [Malawi] need to follow a new line, go back to a number of policy tenets that made Malawi very successful between 2004 and 2009. Re-establish that macroeconomic stability and if I can put it bluntly, Malawi needs to take its medicine and it will be painful .” Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for charges of war...

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