Diane Marie Amann* Many of us who work in the field of international criminal law owe our interest at least in part to proceedings held in the aftermath of World War II. Cementing my own interest was The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials, the indispensable 1992 memoir by leading U.S. prosecutor Telford Taylor. 1 At a much more exalted level, Judge Navanethem Pillay, now the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has said that she: [F]irst came across the Nuremberg Trials on a shelf in the library at the University of Natal in apartheid South Africa. A student enrolled in classes for nonwhites, Pillay spent hours reading the trial transcripts, transfixed by the ideal of justice represented in the account of countries coming together to hold individuals responsible for the most heinous acts. 2 No doubt other international criminal law jurists have a similar story to tell. Nor is there much doubt that most assume that at these trials few, if any, roles were played by women.
*Professor of Law and Director, California International Law Center at King Hall, University of California, Davis, School of Law; Vice President, American Society of International Law; founder, IntLawGrrls. Based on my keynote lecture at the 2009 International Humanitarian Law Dialogs in Chautauqua, New York, and on remarks the same year at the Center for Race and Gender Studies, University of California, Berkeley, this essay represents an early effort in ongoing research respecting the roles of women in post- World War II trials. By way of caveat, the research to date is based largely on archival sources, some of which are contradictory; every effort has been made to present facts accurately. My thanks to David M. Crane for inviting me to continue this research, to John Q. Barrett, Mark A. Drumbl, Kevin Jon Heller, Eli M. Rosenbaum, and Valerie Oosterveld for comments on this project, and to Peg Durkin for library assistance. TELFORD TAYLOR, THE ANATOMY OF THE NUREMBERG TRIALS (1992) [hereinafter TAYLOR ANATOMY] 2 HARVARD LAW SCHOOL, A Child at the Time of the Nuremberg Trials, Navanethem Pillay now Carries their Legacy Forward, http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/spotlight/ils/related/bus-driver.html (last visited May 19, 2010) (this is an undated article, presumably written while Pillay, formerly a Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, was an International Criminal Court Judge).


Reading Taylor’s Anatomy likely will leave but one lasting recollection of women at Nuremberg. On July 5, 1946—three weeks to the day before Chief U.S. Prosecutor, Robert H. Jackson, began the closing argument at the Trial of the Major War Criminals 3—a Paris designer invented a belly-button-baring swimsuit. 4 The Parisian named the suit, modeled by a striptease dancer when “[n]o respectable model would,” after the South Pacific atoll at which the United States had just conducted its first atomic bomb test. 5 The suit indeed proved a bombshell at its Nuremberg début that same summer. The occasion, Taylor noted, was a party that Katherine Biddle held for the sixtieth birthday of her husband Francis, the American judge at Nuremberg. Members of all four Allied delegations—the Russians, the French, the British, and the Americans—came to the requisitioned villa that the Biddles called home. “It was a lovely evening,” Taylor wrote, “the food and drink were served outdoors around the large swimming pool, and Catherine (an accomplished poetess) spoke charmingly of enduring love.” 6 He continued: After dinner the swimming pool was put to use. The first two in were Jenny Pradeau and Janine Herisson, among the prettiest and youngest of the French delegation, who appeared in what were soon to be known as bikinis. Few if any of us had previously seen these provocative garments, and the sides of the pool were soon crowded with ogling males. 7

Transcript of Closing Statement of Mr. Justice Robert H. Jackson (July 26, 1946), in 19 TRIAL OF THE MAJOR WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL 397 (1948). 4 KELLY KILLOREN BENSIMON, THE BIKINI BOOK 10-11, 18, 26 (Assouline Publ’g Corp. 2006) (describing immediate postwar development of the suit by Louis Réard and a rival). 5 Id. at 26; see also SLATE, A Brief History of the Bikini, http://www.slate.com/id/2145070/slideshow/2145060/fs/0//entry/2145040/ (last visited May 19, 2010) [hereinafter Brief History] (including a photo of striptease dancer modeling the suit). 6 TAYLOR ANATOMY, supra note 1, at 398 (retaining, in passage quoted in text, Taylor’s misspelling of Katherine Biddle’s first name). 7 TAYLOR ANATOMY, supra note 1, at 398 (retaining, in passage quoted in text, Taylor’s misspelling of Katherine Biddle’s first name).



The passage conjures an image of a curvy body clad in a few cloth triangles as the singular emblem of women at Nuremberg. Taylor’s account is not unique in this regard. Memoirs and other historical accounts tend seldom to mention women. The name of Katherine Fite—whose essential contribution to the London Charter John Q. Barrett details in this volume 8—does not figure prominently in these works. Two women’s names do appear: Hitler’s mistress, Eva Braun, who committed suicide with him shortly before the war’s end, and Ilse Koch, the camp superintendent’s wife known as the Beast of Buchenwald. 9 Occasionally, a book refers to women who testified at the 10 trials, and a few mention in passing Tania Long, who, along with her husband, covered Nuremberg for The New York Times. 11 Yet women did play key roles at Nuremberg, even at the first trial. Many women joined Long in the press gallery, among them New Yorker reporter Janet Flanner, an American expatriate who criticized Jackson’s cross8

John Q. Barrett, Katherine B. Fite: The Leading Female Lawyer at London & Nuremberg, 1945, in PROCEEDINGS OF THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW DIALOGS 9-30 (Elizabeth Andersen & David M. Crane eds. 2010). 9 See WHITNEY R. HARRIS, TYRANNY ON TRIAL: THE EVIDENCE AT NUREMBERG 458-65 (S. Methodist Univ. Press 1970); CHRISTOPHER J. DODD WITH LARY BLOOM, LETTERS FROM NUREMBERG: MY FATHER’S NARRATIVE OF A QUEST FOR JUSTICE 6, 96, 105, 1047 (Crown Publ’g Grp. 2007) (for evidence on Braun). See HARRIS, supra, at 434 (for evidence on Koch; quoting an affidavit on “Buchenwald barbarism” that alleged the skins of prisoners’ corpses “‘were turned over to SS Standartenfuehrer Koch’s wife, who had them fashioned into lamp shades and other ornamental household articles’”). Koch was one of many women convicted and executed following postwar trials relating to camp atrocities. See Ilse Koch Hangs Herself in Cell; Nazi ‘Beast of Buchenwald’ Was Serving Life Term, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 3, 1967, at 1. Two women stood trial at Nuremberg: Dr. Herta Oberheuse, a dermatologist that conducted medical experiments, who was convicted in the Doctors’ Case and sentenced to twenty years. WILLIAM L. SHIRER, THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH: A HISTORY OF NAZI GERMANY 990-91 (Simon & Schuster Inc. 1990). Inge Viermetz, a civilian aide to an SS officer, who was acquitted in the RuSha Case. TELFORD TAYLOR, FINAL REPORT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY ON THE NUERNBERG WAR CRIMES TRIALS UNDER CONTROL COUNCIL LAW NO. 10 177-79 (1949) [hereinafter TAYLOR REPORT]. 10 An example is the reference to testimony by one “Madame Boundoux.” See HARRIS, supra note 8, at 439. 11 See DODD, supra note 8, at 265-66, 282; see also Jim Yardley, Tania Long, 85, a Reporter for the Times in World War II, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 6, 1998, available at http://www.nytimes.com/1998/09/06/nyregion/tania-long-85-a-reporter-for-thetimes-in-world-warii.html?scp=1&sq=tania+long&st=nyt.


examination efforts and branded the proceedings “‘dull and incoherent,’” and the English writer Rebecca West, whom Taylor said had a “brief encounter” with Judge Biddle. 12 News accounts placed another woman lawyer, besides Fite, at Nuremberg early on. Irma Von Nunes had been admitted to the Georgia bar in the 1920s while still a teenager, 13 and during World War II became a captain in the U.S. Women’s Army Corps. Reports describe her, without further elaboration, as the first woman involved in the war crimes trials. 14 Among non-lawyers assigned to the trial was Captain Virginia Gill, executive to the prosecution. 15 As the memoir of prosecutor Whitney R. Harris noted, moreover, Jackson was aided throughout by “his secretary, Mrs. Elsie L. Douglas.” 16 Many women served as interpreters. Among them was twenty-threeyear-old Edith Simon who, as she later recalled, served as a translator at pretrial interviews with Hermann Göring, a leading Nazi defendant “‘not particularly thrilled to see a woman, a Jewish woman, as his interpreter.’” 17 Yet though a courtroom photograph of the Soviet prosecution table includes an unnamed woman, 18 no work yet found mentions a woman judge, prosecutor, or defense counsel in the courtroom at the first trial. Thus, it is no surprise that in a 2005 speech, Judge Patricia M. Wald could name no woman among what Telford Taylor had called an

DODD, supra note 8, at 267 n.11; id. at 43-44 (quoting Flanner); TAYLOR ANATOMY, supra note 1, at 547-48, n.*. See Carl Rollyson, Reporting Nuremberg, in 17 NEW CRITERION 74 (1998). 13 Brookfield High School Notes, COURIER, May 29, 1929. 14 See KAREN BERGER MORELLO, THE INVISIBLE BAR: THE WOMAN LAWYER IN AMERICA 1638 TO THE PRESENT 184 n.* (Random House Inc. 1986). 15 See PETER HEIGL, NÜRNBERGER PROZESSE – NUREMBERG TRIALS 82 (2001). 16 HARRIS, supra note 8, at 14. 17 See Alexandra J. Wall, Edith Coliver, International and S.F. Activist, Dies at 79, J WEEKLY (Jan. 4, 2002) http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/17031/edith-coliverinternational-and-s-f-activist-dies-at-79/ (noting that Simon, known as Edith Coliver after marriage, had been born in Germany and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of California-Berkeley before going to work at Nuremberg). 18 Table of Soviet Attorneys, in photo exhibition 60 Years Marking the Nuremberg Trials, YAD VASHEM: THE HOLOCAUST MARTYRS' AND HEROES' REMEMBRANCE AUTHORITY (photo. reprint 2005) (1945-46), http://www1.yadvashem.org/exhibitions/nuremberg/nuremberg_10.html (last visited May 19, 2010).


“‘exceptionally strong supporting cast’” of lawyers who assisted the judges at Nuremberg. 19 The lawyers who were named included two former Supreme Court clerks and two law professors. 20 All of them were men—men who held positions in the profession not open to women in the mid-twentieth century. It is true that a woman did clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court in October Term 1944, but she was not succeeded by another woman until 1966. 21 As for academia in that period, Professor Herma Hill Kay has written that “when World War II ended, exactly three women held tenure or tenure-track appointments” on faculties belonging to the Association of American Law Schools. 22 It is therefore truly remarkable that women did succeed in working as lawyers at Nuremberg. Among the several women who represented defendants, 23 a notable example is Elisabeth Gombel, the only woman to have served

Patricia M. Wald, Running the Trial of the Century: The Nuremberg Legacy, 27 CARDOZO L. REV. 1559, 1568 (2006) (quoting TAYLOR ANATOMY, supra note 1, at 119). 20 Id. (mentioning law professors Herbert Wechsler and Quincy Wright and former clerks Robert Stewart and Adrian Fischer). 21 ARTEMUS WARD & DAVID L. WEIDEN, SORCERERS’ APPRENTICES: 100 YEARS OF LAW CLERKS AT THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT 89-90, Table 2.11 (2006) (stating that the first woman Supreme Court clerk was Lucile Lomen, who clerked for Justice William O. Douglas in October Term 1944, and the second was Margaret J. Corcoran, who clerked for Justice Hugo Black in October Term 1966); Linda Greenhouse, Women Suddenly Scarce Among Justices’ Clerks, N.Y. TIMES, Aug. 30, 2009, at A1, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/30/washington/30scotus.html. Five years after the close of the first Nuremberg trial, Wald herself earned her law degree, then clerked for a federal judge at the intermediate appellate level; she would go on to become the first Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and a Judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. AMERICAN INNS OF COURT, Awards: The Honorable Patricia M. Wald, http://www.innsofcourt.org/Content/Default.aspx?Id=321 (last visited May 19, 2010). 22 Herma Hill Kay, The Future of Women Law Professors, 77 IOWA L. REV. 5, 6 (1991). 23 The presence of women defense counsel may reflect the absence of German men eligible to serve as attorneys. Women who represented defendants included: Gerda Doetzer; Agnes Nath-Schrieber, who assisted her husband in representing defendants; and Dr. Erna Kroen, who spent thirty years as a music director in her hometown of Leverkusen after her work in the Farben trial. See TAYLOR REPORT, supra note 8, at 307, 319-20; Bayer’s Culture Makers, BAYER KULTUR,



as chief counsel on either side. Gombel had been a legal adviser in the Junkers Aircraft Factory. She became lead counsel for Ernst Wilhelm Bohle, an officer in the German Foreign Department charged in the Ministries Case, after the initial appointee dropped out for unspecified reasons. 24 As stated in a Nuremberg history by Illinois attorney John Alan Appleman, at arraignment, “much to the amazement of the Tribunal, Prosecution, and all persons concerned,” Bohle became the only Nuremberg defendant to plead guilty. He entered a plea to a single count of “membership of the SS with knowledge of its criminal activities,” and was sentenced to five years. Appleman advanced a gender angle for this “amazing” turn of events, writing: “One wonders whether the fact that he had a woman counsel had anything to do with his decision to enter the plea of guilty.” 25 Even though Gombel’s client spent less time in prison than nearly all convicted in the case, 26 the comment does not convey compliment. One non-American woman prosecutor was Dr. Aline Chalufour of France, who had worked for General Charles DeGaulle in Canada during the war, and was one of three prosecutors at the British military trial pertaining to the Ravensbrück camp. 27 In a letter home, Fite wrote that Chalufour was “really very intelligent and congenial—and I lack congenial feminine companionship.” 28 A number of American women served as prosecutors; a very few will be mentioned here. “Miss Sadie Belle Arbuthnot,” as The
http://www.culture.bayer.com/en/cultural-department.aspx (last updated Nov. 11, 2009). 24 TAYLOR REPORT, supra note 8, at 336-37. 25 JOHN ALAN APPLEMAN, MILITARY TRIBUNALS AND INTERNATIONAL CRIMES 223 (Bobbs-Merrill Co. 1954). 26 Sentences for defendants convicted at trial ranged from time served for one defendant and four years for another, all the way up to twenty-five years in prison. Two defendants were acquitted. Id. at 222-23. 27 See ATROCITIES ON TRIAL: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE POLITICS OF PROSECUTING WAR CRIMES 144 (Patricia Heberer & Jürgen Matthäus eds., Univ. of Nebraska Press 2008); TAYLOR, ANATOMY, supra note 1, at 213; Letter from Katherine Fite to Mr. and Mrs. Emerson Fite, (Oct. 14, 1945) (on file with Harry S. Truman Library & Museum), available at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/ study_collections/nuremberg/documents/index.php?documentdate=1945-1014&documentid=nuremberg2016&studycollectionid=&pagenumber=1[hereinafter Fite letter]. 28 Fite letter, supra note 27.


New York Times called her, earned her law degree at night school while she was a secretary at the U.S. Department of Justice, presumably during the New Deal. 29 Arbuthnot served on the prosecution team during the Justice Case, then became the first woman judge in the court system that the United States established in the part of Germany that it occupied after the war. 30 Belle Mayer Zeck, who had practiced as a federal government lawyer after graduating from Fordham Law School, worked on the Farben trial of industrialists. 31 After Nuremberg she and her husband William Zeck, another member of the prosecution team, became Democratic Party activists in Rockland County, New York; at one point, she made an unsuccessful bid for a state legislative seat. 32 Mayer Zeck died at age eighty-six in 2006, on the same day as Drexel Sprecher, another prosecutor at Nuremberg. 33 Mary M. Kaufman also worked on the Farben Case. 34 During the New Deal she was an organizer for the Works Progress Administration, studied part-time, and earned her law degree from St. John’s University. 35 While an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board, Kaufman continued to organize for the WPA, eventually finding her way to Nuremberg. On return to the United States, she embarked on a high-profile career as a leading attorney for Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and others tried under the Smith Act during the McCarthy period. 36 Kaufman helped found the National Lawyers
Associated Press, U.S. Woman Judge in Germany, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 29, 1950, at 10. 30 Id.; see APPLEMAN, supra note 25, at 157-58; TAYLOR REPORT, supra note 8, at 170 n.112. 31 N.Y. TIMES, Belle Zeck, 87, Prosecutor at Nuremberg, Dies, Apr. 5, 2006, at A5 [hereinafter Belle Zeck]. 32 Id. 33 Douglas Martin, Drexel A. Sprecher, 92, U.S. Prosecutor at Nuremberg, N.Y. TIMES, May 8, 2006, at B8 (observing that Sprecher and Zeck both died on Mar. 18, 2006); Belle Zeck, supra note 31 (stating that Zeck died on Mar. 18, 2006). 34 APPLEMAN, supra note 25, at 177. 35 Eric Page, Mary M. Kaufman, 82, Lawyer; Cases Involved Communism, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 11, 1995, at 13; JEWISH WOMEN’S ARCHIVE, Personal Information for Mary Kaufman, http://jwa.org/archive/jsp/perInfo.jsp?personID=121 (last visited Mach 6, 2011). 36 See generally Margaret Jessup, Mary Metlay Kaufman, in 1 GREAT AMERICAN LAWYERS: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA 424-32 (John R.Vile ed., 2001).


Guild, and was also active in antiwar protests and as a lawyer for arrested protesters. Indeed, she linked international criminal law of the Nuremberg era to issues of nuclear and chemical warfare in the Vietnam era. 37 Last, but by no means least, was Cecelia Goetz. The New York-born daughter of a lawyer, she decided to study law, and earned all her degrees at New York University. 38 She graduated at the top of her class at NYU Law School, where, as Editor-in-Chief, she became the first woman in the United States ever to head a major law journal. Yet she could not find a job after her 1940 graduation. One of her classmates explained years later: Her concentrated experience as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review could not be followed by jobs in the private or judicial systems as a clerk to a judge. That was totally unavailable at the time. Limited opportunities came to be available in the federal government in Washington at the beginning of World War II when men were being drafted or otherwise joined the armed services. 39 Even so, Goetz found herself working for two years at her father’s firm. Her desire to become a trial attorney met “the prejudice against females as government litigators” that abided, according to one author, “even in departments known to be headed by liberals”; Goetz, it was suggested, “was ‘much too attractive to be a good lawyer.’” 40

37 Mary M. Kaufman, The Individual’s Duty under the Law of Nurnberg: The Effect of Knowledge on Justiciability, 27 GUILD PRAC. 15 (1968). See also Mary M. Kaufman, Judgment at Nurnberg – An Appraisal of Its Significance on Its Twentieth Anniversary, 25 GUILD PRAC. 66 (1966); Mary M. Kaufman, Statements, Declarations, and Agreements Leading to the War Crimes Trials at Nurnberg, Germany, and Relevant Documents, 25 GUILD PRAC. 88 (1966). 38 See Goetz, Cecelia H. (Helen), in THE CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY 277 (John S. Bowman ed., Cambridge Univ. Press 1995) [hereinafter Goetz Cambridge entry]; Goetz, Cecelia Helen, in I WHO’S WHO IN AMERICA 1294 (48th ed., 1994) [hereinafter Goetz WHO’S WHO entry]. 39 NYU LAW, Alumnus/Alumna of the Month (Sept. 1, 2004), http://www.law.nyu.edu/alumni/almo/pastalmos/20042005almos/ceceliagoetzseptem ber/index.htm [hereinafter Alumna] (quoting Herbert Rubin). 40 DAWN BRADLEY BERRY, THE 50 MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN AMERICAN LAW 173 (1996).


Eventually, Goetz landed a job in what is now known as the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. 41 She “became the first woman ever to be offered a supervisory role” at DOJ, but turned it down because she wanted to join the prosecution team at Nuremberg. 42 She was rejected because of her sex—even though nurses and secretaries already were there, she was told that there was no housing for a woman lawyer. 43 So she applied directly to Taylor himself. As Goetz told an interviewer in 1984: Fortunately he did not share such antifeminist views and he immediately directed that I be appointed to the prosecution team. Nevertheless, in order for me to be processed, Taylor had to sign a “waiver of disability” form—the disability being the fact that I was a woman. 44 Goetz earned prominence among the women attorneys. Serving as one of three major associate counsel in the Krupp industrialists’ case (left), 45 she was the only woman to give an opening statement at a Nuremberg trial. The practice was for prosecutors to take turns reading what was a very long opening. As one of five Americans to read the address in Krupp, Goetz stirred excitement. One reporter, present to profile Goetz for the New York Sun’s “News of Women” section, wrote: Listening to her reading part of the opening statement in the hushed court room, marriage and children don’t seem to fit into the picture. It would seem a shame to take her away from what must be a brilliant future. The British were particularly impressed. At the first

Goetz WHO’S WHO entry, supra note 38, at 1294 (stating that at the time it was called the Claims Division); see Goetz CAMBRIDGE entry, supra note 38, at 277. 42 NYU LAW, supra note 39. 43 BERRY, supra note 40, at 174. 44 MORELLO, supra note 14, at 184 (quoting Goetz); see also Symposium, the Fifth Annual Ernst C. Steifel Symposium: 1945-1995: Critical Perspectives on the Nuremberg Trials and State Accountability: Panel I: Telford Taylor Panel: Critical Perspectives on the Nuremberg Trials, 12 N.Y.L. SCH. J. HUM. RTS. 453, 516 (1995) [hereinafter Goetz remarks] (remarks of Judge Cecelia Goetz). 45 TAYLOR REPORT, supra note 8, at 190 n.174.



opportunity they swarmed over to congratulate her on her striking performance. 46 This deserves note, and not only because of the reporter’s musing on Goetz’ marriageability. 47 The Krupp opening statement contained little flourish; it was, rather, a recitation of sobering facts. 48 The change in readers carried with it no change in authorship. Nor was Goetz given any noteworthy lines, save one reference to the misery of slave laborers. 49 That those in the courtroom nonetheless applauded underscores the novelty of Goetz’s feat. It almost seems that for a woman to deliver her lines without error was in itself astonishing. In addition to this reading and her trial preparation efforts, Goetz elicited testimony at trial. Excerpts of her crossexaminations show that the Germans, like all hostile witnesses, frequently tried to deflect or dodge her questions. Yet Goetz was tenacious, refusing to accept their evasions. 50 The excerpts demonstrate that she was a very good lawyer. On return to New York, Goetz earned an LL.M. in tax law and practiced at a number of firms. In 1978, she became the first woman appointed to the federal bankruptcy court in the Second Circuit; later, she helped to found the National Association of Women Judges. Yet she downplayed her role as a woman judge. In words presaging debates that swirled about the recent appointments of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, Goetz told the New York Law Journal in 1982: Once you put on a robe, the male-female distinction disappears, at least as far as the people who appear

Judy Barden, Our Woman in Nurnberg, N.Y. SUN, Jan. 21, 1948, at 18. Goetz later married and gave birth to two sons. Goetz WHO’S WHO entry, supra note 38. 48 See Transcript of Opening Statement of the Prosecution (Dec. 8, 1947), in 9 TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE THE NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNALS UNDER CONTROL COUNCIL LAW NO. 10 60-131 (1950). 49 Id. at 87-102 (including that portion of opening statement read by Goetz). Goetz’ notable line stated that defendants “participated in the formulation and presentation of demands for slave labor to be fed into the maw of the industrial machine, and in the spoliation of occupied territories.” Id. at 98. 50 See id. at 957-60, 969-72, 989.



before you are concerned. They don’t see you as either male or female. The judge’s role overrides the individual. I really don’t see any essential difference between a good male judge and a good female judge. All judges must have patience, a willingness to listen, compassion and, above all, integrity. I’m afraid there’s nothing very startling in all of that. 51 Perhaps more startling is the fact that Goetz—like most of the women lawyers, 52 and unlike many of the men—never wrote about Nuremberg. “I have not written anything about Nuremberg and I myself have wondered why that was,” she said at a 1995 symposium that explored links between the trials after World War II and those newly formed after war in the Balkans and genocide in Rwanda. 53 Her remarks fell far short of celebratory. She admitted that she had “hesitated” to speak “when I realized that the probable object was to use Nuremberg as a precedent for trials of the atrocities now going on elsewhere.” 54 Warning against use of the “flawed” Nuremberg precedent that had accepted the defense of necessity or coercion—in effect, the “Hitler made me do it” defense—Goetz described the outcome of the matters on which she worked as “unsatisfactory,” and her time at Nuremberg as “unhappy.” 55 She recalled “the burden of interpretation,” “the widespread destruction of evidence,” the “problem” that “we were all very young,” “did not speak German,” and thus were compelled to rely on unsophisticated” and at times “hostile” research staff. 56 Finally, she said, “Nuremberg

