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Posts Categorized: International News

Congressional Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Bush-Era Interrogations

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Last month, President Obama released four memoranda by Bush administration lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel outlining the authorized use of waterboarding, placing insects in confined areas along with detainees, “walling”, and sleep deprivation (link).  Since then, much more detailed information concerning these enhanced interrogation techniques have come to light in the Report of… Read more »

Croatian MP sentenced for war crimes

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  Agence France Presse is reporting that a Croatian court on Friday 8 May sentenced a far-right lawmaker and former Croatian general to 10 years in prison over the execution of 10 Serb civilians during Serbia’s war with Croatia. Branimir Glavas, 52, who benefits from parliamentary immunity, was not in court to hear the verdict,… Read more »

Hamas Political Violence in Gaza – New Report by Human Rights Watch

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In a new publication “Under Cover of War” Human Rights Watch report that during the recent offensive by Israel in the Gaza Strip, “Hamas authorities there took extraordinary steps to control, intimidate, punish and at times eliminate their political rivals as well as persons suspected of collaboration with Israel”. This 26-page report documents a pattern… Read more »

2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama awarded to play set in the Congo

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The Pulitzer was awared to “Ruined,” by Lynn Nottage, for “a searing drama set in chaotic Congo that compels audiences to face the horror of wartime rape and brutality while still finding affirmation of life and hope amid hopelessness.” For background to, and scenes from the play, watch the link below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKdkitqxPUc

Two interesting news items on the STL

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Robert Fisk on the release of the four Generals suspected of involvement in the Hariri assasination: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-is-this-the-price-of-americas-new-friendship-with-syria-1676416.html Interview with Antonio Cassese, President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon: http://aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=3&id=16550

Pre-Trial Judge at STL orders the release of four detainees

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Yesterday, at the first sitting of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) the Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen issued an order releasing the four Generals, arrested in 2005, and detained in Lebanon in connection with the Hariri case. They are Jamil Sayyed, chief of the Intelligence Services, Mustafa Hamdan, chief of the Presidential Security, Ali Hajj,… Read more »

Vice-President Appointed at Lebanon Tribunal

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Lebanese judge Ralph Riachi has been appointed deputy president of the Special Tribunal for the Lebanon (STL).  The President of the Tribunal is Antonio Cassese, formerly a President of the ICTY. In other STL news, the Registrar, Robin Vincent has resigned. He will remain in his post until June while a new Registrar is recruited. http://www.stl-tsl.org/sid/64 http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=101302

Freedom of Information Receives Boost in Europe

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    On April 17 2009 the Open Society Justice Initiative applauded a decision by the European Court of Human Rights expanding the right of watchdog groups to access government information. The decision, handed down on the 14 April 2009 recognized for the first time that Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights… Read more »

Judge Baltasar Garzón of Spain Initiates Investigation of Bush Administration Officials

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Judge Baltasar Garzón of Spain has ordered prosecutors to investigate whether former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and several other high-ranking Bush administration lawyers violated international law by presenting a legal justification for torturing inmates at the Guantánamo Bay detention center. John Yoo (former Deputy Assistant Attorney General), Douglas Feith (former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy)… Read more »

First Day of Trial Hearings at ECCC

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The first session of substantive hearings took place today at the ECCC, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. The trial of Kaing Guek Eav alias ‘Duch’, former Chief of the S-21 prison, is the first trial to get underway at the court. Four more accused are still in pre-trial proceedings. Today’s session began with the formal opening… Read more »

International Commission of Jurists Report Report Calls for Urgent Steps to Restore Human Rights in efforts to counter terrorism

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A panel of prominent judges and lawyers, established by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) issued its report: “Assessing Damage, Urging Action” (available HERE), calling for urgent steps to restore human rights in efforts to counter terrorism.    The report, based on sixteen hearings covering more than forty countries in all regions of the world,… Read more »

Possible ICC Investigation into Gaza War Crimes Allegations

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Over the past few days there have been media reports suggesting that the Chief Prosecutor at the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is considering an investigation into alleged war crimes commited in the Gaza Strip during the recent conflict. Last month, he gave statements saying that the ICC had no jurisdiction to investigate, but the recent acceptance… Read more »

First Trial at the ICC – Lubanga Trial Opens

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Yesterday saw the first day of trial proceedings in the case against Thomas Lubanga Dylio at the ICC. This was also the opening of the first trial in the history of the court and also the first international criminal trial where victims are expected to fully participate in the proceedings. Thomas Lubanga , the first… Read more »

Latest Decision in Avena Case at ICJ

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This week the ICJ issued a Decision in the Avena Case: Request for Interpretation of the Judgment of 31 March 2004 in the Case concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America) – Judgment of 19 January 2009. This case was brought by Mexico in response to the Medellin execution in… Read more »

Obama Issues Orders on Ensuring Lawful Interrogations and Calling for Review of the Detention of al-Marri.

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In addition to his Executive Order on Guantanamo, Barack Obama has also ordered a review of the detention of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. The order states, in part: “For more than 5 years, the Department of Defense has detained Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri as an enemy combatant in facilities within the United States. Al-Marri is the only… Read more »

Obama Orders Guantanamo Closure – Pt.2

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Below is the complete text of Barack Obama’s Executive Orders calling for the closure of the Guantanamo detention center within one year EXECUTIVE ORDER — REVIEW AND DISPOSITION OF INDIVIDUALS DETAINED AT THE GUANTÁNAMO BAY NAVAL BASE AND CLOSURE OF DETENTION FACILITIES By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws… Read more »