30 August 2022: The UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya calls upon all parties involved in the hostilities in Tripoli to refrain from any further military escalation and to comply with international humanitarian and human rights law. Violations, such as indiscriminate shelling resulting in civilian deaths, may amount to international crimes.
24 August 2022: During a visit to Sudan, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan addressed the UN Security Council and called upon the council to take action with regard to the lack of accountability for crimes committed during the conflict in Darfur.
22 August 2022: A US judge has sentenced a member of ISIL, El Shafee Elsheikh, to life in prison for conspiring to kill four American hostages. Former UK citizen Elsheikh belonged to the ISIL cell known as ‘The Beatles’, a group of foreign fighters from the UK.
19 August 2022: A truth commission investigating the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico in 2014 has stated that military personnel have responsibility, either directly or through negligence, for the disappearance. The mass disappearance is regarded as one of Mexico’s worst human rights tragedies and a possible 'state crime'.
18 August 2022: The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals has announced that the trial against Felicien Kabuga will start on the 29th of September. Kabuga is facing charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for his role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
17 August 2022: The UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery has reported that there are indications of forced labour affecting minorities, including the Uyghur minority, in connection to state-mandated systems applied in the Xinjiang region in China. The rapporteur concluded that these practices and the working conditions may amount to enslavement as a crime against humanity.
16 August 2022: The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar has published a report containing evidence which indicates that crimes against humanity, including sexual and gender-based crimes and crimes against children, have been perpetrated by members of the security forces and armed groups. The Mechanism was established by the UN Human Rights Council in 2018 to collect and analyse evidence of the most serious crimes committed in Myanmar since 2011.
15 August 2022: A Dutch court has announced that in November this year a verdict will be delivered in the trial of four suspects accused of downing Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014. The prosecutors have demanded life sentences, the men on trial, three Russians and a Ukrainian, have refused to appear in court.
12 August 2022: A Spanish court has started processing an extradition request filed by Peru against a former military officer charged with crimes against humanity committed during a conflict against Maoist guerrillas in the 1980’s. Last year, the officer was sentenced to 15 years of prison by a Peruvian court and awaiting another trial, before disappearing.
26 July 2022: In Colombia the Special Peace Tribunal, tasked with investigating atrocities committed during the conflict between the state and the FARC, has charged 19 soldiers with war crimes and crimes against humanity for the murder of 303 people, predominantly civilians, between 2005 and 2008.
22 July 2022: The International Court of Justice has rejected Myanmar’s objections to the genocide case, brought to the Court by Gambia against Myanmar based on the 1948 Genocide Convention, over its treatment of the Rohingya minority. The court will now proceed to hearing the merits of the case.
21 July 2022: The UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has reported that the Taliban has been responsible for human rights violations since they seized power in 2021. These violations include extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests and inhumane punishments.
20 July 2022: According to Amnesty International, the Myanmar military is committing war crimes by planting antipersonnel landmines on a massive scale in and around villages in the Kayah region, killing and injuring civilians. Antipersonnel landmines are an indiscriminate weapon and their use has been banned internationally under international humanitarian law.
15 July 2022: During a conference at the headquarters of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, 45 states have signed a political declaration in order to coordinate international efforts to bring Russia’s military forces to justice. The states also promised to provide funds to assist the ICC, the prosecutor general’s office in Ukraine and efforts of the United Nations to investigate war crimes.
14 July 2022: A Swedish court has sentenced former Iranian official Hamid Noury to life in prison for his role in the mass execution and torture of political prisoners in the 1980’s. Noury was convicted for war crimes committed in Iran under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
13 July 2022: A French court has sentenced Laurent Bucyibaruta, a former Rwandan prefect, to 20 years in prison for his role during the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. Bucyibaruta was acquitted as a perpetrator of genocide, but was found guilty as an accomplice to genocide and crimes against humanity.
12 July 2022: The BBC has reported that UK Special Forces in Afghanistan may have unlawfully killed at least 54 (unarmed) persons between November 2010 and May 2011. Additionally, the BBC found evidence that Senior officers were aware there was a concern over possible unlawful killings, but failed to report the suspicions to military police.
11 July 2022: Romania has opened an investigation into possible crimes against humanity committed in (neighbouring state) Ukraine since the invasion by Russia. The Romanian Prosecutor's office emphasized upon the severity of the consequences of the attacks for the civilian population.
7 July 2022: A federal court in Argentina has sentenced nineteen former military officers for crimes against humanity committed during the military dictatorship (1976-1983). The crimes included forced disappearances, murder, torture and the abduction of children.
6 July 2022: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has stated that arbitrary detention of civilians, as well as enforced disappearances, has become widespread in the parts of Ukraine that are under the control of the Russian military and affiliated armed groups.
5 July 2022: The Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya has identified new suspected mass graves in Tarhuna, Libya, and found evidence of widespread and systematic perpetration of enforced disappearances, extermination, murder, torture and imprisonment amounting to crimes against humanity, committed by militias.
4 July 2022: French prosecutors have opened an investigation into allegations of complicity in war crimes against French corporation Groupe Castel. The corporation is suspected of having made payments to local armed militia in the Central African Republic.
1 July 2022: Pre-Trial Chamber 1 of the ICC has issued three arrest warrants in the context of the situation in Georgia with the three individuals being accused of war crimes. The arrest warrants relate to conduct during the 2008 armed conflict between Russia and Georgia.
28 June 2022: A German court will deliver its verdict in the trial of a 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard charged with complicity in war crimes during the Holocaust. Josef Schuetz is accused of involvement in the murders of 3,518 prisoners between 1942 and 1945.
27 June 2022: Ukraine has opened its first trial of a Russian soldier charged with rape. Mikhail Romanov is accused of murdering a civilian and repeatedly raping a 33-year-old woman (the wife), Romanov will be tried in absentia.
23 June 2022: The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar stated that the military's attacks against civilians amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes and urges the international community to address the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar
21 June 2022: Belgium has repatriated six Belgian women and 16 children linked to ISIS from a camp in northeastern Syria. The women had already been convicted in Belgium for participating in the activities of an armed group and were handed over to Belgian court services upon arrival.
18 June 2022: The Federal Police of Germany has announced to be investigating several hundred potential Russian war crimes in Ukraine, including political and military officials suspected of being linked to the alleged offenses. The investigations fall under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
17 June 2022: The Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has sentenced Hassan Habib Merhi and Hussein Hassan Oneissi to life imprisonment. Earlier, Mr. Merhi and Mr. Oneissi were convicted (in absentia) for conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, being accomplices to a terrorist act and (attempted) intentional homicide.
16 June 2022: The Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has terminated the proceedings against Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli following the Prosecution’s notification of his death and request to withdraw the warrants of arrest. Mr. Al-Werfalli was alleged to have directly committed and to have ordered the commission of murder as war crime in Libya between 2016 and 2018.
15 June 2022: The Trial Chamber of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) has found that 87-year-old Felicien Kabuga is fit to stand trial after the defense tried to halt the proceedings on health grounds. Kabuga, an alleged financier of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, is accused of genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.
14 June 2022: In a new report, Amnesty International has stated that the shelling of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv with cluster munitions by Russia constitutes a war crime. During the attacks hundreds of civilians were killed, allegedly violating the principle of distinction of international humanitarian law that prohibits indiscriminate attacks.
9 June 2022: A Dutch appeals court has upheld the conviction and life sentence of a 67-year-old Ethiopian-Dutch man who was found guilty of war crimes. The crimes were committed as part of a purge in 1977-1978 under the Dergue regime of former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, also known as the Red Terror.
8 June 2022: An American woman, Allison Fluke-Ekren, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization before a United States court. Fluke-Ekren is accused of leading an all-female battalion and providing military training to women and girls in Syria on behalf of ISIS
7 June 2022: The Moscow Mechanism of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has been invoked by 45 participating States, supported by Ukraine, for the second time in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In April, following the first invocation the OSCE published a report on human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine.
3 June 2022: Three NGO’s have filed a criminal complaint against the French arms manufacturers Dassault, Thales and MBDA France for complicity in war crimes in Yemen. The NGO’s claim that the arms exported by the firms to the Saudi-led coalition have been used in attacks that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
1 June 2022: In a new report, Amnesty International has reported that Myanmar’s military has been systematically committing widespread atrocities against civilians in the eastern states of Kayin and Kayah since the military coup last year. The organization states that these atrocities may amount to crimes against humanity.
31 May 2022: A Ukrainian court has sentenced two Russian soldiers to 11 and a half years imprisonment for shelling a town in eastern Ukraine, this constitutes the second war crimes verdict since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
30 May 2022: An Irish court will provide a verdict today in the trial against former Irish soldier, Lisa Smith, who is accused of being a member of the Islamic State group in Syria and financing terrorism. Smith travelled to IS controlled territory in Syria in 2015 and was arrested after returning back to Ireland in 2019.
25 May 2022: The International Crimes Team of the Dutch Police has arrested a 34-year-old man on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria in 2013. The man was allegedly a member of a prominent Syrian militia associated with the Syrian regime.
24 May 2022: The Palestinian foreign ministry has announced that it has formally asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in addition to other crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians.
23 May 2022: A Ukrainian court has sentenced Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin to life imprisonment during the first war crimes trial since the Russian invasion. Shishimarin was found guilty of war crimes and premeditated murder in relation to the killing of an unarmed civilian.
20 May 2022: A French court of appeal has confirmed charges of complicity in crimes against humanity and financing of terrorism against Lafarge, a cement company, in relation to allegations of payoffs to the Islamic State group and other armed groups in Syria. An earlier court ruling from 2019 in favor of Lafarge was overturned by the French supreme court.
19 May 2022: A German woman, who joined the Islamic State group in Syria at 15-years-old in 2015, has been found guilty of membership of a terrorist organization and been given a two-year suspended prison sentence. The German judges found that the charges of aiding and abetting of crimes against humanity, in relation to the purchasing and enslaving of a Yazidi woman, could not be proven.
17 May 2022: International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan has announced that a team of 42 investigators, forensic experts and support personnel has been deployed to Ukraine in order to advance the Office’s investigations and to provide support to Ukrainian national authorities. The deployment, with cooperation of the Dutch Government, represents the largest investigation of the Office since its establishment.
17 May 2022: Human Rights Watch has stated that armed Islamist groups and government security forces in Burkina Faso are committing increased abuses against civilians, such as killings, summary executions and rape. HRW urges the Burkina Faso government, who took power after a coup in January 2022, to protect civilians from attack and to ensure that its forces respect human rights.
16 May 2022: The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions urges the international community to support the Ukrainian investigations into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Special Rapporteur emphasizes the importance of co-operation between the international and national (forensic) investigators.
13 May 2022: A former Rwandan army officer suspected of involvement in the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda has been arrested in the Netherlands. According to the Rwandan authorities, the former officer played a prominent role in the massacres committed in the Rwandan capital of Kigali and the municipality of Mugina.
13 May 2022: The UN Human Rights Council has passed a resolution to initiate an investigation by a Commission of Inquiry into possible war crimes by the Russian forces in the regions surrounding Kyiv as well as other areas in Ukraine.
12 May 2022: The Ukrainian Prosecutor General has announced the opening of the first war crimes trial against a member of the Russian forces, 21-year-old Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin, since the start of the conflict. Shishimarin is accused of killing an unarmed civilian and is currently in custody in Ukraine.
11 May 2022: French investigative judges have opened an inquiry into torture allegations against Emirati General Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi, the current president of Interpol. Two British citizens, who had been arrested in the United Arab Emirates and state to have been tortured, will be giving evidence at the Specialized Judicial Unit for Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes of the Paris Tribunal.