Alan Kohn, Bankruptcy Judges Have Same Philosophy, 188 N.Y. L.J. No. 47, at 1 col. 2 (1982) (quoting Goetz). 52 Kaufman, supra note 37 (pointing to an exception). 53 See Goetz remarks, supra note 44, at 516. Made at the Fifth Annual Ernst C. Stiefel Symposium, “1945-1995: Critical Perspectives on the Nuremberg Trials and State Accountability,” these remarks, id. at 515-30, appear to constitute Goetz’ entire published recollections of Nuremberg. 54 Id. at 516. 55 Id. 56 Id. at 569.



itself was a very unpleasant place to be. It had been bombed out,” and, contrary to the implication of the Marlene Dietrich-Spencer Tracy dalliance in Judgment at Nuremberg, “We were not supposed to fraternize with Germans.” 57 All this transpired during what Goetz called “a period of pervasive gender bias.” 58 Although she used the term to describe her difficulties in landing the position, the observation no doubt applied as well to the job itself. It was a time when male staffers unabashedly ogled their female counterparts at a pool party, 59 when “masculine” women were subject to ridicule, 60 when reference to a “bordello, brothel, whorehouse” might set off “a wave of laughter” in the courtroom. 61 A time when the hometown paper’s account of “Our Woman at Nurnberg” dwelt as much on the woman’s physical appearance and dieting woes as her legal acumen. 62
Id. at 530; see also DVD: Judgment at Nuremberg (Roxlom Films, Inc., 1961). Goetz remarks, supra note 44, at 516. 59 TAYLOR ANATOMY, supra note 1, at 398, quoted supra text accompanying note 6. Elsewhere in his memoir, Taylor reported that one woman interpreter was “known as ‘The Passionate Haystack,’” and that Judge Biddle “found her rather stiff” at a dinner party despite the reputation implied by the nickname. Id. at 547-48. 60 Journalist Janet Flanner enjoyed a successful career though she dressed in men’s clothes and lived openly with a woman. See Annalisa Zox-Weaver, At Home with Hitler: Janet Flanner’s Führer Profiles for the New Yorker, 34 NEW GERMAN CRITIQUE 101(Fall 2007). But other women encountered scorn. Of the lawyer described at text accompanying supra notes 12-13, this was written: “Little Miss Von Nunes wears her hair cut like a boy’s, affects an almost masculine garb and declares that marriage, like jail, is a good thing, but that she prefers to see other people in both.” See LILLIAN FADERMAN, TO BELIEVE IN WOMEN: WHAT LESBIANS HAVE DONE FOR AMERICA 313 (Houghton Mifflin Co. 2000) (recounting description as an example of the “mild innuendos regarding a professional woman’s inversion” in early twentieth-century America). 61 TAYLOR ANATOMY, supra note 1, at 546 n.* (describing such an incident during first Nuremberg trial). 62 “Meeting Cecelia socially, the last thing you would imagine her to be is a lawyer,” ventured the New York Sun article about Goetz. Barden, supra note 44. It went on: “Thick black curly hair falls to her shoulders and frames a pixy face. She is 5 feet 3 inches tall, but won’t tell her weight. ‘This overseas diet has put on ten pounds,’ she said with a sigh. Her looks would fool anybody into thinking she spent a gay irresponsible life . . . .” Id. In similar vein was a German news story that described “the Greek nose and the extraordinarily red mouth” of lead defense counsel Gombel, a “striking blonde.” DER SPIEGEL, Briefe an Elisabeth (Aug. 21, 1948), http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-44418737.html.
58 57


Offering a glimpse into the pervasive dismissal of work by women—indeed, by anyone deemed feminine—is this passage in historian Joseph E. Persico’s 1994 book on the first trial: Justice Birkett enjoyed exercising his talent for invective against the interpreters. A speech in the vigorous, masculine Russian of the prosecutor, Rudenko, had been rendered into English by an effete interpreter whom Birkett complained sounded like ‘a “refayned” decaying cleric, a latecomer in making an apology at the vicarage garden party rather than the prosecutor of major war crimes.’ Gruff German generals were interpreted by young women with chirpy little voices, diminishing the power of the witnesses’ testimony. 63 The comment suggests the challenges women like Edith Simon faced, not only from an erstwhile Nazi leader, but also from Allied officials. And yet some of the women at Nuremberg—like some women elsewhere in the decades after World War II—pursued pathbreaking careers. A photo of Parisian stripper Micheline Bernardini wearing le bikini thus bears more than passing relation to the photo of Cecelia Goetz wearing a barrister’s robe as she addresses the Nuremberg tribunal. Goetz and her sisters gained entry into a room from which women always had been excluded, and thus opened doors for women in subsequent generations. The bikini played a not entirely dissimilar role that same year. Its inventor was inspired, in fact, after noticing that women at beaches were “rolling up and pulling down the tops and bottoms of their two-piece suits as far as possible to expose as much of their bodies to the sun as they could.” 64 His innovation sparked outrage in institutions that relegated women to a defined place in society. The Vatican banned the bikini as late as 1964. But by then it had caught on. As stated in The Bikini Book, the tiny tog “fit perfectly with the sexual liberation of the ’60s, which went hand-in-hand with

JOSEPH E. PERSICO, NUREMBERG: INFAMY ON TRIAL 263-64 (Penguin Books 1994) (quoting British associate Justice William Norman Birkett, and referring to Soviet Chief Prosecutor Roman Andreyevich Rudenko). 64 BENSIMON, supra note 4, at 10.



the advent of the birth control pill.” 65 Though the relationship between women’s sexuality and women’s progress is complex, at least for some women, autonomy in one aspect of life increased autonomy in others. Thus it intrigues to learn that Janine Hérisson, one of the “prettiest and youngest” women whose bikinis reduced men to poolside oglers, appears to have had a successful career translating novels from English to French. 66 Though many women remained relatively silent after Nuremberg, two artifacts from the 1990s indicate that they did not forget their work there. One is a letter that Farben prosecutor Bella Mayer Zeck (below right) wrote at age seventy-six. A New York Times magazine article had questioned the legitimacy of the Nuremberg trials, in part on the ground that they rested, after all, on international law. Her tart reply: “[T]o dismiss treaties and international conventions as ‘creative’ is to deny that international law exists. The fact that enforcement procedures are lacking in these conventions does not vitiate their effect.” 67 The other is the recollection by Cecelia Goetz, then nearly eighty, “diminutive, white-haired,” and using a cane, of the decadesold decision of the United States to release arms merchant Alfried Krupp after he had served only a third of his sentence. Goetz uttered a cry familiar to any foiled lawyer: “‘I’m still outraged. It was a total miscarriage of justice.’ 68

Id. at 11. See au: “Hérisson, Janine,” http://melvyl.worldcat.org/search?q=au%3A%22He%CC%81risson%2C+Janine%22 &fq=&se=nodgr&sd=desc&dblist=638&qt=first_page (last visited May 19, 2010). 67 Belle Mayer Zeck, The War and the Law, N.Y. TIMES, § 6, at 6 (May 28, 1995). 68 Lyn Riddle, Remembering Nuremberg Prosecution of Nazis Still Stirs Pride, Passion, ATLANTA J. & CONST., Sept. 26, 1997 (quoting Goetz). See also Goetz remarks, supra note 44, at 524 (criticizing the commutation of Krupp’s sentence).



Matthew Parker-Lavine Over the past seventeen years, the international community has established a number of international and hybrid (mixed international and domestic) tribunals to adjudicate war crimes and crimes against humanity. Starting with the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1993 by a UN Security Council Resolution,69 progress toward establishing a system of judicial accountability for atrocities is truly taking root. Prior to 1993, the idea that there would be a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) and multiple hybrid and ad hoc institutions operating concurrently would have been unthinkable. Over the course of this same period, the provision of such justice has improved drastically in its efficiency. As these institutions gain stature and prominence, they have begun to develop a body of best practices in the administration of justice. Along these lines, this paper seeks to study the role of leadership within the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of war crimes tribunals. In doing so, I hope to compile information for individuals seeking to assume similar leadership roles in the future and shed some light on how context affects leadership in this particular type of institution. In this way, I hope this paper will prove useful both as a case study for students of leadership and for practitioners in transitional justice. For this study, I interviewed a series of leaders who are currently serving or who have served previously as leaders within the OTP of a war crimes tribunal, either as the Prosecutor or Deputy Prosecutor. 70 I asked them a series of questions about their views of

S.C. Res. 827, U.N. Doc. S/RES/827 (May 25, 1993). Here, I believe it would be important to conduct similar studies among judges and Registry staff. However, due to the highly varied nature of the work each organ within the institution conducts, I believed it was wise to limit my study to the OTP of each institution. Additionally, due to time constraints, I limited myself to those individuals with the highest level of authority and responsibility within OTPs. This is not meant to imply in any way that there are not other important leaders within these institutions.



leadership as exercised within their respective institution. 71 The individuals I interviewed came from five institutions – the ICTY, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the ICC, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), and the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 72 They represent a diversity of backgrounds, including both men and a woman, common and civil law traditions, African, European, and North American origins, and both Prosecutors and Deputy Prosecutors. 73 The results described below outline my synthesis of these interviews as well as advice culled from specific individuals. While I am sure that none of my interview subjects would agree with all of my conclusions, I hope that they all would agree with a good deal of them. Where conclusions seemed to vary depending on the nature of the individual or institution involved, I have tried to make this clear.

See Appendix A (for a list of the planned questions). Note, however, that the interviews were fairly unstructured; not every individual was asked every question, and at times, the discussion went in directions not accounted for in this list of planned questions. 72 For more on these institutions, see their English-language websites: INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA, http://www.icty.org (last visited May 6, 2010); INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR RWANDA, http://www. unictr.org (last visited May 6, 2010); INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT, http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC/Home (last visited May 6, 2010); THE SPECIAL COURT FOR SIERRA LEONE, http://www.sc-sl.org (last visited May 6, 2010); THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, http://www.tuzilastvobih.gov.ba/?id=9&jezik=e&kat=5&opcija=sadrzaj (last visited May 6, 2010). Additionally, I should note that two of my interview subjects, Fatou Bensouda and Serge Brammertz, had previously served in a different war crimes tribunals from the institution they currently represent, Ms. Bensouda as a trial lawyer at the ICTR and Mr. Brammertz as the Deputy Prosecutor at the ICC. Finally, I did not interview any individuals from the Extraordinary Courts in the Chambers of Cambodia (ECCC, otherwise known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal). This omission was based on issues of access but will hopefully not significantly bias my research findings; the only significant divergence between this institution and those I have included in my study that may be of interest to a future study is the preeminence of civil law practitioners in the ECCC, whereas the other institutions are staffed more heavily by common law practitioners. 73 See Appendix B (for a full list of individuals interviewed). The interviewees were selected based on past associations and do not represent a random sampling of tribunal leaders. If there is any bias in the individuals I was able to interview, it is toward North Americans, although to a certain extent this bias reflects the general overrepresentation of North Americans in these types of institutions.



Given that I hope this paper will be of interest to both international justice practitioners and students of leadership more broadly, I will give equal weight to identifying best practices and the specific context of war crimes tribunals that is unique to this type of leadership. I will start by briefly discussing the facts of the war crimes tribunals on which I base my study. Next, I will lay out the content of my research findings, identifying themes of best practices. Finally, I will synthesize the information I have collected and will discuss how the unique context of war crimes tribunals demands a particular style and type of prosecutorial leadership. A. Background – War Crimes Prosecutions: International and hybrid war crimes tribunals, broadly speaking, all have several commonalities. All are charged with adjudicating the cases of those accused of violations of the laws and customs of war, although the specific substantive and procedural law that each applies may vary considerably. As a result of this work, all are invariably under a tremendous amount of political pressure, based on the sensitive nature of the judicial work performed. All are seeking indictments and prosecutions of senior officials who maintain some degree of political support, each is under pressure from local authorities to focus prosecutions on rival political or ethnic groups, and each is engaged in efforts to demonstrate their relevance to other components of the peace-building process. In each case, therefore, the type and source of political pressure varies, and the demands of leadership are highly varied. However, in each case, the institutions are attempting to move societies engaged in or recently emerged from conflict toward a normalcy defined by the supremacy of the rule of law. This effort at shaping norms and punishing those responsible is conducted in the face of strong political pressures in the opposite direction. This political pressure may be the single most distinctive factor contributing to the unique nature of prosecutorial leadership in these institutions. Organizationally, each court is divided into three of four component units, including a Registry in charge of administrative measures, Judges’ Chambers, an Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), and 17

in some cases an office dedicated to supporting defense counsel. All are highly professional organizations, staffed largely by lawyers, criminal investigators, judges, court administrators, and other professional staff. All are, to greater or lesser degrees, multinational in composition, combining individuals from various different countries and continents, often with highly different legal backgrounds. Due to the big differences in the work performed by each component organ and the highly varied demands on leaders within each component, I have chosen to focus my research exclusively on leadership within the OTP. OTPs are typically structured with two overall executive prosecutors, the Prosecutor and the Deputy Prosecutor, leading the organization. Below these individuals are unit chiefs, such as a Chief of Prosecutions or Chief of Investigations. Below unit chiefs are the trial teams, headed by Senior Trial Attorneys (STAs) or Investigative Team Leaders. Beyond that, different institutions have different organizational structures, including separate appeals teams, investigative teams, research groups, etc. One of the most prominent cleavages within the OTP is between lawyers trained in civil and common law countries. Another important and consistent divide is that between legal and investigative staff; in the words of one interviewee, the former are trained “not to make decisions by consensus nor by reconciliation, but through an adversarial process.” 74 In contrast, criminal investigators generally are accustomed to more hierarchical management techniques. These internal dynamics provide a second key contextual constraint on the exercise of leadership within these OTPs. Despite these broad similarities, however, there are important differences between each of the institutions I have studied. While the ICC has global reach, possessing jurisdiction over the 100 countries that have subscribed to the institution, all of its cases to date have focused on situations in Africa. The other institutions have more limited geographic mandates, covering Rwanda, Bosnia, the entire former Yugoslavia, and Sierra Leone, respectively. Each institution
Telephone Interview with Norman Farrell, Deputy Prosecutor, Int’l Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugo. (May 4, 2010).


differs in its formal authorities and the oversight mechanisms to which it reports. The ICC is a court of last resort for crimes committed in countries that have voluntarily submitted to its jurisdiction, 75 and reports to an Assembly of States Parties (ASP). In contrast, the ICTY and ICTR were created by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and have jurisdiction over states that resisted the formation of the court. The UNSC oversees these institutions, although the UN General Assembly has a role in evaluating their budgets. Finally, the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the SCSL are unique institutions situated within the host country. Although the Prosecutor’s Office in Bosnia is more firmly rooted in the local judicial system, 76 both have international jurists in positions of significant authority and both have some degree of foundation in international law. 77 In terms of oversight, the SCSL reports to a UN Management Committee, whereas the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina is responsible to the national government. 78 There are, of course, many differences between each institution. However, for the purpose of this paper, I have attempted to highlight those I believe are most relevant to the exercise of leadership within OTPs. B. Content of Leadership: In this section, I will identify some of the insights I have gained from interviewing prosecutorial leaders. This section is organized thematically, focusing on specific responses to questions
One exception here is the case in which the UN Security Council refers a case to the ICC, as has happened with Sudan. See S.C. Res. 1593, U.N. Doc S/RES/1593 (March 31, 2005). 76 In the case of Bosnia, the Prosecutor’s Office exists as a separate entity from the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose judges hear war crimes prosecutions. 77 For example, as David Schwendiman notes, “the Special Department of War Crimes of Bosnia and Herzegovina is led by the Deputy Chief Prosecutor—who, between November 2007 and December 2009, by operation of national law—had to be an international prosecutor drawn from the prosecutors in the Special Department for War Crimes.” Telephone Interview with David Schwendiman, Deputy Prosecutor, Prosecutor’s Office of Bosn. & Herz. (Nov. 11 2009) (citing Article 18a, Law on the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina). 78 One exceptional aspect of the Bosnian government’s oversight of the Prosecutor’s Office is its role in personnel decisions. In Bosnia, the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council is responsible for all personnel selections, which provides an interesting challenge to prosecutorial leaders who do not have freedom to select their own staff.


about particular aspects of prosecutorial leadership and/or management. i. Goals of Leadership: When asked about the goals they pursued in exercising leadership, every one of the interviewees noted that the mandate of their institution established the basic objectives. As one prosecutor noted, “the goals of leadership must ultimately fulfill the objectives of the institution.”79 In others words, each leader viewed his or her leadership as serving the broader goal of reducing impunity and deterring or at least punishing crimes. Despite this consensus on the ultimate objectives of leadership, there was considerable divergence in terms of the instrumental goals of leadership within the OTP that depended heavily on the individual and the institution. Specifically, there were two instrumental goals that all interviewees identified as important (albeit to greater or lesser extents): ensuring that their respective institutions had the external political support it needed to conduct its prosecutorial work; and ensuring that the OTP was a well-organized, functional institution. Different individuals focused on external and internal goals to various degrees, depending largely on their position (Prosecutors were generally more concerned with external representational goals and Deputy Prosecutors with internal organizational goals), the institution (some institutions had to fight more fiercely for political and material support while others, particularly those founded recently, had to worry more about internal organization, while still other institutions, such as the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, could not afford not to be fixated on both), and the individual (some were personally more inclined toward internal management whereas others chose to focus more on external issues). Interestingly, the two interviewees with military experience (both Americans) were the most interested in, and were able to offer the most specific analyses of, fostering a cohesive team as an explicit goal of their leadership. 80
Telephone Interview with Serge Brammertz, Prosecutor, Int’l Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugo (May 6, 2010). 80 Telephone Interview with David Crane, Prosecutor, Special Court for Sierra Leone (April 20, 2010); Schwendiman, supra note 8.


ii. Interactions with the Public: Interviewees agreed that interactions with the public were an essential component of OTP leadership within war crimes tribunals. Prosecutors tended to focus more on these interactions than Deputy Prosecutors, although this varied by individual. As one Prosecutor noted, you are the “most public face of the tribunal, so whatever you say attracts a lot of attention. [Your external message therefore] depends a lot on your audience.” 81 Prosecutors tended to identify two crucial audiences: victims (and their representatives); and powerful outside actors (such as governments and non-governmental organizations) that could help the prosecutors achieve their ultimate objectives. Interestingly, far fewer prosecutors focused on messaging directed at the non-victim general population of countries emerging from conflict, with the notable exception of those in institutions based in the country for which they held substantive jurisdiction (SCSL and the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina). 82 Most interviewees agreed that interactions with victims and victims’ rights groups were of utmost importance. As David Crane noted, the institutions were formally charged with ensuring justice for victims, and as a lawyer, you must “know your client.” 83 Interestingly, this form of external communication, while identified as crucial to leadership, seemed generally to be an end-state. While victims’ rights groups could certainly aid the respective courts, interviewees universally did not treat their interactions with these groups as instrumental, but instead as serving directly the goals of the institution. In fact, many prosecutors seemed eager to expend political capital and resources in securing positive relations with victims’ rights groups. For example, David Schwendiman detailed efforts the Prosecutor’s Office undertook to re-engage on missing persons issues as a means of working with victims’ groups in a positive manner. 84

Telephone Interview with Hassan Jallow, Prosecutor, Int’l Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (April 13, 2010). 82 Crane, supra note 12; Schwendiman, supra note 9. To be fair, other interviewees focused on this issue, just not as heavily. 83 Crane, supra note 12. 84 Schwendiman, supra note 8.


The other external constituency on whom prosecutorial leaders focused their attention could broadly be classified as powerful external actors capable of helping the institutions achieve their objectives. This consists largely of governments (especially Western governments most likely to provide political and material support to these institutions), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society groups, and individuals with oversight authority of the respective institution. To a large extent, these relations were instrumental; prosecutorial leaders sought good relations with these actors in order to secure assistance in pursuing the core goals of leadership. Prosecutorial leaders identified three key components of good leadership that were essential to this aspect of OTP leadership: employing and living up to the symbolic nature of one’s position; projecting impartiality in one’s actions; and simply communicating well and practicing good diplomacy. For example, when the ICC faced some negative questioning regarding its overwhelming focus on African cases, Fatou Bensouda wisely made use of her status as an African woman to demonstrate, symbolically and directly, that the “ICC is working with Africa to solve problems of Africa.” 85 This was particularly relevant in cases involving gender-based violence. Perceptions of impartiality were likewise important in generating credibility with victims’ groups and with external actors, and were essential to the overall functioning of the court. As Hassan Jallow noted, public perceptions of a court’s partiality or impartiality largely flow from the actions of the prosecutor. 86 An additional technique that each interviewee seemed to employ to varying degrees was clarifying goals and narrowing expectations appropriately. Victims often expect that each case will receive attention, whereas the courts often have only the resources to focus on representational cases and those defendants accused of being most responsible for atrocities. Consequently, a strong, clear mission statement that is effectively and honestly communicated has proven essential in generating support

Telephone Interview with Fatou Bensouda, Deputy Prosecutor, Int’l Criminal Court (April 26, 2010). 86 Jallow, supra note 13.


among victims groups and outside actors, particularly those in charge of funding decisions who may find comfort in such clearly-delineated responsibilities. iii. Sources of Power: Interviewees tended to agree that the power to serve effectively stemmed from two sources: formal authorities; and personal traits. Formal authorities gave prosecutors status in terms of their official managerial roles and competencies, in terms of their official rank (which mattered more than one would hope in interactions internationally and with oversight bodies), and especially in terms of their formal authority to issue indictments. Personal traits that were essential to leadership, both externally and especially internally included competence (in terms of management, leadership, experience, and the core legal skills of the office) and charisma. Prosecutors and Deputy Prosecutors achieve their rank and responsibilities through formal processes that grant them some degree of immediate legitimacy. ICTR, ICTY, and ICC Prosecutors are elected by either the UNSC or the ASP, respectively, granting these individuals a strong degree of legitimacy, at least among the member states of these institutions. Further, these positions carry a high rank, either within the UN system (as is the case for the ICTY, ICTR, and SCSL) or national jurisdiction (as is the case in Bosnia). 87 As most governments and international organizations are quite hierarchical, this rank matters in the respect and deference accorded to the Prosecutors and Deputy Prosecutors. 88 Further, these positions often come with formally-delineated authorities over the staff of the OTP, such as is the case of the ICC Deputy Prosecutor. While such formal command authority is a source of power, virtually every prosecutor viewed employing such ‘hard power’ as a ‘silver bullet’ to be eschewed “99% of the time” in favor of cooperative, consultative relations with OTP staff. 89

For example, the ICTY, ICTR, and SCSL Prosecutors held the rank of UN UnderSecretary-General. 88 Crane, supra note 12. 89 Id.; Jallow, supra note 13 (et al.)



