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News updates

(For news updates older than two weeks, please visit our news archive.)

5 February 2016: The European Parliament unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday characterizing the Islamic State militant group’s (ISIS) systematic killing and persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East as genocide. The resolution states that those who intentionally commit atrocities for ethnic or religious reasons should be brought before criminal courts for violations against international law, crimes against humanity, and genocide. ISIS has systematically targeted religious minorities, particularly Assyrian Christians and Yazidis.

5 February 2016: Sri Lanka's president Maithripala Sirisena said on Thursday he would abide by a UN resolution calling for a credible war crimes tribunal to investigate allegations of atrocities in the country's war against Tamil separatists. He said UN investigators would not take part in the inquiry, but their views would be taken into account. Sri Lanka's previous government, led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, rejected international pressure for a UN war crimes investigation, and major political parties remain opposed to any external involvement in the investigation. The army and Tamil Tiger rebels were both accused of atrocities in the 26-year  war, which ended in 2009. Between 80,000 and 100,000 people are estimated to have died in the conflict.

4 February 2016: The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the decision of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, holding Monday that a Somali torture claim lacked a "sufficient nexus" with the US to allow jurisdiction under the Alien Tort Statute. In 1987, Farhan Warfaa was taken from his home in Somalia, beaten, and tortured for approximately three months and shot by Yusuf Ali, a colonel in the Somali National Army. Ali had been living in Virginia for eight years before Warfaa, still living in Somalia, filed the initial claim in 2004. Even though Ali is now a US resident, the court held that Warfaa had filed no claim that "touches and concerns" the US, as all events occurred in Somalia. Another claim, under the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), was allowed to proceed. Ali is calling for immunity from his actions as a foreign official, which TVPA would deny.  

4 February 2016: Russian Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin has allegedly said the interpretation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of events in South Ossetia in August 2008 as an international armed conflict between Russia and Georgia during which Russia controlled the actions of the South Ossetian authorities is ungrounded. He said "if the events are to be interpreted from the viewpoint of the 1949 Geneva conventions, which regulate the legal regime of an armed conflict, then it would most likely be logical to give them the status of a non-international armed conflict".  Last month, the ICC authorised an investigation into possible war crimes perpetrated during the conflict in South Ossetia.

3 February 2016: Russia's Justice Ministry stated on Tuesday that Russia cannot participate in the International Criminal Court's (ICC) investigation into war crimes committed during the conflict in South Ossetia, Georgia, in 2008 as it has not ratified the Rome Statute. Russia signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but has not yet ratified it. The ICC has launched an investigation into the military conflict in South Ossetia in 2008, stating "there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the ICC's jurisdiction have been committed in Georgia. Such crimes include crimes against humanity[...] and war crimes”.

3 February 2016: The International Criminal Court has announced it will deliver its verdict in the case The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo on Monday 21 March 2016 in an open session. The trial in the Bemba case started on 22 November 2010 and the closing oral statements were given on 12 and 13 November 2014. Mr Bemba is allegedly criminally responsible, as a military commander, for two counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes allegedly committed in the Central African Republic in 2002-2003.

3 February 2016: Another two men were sentenced to death on Tuesday after being found guilty by the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh of war crimes during the country's independence war against Pakistan in 1971. Obaidul Haque Taher and Ataur Rahman Nani were convicted of killing seven people and raping a woman in the northern district of Netrokona, and of torturing six others to death after abducting them.

2 February 2016: Amnesty International has criticised the reinstatement of a Nigerian general it accuses of war crimes in the fight against Boko Haram. Amnesty International named Maj Gen Ahmadu Mohammed and eight other officers in a report last year, accusing the military of killing more than 8,000 detainees. He was sacked for unrelated reasons before recently being reinstated. Amnesty's secretary general Salil Shetty said in a statement: "Major General Mohammed must be investigated for participating in, sanctioning or failing to prevent the deaths of hundreds of people".

2 February 2016:  The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) annual piracy report reveals that piracy and armed robbery on the world’s seas is persisting at levels close to those in 2014, despite reductions in the number of ships hijacked and crew captured. South East Asia still accounts for most of the world's incidents, Nigeria is a hotspot for violent piracy and armed robbery, and incidents in Vietnam surged from seven in 2014 to 27 in 2015. However, no Somali-based attacks were reported in 2015.