10 May 2022: Syrian human rights and civil society groups have urged the US ambassador to the UN to launch an investigation into the killing of 41 civilians in Damascus, Syria, in 2013. The appeal follows the publication of a video depicting the commission of war crimes by Syrian forces.
9 May 2022: Today, the trial of Laurent Bucyibaruta will begin in Paris, France. Bucyibaruta, also known as the ‘butcher of Gikongoro’, is accused of planning and directing massacres and playing a key role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
4 May 2022: The Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) in Karlsruhe, Germany, has turned down the appeal of a Syrian man, Eyad A., who was convicted of being an accessory to crimes against humanity last year. The crime involved facilitating the torture of prisoners as member of Syria’s secret police in 2011.
3 May 2022: Human Rights Watch has stated that in the Central African Republic forces, identified by witnesses as Russian, appear to have summarily executed, tortured and beaten civilians since 2019. HRW urges national authorities, the Special Criminal Court and the ICC to investigate these allegations of abuse by Russia-linked forces.
2 May 2022: A Sarajevo Appeals Court has sentenced Sakib Mahmuljin, a retired general of the Bosnian Muslim forces, to eight years in prison for war crimes committed by foreign fighters under his command between July and October 1995. The court found that Mahmuljin failed to prevent the crimes from being committed and knew or had every reason to know that members of his unit were preparing to commit crimes.
29 April 2022: The British foreign minister has announced that the UK will send investigators to Ukraine in order to aid in the gathering of evidence of war crimes, focussing in particular on sexual violence. Additionally, the Dutch government is also likely to send a forensic team of the national military police to Ukraine to help investigate possible war crimes.
28 April 2022: The Bosnian Prosecutor’s Office has charged ten political and military leaders with war crimes in relation to an attack that took place in 1992 in Sarajevo. The attack occured at the beginning of the 1992-1995 conflict in Bosnia.
26 April 2022: In the Central African Republic, the first trial of the Special Criminal Court (SCC) has opened last week and has subsequently been adjourned until May 16. The case involves three members of a powerful militia accused of the massacre of 46 civilians in 2019. The SCC is tasked with trying war crimes and crimes against humanity committed since 2003 in the Central African Republic.
25 April 2022: Today, the trial against Gambian national Bai. L. will begin in Germany based on the principle of universal jurisdiction. Bai L. is accused of crimes against humanity, murder and attempted murder committed as part of an army unit on behalf of former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh.
22 April 2022: In reaction to a request by Venezuela to defer investigations into alleged human rights violations on the basis of actions carried out by national authorities, the ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan has rejected the request and applied for authorization to resume the office’s investigation. The request of the Venezuelan government falls under article 18 of the Rome Statute whereby a state may inform the ICC that it is investigating or has investigated persons with respect to criminal acts falling within the jurisdiction of the ICC and may formally request the prosecutor to defer investigations of those persons.
19 April 2022: A Dutch court has sentenced an Afghan man to twelve years in prison for war crimes committed in Afghanistan between 1983 and 1987. The man worked in the Pul-e-Charkhi prison where at the time of the civil war in Afghanistan opponents of the regime in Kabul were locked up as political prisoners under appalling conditions. In 2001, the man arrived in the Netherlands as a refugee and obtained Dutch nationality under a different name.
14 April 2022: Amnesty International has published a new report reviewing the state of investigations into several crimes committed in central Mali. In the report, Amnesty has stated that instances of war crimes and violence against civilians in central Mali have increased since 2018 and that Malian authorities have made little progress in investigating these crimes.
13 April 2022: The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has published a report on human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine since 24 February 2022. The report is the result of the OSCE Moscow Mechanism mission of experts, which was invoked by 45 OSCE participating states in March.
12 April 2022: A British top official has stated that the United Kingdom is attempting to verify claims regarding the use of chemical weapons by Russia during an attack in Mariupol, Ukraine. The alleged use of chemical weapons could constitute a war crime.
11 April 2022: Ukraine has opened an investigation into 5600 cases of war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, as stated by a top official on April 10th. The investigation involves the examination of the alleged culpability of 500 suspects of the Russian government and military, including President Vladimir Putin.
8 April 2022: German investigators have arrested a Syrian national for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. The German Federal Prosecutor suspects the former member of Islamic State of membership in a foreign terrorist organization, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in 2014 in Syria.
7 April 2022: The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali has called for a full and independent investigation into alleged mass crimes committed in central Mali. This call has been in response to unconfirmed reports of summary executions of civilians and other crimes during a military operation by the Malian armed forces from 27 to 31 of March.
6 April 2022: Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have published a new report on crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing in the Western Tigray Zone, Ethiopia. The organizations have concluded that officials are responsible for a campaign of ethnic cleansing, carried out through crimes against humanity and war crimes, targeting Tigrayan civilians since November 2020.
5 April 2022: Today, at the ICC the first trial regarding the Situation in Darfur has opened. The trial in the case of Mr. Abd-Al-Rahman involves 31 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Darfur, Sudan.
1 April 2022: The ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan has announced that the Court will establish an office in Caracas, Venezuela. Last November, the Prosecutor opened an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed since 2017 by government officials in Venezuela.
31 March 2022: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has stated that Russia may have committed war crimes in Ukraine by killing civilians and destroying hospitals. Furthermore, the Commissioner's Office is also investigating the alleged use of cluster munitions by Russian forces. Indiscriminate attacks and the use of cluster munitions are prohibited under international humanitarian law.
30 March 2022: The President of the Human Rights Council has appointed three independent members for the recently established Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine. The Commission is mandated to investigate all alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the context of the aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation.
29 March 2022: A French court has issued arrest warrants for two senior Cambodian generals for a grenade attack on an opposition political demonstration in Phnom Penh on March 30, 1997. Due to Head of State immunity from jurisdiction, the court could not summon Cambodian President Hun Sen to appear in court regarding his involvement in the attack.
28 March 2022: In its recent report, the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya has stated that continuing serious human rights violations and a culture of impunity in different parts of Libya are impeding the country’s transition to peace, democracy and the rule of law.
25 March 2022: French anti-terror prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into acts of torture and barbarism allegedly committed by Emirati General Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi, the current president of Interpol. The inquiry follows a legal complaint against al-Raisi by the NGO Gulf Centre for Human Rights.
23 March 2022: Maxime Jeoffrey Eli Mokom Gawaka has appeared before the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC for the first time. The hearing involved the confirmation of charges against Mr Mokom, who was surrendered to the court last week. Mr. Mokom is suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic between December 2013 and December 2014.
22 March 2022: Human Rights Watch (HRW) has declared in its new report that the Ugandan government has failed to hold accountable officials who have unlawfully detained and tortured i.a. government critics and peaceful protestors. HRW urges the Ugandan government to close all unlawful detention centers, to ensure justice for victims and end the culture of impunity.
21 March 2022: The United States has formally determined that the violence committed against the Rohingya by Myanmar’s military amounts to genocide and crimes against humanity. The determination followed a factual assessment and legal analysis of the situation by the US State department, such a determination does not automatically entail the initiation of punitive action by the US.
18 March 2022: The Constitutional Court of Peru has ordered the release of the former president Alberto Fuijmori who was serving a sentence for crimes against humanity. These crimes involved two massacres committed by army death squads in 1991 and 1992. The court has reinstated a pardon that was given to Fuijmori in 2017, but was subsequently revoked in 2018.
17 March 2022: Following Myanmar’s military coup in February 2021, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has concluded in its report on the situation in Myanmar that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the military has engaged in systematic and widespread human rights violations and abuses, some of which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
16 March 2022: In the case of Ukraine v Russia, the ICJ has issued an order indicating the following provisional measures: the Russian Federation shall immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on the 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine; and ensure that any military or irregular armed units that may be supported or directed by it, as well as any organizations and persons that may be subject to its control or direction, take no steps in furtherance of the military operations.
15 March 2022: Former Central African Republic’s militia leader Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokom Gawaka has been surrendered to the ICC by the authorities of Chad for crimes against humanity and war crimes. Mokom is accused of crimes against the Muslim civilian population in the Central African Republic committed between at least December 2013 and December 2014, including murder, torture, extermination and the use of child soldiers. The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Mokom in 2018.
14 March 2022: Two additional states, Japan and North Macedonia, have referred the Situation of Ukraine to the Office of ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan, brining the total number of referring states to 41. Furthermore, the Prosecutor's Office has established a dedicated portal through which any person that may hold information relevant to the situation can contact the Office's investigators.
11 March 2022: The ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan has filed an application for arrest warrants in relation to three individuals for war crimes committed in and around the territory of South Ossetia, Georgia between 8 and 27 August 2008. The arrest warrants are based on the evidence examined by the Prosecutor’s office after the opening of an investigation into the Situation in Georgia in 2016.
10 March 2022: The Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has reversed the acquittals of Hassan Habib Merhi and Hussein Hassan Oneissi and will at a later date proceed with sentencing proceedings. Merhi and Oneissi have been found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of conspiracy aimed at committing a terrorist act and being an accomplice to the felonies of intentional homicide and attempted intentional homicide.
10 March 2022: In light of recent reporting on systemic failures in investigations into possible war crimes and other incidents causing civilian harm in Syria in 2018-2019 by the US-led coalition, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic has called upon the United States and other parties involved to conduct credible, independent and impartial investigations into incidents entailing civilian casualties in which their forces are implicated.
9 March 2022: Similar to Germany, the Spanish Public Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation into possible serious violations of international humanitarian law by Russia in Ukraine based on the principle of universal jurisdiction. The aim of the investigation is to determine the criminal nature of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
8 March 2022: The German Federal Prosecution Office in Karlsruhe has opened a structural investigation to collect evidence of alleged war crimes that have been committed by Russian troops in Ukraine. The evidence collected may be used in future criminal proceedings based on the principle of universal jurisdiction.
7 March 2022: Today at the International Court of Justice the public hearing on the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Ukraine in the case of Ukraine v Russia - concerning allegations of genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) - was concluded. Ukraine has presented its arguments before the court. Russia did not attend the hearing.
5 March 2022: The Stockholm District Court in Sweden has convicted Lina Ishaq on charges of war crimes for failing to prevent her 12-year-old son from becoming a child soldier in ISIS-held territory in Syria, where he was killed in the civil war. Recruiting and using children under the age of 15 as soldiers are prohibited under both international humanitarian law and international criminal law.
4 March 2022: The German Federal Public Prosecutor in Karlsruhe has charged Bai L, a Gambian national, with crimes against humanity based on the principle of universal jurisdiction. The case concerns acts perpetrated as part of an army unit on behalf of the former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh.
3 March 2022: Following the statement of the ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan seeking authorisation to open an investigation into the Situation in Ukraine, 39 ICC States Parties have referred the situation to the International Criminal Court. These referrals facilitate the opening of an investigation into any past and present allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.
2 March 2022: The Lithuanian government officially referred the Situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity. As a result, the ICC Prosecutor is not required to seek authorisation from the Pre-Trial Chamber to proceed with the investigation, which he has already decided to open.
1 March 2022: The ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan has decided to open an investigation into the Situation in Ukraine, as rapidly as possible. On the basis of the conclusions arising from the preliminary examination by the Office of the Situation in Ukraine, the Prosecutor states that there is a reasonable basis to believe both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine.
26 February 2022: Ukraine has filed an application before the International Court of Justice, claiming that Russia manipulated the notion of genocide to justify its aggression on Ukrainian territory. The application also includes a request for the indication of provisional measures aimed at the immediate cessation of military activity within Ukraine.
25 February 2022: The ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan expressed his concern over the Russian invasion of Ukraine and reminded all parties to the conflict that, based on the declaration lodged by Ukraine on 8 September 2015 accepting the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, any act of genocide, crime against humanity or war crime committed within the territory of Ukraine since 20 February 2014 onwards may be investigated.