Finally, OTP leaders’ formal authorities include one extremely powerful tool: the power to indict. As David Tolbert noted, there is a “tremendous amount of moral and political power behind an indictment.” 90 Unfortunately, this source of power can cut in both directions – several interviewees noted the risk involved in indictments, given that neither the OTP by itself nor the entire court as an institution is empowered to arrest indictees. For this, the courts are dependent upon state actors. Further, even when arrests occur, indictments do not automatically result in convictions; judicial independence means that judges ultimately decide the fate of those prosecuted. Consequently, indictments carry risks, namely, that without arrests or with prosecutions that lead to acquittals (particularly if there are many of them or if they occur in prominent cases), they may undermine the power, authority, or credibility of a prosecutor. 91 Beyond formal authorities, OTP leaders derived power from sources internal to themselves. Although important for almost all interviewees, these qualities mattered more strongly for Deputy Prosecutors, who tended to hold tightly the reins of internal management and leadership within the OTP itself, and who did not carry the elevated rank of Prosecutor. One source of power for many leaders was fostering a sense of their own competence within the organization, not only as a leader and manager, but as a lawyer. “There are real leadership qualities associated with management and you have to have the respect of [your staff]… They had to respect you as a manager, but they had to respect you enough as a lawyer.” 92 Given the highly professionalized nature of the OTPs, possessing core litigation skills is one source of power and compels a great amount of respect among staff members, many of whom are highly skilled litigators who may have years of experience at the national and international levels. This sense of competence was often built through experience, particularly in the case of Deputy Prosecutors. Every Deputy Prosecutor I interviewed had years of
Telephone Interview with David Tolbert, Deputy Prosecutor, Int’l Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugo (April 5, 2010). 91 Id.; Brammertz, supra note 11. 92 Tolbert, supra note 22.


experience at both the national and international levels, typically within the same institution they eventually rose to lead. An additional source of power was personal charisma, particularly leading through example. While it is difficult to characterize ‘charisma,’ and no interviewee claimed to possess it, several examples led me to the conclusion that most of my interviewees relied on personal charisma as a source of power. For example, Fatou Bensouda recalled an incident in which an STA had to leave one of the most important and complex trials, the prominence of which is derived in part from the fact that it was the first case the ICC heard. Realizing that putting another STA in charge of the trial without giving him the proper time to immerse himself in its details would be unfair to that individual, she decided to step in personally and lead the prosecution. This charismatic act, and the important symbolism it carried, seemed to motivate and inspire her prosecutorial staff. 93 In another example, David Schwendiman recognized from prior service in Bosnia that one key area for improvement was riskacceptance in prosecutions. The timidity of his staff in its pursuit of indictments was hampering the ability of the Prosecutor’s Office to prosecute important cases. Upon his appointment as Deputy Prosecutor, he took risky positions in support of a more robust prosecutorial model: “In a culture that shrunk from risk, we encouraged people to take risks.” 94 Overall, personal charisma, coupled with experience and competence, was an essential component of leadership, particularly for Deputy Prosecutors. iv. Delegation of Tasks: Interviewees demonstrated a remarkable amount of agreement in terms of what aspects of leadership could be delegated to subordinates and what elements must be exercised personally by the Prosecutor or Deputy Prosecutor, respectively. All agreed that acting
Bensouda, supra note 17. Schwendiman, supra note 9. Although he also instituted procedural changes that encouraged risk-acceptance among his staff, his charisma and personal risk-taking, including assuming political pressures and defending the institution publicly, encouraged his staff to follow his leadership.
94 93


as a symbol of the supremacy of the rule of law as well as external representational responsibilities could not be delegated by the top two leaders in a tribunal (although respondents varied in terms of their views on to the extent to which the Prosecutor had to conduct these activities or could delegate some degree of responsibility to the Deputy Prosecutor). To a large extent, these responsibilities seemed to take primacy; to the extent that they were required in order to secure adequate political support for the operation of the tribunals, they absorbed much of the leadership focus of the Prosecutor (and even the Deputy Prosecutor to a lesser extent). The ICTY and ICC seemed to be especially subject to international political pressure, and the external representational and symbolic demands on their leaders in particular seemed to be quite heavy. 95 To the extent that political support was more forthcoming, the Prosecutor and certainly Deputy Prosecutor focused their personal attention on broader issues of trial management. In most instances, the Deputy Prosecutor (with participation of the Prosecutor) had to ensure that issues, including legal issues that affected the entire office, were led by him personally. Leadership and seemingly fair decision-making were necessary to resolve disputes between trial teams working on related cases to ensure that the OTP followed a consistent strategy. For example, leaders had to ensure that the OTP took a consistent position across cases as to which individuals comprised specific joint criminal enterprises (JCEs) and as to what the objectives of the JCEs were. 96 On the other hand, the day-to-day management of trial activity was universally recognized as an area in which it was essential to delegate leadership to the STAs. STAs often have a great deal of experience within the institution and are subject-matter experts on issues pertaining to their specific trial. Granting them flexibility to lead their teams as they see fit was universally seen as the best strategy for leadership. This encouraged STAs to exercise leadership and reduced the direct burden on OTP leadership. As both Hassan Jallow
95 96

Brammertz, supra note 11; Bensouda, supra note 17. Farrell, supra note 6; Jallow, supra note 13.


and David Crane noted, the best style was “macro-management,” focusing on the big picture and allowing a great deal of leeway to the STAs in terms of implementation 97. v. Leading versus Managing: Most interviewees did not see a strong distinction between activities that involved leadership versus management, with the notable exception of external representational duties and serving as a symbol of the institution and of the preeminence of the rule of law. As Serge Brammertz noted, you “can’t lead without people knowing how to follow you. That takes management. And you can’t manage without exercising leadership.” 98 This may be in part a product of the size of the organization and its relative flatness. 99 Although there are individuals with whom the Prosecutors and Deputy Prosecutors interact more and less frequently, there are not multiple layers of bureaucracy, necessitating the kind of distant, symbolic, or motivational leadership that may characterize larger organizations. To the extent that interviewees distinguished between leadership and management, it tended to be in describing different aspects of the same action. For example, David Tolbert described the leadership qualities necessary for good management decision-making: “You have to be open, but decisive. You have to be willing to listen, but at the end of the day, people have to understand that you’re going to make a fair decision. Making a decision in real-time is more important than making a perfect decision six months from now.” 100 Overall, the distinction between leadership and management in terms of how they headed their respective OTPs was not significant to the interviewees. vi. Talent Development: A number of interviewees agreed that talent development within their organization was an important component of their leadership, although Deputy Prosecutors seemed to spend more time
Crane, supra note 12; Jallow, supra note 13. Brammertz, supra note 11. 99 Even the largest of the institutions, the ICTY and the ICC, have fewer than 200 individuals working in their respective OTPs. 100 Tolbert, supra note 22.
98 97


on such issues. However, as one interviewee noted, before talent development, you need accurate talent assessment. 101 In this regard, cultural sensitivity seemed important, particularly in regard to legal traditions; it was important to identify how staff members’ previous experience may or may not have prepared them for work at the international level. For example, the U.S. style of cross-examining witnesses, which tends to be more aggressive, is less effective internationally when worked through a translator. The witness has time to think through responses and is not confronted by the tone of voice the prosecutor might use. 102 Most interviewees discussed formal training programs they ran that were required of all investigative and legal staff, especially when the demands of the institution are quite different from those of the national prosecutorial background of most staff members. For example, one interviewee discussed trainings meant to sensitize staff going into the field about their conduct in investigating sexual crimes and in situations where their actions could endanger witnesses, victims, or others. 103 Beyond these formal training programs, most interviewees noted that the hands-off management style they employed tended to foster staff development as individuals took greater responsibility for their own work and that of their team. One obstacle to talent development routinely identified by many interviewees was rigid hiring procedures. Across institutions, limitations on internal promotions and human resource hiring restrictions proved to be major obstacles to overcome in order to ensure adequate internal talent development. David Schwendiman noted frustrations with the promotion and hiring system that was controlled completely outside the Prosecutor’s Office by the Bosnian High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council. 104 Likewise, David Tolbert noted frustrations with the UN system, and offered advice on this point:

101 102

Farrell, supra note 6. Id. 103 Bensouda, supra note 17. 104 Schwendiman, supra note 9.


“It is hard within a structure that’s as rigid as the UN… You need to understand the system you operate in. There’s a huge amount of frustration for these talented lawyers and investigators because they’re in this rigid system… You have to try to make the system work for you. Having a good understanding of the administrative rules is important.” 105 In this regard, it seems, UN administrative functions are still lagging in their adjustment to the unique challenges of staffing large judicial institutions. In this section, I have dealt with a number of issues, summarizing themes that leaders identified as the best practices of leadership – known in the leadership literature as the “content” of leadership. While these practices are essential tools for future leaders, their specific application is driven by the context in which a leader finds himself or herself. In the next section, I will turn to an analysis of this “context” of leadership. C. Context of Leadership: In this section, I will return to the main themes of context, and will discuss how particular aspects of war crimes tribunals affect how leadership is exercised within respective OTPs. Having discussed best practices, I will focus more heavily on the strategic environment in which leaders must employ these tactics. In particular, I will share two broad conclusions on prosecutorial leadership in war crimes tribunals regarding internal diversity and external representation. i. Leading Diversity: One unique aspect of war crimes tribunals is their highly diverse nature. UN (and ICC) staffing tables, when applicable, ensure regional, national, and gender diversity within these institutions. One interviewee noted the difficult internal leadership challenge of taking “all these people from all these different nationalities and coming up with a structure that works.” 106 However, with this diversity along one axis comes a great degree of homogeneity along another – most staff
105 106

Tolbert, supra note 22. Id.


members of OTPs are either highly skilled lawyers or criminal investigators. On many issues, cultural differences did not seem to overcome professional affinities. For example, one interviewee identified as a challenge the fact that lawyers were universally biased toward thinking their own legal traditions were best. 107 The final context I found critical for the exercise of internal leadership was the often high-pressure nature of the work. This is particularly relevant when the tribunal is either located in the country of concern, or when it is dealing with crimes committed in a conflict that is still on-going. This internal context dictates to a certain extent how prosecutorial leaders must exercise their leadership. Most interviewees viewed hands-off management as the best leadership tool with respect to a highly motivated and professional workforce. As one leader stated, “encourage people to decide for themselves to go in the direction you want them to go.” 108 Coupled with this hands-off management style, however, must be a hands-on leadership style. This means that leaders must know their staff very well, and must maintain an open mind in attempting to understand them and their background. While management must be hands-off, you must be engaged closely enough with your staff to understand their needs and to foster a sense that they can approach you for assistance, when they require it. Striking the right balance between these approaches is a difficult task of leadership within these institutions. However, the typical leadership structure in which the Prosecutor largely delegates these activities to the Deputy Prosecutor may make it easier for the latter individual to focus on and excel at this type of leadership. ii. Need for Political Support: From my interviews with these prosecutorial leaders, I learned that one of the toughest tasks of leadership is the generation of the political support and perceived legitimacy necessary for the OTP of each institution to do its job. As one Prosecutor noted, “[at the] national level you have clear jurisdiction, legal framework, and public support… At the international level, success or failure depends on the
107 108

Jallow, supra note 13. Id.


cooperation you receive.” 109 As a contrast, prosecutors in domestic systems typically are conducting their work under the political supervision and support of a justice ministry (or Department) that is involved in policy setting and involves itself in the highest level policy debates inside the government. While specific cases may merit political attention or even opposition, and cases of misconduct may cloud legitimacy in some instances, the overall prosecutorial system itself is rarely challenged. One can say that domestic legal systems typically have inherent legitimacy. On the other hand, leaders in international and hybrid war crimes tribunals face a potential lack of inherent legitimacy on two fronts. First, the concept of supra-national justice challenges the prerogatives of states. Although each of these institutions was delegated their judicial authority from states, these decisions did not represent the universal consensus of states, or the universal agreement of individuals within the governments of certain states. Consequently, seventeen years after the foundation of the ICTY, and even with the establishment of the ICC, these institutions are still struggling, at times, for legitimacy in the eyes of their supporters. Although they seem to have established themselves in the international landscape, the costliness and time-consuming nature of prosecutions as well as concerns that prosecutions may interfere with peace processes, such as with the Sudan, have led to renewed skepticism of these institutions, even among supporters. This skepticism is dangerous for the tribunals, given their reliance on states for authority and resources. More troubling, they do not possess the power to arrest the individuals they indict. For this, they are dependent on the police powers of states, and the political pressure states may place on other states to make arrests. Second, these institutions do not have automatic legitimacy in the eyes of the public in the areas of conflict where the crimes occurred. In countries emerging from or engaged in conflict, the rule of law is not a comfort to the average citizen confronted with widespread and systemic political violence and impunity; fragile states are practically defined by a break-down in the rule of law and a culture

Brammertz, supra note 11.


of impunity. Although victims will be eager to see their immediate victimizer face justice, war crimes tribunals largely focus on higherlevel organizers and orchestrators of systemic violence, not the triggerpullers many victims would like to see punished (although to be fair, many victims have a more sophisticated, political view of responsibility). One typical result of this dynamic is a situation in which, for example, one groups’ political leaders face indictment while the local thugs of a rival group do not. In such a context, it is easy for political leaders potentially facing indictment to manufacture political opposition to prosecutions, especially when the slow pace of international justice makes victims feel their own concerns are not being addressed. Given this two-front challenge to the legitimacy of war crimes tribunals, prosecutors are under a tremendous burden to generate support among the states that control budgetary and political resources, and among the population of states affected by conflict. This may be perhaps the greatest challenge of exercising leadership within international and hybrid war crimes tribunals. An effective prosecutor must generate the support, in terms of political support, credibility, and resources, so that his or her staff can perform their core work without feeling the burdens of political opposition. This requires effective diplomatic engagement and serving as a symbol of impartiality and the primacy of the rule of law. As David Tolbert summarized, “you have to be able to build support from countries that are friendly and then deal in a very hostile environment.” 110 There are moments of great importance, and “being prepared for that and thinking about it beforehand is hard to do, given the day-to-day management responsibilities, and you do not know when it is coming.” 111 D. Conclusion: Overall, I have attempted to present and synthesize war crimes tribunals’ prosecutorial leaders’ views on leadership. I have identified themes among their views on leadership best practices with regard to specific acts of leadership – the so-called “content” of
110 111

Tolbert, supra note 22. Id.


leadership. Finally, I attempted to synthesize their responses in the overall “context” of leadership, identifying what I consider two of the greatest challenges to successful prosecutorial leadership with the OTP of war crimes tribunals. APPENDIX A: PLANNED QUESTIONS 1. General: How would you define the goals of leadership within an international / hybrid criminal tribunal? 2. General: What is an example of a time in which you demonstrated such leadership? What is an example of a time when you learned about leading through a challenging event? 3. Interactions with the public: How do you conceptualize the image and message you wish to convey to the general public? How does this differ for countries directly affected by the underlying conflicts and those that are further removed from them? How do you feel your leadership fits in to the overall projection of that image? 4. Representing the organization to central UN and nations: How do you conceptualize bridging your role as leader of the organization with representing it to the UN and member states? How do you ensure that the right messages are conveyed both internally and externally? 5. Vision / Renewal: How do you relate your vision for the future of international justice to your day-to-day responsibilities? 6. Power: What are the sources of power and authority for leaders in international tribunals? Which do you find most important in your exercise of leadership? 7. Mitigating political conflicts: How do you approach issues in which there is a clear conflict of interest? How do you keep people focused on the broader organizational agenda in such situations? 8. Near versus far subordinates: How do you attempt to motivate subordinates in your organization with whom you might not have frequent, personal interaction? How do you ensure that everyone (or most people) within your organization feels motivated toward achieving a greater purpose? Likewise, how do you focus on motivating those with whom you have frequent interaction?


9. Delegation of tasks to co-leaders: What elements of leadership / leading the organization, do you feel comfortable delegating to your team? Which responsibilities do you insist on keeping personally? 10. Leading versus managing: Some scholars of leadership differentiate between leadership and management, viewing the former as visionary and the latter as process-based. In what ways does the structure of the organization call upon you to lead versus manage? 11. Talent Development: How do you focus on developing individual talent within your organization? What is the appropriate role of tribunal leadership in fostering such professionalism? 12. Context of Leadership: How do you think the composition of the organization (international in staffing, mostly lawyers, highly professional, etc.) affect the nature of leadership within the organization? APPENDIX B: LIST OF INDIVIDUALS INTERVIEWED
Individual David Tolbert Hassan Jallow David Crane Fatou Bensouda David Schwendiman Norman Farrell Serge Brammertz Institution Position ICTY ICTR SCSL ICC BiH ICTY ICTY Dep. Prosecutor Prosecutor Prosecutor Dep. Prosecutor Dep. Prosecutor Dep. Prosecutor Prosecutor Country (Legal Tradition) United States (Common Law) The Gambia (Common Law) United States (Common Law) The Gambia (Common Law) United States (Common Law) Canada (Common Law) Belgium (Civil Law) Date of Interview 4.5.2010 4.12, 13, 20.2010 4.20.2010 4.26.2010 4.27.2010 5.4.2010 5.6.2010


Marilyn J. Kaman* I have been asked to speak on the topic of “Reflections on Women in International Criminal Law.” My reflections necessarily come from my own mission abroad, during 2002-2003 as an international judge for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. I will tell you more about that mission in a moment, and to do so, I will use examples of four women to describe my experiences: Two names you will recognize, and two you will not. All four women should be familiar to you for the role they played in the pursuit of international justice for women. As you may know, Kosovo is a province of today’s Serbia and Montenegro. It is a land that has been subject to competing beliefs and claims for centuries. Historians mark an important date as 1389, when the Ottoman Empire engaged in battle on the outskirts of present-day Pristina (Kosovo Polje/Fushë Kosovë, municipalities in the Pristina district). Four hundred years of rule by the Ottoman Empire followed that battle, which came to be regarded as a battlefield of humiliating defeat by Serbians. In 1912, Turkish domination ended, and Serbia annexed Kosovo in 1912. An independent Albanian state was declared in the same year. In 1943, communist Yugoslavia was formed. With the death of Yugoslav President Josef Tito in 1980, the uneasy truce keeping the republics of Yugoslavia together unraveled. In 1987, Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic returned to Kosovo Polje/Fushë Kosovë, by then fabled as a place of humiliating defeat six hundred years earlier. Milosevic set the stage for Kosovo’s conflict between Kosovar Serbs and Kosovar Albanians rallied ethnic Serbs by declaring, “[n]o one should dare to beat you!” 112
* Former International Judge, United Nations Mission in Kosovo; Judge, Hennepin County District Court.

GUARDIAN.CO.UK, Exiles in the Enemy Camp (May 8. 1999), http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/1999/may/08/balkans3.


During the 1990s, judges were dismissed from their posts, Serbian police took over from Kosovar Albanian police, and Albanian schools were closed. Kosovar Albanian resistance to Serbian actions grew and, in late 1997, the Kosovo Liberation Army made its first public appearance. Serbian authorities planned and implemented a campaign of expulsion of the Kosovar Albanian population from Kosovo. Back in Minnesota, I read the newspaper stories that carried pictures of the forced exodus, as well as mass graves. On March 23, 1999, NATO intervened. The 1999 war ended on June 8, 1999, and the United Nations made the decision to become the interim civilian administration for the province, including re-establishing the rule of law. By then, however, ethnic tensions ran high and the judicial system had been destroyed. My own understanding of these events then was only intellectual, gleaned from reading the morning newspaper before going to work. Only three years later, I would find myself boarding a plane bound for Kosovo to become a participant in the process of rebuilding a destroyed justice system. When I arrived in Kosovo I had orientation in Pristina, the capital, for several days, and then I was posted to a city called Pec/Peja. Or is it Peja/Pec? These are two names—one Serbian, one Albanian. And even the order in which you say the names supposedly signifies a bias or preference. Again, it would be difficult to be an impartial international judge in Kosovo, where every move was scrutinized. Pec/Peja is located about sixty miles to the West of Pristina, at the base of the Albanian Alps. It is a lovely area with a foreboding history. The foundation for my work as an international judge in Kosovo was laid by a woman in the aftermath of another war—World War II. That woman’s name is Eleanor Roosevelt. As you know, in 1945, U.S. President Harry Truman appointed Roosevelt as a delegate to the UN General Assembly. She played an instrumental role, along with others, in drafting the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“Declaration”). The Declaration begins with the recognition of the “inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all 36

members of the human family [as] the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” 113 Proceeding from those opening sentences, the Declaration then sets out thirty articles detailing the rights of human kind. These rights generally fall into two categories—civil and political rights (right to life, liberty, and security of person; free speech and assembly, prohibition of slavery, torture, and cruel, inhuman degrading treatment; no arbitrary arrest, detention or exile; presumption of innocence; freedom of thought, opinion, conscience, and religion; freedom of movement; right to a fair trial; right to equal protection; right of asylum; right to own property) and social, economic and cultural rights (right to work; right to education; right to an adequate standard of living; right to rest and leisure; right to social security; right to participate in the cultural life of the community). 114 Roosevelt later referred to the Declaration as "the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere." 115 Interestingly, the vote of the General Assembly on the Declaration in 1948 was unanimous, except for eight abstentions by certain countries, which took exception to the implications of the Declaration. 116 The exception was still in force in 2002, and I encountered it while I was a judge in Kosovo. Following the Declaration, the march toward international criminal justice took steps forward with the Nuremburg Trials, with the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 1993, and with establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1994. Kosovo followed in 1999, only this time the UN would internationalize Kosovo’s domestic
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. Res. 217 (III) A, U.N. Doc. A/RES/217(III) (Dec. 10, 1948), available at http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6b3712c.html. 114 See id. 115 Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech on Adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights (Dec. 9, 1948), HUMAN RIGHTS AND GENOCIDE: SELECTED STATEMENTS; UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION DECLARATION AND CONVENTIONS, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE (1949), reprinted in NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR UDHR 50, FRANKLIN AND ELEANOR ROOSEVELT INSTITUTE (Aug. 5, 1998), http://www.udhr.org/history/ergeas48.htm. 116 ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA ONLINE, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), (2011), http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/618067/UniversalDeclaration-of-Human-Rights.


courts by bringing in international judges to sit with local judges to, hopefully, bring a measure of impartiality to the outcome. That is what my job was. Almost immediately upon arrival in Pec/Peja, I came to know of the second woman I would like to mention in my reflections today. Her name is Haxjere Sahiti: [She] was married on a Sunday, murdered on a Monday, and buried in the woods in the same afternoon. Married life lasted less than [twelve] hours for her. It ended with the [twenty]-year-old Kosovar Albanian woman lying dead on her family’s living room carpet, with seven bullets fired into her torso. The killer was her . . . brother Ismet. The murder was witnessed by her mother and brother. Her crime was supposedly not being a virgin on her wedding night, thus bringing . . . her family into disrepute. 117 Under traditional Albanian cultural code, known as the Code of Leke Dukagjini, a bride may be returned to her family if she “‘is not as she should be’ on her wedding night”; or, the groom may kill her himself—“with a bullet traditionally given to the [groom] at the wedding by the bride’s father” (as in this case). 118 The problem? Upon exhumation of Haxjere’s body, it was determined that she had been a virgin after all. The international police, with whom I worked, investigated this crime and tried to find the killer. Another problem? No one wanted to give information to the police, for to do so would “point the finger”— again against the Code of Leke Dukagjini. Under the Code, “Blood Follows the Finger.” If you accuse someone, then the consequences may return to you or your family (by being killed). In the context of investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating criminal offenses, this means that witnesses do not want to “point the finger,” or tell police or the courts what they know about a given case. To do so would violate notions of maintaining family “honor.” To do so would mean that the potential witness (or their family) would “pay”—with their lives—for
Christian Jennings, Medieval Murder Marks Tragedy of Kosovo, SCOTSMAN (Aug. 26, 2002), http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/world/Medieval-murder-markstragedy-of.2356002.jp. 118 Id.


the information given to police. In Haxjere Sahiti’s case, her family professed to the international police that they knew nothing about the circumstances surrounding her murder. As an international judge in Kosovo, I was asked to sit on “politically sensitive cases”—of war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnically-motivated disputes, trafficking in drugs and human beings, and genocide. I also acted as an “investigative judge”—more akin to a prosecutor in the United States—and determined whether sufficient evidence existed to charge someone with a crime. In the process of conducting my duties, I faced many unconventional obstacles that necessarily exist in a mission environment. With Hajere Sahiti’s case, I unexpectedly confronted a new obstacle for me—that cultural norms dictate what a “permissible killing” is and dictate the silencing of knowing witnesses. The case of Sabahate Tolaj caused me to experience yet another obstacle that was only theoretically known to me. Sabahate was thirty-five years old, turning thirty-six in November 2003—after I left the mission. She was not married and had no children. She was born and lived in the village of Poberxh (pronounced something like Poberdge), in the municipality of Decani. Sabahate had completed the Aviation School in Sarajevo. During the 1999 War in Kosovo, she was a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army. By 2003, under the UN Mission in Kosovo, Sabahate had been a police officer for roughly two and a half years. First, she had worked as a Kosovo Police Service officer in Decani in the Patrol Unit, and later in the Investigations Unit. Then she was transferred to Peja, where I also was stationed. Sabahate worked in the Murder Squad of the Investigations Unit. This is how we met. She was investigating high profile murders in the region and referred those investigations to the international judges, like myself. Sabahate and I had numerous conversations and we felt a particular kinship with one another. One day I asked her about her safety. You see, I had bodyguards and she did not. Sabahate just shrugged and said, “[t]his is what I do. I enjoy it. And it is the right thing to do. So, I do not worry.” 39