2 February 2016: The United Nations has said that there should be no amnesty for people suspected of committing war crimes as talks aimed at ending Syria's war continued to struggle in Geneva. Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the top UN human rights official, maintained on Monday that the deliberate starvation of Syrians was a potential war crime and a crime against humanity that should be prosecuted and not covered by any amnesty that may be agreed as part of a peace deal.

1 February 2016: Members of Shia militias, who the Iraqi government has included among its state forces, have committed possible war crimes in Iraq, according to Human Rights Watch. The militias have been repeatedly accused of abuses including summary executions, kidnappings and destruction of property in the course of the war against the extremist group Islamic State. According to HRW, they abducted and killed scores of Sunni residents in a central Iraq town and demolished Sunni homes, stores, and mosques following the 11 January 2016 bombings claimed by Islamic State.

1 February 2016: A lawyer at a Dutch human rights legal firm, Prakken d’Oliveira, filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday against the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. The complaint was filed on behalf of 17 unnamed victims and alleges to set out evidence of crimes against humanity—including torture and murder—committed by Nigerian security forces against pro-Biafran protesters. It follows from the complaint that since the election of President Buhari in 2015, the violence against Biafrans has seriously intensified. It also calls upon the ICC Prosecutor to launch without delay criminal investigations in the Situation of Nigeria.

1 February 2016: Human Rights Watch (HRW) claim in a report released on Saturday that mass graves in Iraq are being disturbed, which could lead to destroyed evidence in proving possible genocide committed against the Yazidi. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says the killings may have amounted to genocide. HRW is urging authorities in Iraq to have international forensic experts analyse the graves for evidence of any possible crimes and to preserve any evidence found.

29 January 2016: The African Union (AU) summit taking place on Saturday is expected to adopt a report that recommends, among others, collective withdrawal of African States from the Rome Statute that establishes the International Criminal Court ( ICC). In a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the AU Executive Council that comprises foreign affairs ministers from the continent already adopted a report that highlights Africa’s misgivings with the Court. The cases against Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang and the one against Sudan president Omar al Bashir are key among items straining ICC’s relationship with Africa.

29 January 2016: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution on Wednesday condemning the actions of ISIS in Iraq and Syria as genocide. The resolution "Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq" states that ISIS "has perpetrated acts of genocide and other serious crimes punishable under international law." The resolution was drafted in response to the targeting of religious minorities in the Middle East and was passed by 117 votes for and just 1 against. The European Parliament is now expected to vote on a similar resolution on the situation of Christians in the Middle East on Thursday, 4 February 2016.

28 January 2016: On Thursday, Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of Ivory Coast, will go on trial at the International Criminal Court, facing four counts of crimes against humanity stemming from the violence surrounding the 2010 presidential election. The first former head of state to be tried by the court, Gbagbo lost Ivory Coast's 2010 presidential runoff to Alassane Ouattara but refused to step down, sparking violence that killed more than 3000 people. Prosecutors say he bears responsibility for murder, rape and other crimes carried out by those fighting to keep him in office. He is standing trial alongside Charles Ble Goude, Gbagbo's former youth minister accused of inciting violence against Ouattara supporters.

28 January 2016: A trial opened in Lithuania on Wednesday against dozens of former Soviet military officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in a 1991 crackdown against the Baltic state's pro-independence movement. Russia has refused to cooperate with the investigation and most of the accused, who live outside Lithuania, will not attend the trial. Fourteen civilians were killed by the Soviet army in January 1991, prosecutors say, all but one of them during the storming of the state television headquarters and TV tower by Soviet paratroopers. More than 700 others were wounded.

28 January 2016: The International Criminal Court (ICC) has authorised an investigation into possible war crimes perpetrated during a conflict between Russia and Georgia. The investigation relates to the conflict in 2008 centred on South Ossetia, a breakaway region of Georgia. In October last year, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda formally requested to be allowed to open a full investigation into the 2008 war in South Ossetia. On Wednesday a panel of three judges agreed to the request, concluding that “there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction have been committed in the situation in Georgia”.