22 February 2022: Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court announced the trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Mahamat Said Abdel Kani will open on 26 September 2022. The accused, Mahamat Saïd Abdelkani, allegedly committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, including persecution, enforced disappearances and torture in Bangui, the Central African Republic, in 2013.
21 February 2022: Public hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) were held today concerning preliminary objections raised by Myanmar in the case Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar). The Gambia, supported by other members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, brought the claim against Myanmar in 2019, that alleges several violations of Myanmar's obligations under the Genocide Convention.
17 February 2022: The Syrian Archive released a report claiming that the Russian air strikes on the Al Arshani Water Pump station in Idlib, Syria on 2 January 2022 may have been war crimes. The report is based on an investigation comprising of open-source verification techniques and almost 100 pieces of visual evidence, including pictures and video.
16 February 2022: The Myanmar-based NGO Fortify Rights reported that the Burmese military committed atrocities, including attacks on churches, residential homes and other non-military targets resulting in the death of at least 61 civilians in the state of Karenni, Myanmar. The report, which was based on testimony from 31 eye-witnesses and survivors and verified digital evidence, also posits that these atrocities may amount to war crimes.
15 January 2022: The trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Paul Gicheru opened in Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court. Gicheru is accused of offences against the administration of justice involving corruptly influencing witnesses in the Kenya situation.
14 January 2022: The International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan concluded the preliminary examination of the Situation in Bolivia, determining that an investigation is not warranted. The Situation, which concerned crimes against humanity of murder and inhumane acts, was referred to the Office of the Prosecutor in 2020 by the Bolivian government.
11 January 2022: A chamber of the International Criminal Court decided to reject the request for compensation presented by Mr Charles Blé Goudé pursuant to article 85(3) of the Rome Statute following his acquittal on 31 March 2021 by the majority of ICC Appeals Chamber. The ruling stated that for "a grave and manifest miscarriage of justice" to take place under Article 85 of the Rome Statute, there must be concrete evidence of a violation "so serious and exceptional resulting in the proper administration of justice being compromised."
9 January 2022: Jalda A, a German national, has been charged with committing war crimes concerning the torture of a Yazidi woman in Syria by the federal prosecutor general in Karlsruhe, Germany. Previously, she had spent several years in Islamic State occupied territories in Syria and was married to three different IS members before detainment in October 2021 upon returning to Germany.
8 January 2022: The rights organisation Legal Action Worldwide (Law), together with US legal firm Debevoise & Plimpton and the Pan African Lawyers Union, submitted a complaint to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, alleging that the wide range of human rights violations committed by Ethiopian forces in Tigray may amount to war crimes and crime against humanity.
3 January 2022: Human Rights Watch reported that several protesters in Kazakhstan were tortured by state authorities in the aftermath of protests against oil prices and living conditions in January. Kazakh authorities announced that approximately 10,00 people were detained across the country.
2 January 2022: In a new report titled 'Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity', Amnesty International claimed that Israeli authorities have committed crimes against humanity against Palestinians through the enforcement of 'a system of oppression and domination' which constitute apartheid. The NGO also called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider the crime of apartheid in its current investigation in Israel.
28 January 2022: The Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague extended detention for former President Hashim Thaci who stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo. Pre-trial Judge Guillou explained that the “risk of flight; risks of obstruction and committing further crimes” cannot be ignored, and that “no other conditions that might be implemented could sufficiently address the risks posed by Mr. Thaci”.
27 January 2022: In response to the airstrikes on a detention centre in Saada, Yemen, which killed at least 70 people last week, The Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) was set up by the Saudi-led coalition to investigate the incident which may have resulted in war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to the NGO, Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) the Saudi-led coalition was behind the attack although the coalition has denied such claims.
25 January 2022: A tribunal in Guatemala convicted five former paramilitary patrolmen of crimes against humanity for the rape of five Indigenous women in the early 1980s during the country's brutal civil war. The war lasted 36 years and resulted in an estimated 200,000 people dead and 45,000 disappearances.
24 January 2022: The London-based law firm Stoke White filed an application with the British police against India’s army chief and a senior Indian government official alleging war crimes involving the torture, kidnapping and killing of activists, journalists and civilians in the northern Indian province of Jammu and Kashmir.
21 January 2022: The French National Assembly adopted a resolution that officially recognises the treatment of the Uyghur minority in China as a crime against humanity. Previously, several other Western countries, including Belgium, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, have passed motions in their respective parliaments referring to a Chinese "genocide" against Uyghurs.
20 January 2022: A complaint alleging torture has been filed against the new Interpol president, Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi at the specialised judicial unit for crimes against humanity and war crimes of the Paris Tribunal. He was elected for a four-year term as Interpol president in November 2021 despite concerns raised by human rights groups over his involvement in torture and arbitrary detentions in the UAE.
19 January 2022: The trial of Alaa M, a former Syrian doctor accused of crimes against humanity, began at the Frankfurt Higher Regional court. The accused allegedly committed several acts of torture in military prisons in Homs and Damascus before coming to Germany and working as a doctor in several hospitals until his arrest in June 2020.
18 January 2022: The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) dropped genocide, crimes against humanity and torture charges against Meas Muth, an ex-navy commander of the Khmer Rouge. Explaining the termination of the case, the judges argued that there was an absence of a "definitive and enforceable indictment".
14 January 2022: Six Lithuanian citizens have filed a lawsuit against former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev for war crimes committed on 11 -13 January 1991 in the aftermath of the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, which resulted in the deaths of 14 unarmed civilians and injury to more than 700 people.
13 January 2022: The Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany convicted Anwar Raslan, a former senior intelligence officer of the Assad regime in Syria, on charges of crimes against humanity involving torture, murder and rape. The landmark trial marks the first criminal case brought over state-led torture during Syria's civil war.
18 December 2021: The Guardian reported that Kamel Jendoubi, who served as the chairman of the Group of Eminent Experts in Yemen (GEE) – a panel mandated by the UN to investigate possible war crimes in Yemen, had his phone targeted with spyware made by Israeli surveillance firm NSO group. He was targeted "weeks before" his report to the Human Rights Council, where he outlined that the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemen war had committed serious violations of international humanitarian law.
17 December 2021: Despite strong opposition from the Ethiopian delegation, the UN Human Rights Council voted in favour of a resolution establishing a panel of experts to investigate war crimes and human rights violations that allegedly occurred during the war in Tigray, Ethiopia. The resolution, which was brought forward by the EU, passed with 21 states in favor, 15 opposed, including Russia and China, and 11 abstentions.
16 December 2021: Eight former Bosnian Serb army personnel were arrested on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Bosnian police. According to the Bosnian prosecutor's office, the accused were involved in the killing of around 100 Bosniaks in the southern Bosnian region of Nevesinje in 1992.10 December 2021: Min Aung Hlaing, the Burmese army general who declared himself prime minister of Myanmar following the February 2021 coup d'état, has been accused of committing crimes against humanity by the Myanmar Accountability Project (MAP) in a submission to the International Criminal Court. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), approximately 1,305 people have been killed and 10,765 people have been arrested as a result of the military crackdown against anti-coup protestors.
9 December 2021: The Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court partially confirmed the charges brought by the ICC Prosecutor against Mahamat Said Abdel Kani, which include war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Bangui, Central African Republic in 2013. Said was surrendered to the Court on 24 January 2021, pursuant to an arrest warrant issued on 7 January 2019.
8 December 2021: Amnesty International published a briefing titled ‘One Step Forward, Two Steps Backwards: Justice in the Central African Republic’, where it reported that several persons suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity remain at large in the Central African Republic (CAR). The Special Criminal Court, a hybrid court that has jurisdiction over international crimes committed during a series of conflicts since 2003 in CAR, does not have a single suspect in pre-trial detention and there have been no criminal trials in nearly 20 months.
7 December 2021: In line with a previous judgement by a lower Dutch court, the Hague Court of Appeals ruled that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and one other senior military official cannot be held liable in a case alleging war crimes committed during Israel’s 2014 offensive targeting Gaza.
1 December 2021: The Second Chamber of the Federal Criminal Court in Buenos Aires overturned a previous ruling by a lower court, paving the way for an investigation into allegations of war crimes by the Burmese military against the country’s Rohingya minority. According to UN bodies, the military crackdown on the Rohingya community in 2017 led to one of the world's largest refugee crises, with more than 740,000 fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh.
30 November 2021: Taha al-Jumailly, an Iraqi member of the Islamic State (IS) group, was sentenced to life imprisonment for committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Yazidi religious minority in a court in Frankfurt. The case marks the first successful prosecution of genocide concerning IS atrocities against the Yazidi community.
26 November 2021: The International Crimes Tribunal 1 in Bangladesh handed down the death penalty to Abdul Momin Talukder Khoka for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Bangladeshi War of Independence. The International Crimes Tribunal was established in 2009 to investigate and prosecute international crimes committed in 1971 by the Pakistan Army and their local collaborators during the Bangladesh War of Independence.
25 November 2021: The Special Criminal Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic arrested and brought charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Hassan Bouba Ali, the Miniter of Livestock and a former rebel group leader UPC. According to Human Rights Watch, the UPC killed at least 246 citizens, burned 2046 homes and was also involved in dozens of cases of rape and sexual slavery in the Ouaka province between 2014 and 2017.
23 November 2021: The trial of Claude Muhayimana, a former hotel driver charged with complicity in genocide as well as crimes against humanity for providing aid and assistance to Hutu militiamen during the Rwandan genocide, started in the Paris Criminal Court. Additionally, he is accused of having participated in the killings of thousands in the Kibuye church and Gatwaro stadium massacres in April 1994.
22 November 2021: Rapporteurs from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have called on Serbian authorities to take action against the glorification of war criminal Ratko Mladic after a mural depicting him appeared on a wall in the centre of Belgrade. In 2017, Mladic was found guilty of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
18 November 2021: The International Criminal Court (ICC) temporarily halted the Office of the Prosecutor's (OTP) investigation into possible crimes against humanity committed during the Philippines’s so-called “war on drugs” under President Rodrigo Duterte, in which thousands of people have been killed. ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan explained the reason behind the suspension is due to a deferral request the Philippines filed through its ambassador in the Netherlands.
17 November 2021: The Spanish government filed an amendment to the draft Democratic Memory Law that seeks to force a reinterpretation of the Amnesty Law which has been used as a means to stop any attempts to prosecute political figures during Francisco Franco's dictatorship. The amendment stipulates that all Spanish laws, including the Amnesty Law, must be interpreted and applied in accordance with "conventional international and common law, and in particular, with International Humanitarian Law", and as such, there can be no statutory limitations or amnesty for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and torture.
16 November 2021: Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), confirmed that he is to run for president in the upcoming elections due to start on 24 December. On 27 June 2011, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi on charges of two counts of crimes against humanity: murder and persecution, allegedly committed in 2011 in Libya.
15 November 2021: Tamil Rights Group (TRG), an international advocacy group, has submitted a Communication under Article 15 of the Rome Statute to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), requesting a preliminary examination into crimes against humanity of deportation and persecution committed against Eelam Tamils within the territories of state parties to the ICC.
12 November 2021: Prosecutors in Sweden charged the chair and the chief executive office of Swedish oil and gas producer Lundin Energy with complicity in war crimes committed by the then Sudanese regime of Omar al-Bashir. According to the prosecutors, the company had asked the former Sudanese government to capture and secure a potential oil field although they were aware that doing so would require using force.
10 November 2021: Alaa Mousa, a Syrian doctor was indicted on charges of crimes against humanity involving the murder of one detainee and the torture of at least 18 others in a military facility in Syria. He was arrested last year, having arrived in Germany in 2015.