On November 24, 2003, at 7:45 in the morning, Sabahate and two other Kosovo police officers were going to work when they were attacked in a “drive-by” assassination plot. 119 Sabahate and another police officer were killed; the third police officer survived his wounds. 120 The suspects’ vehicle overtook the victims and opened fire with automatic rifles into the interior of the victims’ vehicle. 121 A white Audi 80 vehicle, believed to have been driven by the suspects, was later recovered. After nearly four years of investigations and court hearings—justice comes slowly—the convictions were read out in Peja District Court on September 21, 2007. Bedri Krasniqi was sentenced to twenty-seven years for double murder. 122 The other accused were acquitted because there was not enough evidence to prove the charges against them. Sabahate was killed only a couple of months after I returned home. My sadness over her death is still present with me. An all-toofamiliar post-script exists in Sabahate’s death and the conviction of her killer. In December 2008, wire services in Kosovo carried the following news story: “Double murderer escapes Kosovo prison.” The story read as follows: A man convicted for the murder of two Kosovo [Police Service] members [in 2003], today escaped from the Dubrava prison, it has been confirmed. A statement in Pristina indentified him as Bedri Krasniqi, and added that nine members of the correctional services were held on suspicion that they helped him escape. Krasniqi was reported missing, but police say that he likely escaped in the night between Saturday and Sunday, ‘which makes the investigation more difficult.’ Search is now underway for the inmate, who was last year found guilty and sentenced to 27 years behind bars for murdering two and wounding another KPS member

See Neeraj Singh, KPS in Front Line in War on Crime, FOCUS KOSOVO, (Dec. 2003), http://www.unmikonline.org/pub/focuskos/dec03/focusklaw1.htm 120 See id. 121 Id. 122 Albanian Murderer Escapes Kosovo Prison, SERBIANNA, (Dec. 1, 2008), http://serbianna.com/news/archives/1070



on the Pec-Decani road. As of this date, the murderer has not been located. 123 Thus, while doing my work in Kosovo, we worked with an outmoded criminal code, with difficulties in securing witness cooperation, with building cases despite disappeared witnesses, and worked through translators of two languages. After I returned home, I met the last woman I would like to honor today and who also has integral ties to Kosovo, Natasa Kandic. Natasa Kandic is a human rights activist in Serbia. In 1992, she founded the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) in Belgrade, a nongovernmental organization aimed at protecting the rights of minorities in Serbia. Since 1990 she has pursued the facts surrounding both civil and criminal human rights abuses against repressed minorities throughout the former Yugoslavia. Since founding HLC in 1992, she has earned a reputation for accurate and unflinching reporting of war crimes. Throughout the 1990 wars in the Balkans, she was the subject of repeated threats, harassment, and harsh physical assault. Ms. Kandic has researched killings, disappearances, torture of prisoners of war, and patterns of ethnic cleansing in times of armed conflict by interviewing witnesses and victims. Upon collecting a large body of documentation on war crimes, the HLC in August 1994 began cooperating with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the Hague. And, as of June 1999, it has also been also cooperating with prosecutors’ offices in Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo, providing them with information and expert assistance with regard to war crimes trials. 124 When the 1999 bombing began in Kosovo, “Kandic jumped into her car and drove some [four hundred kilometers] by herself, dodging NATO missiles and police roadblocks. When she got to
Double Murderer Escapes Kosovo Prison, B 92, (Dec. 1 2008), http://www.b92.net/eng/news/crimesarticle.php?yyyy=2008&mm=12&dd=01&nav_id=55435. Natasa Kandic, CIVIL COURAGE PRIZE (2010), http://www.civilcourageprize.org/honoree-2000.htm.
124 123


Podujevo, in Kosovo, she was shaken by what she saw.” 125 She said, “‘I spoke to women and children who were robbed, then held in burning houses for intimidation. I saw the houses, the rooms in which the bodies had been burned.’” 126 During the NATO campaign, Natasa Kandic frequently visited Kosovo and spoke on Radio Free Europe, the BBC, Deutsche Welle, and the Voice of America. Her reports were published extensively in the foreign media: Natasa Kandic was born in 1946. She received a B.A. in Sociology in 1972; from 1974 to 1979, she was a researcher and analyst in housing and related problems for the Belgrade Trade Union Organization. She is a recipient of, among others, the Human Rights Watch Award (1993), the Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights Award (1999), and the National Endowment for Democracy Award with Veton Suroi (2000). In 2002, she received the award of the Human Rights Committee in Leskovac (Serbia), and on May 28, 2003, the Tutin Municipality Plaque for her ten-year efforts for the promotion of human rights in the Sandzak region. Her name was also on Time magazine's list of thirty-six “European Heroes” in 2003. 127 My time as an international judge in Kosovo has had a profound impact upon me. I am often asked, “What did you learn?” I will tell you now some of what I learned: I learned to be by myself, for in an apartment without reliable heat and electricity, one has time to think; I learned how much I cherish my family and friends, both from home and in Kosovo; I learned international law. Although murder was a familiar legal concept to me, war crimes and crimes against humanity were not. Now I am passionate about learning that new body of law; I learned that cultural norms can find their way into the courtroom, and have an impact upon guilt or innocence; I learned that not everyone wants to reestablish the rule of law, and that some
Dejan Anastasijevic, At War Against War Crimes, TIME (April 20, 2002), available at http://www.time.com/time/europe/hero/natasakandic.html. 126 Id. 127 Natasa Kandic, CIVIL COURAGE PRIZE (2010), http://www.civilcourageprize.org/honoree-2000.htm; see also Anastasijevic, supra note 14.


will kill innocent police officers toward their end; I learned that rendering verdicts was important, but I ultimately learned that inculcating a belief in the rule of law was more abiding than any one verdict I rendered; I learned that each one of us can do our part in advancing the cause of international justice for women, and for bringing to life the values of the Declaration. In 2000, Natasa Kandic wrote the following words to a General in the Yugoslav Army: I stand where I have always stood, defending the right to life, the right to freely use one’s native language, the right to freedom of movement, the right to publicly criticize authorities. I stand in support of every court that punishes the perpetrators of war crimes and those who ordered crimes against humanity. Ethnicity is irrelevant; a crime is a crime. 128 These are values enshrined by the efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt, values sacrificed with the killings of Haxjere Sahiti and Sabahate Tolaj, and values to which we can rededicate ourselves today, in whatever way we are able to, as Natasa Kandic has done. That is why we will sign the Third Chautauqua Declaration 129 this week—to rededicate and redouble our efforts toward seeking justice for women in international criminal law. Thus, I reflect on the crime victim, the bystander, the perpetrator, the police investigator, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the judge, the translator, the professor, and the human rights champion. They—and we—are bound together toward this goal, and together we will succeed. These are my reflections on women in international criminal law.

E-mail from Natasa Kandic, Executive Director, Humanitarian Law Center, to Yugoslav Army General Staff Belgrade (Aug. 21, 2000), available at http://k.mihalec.tripod.com/current/natasa_letter.htm. 129 THE THIRD CHAUTAUQUA DECLARATION (adopted at the THIRD ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW DIALOGS), Sept. 1, 2009, available at www.asil.org/files/3rdChautDeclaration.pdf.



Ryan D. Cole* “There was a man who was not a witch doctor himself, but he came up with the idea that an albino potion can make a person rich, so they started stealing body parts from the graves. When they ran out of graves, they decided that now were going to hunt down live human beings.” -- Jackson Kanyere, Tanzanian witch doctor An inconspicuous genocide is occurring in the African countries of Tanzania and Burundi. Not against an established national, racial or religious group, but against an ethnicity whose solidarity exists through the color of their skin. Albino Africans, who suffer from a rare genetic condition that is characterized by a lack of pigment in their eyes, skin, and hair, are being hunted down and murdered in the Great Lakes region of Africa. 130 This is because renegade witchdoctors have convinced local peoples that the blood, bones, and skin of albino Africans, when made into potions or talismans, possess magical properties that bring love, luck and wealth. 131 Although the motive behind these murders may be supernatural, the threat to the safety of all albino Africans is very real. This article advocates for the international recognition of, and action against, the ongoing genocide of albino Africans. Part A highlights case studies of individual albino Africans directly affected
* Student, Syracuse University College of Law, J.D. Candidate Class of 2011. Ithaca College, B.A. Legal Studies and B.A. History, 2008. Juju Chang, Journey to Tanzania: Reporter Exposes Epidemic of Albino Killings, ABC NEWS (Oct. 2, 2009), http://abcnews.go.com/2020/journey-tanzania-reporterexposes-albino-killings/story?id=8712754&page=1; Andrei Engstrand and Alex Wynter, Through Albino Eyes: The Plight of Albino People in Africa’s Great Lakes Region and a Red Cross Response, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES, 2009, at 5, available at http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWFiles2009.nsf/FilesByRWDocUnidFilename/SKEA7XXGVD-full_report.pdf/$File/full_report.pdf (the Great Lakes region of Africa is considered to be the general area between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria). 131 Chang, supra note 1, at 1.


by the genocide. Part B is an examination of the various motives behind these killings, which include religious beliefs and poverty. Part C presents the contention that the widespread discrimination, murder, and inhumane treatment of albino Africans rises to the level of genocide as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Part D is an evaluation of the current responses by local governments and the international community to this humanitarian crisis. Part E is a conclusion with suggestions on what methods should be implemented in order to end this serious threat to all albino Africans. A. Case Studies of Albino African Murders: The exact number of albino Africans living in Tanzania and Burundi is a mystery. Estimates on the combined populations of the two countries range from approximately 7,000 to 200,000. 132 To date, the official death toll of albino Africans stands at 44 killed in Tanzania and 12 in eastern Burundi. 133 A number of gruesome horror stories elaborate on how serious of a threat exists for all albino Africans occupying this region of Africa. Mariamu Stanford, 28 years old, is a single mother with albinism living in a rural region of Tanzania. 134 In October of 2008, men armed with machetes broke into her hut and began cutting at her arms, trying to amputate them from her body. 135 Stanford’s screams
The official number of registered albinos is 6,977 in Tanzania, but the Red Cross believes the total is higher because those are only volunteer registrants. Chang ‘s article estimates that the number of albinos in Tanzania is 170,000 and Obulutsa’s article estimates it at 200,000. Also, the Burundi Red Cross and Albinos Sans Frontieres Burundi believe that there are at least 1,000 albinos in Burundi, but the real number is unknown. Engstrand, supra note 1, at 8; Jody Ray Bennett, Tanzania: East Africa’s Albino Underworld, NGO NEWS AFRICA (Dec. 15, 2009), http://www.ngonewsafrica.org/2009/12/tanzania-east-africas-albinounderworld.html; Juju Chang, Africans With Albinism Hunted: Limbs Sold on Tanzania’s Black Market, ABC NEWS, 1, (Oct. 2, 2009), http://abcnews.go.com/2020/africans-albinism-huntedtanzania/story?id=8567612&page=2; George Obulutsa, President: Hand Over The Albino Killers, ABC NEWS, 2 (March 4, 2009), http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=7011809&page=2. 133 This figure was provided by the Tanzanian police to the special parliamentary committee investigating the killings. Some private organizations say that the number is actually over 50. Engstrand, supra note 1, at 5. 134 Chang, supra note 3, at 1. 135 Id.


were enough to draw the attention of other villagers who ran to rescue her, but before help could arrive, the intruders had fled the scene leaving her mutilated body behind. 136 As a result of the attack, Stanford lost both of her arms and her unborn child with whom she was five months pregnant at the time of the attack. 137 One of the attackers was later identified by Stanford as her own neighbor. 138 Jeremiah Ndayiragije, a young albino man living in Burundi, recalled an equally chilling story to Al Jazeera correspondent Yvonne Ndege in a 2009 interview. 139 He explained to the reporter that his brother Daniel, an albino like himself, was murdered by the eldest brother of their family. 140 Ndayiragije elaborated, “[a]ll of his limbs, arms, and legs were chopped off and gone. Afterwards, my brother and sister in law were overheard fighting over the money they got from selling the body parts.” 141 The eldest brother, who sold the murdered boys body parts for $240, is currently on the run from authorities. 142 Gasper Elikana, a ten-year old albino boy, was another victim of the albino African genocide. 143 The boy was seized, beheaded, and then hacked to death in front of his black father and neighbors who had risked their lives to try and save him. 144 The men escaped with the severed leg of Elikana and the boy’s father was left fighting for his life in the hospital after receiving at least one machete blow to the head. 145 B. Motives for Genocide: What is it that drives neighbors and siblings to murder their fellow villagers and family members? The answer seems to lay in the
Id. Id. 138 Id. at 3. 139 Yvonne Ndege, The ‘Genocide’ of Burundi’s Albinos, AL JAZEERA (July 24, 2009), http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2009/07/2009723740694359.html. 140 Id.. 141 Id.. 142 Id.. 143 Alex Wynter and Stella Marealla Masonu, Great Lakes: Red Cross Moves to Address Humanitarian Aftermath of Albino Killings, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES, Nov. 6, 2009, available at http://www.ifrc.org/docs/news/09/09110601/. 144 Wynter, supra note 14. 145 Id..
137 136


religious beliefs and economic situations of those living in Tanzania and Burundi. In the Great Lakes region of Africa, where superstition runs deep, traditional healers and witch doctors possess significant religious influence over their constituents. 146 Of the 41,048,532 inhabitants of Tanzania, a staggering thirty-five percent practice indigenous religions. 147 As for Burundi, with a population of 9,511,330, an additional twenty-three percent are faithful to indigenous religions. 148 The influence of these traditional healers and witch doctors is evidenced by a number of unique local beliefs. For example, some Africans maintain that albino children are not real humans and are instead the ghosts of European colonialists. 149 Others claim that their complexion is the result of their mother having been impregnated by a white man or of having been laughed at by an albino while pregnant. 150 Moreover, these superstitions contend that albino Africans, as ghosts, do not die, but instead simply disappear when they are killed. 151 These indigenous beliefs allow their faithful to dehumanize albino Africans and justify the murdering of their fellow countrymen. When these superstitions are coupled with the deplorable economic conditions in this specific African region, the result is the perfect motive and climate for genocide. Tanzania and Burundi both fall in the bottom ten percent of the world's economies in terms of per capita income, with the average Tanzanian making an estimated $1,400 a year and the average Burundian bringing in just $300 annually. 152 In
Reuters, Four Albino Killers Sentenced to Hand in Tanzania, THE EAST AFRICAN (Nov. 2, 2009), http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/-/2558/681430/-/qx61dvz//index.html. 147 Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook-Tanzania, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tz.html (last visited Feb 19, 2010). 148 Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook-Burundi, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/by.html (last visited Feb 19, 2010). 149 Bennett, supra note 3. 150 Id.. 151 Chang, supra note 3, at 2. 152 Central Intelligence Agency, supra note 18; Central Intelligence Agency, supra note 19.


some regions, such as the area of Ruyigi, Burundi, the average income is even lower, at just $10 a year. 153 The poor economic situations of the people of Tanzania and Burundi foster the murders of albino African because albino body parts are extremely valuable on the black market. According to an investigative report by a BBC news team, the right leg of an albino African can sell for $2,000 and an arm for about $800 on the black market. 154 In another report by the Red Cross, senior police officers in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, estimated the value of a complete set of albino body parts, including all four limbs, genital, ears, tongue and nose, at $75,000. 155 These numbers amount to a fortune in this region of Africa and seem to be the primary motivation for the widespread and systematic killings. As Rick Guidotti, a human rights activist for the organization Positive Exposure, explains, “[w]hen there’s an opportunity to feed 10 children when you bring the bones of one child with albinism, it’s greed but it’s also survival.” 156 With the world in the middle of an economic crisis that is affecting every corner of the globe, the economic pressures for the people of Tanzania and Burundi are stronger then ever. As money becomes tighter and threats to survival continue to materialize for the people of Africa, this gruesome source of revenue will become even more appealing and the plight of albino Africans will fall further into peril. C. The Genocide of Albino Africans: The widespread killing and inhumane treatment of albino Africans should be considered genocide and approached as such by the international community. Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
Phillip Martin, Africa’s Albinos Seek their Place in the Sun, GLOBALPOST, 2 (Aug. 7, 2009), http://current.com/1onvm4c. 154 Id. 155 Wynter, supra note 1, at 5. 156 Martin, supra note 24.


(a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” 157 Although at first glance albino Africans do not appear to fall within one of the protected groups of the CPPCG, under closer examination, it is apparent that they should be considered a protected ethnicity. Ethnicity refers to the identification of a group based on a perceived cultural distinctiveness that makes the group into a “people.” 158 This shared heritage may be based upon putative common ancestry, history, kinship, religion, language, shared territory, nationality or physical appearance. 159 Similar to the genocide against homosexuals and the disabled during the Holocaust, albino Africans, are a unique ethnic group brought together not by a national identity, race, or religion, but by a rare genetic condition. Their shared heritage is rooted solely in their complexion; an appearance that makes them readily identifiable as an ethnic group. Accepting arguendo that albino Africans are an ethnic group protected by the CPPCG, the treatment of albino Africans in Tanzania and Burundi clearly rises to the level of genocide as defined by the convention. On top of the dozens of reported mutilations and murders, albino Africans are subjugated to widespread discrimination and severe mental harm as a result of the murders of their fellow albino countrymen. Out of perpetual fear they are forced to flee to foreign countries or to hide in schools, safe houses, and refugee camps. 160
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide art. II, Dec. 9, 1948, 78 U.N.T.S. 277 available at http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html (last visited Feb 23, 2010) [hereinafter CPPCG]. 158 See Donald Keith Robotham, The Study of Ethnicity, Minority Groups, and Identity, in Anthropology, ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA ONLINE, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/27505/anthropology/236862/Thestudy-of-ethnicity-minority-groups-and-identity (last visited Sept. 22, 2010). 159 Id. 160 Martin, supra note 24; Wynter, supra note 1, at 6 (stating that it is impossible even to estimate the number of albinos who have been displaced).


Marginalized and afraid, they are unable to go about their daily activities and, as a result, are unable to provide for themselves or establish any meaningful way of life. 161 Furthermore, the genocide is not isolated to parts of East Africa. Instead, this inhumane treatment of albino Africans is also common place in several West African nations as well. 162 As quoted in an NGO News Africa article, journalist Vick Ntetema explains, “East Africa is the only region where the story of albino killings has been revealed through the media. [Yet, in] some western African countries albino babies are killed at birth and older ones are sacrificed to the volcano gods. . . . In Cameroon, children, including those without albinism, are killed during election campaigns for superstitious purposes.” 163 All things considered, the mental, physical, and emotional harm being inflicted on albino Africans clearly rises to the level of genocide as defined by the CPPCG. For this reason, the situation facing all albino Africans requires an international response that is proportionate to the severity of this humanitarian crisis. D. Humanitarian Response: Although the response to the plight of albino Africans has been minimal, there has been some positive support for their cause. Through convictions, restrictive policies, public condemnation, and humanitarian aid, local governments and the international community have been able to temporarily improve the situation of albino Africans. Still, a more permanent solution is lacking. In regards to local governments, more than 1,000 people have been arrested since 2008 as a result of the attacks against albino Africans. 164 Those arrested include witchdoctors, businessmen and women, hired killers, members of the clergy, police officers, and parents and relatives of the victims. 165 However, only seven of these
161 162

Wynter, supra note 1, at 6. George Obulutsa, President: Hand Over The Albino Killers, ABC NEWS (March 4, 2009), http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=7011809&page=2. 163 Bennett, supra note 3. 164 Id. 165 Id.


criminals have been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging, all of whom have had their execution orders stayed because President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania refused to sign the orders. 166 Still, local governments have tried a number of additional methods to combat the genocide against albino Africans. President Kikwete has urged the public to identify the criminals behind this genocide and has deployed officials in numerous regions to offer people the chance to confidentially name the culprits. 167 Also, in January 2009, Tanzania authorities attempted to stamp out the attacks on albino Africans by scrapping the licenses of all the country's traditional healers. 168 How effective these policies will be is yet to be seen. However, they will do little as long as Africans continue to feel unsafe identifying the killers of albinos and traditional healers maintain significant influence over local constituents, whether through licensed practice or not. The international community, led by the Red Cross, has been able to provide some shelter and aid for albino Africans. It has collected food, clothing, sun block, and provided safety in the form of shelters, schools and churches. 169 However, the aid is not enough and the conditions in the stifling shelters are dreadful. 170 For these reasons, the Red Cross is calling for more international assistance in the form of health education, wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved tops, and vocational teaching equipment. 171 The collection of these items, which are tailored to albino Africans whose lack of skin pigmentation makes them especially susceptible to skin cancer, and the
Id. (at least 90 people, including four police officers, have been arrested in recent months for involvement in the killings or the trade in albino body parts). 167 Obulutsa, supra note 34. 168 Id. 169 Alexis Manirakiza, Albinos Under Burundi Protection Welcome Napoleon, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES *Oct. 27, 2009), http://www.ifrc.org/docs/news/09/09102801/; See also Wynter, supra note 1, at 6 (schools have played an active role in sheltering albinos such as the Kabanga school, which has taken in 49 albinos and the Mitindo school, which has taken in 103 albinos). 170 Manirakiza, supra note 41 (children sleep on foam blocks on bare concrete; they are filthy and often hungry; and many, lacking proper protective clothes, many are also badly sun burnt). 171 Wynter, supra note 1, at 18.


improvement of shelters housing albino Africans are essential to any permanent improvement in the current conditions facing albino Africans. If this minimal involvement by the international community persists, the situation which all albino Africans face will not improve. E. Conclusion: The plight of albino Africans is dire and calls for justice. Although international aid and government law enforcement may have provided viable, temporary solutions to the problem, a permanent remedy is still needed in order to stamp out the genocide of albino Africans. The best permanent cure to the threats facing albino Africans seems to come in the form of either education or a united international action. One possible solution is to educate those who practice traditional beliefs that the superstitions behind albinos are false. By providing scientific proof that traditional beliefs are wrong, the albino African community can break away from the stigma that has been the source of their persecution. This approach is supported by Al-Shaymaa J. Kwegyir, a former airline employee who last year became the first person with albinism to sit in Tanzania’s parliament. Kwegyir argues, “[t]he president appointed me, so as to help albinos and trying to educate people about the albinos that they’re human beings. They need equal rights like everybody else.” 172 The implementation of such a solution may be difficult because of the low literacy rates and the high percentage of indigenous beliefs in parts of Africa, but it remains a viable long term method to combat the genocide against albino Africans. An alternate solution to the genocide of albino Africans is a united international response to the crisis. Similar to actions taken by the international community in Rwanda, Kosovo, and Sierra Leone, this genocide might best be addressed by peacekeeping forces and international tribunals. Those most responsible for the genocide could be held responsible by an international tribunal, such as the International Criminal Court or an ad hoc tribunal, and peace keeping forces could provide protection for albino Africans. Although this

Martin, supra note 24.


solution nears the border of being extreme, the precedent for such an action is well established and it may be exactly what is necessary to quell this humanitarian crisis. Whatever the response may be, it needs to occur now before the situation facing all albino Africans worsens. The world knows all too well what happens when it turns a blind eye to such a crisis and fails to take timely and appropriate action. The threat to the safety of all albino Africans is real and must be addressed.


