Kenyan court orders Bashir arrest warrant

A Kenyan court has ordered the goverment to arrest Sudan's president Omar Al-Bashir "should he set foot in Kenya in future", The ruling came after the Kenyan chapter of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) filed a suit seeking a new arrest warrant. In response, Khartoum has taken the decision to expel Kenya's ambassador. Kenya was criticised by the International Criminal Court in 2010, after failing to arrest Bashir during his stay in the country. The UN Security Council have previously been urged, by the ICC, to take action against Kenya, as well as Chad and Djibouti for failing to...

Libya still holds 7000 prisoners – UN

Around 7000 prisoners, many of them sub-Saharan African mercenaries hired by Gaddafi, are still being held in detention across Libya, the UN says. The men are held without access to legal services as courts are not yet fully working in the country. "While the (National Transitional Council) has taken some steps toward transferring responsibility for the detainees from brigades to proper state authorities, much remains to be done to regularize detention, prevent abuse and bring about the release of those whose detention should not be prolonged," the report says. Mr Ban said: "I believe that...

Arab League adopts Syria sanctions

The Arab League has approved sanctions against Syria after its suspension from the body earlier in the month. The 22-member body voted 19-3 for the immediate implantation of the sanctions, with Iraq and Lebanon abstaining from the vote. Turkey, acting as an observer, has indicated it too would impose the sanctions on its southern neighbour. 'When civilians are killed in Syria and the Syrian regime increases its cruelty to innocent people, it should not be expected for Turkey and the Arab League to be silent,' said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, according to the state Anatolia news...

Iran MPs vote to downgrade diplomatic relationship with UK

Iranian MP’s have passed a bill to downgrade ties with the UK in response to sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme. The bill would give President Ahmedinejad two weeks to expel Birtish Ambassador to Tehran, Dominick Chilcott, if approved by the Guardian Council. "The British government should know that if they insist on their evil stances the Iranian people will punch them in the mouth, exactly as happened against America's den of spies, before it was approved by officials," said Tehran MP Mehdi Kuchakzadeh. The comment refers to the hostage crisis in 1979, during which Iranian...

Australian MPs urge recognition of Armenian genocide

Seven Federal members called for the recognition of the Armenian genocide, along side the Greek and Assyrian genocides. John Alexander, Joe Hockey, Paul Fletcher, Craig Kelly, Malcolm Turnbull, Michael Danby and Joel Fitzgibbon urged the Australian House of Representatives to acknowledge the atrocities that took place at the dawn of the 20th century. Member for Hughes, Craig Kelly, said, “The Armenian Genocide and the related Assyrian and Greek Genocides were the result of a deliberate and systematic campaign against the Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire between 1914 and 1923,” “ Aside from the deaths , Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire had their wealth and property confiscated without compensation. Businesses and farms were lost, and schools, churches, hospitals and monasteries became the property of the Ottoman Empire .” “It is now time for our parliament to join other parliaments around the world and recognise these genocides for what they were,” Urging Australia to " follow in the footsteps of so many nations in formally recognising these genocides ", the member for Bennelong, John Alexander, said the "actions of members of this parliament will help to solidify the global movement to identify these atrocities for what they are .”

War crimes complaint against Mexican President filed at ICC

Mexican human rights lawyers have filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court, asking them to investigate Mexican President Felipe Calderon for war crimes and crimes against humanity, in the government’s long running war on drugs cartels. The petition, signed by 20,000 people names both the Mexican President and Sinaloa drug cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. They signatories claim President Felipe Calderon’s offensive against drug cartels has involved about 470 cases of human rights violations by the army or police. Netzai Sandoval, a Mexican human rights lawyer told reporters, "We have known for five years that the Mexican army is committing sexual abuse, executing people, torturing people and kidnapping, and there have been no sanctions " "The violence in Mexico is bigger than the violence in Afghanistan, and bigger than the violence in Colombia" "We want the prosecutor to tell us if war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Mexico, and if the president and other top officials are responsible". He went on to argue the government doesn't have the will to prosecute drug war crimes saying, "The Mexican legal system does not specifically define these crimes, so there is no way to prosecute those who commit them. Moreover, there is no political will to investigate the widespread violence " While most cases are referred by states or the UN Security Council, the ICC can also start investigations on their own on the basis of information received from individuals or organisations. To date they have only occurred in Africa but examinations have begun Afghanistan, Colombia, Honduras and Korea. Richard Dicker, an international justice expert with Human Rights Watch said , "There are a large number of boxes that the prosecutor would need to check off before he could actually open an investigation." "It's possible ... but I think you want to be clear on what the challenges and obstacles are." " The crimes would have to be widespread or systematic, carried out by a state or organization in attacks on a civilian population ."

China to carry out naval exercises in Pacific

China has said it will carry out naval exercises in the Pacific Ocean, after last week’s announcement by President Obama that 2,500 US marines will be stationed in Australia. The Chinese Defence Ministry said in a statement the exercises were ‘routine’ and not targeted at a specific country. "This is an annual, planned, routine drill. It is not directed at any specific country or target and is in keeping with relevant international laws and practices," said the statement. "China's freedom of navigation and other legal rights should not be obstructed." A spokesman for the Pentagon has said the...

Arab League issues 24-hour ultimatum

After meeting in Cairo on Thursday, the Arab League have issued an ultimatum to Syria, giving them less than 24 hours to allow monitors to enter the country or face economic sanctions. Having suspended Syria from the League and imposed a deadline for them to comply with a proposed deal, the regime rejected what they called “impossible conditions”. The proposal of sending a delegation of 500-members as independent monitors to Syria was refused by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, who wanted only 40 to visit the country. Afifi Abdel Wahab, Egypt's envoy to the Arab League said , "Tomorrow [...

Discovery of bodies raise possibility of further war crimes investigations - Guatemala

The discovery of the bodies of two Guatemalan men by a former military base may lead to new investigations into possible war crimes, say experts. The men were captured by security forces in 1984 during Guatemala's civil war, and were one of the 40,000 people who disappeared during that time. DNA testing has identified the men as Amancio Samuel Villatoro, a union leader, and Sergio Saúl Linares Morales, an engineering professor. See related articles: Former Guatemalan president wanted for genocide (15 Oct 2011) Guatemalan war criminal to be extradited to US (05 Sep 2011) Former Guatemala army...

Bosnian Serb charged with crimes against humanity

A Bosnian Serb man has been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes relating to his participation in Bosnia 1992-95 war. The defendant, Oliver Krsmanovic former member of the 2nd Podrinjska Light Infantry Brigade, is accused of unlawfully detaining and killing 70 Bosnian Muslim civilians in the eastern town of Visegrad on June 27, 1992. He is also charged with raping and sexual abusing women under captivity in the town. It is alleged that he collaborated with Milan Lukic, leader of a Serb paramilitary group known as the White Eagles who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2009...

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