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Situations under Preliminary Examination: Recent News and Statements
20 Jan 2012
Please find below information regarding developments in some of the situations currently under preliminary examination by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
To date, the ICC has opened investigations in seven situations: the Central African Republic; Cote d'Ivoire; Darfur, Sudan; Uganda; Democratic Republic of Congo; Kenya; and Libya. In addition, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor has made public that it is examining information about a number of situations around the world in order to determine whether an investigation should be opened. According to public and official statements by the ICC, the OTP is looking into alleged crimes committed in Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Nigeria, Honduras and Korea. To date the OTP has published the conclusions of its preliminary examination into alleged crimes committed in Iraq and Venezuela.
This message includes Coalition statements and related news and opinions regarding ICC preliminary investigations in Georgia (I), the Occupied Palestinian Territories (II), Afghanistan (III), Honduras (IV), Nigeria (V), Korea (VI), Colombia (VII) and Guinea (VIII), as well as Coalition statements on Syria, Sri Lanka and Yemen (IX), which are not under ICC investigation.
Please take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the Coalition will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.
For additional information you may refer to the Coalition's website at www.coalitionfortheicc.org
A. EU STATEMENT
1. "Statement by the spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the elections in the breakaway region of South Ossetia in Georgia," European Union, 14 November 2011, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/126038.pdf
"The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:
'In view of the reports about the elections in the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia on the 13 November, this statement is to recall that the European Union does not recognise the constitutional and legal framework within which these elections have taken place.
The European Union reiterates its support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, as recognised by international law. The European Union would in this context like to emphasize the importance of the Geneva International Discussions in ensuring the security and stability in the region.'"
B. NEWS AND OPINIONS
1. "Court Upholds Decision to Annul South Ossetia Elections as Protests Turn Violent," The Messenger, 7 December 2011, http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2500_december_7_2011/2500_ernest.html
2. "South Ossetia Vote Descends into Stand-Off," Zarina Sanakoeva, IWPR, 2 December 2011, http://iwpr.net/report-news/south-ossetia-vote-descends-stand
3. "Saakashvili Hails 'Historic' European Parliament Resolution," Civil Georgia, 18 November 2011, http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24157
4. "Saakashvili applauds EU resolution on Georgia," RIA Novosti, 18 November 2011, http://en.ria.ru/russia/20111118/168814770.html
5. "European Parliament Resolution on Georgia," Civil Georgia, 17 November 2011, http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24156
6. "Georgia and the fight against impunity syndrome after the Georgian-Russian war of 2008," Ekhokavkaza, 17 November 2011, http://www.ekhokavkaza.com/archive/topics_of_the_day/latest/3235/3235.html
7. "Russian WTO Membership Certain," Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes, 9 November 2011, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2011/11/09/russian-wto-membership-certain/
8. "Ivanishvili: Russian Occupation Provoked by Government," Gvantsa Gabekhadze, The Messenger Online, 20 October 2011, http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2467_october_20_2011/2467_reuters.html
9. "EUMM Head: Security Situation Improved," Ambassador Andrzej Tyszkiewicz, Head of the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), Civil Georgia, 17 October 2011, http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24041
10. "Russia and Georgia Still in Deadlock Over Breakaway Republics," Aron Lamm, The Epoch Times, 13 October 2011, http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/russia-and-georgia-still-in-deadlock-over-breakaway-republics-62816.html
11. "Russian Military To Stay In Abkhazia, South Ossetia, 49 More Years," EurasiaNet, 10 October 2011, http://www.eurasianet.org/print/64292
12. "Sarkozy Calls for Dialogue, Reminds Russia of its Pledge," Civil Georgia, 7 October 2011, http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24009
II. THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
A. COALITON MEMBERS' STATEMENTS
1. "Israel: New Commander Should Protect Palestinians From Settler Violence: Impunity for Attacks; Excessive Force Against Palestinians," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 21 November 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/21/israel-new-commander-should-protect-palestinians-settler-violence
"(Jerusalem) - The newly-appointed Israeli military commander in the West Bank should end the military's hands-off approach to settler attacks against Palestinians and Palestinian property, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch also called on the new commander to end the use of excessive force by security forces against Palestinians responding to settler attacks.
Israeli Brig. Gen. Hagai Mordechai took over the West Bank command on October 25, 2011, replacing Brig. Gen. Nitsan Alon, who had held the position for two years.
'Israel's security forces haven't been stopping settlers who attack Palestinians and invade their lands, and in fact have attacked Palestinians who were protesting settler violence,' said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. 'Brigadier General Mordechai should be ensuring that his troops are preventing settler violence, not punishing the Palestinian victims.'...."
2. "UN Committee to examine Israel's record on economic, social and cultural rights," FIDH Press Release, 14 November 2011, http://www.fidh.org/UN-Committee-to-examine-Israel-s
"With Israel's human rights record up for review by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (henceforth 'the Committee') from the 16th to 17th of November, a host of evidence submitted to the UN monitoring body by FIDH member organisations Adalah, Al-Haq and B'Tselem points to the country's continued failure in upholding the basic rights of many living both within its borders and under its occupation....
Israel must be held to account for human rights violations
As indicated by the wealth of information submitted to the Committee, Israel falls far short of fulfilling its obligations under the Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In this regard, FIDH calls upon the Committee to take up the recommendations within the reports of its member organisations, so as to ensure that Israel be fully held to account for its violations of the CESCR on the 16th and 17th of November."
3. "Israel ramps up settlement construction plans after Palestine UNESCO bid," Amnesty International Press Release, 3 November 2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israel-ramps-settlement-construction-plans-after-palestine-unesco-bid-2011-11-03
"The Israeli government must halt plans to expand construction in illegal settlements in the West Bank and stop proposals to suspend the transfer of taxes to the Palestinian Authority, Amnesty International said today...
The new moves came after the UN cultural organization UNESCO admitted Palestine as a member on Monday...
Amnesty International has repeatedly called for an immediate end to the construction and expansion of settlements and related infrastructure in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The Israeli government violates international law by establishing and retaining civilian settlements in the territories. When an occupying power has a formal policy of transferring parts of its civilian population onto occupied territory, it amounts to a war crime, and can be taken up for investigation by the International Criminal Court.... "
B. COALITION MEMBERS' OP-EDS
1. "Israel's Actions in East Jerusalem May Constitute a War Crime," Edith Garwood (Amnesty International USA), Human Rights Now, 3 November 2011, http://blog.amnestyusa.org/waronterror/israelâ€™s-actions-in-east-jerusalem-may-constitute-a-war-crime/
"On Tuesday, Israel did not even try to hide the fact that their plans to accelerate the construction of 2,000 housing units in East Jerusalem - an area considered as 'occupied' by the international community thus making the construction illegal - was in response to and part of a series of punishments to be meted out against the Palestinian Authority for their successful pursuit for full membership to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and pursuit for full recognition for the State of Palestine by the United Nations body itself.