8 November 2021: Nicolas Kouijman, the head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, said that preliminary evidence of more than 1.5 million items indicates that the country's military has engaged in a widespread and systematic attack on civilians “amounting to crimes against humanity” since it seized power on 1 February 2021.
5 November 2021: Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory Michael Lynk and the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing Balakrishnan Rajagopal released a statement classifying Israeli settlements as a presumptive war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Moreover, they called upon the international community to support the current investigation into the Israeli settlements by the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court.
3 November 2021: The U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the state-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission released a report following an investigation into the war in Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray which states that all sides fighting in the war committed abuses that may amount to war crimes.
2 November 2021: Seven senior officials from a US military jury condemned the torture of Majid Khan, a Guantanamo Bay detainee who was the first to publicly describe in detail the violence and cruelty with which US agents had tortured suspected terrorists in the C.I.A.’s so-called black sites. Khan had earlier pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and was issued a 26 years prison sentence following his statement.
1 November 2021: The Prosecutor of the ICC concluded a Cooperation Agreement with the Government of Colombia that renews the commitment of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) to Colombia's national accountability processes and brings an end to the OTP's preliminary examination in Colombia. After opening the preliminary investigation in June 2004, the OTP, in 2012, had determined that the Colombian government forces, the FARC- EP-ELN, and the paramilitary groups had all committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.
27 October 2021: Anaïs Marin, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus, presented a report to the UN General Assembly outlining how female political activists are subjected to enforced disappearances, torture, ill-treatment and exile in Belarus.
26 October 2021: Six people suspected of involvement in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War were arrested and handed over to the International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh) following the issuance of an arrest warrant against the six on 21 October 2021 by the tribunal.
25 October 2021: Jennifer Wenisch, a former member of the Islamic State (IS) group, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for being found guilty of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity through enslavement, attempted murder and aiding and abetting the war crime of attempted murder by omission, and membership in a foreign terrorist organisation. The case represents one of the first trials in the world to hold war criminals to prosecute international crimes against the Yazidis.
21 October 2021: A congressional inquiry in Brazil found that President Jair Bolsonaro should be charged with crimes against humanity for his “macabre” reaction to a Covid outbreak that has killed more than 600,000 Brazilians, including a disproportionate number of indigenous citizens.
20 October 2021: Guernica 37, a group of human rights lawyers, will file a legal complaint to the UK police accusing 20 political and military leaders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of being involved in crimes against humanity in Yemen. The dossier also calls for the immediate arrest of these individuals, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his Emirati equivalent Mohammed bin Zayed, should they enter the UK.
19 October 2021: A 96-year old German woman, who was caught shortly after an attempt to abscond from a court hearing last month on charges of committing war crimes during World War Two, appeared before a court in Itzehoe in northern Germany. She is accused of being an accessory to murder in more than 11,000 cases when she was a stenographer and typist in the commandant's office at the Stutthof camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
13 October 2021: Five biracial women, all born between 1945 and 1950 in the Democratic Republic of Congo when the country was a Belgian colony, sued the Belgian state for crimes against humanity for its role in separating them from their black mothers and African roots. They are hoping that Belgium will finally recognise its responsibility in the suffering endured by the thousands of mixed-race children who were snatched away from families and placed in religious institutions and homes by Belgian authorities during its colonial era.
12 October 2021: The NGO Allrise filed a compaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC), urging the ICC Prosecutor to investigate Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for his alleged attacks on the Amazon rainforest, its dependents and defenders, which they say amount to crimes against humanity.
11 October 2021: The Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has asked the UN Secretary-General and the Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties of the Court to submit information on the identification of the authorities currently representing Afghanistan. Earlier last week, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan had filed an application for an expedited order seeking authorisation to resume the Office of the Prosecutor's investigation in Afghanistan.
8 October 2021: The UN Human Rights Council has voted to shut down the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen, a body of independent experts mandated to investigate possible war crimes and other human rights violations in Yemen. It marks the first time in the council's 15-year history that a resolution was defeated.
7 October 2021: The trial of Josef S, a 100-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard, began at the Neuruppin state court. He is charged with 3,518 counts of accessory to murder while working in Sachsenhausen between 1942 and 1945 as an enlisted member of the Nazi party’s paramilitary wing.
5 October 2021: A former Serb paramilitary, identified only by his initials G.S., was sentenced to twenty years in prison by a court in Kosovo for committing war crimes involving the execution of 12 Kosovar Albanian men in three separate cases. These crimes were committed within the context of the Serb army, police and paramilitary forces' attacks on the villages of Sllovi and Terbovc of the Lipjan commune in April 1999.
4 October 2021: The Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya, a Human Rights Council-appointed probe, reported that war crimes and crimes against humanity have likely been committed in Libya by all parties to the conflict since 2016 including by external actors. The Mission was established in June 2020 with a mandate to investigate alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law committed in Libya since 2016.
30 September 2021: Trial Chamber III of the ICC has set a date for the opening of the trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Paul Gicheru for 15 February 2022. Gicheru is accused of offences against the administration of justice consisting of corruptly influencing witnesses of the Court in Kenya.
29 September 2021: ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan has filed an application for an expedited order seeking authorisation to resume the Office of the Prosecutor's investigation in Afghanistan, with a focus on crimes allegedly committed by the Taliban and the Islamic State – Khorasan Province. Previously, the Prosecutor had deferred the investigation to Afghan national authorities following a request by the former Afghan government in accordance with Article 18(2) of the Rome Statute.
25 September 2021: Theoneste Bagosora, a former Rwandan army colonel, widely regarded as one of the masterminds behind the Rwandan genocide, has died. Bagora was serving a 35-year sentence in prison in Mali after being found guilty of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 2008.
24 September 2021: Chance Muhonya, a former militiaman in the DRC, was sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity, war crimes and environmental crimes by a mobile court in Kahuzi Biega National Park (South Kivu), Congo. In 2019, Muhonya and his accomplices had taken control of part of the Kahuzi Biega National Park, where they illegally exploited its natural resources, enrolled child soldiers and tortured, raped and killed local villagers.
23 September 2021: Thomas Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, presented a report to the UN Human Rights Council in which he accused the country's military junta of carrying out systematic attacks against civilians that may amount to crimes against humanity. He further said that more than 1,100 people have been killed, at least 8,000 arbitrarily arrested and more than 230,000 forcibly displaced since the current regime seized control on 1 February.
22 September 2021: Hundreds of people protested outside Namibia's parliament, as the National Assembly was due to vote on an agreement, in which Germany acknowledged that it had committed genocide in colonial-era Namibia and promised $1.3 billion in financial support to descendants of the victims.
20 September 2021: The UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi has reported that crimes including arbitrary detention and execution, torture and intimidation have not stopped in spite of a pledge by President Evariste Ndayishimiye to address the country's dire human rights record. The Commission was established by the Human Rights Council in 2016 to conduct investigations into human rights violations and abuses in Burundi since April 2015, including on their extent and whether they may constitute international crimes.
17 September 2021: The trial of Salih Mustafa, a former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander indicted on charges of war crimes, opened on Wednesday, marking the first trial heard at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers. In their opening statement, The Prosecutors argued that there is irrefutable evidence that Mustafa is guilty of the torture of at least six people and the murder of another.
16 September 2021: The Human Rights Watch have reported that Eritrean soldiers and Tigrayan fighters committed "clear war crimes" by raping, detaining and killing Eritrean refugees in the conflict-stricken northern region of Tigray in Ethiopia. Fighting between Ethiopia's federal troops and forces loyal to the Tigray's Liberation Front (TPLF), which controls the region, broke out in November 2020 and has created a severe humanitarian crisis leaving 400,000 people facing famine-like conditions, according to the United Nations.
15 September 2021: The International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber 1 granted the ICC Prosecutor the request to investigate crimes against humanity allegedly committed on the territory of the Philippines between 1 November 2011 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the so-called 'war on drugs' campaign.
14 September 2021: The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) presented its third annual report to the UN Human Rights Council, where it warned that serious crimes and violations of international law, including crimes against humanity, continue to be committed in Myanmar. The Mechanism was created by the UNHRC to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011 and to prepare files focusing on the criminal conduct of persons responsible.
13 September 2021: Edin Vranj, a former senior Police Administration official in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was arrested while crossing the border between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and charged with having committed war crimes against prisoners of war during the Bosnian conflict in the early 1990s. In recent years, two other Bosnians, namely Husein Mujanovic and Osman Osmanovic, had been arrested at a border crossing with Serbia over accusations of war crimes.
10 September 2021: United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Christian Ritscher of Germany as the Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD). The organization was established to support domestic efforts to hold the terrorist group ISIL accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Iraq.
8 September 2021: Two women, arriving from territories once controlled by the Islamic State to Stockholm airport, were arrested by Swedish authorities for allegedly committing war crimes in Syria. Prosecutors Hanna Lemoine and Karolina Wieslander, who are in charge of the two cases, informed the Swedish news agency TT that the two women arrested will be questioned further before the prosecution decides whether to formally charge them.
7 September 2021: The Court of Cassation of France, the country's highest court of appeal, overturned a previous ruling by a lower court that had dismissed charges for complicity in crimes against humanity against cement giant Lafarge over its role in the Syrian Civil War. This ruling does not imply that the company will automatically face trial; rather the Court referred the matter back to investigating magistrates, who will now reconsider the complicity charge.
6 September 2021: The ECCHR - European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, a Berlin-based NGO, accused several German companies, including high profile brands like Hugo Boss and C&A, of being allegedly complicit in crimes against humanity by "profiting" from the forced labour of Uyghur Muslims in China. Commenting on the complaint, Miriam Saage-Maass, the director of the organization, said, "These five cases are just one example of a much larger and more systemic problem,"
3 September 2021: Experts serving on the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) called on the new Taliban-led authorities of Afghanistan to uphold the country's international obligations, particularly, by complying with all provisions of the Convention against Torture and of its Optional Protocol.
1 September 2021: Mwatana Organization for Human Rights and Global Rights Compliance released a report documenting how starvation was used as a tactic of war by both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels in the ongoing Yemeni civil war. The rights groups also urged the U.N. Security Council to refer the opposing participants to the International Criminal Court to investigate the acts which may amount to war crimes.
31 August 2021: Two high-ranking ex-generals from Guatemala will stand trial for committing genocide, crimes against humanity and forced kidnappings in relation to the massacres of mostly Indigenous people during the country's brutal civil war four decades ago. The case concerns over 1,700 victims who were killed over 31 separate massacres in the country’s northern Quiche region.
30 August 2021: Victims of the war in Yemen have called on the ICC Prosecutor to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the ongoing six-year conflict, which has been described by the UN as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Their application included well-documented evidence of three events involving the torture and murder of civilians and missile attacks.
27 August 2021: Goran Viskovic, a former Bosnian Serb Army military policeman, went on trial for crimes against humanity involving the persecution, murder and illegal detentions of civilians in Vlasenica and Milici between 1992 and 1993. In 2011, the Bosnian state court sentenced him to 18 years in prison which he is currently serving at the Susica detention facility.
26 August 2021: Several civil society organisations and individuals, including Human Rights Watch, REDRESS and Amnesty International, urged Sudan's Transitional Government to swiftly facilitate the handover of Omar al-Bashir, Ahmed Haroun, and Abdel Raheem Muhammed Hussein to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
24 August 2021: Hissene Habre, the former president of Chad and war criminal, has died at the age of 79 after contracting the COVID-19 virus. In 2016, he was sentenced to life in prison for war crimes involving rape and ordering the killing and torture of thousands of political opponents during his eight-year rule in the 1980s.
23 August 2021: A report commissioned by the Organization of American States (OAS) claimed that Bolivia’s recent interim government came to power by persecuting opponents with systematic torture and summary executions by security forces. At least 20 people were killed in two incidents that the experts characterized as massacres.