27 January 2016: Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the Sri Lankan government on Monday to fulfill its commitments to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by ensuring that foreign judges and prosecutors play a significant role in the mandated accountability mechanism to address war crimes. Referring to a statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena on January 21 that he will not agree to international involvement as Sri Lanka "have more than enough specialists, experts and knowledgeable people in our country to solve our internal issues", HRW said the consensual resolution agreed at the UNHRC in October 2015 cannot be negotiated and stated "Human Rights Council member and observer countries that backed the consensus October 2015 resolution, should make clear that foreign participation in a war crimes tribunal was already decided by the council and is not subject to renegotiation".

27 January 2016: A panel of UN experts has said the United Nations Security Council should consider creating an international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged human rights abuses by all sides in Yemen's conflict. In their report, the panel claims the Saudi-led coalition waging an air war in Yemen has carried out 119 sorties that violated humanitarian law and UN figures suggest more than 5,800 people have been killed and 27,000 wounded since last March. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been increasingly vocal in his criticism of the Saudi campaign in Yemen and earlier this month, he warned that cluster bomb attacks by the coalition on Sanaa could amount to a war crime.

27 January 2016: The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo on Tuesday commenced the trial of Naser Oric, the wartime commander of Srebrenica's defence forces charged with war crimes against Serb prisoners of war, alleged to have taken place in 1992. Together with Oric, also indicted in the case is Sabahudin Muhic, a former member of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Oric had already been indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for command responsibility for crimes against Serbs in the area of Srebrenica. He was acquitted of the charges in a trial that ended in 2008.

26 January 2016: The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) has called upon the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the flooding of the border between Gaza and Egypt and the closure of the Rafah crossing. AOHR UK submitted two communications to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC on Monday inviting the Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute both the "deliberate infiltration of seawater into Gaza’s territory and the closure of the Rafah crossing". The organisation claim both acts constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity and are, therefore, under ICC jurisdiction.

26 January 2016: Europol announced on Monday the formation of a strategic center to combat terrorism in Europe. EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos announced the creation of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC), which aims to boost cooperation among Europol member states in their fight against terrorist threats in Europe. Europol said that the ECTC, based in The Hague, would focus on "tackling foreign fighters, sharing intelligence and expertise on terrorism financing, online terrorist propaganda and extremism, illegal arms trafficking and international cooperation to increase effectiveness and prevention."

26 January 2016: Ships travelling through waters off the coast of Somalia face an increased risk of piracy this year, fostered by deteriorating political conditions in the center of the Horn of Africa nation, according to Colorado-based risk adviser, IHS Inc. Conditions that fueled piracy in 2005-2012 are seen to be re-emerging, meaning Somali pirates may soon regain safe havens vital to operations. IHS additionally said about 60 percent of commercial shipping traveling through the “historic piracy zone” no longer carry privately contracted armed security personnel on board because of costs and perceptions that piracy is not a significant risk.

25 January 2016: North Korea's leadership should face trial for crimes against humanity due to making no improvement in their human rights record since a 2014 UN report on the country, says UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Marzuki Darusman called for pursuing criminal responsibility of the DPRK leadership on Friday, two years after the UN report concluded that North Korean security chiefs and possibly leader Kim Jong Un should face international justice for ordering systematic torture, starvation and killings. Darusman said on Friday that “not much has changed in the country almost two years after the report of the Commission of Inquiry."

25 January 2016: Nearly 60 investigations of war crimes committed by UK soldiers in Iraq have been dropped, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (Ihat) has decided not to proceed in 57 cases and a further case was stopped by the military's prosecuting authority. Ihat was set up to review and investigate allegations of abuse made by Iraqi civilians against UK armed forces personnel in Iraq during the period of 2003 to July 2009. It currently lists more than 1,300 allegations under investigation, ranging from murder to low-level violence, with some 280 of those being allegations of unlawful killing.

25 January 2016: A Nigerian lawyer, Femi Falana, has urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate allegations of crimes against humanity committed against the Nigerian people by some former and serving military, public officials and private persons involved in diverting the $2.1billion arms fund - money which was meant to buy equipment for the military fighting Boko Haram. In a petition sent to the Prosecutor of the ICC, Falana stated: “The failure of a former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to prevent widespread and systematic corruption amounts to complicity under the Rome Statute, and therefore fits the legal requirements of a crime against humanity”. The lawyer also sought the prosecution of former national security advisor, Sambo Dasuki, saying his trial by the current administration should not stop the international body from probing him.