What is significant as well, but I'm afraid being over-looked, is that the announcement also came just two days after the well-respected organization, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), submitted a major and precedent-setting report to three of the UN's Special Rapporteurs claiming that Israel's actions in East Jerusalem violate international law and may constitute a war crime and asking for an investigation into these practices.
The report, 'No Home, No Homeland' documents the slow, but steady displacement of thousands of Palestinians from East Jerusalem since Israel occupied the city following the 1967 war and the intentional implementation of policies to manipulate the demography to gain and maintain a Jewish majority there - 'forcing the migration process on the basis of ethnicity - which violates international law, and is possibly a war crime'...."
C. NEWS AND OPINIONS
1. "UN Special Rapporteur, Richard Falk Talks About Palestine's Bid for Statehood (Part 1)," Kathleen Wells, Huffington Post, 6 January 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-wells/un-special-rapporteur-ric_b_1187643.html
2. "Palestinians plan diplomatic steps to put Israel under 'international siege'," Barak Ravid, Avi Issacharoff and Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz, 2 January 2012, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/palestinians-plan-diplomatic-steps-to-put-israel-under-international-siege-1.404973
3. "Rockets from Gaza are war crimes," Gerald M. Steinberg, The Jerusalem Post, 12 December 2011, http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Article.aspx?id=248323
4. "Prisoner issue will be taken to UN," Nasouh Nazzal, Gulf News, 25 November 2011, http://gulfnews.com/news/region/palestinian-territories/prisoner-issue-will-be-taken-to-un-1.937240
5. "Palestinian Authority to push for UN non-member state status 'within weeks'," Adrian Blomfield, The Telegraph, 10 November 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/8882097/Palestinian-Authority-to-push-for-UN-non-member-state-status-within-weeks.html
6. "Britain to abstain in UN Palestinian state vote," AFP, 9 November 2011, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hn-iMSm2qrVQ5uUs3a0dNaQig88Q?docId=CNG.bc543cb7f1f0012a31d01c87ff5cca39.1f1
7. "No UN consensus over Palestinian bid for statehood," Alex Spillius, The Telegraph, 8 November 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/8877650/No-UN-consensus-over-Palestinian-bid-for-statehood.html
8. "Apartheid and the occupation of Palestine," John Dugard, Al Jazeera, 4 November 2011, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/201111395153781378.html
9. "Relevant Depositary Practice of the Secretary-General and its Bearing on Palestinian Accession to the Rome Statute," William Schabas, PhD Studies in Human Rights, 3 November 2011, http://humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com/2011/11/relevant-depositary-practice-of.html
10. "Palestinians won't accept less than full U.N. seat," Tom Perry, Reuters, 3 November 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/03/us-palestinians-israel-un-idUSTRE7A25N120111103
11. "Palestinians urge UN action against Israel," Edith M. Lederer, AP, 3 November 2011, http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/11/03/palestinians_urge_un_action_against_israel/
12. "What next for Palestine statehood?," IntLawGrrls, 2 November 2011, http://intlawgrrls.blogspot.com/2011/11/what-next-for-palestine-statehood.html
13. "Palestine Should Accede to the Rome Statute," William Schabas, PhD Studies in Human Rights, 1 November 2011, http://humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com/2011/11/palestine-should-accede-to-rome-statute.html
14. "Palestine Can Now Join the International Criminal Court," Craig Murray, Criag Murray.org.uk, 1 November 2011, http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/11/palestine-can-now-join-the-international-criminal-court/
15. "UNESCO Euphoria: Palestinians step up UN efforts," AP, 1 November 2011, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501714_162-20128288/unesco-euphoria-palestinians-step-up-un-efforts/?tag=mncol;lst;6
16. "Palestinians plan 'other options' if U.N. bid fails," Reuters, 20 October 2011, http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/10/20/idINIndia-60017920111020
17. "Arab League: ICC should probe detainees' status," Reuters, 14 October 2011, http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=429155
18. "Palestinians aim to join U.N. bodies," Tom Perry, Reuters, 13 October 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/13/us-palestinians-international-idUSTRE79C28K20111013
19. "EU calls for Middle East peace talks to resume," Arthur Beesley, The Irish Times, 11 October 2011, http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2011/1011/1224305576798.html
20. "Abbas Takes Palestinian Statehood on the Road," Karl Vick / Strasbourg, Time, 9 October 2011, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2096499,00.html
21. "Five lessons learned from Palestinian UN bid," Yousef Munayyer, Al Jazeera, 30 September 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/09/201193013159242495.html
A. COALITION MEMBERS' STATEMENTS
1. "Afghanistan: Decree Increases Detainees' Risk of Torture," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 10 January 2012, http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/10/afghanistan-decree-increases-detainees-risk-torture
"(New York)- President Hamid Karzai should revoke a new decree that puts detainees in Afghan-run prisons at heightened risk of torture and ill-treatment, Human Rights Watch said today. The decree, signed by Karzai on December 17, 2011, would transfer control of Afghan prisons from the Justice Ministry to the Interior Ministry, which operates the Afghan National Police, on January 10, 2012.
The proposed transfer reverses an August 2003 decree by Karzai that transferred prisons - which hold both pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners - from the Interior Ministry to the Justice Ministry, an act then widely regarded as a crucial reform of the justice system. Placing all prisoners under Interior Ministry control increases the likelihood that the Afghan police, long implicated in torture and other ill-treatment, would have direct authority over criminal suspects during interrogation, Human Rights Watch said...."
2. "Afghanistan: Don't Expand Afghan Local Police," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 15 December 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/15/afghanistan-don-t-expand-afghan-local-police
"(Kabul) - President Barack Obama should halt plans by the US military to expand the Afghan Local Police program until significant reforms are made in training, supervision, and accountability, Human Rights Watch said today. On December 10, 2011, the commander of US Special Operations Command, Adm. William McRaven, suggested in a media briefing that the Afghan Local Police (ALP), locally based paramilitary units, would be increased from its current strength of 9,800 to more than 30,000.