20 August 2021: An investigation conducted by Amnesty International has revealed that Taliban fighters killed nine Hazara men after taking control of the Ghazni province in Afghanistan last month. Several eyewitnesses and photographic evidence suggests that the victims were tortured before being executed, entailing that these acts may constitute violations of the Geneva Conventions and war crimes under the Rome Statute.
19 August 2021: The defence team of Khieu Samphan, the former head of state for Cambodia’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime, appealed to overturn his genocide conviction by calling into question the evidence that was presented at his original trial before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). In 2018, the ECCC had found Khieu Samphan guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in relation to the Khmer Rouge regime’s atrocities in Cambodia in the 1970s.
17 August 2021: The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) called on all parties to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law while noting that his office may exercise jurisdiction over any genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes in Afghanistan since the country joined the court in 2003.
16 August 2021: Rade Garic, a former Bosnia Serb police officer and soldier, was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The crimes Garic is accused of involve atrocities committed against Bosniak Muslims in the eastern town of Vlasenica in 1992 and later in Srebrenica in 1995.
13 August 2021: Human Rights Watch reported that rocket and mortar attacks fired by Palestinian armed groups during its fighting with Israeli forces in May 2021 amount to war crimes. Some of the attacks were directed towards populated areas in Israel resulting in the deaths of 12 civilians and injuries to dozens of others.
12 August 2021: A new report by Amnesty International revealed that forces aligned with the Ethiopian government subjected hundreds of women and girls to sexual violence which constitute war crimes, and may amount to crimes against humanity. The organization also called for the Ethiopian authorities to grant access to the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights Commission of Inquiry, and urged the UN Secretary-General to send his Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict to Tigray where the conflict is ongoing.
10 August 2021: Hamid Noury, an Iranian citizen who was charged by Swedish prosecutors last week over a leading role in mass executions and war crimes committed during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s has gone on trial. It is estimated that around 5,000 political prisoners were allegedly executed across Iran at the end of its bloody conflict with neighbouring Iraq.
9 August 2021: Indigenous groups in Brazil have filed a request with the International Criminal Court, urging it to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro’s alleged crimes against humanity and genocide against Indigenous peoples. Lawyers representing the APIB, the coalition of Indigenous associations which brought forth the claim, argue that Bolsonaro committed these offences by incentivizing deforestation and illegal mining in Indigenous territories which has fueled the destruction of communities and increased violence and deaths.
6 August 2021: A new report by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) highlighted that the practice of torturing detainees is widespread in jails in Iraq although laws criminalizing torture have been passed. U.N. human rights spokeswoman Marta Hurtado said more than half of those interviewed for the report provided accounts of having been tortured or ill-treated through electrical shocks, beatings and by other means while in custody.
4 August 2021: The Sudanese cabinet has voted to ratify the Rome Statute, the country's first step towards joining the International Criminal Court. While the draft bill still needs to be approved by the sovereign council, a joint military-civilian body that is the country’s highest authority, the development brings the possibility of former longtime President Omar al-Bashir facing trial for genocide closer.
3 August 2021: A 100-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard is set to stand trial in Germany in October, having been accused of war crimes involving complicity in 3,518 murders of prisoners at the Sachsenhausen camp near Berlin between 1942 and 1945. German media has reported that the trial is expected to be one of the last concerning crimes committed during the Nazi era given the advanced age of both the survivors and perpetrators.
2 August 2021: The United States and the United Kingdom embassies in Kabul accused the Taliban of war crimes by carrying out revenge murders of dozens of civilians in the southern town of Spin Boldak in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Clashes between Afghan and Taliban forces have recently surged as US and NATO troops plan to complete their final withdrawal by August 31 2021.
29 July 2021: Alla Mousa, a Syrian doctor, has been charged with crimes against humanity by Germany for allegedly killing one person and torturing several others in military hospitals in the Syrian cities of Homs and Damascus. Mr Mousa had arrived in Germany in 2015 to practice medicine before being arrested last year on 18 counts of torture.
28 July 2021: Prosecutors in Sweden charged an Iranian man with war crimes for his involvement in mass executions of "a large number" of prisoners who sympathised with the leftist opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in 1988. The MEK was allied with the Iraqi army and fought alongside them during the war with Iran, between 1980 and 1988. The accused, who has not been named, is also suspected of subjecting the prisoners to torture and inhumane treatment.
27 July 2021: Human Rights Watch has reported that apparent war crimes were committed by Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups during the May 2021 fighting in the Gaza Strip and Israel. The NGO conducted an investigation that included the three Israeli strikes that led to the death of 62 Palestinian civilians alongside the launching of more than 4360 unguided rockets and mortars toward Israeli population centres by the Palestinian armed groups. Gerry Simpson, associate crisis and conflict director of the organization, underscored the "consistent unwillingness of the Israeli authorities to seriously investigate alleged war crimes" and therefore highlighted the "importance of the International Criminal Court's inquiry."
26 July 2021: Valentin Inzko, the outgoing head of Bosnia’s Office of the High Representative (OHR), introduced new changes to the country's criminal code, which outlaws the denial of genocide and the glorification of war criminals. Anyone convicted of these crimes may face up to five years in prison.
23 July 2021: Navi Pillay, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has been chosen to lead the UN Human Rights Council's open-ended commission of inquiry into alleged war crimes and other violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law committed in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories during the 11 day conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas in Gaza. She will be joined by Miloon Kothari of India, the first UN special rapporteur on adequate housing, and Australian international human rights law expert Chris Sidoti to make up the three-person investigative team.
21 July 2021: The Supreme Court of the Philippines has ruled that the country is obliged to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in criminal proceedings, directly contradicting President Rodrigo Duterte's assertion that the ICC has no jurisdiction. This judgment comes amidst recent developments in the Court, involving the ICC Prosecutor requesting judicial authorisation to investigate alleged crimes committed since at least 1 July 2016, in the context of the "war on drugs".
20 July 2021: Turkey announced that it had uncovered a mass grave containing 61 bodies in a Turkish-held region of northern Syria and accused the YPG Kurdish group of the killings, which amount to a crime against humanity. The YPG, a force backed by Western militaries in the fight against ISIL, has not yet commented on the allegations.
19 July 2021: Pre-trial Chamber A of the International Criminal Court confirmed the charges of offences against the administration of justice against Paul Gicheru and committed him to trial. Mr Gicheru, along with other members of a common plan, had attempted to undermine the Prosecution's case in the Ruto and Sang case by allegedly offering witnesses financial and/or benefits and threatening them in order to cease cooperating with the Prosecution and the Court.
16 July 2021: Ahmed al-Khidr, a 49-year-old Syrian asylum seeker and former member of al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra Front, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by a court in the Netherlands for committing a war crime that involved shooting a captured Syrian army soldier in 2012. This case marks the first time a Dutch court has dealt with allegations of war crimes committed in Syria.
15 July 2021: The United States Senate has passed a bill banning all products imported from China's Xinjiang region, the latest move from Washington to pressure Beijing over allegations of forced labour and massive human rights abuses against minorities in the region that amount to crimes against humanity. The legislation creates an assumption that goods manufactured in Xinjiang are made with forced labour unless proven otherwise.
14 July 2021: A video depicting Taliban forces killing 22 surrendering Afghan soldiers in Northern Afghanistan was verified and made public by CNN. Responding to the video, both the Afghan Ministry of Defence spokesperson Fawad Aman and Amnesty International labeled the incident a war crime.
13 July 2021: The United States State Department released a seven-page congressional report under the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act, highlighting six countries, namely Myanmar, Ethiopia, Iraq, Syria, South Sudan and China, that are witnessing or are at risk of atrocities and crimes against humanity. Addressing the report, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated "We'll use all of the tools that are at our disposal, including diplomacy, foreign assistance, investigations in fact-finding missions, financial tools and engagements, and reports like this one, which raises awareness and allows us to generate coordinated international pressure and response."
12 July 2021: Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestinian territories, asserted that Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank amounts to a war crime in an address to the UN Human Rights Council. He further urged other countries to "inflict a cost" on Israel for the alleged "300 settlements, with more than 680,000 Israeli settlers" that he estimated in a report to the Council.
9 July 2021: The International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber II confirmed the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity brought by the ICC Prosecutor against Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman ("Ali Kushayb") and committed him to trial before a Trial Chamber. On 9 June 2020, Ali Kushayb had voluntarily surrendered himself in the Central African Republic on account of an ICC arrest warrant issued on 27 April 2007 and had been in the custody of the ICC since then.
8 July 2021: Kosovo's parliament adopted a resolution condemning the 1995 massacre of about 8000 Bosnian men and boys in Srebrenica by Bosnian Serb troops, branded as a genocide by the International Court of Justice in the Bosnian Genocide case. The resolution, initiated by the Vakat coalition of parties representing the Bosnian minority in Kosovo, was approved by 89 lawmakers in the 120-seat parliament while none voted against it.
7 July 2021: The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP) tribunal in Colombia has charged top military leaders with crimes against humanity, accusing them of murdering at least 120 civilians and presenting those victims as combat casualties to show that the country was winning its long civil war. This is the first time that the SJP has held anyone accountable for being involved in the so-called "false positive" scandal since its establishment in 2016 as part of the peace agreement between the country’s government and its largest rebel group.
6 July 2021: A report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights accused Venezuelan security forces of a continued pattern of torture or cruel treatment of individuals alongside enforced disappearances and incommunicado detentions. In response, the Venezuelan foreign ministry dismissed the report as a "lie constructed to artifically feed a case before the International Criminal Court, with the political objective of destabilizing the country's democratic institutions".
5 July 2021: Prosecutors in France have opened an investigation into four fashion retailers, namely Zara, Uniqlo, Skechers and SMCP, suspected of benefitting from and concealing crimes against humanity by using forced labor in China's Xinjiang region. United Nations experts and human rights groups estimate that over a million people, mainly Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, have been detained in mass internment camps in recent years by Chinese authorities although China has denied all the accusations.
2 July 2021: The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled to confirm the decision of the Trial Chamber X of 17 December 2020 titled, 'Decision on application for notice of possibility of legal characterisation puruant to Regulation 55(2) of the Regulations of the Court' in the Prosecutor v. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz case. Al Hassan has been charged with alleged crimes against humanity committed in Timbuktu, Mali, in the context of a wide and systematic attack by armed groups Ansar Eddine/Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, between 1 April 2021 and 28 January 2013.
1 July 2021: An independent advisory panel in the Netherlands has called on the government to acknowledge and formally apologize for the role played by the Netherlands in the transatlantic slave trade during the 17th to 19th century that amounted to crimes against humanity.
30 June 2021: The U.N. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals delivered its judgement in the case of Prosecutor v. Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović. The Trial Chamber found Mr. Stanišić and Mr. Simatović responsible for aiding and abetting the crime of murder as a crime against humanity, and the crimes of deportation, forcible transfer, and persecution, also as crimes against humanity. They have both been sentenced them to 12 years of imprisonment each.
29 June 2021: The Hague District Court convicted a woman for contributing to war crimes committed by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria and Iraq. She was sentenced to six years in prison for distributing large amounts of IS propaganda including incitement to commit terrorist activities and sharing videos of prisoners of war being killed via the Telegram messaging app in 2019.
28 June 2021: Sudan has announced that it will surrender former officials who are wanted for alleged war crimes in the Darfur region to the International Criminal Court. These include former president Omar al-Bashir, former Defence Minister Abdelraheem Muhammad Hussein and former Minister of the Interior Ahmad Harun. Sudan's decision comes weeks after the Court's outgoing chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, visited the country and urged its leaders to surrender all those wanted.
