(For older news updates, please visit our news archive.)
20 August 2018: Amnesty International calls Vietnam to investigate alleged torture and ill-treatment of individuals who attended a concert in Ho Chi Minh, where pre-Communist era (yet apolitical) songs were performed. The police beat the concertgoers, concentrating especially on rights activitsts present at the venue.
17 August 2018: The number of terrorist attacks around the world is declining. The number of attacks was 20% lower in 2017 in comparison to 2016, with the number of fatalities decreasing by 24%. A big decline is especially visible in the Middle East and Africa.
16 August 2018: There are calls to investigate whether the USA violated international law by its support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen, as potentially war crimes could have taken place. The USA offers military support and intelligence to the coalition. According to the Yemen Data Project, one in three Saudi bombings hits civilian targets.
15 August 2018: New details have emerged on the use of torture by the CIA with regard to the treatment of prisoners suspected of terrorism. According to previously classified cables, Gina Haspel, current CIA director, talked about waterboarding and other widely criticised methods of obtaining information being employed. There are new details on, among all, the treatment of al-Nashiri and use of walling and watering techniques in his case.
14 August 2018: President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir has been chosen by the Sudan's ruling party to run for the third elected term. It is despite the fact that the constitution only allows for two terms, and despite a warrant for arrest for al-Bashir issued by the International Criminal Court. Al-Bashir is wanted for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
13 August 2018: Drone attacks on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and at the airport in Abu Dhabi mark a start of an era of so-called terrorism by joystick. Attacks from the air have become the domain of not only States, but also of the non-State actors.
10 August 2018: The National Human Rights Commission (‘NHRC’) in Nepal has criticised a number of penalty provisions in the draft bill of the transitional justice act for their leniency. The NHRC has proposed at least 59 changes. The provision suggesting three years of community service as a punishment for war crimes met with special criticism.
9 August 2018: There has been a significant increase in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Nigeria alone recorded 31 incidents in its territorial waters. It is currently a State with the most attacks against vessels in the second quarter of 2018.
8 August 2018: President of Côte d'Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, stated that 800 people accused of crimes related to the 2010-11 crisis in the country would be granted amnesty. It is now unclear how many of the alleged perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity will be tried.
7 August 2018: A number of the Islamic State militants have surrendered to the Afghan government in Jowzjan province in order not to be captured by the Taliban. Although the perpetrators of the alleged war crimes are going to be prosecuted, the provincial authorities stated that the rest of the detainees will be freed under the government amnesty plan. It is despite of the fact that President Ashraf Ghani opposed amnesty for Islamic State loyalists.
6 August 2018: The head of the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) stated that the recent suicide attack inside a Shia mosque in Gardez 'may amount to war crimes'. Fourty eight persons were killed in that attack and more than seventy were injured.
New cases, briefs and videos
(For older announcements, please visit our announcements archive.)
NEW VIDEOS: New videos available online. On 22 March 2018, David Schwendiman, former Specialist Prosecutor at the Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, provided a lecture on his time at the Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor’s Office and the challenges ahead. On 31 January 2018, Jonas Nilsson, team leader of the Mladić case in Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, gave a lecture on ‘The Mladić Trial - An Insider's View’. Both lectures were given in the context of the Supranational Criminal Law (SCL) Lectures Series hosted by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut. The video recordings for both lectures can be viewed here. The report on the Mladić Trial lecture can be found here.
INTERNSHIP VACANCY: We are currently hiring for the International Criminal Law and Legal Aspects of Counter-Terrorismintern Internship position (French required). The intern will work on the International Crimes Database and capacity building projects on International Criminal law and Transnational Criminal Law. The internship will be based at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague (Deadline: 3 April 2018).
NEW CASE: The analysis of the plea agreement in the case of United States of America v. Mufid A. Elfgeeh is now available online. Mr. Elfgeeh pleaded guilty in December 2015 to providing material support to a foreign terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). As part of the guilty plea, Mr. Elfgeeh acknowledged he had encouraged support for ISIL via social media, he had been involved in trying to recruit foreign fighters, and he had provided financial assistance.
NEW CASE: The case analysis of United States of America v. Nader Elhuzayel and Muhanad Badawi is now available online. Both Mr. Elhuzayel and Mr. Badawi were convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group, the Islamic State (IS). The defendants had used social media accounts to support IS, and Mr. Badawi had filmed Mr. Elhuzayel pledging allegiance to IS and promising to travel to Syria to fight. Mr. Elhuzayel was arrested prior to boarding a flight to Israel via Turkey. They were also found guilty of financial fraud charges, the proceeds of which had been used to fund the travel.
NEW CASE: The case analysis of United States of America v. Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh is now available online. Tairod Pugh is an US citizen and a US Air Force veteran who was convicted for providing material support to a terrorist organisation by attempting to travel to Syria in order to join ISIL, and obstruction of justice. Pugh attempted to reach Syria through Turkey and on 10 January 2015, the defendant took a plane from Cairo and landed in Istanbul airport where he was denied entry. On 15 January, he was deported from Egypt to the US and was arrested the following day in New Jersey.
NEW CASE: The case analysis of Prosecutor v. Abdelkarim El. B. is now available online. On 8 November 2016, German foreign fighter Abdelkarim El B. was convicted of membership in a terrorist organisation abroad, illegally possessing a Kalashnikov, and committing a war crime by treating a protected person in a gravely humiliating or degrading manner. He had travelled to Syria in September 2013 in order to fight for ISIL. On 7 November 2013, El. B. and his fellow ISIL fighters found the corpse of a Syrian army soldier. While the defendant was filming and verbally encouraging them, the other fighters cut the nose and ears of the dead body, stepped on it and then shot it in the face.
NEW CASE: The case analysis of Prosecutor v. Mouhannad Droubi is now available online. On 26 February 2015, Droubi, a Syrian citizen, was sentenced by the Södertörn District Court in Sweden to five years in prison for crimes against international law (war crime) and gross assault. Droubi, who fought for the Free Syrian Army against the pro-government forces, had taken refuge in Sweden and was granted residency in 2013. In July 2014, the Swedish police discovered a video of him, along with at least five other FSA fighters, violently assaulting a man who appeared to be a pro-regime fighter with a truncheon and a whip.