A September 2011 Human Rights Watch report, 'Just Don't Call it a Militia: Impunity, Militias, and the 'Afghan Local Police,'' detailed abuses by the ALP and various militias created or supported by the US since the defeat of Taliban rule in 2001. The report, while acknowledging that ALP units had contributed recently to improved security in some areas, documented serious abuses by ALP and other US-backed forces in several provinces, including looting, illegal detention, beatings, killings, sexual assault, and extortion. The report also described how the establishment of the ALP had inflamed ethnic tensions in some areas.
'The Afghan Local Police needs to be fixed before it can be expanded,' said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. 'Instead of rushing to triple the size of the Afghan Local Police, the US and Afghan governments should be adopting mechanisms to ensure these forces abide by the law....."
3. "Afghanistan: A Decade of Missed Opportunities: 10 Years After Bonn, Human Rights Situation Remains Critical," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 4 December 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/03/afghanistan-decade-missed-opportunities
"(New York) - The Afghan government and its allies abroad have failed to make human rights a top priority in the decade since the fall of the Taliban government, leaving Afghans to face an uncertain future, Human Rights Watch said today. The Bonn Agreement, signed on December 5, 2001, created a transitional government under President Hamid Karzai and laid the groundwork for elections and a new Afghan constitution....
Afghanistan's justice system remains weak and compromised, and a large proportion of the population relies instead on traditional justice mechanisms, and sometimes Taliban courts, to resolve disputes. Human rights abuses are endemic within the traditional justice system, with many practices persisting despite being outlawed...."
4. "Making peace with the Taliban, at what cost? Seven keys to a just peace for the people of Afghanistan," FIDH Press Release, 17 November 2011, http://www.fidh.org/Making-peace-with-the-Taliban-at
"The Afghan people live in a general climate of fear and uncertainty, ten years after the launch of the US-led international intervention to remove the Taliban from power and put an end to terrorist networks in Afghanistan. While many are disillusioned by the meagre progress of economic development and social welfare in the country, other major challenges are yet to be adequately addressed, especially in building democratic, just and rights-respecting institutions. The security situation is steadily deteriorating and daily acts of terror and intimidation against civilians in different regions have alarmed the Afghan people, whose memories of systematic and generalised human rights violations, atrocities and oppression under the Taliban regime remain vivid. Despite these hardships, Afghans have nevertheless consistently and unswervingly expressed their faith in progressive change and democratisation, as well as a strong desire for justice, and for the end to all-pervasive impunity...."
5. "Afghanistan: Regional cooperation urged to defend rights," Amnesty International Press Release, 1 November 2011, http://amnesty.org/en/news/afghanistan-regional-cooperation-urged-defend-rights-2011-11-01
"The Afghan government must work with neighbouring countries to protect human rights while facing an increasingly bloody insurgency, Amnesty International said today as a conference in Istanbul brought together officials from across the region....
'The security of Afghan people is inextricably intertwined with that of the wider region, and any road map must ensure improved protection and promotion of human rights across the region,' said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Programme Director....
Amnesty International has outlined key areas where Afghan authorities and their international partners must stand firm in negotiations, to defend the limited improvements in human rights in recent years.
These include upholding advances in women's rights, as well as ensuring freedom of expression for all, as the country has seen a burgeoning community of independent journalists in recent years. The Afghan government must also work with the International Criminal Court to investigate those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan...."
B. COALITION MEMBERS' OP-EDS
1. "Kabul's Stealth Attack on Human Rights," Patricia Grossman, International Center for Transitional Justice, 27 December 2011, http://ictj.org/news/kabuls-stealth-attack-human-rights
"Watershed moments in Afghanistan happen by stealth. Last weekend - the anniversary of the Soviet invasion 32 years ago - President Hamid Karzai rid himself of his most outspoken critic, a prominent official with one of the few government institutions in Afghanistan that actually performs well - the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. The move, announced Thursday, seems intended not only to silence a critic but bury the truth about the crimes of the past.
Why now? Ahmad Nader Nadery had anticipated losing his job-he, together with his colleague Ahmad Fahim Hakim, also dismissed, has been a thorn in Karzai's side for many years. Both had campaigned tirelessly against human rights abuses and electoral fraud. But this sudden move, scheduled while most of the West is on holiday, has a more ominous intent.
For the past several years, Nadery has been heading an effort to document war crimes going back to the time of the Soviet invasion. That effort is nearly done, and the long-anticipated report was scheduled to be released soon. Karzai's move seems designed to smother the report before it sees the light of day...."
C. NEWS AND OPINIONS
1. "Afghan police to control prisons, rights group concerned," Hamid Shalizi, Reuters, 10 January 2012, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/10/us-afghanistan-prisons-idUSTRE8090WV20120110
2. "Inmates claim torture in U.S.-run prison in Bagram, Afghanistan," Katerina Nikolas, Digital Journal, 8 January 2012, http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/317516
3. "Twin Afghan Blasts Kill 59 on Shi'ite Holy Day," Kurt Achin, VOA News, 6 December 2011, http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Suicide-Bombing-Kills-52-at-Shiite-Shrine-in-Afghan-Capital-135095853.html
4. "As bombs rock Afghanistan, whispers of civil war grow louder," Graeme Smith, The Globe and Mail, 6 December 2011, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/worldview/as-bombs-rock-afghanistan-whispers-of-civil-war-grow-louder/article2261589/?utm_medium=Feeds: RSS/Atom&utm_source=World&utm_content=2261589
5. "A decade after Taliban, Afghan abuse rife: rights group," Jan Harvey, Reuters, 4 December 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/04/us-afghanistan-human-rights-idUSTRE7B30BS20111204
6. "Afghan rights situation 'still critical' 10 years on," AFP, 4 December 2011, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jLaIUbFukg3cQTuDXgrTm8-x-4-g?docId=CNG.126a6febef710775419a5cbac1e11300.301
7. "Fast-Track Trials for Afghan Insurgents: Officials argue need for special court to clear backlog of security-related cases," Mina Habib, IWPR, 23 November 2011, http://iwpr.net/report-news/fast-track-trials-afghan-insurgents
8. "Human-rights activists lobby to highlight plight of imprisoned Afghan women," Marina Lynch, New Europe, 23 November 2011, http://www.neurope.eu/article/human-rights-activists-lobby-highlight-plight-imprisoned-afghan-women
9. "International Criminal Court mulls probe of Afghan detainee treatment," Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News, 15 November 2011, http://www.vancouversun.com/news/canada-in-afghanistan/International+Criminal+Court+mulls+probe+Afghan+detainee+treatment/5715706/story.html
10. "Roadside bomb kills eight Afghan civilians," Naimatullah Karyab, AFP, 12 November 2011, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jupyzCBf4D1IOEDK4zwBFPKnIbNQ?docId=CNG.7f41557cbc07f43eb9aa4df3a92db34d.01
11. "Taliban call to limit civilian casualties 'hypocritical'," AFP, 9 November 2011, http://tribune.com.pk/story/289237/taliban-call-to-limit-civilian-casualties-hypocritical/
12. "Amnesty terms Mullah Omar's call hypocritical," Central Asia Online, 9 November 2011, http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/articles/caii/newsbriefs/2011/11/09/newsbrief-09
13. "U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan cause 5.6 million deaths," Dr. Gideon Polya, Tehran Times, 11 October 2011, http://www.tehrantimes.com/index.php/component/content/article/3472
D. AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS
1. "Afghanistan: The 'Bonn II' Conference," International Crisis Group, 1 December 2011, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/podcasts/afghanistan-bonn-II-conference.aspx
A. COALITION MEMBERS' STATEMENTS
1. "Honduras: US Legal Case Over 2009 Coup," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 3 November 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/03/honduras-us-legal-case-over-2009-coup
"...Honduras has failed to bring to justice those responsible for the serious human rights violations committed in the aftermath of the June 2009 coup d'etat, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch filed an expert declaration before a US court on November 2, 2011, in a case against Roberto Micheletti, the de facto president following the coup. The declaration cites a lack of cooperation by security forces and a compromised judiciary as key obstacles that human rights prosecutors face in their efforts to achieve accountability.