25 June 2021: The Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) in collaboration with a group of civil society organizations tabled a draft bill in the Liberian Parliament which calls for the establishment of a tribunal to try war crimes committed during the first and second Liberian civil wars between 1989 and 2003.
24 June 2021: Following the announcement of Ebrahim Raisi's appointment as Iran's next president, Amnesty International's Secretary General, Agnès Callamard has expressed concern over his rise to the presidency, instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture. In 2018, Amnesty International had documented Ebrahim Raisi's alleged role as a member of the ‘death commission’ which forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed thousands of political dissidents in Evin and Gohardasht prisons near Tehran in 1988.
23 June 2021: An international panel of legal experts has unveiled a new legal definition for ecocide intended to be introduced as an amendment to the ICC Statute. If adopted by the Assembly of State Parties, it will become the fifth international crime - alongside war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression - under the Court's jurisdiction.
22 June 2021: Montenegro's parliament has adopted a resolution condemning the Srebenica genocide, banning its denial and introduced a commemoration day for the incident. It also dismissed Justice Minister Vladimir Leposavic, who had recently denied the 1995 killing of some 8,000 Bosniak Muslims in Srebrenica by Bosnian Serb in the Bosnian War.
21 June 2021: The Swiss Federal Criminal Court convicted Alieu Kosiah, a former commander of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy armed group, for war crimes committed during the first Liberian civil war, from 1989 to 1996. He received the maximum 20-year sentence in what was Switzerland's first war crimes trial in a civilian court.
18 June 2021: The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf, Germany convicted 'Sarah O', a German ISIS member for crimes against humanity against Yazidi's. She was held guilty of membership in a foreign terrorist organisation, assault, deprivation of liberty, aiding and abetting rape, enslavement and religious and gender-based persecution as crimes against humanity.
17 June 2021: The Netherlands Compensation Commission Potocari opened the doors of its Sarajevo office to potential compensation claims from relatives of people who were killed in the Srebenica genocide after being taken from Dutch UN peacekeeping troops’ base in Potocari in July 1995.
16 June 2021: Mr. Karim Khan was sworn in today in The Hague as the new Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for a term of nine years. He took over from Fatou Bensouda of Gambia, whose nine-year term ended yesterday.
15 June 2021: Amnesty International has published a report titled ‘Like We Were Enemies in a War’: China’s Mass Internment, Torture, and Persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang, which states that state-organized mass imprisonment, torture and persecution in Xinjiang may amount to crimes against humanity.
14 June 2021: Outgoing International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda announced the conclusion of the preliminary examination in the situation in the Philippines and requested judicial authorisation to proceed with an investigation. She stated that on the basis of analysis of a large amount of information, her Office believes that the crime against humanity of murder has been committed between 1 July 2016 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the Government of Philippines 'war on drugs' campaign.
11 June 2021: The new Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr. Karim Khan QC will be sworn in at the Court in The Hague on Wednesday 16 June, 2021. Following the swearing in ceremony, he will officially assume the post of the ICC Prosecutor.
10 June 2021: Outgoing International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda gave her final briefing to the United Nations Security Council on the Situation in Darfur. She urged Sudanese authorities to remain committed to justice in Darfur and called upon them to transfer to ICC, suspects wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, currently in the custody of the Government of Sudan.
9 June 2021: The United Nations Security Council expressed deep concern about the recent increase in violence and instability in the Central African Republic. It condemned all attacks against civilians, intercommunal violence, targeted violence against women and children, lootings of humanitarian premises and attacks against United Nations peacekeepers, emphasing that some of these attacks may constitute war crimes.
8 June 2021: The U.N. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals appeals judges have upheld the conviction of former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic for genocide during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war and confirmed his life sentence.
7 June 2021: Lawyers from across Canada have formally requested the International Criminal Court to investigate the Canadian government and the Vatican for crimes against humanity following the discovery of the remains of estimated 215 children in the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
4 June 2021: Uighur Tribunal, a London based people's tribunal is investigating whether China's alleged persecution of the Uighur minority amounts to genocide. First session of hearings took place today and are scheduled to continue until 7 June. The first day saw witness testimony by a teacher of the 're-education' camps.
3 June 2021: Laurent Gbagbo, former Ivory Coast President is scheduled to return to Ivory Court on June 17 following is final acquittal on charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. Laurent Gbagbo and his aide Charles Ble Goude were tried for crimes committed during the post-electoral violence that rocked the West African nation in 2010 and 2011.
2 June 2021: Chad's Defence Minister has said that troops from neighbouring Central African Republic had attacked a Chadian military post, killing one soldier, and kidnapping and executing five others, amounting to commission of a war crime. The Ministry announced that heavily armed assailants struck in the early hours of Sunday, 30 May, attacking a post defended by 12 Chadian soldiers near Chad's 1,000-km shared frontier with CAR.
1 June 2021: More than 50 former foreign ministers, prime ministers and senior international officials have signed an open letter condemning political interference in efforts by the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged war crimes in Palestine. The Courts probe will cover allegations of war crimes and other international crimes in the region of West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip since June 2014.
31 May 2021: Germany has agreed to pay Namibia € 1.1 Billion as it officially recognised the Herero-Nama genocide at the start of the 20th century. The government has declared that the sum amounts to a gesture of reconciliation but not legally binding reparations. Last week, it was reported that Germany had has ruled out financial reparations for the Namibia genocide amid fears that such payments could set a legal precedent for further claims.
28 May 2021: The UN Human Rights Council will launch an investigation into 'systematic discrimination and repression' in Israel and Palestine with the objective of identifying the root cause of the recent attacks in Gaza. The proposal was passed yesterday at a special session called at the request of Pakistan, on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and Palestine.
27 May 2021: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet said that Israel's recent attack on the Gaza strip may constitute war crimes. The comment was made as she opened a special session of the UN Human Rights Council, called at the request of Pakistan, on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and Palestine.
26 May 2021: Ukrainian Parliament adopted a bill that could help authorities prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity domestically. The law includes provisions on command responsibility, the statute of limitations for international crimes, and universal jurisdiction for international crimes. The president will need to sign the law before it enters into effect.
25 May 2021: Germany has ruled out financial reparations for the Namibia genocide amid fears that such payments could set a legal precedent for further claims. The German government has been in negotiation with Namibia since 2014 to 'heal the wounds' of what is described as the first genocide of the 20th century, in which around 75,000 Herero and Namaqua people died. Last week it was declared that the formal apology to the Namibian parliament would include compensation in the form of funding for social projects benefiting the descendants of the survivors.
22 May 2021: The confirmation charges hearing in the case The Prosecutor v. Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman ("Ali Kushayb") opened before Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court. The hearing is scheduled until 27 May 2021. Ali Kushayb is suspected of 31 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed between August 2003 and at least April 2004 in Darfur, Sudan.
21 May 2021: The UN Human Rights Council has announced that it will hold a special session to address the deteriorating situation across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories even after the ceasefire has been instated. Amnesty International notes that the session must focus on ensuring accountability for violations and the commission of possible war crimes in Gaza.
20 May 2021: Isreali officials have announced that Israel and Hamas are expected to reach a ceasefire soon. This development comes after days of fighting involving alleged commission of war crimes. The ceasfire is likely to come in stages and will include cessation of Israeli attacks on Hamas infrasructure and facilities, with Hamas halting firing of rockets at Israeli cities. The conflict has killed at least 227 people in Gaza and 12 in Israel.
19 May 2021: Germany is preparing to pay Namibia reparations for what is described as the first genocide of the 20th century, in which around 75,000 Herero and Namaqua people died. German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier is expected to deliver a formal apology in the Namibian parliament. Germany is supposed to provide compensation in the form of funding for social projects benefiting the descendants of the survivors.
18 May 2021: Amnesty International has called upon the International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli attacks on residential homes in Gaza as war crimes. The death toll in Gaza continues to climb with at least 198 Palestinians killed and more than 1,220 injured. Ten people in Israel have been killed and at least 27 injured by Palestinian attacks. Last week, Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda of the ICC stated that her office will continue to monitor developments on the ground and will factor any matter that falls within its jurisdiction.
17 May 2021: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet has appealed for immediate de-escalation in the Israel-Palestine crisis. She warned of disproportionate use of violence and attacks on non-military objectives as constituting war crimes. Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council failed to agree on a unified position calling for ceasefire in the crisis.
14 May 2021: Radovan Karadžić, the former Bosnian Serb leader convicted of genocide over the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, is to be transferred to a UK prison to serve the rest of his life sentence. In 2016, the U.N. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals convicted him and later increased his sentence from 40 years to life imprisonment following a failed appeal attempt.
12 May 2021: Court from Finland that moved to Sierra Leone for the trial of Gibil Massaquoi for war crimes in Liberia, resumed yesterday with witness hearings. Gibil Massaquoi's case began in Finland, where he lived since 2008, under universal jurisdiction principles and was then shifted to Sierra Leone.
11 May 2021: The UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'eash/ISIL (UNITAD) stated before the Security Council that it has established 'clear and convincing evidence' of genocide against Yazidis. Senior Advisor and Head of UNITAD, Karim Khan said that it is now important to support developments towards legislation that will allow for ISIL members to be prosecuted.
10 May 2021: The United Nations has urged Israel to call off any forced evictions in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem warning that its actions could amount to war crimes. Protests continue to be curbed through arrest and other means, as Palestinians object to threats of eviction of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood near Jerusalem's Old City.
7 May 2021: Following a wave of abductions and torture by security forces in Uganda, lawyers have named senior military commanders including President Yoweri Museveni's son in a complaint to the International Criminal Court. Prosecutors at the Court are already reviewing an earlier submission from the opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi over widespread human rights abuses before presidential polls held in January.
6 May 2021: Trial Chamber IX of the International Criminal Court has sentenced Dominic Ongwen to 25 years of imprisonment following the judgment which found him guilty for a total of 61 crimes comprising crimes against humanity and war crimes. The period of his detention between 4 January 2015 and 6 May 2021, will be deducted from the total time of imprisonment imposed on him.
5 May 2021: Ahmed Haroun, a former Sudanese official and key ally of former President Omar al-Bashir has said that he wants to be put on trial at the International Criminal Court rather than in Sudan. He is accused of carrying out war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, Sudan.
4 May 2021: The French prosecutor's department has declared that investigations carried out by French authorities could not prove any grounds to pursue legal claims against French troops with respect to their alleged complicity in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Individual reports commissioned by both the Rwandan and French governments concluded that France bears 'overwhelming responsibility' over the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
3 May 2021: British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab said that Iran's treatment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliff amounts to torture. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliff was first arrested in Iran in 2016 and given a five year sentence that she has now completed. She now awaits a decision on an appeal after she was found guilty of acting to undermine the Iranian state by attending a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy in London in 2009.
30 April 2021: Abu Zubaydah, a Guantanamo Bay inmate who alleges torture by his American captors after the 9/11 attacks in the US, filed a complaint with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention against the United States and six other countries, asking for intervention in his case. The 50-year-old Saudi-born Palestinian has been in detention for 19 years since he was detained in March 2002 on suspicions of being a senior member of Al-Qaeda who helped plan the 9/11 attacks.
29 April 2021: The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution demanding that all combatants protect schools, hospitals, power grids and other infrastructures critical for civilians services, in light of their destruction in the conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Ukraine. It also stresses the importance of the need for accountability for violations.
28 April 2021: A new report released by Human Rights Watch declares that Israel is committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution against Arabs in the occupied territories and Israel itself. Apartheid amounts to state-sanctioned racial discrimination and is considered a crime against humanity. Israel's foreign ministry has rejected the report as "preposterous and false".
