Iraq to end legal immunity for US troops

Iraq's political leaders announced on Tuesday that American troops may remain in Iraq next year, however, any remaining troops would no longer be granted immunity from Iraqi law. The move is expected to be welcomed by the Iraqi public, who have long protested against perceived impunity granted to US troops particularly after the Abu Ghraib affair. US officials have previously said such a decision by the Iraqis would end American support for the training of Iraqi troops. An official for the United States Embassy in Iraq said the Americans were reviewing the statement and “appreciate the...

Syrian diplomats harrass diaspora protesters

Amnesty International accused Syrian diplomats of launching a 'systematic' campaign of harassment and threats against expatriate dissidents protesting outside their embassies in eight countries - Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Britain and the United States. Protesters state that they were initially filmed or photographed by officials, before receiving phone calls, e-mails and Facebook messages warning them to stop the protests. Amnesty has expressed concern at reports that the relatives of protesters, currently in Syria, have been subject to targetted harassment, detention,...

Syrian National Council launched as battles intensify

Syria’s opposition forces have formally established a united front for the first time at a meeting in Turkey on Sunday. The formation of the Syrian National Council (SNC) represents a serious challenge to President Assad’s regime as it continues to crackdown on pro-democracy protests across the country. A spokesman told AFP , "The Syrian National Council reunites the forces of the opposition and the peaceful revolution... it represents the Syrian revolution both inside and outside the country ”. Stating that the SNC was open to all Syrians, they went on to call on "international organisations...

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.

Pages