In June 2011, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a complaint against Micheletti on behalf of the parents of Isis Obed Murillo, a teenager who was shot and killed by members of the Honduran military in July 2009 during a demonstration against the coup. Micheletti asked the court to dismiss the case. On November 2, the Center for Constitutional Rights opposed Micheletti's motion and presented the expert declaration by Human Rights Watch about impunity for post-coup abuses....
International human rights bodies have documented serious abuses during the de facto government, including a disproportionate use of force against demonstrators that led to several deaths, scores of injuries, and thousands of arbitrary detentions. In addition, military and police forces arbitrarily closed media outlets in the aftermath of the coup. No one has been held criminally responsible for any of the human rights violations committed under the de facto government in 2009...."
B. COALITION MEMBERS' OP-EDS
1. "Colombia y Honduras bajo la mira del Fiscal de la CPI: ¿por cuánto tiempo? (Colombia and Honduras targeted by the ICC Prosecutor: for how long?)," Paulina Vega-González (FIDH), Asuntos del Sur, 17 October 2011, http://www.asuntosdelsur.org/opiniones/opinion/127 (In Spanish)
C. NEWS AND OPINIONS
1. "Holding Honduras accountable," Los Angeles Times, 2 January 2012, http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-honduras-20120102,0,7022781.story
2. "Honduras: An Urgent Call," Osvaldo León and Sally Burch, Upside Down World, 27 November 2011, http://upsidedownworld.org/main/honduras-archives-46/3326-honduras-an-urgent-call
3. "Honduras: Human Rights Violations and Impunity," Verenice Bengtsson, IJ Central, 15 November 2011, http://ijcentral.org/blog/honduras_human_rights_violations_and_impunity/
4. "Honduras & the ICC: Forgotten Coup?," Mariana Rodríguez-Pareja and Verenice Bengtsson, IJ Central, 14 October 2011, http://ijcentral.org/blog/honduras_the_icc_forgotten_coup/
5. "Honduras y CPI: El rol de la justicia internacional frente a la impunidad institucionalizada (Honduras and the ICC: The role of international justice from institutionalized impunity)," Mariana Rodríguez Pareja and Verenice Bengtsson, Asuntos del Sur, 10 October 2011, http://www.asuntosdelsur.org/opiniones/opinion/121
A. COALITION MEMBERS' STATEMENTS
1. "Nigeria: Release Labor Activists," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 17 January 2012, http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/17/nigeria-release-labor-activists
"(Lagos) - Nigerian authorities should immediately release labor union leader Osmond Ugwu and union member Raphael Elobuike, and drop all charges, given the glaring lack of evidence in the prosecution's case against them, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and 33 Nigerian civil society organizations said today in a joint statement. The authorities should investigate state involvement in breaking up a peaceful union meeting and arresting the union activists in violation of the right to freedom of association and assembly, the groups said.
'A review of the prosecution's evidence reveals an apparent bid by the police and prosecution to silence union activists,' said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. 'Rather than prosecuting Ugwu and Elobuike, the authorities should investigate who is responsible for targeting their meeting and having them beaten and arbitrarily detained....."
2. "Nigeria urged to end police attacks on fuel protesters," Amnesty International Press Release, 4 January 2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/nigeria-urged-end-police-attacks-fuel-protester-2012-01-04
"The Nigerian authorities must immediately end excessive use of force against protesters, Amnesty International said today after at least one person was killed in Kwara state during protests over fuel price rises….
Under a controversial regulation, known as 'Police Force Order 237', police officers can shoot at rioters or protesters whether or not they pose a threat to life. The regulation directs officers to fire 'at the knees of the rioters' and explicitly prohibits firing in the air.
'Force Order 237 is being abused by police officers to commit, justify and cover up illegal killings at every given opportunity. This regulation goes against international standards and should be repealed immediately,' said Paule Rigaud...."
3. Nigeria: Boko Haram Attacks Indefensible - Hold Perpetrators Accountable, Ensure Security Forces Respect Rights, Human Rights Watch Press Release, 8 November 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/08/nigeria-boko-haram-attacks-indefensible
"(Abuja) - The bombings by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram that killed at least 100 people in the northern Nigerian state of Yobe on November 4, 2011, were an indefensible attack on human life, Human Rights Watch said today.
Since the beginning of 2011, Boko Haram has been implicated in attacks that have killed more than 425 people, including police officers, soldiers, community leaders, politicians, Islamic clerics, Christian pastors, and church members. The attacks on November 4 resulted in the highest death toll in a single day since Boko Haram began its campaign of violence in Nigeria in July 2009.
"Boko Haram has once again demonstrated its utter disregard for human life," said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. "The authorities should act swiftly to bring to justice those responsible for these terrible crimes and for earlier attacks that left hundreds dead."