BE THE CHANGE Kelsie Flynn 173 The study of human rights and genocide is an important area for every human being. No matter what career you have or background you come from, ethics is a part of daily life. Whether the decisions are unconscious or well thought out, we are constantly making choices based on our own personal beliefs of what is right and wrong. It is sad to say that in some areas of the world, violence and terror seem to be the way these decisions are handled. Our world leaders have been battling these groups for years in the on-going pursuit of world peace. As the struggle continues, it is time for my generation to come forward and start preparing to resist forces that violate human rights anywhere and everywhere in the world. It is important to listen, firsthand, to accounts of genocide and the mistreatment of humans. It is even more important to apply what we hear and learn in order to make the world a better place. One of the most unfortunate things about our world is that not enough people understand it. The “big picture” isn’t always clear to those with less insight as to what goes on around the globe. There are too many individuals who focus on getting through daily life and only concentrate on their own problems. There is more to life than the routines of one soul. Hopefully someday people all over will get further involved in future studies and will feel inspired, as I have, by the study of human rights and genocide. I have explored human rights and genocide in my studies at school. As a member of the Model United Nations, my partner and I had to study virtually all aspects of world culture. We went into deep discussions with our advisor and frequently talked about the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur. Winning the competition only further encouraged me to learn and understand everything I could

Senior, Kenmore High School, Kenmore, NY; Winner of Impunity Watch Essay Contest for the Students of the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies, Buffalo, NY.



about the situations of countries in need. I left with the feeling that I really could make a difference. As I go to college and discover who I’d like to be, human rights will surely play a part in my development. I’d love nothing more than to be able to join the United Nations and take part in an organization that focuses on improving the treatment of humans around the globe. That future may be awhile down the road, but I can take certain steps now that will help me when I cross that bridge. Learning about tragedies is imperative to forming the building blocks of change. Every person makes an impact on several people throughout their lifetime. It’s remarkable to think that I could one day touch millions of people. One person can do that simply by setting a precedent. During my lifetime, I’d like to increase my understanding of human rights and genocide in order to start a motion for change— change the way people view the world and their own lives. Our global society may depend on it.


May 30th, 2010 By Celeste Little Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

KAMPALA, Uganda- Monday, May 31 begins a two-week conference in Kampala, Uganda to review the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court hosted by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The conference will be attended by representatives of state parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in the Hague, the Netherlands. Fifteen hundred to two thousand delegates are expected to attend. The Rome Statute is a treaty that established the International Criminal Court, its functions, jurisdiction, and structure in Rome, Italy on July 17, 1998 and was implemented on July 1, 2002. There are 110 states which are party to the statute and there are 38 states which have signed and not ratified the treaty. The seven countries that voted against the treaty are Iraq, Israel, Libya, China, Qatar, the United States, and Yemen. The ICC is defined by the Rome Statute, as a permanent tribunal to prosecute the most serious international crimes. The statute requires its own review, and in turn a review of the ICC, every seven years and the upcoming conference in Uganda is the first time since 2002 that the statute has been reviewed. One of the two primary focuses of this year’s conference is to make changes to Article 125 of the statute, which deals with the crime of aggression, it’s definition, and the use of certain weapons to constitute war crimes. The second major focus is stocktaking, where nongovernmental organizations and other key parties will discuss the impact of the Rome statute on four pertinent areas–the impact of the Rome Statute system on victims and their communities, cooperation, complementarity, as well as peace and justice. 56

Critics have said that the ICC has only prosecuted crimes committed in Africa, which evidences that it is a primarily European court, targeting Africans. The ICC has considered this negative perception in choosing to hold the review conference in Uganda as well as the revue the conference would bring to the country.
For more information, please see: Voice of America– Uganda Hosts Review of Rome Statute Conference– 30 May 2010 AFP-ICC Seeks More Teeth at Kampala Meet-29 May 2010 Daily Nation-Nation Meets in Kampala to Chart Future of Hague Court-29 May 2010

June 10th, 2010 By Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

KAMPALA, Uganda- The sentencing and subsequent pardoning of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, two homosexual Malawian men, has spurred renewed criticism of the social policies of many African nations. The men were arrested in Malawi for being homosexual (homosexuality is against the law in Malawi) and were sentenced to 14 years in prison. Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharikal pardoned the two men only after numerous countries and international organizations threatened to end their aid and financial support to Malawi. The two men’s recent experiences reveal the stark reality of the severe social and religious condemnation of homosexuals in Africa. Although pro-gay rights activists have made substantial progress in the last few decades in their fight against the discrimination and stigmatization of homosexuals around the world, last week’s detention of Mr. Monjeza and Mr. Chimbalanga illustrate the difficult fight activists have ahead of them in Africa. 57

The international community’s strong condemnation of the detention of the two men was an optimistic sign that progress may be possible. The carrot and stick maneuvering employed by many international organizations threatening to withdrawal aid worked to free the men, but can such tactics be used to create social change? The arrests in Malawi have only seemed to fuel the ambitions of other African nations in their attempts to criminalize homosexuality. Members of the Ugandan Parliament are currently working to pass a bill which would mandate more severe punishment for violations of the country’s anti-homosexuality laws. In fact, this bill would allow courts to sentence violators to death. These laws not only apply to individuals whose sexual preference is for a person of the same sex but also to those who have AIDS, as well as gay rights supporters and sympathizers. Anyone who encourages or participates in “LGBT behavior” is subject to these laws. Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, a staunch supporter of his country’s renewed efforts against homosexuals, contends that homosexuality is not a part of African culture. Instead, President Museveni argues that homosexuality is a symptom of Western culture which has the power to destroy nations. Mr. Museveni has also received strong backing from the African Church, as many religious figures have called for initiatives to strengthen the morals of the African people. Some American evangelicals have also recently traveled to Uganda to voice their support for the bill. These calls for stricter anti-homosexual laws have caused may, including members of the Church of Uganda who support gay rights, to flee the country. Human rights organizations warn that bills like the one being debated in the Ugandan Parliament impedes the success of international health initiatives. These organizations contend that the stigmatization associated with homosexuality hampers AIDs education and treatment programs. Activists continue to worry that anti-homosexual legislation will contribute to the AIDs crisis in Africa.


Despite the movement among Ugandans favoring anti-homosexual legislation, one organization predicts that the bill will not pass due to intense international pressure. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the bill but failed to announce any repercussions against the government should the bill pass. Other countries and international organizations however, are taking a more direct approach. Sweden has vowed to withdrawal the $50 million in annual aid to Uganda. The European Parliament has also threatened to withdrawal aid. In all, Uganda is faced with the threat of losing roughly a third of its national budget if it passes the bill. Uganda has also asked numerous countries to extradite Ugandan asylum seekers in order to prosecute them. Many Ugandan homosexuals have fled to European countries, particularly Britain. In response to Uganda’s demand for the return of asylum seekers however, the British government has taken a firm stance against extraditing homosexuals who have fled Uganda. The British government announced that it would not extradite any Ugandan for breaking Ugandan law unless the crime was also a violation of British law. Since homosexuality is not a crime in Britain, it seems that these individuals are safe for the time being. As debate on this bill comes to a close it is likely that the international community will continue to pinch Uganda in the hopes of persuading enough lawmakers to vote against the bill. Even if the bill does not pass, homosexuality will still remain a punishable crime in Uganda. At the very least these last few weeks have shown that discrimination against homosexuals is deeply rooted in African social and cultural attitudes. Although failure of this bill may not be considered a “win” among gay rights activists, the international community’s commitment to fight this bill shows that there is still hope for progress.
For more information, please see: San Francisco Chronicle – Christians Blamed for Anti-Gay Hatred in Uganda – 9 June, 2010 BBC Monitoring Africa – Convicted Malawi Gay Man Reportedly Rejects Asylum Offers Abroad, Marries Woman – 8 June, 2010


Episcopal-Life – Ugandan Bishop Says ‘Human Sexuality is Universal’ – 8 June, 2010 Africa News – UK to Protect Gay Asylum Seekers – 5 June, 2010 Africa News – Museveni Opposed to Homosexuality – 4 June 2010 Africa News – Anti-Gay Legislation Could Ruin Health Efforts – Activists – 2 June, 2010

June 21st, 2010 By Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

HARARE, Zimbabwe – The Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), an international organization seeking to prevent human rights violations in Africa, is in an intense struggle against the government of Zimbabwe to stop human rights abuses in the country’s diamond mines. In its June report entitled “Diamonds and Clubs: The Militarized Control of Diamonds and Power in Zimbabwe,” the organization observed that government sponsored smuggling operations have led to numerous human rights violations in a diamond mine in Chiadzwa. In addition to numerous other claims, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is being accused of using his military to intimidate, manipulate and murder citizens. PAC has taken a more direct and hard-line stance against the government after the recent arrest of Farai Maguwu, a rights activist who is currently facing charges of “communicating falsehoods” about the violence at the Chiadzwa diamond fields. Rights groups including Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights are concerned that Mr. Maguwu is being tortured and that the government will keep him incarcerated indefinitely. In an attempt to stem the violence, international organizations led by PAC are asking the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme to redefine the scope of the term “blood diamonds” to cover those diamonds and gems mined in Chiadzwa. The Kimberly Process is a joint 60

government, industry and civil society initiative designed to stop the flow of conflict diamonds around the world. The Kimberly Process imposes strict requirements on member states and only certifies for trade those gems which are “conflict-free.” Zimbabwe is one of 49 member nations to the Kimberly Process. PAC claims that the current definition is outdated and too narrow in scope. Representatives noted that the definition “erroneously assumes all governments are legitimate and does not recognize that such governments in whole or part could engage in acts of terror or criminality as egregious as any rebel movement.” PAC further noted that the Kimberly Process has lost credibility on the world stage and fears continued inaction against the government of Zimbabwe. PAC is also pushing the United Nations to emplace an embargo and all Zimbabwean diamonds until the government can properly control the mining and trade of its diamonds. This seems unlikely however, as a similar attempt to inhibit the trade of Zimbabwean diamonds was rejected last year by China, Russia and South Africa. The government however, contends that it is being treated unfairly. Government officials have protested that Zimbabwe’s inability to get trade certification has slowed economic growth and has taken power away from the government. In fact, the government’s Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu argued that the PAC is simply trying to “demonise their The United States has also come out against the rights violations however; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted that the U.S. is “trying to walk a fine line between supporting the people and keeping the pressure on the Mugabe leadership.” President Obama recently renewed “targeted sanctions” against 220 officials and agencies associated with the Mugabe regime. According to Clinton, the United States recognizes that Zimbabwe’s ruling elite is corrupt and are profiting from the country’s diamond exports at the expense of the poor.


An official review will take place next week in Tel Aviv however the Kimberly Process monitor to Zimbabwe has already recommended that the nation be allowed to sell diamonds mined from Chiadzwa.
For more information, please see: The Herald (Harare) – Government Mines Prompts ‘Blood Diamond’ Review – 16 June, 2010 SW Radio Africa – No Agreement From KP Monitoring Group on Diamonds – 16 June, 2010 BBC Monitoring Africa – Clinton Says U.S. Renewed Sanctions Imposed Against Zimbabwe to ‘Pressure’ Mugabe – 15 June, 2010 BBC Monitoring Africa – South African Based group Concerned About Possible Torture of Zimbabwean NGO Chief – 15 June, 2010 Global Witness – Mugabe Elite Grab Diamonds, Says NGO – 14 June, 2010 SW Radio Africa – Report Says Diamonds Sustain Mugabe Regime – 14 June, 2010 The Kimberly Process

July 13th, 2010 By Sovereign Hager Managing Editor- News, Impunity Watch

THE HAGUE, Netherlands-The Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a second arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir. The chamber found reasonable grounds to believe Bashir responsible for three counts of genocide committed against the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa ethnic groups. The ICC issued its first arrest warrant against Bashir in March of 2009 and it continues to be in effect. The first arrest warrant is for five counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture, and rape. It also included two counts for war crimes: intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population and pillaging. The initial arrest warrant rejected the genocide charge, which the Prosecutor appealed on July of 2009. In February of 2010, the Appeals Chamber reversed the decision unanimously on the genocide charge due to an erroneous standard of proof. The Appeals Chamber then 62

ordered the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide the genocide charge again based on a correct standard of proof – reasonable grounds. The Pre-Trial Chamber I concluded that there was reasonable grounds to believe that Bashir had the specific intent to destroy in part three ethnic groups. In issuing the warrant, the Pre-Trial Chamber I seeks international co-operation in obtaining the surrender and arrest of Bashir for the charges on both the first and second arrest warrants. A request has been sent to the Sudanese authorities as well as to all State Parties to the Rome Statute, and the United Nations Security Council members that are not parties to the Rome Statute. The United Nations Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC via resolution 1593, on March 31, 2005. Four cases are being heard under this resolution. The Sudanese government criticized the ICC decision, calling it a “political decision” and stating that “Sudan does not pay attention to this political campaign and will respond to it with more economic achievements. Sudan’s minister of information called the indictment a “desperate attempt to create instability in Sudan in order to stop its development process.” Genocide is considered the gravest crime in international law, requiring proof of an intent to wipe out “in whole or in part” a racial, religious, or ethnic group. ICC Prosecutor, Moreno-Ocampo accused Bashir of keeping 2.5 million refugees from specific ethnic groups in Darfur in camps “under genocide conditions, like a gigantic Auschwitz.”
For more information, please see: Open Democracy-The Omar al-Bashir Indictment: the ICC and the Darfur Crisis-15 July 2010 International Criminal Court-Trial Chamber Issues a Second Warrant of Arrest Against Omar Al Bashir for Counts of Genocide-12 July, 2010 Rueters-Omar Bashir Indicted for Genocide-12 July, 2010


August 28th, 2010 By Laura Hirahara Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

AKWA IBOM, Nigeria- In several states of Nigeria, children accused by church leaders of being witches are tortured and abandoned by their communities, to either die or be trafficked out of the country. While the belief in witchcraft has been a centuries old tradition in Nigeria, a majority of the abuse of ‘child witches’ has been occurring for the last 10 years. In most cases, the leader of a makeshift church will identify a child as a witch and promise the parents that he will ‘deliver’ the child. Deliverance includes torturing a child until they confess and can cost anywhere from $300- $2,000. The torture itself ranges from acid baths to burnings to beatings and can result in death. Often, the pastor will claim the child cannot be delivered and needs to be cast out. If they are not killed they are abandoned and many found by children’s rights groups bear serious wounds and scars from their ordeals. One such group, led by Sam Ikpe-Itauma, works to educate Nigerians about the realities of both their beliefs and the exploitive scams many of the pastors are operating. Mr. Ikpe-Itauma’s Child’s Rights & Rehabilitation Network includes a shelter for 200 abandoned children who were branded witches in their communities. One child currently living at the shelter, Godwin, says after his mother died his church pastor told the family it was Godwin’s fault. Godwin was beaten until he confessed to killing his mother through witchcraft. Afterwards, he was forced to sleep with his mother’s corpse every night for three weeks until Mr. Ikpe-Itauma found him and brought him to the shelter. Several organizations have charged the Nigerian government to stop the abuse of child witches.


This particular type of child abuse has been made illegal by the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (of which Nigeria is a member) and Nigeria’s Child Rights Act passed by most states. Despite identifying the abuse, those in local government believe programs like Mr. Ikpe-Itauma are frauds, meant to make money and smear the reputation of the country. The Information Commissioner of Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom state, Aniekan Umanah, stated “There may be problems yes but it’s been blown out of proportion and people are capitalizing, on what ordinarily may be a social problem[… w]e will not allow the image of our state to be smeared.” Several arrests have been made and the government has promised to provide more regulation on church organizations but so far, there have been no prosecutions.
For more information, please see; CNN- Children Abused, Killed as Witches in Nigeria- 27 August, 2010 The Zimdiaspora- Nigeria’s Child Witch Hunt; Children Accused and Abused- 15 August, 2010 Gather- Nigerian Children Accused of Witchcraft are Cast Out of Society- 25 August, 2010

September 22nd, 2010 By Polly Johnson Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

ABUJA, Nigeria – An outbreak of lead poisoning has resulted in the deaths of at least two hundred children in Nigeria, prompting the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to send a five-person team of environmental emergency specialists to Abuja, the capital city. The source of the lead poisoning is from lead-contaminated waste dumped from illegal gold mining and extracting by locals. In addition to the deaths of two hundred children, up to eighteen thousand people have been affected, according to UN sources. In order to assess the full scale of the poisoning, the UN emergency team will spend close to two weeks in Nigeria, analyzing the soil and 65

drinking water in an area encompassing seven villages in the Zamfara state. In the villages where contamination has been confirmed, the villagers were grinding ore by hand to find gold and unknowingly freed lead particles, which are also contained in the rocks. “Proper sampling from the mobile laboratory is urgently needed to determine the scope and magnitude of the crisis and to assist in developing a rigorous response,” OCHA said in a statement. Children are more vulnerable to the effects of the contamination, and most of the deaths were among children under the age of five. In one village, thirty percent of the children under five have died from the poisoning, according to Médicin Sans Frontières (MSF). “This is an incredibly serious and worrying situation,” said Lauren Cooney of MSF, adding, “while we still don’t know the full extent of the problem, we expect that there are going to be medium- and long-term health effects for people in these villages.” The poisoning also causes deafness, blindness, brain damage and muscular problems. OCHA has allocated two million dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are working with local health authorities and non-governmental organizations to treat victims of the outbreak. Local officials insist that the situation is under control, even though the response has been hindered by heavy rains, which have made it difficult to reach the isolated villages.
For more information, please see: Guardian – Nigeria gold rush sees 200 children killed in outbreak of lead poisoning – 22 September 2010 Radio Netherlands – UN investigates lead poisoning in Nigeria – 22 September 2010 BBC - UN investigates Nigeria lead poisoning deaths – 21 September 2010 United Nations – UN probes outbreak of lead poisoning in northern Nigeria – 21 September 2010


October 7th, 2010 By Polly Johnson Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

NORTH KIVU, Democratic Republic of Congo – A Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rebel commander suspected of leading the attacks in July and August that resulted in hundreds of rapes has been arrested, according to UN peacekeepers and the army in DRC. Lieutenant Colonel Mayele of the Mai Mai Cheka rebel group was captured in a joint operation in the North Kivu province and turned over on Tuesday to UN peacekeepers and the Congolese army in Walikale, eastern Congo. He is in detention in Goma, and a case has been opened up. A spokesman for DRC’s Mai Mai militias, said, “We gave Mayele to the UN so that he can be investigated by the international criminal court for his actions against the local population.” The arrest came during a visit to DRC by UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence Margot Wallström, who has called DRC the rape capital of the world. Between three and five hundred people are thought to have been raped during the wave of attacks that took place between July 30 and August 2 by two hundred members of three armed groups. The known victims include two hundred and thirty-five women, fifty-two girls, thirteen men, and three boys. At least nine hundred and twenty-three houses and forty-two shops were looted. “It is a victory for justice, especially for the many women who have suffered rapes and other forms of sexual violence. The numerous criminal acts committed under ‘Lt. Col.’ Mayele’s command cannot be undone,” Wallström said. “Let his apprehension be a signal to all perpetrators of sexual violence that impunity for these types of crimes is not accepted and that justice will prevail.” Victims of the attack said in interviews that they believed the purpose of the attacks was to intimidate local people seen by the rebels as government supporters. A 67

doctor, Cris Baguma, visited rape victims in their villages, learning that the rebels had come in peace and only began the rapes after being given food by the villagers. “Men saw how they raped their wives, sons saw how they raped their mothers. Everyone in these villages is now very withdrawn and cold and in need of psychological assistance,” Baguma said. “It is crucial that the victims of the rapes in Walikale and in so many other places in the DRC see justice done,” said Wallström. “I call on the Government to ensure a swift, rigorous and open process of justice.”
For more information, please see: Al Jazeera – Arrest in DR Congo over mass rape – 6 October 2010 BBC – DR Congo rebel leader arrested over mass rapes – 6 October 2010 Guardian – Militia commander Mayele arrested after mass rape of Congo villagers – 6 October 2010 UN News Centre – DR Congo: UN helps seize rebel leader presumed responsible for mass rape – 5 October 2010

October 24th, 2010 By Daniel M. Austin Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

NAROBI, Kenya - The Ethiopian government is denying claims it used international aid as a weapon against opposition groups. A recently published report from the Human Rights Watch (HRW) finds the Ethiopian government withheld international aid, including food and micro-loan payments, from political opponents. HRW believes international aid was withheld to suppress opposition groups ahead of the country’s May 2010 election. During these elections, the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, won all but one of the 536 seats in Ethiopia’s parliament. This result stands in sharp contrast to the last election cycle in 2005, when opposition groups captured 170 seats of 68

parliament. After the May elections, opposition groups took to the streets to protest. The government moved to crush these protests, ultimately killing over 200 people in the process. In response, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs insists the HRW report is inaccurate. To substantiate their claim, the government points to an investigation carried out in January 2010 by the Development Assistant Group that investigated similar claims of corruption. This investigation found the distribution process of international aid was adequate, and the appropriate safeguards were in place to allow for equitable allocation of aid. The Ministry believes these accusations are an attempt to blackmail the Ethiopian government as part of HRW’s personal vendetta against them. Human Rights Watch claims this report was based on an extensive sixmonth investigation, which included interviews with over 200 people in 53 villages across three regions of Ethiopia. The findings across the nations were consistent; people had been denied aid or loans because they either supported an opposition party or had views that opposed the sitting government. Consequently, food, housing, fertilizer, seeds, and micro loans were denied to opposition group supporters. Furthermore, some sources claim that disagreeing with the ruling government can also limit admission into the country’s university and even the type of employment opportunities available. Since Ethiopia is a strategic western ally in the troubled Horn of Africa, it has been receiving generous amounts of international aid. Specifically, the amount of international aid the government receives has doubled between 2004 and 2008. In 2008, Ethiopia received over $3 billion dollars (U.S.) from the international community.
For more information, please see: BBC Africa — Ethiopia used aid to bribe voters – Human Rights Watch – 19 October 2010. Ezega — Ethiopia Rejects Human Rights Watch Allegations – 20 October 2010. AFP — Ethiopia using aid to suppress dissent: rights group – 19 October 2010. Macon — Rights group: Ethiopia denying opposition aid – 19 October 2010. The Globe and Mail — Ethiopia using Canadian aid as a political weapon, rights group says– 19 October 2010


November 11th, 2010 By Daniel M. Austin Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

RABAT, Morocco - Violence erupted this past Monday, November 8th when Moroccan security forces raided an opposition group’s protest camp in Western Sahara. The camp called Gadaym Izik was home to more than 12,000 Polisario Front protesters before the attack. The Polisario Front consists of Saharawis, a nomadic native people that have resisted the Moroccan government for several decades. There are conflicting reports on the number of people injured and killed in the attack. According to the Polisario Front, 19 people were killed in the fighting, 723 were wounded, and 159 people are still unaccounted for. Alternatively, the Moroccan government claims eight members of its security force were killed but not a single civilian was harmed in the fighting. The Gadaym Izik camp was established about a month ago to protest both a lack of jobs and discrimination of the Saharawis at the hands of the Moroccan government. The Polisario Front established this protest camp on the outskirts of Laayoune, the capital city in Western Sahara. In response, Moroccan security officials swept in and forcefully shut down the camp. The security forces are accused of using live ammunition, tear gas, and water cannons. This most recent clash comes at a time when the Moroccan government and the Polisario Front are meeting in New York City to negotiate a peace deal. The third round of United Nations (U.N.) backed talks continued despite the violence. After the talks concluded on Tuesday, U.N. special envoy Christopher Ross explained the two sides had rejected each other’s proposal on how the negotiations process should continue. However, both sides did agree to continue peace plan discussions in December or early next year.