22 January 2016: United Nations Security Council ambassadors are in Burundi for the second time in less than a year in order to meet President Pierre Nkurunziza today and press for peace in the violence-torn country. Fearing the violence may escalate to genocide, two former Presidents of Burundi on Thursday called upon the UN Security Council to back the deployment of peacekeeping troops in order to avoid the country "becoming another Rwanda".

22 January 2016: The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) yesterday released a report documenting the "shocking crimes" committed by all sides in the South Sudan conflict. Filed with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the report said that "violations and abuses of human rights, as well as violations of international humanitarian law, have been committed, possibly amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity". Such crimes reported to have occurred in the area include extra-judicial killings, disappearances, gang-rapes, sexual slavery, forced abortions, and child recruitment.

22 January 2016: A leading Kosovo Serb politician, Oliver Ivanovic,  was sentenced to nine years in prison yesterday for war crimes against ethnic Albanian civilians. Ivanovic, who was leader of a paramilitary police unit in 1999, was the first senior Kosovo Serb official tried by the EU's Rule of Law Mission (Eulex) in Kosovo. Four other Kosovo Serbs charged together with him were acquitted. Serbian officials denounced Thursday's verdict, warning it could re-ignite ethnic tensions in the already volatile region.
 

New cases, briefs and videos

(For older announcements, please visit our announcements archive.)

NEW CASE: The case of Public Prosecutor v. Sebastien Nzapali is now available online. Sebastien Nzapali, aka “King of Beasts”, was commander of the Garde Civile in 1991 during the regime of President Mobutu Sese Seko in the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo (before known as Zaire). During that time, Nzapali gave orders for the arrest of a customs officer working at the port of Matadi, his detention and for his subsequent torture. After the fall of President Mobutu in 1997, Nzapali fled to the Netherlands. In September 2007, the District Court of ‘s Hertogenbosch sentenced Nzapali to ten years' imprisonment after being found guilty on a range of charges, including self-enrichment and unlawful arrests.

NEW CASE: The case of Snedden v Minister for Justice for the Commonwealth of Australia is now available online. Dual Australian-Serbian citizen “Captain Dragan” (Dragan Vasiljkovic, known in Australia as Daniel Snedden) was the first Australian citizen to be extradited from Australia. Croatia alleges that Snedden committed war crimes in 1991 and 1993 whilst in command of Serbian paramilitary troops. The Court held that there was no reviewable error in the Minister’s determination under Section 22 of the Extradition Act 1988 (Cth) that Snedden should be extradited. The Court also held that because the Minister was not bound to consider Article 129 of the Third Geneva Convention in making his determination, any errors in the interpretation of that Article would not vitiate the decision.

NEW CASE: The case of A v. Secretary of State for the Home Department (No. 1) is now available online. This case involved nine defendants – Mahmoud Abu Rideh, Jamal Ajouaou and seven unnamed individuals, all foreign nationals living in the U.K. – who were detained without trial as they were linked to terrorist organisations. They challenged the lawfulness of their detention as violation of Article 5(1)(f) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The House of Lords opined that the possibility of indefinite detention of foreign nationals indeed breached Article 5(1)(f) ECHR but stated that constant terrorism threats could constitute an immediate danger and threat to national security; which is a lawful basis to derogate from Article 5 (see Article 15 ECHR). However, in the current case the measures were disproportionate by nature and discriminatory in their effect. Therefore, the House of Lords decided that Section 23 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, which allowed for indefinite detention of foreign suspects who could not leave the U.K., was declared incompatible with the U.K.’s international human rights obligations enshrined in the ECHR.

NEW VIDEOS: On 24 September 2014, Geoff Roberts, from the Sabra Defence Team (Special Tribunal for Lebanon), provided a lecture in the context of the Lebanon lecture series on war crimes. Four video excerpts of his lecture explaining various aspects of war crimes can be viewed here.

NEW ICD BRIEF: Dr. Megumi Ochi, Post-Doctoral research fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) at Kyoto University (Japan), has written a new ICD Brief on the "Gravity Threshold before the International Criminal Court: An Overview of the Court's Practice". You can read the Brief here.