The latest attacks, including an apparent suicide car bombing, targeted the police state headquarters in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State, as well as police housing, government buildings, banks, and at least six churches. Earlier in the day, the group also carried out several attacks in Maiduguri, the capital of neighboring Borno State, including a suicide car bomb attack on the headquarters of the military task force, and attacks in the town of Potiskum in Yobe State...."
B. NEWS AND OPINIONS
1. "Groups: Nigeria Authorities Persecute 2 Activists," AP, 17 January 2012, http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/groups-nigeria-authorities-persecute-activists-15379149#.TxcjW6VAYoJ
2. "Jonathan and the ICC jurisdiction," O J Daniels, Daily Times, 15 January 2012, http://dailytimes.com.ng/article/jonathan-and-icc-jurisdiction
3. "Analysis: Nigeria: will it fall apart or can it hold?," Tim Cocks, Reuters, 15 January 2012, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/15/us-nigeria-fractures-idUSTRE80E0FJ20120115
4. "Protests-Nigeria: Amnesty asks police to stop firing at protesters," PANA, 12 January 2012, http://www.afriquejet.com/protests-nigeria-amnesty-asks-police-to-stop-firing-at-protesters-2012011231365.html
5. "Civil society to drag Jonathan before International Criminal Court," Ayo Okulaja, Premium Times, 11 January 2012, http://premiumtimesng.com/index.php/news/3400-civil-society-to-drag-jonathan-to-icc.html
6. "Protests-Nigeria: Nigeria unions threaten Jonathan with ICC over killing of protesters," PANA, 11 January 2012, http://www.afriquejet.com/protests-nigeria-nigeria-unions-threaten-jonathan-with-icc-over-killing-of-protesters-2012011131322.html
7. "Nigeria on Edge Trying to Avert North-South Clashes," Mustapha Muhammad, IPS, 2 January 2012, http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=106354
8. "Nigeria ethnic clashes leave 50 dead," Press TV, 1 January 2012, http://presstv.com/detail/218805.html
9. "ICC to probe sexual violence, abductions in Nigeria," Information Nigeria, 22 December 2011, http://www.informationnigeria.org/2011/12/icc-to-probe-sexual-violence-abductions-in-nigeria.html
10. "ICC report on Jos crises ready next month," Joseph Jibueze, The Nation Online, 8 November 2011, http://www.thenationonlineng.net/2011/index.php/news/25609-icc-report-on-jos-crises-ready-next-month.html
11. "Nigeria: Impending ICC report on Jos crisis excites Nigerian NGO," PANA, 4 November 2011, http://www.afriquejet.com/nigeria-jos-crisis-2011110426687.html
12. "ICC to release report on Nigeria," The Nation (Nigeria), 3 November 2011, http://www.thenationonlineng.net/2011/index.php/news-update/25113-icc-to-release-report-on-nigeria-december.html
A. COALITION MEMBERS' STATEMENTS
1. "World's major human rights groups deliver open letter to Kim Jong-un urging a new era in North Korea," FIDH Press Release, 9 January 2012, http://www.fidh.org/World-s-major-human-rights-groups,11127
"January 8, 2012. The world's three largest international human rights organizations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), along with 40 other organizations from around the world, today released an open letter to Kim Jong-un, the heir-apparent to the leadership of North Korea.
The letter, by members of the International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), urges General Kim to reverse the decades-long pattern of human rights violations and abuses committed by the government in Pyongyang against the North Korean people…."
2. "North Korea: Kim Jong-Il's Legacy of Mass Atrocity," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 19 December 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/19/north-korea-kim-jong-il-s-legacy-mass-atrocity-0
"Governments should mark North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il's death with a clear demand that the new leader choose a path of reforming the country's abysmal human rights situation, Human Rights Watch said today...
'Kim Jong-Il will be remembered as the brutal overseer of massive and systematic oppression that included a willingness to let his people starve,' said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch...
'The international community should take this transitory period of power in North Korea to press for the country's new leader to steer the country in a new direction and cease repression of its citizens,' said Roth. 'Pressing North Korea to comply with human rights demands contained in the latest UN General Assembly resolution on North Korea, and allowing the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Koreato visit the country, would be a good start.'"
3. "North Korea: Kim Jong-il's death could be opportunity for human rights," Amnesty International Press Release, 19 December 2011, http://amnesty.org/en/news/north-korea-kim-jong-il-s-death-opportunity-improving-human-rights-2011-12-19
"The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and assumption of power by his son, Kim Jong-un, present an important opportunity for improving the country's catastrophic human rights record, Amnesty International said today.
'Kim Jong-il, like his father before him, left millions of North Koreans mired in poverty, without access to adequate food and healthcare, and with hundreds of thousands of people detained in brutal prison camps,' said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific director.
'With this transition, we hope that the new government will step away from the horrific, failed policies of the past...."
4. "A New Chapter for Human Rights in North Korea Needs to Unfold," FIDH Press Release, 19 December 2011, http://www.fidh.org/A-NEW-CHAPTER-FOR-HUMAN-RIGHTS-IN
"…The death of Kim Jong-il on 17 December 2011 represents an unprecedented opportunity for North Korea's new leaders, including Kim Jong-un, to turn a new page on the human rights situation in the country and put an end to widespread and systematic violations which have characterized the North Korean government and brutalized the North Korean people for too long, said the International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK) today. The North Korean government must cease these violations, end impunity and ensure justice for countless victims...."
5. "Human Rights Organizations Call for Action on North Korea on International Human Rights Day," The International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea Press Release, 8 December 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/08/human-rights-organizations-call-action-north-korea-international-human-rights-day
"Over 40 human rights organisations from around the world, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Freedom House, and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), are marking the 63rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by calling for international action to stop crimes against humanity perpetrated by North Korea's dictatorship.
The International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), which was launched in Tokyo on September 8, 2011, is campaigning for the establishment of a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity in North Korea....
'If International Human Rights Day and the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are to mean anything, the international community should take action to end impunity in North Korea,' said David Hawk, Visiting Scholar, Columbia University and author of The Hidden Gulag: Exposing North Korea's Prison Camps: Prisoners' Testimonies and Satellite Photographs. 'The best possible way we can mark this important anniversary is by establishing an investigation into crimes against humanity in the world's most closed nation, North Korea...."
6. "South Korea: The Shifting Sands of Security Policy," International Crisis Group Press Release, 1 December 2011, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/media-releases/2011/asia/south-korea-the-shifting-sands-of-security-policy.aspx
"Although North Korea has offered unconditional dialogue since January, South Korea is maintaining a tough policy line towards the North as Seoul approaches a year of electoral campaign politics. The risk of conflict remains serious, particularly in the area near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the military demarcation in the Yellow Sea.