The Moroccan government has outlined a proposal that would keep the territory under its control but grant the region autonomy, thus allowing the Polisario Front to control administration of the local government. On the other hand, the Polisario Front is seeking full independence. Specifically, the Polisario Front has offered a proposal for a popular referendum to take place that will determine if Western Sahara should become an independent state or remain under the government’s control. The Polisario Front has been seeking independence from the Moroccan government since the 1970s.
For more information, please see: BBC Africa – Morocco ‘raided Western Sahara camp to sabotage talks’—11 November 2010 Canadian Press – Calm returning to Western Sahara after 2 days of unrest – 11 November 2010 CNN International — Deadly clashes reported in disputed Western Sahara – 10 November 2010 UPI – Western-Sahara-erupts-into-violence – 10 November 2010

December 19th, 2010 By Laura Hirahara Impunity Watch, Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya- Last week the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted a number of Africans from Uganda, Darfur, the DR Congo, and Kenya for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined under the Rome Statute. Among those arrested are six Kenyan officials with ties to the 2008 voting violence that affected over half a million Kenyans and Sudan’s president, Omar al Bashir. Bashir has been charged with ten counts, including five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes and three counts of genocide. The six Kenyans indicted are all members of the ruling Grand Coalition and have been implicated in the post -election violence of 2008 that left over 1,100 dead, three times as many injured and over 600,000 displaced. 71

Among the Kenyans arrested are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Finance Minister Francis Muthaura, the Civil Service and Cabinet Chief and Industrialization Minister Henry Kosgey, currently suspended Higher Education Minister William Samoei Ruto, Head of Operations (KASS FM) Joshua Arap Sang, and former Police Commissioner and current Chief Executive of the Postal Corporation Mohamed Hussein Ali. The indictments against these officials stem from the violence in 2008 that lasted for over a month after their nation-wide election that many fear will be repeated after the upcoming 2012 elections. “These were not just crimes against innocent Kenyans[.] They were crimes against humanity as a whole. By breaking the cycle of impunity for massive crimes, victims and their families can have justice” said Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo, “and Kenyans can pave the way to peaceful elections in 2012.” Kenyans who have come forward to act as witnesses against the ICC indicted are already being threatened and face being ostracized from their own communities. In Kenya, a country marked by strong tribal and ethnic divides that correlate to political loyalties, acting against one’s own group is viewed as a serious betrayal. However, many Kenyans wish to avoid the violence of 2008 and those willing will testify that political candidates and public officials spoke at rallies, urging Kenyans to violence as a means to meet their objectives. One young witness [name omitted] said he attended a rally where Samoei Ruto encouraged “[. . . ] the youth [to] prepare for violence, that the women should start crying in public to encourage the men to do violence.”
For more information, please see; allAfrica.com- Kenya: ICC Has Indicted 17 Africans- 15 December 2010 Afrique en Ligne- Kenya: ICC Strikes Heart of Kenya’s Grand Coalition Cabinet- 19 December 2010 The Christian Science Monitor- Threat to Kenya’s ICC Witnesses: Traitors Will Be Dealt With ‘Ruthlessly’- 15 December 2010 MSNBC.com- Prosecutor: Kenya’s Deputy PM is War Criminal- 15 December 2010 M&C News- International Prosecutor Pushes For Arrest of al Bashir- 9 December 2010


December 30th, 2010 By Laura Hirahara Impunity Watch, Africa

HARARE, Zimbabwe- The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a report citing ‘blood’ diamonds as the main source of funding for President Robert Mugabe’s upcoming 2011 election in Zimbabwe. These blood diamonds, also called conflict diamonds, are being mined from the Marange fields in Zimbabwe, a mining cite that lost it’s Kimberly Process (KP) certification last year after reports of forced labor and other human rights violations reached the Israeli Diamond Exchange, the group that leads the KP. The KP is a watchdog group made up of government, diamond industry and civil officials to end the mining, smuggling and sale of blood diamonds. Despite losing its certification, the Marange fields continues to be mined. Last week, David Vardi, an Israeli Diamond Exchange trader, was stopped at the Ben Gurion Internatiol Airport after flying in from Zimbabwe carrying $140,000 in uncut diamonds. While the KP has not classified the diamonds coming from Murange as blood diamonds, they have put a stop to their export and some fear that President Mugabe’s effort to control the fields will increase the number of blood diamonds on the market. In addition to the HRW report, the Africa Canada Partnership group reported in June that it had investigated the Marange fields and found that the mining cites were under military control yet none of the proceeds were benefiting Zimbabwe’s government. Because the military reports to the President, many fear Mugabe is using these diamonds to ensure his victory in the next elections. Tom Porteous, UK director of HRW, said “Revenue from the mines is serving to prop up Mugabe and his cronies.” The HRW report cites unnamed soldiers, diggers, local and national parliament leaders and others inside Zimbabwe’s government as the source for this information.


Mugabe’s party, Zanu (PF), has denied the existence of any diamond smuggling. However, the latest HRW allegations follow years of reports citing torture in the mines as well as military slayings of freelance diamond miners and other human rights violations. The Marange fields remain under a KP enforced embargo until the international community can agree the diamonds being mined there are conflict free. If Mugabe is using the Murange feilds to fund his campaign for 2011, Porteous believes the diamonds will be used to “[. . .] fund political violence and intimidation of Mugabe’s opponents.”
For more information, please see; VOA News- Human Rights Watch Says Zimbabwe’s Murange Diamonds Funding Mugabe Party- 29 December 2010 Business Day- Diamonds Funding Mugabe’s Election- 30 December 2010 AFP- Blood Diamond Fears in I. Coast Political Duel- 28 December 2010 AFP- Israeli Trader Barred as ‘Blood Diamonds’ Suspect- 29 December 2010 IW- Zimbabwe Delays Elections- 23 December 2010

January 22nd, 2011 By Laura Hirahara Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

FRANKFURT, Germany- Onesphore Rwabukombe, a former Rwandan mayor, is on trial in Frankfurt, Germany, accused of ordering three Tutsi massacres that resulted in over 3,000 deaths during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Rwabukombe has been charged with genocide, murder and incitement to genocide before the German court. In a statement of the charges, prosecutor Christian Ritscher read aloud in court, “Between April 11 and 15, 1994 the accused ordered and coordinated three massacres in which a total of at least 3,730 members of the Tutsi minority who had sought refuge in church buildings were killed.” Rwabukombe, who has been living in Germany since at least 2002, was arrested last summer and could face life in prison if convicted.


This is the third time Rwabukombe has appeared before the German courts since 2008, being released both previous times after the court decided their was a lack of evidence. This time, prosecutors plan to call approximately 50 witnesses. Rwanda’s Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga stated his support of the trial, telling AFP, “We are grateful to Germany.” As the former mayor of Muvumba in northeastern Rwanda, Rwabukombe is charged with being the chief organizer of these crimes and ordering those below him to threaten any Tutsis seeking shelter with the deaths of their families. Some of the refugees turned away by Rwabukombe’s men were later murdered. While many of the Rwandans suspected of carrying out the genocide in 1994 that resulted in the murder of at least 800,000 are living in European countries, this is Germany’s first trial of a Rwandan suspect. Rwandan courts have conducted some trials and a special court, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, exists in Tanzania to try suspects. Elsewhere, several European countries have conducted Rwandan genocide related trials but with a large number of suspects living all over Europe, many countries are not taking the steps to bring these people to justice. However, recently Interpol issued almost 100 ‘red notices’ for the arrests of Rwandans living in Europe suspected of taking part in the 1994 genocide. Said Jurgen Schurr, representative for the London-based human rights group Redress, “These trials [. . .] send the important signal that these countries do not accept to provide a safe haven to suspects of such crimes.”
For more information, please see; VOANews.com- Germany Opens First Rwanda Genocide Trial- 18 January 2011 AFP- Rwandan Genocide Trial Opens in Germany- 18 January 2011 BBC News- Rwandan Mayor Rwabukombe Tried For Genocide in Germany- 18 January 2011


January 24th, 2011 By Laura Hirahara Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

CENTRAL KALAHARI, Botswana-Botswana’s Central Kalahari Bushmen are once again being forced from their ancestral lands as the country’s courts decide this week whether the Bushmen should have access to a local water supply. Kalahari Bushmen are an indigenous hunter-gatherer people of the desert interior of Botswana. They were evicted from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in 2002 and allowed to return in 2006 after Botswana’s High Court declared their forced removal unconstitutional. Since 2006, the government has banned the Bushmen from hunting in the reserve and denied them access to the only local well by sealing it, a well the Bushmen claim they have been using for decades. Bushmen have to walk long distances, often outside the reserve, in order to collect water. The government claims that allowing the Bushmen to draw from the well would be incompatible with the goals of the Central Kalahari reserve. However, since the bushmen returned to the reserve, Botswana’s government has allowed the company, Wilderness Safaris, to build a safari resort complete with a pool, on the reserve. Additionally, on the same day the Bushmen appealed the water decision in court last week, Botswana granted Gem Diamonds a 3 billion dollar contract to mine in the reserve. Gem Diamonds and the government claim they have the consent of the Bushmen whose land they will be on. Survival International, an advocacy group for tribal people, has been helping the Bushmen represent themselves in court. On Wednesday, Survival Director Stephen Corry said, “How can people who are denied water to force them out of the reserve possibly be in a position to give their free and informed consent?” Botswana’s actions regarding the Bushmen are drawing criticism from several organizations, including the African Commission on Human 76

and People’s Rights and the U.N. A U.N. official on indigenous people went so far as to say the conditions in the Kalahari Reserve are ‘harsh and dangerous’. Survival International has increased its efforts to improve the life of the Bushmen. The group is encouraging the international community to boycott Botswana tourism and diamonds until the government recognizes the Bushmen’s land rights.
For more information, please see; CNN- Leaked Cable: U.S. Envoy Criticized Botswana on Bushmen- 21 January 2011 The Botswana Gazette- Survival Protesters Target International Tourism Fair in Madrid- 23 January 2011 Africanews.com- Kalahari Bushmen to Fight Court Ruling- 18 January 2011 Independent Media Centre Australia- Botswana Approves$3BN Mine as Bushmen Water Case Gets Underway- 19 January 2011 Mail & Guardian Online- ‘Thirsty’ Bushmen Go to Appeal Court- 21 January 2011

February 4th, 2011 By Daniel M. Austin Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

CAIRO, Egypt -On Friday, February 4, hundreds of thousands of people streamed into Tahrir Square to protest against Egyptian President Hosni Mobarak. The Friday protest, billed as “Departure Friday” follows two days of bloody clashes between anti-government demonstrators and pro-government supporters. The violence has left dozens of people killed and hundreds more injured. As President Mobarak clings to power, the international community is contemplating what to do next. The Friday protest marks the 11th day of demonstrations and many in Tahrir Square do not plan on leaving until President Mobarak is removed from office. Organizers of the protest were hoping to turn out one million demonstrators but initial estimates are closer to two 77

hundred thousand. Reports from Tahrir Square claim the atmosphere is festive, with less violence than has been seen in the past couple of days. The composition of the protesters cuts across social, economic, and religious lines. There is a mix of upper and middle class Egyptians as well as people with more moderate means. Additionally, the protesters include both Muslims and Christians. The 11 days of protest have seen a mix of peaceful demonstrations as well as bloody clashes between anti-government supporters and Mobarak sympathizers. One reason for Friday’s calm atmosphere in Tahrir Square is due to the Egyptian army’s renewed presence. The army, which initially asserted itself during the first few days of the protest, then fell back as the pro and anti government factions clashed, has once again reasserted itself creating a security perimeter around the square. The army’s security barrier has helped to limit clashes between the opposing parties and create a more organized and safer environment. Although Tahrir Square, also known as Liberation Square, has been the focus of intense media coverage, other acts of civil disobedience and protest have taken place in cities through Egypt including Giza and Alexandria. Estimates vary widely on the number of people injured and killed since the demonstrations began. Anti-government protesters wounded in the clashes have received medical treatment from both the Egyptian military as well as make shift hospitals that have sprung up in mosques around Tahrir Square. The Egyptian health minister claims that eight people have been killed and over eight hundred others have been wounded. On the other hand, the United Nations estimates that more than 300 people have been killed throughout Egypt while 4,000 people have been injured since the protests began on January 25. INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE The response from the International community to this crisis has been restrained. The United States, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and 78

England have expressed concern for the safety of protesters while at the same time calling on the Egyptian government to make necessary reforms. Unfortunately, difficult questions about how quickly President Mubarak should leave office and who should step into his position still remain. Several days ago, President Mubarak claimed he would not seek re-election in September of 2011; however this concession has not appeased the protesters who are looking for him to leave office immediately. As the situation in Egypt has become more intense, the international community has become more forceful with its words. The United States, who initially claimed support for President Mubarak, has been working hard to get out in front of this crisis. President Obama has recently made statements calling for political reforms to take place “now”, but he has been careful not to call for President Mubarak to step down immediately. Similar sentiments have been echoed by the leaders of other nations, including several European countries that sent a letter to the Egyptian President asking him to create a transitional government. Furthermore, news outlets are reporting the United States is trying to broker a deal where President Mubarak will step down and his Vice President Omar Suleiman would assume power. The plan would call for Vice President Suleiman along with Egypt’s military leadership to form a transitional government until elections can be held. Conversely, other media outlets claim that the United States has already offered this suggestion and the Egyptian President has rebuffed it. Questions remain about whether Mr. Suleiman or the Egyptian military would want to break away from President Mubarak. The ties between the Egyptian President, his leadership team, and the Egyptian military continue to be tested. These ties will become further restrained as the protesters in Tahrir Square plan a march on the presidential palace.
For more information, please see: Al Jazeera – Egypt Holds ‘Day of Departure’- 4 February 2011


All Africa – Clashes Rock Cairo as Pro-Mubarak Supports Hit Back – 3 February 2011 BBC – ‘Day of departure’ rally in Egypt—4 February 2011 New York Times — White House and Egypt Discuss Plan for Mubarak’s Exit – 4 February 2011 Reuters — Egyptians rally for Mubarak to go now – 4 February 2011 The Guardian — US hatches Mubarak exit strategy as Egypt death toll mounts – 4 February 2011

February 7th, 2011 By Polly Johnson Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

CAIRO, Egypt – On January 28, a week into Egypt’s ongoing protests, President Hosni Mubarak’s government ordered Internet service providers to sever all forms of communication, including Internet access, mobile networks and SMS. Though the Internet was restored as of last Wednesday, the blackout marked an unprecedented Internet milestone. Egypt’s economy and society rely heavily on the Internet. A think-tank based in Paris, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, estimated that the Internet blackout cost Egypt’s economy about ninety million dollars. More concerning, however, is the notion that a country as technologically advanced as Egypt was able to shut down all communications as quickly as it did. James Cowie, co-founder and chief technology officer of Renesys, an IT company in New Hampshire, told the Los Angeles Times, “Over a period of about 20 minutes, it’s as if each of the primary service providers started pulling the routes that lead to them. It wasn’t like a simultaneous withdrawal. “There are private companies of varying sizes that own and operate their own infrastructure. But it seems they got a call so they turned it off,” Cowie said.


“What we are seeing in Egypt is a frightening example of how the power of technology can be abused,” said Timothy Karr, a campaign director for Free Press, an advocacy organization, said. Such swift action brings to mind oppressive regimes such as that of North Korea, which forbids its citizens from accessing the Internet at all. Even during the recent uprising in Tunisia, only specific services and websites were blocked. And it seems that the United States aided with the shutdown. According to an article by Karr, a U.S. company based in Sunnyvale, Calif., Boeing-owned Narus, sold Telecom Egypt “real-time traffic intelligence” equipment, which may have been used by Mubarak’s regime to sever all communications. The equipment is more commonly known as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), technology that allows network managers to track content from users of the Internet and mobile phones. Most disturbing about DPI technology, according to Karr, is that “[c]ommercial operators trafficking in Deep Packet Inspection technology to violation Internet users’ privacy is bad enough; in government hands, that same invasion of privacy can quickly lead to stark human rights violations.”
For more information, please see: Arutz Sheva – Egypt’s Internet Crackdown ‘Had US Help’ – 6 February 2011 Information Week – Egypt Takes $90 Million Hit From Internet Blackout – 3 February 2011 Los Angeles Times – Egypt may have turned off the Internet one phone call at a time – 29 January 2011 Huffington Post – One U.S. Corporation’s Role in Egypt’s Brutal Crackdown – 28 January 2011 Telegraph – How Egypt shut down the internet – 28 January 2011


February 6th, 2011 By Laura Hirahara Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

KHARTOUM, Sudan- In a matter of days the results of Sudan’s referendum vote to decide whether South Sudan should be independent of North Sudan will be announced. With preliminary polls showing an almost unanimous vote from the South Sudanese in favor of succession it is expected that the referendum will pass. Following the relatively peaceful voting process, questions now loom as to whether the North and South will be able to transition peacefully and negotiate bilateral resource sharing agreements until South Sudan is truly independent. Even before Sudan gained independence from British colonial powers and Egyptian rule it was embroiled in civil war. Fighting between the North and South regions persisted for decades, lasting from 1955-1972 and again from 1983-2005. Finally, in 2005 a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was brokered between the North and South which created an interim government with an option to extend the CPA in six years or vote for succession. Within a few years of the CPA, it became clear to leaders in both the North and South that neither would be willing to agree to the CPA long-term, prompting the vote. Since the vote and the expectation that South Sudan will become an independent nation, concerns are growing over issues of citizenship, boundary demarcations, oil resources and how South Sudan will function as a government. One of the more immediate problems facing the split between the two regions is that fact that tens of thousands of South Sudanese are currently living and working in the North. Many occupy civil servant positions, working in several capacities including law enforcement. Some expect the North Sudan government in Khartoum, led by Omar al-Bashir, to simply revoke the Sudanese citizenship of all South Sudanese living in the North which 82

could create conflict as thousands of people are displaced. The CPA, which would provide a roadmap in the coming years for agreements between the two countries, has no provisions for such citizenship issues. Causing unrest for the international community is how both regions will handle their oil concerns and interact with one another in splitting natural resources . Since the U.S. sanctioned Bashir’s government in the North, Asian countries have been the primary investors and buyers of Sudanese oil. U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to lift the sanction aimed primarily at the North if Bashir follows the steps outlined in the CPA. This could open the region to Western investment and oil exportation, something it has not seen in years. Additionally, the business of transporting and refining oil between the North and South has become increasingly complex. Approximately sixty percent of the oil wells are in South Sudan but all the pipes run into the North and the South currently depends on the North to refine and sell its oil. Adding to this, there is also no consensus on whether the oil rich state of Abyei, which straddles the contested border between the two regions, will become part of North or South Sudan. In order to gain oil independence, South Sudan has plans to build a pipeline to Kenya which would allow it to export its oil independent of the North but a plan like that will take years to complete. With oil being the primary source of revenue for Sudan, it is doubtful that the North will be willing to give up its interest in Southern oil. Both countries will need to focus on peaceful negotiations that allow for resource sharing. Focusing solely on South Sudan, many wonder if a new government in the region will be able to meet the needs of a country. Until now, the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has operated as a resistance movement seeking to protect and promote minority rights. The ethnic and religious diversity of South Sudan’s population has made it the target of the North, which routinely excluded minority 83

concerns. While a vote to split from the North would end this, some fear that infighting and the inability to act as a government will plague the South. The South will need to focus on infrastructure, social services and providing proper diplomacy and foreign policy to guide its new government.
For more information, please see; The Huffington Post- Sudan; A Tragedy Any Way You ‘Cut’ It- 4 February 2011 The Namibian- Sudan: Post-Referendum Issues and Implications for Africa- 25 January 2011 Business Monitor International- South Sudan Referendum: Oil Industry Implications19 January 2011

February 14th, 2011 by Laura Hirahara Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

MOGADISHU, Somalia- The New York based organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a report on the war-torn capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, citing heightened violence between Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab . In this report, HRW has called upon the international community to intervene in Somalia to prevent further civilian casualties and stop the flow of refugees out of the country. Somalia has existed without a central government since 1991 when President Mohamed Siad Barre was removed from power. In 2006, Ethiopian military forces entered Mogadishu to oust an Islamic court coalition which was controlling the city. Since then, violence has steadily escalated, leading to all out war-fare in the streets of Mogadishu and mortar and rocket fire attacks within the city limits. Al-Shabaab, which claims ties to al-Qaeda, has launched two major offenses against the TFG, both in May and then again over August and September of last year. Currently, the TFG, which is the internationally recognized government of Somalia, controls only 84

portions of the capital city. The TFG has support from nearly 8,000 African Union peacekeeping troops but battles have been brutal and often amount to small gains and losses. Frank Langfitt, reporting from Mogadisu for NPR stated “This morning. . .the African Union took about 70 yards and they expect that later tonight al-Shabaab will try to take back that 70 yards.” In the midst of this fighting, thousands of civilians in Mogadishu are either leaving their homes or becoming victims of the conflict. Though Somalis have been fleeing to refugee camps in Kenya since 1991, the recent conflict has prompted everyone who can afford to leave Mogadishu to make the journey across the border. The International Committee of the Red Cross reported this last January that it received a record number of patients with war related injuries in 2010, amounting to over 2,300 injured. HRW claims that both sides are responsible for massive civilian deaths which they believe may amount to war crimes. Said Rona Peligal, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch, “The world has for too long ignored the appalling cost to civilians of the fighting in Mogadishu. . .An international commission of inquiry is urgently needed to investigate war crimes committed in Somalia by all sides.”
For more information, please see; Bloomberg- War Crimes Investigation Needed in Somali Capital, Civil Rights Group Says- 14 February 2011 Bikyamasr- End War Crimes in Mogadishu- 15 February 2011 NPR- On the Front Lines in Somalia- 14 February 2011


February 15th, 2011 by Laura Hirahara Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast- Hundreds of people have been killed in Ivory Coast since the mid-December election in which opposition leader Alassane Ouattara beat long-time incumbent Laurent Gbagbo. The results, which have been certified by the U.N. and are internationally recognized, show Ouattara winning with an eight point margin. Despite this, Gbagbo has refused to hand over power and there is strong evidence that he is coordinating military attacks against those who voted for Ouattara. Since mid-December as many as 300 people have been killed. However, the number of those murdered could be higher. Since the election, Gbagbo has refused to release the bodies of the dead, halting autopsies on bodies with gun-shot wounds. These bodies have remained at the city morgues and continue to come, with another 22 people killed this week alone. Reporters with the Associated Press investigated in the former capital of Abidjan and found as many as 113 bodies at 9 different morgues. The U.N. believes another morgue is holding 80 bodies, calling these cites “mass graves”. Morgue employees told the AP that government officials stand guard at the morgues to monitor all activity. The government is also refusing the release the names of many of the bodies being held and family members have had to physically search through the remains to try and identify their missing loved ones. Gbagbo, who has been in power for the last ten years, has been suspected of carrying out ‘government death squads’ since 2002. These squads are accused of ‘disappearing’ people and many are still missing. One such individual, Abdoulaye Coulibaly, worked for a non-profit group that was associated with Ouattara during the election. Coulibaly was thrown into a vehicle after soldiers surrounded the café 86

he was at and started shooting. His family has not seen him since and has not been able to find anything that points to his whereabouts. The victims have been those who either supported Ouattara or those even suspected of supporting his campaign. Many of the killings have occurred in the northern region of the country which is predominately Muslim and supported Outtara who himself is a Muslim from the north. The names obtained by the AP indicate the victims of these killings are Muslim. The U.N. has repeatedly been denied access to sites of reported mass graves and entrance to the government-run morgues.
For more information, please see; Reuters- Nearly 300 Killed in Ivory Coast Violence, UN Says- 10 February 2011 AFP- At Least 296 Killed in Ivory Coast Unrest: UN- 10 February 2011 AP- AP Impact: New Proof of Ivory Coast Vote Killings- 15 February 2011

February 27th, 2011 By Daniel M. Austin Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

NEW YORK CITY, United States of America - On Saturday, members of the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions on Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, members of his immediate family, and high-ranking officials in his regime for their role in the violent crackdown on government protesters. The council also approved a measure to investigate possible international war crimes and crimes against humanity for the unlawful killing of civilians over the last few weeks. Contained in the resolution are several key provisions which ban international travel for Libyan government officials as well as a directive to freeze the assets of Libya’s leaders. Specifically, this declaration is directed at Mr. el-Qaddafi, his four sons, his daughter, and 10 prominent government officials. Furthermore, this resolution provides for an arms embargo against the Libyan government. 87

Initially, Security Council members disagreed about whether to refer Mr. el-Qaddafi and other officials to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. However, the atmosphere changed when the Libyan delegation and its U.N. representative Abdurrahman Shalgam sent a letter to the Security Council president, Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil supporting the war crimes investigation by the ICC. Mr. Shalgam’s voice was crucial in helping this portion of the resolution pass. This was only the second time the U.N. Security Council has recommended a member nation be investigated by the International Criminal Court for possible war crimes or crimes against humanity. The quickness with which this resolution was taken up and passed was surprising. Reports from the U.N. Security Council chambers claim the representative are deeply concerned about violence directed at civilians and members were focused on drafting a resolution that effectively deals with this crisis. Saturday’s resolution comes a day after the United States government unilaterally froze billions of dollars of assets belonging to the Libyan government as well as property belonging to several Libyan officials. According to President Barack Obama, he signed the executive order because the violence and instability has become “an unusual and extraordinary threat” to the security of the United States and their foreign policy objectives.
For more information, please see: BBC — Libya: UN Security Council votes sanctions on Gaddafi—27 February 2011 New York Times — Security Council Calls for War Crimes Inquiry in Libya – 26 February 2011 The Telegraph — We must stand ready to intervene in Libya – 27 February 2011 Voice of America News– UN Security Council Imposes Sanctions on Libyan Leaders – 26 February 2011