NEW VIDEO: On Monday 22 September 2014, Matthew Gillett, Senior Staff Member, Appeals Division, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Nema Milaninia, Appeals Counsel with the Office of the Prosecutor, ICTY, provided a lecture in the context of the Lebanon lecture series on crimes against humanity. A short excerpt from that lecture, explaining the general elements of crimes against humanity, can be found here.

NEW CASE: The case of Al-Aulaqi v. Obama et al. is now available online. The case revolves around Anwar Al-Aulaqi, an American-born cleric with dual U.S.-Yemeni citizenship who was a member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and had gone into hiding in Yemen, from where he regularly published videos propagating the jihad. The U.S. Treasury Department had allegedly designated him for targeted killing. Therefore, his father, Nasser Al-Aulaqi, filed a complaint claiming that the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of the CIA unlawfully authorised the targeted killing, and seeking an injunction prohibiting them from intentionally killing his son. The Columbia District Court found that the plaintiff, the father, had neither legal standing in court for his claims, nor was the claim justiciable under the Alien Tort Statute. The Court also ruled that the political question doctrine barred it from adjudicating the case. On 7 December 2010, Nasser Al-Aulaqi’s complaint was dismissed on those grounds, while the defendants’ motion to dismiss was granted. Anwar Al-Aulaqi was killed by a drone strike in Yemen on 30 September 2011.

NEW ICD BRIEF AND INTERVIEW: Tomas Hamilton, PhD candidate at King's College London and former Visiting Researcher at the Asser Institute, has written a new ICD Brief titled "Regulating the Arms Trade - The Potential of International Criminal Law". You can read the Brief here. Tomas also completed an interview for the International Crimes Database on the same topic. His interview can be viewed here.

NEW ICD BRIEF: Carola Lingaas, PhD candidate at the University of Oslo (Norway), has written a new ICD Brief on "Defining the Protected Groups of Genocide Through the Case Law of International Courts". You can read the Brief here.

NEW CASE: The case of Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Ratko Bundalo, Neđo Zeljaja and Đorđislav Aškraba is now available online. All three persons were Serbian officials accused of involvement in crimes against humanity during the Yugoslav wars in the 1990’s. Bundalo and Zeljaja were found guilty in first instance and sentenced to 19 and 15 years’ imprisonment respectively. Aškraba was acquitted of all charges. Bundalo and Zeljaja appealed against their conviction, while the prosecutor appealed against Aškraba’s acquittal as well as against the height of the sentences of the other two. On 28 January 2011, the second instance verdict found the accused guilty of the crime against humanity of persecution. Bundalo was sentenced to a 22-year prison sentence and Zeljaja to 15 years. The accused were acquitted of certain charges under the indictment because the acts charged against them were not codified as a criminal offence under the law, and/or because it was not proven that the accused committed the acts. Against the accused Aškraba, a partial retrial was ordered.

NEW CASE: The case of Regina v. Evans et al. is now available online. Seven UK soldiers were on patrol in Iraq on 11 May 2003, with the mission to look out for and halt persons attempting to smuggle money via Iran. The soldiers chased a car which appeared to be avoiding the checkpoint and used force against both occupants; with one of them dying as consequence of his injuries. The UK military prosecutor accused the seven soldiers of murder and violent disorder. The judge found that there were serious issues with the evidence and it was unclear whether their use of force – which was in principle allowed as part of their mission – had been unlawful in the current case. Furthermore, no individual soldier could be identified as the person dealing the fatal blow, and no one could be individually found to have joined or encouraged an unlawful assault. Hence, all seven were acquitted of all charges.

NEW ICD BRIEF: Joanna Nicholson, guest researcher at PluriCourts - Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order at the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo - has written an ICD Brief titled "Can War Crimes be Committed by Military Personnel against Members of Non-opposing Forces?".  You can read the Brief here.

NEW ICD BRIEF: Maria Laura Ferioli, a PhD candidate in international criminal law in a joint doctorate between the University of Bologna and the University of Amsterdam, has written an ICD Brief on "The Impact of Cooperation of States on the Right to Liberty of Detained Suspects before the ICC: A Contextual Approach". The Brief can be found here.

NEW ICD BRIEF: Anne-Marie Verwiel and Karlijn van der Voort, partners at law firm Verwiel & Van der Voort, and María Barral Martínez, who completed an internship at Verwiel & Van der Voort, have written a new ICD Brief focusing on  "Prosecuting Journalists at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon: A Challenge to Freedom of Speech?". You can read the Brief here.