South Korea: The Shifting Sands of Security Policy, the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, warns that relations on the peninsula remain tense, especially around the NLL. The disputed maritime area remains a flashpoint that could spark new clashes, following the deadly incidents of 2010, the sinking of the South Korean ship Ch'ŏnan in March and the shelling of Yŏnp'yŏng Island in November. But the political atmosphere in the South is changing as it enters an election season, with the mood shifting towards a more conciliatory position, including renewed interest in pacifying the NLL...."
READ THE FULL BRIEFING: "South Korea: The Shifting Sands of Security Policy," Asia Briefing No. 130, International Crisis Group, 1 December 2011, http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/north-east-asia/B130 South Korea - The Shifting Sands of Security Policy.pdf
7. "North Korea: Conference on Rights Abuses: Victims, Family Members to Tell Their Stories," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 22 November 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/22/north-korea-conference-rights-abuses
"North Korea's brutal prison camp system and its practice of kidnapping foreigners will be featured at the 11th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees on November 23, 2011, in Geneva, the Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, Conectas Direitos Humanos, and Human Rights Watch announced today. The conference is a unique opportunity to expose the appalling human rights situation in North Korea through the experiences of victims and family members, the three sponsoring groups said....
On September 8, the International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea called for a United Nations Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity in North Korea."
B. NEWS AND OPINIONS
1. "Activists urge N.Korea's leader to boost rights," AFP, 8 January 2012, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hqr8bBvewTXA-j6mMPn-I12AcOfg?docId=CNG.05d4cc7af4bfe9f0974bb27a03733f7a.581
2. "Koreas may brace for imminent military clashes: think tank," The Korea Times, 2 December 2011, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/12/113_99985.html
3. "North Korea prison camp survivor speaks out," AFP, 23 November 2011, http://www.vancouversun.com/news/North+Korea+prison+camp+survivor+speaks/5755094/story.html
4. "Responsibility to protect in North Korea," Robert Park, 9 November 2011, The Hill, http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/192623-responsibility-to-protect-in-north-korea
A. COALITION MEMBERS' STATEMENTS
1. "Colombia: FARC's Killing of Captives a War Crime," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 28 November 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/28/colombia-farc-s-killing-captives-war-crime
"(Washington, DC) - The killing of four captive members of the Colombian security forces by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) shows the guerrilla group's blatant disregard for human life and the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today....
'The FARC's murder of captives is a war crime,' said Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. 'Those responsible for this atrocity should be brought to justice.'....
...The FARC has also frequently committed serious violations of the laws of war against civilians, including killings, threats, forced displacement, recruitment of child combatants, and the widespread use of antipersonnel landmines."
2. "Colombia: 'War crime' concerns over killing of captives," Amnesty International Press Release, 28 November 2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/colombia-war-crime-concerns-over-killing-captives-2011-11-28
"Amnesty International expressed concern over reports that a Colombian guerrilla group has executed four members of the country's security forces whom it had held captive for at least 12 years….
According to official reports, police superintendent ɤgar Yesid Duarte, police major Elk��Hernᮤez Rivas and army sergeant Libio Jos頍art��z were in chains when they were shot dead at close range....
'If it is confirmed that these four captives were killed in the circumstances described, this would represent a war crime,' said Marcelo Pollack, Amnesty International's Colombia Researcher....
Amnesty International has also repeatedly called on the FARC to end the practice of kidnapping civilians and hostage-taking. The group has held some people captive for a decade or more. The organization is calling on the Colombian authorities to ensure those responsible for the latest killings are brought to justice...."
3. "Moving Beyond Easy Wins: Colombia's Borders," International Crisis Group, 31 October 2011, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/media-releases/2011/latam/Moving Beyond Easy Wins Colombias Borders.aspx
"Colombia needs bolder policies to cope with the violence in its border areas, because improved relations with its neighbours alone have neither effectively reduced ongoing conflict with illegal armed groups nor alleviated the plight of the local communities.
Moving Beyond Easy Wins: Colombia's Borders, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, warns that the Colombian conflict continues unabated in the border regions and is increasingly drawing in Venezuelan and Ecuadorian territory. A policy shift, when President Juan Manuel Santos took office, was set to spur development in the periphery and reconstruct diplomatic ties....
Militarisation of the borders has failed to deliver durable security gains. Colombia continues to struggle to attend to victims of the conflict, a large number of whom cross the borders in search of protection....
All parties to the conflict must strictly observe international humanitarian law...."
READ THE FULL REPORT: "Moving Beyond Easy Wins: Colombia's Borders," Latin America Report No. 40, International Crisis Group, 31 October 2011, http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/latin-america/colombia/40 Moving Beyond Easy Wins --- Colombias Borders.pdf (In Spanish)
B. COALITION MEMBERS' OP-EDS
1. "Colombia: Gender Violence Calls for ICC Action," Mariana Rodriguez Pareja and Salvador Herencia Carrasco (Andean Commission of Jurists), IJ Central, 19 October 2011, http://ijcentral.org/blog/colombia_gender_violence_calls_for_icc_action/
"A few weeks ago, a Symbolic Court Against Sexual Violence within the Colombian Armed Conflict met in Bogota, to deal with a range of cases related to sexual violence committed by armed groups in the Colombian internal conflict. This symbolic tribunal was integrated by five renowned experts on Women's Rights....
This Tribunal made some recommendations urging the Colombian state to uphold their international obligations regarding the prevention, investigation, prosecution and judgment of gender violence. Colombia is a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination, the American Convention of Human Rights, the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, among others. It also considered the Report on the human rights situation from the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in which it recommends the Attorney General's office to adopt a policy to investigate the cases of gender violence and proceed with the investigations of the case already submitted....
...The ICC considers the Colombian judiciary capable and willing to carry out investigations of the crimes under the Court's jurisdiction.
However, civil society organizations, including this symbolic Tribunal, consider that the Colombian judiciary is not addressing past and present international crimes, including gender violence, correctly...."
