ICC allows Ivory Coast investigation

Laurent Gbagbo was captured by Ouattara loyalists backed by French special forces (Photo: ZimDaily) The International Criminal Court in The Hague has granted prosecutors permission to investigate alleged war crimes in the Ivory Coast. A spokesperson for the ICC said an investigation into the atrocities will begin soon.

Bangladesh tribunal charges war crimes suspect

A war crimes tribunal set up to investigate war crimes committed during the independence struggle in Bangladesh has charged its first suspect. Delawar Hossain Sayedee, a senior leader of the Jamat-e-Islami party, has been charged with war crimes including mass murder, rape, looting and forcibly converting Hindus.

Hague met Syrian activists in London

British Foreign Secretary William Hague met pro-democracy Syrian activists in London on Thursday, describing them as exiles from a "brutal regime that has lost all legitimacy." See AFP’s report here . It was not the first time Hague had met such activists but the meeting took place amid growing Western condemnation of the crackdown on protesters against President Bashar al-Assad's regime. "President Assad must step aside so that credible reform can begin," Hague also said. "Syrians from all walks of life and all religious communities have been united in their opposition to the regime's...

Rwanda extradition ruling by France is bad for justice

Comment by Dr Andrew Wallis, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge, as published in The Guardian : A French court has ruled it will block the extradition of a leading genocide suspect to face trial in Rwanda . Yet a separate French court ruled three times that Agathe Habyarimana, the wife of the former Rwandan president, cannot be granted asylum because "she was at the heart of the genocidal regime". This refusal now by France to hand her over, despite the appalling crimes its own independent asylum commission finds her responsible for, is for purely...

Yemeni youth urge UN to take Saleh to the ICC

The Yemeni youth movement reported to be the driving force behind months of protests in the country, have delivered a letter to the UN, asking to ensure President Ali Abdullah Saleh faces trial at the International Criminal Court. The letter addressed to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon said , "We call on the UN to refer Saleh, his sons and his gang to the International Criminal Court for their crimes against peaceful protesters." It also called on the international community to place sanctions on Saleh’s regime, asking them to freeze the assets of "Saleh, his family, and their supporters in...

Pressure on Saleh increases

Western countries are in talks to draft a UN resolution aimed at pressuring president Saleh to step down, Reuters reported. "The international community has decided we need to up the pressure now, No decision has been taken yet over what type of resolution we might try ... But we do need to move beyond statements now." said a senior western diplomat in Sanaa. The resolution is not thought to have the support of Russia and China yet, with talks still ongoing about a ‘softer’ resolution against Syria, which would be acceptable to both countries. "We don’t want to take on Yemen until the Council...

Serbs erect new barricade as tensions simmer

Ethnic Serbs have constructed a new roadblock in northern Kosovo, after NATO peacekeepers removed a previous barricade. Helicopters and heavily armed NATO troops removed the roadblock, amidst protest by Serb residents. But a few hours after the peacekeepers cleared the roads, Serbs constructed a new barricade further down the road.

Pakistan: 'self-determination a basic human right'

Endorsing the Palestinians' bid for UN membership for the state of Palestine, Pakistan's foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, asserted , “Self-determination is a basic human right which cannot be applied selectively.” Khar continued, “We are meeting here at a time when the Palestinian aspirations for a national homeland appear to be entering a decisive phase .” “At this critical juncture, we stand with our Palestinian brethren for their legitimate demand for an independent State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, and its recognition by the United Nations ,”

Dual-citizenship war criminal loses extradition case

A Serbian-Australian citizen has again lost an appeal against an extradition that would see him face charges of war crimes in Croatia. Dragan Vasiljkovic, nicknamed "Captain Dragan", was the founder of a paramilitary unit the “Knindze” also known as the “Knin Ninjas” or “Red Berets”. He is accused of torturing and killing Croatian civilians and prisoners of war during the Balkan conflict in the 1990s. See report by The Australian here . Australia’s Federal Court upheld an earlier November 2010 ruling stating that, “There was no obvious, or even readily apparent, basis on which the view might...

UN jails genocide accused

Two former Rwandan ministers have been jailed by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for conspiracy to commit genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. Former foreign affairs minister Jerome-Clement Bicamumpaka and former health minister Casimir Bizimungu were both sentenced to 30 years in prison. However, two other former ministers were acquitted due to insufficient evidence. All four ministers were accused of making speeches at rallies inciting massacres of Tutsis, during the genocide in Rwanda. The ICTR was set up by the United Nations in 1994 to hold...