Nazi hunters' final push

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has announced a new push to prosecute the last remaining individuals guilty of committing war crimes during the second world war. The head of the Nazi-hunting organisation's Jerusalem office, Efraim Zuroff, told a press conference in Berlin, the Center would offer a reward of 25,000 euros for information leading to successful prosecution of former Nazi's still at large. The intiative has been given a boost by the conviction of John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian former camp guard. Demjanjuk was convicted purely on the basis of his employment at a concentration camp where...

Syrian commanders ordered troops to 'shoot to kill' - HRW

Defected Syrian soldiers identified 74 of their senior officers and commanders responsible for the killing of protesters said Human Rights Watch in a report released on Thursday. The report, ‘By All Means Necessary!’: Individual and Command Responsibility for Crimes against Humanity in Syria , has compiled evidence from over 60 interviews with defectors, where former soldiers state they were ordered to "shoot to kill" and curtail the protests "by all means necessary". One former soldier said, "Our orders were to make the demonstrators retreat by all possible means , including by shooting at...

'International justice is here to stay' - ICC prosecutor

Sudan president, Omar al-Bashir will face justice one day asserted Luis Moreno Ocampo, the ICC's chief prosecutor, at a news conference following a briefing at the UN Security Council on Thursday. Ocampo warned, “ International justice is here to stay. It will take time but the destiny is clear. He will face justice .” Drawing parallels to the prosecution of war criminals in the former Yugoslavia, which took over 18 years but arrested all 161 accused, Ocampo warned that Bashir would eventually be arrested. Commenting on the Security Council meeting, Ocampo stated that there was " full support...

Abbas raises Palestinian Flag at UNESCO

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has symbolically raised the Palestinian flag above the UNESCO headquarters in Paris to the backdrop of the Palestinian national anthem, marking the first time the flag has flown above a UN agency. Addressing the crowd at UNESCO, Abbas said , "This is truly a historic moment. This admission is the first recognition of Palestine." "It is moving to see our flag raised and for it to be flying in this beautiful city of Paris, among all the other states. This bodes well for Palestine becoming a member of other international institutions," See a video...

Chad next to be referred to UN over Bashir

The International Criminal Court referred Chad to the UN Security Council on Wednesday over its failure to arrest Sudan's President, Omar al-Bashir for a second time. The referral comes 2 days after Malawi suffered a similar fate . A statement by the ICC read, “Today, the pre-trial chamber of the ICC decided that the Republic of Chad failed to cooperate with the court by not arresting and surrendering Omar al-Bashir during his visit to Chad on 7 and 8 August 2011,” “The chamber decided to refer the matter to both the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to the...

Genocide convict's jail sentence reduced

A former member of the Rwandan government during the genocide in 1994 has had his life sentence reduced to 35 years on appeal. Former Chief-of-Staff to the Defence Ministry, Theoneste Bagosora, was seen as one of the main organisers of the Tutsi genocide. He was sentenced to life by the UN-backed ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) in 2008. His convictions for some of the charges, including ordering killings at roadblocks were quashed, however the charges of genocide and crimes against humanity were upheld. Baosgara was in charge of the soldiers that committed massacres during...

Pakistan denies talks with Taliban

Senior Pakistani officials have denied claims by a senior leader of the Pakistani Taliban that the government is engaged in talks with them. Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik dismissed the claims as ‘unfounded’. Mr Malik said no prisoners have been released and there will not be any talks with militant groups until they lay down arms and denounce violence.

Refer Syria to ICC - Navi Pillay

UN High Commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, once again urged the Security Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court for the state's brutal clamp down of anti-government protest. The UN estimates over 5000 people have been killed. Highlighting the systematic and widespread attack on civilians, Pillay asserted that the state's actions " constituted crimes against humanity ". Addressing a closed session of the UN Security Council on Monday, Pillay said, "I encouraged this Council (last August) to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court. Four months later...

Uzbekistan torture ignored by West – HRW

Human Rights Watch has criticised western governments for ignoring Uzbekistan’s human rights abuses in order to preserve relations with the country. Uzbekistan is a vital ally for NATO forces as it shares a border with Afghanistan and allows its country to be used as a transit point. HRW accused Uzbekistan of failing to keep promises it made to stop torture. "The west has to wake up to the fact that Uzbekistan is a pariah state with one of the worst human rights records," Steve Swerdlow, HRW's Uzbekistan researcher, said. "Being located next to Afghanistan should not give Uzbekistan a pass on...

US leaves Pakistan airbase within time limit

US forces have vacated the Shamsi airbase in south-west Pakistan within the time limit given by the Pakistani government. Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani told BBC Urdu, the air base is now under the control of the country's forces. The withdrawal was demanded by the government after last months NATO air strike, which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The airbase, which had been in use by the US since 2001, was utilised for surveillance of the tribal regions and staging drone attacks within Pakistan and Afghanistan. Read report by Pakistan's The News here .

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