2. "Colombia y Honduras bajo la mira del Fiscal de la CPI: por cuanto tiempo? (Colombia and Honduras targeted by the ICC Prosecutor: for how long?)," Paulina Vega-Gonzalez (FIDH), Asuntos del Sur, 17 October 2011, http://www.asuntosdelsur.org/opiniones/opinion/127 (In Spanish)
C. EU STATEMENT
1. "Statement by HR Ashton on the murder of hostages by the FARC in Colombia," European Union, Brussels, 29 November 2011, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/126396.pdf
"Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:
'I condemn the brutal murder by the FARC of four long-time hostages, which took place in Colombia on Saturday 26 November, and express my deepest sympathy and solidarity with the families of the victims, and the Colombian government and people. I reiterate my demand for an immediate and unconditional liberation of all hostages still in captivity, and call on the FARC to lay down arms and join the political process of reform and modernisation of Colombia. Colombia can count upon the EU's support in its quest for an end to all violence and the search for a sustainable peace in the country.'"
D. NEWS AND OPINIONS
1. "Rights group says Colombia military justice reform would restore impunity for soldier abuses," AP, 12 December 2011, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/americas/rights-group-says-colombia-military-justice-reform-would-restore-impunity-for-soldier-abuses/2011/12/12/gIQAisWSqO_story.html
2. "False Dichotomies of Transitional Justice: Gender, Conflict and Combatants in Colombia," Shana Tabak, Opinio Juris, 9 December 2011, http://opiniojuris.org/2011/12/09/18656/
3. "Int'l Mission Says Dire Situation Getting Worse," Helda Martinez, IPS, 2 December 2011, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=106081
4. "Colombia vows to keep up search for FARC hostages," Jack Kimball, Reuters, 30 November 2011, http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/11/29/idINIndia-60791320111129
5. "FARC rebels blame Colombia's govt for captives' deaths, says it planned to release them," AP, 29 November 2011, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/americas/farc-rebels-blame-colombias-govt-for-captives-deaths/2011/11/29/gIQADS3n8N_story.html
6. "Colombia's FARC Rebels Blame Government for Hostage Deaths," VOA News, 29 November 2011, http://www.voanews.com/english/news/americas/Colombias-FARC-Rebels-Blame-Government-for-Hostage-Deaths-134706118.html
7. "Colombian police sergeant who survived rebel executions: 'I ran the other way'," AP, 28 November 2011, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/americas/colombian-police-sergeant-who-survived-rebel-executions-i-ran-the-other-way/2011/11/28/gIQA0lsl4N_story.html
8. "Assassinations In Honduras Under Military-Backed Regime," Scoop Independent News, 22 November 2011, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1111/S00650/assassinations-in-honduras-under-military-backed-regime.htm
9. "Colombia: Neo-Paramilitary Gangs Ratchet Up Threat To Civil Society - Analysis," Denise Fonseca and Candiss Shumate, COHA, Eurasia Review, 22 November 2011, http://www.eurasiareview.com/22112011-colombia-neo-paramilitary-gangs-ratchet-up-threat-to-civil-society-analysis/
10. "Colombia Farc rebels pick Timochenko as new leader," BBC News, 15 November 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-15749268
11. "Colombia: It's Not Over Till It's Over," Robert Valencia, World Policy Blog, 8 November 2011, http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2011/11/08/colombia-itâ€™s-not-over-till-itâ€™s-over
12. "Forced Disappearances In Colombia – Analysis," Delphine Mechoulan, Eurasia Review, 2 November 2011, http://www.eurasiareview.com/02112011-forced-disappearances-in-colombia-analysis/
13. "Connecting the Dots: Colombian Army Officers and Civilian Killings," John Lindsay-Poland, Upside Down World, 2 November 2011, http://upsidedownworld.org/main/colombia-archives-61/3286-connecting-the-dots-colombian-army-officers-and-civilian-killings
14. "Cierre del DAS despierta temor por impunidad en Colombia (Closing the DAS wakes the fear of impunity in Colombia)," Agencia EFE, 2 November 2011, http://www.elpais.com.co/elpais/judicial/noticias/cierre-del-das-despierta-temor-por-impunidad-en-colombia (In Spanish)
15. "Colombia: Tribunal Simbolico contra la Violencia Sexual emite Pronunciamiento (Colombia: Symbolic Court's Pronouncements on Sexual Violence)," Mariana Rodriguez-Pareja, Asuntos Del Sur, 13 October 2011, http://www.asuntosdelsur.org/opiniones/opinion/123 (In Spanish)
A. COALITION MEMBERS' STATEMENTS
i. "Guinea: Intensify Attention to Human Rights Challenges," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 21 December 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/21/guinea-intensify-attention-human-rights-challenges
"(Conakry) - President Alpha Conde of Guinea should intensify efforts to confront chronic rule of law problems that sustained decades of abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. Conde completes a year in office on December 21, 2011.
In particular, Conde should confront impunity by the security services for past and ongoing abuses, the denial of the right to assembly, inadequate support for the chronically neglected judiciary, and delays in organizing long-overdue parliamentary elections, Human Rights Watch said....
The government has shown greater respect for due process rights, Human Rights Watch said. But support for the judiciary has been inadequate and there has been a lack of progress in ensuring accountability for the massacres of demonstrators by security forces in 2007 and 2009...."
ii. "Guinea: Investigate Detention, Intimidation of Activists," Human Rights Watch, 11 November 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/11/guinea-investigate-detention-intimidation-activists
"(Washington, DC) - The Guinean government should investigate the role of two high-level officials in the apparent illegal detention and intimidation of members of a prominent Guinean human rights group, Human Rights Watch said today. The actions of the Conakry governor, Sékou Resco Camara, and a high-level police colonel, Amadou Camara, amount to both an abuse of authority and a clear attempt to interfere in the independence of the judiciary, Human Rights Watch said....
Guinea has long suffered from a culture of impunity, endemic corruption, and crushing poverty. The 2010 elections, which brought Alpha Conde to power, were envisioned as a turning point for a country that has endured a series of authoritarian and abusive leaders. While President Conde has taken some steps to address the serious governance and human rights problems he inherited, progress toward better respect for the rule of law is undermined by a lack of discipline in the security forces and inadequate support for the chronically neglected judiciary...."
IX. COALITION STATEMENTS REGARDING COUNTRIES NOT CURRENTLY UNDER ICC INVESTIGATION
1. UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENT
i. "Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at the Human Rights Council 18th Special Session to examine the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic - Geneva, 2 December 2011," UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2 December 2011, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11675&LangID=E
"The violent crackdown against peaceful protesters and civilians in the Syrian Arab Republic has continued unabated since I last reported to this Council on 22 August 2011. Since March of this year, more than 4,000 people have reportedly been killed. Tens of thousands have been arrested. And more than 14,000 are reported to be in detention as a result of the crackdown. At least 12,400 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries and tens of thousands have been internally displaced. Reports of increased armed attacks by the opposition forces, including the so-called Free Syrian Army, against the Syrian military and security apparatus are also of concern.