27 April 2021: A report on US police brutality prepared by human rights experts, declares that the systematic killing and maiming of unarmed African Americans amount to crimes against humanity which should be investigated and prosecuted under international law. It also calls upon the International Criminal Court to initiate investigations into the same.
26 April 2021: US President, Joe Biden issued a statement formally describing the 1915 massacre of Armenians as a genocide. The atrocities that took place in the days of the Ottoman Empire, the forerunner to present-day Turkey were widely recorded at the time by witnesses including journalists, missionaries and diplomats. While Turkey has acknowledged atrocities, it has dismissed the term genocide, and strongly rejected US's decision.
23 April 2021: A report commissioned by the Rwandan government concludes that the French government bears significant responsibility for enabling a foreseeable genocide in 1994. The 600 page report states that France did not do anything to stop the massacre and later tried to cover up its role and offer protection to perpetrators.
22 April 2021: A court in Germany sentenced a 35-year old woman from Leverkusen to imprisonment for 4 year and 3 months for joining and participating in the Islamic State. The State Security Senate found her guilty in eight cases on numerous charges, including war crimes and aiding and abetting crimes against humanity.
21 April 2021: A court in The Hague, Netherlands has sentenced a 31 year old Syrian to six years in prison for participating in a terrorist organisation and committing a war crime. The man lived in Syria in 2015 and fought with the terrorist organization Ahrar al-Sham in the Battle of a-Ghab, among others. A video of him, mistreating deceased armed personnel was released on YouTube and he was subsequently convicted.
20 April 2021: Human Rights Watch has released a report stating that the Chinese government is committing crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in the northwest region of Xinjiang. The report titled, 'Break Their Lineage, Break Their Roots': China's Crimes against Humanity Targeting Uyghurs and Other Turkic Muslims' draws on newly available information from Chinese government documents, human rights groups, media and scholars in determining the Chinese leaderships responsibility in Xinjiang within the international legal framework.
19 April 2021: Beatrice Munyenyezi, a Rwandan women who was deported by the United States after serving prison term for lying about her role in the Rwandan genocide, during her naturalisation process, has been arrested by Rwandan authorities. The Rwandan Bureau of Investigation has said that she will be charged with crimes ranging from murder to complicity in rape.
16 April 2021: The House of Commons in the UK is scheduled next week to vote to declare that a genocide is under way in Xinjiang, China. This step is likely to damage Sino-British relations which are already strained since China imposed sanctions on British MPs critical of its human rights record. The UK Foreign Office has also been supportive of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights being allowed by China to go to Xinjiang to conduct an unfettered inquiry.
15 April 2021: Amnesty International reports that Eritrean troops killed three people and injured at least 19 others in an unprovoked attack on civilians in the town of Adwa In Tigray on 12 April. It has called for international investigation into this incident and multiple other attacks on civilians, for allegations of war crimes, possible crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses in the ongoing conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia.
14 April 2021: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet has said that the Overseas Operations Bill under consideration by the UK Parliament would limit war crimes accountability if passed in its current form. She urged the Parliament to heed warnings about the risks that the Bill poses in shielding military personnel operating abroad from due accountability for torture or other international crimes.
13 April 2021: The closing arguments in the case of Prosecutor v. Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović before the U.N. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals are ongoing. The Prosecutors stated before the Court that the accused helped train and equip ethnic Serbs to conduct brutal ethnic cleansing campaigns against non-Serbs in the 1990's Yugoslav conflict. Both the accused have pleaded not guilty to crimes including murder and persecution as crimes against humanity.
12 April 2021: In a letter to the International Criminal Court, Israel has said that it will not co-operate with the Court in its investigation into war crimes in the Israel occupied territories. The letter states that the Court is acting without authority in carrying out its probe. The investigation is supposed probe alleged war crimes committed by both Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem since 13 June 2014.
9 April 2021: Protais Mpiranya, the former commander of the presidential guard for the Rwandan army is believed to be hiding in Zimbabwe. The former soldier, who has been on the run for 27 years has been indicted by the U.N. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
8 April 2021: United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres commemorated the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda by highlighting Rwanda's display of the power of justice and reconciliation while warning about the increasing use of technology and techniques used by extremists worldwide.
7 April 2021: Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda visited Mali and addressed the issue of destruction of cultural heritage in war and conflict. She emphasised that cultural heritage must not be attacked and destroyed with impunity. The trial of Al Hasan on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including deliberate attacks on cultural property in Timbuktu is currently ongoing at the Court.
6 April 2021: Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic of Montenegro launched a procedure to dismiss the justice minister over his denial of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. Vladimir Leposavic, the Minister of Justice, Human and Minority Rights questioned the legitimacy of international courts that ruled the Srebrenica massacre of over 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces constituted genocide.
5 April 2021: The US government revoked its Executive Order 13928 which imposed sanctions against the International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda and senior staff member Phakiso Mochochoko. The revocation also ends visa restrictions on certain ICC personnel. The decision of the US government was welcomed by the Court.
2 April 2021: The BBC reports that a massacre in northern Ethiopia was carried out by members of the Ethiopian army, killing atleast 15 people. BBC Africa Eye uncovered evidence and investigated five video clips that surfaced on social media showing armed, uniformed men leading a group of unarmed men to the edge of a cliff, shooting at them and pushing the dead bodies over the cliff. The incident in the videos could amount to war crimes.
1 April 2021: The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court delivered its judgment on the Prosecutor's appeal against Trial Chamber I's decision acquitting Mr. Gbagbo and Mr. Blé Goudé of all charges of crime against humanity. The Chamber finalised the acquittal of Mr. Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé, with Judge Ibáñez and Judge Bossa dissenting from the majority opinion.
31 March 2021: The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court, by majority confirmed the decision of Trial Chamber VI which found Bosco Ntaganda guilty of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Further, it unanimously confirmed Mr. Ntaganda's sentence of a total of 30 years of imprisonment for crimes committed in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002-2003.
30 March 2021: Amnesty International reports that Boko Haram fighters targeted women and girls with rape and other sexual violence, amounting to war crimes. During violent raid in northeast Nigeria, Boko Haram fighters killed people trying to flee and looted livestock, money, and other valuables. The reports calls upon the International Criminal Court to investigate atrocities committed by all sides.
29 March 2021: A historical commission set up by President Emmanuel Macron concluded that France bears 'overwhelming responsibility' over the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The report states that France was 'blind' to the preparations of the massacre which saw the death of 800,000 people mainly from the ethnic Tutsi minority.
26 March 2021: The UN and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission will carry out a joint investigation into abuses in the region of Tigray including allegations of war crimes. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission have emphasised the need for a probe of all parties in the conflict to ensure accountability.
25 March 2021: Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a senior Libyan military figure wanted for alleged war crimes has been shot dead by unidentified attackers in the city of Benghazi. He was indicted twice by the International Criminal Court for suspected killing of more than 40 captives.
24 March 2021: The UN Human Rights Council in a recently passed resolution has authorised the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet to collect and preserve evidence of alleged war crimes committed during Sri Lanka's civil war, which ended in 2009. The resolution accuses Sri Lanka of obstructing accountability and called for trials of suspects in foreign countries.
23 March 2021: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in his first public acknowledgment of possible war crimes has said that atrocities have been committed in Tigray where government troops continue to fight fugitive leaders. He said that soldiers who raped women or committed other war crimes will be held responsible.
22 March 2021: Human Rights Watch reports that the Egyptian military's continuing home demolitions and forced evictions during the armed conflict in North Sinai likely amount to war crimes. Between late 2013 and July 2020, the army destroyed at least 12,350 buildings, mostly homes and also razed, ruined, and closed off approximately 6,000 hectares of farmland.
19 March 2021: Belgian authorities have detained Pjeter Shala, a former Kosovo Liberation Army member after the Kosovo Specialist Chambers issued an indictment against him on charges of war crimes. He is expected to be tried for crimes committed during and after the war from 1998 to 2000 for murder, torture and illegal detention.
18 March 2021: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet has agreed to a request by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission for a joint investigation in Tigray. She had previously expressed her concerns that possible war crimes may have been committed in Tigray, where the conflict has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee from their homes.
17 March 2021: Germany has arrested Bai L., a former member of Gambia's armed forces suspected of involvement in crimes against humanity under President Yahya Jammeh. The arrested individual is suspected to have belonged to the Gambian military's 'Patrol Team' known as 'Junglers' that were involved in executing illegal kill orders, intimidating the Gambian population and supressing opposition.
16 March 2021: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet urged countries to try suspected war criminals in Syria in their national courts. She mentioned the failed attempts to refer the atrocities to the International Criminal Court and emphasised on the need for national courts to "conduct fair, public and transparent trials and reduce the accountability gap for such serious crimes".
15 March 2021: The War Crimes Unit of the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom has opened an investigation into allegations that Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad incited and encouraged terrorist acts in Syria. It is speculated that if convicted, she could be stripped of her UK citizenship.
12 March 2021: Thomas Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar noted the growing evidence of crimes against humanity by the country's military since its takeover of Myanmar's democratic government. Reports of murder, persecution, torture including deaths of 70 people and unlawful detention of over 2000 people have been reported.
11 March 2021: Tomás Ojea-Quintana, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea, urged the UN Security Council to refer grave violations in North Korea to the International Criminal Court. He stated that the world powers will bear responsibility for ignoring crimes against humanity perpetrated by authorities in North Korea.
10 March 2021: A recently released independent report prepared by over 50 global experts allege that the Chinese government's actions in Xinjiang have violated every single provision in the United Nations' Genocide Convention. It is the first time a non-governmental organization has undertaken an independent legal analysis of the accusations of genocide in Xinjiang.
9 March 2021: Amnesty International in its report released last week, documents the killing of hundreds of civilians in Mozambique who have been unlawfully killed by the armed group locally known as 'Al-Shabaab', government security forces and a private military company hired by the government. It is alleged that all three parties have committed war crimes, causing the deaths of hundreds of civilians and forcing many to flee.
8 March 2021: Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court delivered an order announcing USD 30 million as reparations to victims in the case of The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda. In 2019 Mr. Ntaganda was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ituri, Democratic Republic of the Congo and sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment. Both the the verdict and the sentence are under appeal.
5 March 2021: Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court issued a public redacted version of its decision in The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo case, which approves the implementation of collective service-based reparations to victims. Thomas Lubanga was found guilty of co-perpetrating war crimes of conspiring and enlisting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate in hostilities.
4 March 2021: Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda announced that the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has opened a formal investigation into the situation in Palestine. The probe will cover allegations of war crimes and other international crimes in the region of West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip since June 2014.
3 March 2021: A group of Syrian chemical attack survivors and Syrian rights groups have a filed a criminal complaint in France over the two August 2013 attacks in Douma and the Damascas suburb of Eastern Ghouta. The complaint points to the alleged responsibility of the Syrian government in the attacks which could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.
2 March 2021: UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria's latest report states that tens of thousands of civilians in Syria were arbitrarily detained in enforced disappearances during the country's 10 year conflict. The report suspects that thousands have been subjected to torture, sexual violence, and arbitrary detention, offences that can amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
1 March 2021: Amnesty International reports that Eritrean troops fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray region, systematically killed hundreds of unarmed civilians in the northern city of Axum on 28-29 November 2020 in a massacre that may amount of crimes against humanity. Survivors interviews and satellite imagery analysis indicate widespread looting and shelling, as well as signs of mass burials near two of the city's churches.
26 February 2021: The Dutch parliament passed a non-binding motion declaring that the treatment of the Uighur Muslim minority in China amounts to genocide. The motion said that actions of Chinese government such as “measures intended to prevent births” and “having punishment camps” fell under the Genocide Convention. The Netherlands is the first European country to make such a declaration.