May 26th, 2010 By David L. Chaplin II Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

NANGARHAR, Afghanistan – Investigation into questionable night raids continues as the death toll rises over the past week. The US military has been conducting night raids on several targeted villages in Afghanistan. These raids are night efforts to catch and put a stop to the villages harboring Al-Queda operatives. Bereaved families demonized night raids or “sneak attacks” by US troops, for often being premised on faulty evidence. Night rights increase tension between US/NATO forces and Afghan civilians The grieving families claim that innocent civilians are being killed under mistaken identity. The US military does not agree. After nine civilians were killed this week, the US launched criminal investigations. Col. Wayne Shanks says they had concrete intelligence that a Taliban sub-commander was in the housing compound at the time and was planning an imminent attack on a US base. “It was an urgent need for us to go in and stop the attack to prevent casualties on our side but also innocent casualties,” he said. Resident Ehassamudion Kushkaki told CNN the U.S. military did not announce their arrival at 1a.m. local time while everyone was sleeping, so two of the nine killed were shooting, thinking thieves were attacking them. The U.S. military insists it announced its arrival and says all of those killed were shooting at the forces. The soldier confined also faces illegal drug use, assault and conspiracy claims. Miles away in London, Fatima Ayud has been campaigning for 89

night raids to stop and offering help to affected families. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has sought to minimize the use of night raids, noting past public anger. Ayud says it’s not enough after, herself being a victim after a raid attack targeted her extended family. Nasrutullah Arsala, head of Nangarhar provincial council, tells CNN, “There’s no doubt that when these cases happen, the people rise up and the gap between the government and people widens.” This form of impunity thwarts American efforts and energizes the Taliban resistance.
For more information, please see: Al Jazeera English- US opens Afghan deaths probe - 20 May 2010 CNN World – Civilians or fighters? Debate lingers over deaths at housing compound – 25 May 2010 The Huffington Post – US Investigating Afgahan Civilian Deaths – 20 May 2010

June 20th, 2010 By David L. Chaplin II Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

JALAL-ABAD, Kyrgyzstan – Homes and business have been marked with ethnic background identifying symbols, forcing the displacement of 1 in 4 people and questionable survival for those whom remain. The ethnic bloodletting has killed hundreds and set off a massive wave of refugees, with 400,000 people crammed in squalid camps with little access to clean water and food. The Central Asian state’s interim leader believes the number of people killed since violence erupted just over a week ago may be as high as 2,000. Up to a million people are said to have been affected by fighting between the Kyrgyz majority and minority Uzbeks. Many of those who fled their homes are staying in Uzbekistan. “Where can we go now? Our belief in the future is dead,” said Mamlyakat Akramova, 90

who lived in the center of Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s second-largest city and the epicenter of the violence that broke out last week. Entire Uzbek neighborhoods of southern Kyrgyzstan have been reduced to scorched ruins by rampaging mobs of ethnic Kyrgyz who forced nearly half of the region’s roughly 800,000 Uzbeks to flee for their lives. John Holmes, head of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs urged a “generous and rapid response” from donors. “I have been shocked by the extent of the violence and appalled by the deaths and injuries, widespread arson, sexual violence, looting of state, commercial and private property and destruction of infrastructure,” he said. Muslim tradition of burying the dead before sunset on the day of death meant many hundreds of victims had not been counted. Eyewitnesses and victims have repeatedly said that the violence was orchestrated, and many have accused soldiers from the Kyrgyz military of being involved. Uzbeks in Osh complained the government was doing too little to alleviate their suffering and said they were relying on small amounts of aid from Uzbekistan. Many refugees complained humanitarian supplies were being blocked and stolen by Kyrgyz officials. “This is our nation, this is a holy land, but I can’t live here anymore,” said Mukhabat Ergashova, a retiree who had taken shelter with dozens of other in a crowded tent.” We are all witnesses to the fact that innocent citizens were fired upon from an armored personnel carrier by soldiers in military uniform. I don’t know whether they were from the government or some third party, but they only shot at Uzbeks,” said Sabir Khaidir, and ethnic Uzbek in Jalal-Abad.
For more information, please see: CNN World – Kyrgyzstan investigating whether troops involved in ethic violence – 20 June 2010 BBC – UN launches $71m appeal for Kyrgystan refugee crisis – 19 June 2010 The Huffington Post – Kyrgyzstan Violence Claims Up to 2,000 Lives – 18 June 2010


July 2nd, 2010 David L. Chaplin II Impunity Watch Reporter; Asia

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The death toll climbed to 50 on Friday after a pair of suicide bombers detonated their explosive vests at one of Pakistan’s holiest shrines, police said. Police are on high alert in Pakistan as demands grow for a tougher crackdown on armed religious groups in the central Punjab province after bombers targeted a popular Muslim shrine. Sufi shrine of Data Darbar mosque, Lahore Pakistan where thousands visit daily The targeted shrine was that of an 11th century Sufi saint, Ali bin Usman, commonly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh Hajveri, who traveled throughout the region spreading Islam with a message of peace and love. His shrine is the most revered and popular of Sufi shrines in the nation. More than 200 people were injured in the blasts outside the Data Darbar, a famous Sufi shrine complex. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan expressed alarm over the attacks and called on both the government and Muslim clerics to stand up to extremism. Security has been tightened at Sufi shrines across the country, but many Pakistanis, already frustrated by a troubled economy and crippling power cuts, are calling for the resignation of Punjab government officials. About 2,000 people, some armed, staged protests in Lahore on Friday, shouting “Down with Shahbaz Sharif”, the chief minister of Punjab “This sickening poison of extremism will be driven out of our nation and we will not be cowed,” said Farahnaz Ispahani, a spokeswoman for President Asif Ali Zardari, in a text message to CNN.


“Peaceful worshippers have once again been targeted by those who want to destroy the fabric of this great country. We will not forgive or forget and we will get justice for all Pakistanis murdered in cold blood — be they Muslim, Christian, Ahmadi or of any other faith.” Talat Masood, a defense analyst and former Pakistan military officer, said Taliban-linked groups are exploiting the uncertainty over the government’s response to such attacks. “At the moment there is lukewarm support from the people, and the people have no confidence in the government and their governance,” he told Al Jazeera on Friday. “America is killing Muslims in Afghanistan and in our tribal areas, and militants are attacking Pakistan to express anger against the government for supporting America,” explained Zahid Umar, 25, a frequent visitor to the Lahore shrine.
For more information, please see: Al Jazeera English – Pakistan on alert after shrine raid – 2 July 2010 CNN World – Explosions at famous shrine in Pakistan kill dozens – 2 July 2010 The Huffington Post – Pakistanis Blame U.S. After Shrine Suicide Attack Kills 42 2 July 2010

July 12th, 2010 David L. Chaplin II Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

DHAKA, Bangladesh – Police in Bangladesh have charged 824 people for the massacre of 74 senior military officers during a mutiny by border guards in February last year. All suspects could face the death penalty if found guilty. Prosecutors say the border guards rebelled over low wages and poor treatment Seventy-four people, including 57 senior army officers, were killed during the siege of a military base in Dhaka, the capital, in an uprising that briefly threatened the government of Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister. Prosecutors announced the charges on Monday and the trials 93

against the mutiny’s ringleaders and participants are expected to take at least one year to complete in Bangladesh’s civil courts. “We have charged 824 people with murder, conspiracy, aiding and abetting murder, looting military weapons and arson,” Mosharraf Hossain Kazal, the state prosecutor, said. Rebelling soldiers were allegedly angry about their superiors’ refusal to increase their pay and improve working conditions. “They mowed their officers down in cold blood, using semi-automatic weapons and rifles they’d looted from the barracks,” Akhand, the police investigator, said of mutineers who took control of BDR headquarters on February 25, 2009. The violence has spread nationwide and Bangladesh appeared to be on the brink of civil war. Bangladesh’s civil courts in what will be the largest trial in the country’s history will handle the case. In parallel prosecutions, some 3,500 soldiers who had joined the rebellion are being tried in military courts on lesser charges. The tribunals have already convicted at least 200 guards with jail sentences ranging from four months to seven years. The mutiny erupted at the BDR headquarters in Dhaka and lasted 33 hours, during which officers were killed and their bodies dumped in sewers and shallow graves. “A senior officer was taken to the roof of a four-storey building and thrown to the ground. The dead bodies of a few officers were set on fire.” The mutiny took place just two months after the country returned to civilian rule under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She had originally offered an amnesty to some mutineers but this was rescinded when the extent and nature of the bloodshed became clear.
For more information, please see: BBC - Bangladesh charges 824 people over deadly mutiny – 12 July 2010 Al Jazeera English - More charged over Bangladesh mutiny – 12 July 2010 Radio Netherlands Worldwide - Bangladesh charges 824 for deadly mutiny murders - 12 July 2010


July 26th, 2010 David L. Chaplin II Impunity Watch Reporter; Asia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Former Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch has been found guilty of crimes against humanity by Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes tribunal. Duch, 67, whose full name is Kaing Guek Eav, was sentenced to 35 years in prison. The man who ran a notorious torture prison where more than 14,000 people died during the Khmer Rouge regime was found guilty of war crimes Monday and sentenced to 35 years in prison — with 5 years taken off that sentence for time served. The verdict against Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, also convicted him of crimes against humanity, murder and torture. Duch ran Tuol Sleng prison, where “enemies” of the Khmer Rouge regime were sent. At least 1.7 million people — nearly a quarter of Cambodia’s population — died under the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge regime from execution, disease, starvation and overwork, according to the Documentation Center of Cambodia. But prosecutors said the former math teacher ordered the use of brutal torture methods to extract “confessions” from detainees – including pulling out toenails and administering electric shocks – and approved all the executions. A meticulous record-keeper, Duch built up a huge archive of photos, confessions and other evidence documenting those held at Tuol Sleng. Despite acknowledging the role he played at Tuol Sleng, codenamed “S-21″, Duch insisted that he had only been following orders from his superiors, and on the trial’s final day in November shocked many by asking to be acquitted. Wearing a blue shirt, the former Khmer Rouge jailer looked pensive and slumped in his chair as proceedings were held behind a floor-to95

ceiling bullet-proof screen which separated the public gallery from the rest of the court. “I can’t accept this,” Saodi Ouch, 46, told the Associated Press news agency. “My family died… my older sister, my older brother. I’m the only one left.” Some said they wanted a tougher sentence. “There is no justice. I wanted life imprisonment for Duch,” said Hong Sovath, whose father was killed in Tuol Sleng. Many called the War crimes tribunal efforts a “shame” and “slap in the face” to survivors. The group’s top leader, “Brother Number One” Pol Pot, died in 1998. The other Khmer Rouge leaders awaiting trial are “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, former head of state Khieu Samphan, former foreign minister Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith, the minister of social affairs.
For more information, please see: CNN World – Khmer Rouger survivors angry over Duch jail sentence – 26 July 2010 Al Jazeera – Khmer Rouge prison chief convicted – 26 July 2010 BBC – Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch found guilty – 26 July 2010

September 11th, 2010 By David L. Chaplin II Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

MANILA, Philippines - A powerful political family is brought to trial for plotting what is known as the deadliest incident for journalists since 1992, when the Committee to Protect Journalists began recording journalist deaths. On November 23, 2009, 57 people – 32 of them journalist and media personnel, were slaughtered as they traveled in Maguindanao province with intentions of filing “gubernatorial candidacy papers for a local candidate”.


Nine months later, there are 19 people who stand accused at trial, out of a total of 195 named in the overall prosecution, while 127 suspects remain at large. The ultimate question remains, “whether the people who ordered the killings – not just the triggermen — will ever be brought to justice. The well-known identities of the political in-group behind the killings are believed to be local allies of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Ampatuan Jr, then a local mayor, allegedly led the massacre to stop the rival from running against him for the post of governor of Maguindanao province in this year’s national elections. Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia chief of HRW, said five people with knowledge of alleged abuses by Ampatuan and his supporters have been killed since the massacre. “It is difficult to fight these devils,” she told AFP news agency. Knowing the dark history of and rampant nature of political killing, she remarks, “We want to see the light of justice.” The first witness is a man named Lakmudin Saliao, once sworn in he testified that Ampatuan’s father, Andal Ampatuan Sr., and brother, Zaldy Ampatuan, were present at a meeting on November 17 where they helped plan the massacre. The witness, a former house servant, said the family had discussed killing their political rivals six days before the ambush in which 57 people died. Journalists in provincial Philippines have been killed regularly; typically men on a motorcycle gun them down, as they make their way to work, or drop off their children at school, or meet a source for lunch. Since 2000, 32 journalists, other than those who died in Maguindanao, have been killed and in only five of the cases has there been even partial justice. In none of the cases have the more politically well-connected men who paid them and ordered the executions have ever been tried, let alone found guilty.


Convictions of the killers of journalists in the Philippines are so rare that CPJ’s Impunity Index, which measures the rate of successful prosecutions, ranks the country third worst, behind only Iraq and Somalia. The Secretary of the Philippines’ Justice Department, Leila de Lima, has called the trial a “litmus test” for the country’s judicial system, according to press reports. The Maguindanao “litmus test” will really be a report not just on the state of the nation’s judiciary, but a frank indicator of the country’s future. The summation of this trial will not address one of the root causes of the massacre, the Philippines tolerance for locally run paramilitary forces, which under national laws are allowed to deputize local militias to combat Muslim separatist fighters in the country, the Ampatuan’s have built up what amounts to a large private army. ”The government has not done anything to disable and disarm these paramilitary forces,” Evans said.
For more information, please see; Al Jazeera English – Philippine massacre trial begins – 9 September, 2010 CNN – Trial expected to begin over Philippine massacre – 6 September, 2010 BBC – Ampatuan family ‘plotted Philippines massacre’ – 8 September, 2010 Huffington Post – The Worst Massacre You Never Heard Of – 23 August, 2010

October 10th, 2010 By Joseph Juhn Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

BEIJING, China – When a group of people – two dozen bloggers, rights lawyers and academics – gathered at a Beijing restaurant to celebrate the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the police rushed in and arrested them. Although 10 of the 20 people who had been picked up were released, three of them were given eight-day jail terms under the charge of “disturbing


the peace” and seven were escorted out of Beijing, according to Zhang Zuhua, an activist who is in touch with the detainees. 
 Liu Xiaobo, the 54-year-old scholar and author, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding contribution to human rights, is currently serving an 11-year sentence on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” imposed after an allegedly unfair trial. 

 Liu is widely recognized amongst activists as a prominent government critic who has repeatedly called for human rights protections, political accountability and democratization in China. Ever since the Norwegian Committee announced the winner of the prize, the Chinese government reacted with unrestrained anger. In a series of attempt to downplay the awarding of the prize, the chinese Government called in the Norwegian ambassador in Beijing for a dressing down, placed a number dissidents under house arrest and blocked nearly all Internet sites and news media from disseminating any information regarding the Nobel Peace Prize. It was impossible for Chinese citizens or Web surfers to learn about the honor bestowed on their countryman. Plugging “Liu Xiaobo” or “Nobel Peace Prize” into a search engine resulted in blank screens and error messages. Only the Global Times, an English-language newspaper controlled by the Chinese government, contained information on the prize, although in completely contrasting tone. Liu, the newspaper’s unsigned editorial said, is “an incarcerated Chinese criminal.” Awarding him the prize was a “paranoid choice” that was “meant to irritate China.” The Nobel Peace Prize has been “degraded into a political tool that serves an antiChina purpose. “It seems that instead of peace or unity in China, the Nobel committee would like to see the country split by an ideological rift, or better yet, collapse like the Soviet Union,” the editorial said. Zhou Xiaozheng, director of the law of Sociology department at People’s University in 99

Beijing, when asked about to which extent people are aware of either Liu or the Nobel Peace Prize, said, “[t]hey don’t know, and they don’t want to know, because it’s dangerous to know.” “As soon as I hear a foreign journalist wants to know about the Nobel Peace Prize, I can sense the danger,” said Zhou. In response to these hard-line approaches by the Chinese government to silence the award, Catherine Baber, Deputy Asia-Pacific Director at Amnesty International, expressed concerns. “This award can only make a real difference if it prompts more international pressure on China to release Liu, along with the numerous other prisoners of conscience languishing in Chinese jails for exercising their right to freedom of expression,” she said.
For more information, please see: The New York Times – China, Angered by Peace Prize, Blocks Celebration – 10 October 2010 Amnesty International – Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize Win Puts Spotlight on China Rights Violations – 8 October 2010 The Los Angeles Times – Chinese media stay resolutely silent on Nobel winner – 10 October 2010

October 18th, 2010 By Joseph Juhn Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania

JAKARTA, Indonesia – A video was posted on YouTube that showed two Papuan civilians being abused by the Indonesian security forces. Soon after, Indonesian police said they would investigate reports of torture in restive Papua province, where the video was believed to have been filmed. In the video, which was released on YouTube last week showed unknown interrogates questioning two Papuan men about the whereabouts of a weapons cache as they burned one of the men’s 100

genitals and threatened to shoot him in the mouth. The same video also shows another Papuan suspect being threatened with a knife. The Indonesian security forces have long been accused of widespread abuse and torture against civilians in Papua, where a low-level separatist insurgency has been simmering for decades. When questioned about this incident, Marwoto Soeto, national police spokesman responded that he will investigate and find out what’s going on. “We’ll also find out who recorded the video and spread it. If police are involved, we will take firm action,” he added. Another Police Spokesman, Wachyono, in Papua, raised the possibility that the video was made as an attempt to discredit the police force, which is known to torture and abuse detainees of all kinds, including women and those held on minor charges. “I’m afraid this video could have been made up to discredit police or the military. The people making the video could be an armed gang,” he said. However, he promised to take firm action if it is indeed proved that the police was involved with human rights violations. US-based Human Rights Watch says Indonesian forces have pursued brutal and indiscriminate sweeps on villages in Papua, sometimes killing civilians, and imprisoned peaceful political activists. “For us, it’s an old song,” said Forkorus Yabuisembut, a proindependence activist. “The types of abuses carried by security forces are so far beyond humane … nothing has changed.” Human rights groups suspect that more than 100,000 people – a fifth of the impoverished province’s population – have died as result of military action.
For more information, please see: Radio New Zealand – Indonesian security forces accused of torture of Papuans after YouTube posting – 18 October 2010 AFT – YouTube video shows Indonesian security forces torturing Papuanss – 18 October 2010 News Observer – Video shows Indonesian troops torture Papuans – 18 October 2010


November 12th, 2010 By Joseph Juhn Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

YANGON, Myanmar – A day after the historic elections held for the first time in twenty years in Myanmar, thousands of new refugees fled into Northern Thailand on Monday. The fighting broke out between the Myanmar Army and ethnic rebels. Although the election was disguised as a movement towards democracy, it has been widely denounced by the international community as fraudulent, with citizens not having the freedom to vote correctly. The International Organization for Migration and the UNHCR (High Commissioner for Refugees) says that “the fighting between the Myanmar military and an ethnic minority armed group, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), following the Myanmar elections on Sunday, resulted in an estimated 12,000 people fleeing into Thailand at the Mae Sot and Three Pagoda Pass border crossing points.” 
 UNHCR spokesman, Andrej Mahecic, said refugees started to cross the border early Monday on foot and on inner tubes across the Moei River. According to Mahecic, many of the refugees testified that they fled because they were afraid for their lives after their houses were attacked while other said they fled the sound of fighting. any 
” M collected their children from school and fled to Thailand with only the clothes on their back, some even barefoot,” said Mahecic. “At first, only women and children were crossing, but later in the day more men arrived. Among the new arrivals are mothers with newborn babies as young as five days and 15 days.” 
 A government election has not been held in Myanmar since 1990 when leader of the National League for Democracy Party (NDL), Daw Aung San Suu Kyi won with 60 percent of the popularity vote.


However, it didn’t take too long until the military intervened and denied her power and continues to hold her in custody to this day. Many unsung heroes demanded the return of their civil and political rights, which have been denied by the military-led government for more than 26 years. However, the government often resorted to violent repression to deal with its citizens’ demands for freedom, and it is estimated that more than 10,000 citizens have died in the process. This led to thousands of refugees fleeing the military junta for survival and personal freedom. One of the countries to house these refugees is India. This past week, when US President Barack Obama paid a diplomatic visit to India, he mildly rebuked India for its diplomatic silence on Junta rule. ”When peaceful democratic movements are suppressed, as they have been in Burma (Myanmar), then the democracies of the world cannot remain silent,” President Obama said. At least 7000 refugees have fled Myanmar in the past 22 years and are now residing in parts of India, where they still face problems. Living conditions are poor but what is worse for refugees is witnessing India’s reluctance to oppose the military Junta back home. ”My heart aches, but my mind accepts the truth,” says Htay, Burmese refugee now living in Janakpuri. So many seek refuge in other countries. Nyuant Mungpi who has settled down in India three years ago says he was disappointed to see the daily grind here. ”Most Burmese in India want the UNHCR to recognize our refugee status. We want to go to the US, Canada or Australia. There is very little recognition for us, unlike the Tibetans.” says Mungpi.
For more information, please see: VoA News – Thousands of Burmese Flee Following Elections, Fighting – 9 November 2010 The Times of India – They want India to speak up – 12 November 2010 Geneva Lunch – Burma/Myanmar refugees flooding Thailand – 11 November 2010 Pacific.Scoop – Burma’s elections highlight cruel tale of repression by junta – 9 November 2010


November 17th, 2010 David L. Chaplin II Impunity Watch, Asia

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Andrew Holmes is one of five soldiers accused of killing Afghans for sport. They’re also accused of mutilating corpses and keeping grisly souvenirs as troops allegedly covered up the deaths of their victims. Holmes’ lawyer denies the charges and says he will fight them vigorously. Pfc. Andrew Holmes of Boise, Idaho, faces military officials Monday who will determine if there is enough evidence to court martial him over the premeditated killing of three Afghan civilians. Afghan President Hamid Karzai was briefed about the Army’s investigation into a “rogue” Stryker platoon in southern Afghanistan while the soldiers were deployed there earlier this year, an Army investigator testified yesterday. Camero, testifying by phone Monday morning at an Article 32 hearing for Pfc. Andrew Holmes, said that the Army was careful to contain information about the investigation because it didn’t want to inflame the Afghan populace’s sentiment against U.S. soldiers. “We didn’t want the public to know,” he said. As one of five U.S. soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade accused of killing for sport and staging the deaths to look like legitimate war casualties, Holmes will face an Article 32 hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. Spc. Jeremy Morlock was the first of the five to face an Article 32 hearing. 12 U.S. soldiers have been charged in what they called a conspiracy to murder Afghan civilians and cover it up; along with charges they mutilated corpses and kept grisly souvenirs. Five of the soldiers face murder charges, while seven others are charged with participating in a cover-up. According to the military


documents, the five were also involved in throwing grenades at civilians. Holmes’ attorney said he plans to put on a vigorous defense of his client, arguing that he killed no one. “The only way these kinds of allegations can occur is the command is completely derelict in supervising, meaning there involved or there are ignoring that this kind of conduct may be occurring,” Conway said. “And I don’t know which one it is at this point.” Holmes’ attorney, Dan Conway, pressed Camero, who was part of a team that went to the scene of a related May killing, to gather evidence about the investigation to highlight the Army’s lack of physical evidence from the January incident in which Holmes was involved.
For more information, please see: CNN - Soldier accused of Afghan sport killings faces hearing - 15 November 2010 The News Tribune - Stryker murder scandal details shared with top level of Afghan Government - 15 November 2010 Boise Weekly – War: More Testimony in the Holmes Case - 15 November 2010

November 28th, 2010 By Joseph Juhn Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

SEOUL, Republic of South Korea- On Tuesday November 23, North Korea attacked a populated South Korean island near its border, killing two marines and two civilians while injuring dozens of people. Such a provocation was “one of the gravest incidents since the end of the Korean War,” according to Ban Ki moon, the current secretary general at the United Nations. North fired dozens of shells at a South Korean island called Yeonpyeong, which marked the first time since the war that North struck at land-based targets.