NEW VIDEO: On Wednesday 21 January 2015, Mrs. Harriet Ssali Lule, Deputy Registrar of the International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court of Uganda, gave a lecture in the context of the Supranational Criminal Law Lecture Series, entitled: “The International Crimes Division of Uganda, the first domestic international crimes court in Africa”. The video can be found here.

NEW CASE: The Case concerning the Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2002 (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Belgium) is now available online. On 11 April 2000, a Belgian investigating judge issued an arrest warrant in absentia against the incumbent Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Abdulaye Yerodia Ndombasi, charging him with offences constituting grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols and crimes against humanity. On 14 February 2002, the International Court of Justice ruled that the issuance and circulation of the arrest warrant violated Belgium’s international obligations towards the DRC in that Belgium failed to respect, and infringed, Mr Yerodia’s immunity as Minister for Foreign Affairs and the inviolability enjoyed by him under international law. The Court required Belgium to cancel the arrest warrant and inform as such the authorities to whom it was circulated.

NEW CASE: The case of The Prosecutor v. Yvonne Basebya is now available online. It is the first case of genocide charges before a Dutch court and took place against the Rwandan Yvonne Basebya. Rwandan authorities alerted the Netherlands about her husband being listed as wanted in Rwanda in 2007, leading to Basebya being arrested in 2010 on suspicion of involvement in the Rwandan genocide. The District Court of The Hague ruled on 1 March 2013 that Basebya’s guilt on several of the genocide and war crimes charges could not be established. However, her repeated singing in public of a notorious anti-Tutsi song  before the youth, unemployed and lower or uneducated and using her local notable upper-class position, combined with her repeatedly expressed hatred against the Tutsis, did qualify as incitement to genocide. She was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison pursuant to the Dutch War Crimes Act: the maximum sentence at the time.

NEW REPORT: On 15 October 2015 the T.M.C. Asser Instituut (The Hague) and the Antonio Cassese Initiative for Justice, Peace and Humanity (Geneva) co-organised a Symposium on the "International Legal Aspects of Countering Piracy", in the context of the 50 year anniversary of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and this year's establishment of the Antonio Cassese Initiative Foundation in the Netherlands. The detailed report of the Symposium is now available online.

NEW CASE: The case of Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Branimir Glavaš is now available online. The case of Branimir Glavaš marks the first time that a high-ranking Croatian politician was sentenced for war crimes committed during the Croatian war of independence (1991-1995). Glavaš has always denied any wrongdoing and he protested his detention and trial in Croatia by going on a 40-day hunger strike in 2006.  After several appeals, on 2 June 2010, the Croatian Supreme Court sentenced Glavaš to eight years’ imprisonment for the war crimes of murder and torture of civilians. Glavaš attempted to evade sitting out his sentence by fleeing to Bosnia, but to no avail: there, he was arrested as well and the Bosnian courts upheld the verdict issued by their Croatian colleagues.

NEW CASE: The case of The Public Prosecutor v. Heshamuddin Hesam is now available online. The Afghani Heshamuddin Hesam applied for political asylum in the Netherlands in 1996, but this was refused due to suspicion of his involvement in torture and war crimes during the war in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. The Hague District Court convicted him for war crimes and torture committed by him as head of the military intelligence agency KhaD-e-Nezami (KhAD) and as superior for failing to prevent these crimes from being committed by his subordinates. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. The Court of Appeal affirmed this decision. Consequently, Hesam appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the previous courts had erred in law on several points. The Supreme Court disagreed and, accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.

NEW CASE: The case of The Public Prosecutor v. Habibullah Jalalzoy is now available online. The Hague District Court convicted Habibullah Jalalzoy for war crimes and torture committed as a member of the military intelligence agency KhaD-e-Nezami (KhAD).  The Court of Appeal affirmed this decision. Consequently, Jalalzoy appealed at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court disagreed with Jalazoy's argument that both the District Court and Court of Appeal had erred in law on several points, and held that Dutch courts had jurisdiction over the crime, that prosecution was admissible, that the crimes were not time-barred, and that the convictions had been in conformity with the law. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.