25 February 2021: The trial of Gibril Ealoghima Massaquoi, a suspected warlord from Sierra Leone has started in Finland. According to prosecutors, Mr. Gibril was a senior member of a rebel group that fought in Liberia from 1999 to 2003. He is accused of committing war crimes of killing civilians and soldiers who had just been disarmed, rape and recruiting child soldiers.
24 February 2021: Eyad al-Gharib, a former Syrian intelligence service agent was sentenced to four and a half years in jail by a German court for complicity in crimes against humanity over state sponsored torture by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government. This landmark trial on the principle of universal jurisdiction began in Germany last year.
23 February 2021: China rejected allegations about possible crimes against humanity and genocide being committed against Uighurs in the Xinjiang region of the country. Foreign Minister of China, Wang Li addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council and mentioned the presence of mosques in the region, emphasised that Xinjiang is open to visitors and called upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet to visit Xinjiang.
22 February 2021: Argentina convicted eight men for committing crimes against humanity in the 'ESMA IV' trial. The trial probed crimes that took place at the ex-Navy Mechanics School during the military dictatorship between 1976-1983 and held those convicted, responsible for illegal deprivation, torture, homicide and sexual assault.
19 February 2021: Amnesty International has called for the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to consider probable extrajudicial executions in its preliminary examination of crimes against humanity allegedly committed by state agents in Venezuela. This request was made after evidence verified by its Crisis Evidence Lab, as a part of its new open-source investigation, revealed the deaths of at least 14 men in the La Vega area of Caracas, between 6 and 9 January 2021.
18 February 2021: The hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom and Patrice Edouard Ngaïssona commenced on 16 February 2021 and continued till 18 February 2021 at Trial Chamber V of the International Criminal Court. The defendants are under trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the Central African Republic. The trial is scheduled to resume on 15 March 2021, when the Prosecution will begin to present its evidence and call its witnesses before the judges.
17 February 2021: Amnesty International reports that, a decade since the overthrow of Muammar al-Gaddafi, justice is yet to be delivered to victims of war crimes in Libya. Protests erupted in Libya in February 2011 leading to serious human rights violations including torture, forced displacement and abductions by armed groups and militia. Libyan authorities have subsequently promoted and legitimised leaders of militias responsible for heinous acts of abuse.
16 February 2021: The trial of a Liberian rebel commander for war crimes has resumed in Switzerland. Alieu Kosiah, a former commander of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy faces allegations of rape, executions and cannibalism against him. Liberian victims are set to testify against him in this case of universal jurisdiction under Swiss law.
15 February 2021: British lawyer, Karim Khan was elected by more than 120 countries to be the next prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. He is scheduled to assume the role in June 2021 and lead the Office of the Prosecutor in examining, investigating and prosecuting alleged perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression under the Court's jurisdiction.
12 February 2021: The International Criminal Tribunal Bangladesh has sentenced three individuals to imprisonment unto death for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War. Those convicted are Md Shamsuzzaman alias Abul Kalam, AFM Foyjullah and Abdur Razzak Mandal. Unlike Abul Kalam, AFM Foyjullah and Abdur Razzak were tried in absentia.
11 February 2021: Trial Chamber V of the International Criminal Court has postponed the opening of the trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona due to unexpected Covid-19 related issues. The trial will now commence on 16 February 2021. Mr Yekatom and Mr Ngaïssona are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the Central African Republic.
10 February 2021: Radoslav Brdjanin, who is serving a 30 year sentence for crimes against humanity has requested the U.N. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals to grant him an early release. The wartime political leader of the short-lived Autonomous Region of Krajina in northern Bosnia had previously applied for early release in March 2020, which was rejected on grounds of seriousness of his offences and his failure to demonstrate sufficient rehabilitation.
9 February 2021: A formal legal opinion published in the UK claims that there is a very credible case that the Chinese government is carrying out genocide against its Uighur population. The opinion concludes that there is evidence of a state-mandated behaviour with an intent to destroy the Uighur population in north-western China. This opinion was commissioned by the Global Legal Action Network, World Uighur Congress and Uighur Human Rights Project.
8 February 2021: Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court decided, by majority, that the Court's territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine, extends to the territories occupied by Israel, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The Prosecutor had seized the Chamber, requesting a ruling on the scope of the Court's territorial jursdiction before investigating alleged war crimes in the Situation in Palestine.
5 February 2021: The International Criminal Court found Dominic Ongwen guilty for a total of 61 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes. It was for the first time that sexual and gender based crimes of forced pregnancy and forced marriage were adjudicated by the Court. Dominic Ongwen was a former leader on the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda.
4 February 2021: The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has released a report warning against potential crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The warning follows an increase in attacks by the Alllied Democratic Forces (ADF) armed group, in two provinces of the country. The report recommends DRC authorities to ensure that security forces act in accordance to international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
3 February 2021: The United Nations released a report stating that torture and forced labour are rife in North Korea's prisons amounting to possible crimes against humanity The report was issued seven years after a UN investigation had found that crimes against humanity were being committed in North Korea. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called upon the UN Security Council to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court for prosecutions or establish an ad hoc tribunal.
2 February 2021: The United States has initiated an Independent Inquiry into Special Operations and War Crimes. In the Inquiry the Defense Department Inspector General will examine whether US Commando forces are doing enough to comply with the laws of armed conflict and hold violators accountable.
1 February 2021: The Syrian Justice and Accountability Centre, a Washington-based Syrian rights group filed a case with the International Criminal Court, calling for an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity by Greece for its mistreatment of refugees. The group has said that, witness testimony and video evidence back its claims of mistreatment and abuse of refugees at Greece's borders and inside overcrowded camps.
29 January 2021: Colombia's Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) accused eight former commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) fighters of war crimes and crimes against humanity for taking hostages during the country’s internal armed conflict. This is the first time since the signing of the 2016 peace deal that the JEP has attributed criminal responsibility to former leaders of FARC, which demobilised to reintegrate with society.
28 January 2021: The UN Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet has called for an International Criminal Court investigation into Sri Lanka's Tamil separatist conflict and sanctions on military officials accused of war crimes, according to a report obtained by the AFP new agency. She accused Sri Lanka of reneging on promises to ensure justice for thousands of civilians killed in the final stages of the 37-year separatist war that ended 10 years ago.
27 January 2021: Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro could face charges in the International Criminal Court after being accused of crimes against humanity. Indigenous leaders in Brazil and human rights groups are urging the court to investigate the Brazilian president over his dismantling of environmental policies and violations of indigenous rights, which they say amount to ecocide. William Bourdon, a Paris-based lawyer, submitted a request for a preliminary examination to the Court.
26 January 2021: Sakib Mahmuljin, a former Bosnian army general has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for war crimes. He was deemed responsible for failing to stop killings and torture carried out by foreign fighters who joined his force during Bosnia and Herzegovina's 1990s war and killed over 50 ethnic Serb prisoners in central Bosnia.
25 January 2021: Mr. Mahamat Said Abdel Kani was surrendered by the authorities of the Central African Republic on account of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant issued under seal. Mr. Said is suspected of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in Bangui, Central African Republic in 2013. His initial appearance before the Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II, Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala, will take place in due course.
22 January 2021: The European Union has expressed concern over reports of ethnic-targeted killings and possible war crimes in Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray. EU foreign chief Josep Borrell said in the statement that, "We receive consistent reports of ethnic-targeted violence, killings, massive looting, rapes, forceful returns of refugees to Eritrea and possible war crimes". With over two million forced to flee their homes, people in Tigray continue to be in desperate need of humanitarian aid.
21 January 2021: Foreign minister Stef Blok of The Netherlands has announced that an amount of €2 million would be set aside to support UN teams at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, involved in fact finding investigations and seeking justice for victims of serious human rights violations. This announcement was made at an online event where the need to adopt other methods to counter the obstruction the work of the International Criminal Court by countries, was also emphasised.
20 January 2021: US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has stated that the Trump administration has determined that China has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Uighur Muslims in their repression in the region of Xinjiang, China. The determination was made on the basis of exhaustive documentation of events since March 2017.
19 January 2021: Al Jazeera reports that, former members of the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group have expressed concern for their lives. The FARC who were accused of committing serious war crimes in a five-decade long conflict, surrendered their weapons to a UN peace mission in 2017. Since the deal, 253 former fighters have been killed including four this year but it is unclear who the perpetrators are, further complicating the peace process. The United Nations Security Council repeated its call for more attention to the security issues affecting former rebels and human rights activists in Colombia.
18 January 2021: The House of Lords in UK rejected the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights said the proposed law “raises the abhorrent possibility of serious crimes such as rape, murder or torture being carried out under an authorisation”. The Bill will be sent back to the House of Commons for consideration.
15 January 2021: The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) of the United States Congress has declared that in its report that new evidence had emerged in the past year indicating that crimes against humanity and possibly genocide are occurring against Uighurs in the Xinjiang province of China. Al Jazeera notes that, China has been widely condemned for setting up complexes in Xinjiang that it describes as vocational training centres to stamp out extremism and give people new skills, but others have called them concentration camps.
14 January 2021: Human Rights Watch in its World Report 2021 has declared that Yemen's armed conflict continued to violate the laws of war over the past year, including with new apparent war crimes. It calls upon the international communtity to undertake international justice efforts to address the dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen which has been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
13 January 2021: The British foreign secretary has stated that China's treatment of Uighur people amounts to torture. He said that he has set out measures designed to ensure no companies allow the use of forced labour from Xinjiang province in their supply chain. He also proposed a review of export controls to Xinjiang province but refrained from imposing sanctions.
12 January 2021: The Special Department for War Crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina has filed for an indictment against seven persons for committing crimes against humanity during the armed conflict. They are accused of violating Article 172 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the widespread and systematic attack that was carried out in the spring and summer of 1992.
11 January 2021: A South Korean court ordered Japan to compensate 12 women who were forced to work in its wartime brothels as comfort women, a Japanese euphemism for sex abuse victims. Justice Kim Jeong-gon said in the ruling that, "it was a crime against humanity that was systematically, deliberately and extensively committed by Japan in breach of international norms". Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Japan could not accept the court ruling and said the lawsuit should be dropped.
8 January 2021: Uganda's main opposition leader, Bobi Wine, has submitted a request to the International Criminal Court to investigate President Yoweri Museveni and other senior officals for human rights abuses allegedly committed in 2018. The International Criminal Court has previously investigated alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Uganda.
7 January 2021: The trial of Predag Bastah, former reservist officer with the Bosnian police’s Public Security Station in Vlasenica, opened at the Bosnian state court. He is accused of crimes against humanity for his involvement in the execution of 37 civilian prisoners at Mracni Dol in the Vlasenica municipality during the Bosnian war.
6 January 2021: Anti-terror prosecutors in France have announced the arrest of Roger Lumbala, former head of a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on charges of complicity in crimes against humanity. He is suspected by UN investigators of carrying out extrajudicial killings, rapes and cannibalism during the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1998-2002.
5 January 2021: The U.N. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals declined a request for early release from Dragoljub Kunarac, the wartime leader of a Bosnian Serb Army reconnaissance unit, who was convicted for crimes against humanity for committing multiple rapes and the enslavement of two women in the Foca area during the Bosnian conflict. Judge Carmel Agius, stated that although Kunarac is eligible for early release since he has served two-thirds of his 28-year sentence, his "failure to sufficiently demonstrate rehabilitation and the high gravity of his crimes weigh heavily against his early release".
4 January 2021: The U.N. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals declined a request from Vujadin Popovic the former chief of security of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Drina Corps, to be released on probation for the rest of his life sentence. He was found guilty of committing genocide when more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys were killed in the days after the UN-declared ‘safe zone’ of Srebenica was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces on July 11, 1995.
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