You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2011.

* Sri Lanka is trying to prevent a report by a UN panel of experts from being forwarded to the Human Rights Council. The report, written in March, detailed “credible allegations which, if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law were committed both by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam], some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.” The report also called for an independent international probe into the violations and invited the Human Rights Council to reconsider the conclusions from its May 2009 special session on Sri Lanka, during which a resolution was adopted praising the outcome of the country’s 1983–2009 civil war.

* On September 9, INTERPOL issued Red Notices, the agency’s highest arrest alert, for Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and Abdullah Senussi, his former director of military intelligence. The International Criminal Court indicted the three for war crimes and crimes against humanity in June. INTERPOL’s action is considered a crucial step towards recognition of Libya’s National Transitional Council [NTC] as the country’s official government. It is speculated, but unconfirmed, that Gaddafi, like many other members of his family and regime, is being harbored in Niger. The Red Notices also have the effect of restricting the ability of the fugitive men to cross international borders.

* In the first ICC case on post-presidential election violence in Kenya in 2007, the prosecution and defense have accused one another of “unclear evidences.” Defense attorneys argue that the prosecution did not conduct proper investigations, while the prosecution maintains that defense witnesses have been inconsistent and contradictory. The first three suspects summoned by the ICC for the confirmation of charges hearings are former ministers William Ruto and Henry Kosgei and radio presenter Joshua Sang, all members of the Orange Democratic Movement, the opposition party at the time of the elections. The ruling on whether or not initial evidence presented can support crimes against humanity charges in full trial is expected out on December 24.

Photo: jour210srilanka.wordpress.com/

Advertisements

Widespread arrests of sub-Saharan Africans by Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) have become a cause of concern for human rights organizations.

“It’s a dangerous time to be dark-skinned in Tripoli,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The NTC should stop arresting African migrants and black Libyans unless it has concrete evidence of criminal activity. It should also take immediate steps to protect them from violence and abuse.” After interviewing detainees, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International found that the majority of arrests were based on skin color, following from the fact that Muammar Gaddafi used sub-Saharan Africans as mercenaries. “The NTC has legitimate concerns about unlawful mercenaries and violent activity, but it can’t simply arrest dark-skinned men just in case they think they might be mercenaries,” Whitson said.

Amnesty International focused its study on the Tawargha tribe, in a town of the same name used as a Gaddafi stronghold. North Africa researcher Diana Eltahawy said there was no doubt that some Tawarghas fought alongside Gaddafi, “But anyone responsible should be brought to justice in fair trials; not dragged out of hospital beds on the assumption that all Tawarghas are ‘killers’ and ‘mercenaries’. The whole population should not have to suffer.”

The Human Rights Watch report, released September 1, said, “the sub-Saharan Africans were in overcrowded cells with a putrid stench; one cell had 26 people and six mattresses. The African men Human Rights Watch interviewed complained of inadequate water, poor sanitation, and not being allowed to make phone calls to ask family members to bring their documents.”

Photos (from top): africanspotlight.com, theatlanticwire.com

Furthering AIPR’s long-term goal of having genocide prevention taught as part of the required curriculum at every college and university in the United States, AIPR and Professor Alex Hinton created a class on genocide prevention taught this spring at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. Taught by Prof. Hinton in the anthropology department, the course examined genocide prevention in the realms of public policy and academia.

The following websites were created by students of the class in May; as such, they do not reflect more recent events.

1) Cambodia: Anatomy of a Genocide
Divided into five sections (Origins, Processes, International Response, Justice, and Memory and Education), this site critically approaches the Cambodian genocide, examining whether it could have been prevented, and if so, why not?

2) Côte d’Ivoire: Genocide Watch
This site explains the origins of the conflict in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), in addition to discussing current diplomatic efforts there. The site’s creators seek to provide varied perspectives on, and solutions to, the situation in the country.

3) LIBYA: [IN]ACTION
With a timeline that ends as NATO took control of the UN-backed no-fly zone over Libya earlier this year, these students discuss the international community’s inefficient and delayed response to the Libyan state’s atrocities against its own citizenry. They then go on to analyze whether or not Qaddafi’s actions are in fact genocide, using R2P as part of their framework.

4) Nuba Mountains, Sudan
With the recent genocide in Darfur and successful secession of South Sudan dominating news from that region, this site seeks to ensure that the genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Nuba is not forgotten or overshadowed. This website also goes beyond the scope of the genocide to help explain and preserve the culture and identity of the Nuba.

Twitter Updates

Advertisements