Allow me to recall that the Human Rights Council in its seventeenth special session on 23 August 2011 decided to establish an Independent International Commission of Inquiry to investigate all violations of human rights in Syria since mid-March 2011. The Commission's report, released on Monday, concludes that Syrian security and military forces have committed crimes against humanity against the civilian population. These include acts of killings, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, imprisonment, or other forms of severe deprivation of liberty and enforced disappearances throughout the country since March of this year.
The Commission's report documents widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by Syrian authorities by acts such as: killing of children by beating or shooting during demonstrations, arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment. It records at least 256 deaths of children – I understand since increased to 307 children - and instances of schools being used as detention facilities, demonstrating the State's disregard for children's right to education and personal safety. The Commission collected evidence of sexual violence against civilians, especially sexual torture of male detainees and children and sexual assaults upon women in places of detention.
The Commission's report further concludes that the sheer scale and consistent pattern of attacks by military and security forces on civilians and the widespread destruction of property indicates authorization or knowledge of the Syrian Government….
I wish to conclude by recalling that in August, the OHCHR Fact-Finding mission mandated by this Council to ensure full accountability concluded that crimes against humanity may have been committed in Syria. At that time, I encouraged the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. The Commission's report reinforces that the need for international accountability has even greater urgency today."
READ THE OHCHR REPORT ON SYRIA:
ii. "Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic," Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 15 September 2011, http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G11/159/68/PDF/G1115968.pdf?OpenElement
2. COALITION MEMBERS' STATEMENTS
i. "Turkey Sounds the Alarm as Russia, Cyprus Enable Mass Atrocities in Syria," Human Rights First Press Release, 13 January 2012, http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2012/01/13/turkey-sounds-the-alarm-as-russia-cyprus-enable-mass-atrocities-in-syria/
ii. "Enablers Continue to Fuel Syrian Atrocities," Taimur Rabbani, Crimes Against Humanity Program, Human Rights First Press Release, 13 January 2012, http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2012/01/13/enablers-continue-to-fuel-syrian-atrocities/
iii. "Syria: Army Shoots Protesters Attempting to Reach Observers," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 11 January 2012, http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/11/syria-army-shoots-protesters-attempting-reach-observers
iv. "Arab League should clarify human rights situation in Syria," Amnesty International Press Release, 6 January 2012, http://amnesty.org/en/news/arab-league-should-clarify-human-rights-situation-syria-2012-01-06
v. "Syria: Comply With Agreement," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 6 January 2012, http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/06/syria-comply-agreement
vi. "Syria: Detainees Hidden From International Monitors," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 27 December 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/27/syria-detainees-hidden-international-monitors
vii. "Syria imposes death penalty for arming "terrorists" as death toll soars," Amnesty International Press Release, 22 December 2011, http://amnesty.org/en/news/syria-imposes-death-penalty-terrorism-civilian-massacres-continue-2011-12-22
viii. "Joint call by Civil Society to the United Nations Security Council: Urgent action needed to provide protection to civilians in Syria and to ensure accountability," FIDH Press Release, 19 December 2011, http://www.fidh.org/Joint-call-by-Civil-Society-to-the
ix. "Arab and International civil society present measures to the League of Arab States to ensure effectiveness of the targeted sanctions on Syria," FIDH Press Release, 19 December 2011, http://www.fidh.org/Arab-and-International-civil
x. "Syria: 'Shoot to Kill' Commanders Named: Security Council Should Refer Syria to ICC for Crimes Against Humanity," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 15 December 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/15/syria-shoot-kill-commanders-named
xi. "Syrian blogger arrested as crackdown continues," Amnesty International, 6 December 2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/syrian-blogger-arrested-crackdown-continues-2011-12-06
xii. "Report on Syrian Crimes Against Humanity Highlights Need For Greater Efforts To Target Enablers of Those Crimes," Taimur Rabbani, Crimes Against Humanity Program, Human Rights First Press Release, 1 December 2011, http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2011/12/01/report-on-syrian-crimes-against-humanity-highlights-need-for-greater-efforts-to-target-enablers-of-those-crimes/
xiii. "States must act resolutely on UN report on Syria," Amnesty International Press Release, 28 November 2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/states-must-act-resolutely-un-report-syria-2011-11-28
xiv. "Joint Call by Civil Society for a Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council to consider the findings of the Syrian Commission of Inquiry and ensure accountability," CIHRS, 24 November 2011, http://www.cihrs.org/?p=309&lang=en
xv. "Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through Syria's Dynamics," International Crisis Group Press Release, 24 November 2011, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/media-releases/2011/mena/uncharted-waters-thinking-through-syrias-dynamics.aspx
xvi. READ THE FULL BRIEFING: "Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through Syria's Dynamics," Middle East Briefing No. 31, International Crisis Group, 24 November 2011, http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/Middle East North Africa/Iraq Syria Lebanon/Syria/B031 Uncharted Waters - Thinking Through Syrias Dynamics.pdf
xvii. "General Assembly Resolution Condemning Syrian Crackdown Provides Opportunity for Administration to Target Enablers," Taimur Rabbani, Crimes Against Humanity Program, Human Rights First Press Release, 23 November 2011, http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2011/11/23/15845/
xviii. "UN General Assembly Should Condemn the Violence in Syria," CIHRS, 21 November 2011, http://www.cihrs.org/?p=285&lang=en
xix. "Arab League: Ensure Effective Syria Monitoring Mission: Independence, Expertise, Transparency All Key to Credibility," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 19 November 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/19/arab-league-ensure-effective-syria-monitoring-mission
xx. "International Pressure Mounts on Syria but More Should Be Done," Winny Chen and Taimur Rabbani, Human Rights First, 17 November 2011, http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2011/11/17/international-pressure-mounts-on-syria-but-more-should-be-done/
xxi. "Syrian 'Damascus Spring' activist set free," Amnesty International Press Release, 15 November 2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/syrian-â€˜damascus-springâ€™-activist-set-free-2011-11-15
xxii. "Arab League vote to suspend Syria puts pressure on Security Council to act," Amnesty International Press Release, 14 November 2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/arab-league-vote-suspend-syria-puts-pressure-security-council-act-2011-11-14
xxiii. "Syria: Crimes Against Humani