Poland to reopen investigations into Auschwitz concentration camps

Poland has reopened investigations into crimes committed in several concentration camps connected to Auschwitz during the Second World War. It is thought over one million Jews and Poles were killed by the Nazis in Auschwitz alone. Polish authorities hope to track down any surviving members of the Nazis, complicit in the genocide. The original investigation was closed in the 1980s, due to Poland’s status as a Soviet satellite state, which created difficulties in questioning witnesses and hunting down the perpetrators abroad. Read AP report here .

Turkey houses anti-Assad fighters

Former Syrian ally Turkey has been housing members of the Free Syrian Army, an anti-Assad group who have attacked Syrian soldiers, at a guarded camp in Turkey according to the New York Times. The news comes as the Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for an attack on Wednesday that killed 9 Syrian soldiers, including one officer. While Turkey insists their support for the group is purely “humanitarian”, Colonel As’aad of the Free Syrian Army was interviewed by the New York Times at a Turkish government official’s office, wearing a suit purchased by the Turkish Foreign Ministry and guarded...

Saif seeks flight to ICC war crimes court

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has reportedly contacted the ICC in order to negotiate his surrender and sought an aircraft to transport him over to the Hague war crimes court in the Netherlands. An NTC official told reporters that, "He believes handing himself over is the best option for him." He also commented that Saif feared for his safety and wanted assurances as he surrenders. he is currently thought to be on the run in the vast desert in Libya, near the border with Algeria and Niger. ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told reporters, "Through intermediaries, we have informal contact with Saif...

Convictions in Argentina’s landmark death squad trials

Former navy captain Alfredo Astiz, Argentina's infamous ‘Blond Angel of Death,’ and 11 other death squad members from the 1970s were jailed for life on Wednesday in one of the country's biggest human rights cases. However the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a French request to extradite Astiz, who was also convicted in absentia in Europe for killing two French nuns during the 1976-1983 ‘Dirty War.’ See Reuters reports here and here . Astiz stood trial with other former officials accused of horrific crimes at the ESMA Naval Mechanics School, where about 5,000 dissidents were held and...

Libya agrees to prosecute Gaddafi killers

Libya’s interim government has agreed to prosecute the killers of Muammar Gaddafi, after previously claiming he was killed by crossfire. The U-turn is likely to have been caused by increased international pressure after more videos emerged showing Gaddafi being assaulted by Libyan rebel fighters. Gaddafi is thought to have been killed by a gunshot to his head. Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, deputy chief of the National Transitional Council, said it would seek to those who are responsible for Gaddafi’s death. "With regards to Gaddafi, we do not wait for anybody to tell us," he told the al-Arabiya...

Bahrain to train Afghan soldiers

Bahrain's security forces are to be deployed to Afghanistan in order to train Afghan forces, as part of Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf). The move comes amidst on-going human rights concerns regarding the Bahraini government's brutal crackdown on civilian protesters using the military and police. At least 35 protesters are thought to have been killed. The Asia director of Human Rights Watch, John Fortin, remarked, " It is an insult to the Afghan people to suggest the military of a regime which crushes democracy in their own country would help build democracy in another...

Genocide charges against mining giant

A US federal court has revived a lawsuit against London-based mining giant Rio Tinto Plc. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of around 10,000 residents of Bougainville, a mining town in Papua New-Guinea. Rio Tinto is accused of encouraging the government of Papua New-Guinea to crush an uprising beginning in 1988 by residents against the pollution and ‘slave-like conditions’ the residents were forced to work under. Judge Mary Schroeder wrote in a report for the appeals court that the complaint's allegation that Rio Tinto's "worldwide modus operandi" was to treat indigenous non-Caucasians as "...

Turkey ban on Armenian genocide scholarship violates European rights convention - court

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday unanimously ruled that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide cannot be criminalized in Turkey. The verdict stemmed from a case brought to the court by noted scholar Taner Akcam. In the case Taner Akcam vs. Turkey, the court ruled that Turkey’s ongoing criminal prosecution of scholarship on the Armenian Genocide issue constituted a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. See report by Asberez.com here .

Gaddafi's son to surrender to ICC

The National Transitional Council of Libya has stated that Saif al-Islam, the fugitive son of Muammar Gaddafi, has offered to surrender to the International Criminal Court. Abdel Majid Mlegta, a senior military official for the NTC told reporters that with Saif al-Islam was Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi. Both are wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity. Mlegta said , 'They are proposing a way to hand themselves over to The Hague.' 'They feel that it is not safe for them to stay where they are or to go anywhere.' The statement comes just days after a message...

Egyptian Policemen jailed for activist death

Two Egyptian policemen have been jailed for seven years for the manslaughter of Khaled Said, an activist, whose death became a major trigger for the widespread protests that resulted in the overthrow of the Mubarak regime. The policemen claimed Said had choked on a packet of drugs which he attempted to swallow when the police approached. However, forensic reports proved that the package was forced into his mouth, leaving Said with broken teeth and a fractured jaw. The 'lenient' prison sentence drew condemnation by human rights activists and Said’s family members. Reports indicate that lawyers...

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