The attacked island is situated in a disputed area where a South Korean naval vessel, the Cheonan, was sunk in March, killing 46 sailors. An international investigative report blamed North Korea for torpedoing the naval vessel, an accusation which North still denies. Although skirmishes between the two Koreas are not uncommon, their tense relations have worsened in the recent months especially after the Cheonan incident. To make matters worse, just last week, an American nuclear scientist who visited the North said he had been shown a secret and modern nuclear enrichment facility. The U.S. position had been to engage in talks when there was a prospect of democratization in the North, he said. “Now the chances for democratization are virtually zero, so they have nothing to talk about.” Many analysts view the continuing provocation by the North as their desperate plea to capture world’s attention as the totalitarian regime goes through the transfer of power from Kim Jong-il to his 3rd son, Kim Jong-un. Such a hard-line stance, they believe, will enhance the military credentials of Kim Jong-un and garner a unified support for his rising to the new leadership. Others link it to the need for food aid, which has been largely denied by South Korea ever since President Lee took office two years ago, and strangled by international and United States sanctions. Many regard China as a key player in easing the tension between two Koreas. China, arguably North Korea’s sole trading partner and political ally, tries to prevent a collapse of the North Korean regime, which has potential to send a flood of refugees over its border. Whether this latest exchange of artilleries will escalate into a fullblown confrontation remains to be seen.
For more information, please see: The New York Times – Crisis Status’ in South Korea After North Shells Island – 23 November 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek – N. Korea Attack on South Kills Two, Sets Homes Ablaze – 23 November 2010 Bloomberg – UN Chief Ban Ki-moon Condemns North Korea’s Attack on South – 23 November 2010 The Wall Street Journal – China Faces Pivotal Test – 24 November 2010


December 11th, 2010 David L. Chaplin II Impunity Watch, Asia

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Suspected Sri Lankan ‘war criminal’, Shavendra Silva, former top military commander, played an alleged key role in the slaughter of 40,000 civilians and is also accused of clipping down separatist political group leaders, killed at gun-point, in the midst of surrender; now sits in a pool of full diplomatic immunity at the United Nations. The Srilankan government has expressed no interest in holding this human rights abuser accountable, as evident with their latest appointment of a war criminal as ‘deputy permanent U.N. representative’. The GOC of the 58 Division Brigadier Shavendra Silva shows President Mahinda Rajapaksa a tank captured from the LTTE. “Thousands were killed or starved. There were massive human-rights violations and he’s the No. 1 suspect,” said the investigator, a humanrights group expert who asked not to be identified. Now, the UN panel has a war criminal, a man with first-hand knowledge of the slayings, coming into the UN to represent Sri-Lanka. Human-rights groups are outraged that Shavendra Silva, 46, a top ex-military commander, was named Sri Lanka’s deputy permanent U.N. representative in August, after which he moved to New York. His arrival came a year after his troops defied international pleas and shelled a no-fire zone packed with women, children and elderly refugees, according to observers. “It’s a slap in the face,” said an investigator familiar with Silva, who last year oversaw the final months of a brutal 26-year civil war against Tamil separatists on the island nation off India’s southeastern tip. The war started in 1983 after the Tamils, a Hindu ethnic minority, were denied power by the ruling Sinhalese, Buddhists, and formed a violent resistance group, the Tamil Tigers. 107

Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva’s presence in New York coincides with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon setting up a panel of experts to advise him on accountability for human rights violations during the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka. It was after the New York Times published an article critical of the Sri Lankan Government’s appointment of Major General Shavendra Silva as the Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN that a journalist questioned the acting Dpt. Spokesman of UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon whether the expert panel will interview Silva. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a panel of experts to advise him on Sri Lanka’s alleged violations of human rights and humanitarian law during the last stages of the war against LTTE. He was further questioned on whether the final report of the findings of the Expert Panel will be made public, the Farhan Haq, Acting Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General said that, “We’ll have to see. As you know, it is an internal body, but it will be up to the Secretary-General to determine what he makes public once he received that information.” In a phone interview from London, Mr. Keenan said it appeared to be more than a coincidence that Gen. Silva would be appointed to the mission in New York at the same time as Mr. Ban set up the panel of experts. “So it seems fair to assume that he is trying to influence it, which is the right of the Sri Lankan government. But I think that is disturbing that someone who himself was involved in the very incidents that the U.N. has begun looking into should have any chance to influence the panel’s operations,” Mr. Keenan said.
For more information, please see: The Washington Times – Sri Lankan war crimes suspect get post as representative to U.N.- 5 December 2010 Live Lanka - UN not sure whether Expert Panel will interview Shavendra Silva - 11 December 2010 FOX news - ‘War criminal’ gets a UN job - 21 November 2010 Free Malayasia Today – ‘War Criminal’ gets a UN job – 8 December 2010


January 7th, 2011 David L. Chaplin II Impunity Watch; Asia

GUWAHATI, India – Local police reports show four people killed and more than 10,000 left homeless after ethnic clashes between two rival tribes in India’s northeast in the past 24 hours. The victims were traveling in a bus from Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills in western Meghalaya, towards Assam, police said. Clashes escalated and eight villages were burnt down. On Wednesday, three Garos were stopped by Rabhas and clubbed to death and eight others were critically wounded. Another Garos was shot by police allegedly trying to control mob tensions between rival villages. In retaliation, the Rabhas went on a rampage torching several houses in the Garo dominated areas of Torikas, Berubaris, Darakonas, Nebaris and Rongketchis. Around 40 people from the Rabha community are still missing, according to local villagers. Government officials said up to 10,000 people, mostly Rabhas, have fled their villages after the attacks and taken refuge in nearly a dozen makeshift shelters along both sides of the state border. “Rabhas living in Meghalaya suffered the most as 200 of their houses were set on fire, forcing them to our side,” said P.C. Goswami, a senior civil servant in Assam. On Thursday, thousands of Garos armed with machetes, locally-made guns and spears descended from the East Garo Hills district of Meghalaya into Assam’s Goalpara district and set fire to hundreds of houses in seven Rabha villages around the Krishnai area. The latest round of trouble in Meghalaya and Assam erupted in response to a longstanding demand for an autonomous council by one of the groups. Authorities have imposed an indefinite curfew in


Assam’s Goalpara district and Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district where the fighting took place, but tension remained high. Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi have both appealed for peace. Hundreds of armed policemen and border guards have been sent to the area. The state leader of opposition Conrad K. Sangma, accused the ruling Congressled Meghalaya United Alliance government of ‘taking the ethnic clash lightly’. ‘I strongly feel that there is no seriousness on the part of the (Meghalaya) government to sort out the issue in the initial stages to diffuse the simmering tension,’ Conrad said.
For more information, please see: CNN – Officials: Thousands flee tribal violence in northeast India – 7 January 2011 BCC – Four die in tribal clashes in India’s north-east – 6 January 2011 Reuters – Tribal clashes uproot thousands in NE India – 6 January 2011

February 2nd, 2011 By Joseph Juhn Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

BEIJING, China – As thousands of anti-government demonstrators poured onto Cairo’s streets to demand freedom in the past couple of days, China’s reaction was quick and simple: censor it. Many state-controlled internet pages and news articles, including sina.com and sohu.com censored the word “Egypt.” When the word was typed in a search engine, it prompted a following response: “According to the laws in force, the results of your search cannot be given.” User comments regarding Egypt were also deleted from Internet forums. The recent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia are giving pause to many authoritarian regimes around the world and China is no exception. The ruling Communist Party is wary of issues of political reform, demands 110

for democracy and disturbances to public order, even if all these events are taking place abroad. That is why Beijing is notorious for closely monitoring the 450 million Chinese Internet users to prevent or “Of course, the government doesn’t want to see more comments on (the protests), because stability is what they want,” said Zhan Jian, a professor with the Media Department at the China Youth University for Political Sciences. Censoring the Internet is not the only approach, however. Beijing is also trying to get out ahead of the discussion, framing the Egyptian protests in a few editorials and articles as a chaotic affair that embodies the pitfalls of trying to plant democracy in countries that are not quite ready for it — a line China’s leaders have long held. An editorial in the Global Times, a state-run newspaper, said such uprisings will not bring true “democracy”, as defined by Westerners. “As a general concept, democracy has been accepted by most people. But when it comes to political systems, the Western model is only one of a few options. It takes time and effort to apply democracy to different countries, and to do so without the turmoil of revolution,” the paper said Sunday. Two days later, the same publication took a hit against the United States for supporting authoritarian governments in pursuit of its interests in the Middle East, saying that “contradicts their so-called democratic politics.” China’s message to its own people is clear, said Jeremy Goldkorn, who runs Danwei.org, a website that tracks the media and Internet in China. “The Chinese government’s take is that chaos is harmful for a developing country: ‘Look what happens when people go in the streets,’” he said. “The Global Times frames everything as ‘This is the danger of Western-style democracy.”
For more information, please see: AFT – China micro-blogging sites censor ‘Egypt’ – 29 January 2011 Forbes – China restricts reports on Egypt protests – 2 February 2011 IHT – Wary of Egypt Unrest, China Censors Web – 31 January 2011


March 1st, 2011 David L. Chaplin II Impunity Watch, Asia

YALA, Thailand – Yala has been under emergency rule since 2005. More than 4,400 people have died from what seems like daily attacks. Fighters in Thailand’s south have waged a violent campaign since 2004. While the international media focuses on Red and Yellow Shirt clashes and a temple spat, a deadly rebellion still brews in Thailand’s south. Insurgents have intensified their attacks in the lower South in the hope of attracting the intervention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, says army commander-in-chief Prayuth Chan-ocha. Thailand is on the brink of political crisis as the separatist rebellion in the country’s south has largely escaped international attention. Its seventh anniversary passed quietly, with little mention. Major shooting and bomb attacks, since the start of the year, are being seen as an attempt by separatists to intensify the violence in a bid to highlight Thailand’s southern insurgency. The army chief said more surveillance cameras must be installed as they could help identify rebels perpetrating violence. A call for more residents of the South to become the eyes and ears of the state as Gen Prayuth said tighter security measures would be implemented. The army is concerned for the safety of people who might be harmed by insurgents for cooperating with authorities. The Thai government extended emergency rule in the country’s south for an additional three months, despite rights groups being concerned about the powers the law gives the military. The commander-in-chief said the army was handling the insurgency problem through a multi-dimensional approach using the justice system, military strategies and development projects. 112

Gen Prayuth said the army might have to go on the offensive and try harder to locate militants in hiding in the mountains and around towns. “We will not fall for the [militants'] tricks,” the army chief said. “We will do our best by invoking the law and by solving our own internal problem.” The more progress officials make and the more support they gain from local people, the more militants will intensify their attacks. Meanwhile, police have linked a key member of the militant Runda Kumpulan Kecil separatist movement to Monday’s motorcycle bomb attack in Yala in which 18 people were injured. The man was identified as Aumran Ming, an RKK group leader who lives in Narathiwat’s Rangae district, said provincial police Chief Chaitat Inthanujit. Mr. Aumran is wanted for involvement in many violent attacks against authorities and civilians since 2003. A sad truth is that, February was just another month in southern Thailand. Most of the past seven years, the authorities have decided to dismiss the attacks as random acts of violence carried out by either bandits or a handful of disgruntled Islamic militants. Five years passed before the Thai police admitted they had a separatist movement on their hands, a well-structured organization consisting of five related groups operating across four provinces—Songkhla, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat—where six million Muslims live. This is about more than just some obscure provincial groupings, there has also been evidence of links with al-Qaeda and regional terrorist outfits like Jemaah Islamiyah. ‘What’s happening in Pattani isn’t an internal conflict, some (fighters) come from the neighboring country, some come from far away, many thousands of miles,’ he has said, while urging Muslims in Malaysia and Indonesia to join Jemmah Islamiyahs jihad.
For more information, please see: The Diplomat – Thailand’s Forgotten Conflict - 24 February 2011 Bangkok Post – Prayuth says rebels hope to draw in OIC – 24 February 2011 Al Jazeera – Car bomb hits southern Thailand - 13 February 2011


May 23rd, 2010 By Yoohwan Kim Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

MINSK, Belarus – Nationwide raids against human rights and opposition activists continue throughout Belarus as police and state officials searched offices and homes in Minsk, Hrodna, Brest, and Homel. The raids are a part of President Alexander Lukashenko’s ongoing crackdown against rights activists, opposition organizations, and independent news media. Many organizations have reported that the police have detained several members, and have confiscated office equipment and published materials during these raids. The Belarusian Helsinki Committee, an independent rights group, said that Belarusian authorities detained several dozen opposition activists beginning on Tuesday, May 18. Most of the detained activists were released after questioning, but some activists have been arrested. Those arrested have been accused of spreading false information, under Article 250 of the Criminal Code of Belarus. Vladimir Nekliaev, a proclaimed opponent of the upcoming presidential election and the leader of the Speak the Truth opposition group, was arrested on charges of spreading false information. State officials searched Speak the Truth’s offices and its members’ homes for two consecutive days – May 18 and May 19. The organization’s founder, Uladzimir Nyaklyayew, recently announced he may run against incumbent Lukashenko in the upcoming presidential election, which will be held either at the end of this year or the beginning of 2011. According to Nyaklyayew, the organization’s goal is to “prompt Belarusian society to realize the real state of affairs in the country where there is little room for truth but where there are a lot of lies.” 114

Andrei Dmitriyev, an activist of the opposition United Civil Party, and Sergei Voznyak, the editor of the opposition newspaper Tovarishch were also both arrested after police raided their offices. They were charged with spreading false information. Following reports of the arrests, European Union officials expressed serious concern. “We are very concerned about the news. We’ll ask for explanations,” said Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for the EU’s policy chief.
For more information, please see: Radio Free Europe- Nationwide Raids Against Belarusian Rights Activists Continue – 20 May 2010 Earth Times – EU ‘Very Concerned’ About Belarus Opposition Crackdown – 19 May 2010 Winnipeg Free Press – 2 Opposition Activists, Journalist Arrested in Belarus – 19 May 2010 World Bulletin – Belarus Police Detains Opposition Journalist, Activist – 19 May 2010 Charter 97 - Wreaking Havoc in Oppositionists’ Flats all Over Belarus: Computers and Leaflets Confiscated – 18 May 2010

May 27th, 2010 By Tristan Simoneau Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

MEZHDURECHENSK, Russia – Two weeks ago in western Siberia twin methane explosions destroyed Russia’s largest coal mine. At least 67 miners were killed and 23 are still missing. The mine is owned by the Raspadskaya Coal Company, controlled mainly by the steel giant Evraz with a 40 percent stake in the Raspadskaya mine. It is still unclear how the methane was allowed to build to such dangerous levels in spite of modern sensors installed in the mine. Government officials have said the explosions were likely a result of an enormous underground burst of gas, a “mystery of nature” as one expert described. Many Russian miners have offered another explanation for this disaster. Mining companies often link workers’ pay to the amount of coal that is extracted and it is possible that in 115

order to increase their potential earnings, miners covered the methane sensors with wet rags. Miners earn a base monthly salary of about $830 a month, which can rise to $1,164 if they meet their production quotas. The deputy chairman of the Russian Coal Miners’ Trade Union stated that this pay policy motivated workers to block sensors in another site largely owned by Evraz leading to an explosion in 2007 that killed 110. In a commentary that ran in “The Moscow Times” on May 19th, political analyst Yulia Latynina wrote that “Evraz must pay Putin’s bureaucrats large bribes and kickbacks to stay in operation. These ‘corruption taxes’ are built into production costs at Raspadskaya, which may translate into lower wages and thus the need for miners to circumvent safety regulations in order to earn bonuses. Most Russians learned about the mining accident from one of the three nationwide TV channels that are either state-run or controlled by Kremlin-friendly business interests. These channels did not cover a protest on the night of May 15th, at least 300 miners and supporters in Mezhdurechensk, the Siberian mining town where the tragedy occurred. Raspadskaya miner Sergei Krasilnikov said the reason for this protest was “because there was no information about the accident and no one knew what was actually going on. The Kremlin may have control over through the TV networks but increasingly the youth of Russia are turning to the Internet, hearing more objective viewpoints on the Raspadskaya tragedy.
For more information, please see: Christian Science Monitor – After Russian Coal Mine Disaster, Questions about TV Censorship – 25 May 2010 Radio Free Europe – Black Hole: Russian Mining Tragedy Stirs Old Questions of Class, Privilege – 22 May 2010 NY Times – Putin Suggests Human Error in Mine Disaster – 11 May 2010


June 25th, 2010 By Tristan Simoneau Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Sweden’s public prosecutor, Magnus Evling, opened a criminal investigation on June 21st after a report was published alleging possible complicity in atrocities in Sudan by Swedish firm Lundin Petroleum. The report stated that Lundin Petroleum may have been complicit in “war crimes and crimes against humanity.” According to Mr. Evling, “the purpose of the inquiry is to investigate whether there are individuals with ties to Sweden who are suspected of involvement in crime.” Carl Bildt, who left Lundin’s board of directors in 2006 to become Sweden’s minister of foreign affairs, is currently the focus of accusations. This case raises questions about international obligations of corporations to safeguard human rights in conflict zones. ECOS claims that the civilian population was forcibly displaced and victimized during the government’s efforts to secure the oil fields. It is estimated that 12,000 people died and 160,000 were forcibly displaced through the efforts of the Sudanese government. According to Said Mahmoudi, professor of International Law at Stockholm University, “there is evidence that Lundin knew about what was happening, and they just closed their eyes simply because it was a question of millions and millions of dollars.” Lundin Petroleum denies any violation of international law. One of the goals of ECOS in producing the report is the creation of effective “limits for companies working in these types of conflict areas with regimes that are committing human rights violations.” ECOS Coordinator Egbert Wesselink stated that “in some parts of the world, many companies are effectively working in a legal void because there is no functioning legal system.” ECOS suggests that a possible remedy for this would be the enforcement of national laws by 117

corporations’ home countries. Mr. Wesselink noted that enforcement mechanisms are already in place, citing the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court, but the idea “has to be transferred to corporations and the people leading them.” Concerning Sudanese victims, there is precedent from the Bosnian conflict, where an international commission was set up to compensate victims. Furthermore, the Sudanese Constitution states that signatories to oil agreements are responsible for providing compensation. Even if compensation is provided at some point, it is likely that fair allocation of will be logistically impossible.

For more information, please see: Christian Science Monitor - Swedish Oil Company Under Scrutiny After Sudan War Crimes Report - 22 June 2010 Reuters- Prosecutor Probes Swedish Link in Sudan Crimes - 21 June 2010 Stockholm News - Oil Company Accused of War Crimes - 6 June 2010

June 28th, 2010 By Yoohwan Kim Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

STRASBOURG, France – On June 24 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that European nations are not legally obliged to allow or recognize same sex marriages. An Austrian couple, Hörst Schalk and Johann Kopf, brought a case against Austria in 2004 after the couple sought a marriage permit in Vienna in 2002. Austrian law only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman, and the country refused to give the gay couple a marriage license. Schalk and Kopf battled through the Austrian court system with no success. After the constitutional court of Austria upheld the lower courts’ decision to refuse their permit, the couple brought their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. They 118

claimed that the Austrian courts’ ruling violated their right to marriage under the European Convention on Human Rights. Following Article 9 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the seven judges of the European court held that the Austrian couple is not guaranteed a right to marriage. Each European country should decide their individual laws and how far they wish to recognize the legal status of same sex marriages. The court stated that marriage has “deep rooted social and cultural connotations which may differ largely from one society to another.” Each nation should implement their own policy and the “court reiterates that it must not rush to substitute its own judgment in place of that of the national authorities, who are best placed to access and respond to the needs of society.” Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Norway, and Spain allow gay marriages. In addition, there are about a dozen other nations, such as Britain, Germany, France, and (since January 2010) Austria, which currently recognize legal partnerships that carry the same legal status as marriage. Despite the lack of an EU-wide law, the European Court of Human Rights did acknowledge “an emerging European consensus” that same sex marriages should have legal recognition in Europe. Furthermore, the court found that gay couples are entitled to protection under charter definitions of family life. Although Austria does not recognize same sex marriages, the country passed a Registered Partnership Act in January 2010. This Act permits a registered partnership between gay couples, but differs from a legal marriage under the Austrian law. A same sex couple is restricted in having a choice of name, adopting children, and using artificial insemination.
For more information, please see: AP – Court: Same-sex Marriage is Not Universal Right - 25 June 2010 BBC – European Human Rights Court Rejects Gay Marriage Bid - 25 June 2010 Irish Times – Same-sex Marriage Ban Upheld by Court - 25 June 2010


July 16th, 2010 By Tristan Simoneau Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

BELFAST, Northern Ireland - On July 11th, riots erupted in Belfast when a Protestant march passed through areas mainly populated by Catholics. Despite the calm in the region since a 1998 peace deal, violence still often breaks out around July 12th as Catholics try to prevent marches. Known as The Twelfth, the holiday has been marred by violence and has been a continuing source of tension between Catholics and Protestants. The date marks Prince William of Orange’s victory over the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. The month of July is the height of the “marching season”, a sixmonth period in which the pro-British Protestant fraternal organization, the Orange Order, takes to the streets to celebrate the ascension of William of Orange to the British throne. The past decade has seen a gradual decrease of tension between the groups, until this year. On the night of the 11th, twenty-seven officers were injured, including three shot at close range by a man armed with a shotgun. On July 12th, the day of the march, police had to remove demonstrators who staged a sit-down protest to block the march. Rioting erupted soon afterwards and more than 50 officers were injured. There are reports that on July 13th, four to six shots were fired at police in the mainly Catholic Ardoyne district of Belfast. Many rioters also threw petrol bombs and stones, prompting police to use water cannons to deter the attacks. Now police commanders are saying that the rioting appears to be on the wane after four nights of attacks that have left more than 80 officers wounded. A Belfast deputy commander, Duncan McCausland, said rioting Wednesday night and Thursday morning involved “a substantially smaller group of people.” Politicians have accused the Irish Republican Army of directing the violence that began Sunday night. British Prime Minister David 120

Cameron condemned the behavior of the protestors as “completely unacceptable” and praised the police for their “bravery and restraint.” Cameron said Northern Ireland’s police force is under local control and is no longer taking orders from London. The Prime Minister also stated “there is no excuse for anyone not to cooperate with the police force.” The Chief Constable of Northern Ireland, Matt Baggot, has stated that his force is determined to bring those responsible to justice. Five arrests have been made following the violence. For more information, please see:
Christian Science Monitor – Northern Ireland Riots Raise Worries About ‘Bad Old Days’ – 15 July 2010 Irish Times – Fourth Night of Riots in Belfast – 15 July 2010 AP – Police Dodge Gunfire in 3rd Night of Belfast Riots – 14 July 2010 BBC – ‘Significant Arrests’ Promised after Belfast Riots – 14 July 2010

September 5th, 2010 By Christina Berger Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

KHARKIV, Ukraine – Local news outlets reported on Wednesday that a key witness in the case of missing Ukrainian journalist, Vasyl Klymentyev, is also missing. Petro Matviyenko, another witness in the case and Klymentyev’s colleague, would not reveal the name of the missing witness but stated he had confirmed the disappearance with law enforcement. The police are believed to be involved in the disappearance and possible death of Klymentyev, who was last seen getting into a car with an unidentified man on August 11, 2010 after leaving his home in Kharkiv. His cell phone and keys were later found on an empty boat floating in a reservoir near Kharkiv. “There are enough reasons to believe that he is dead,” Interior Minister Anatoliy Mohyliov said. “We have suspicions that members of law 121

enforcement organs, both current and former, may be involved.” Mohyliov stated he would be taking over personal control of the case, and switching the investigation to the Main Investigation Department, which handles high-profile cases. President Viktor Yanukovych also said he was taking personal control of the case, ordering law enforcement to make “every possible and impossible effort” to find Klymentyev. According to the Ukrainian Journal, Henadiy Moskal, former deputy interior minister and a member of the opposition group People’s Selfdefense, believes Klymentyev’s disappearance has something to do with a battle for control over Kharkiv police. “In reality this crime has been committed in the police environment,” Moskal said. “It was committed in the battle for the post of the chief of the Kharkiv region police department.” Klymentyev, chief-editor and reporter for the weekly newspaper Novyi Still (New Style), was reportedly offered a bribe and subsequently threatened for his refusal to kill a story. According to Matviyenko, deputy editor-in-chief of New Style, Klymentyev was working on a report involving the illegal activities of a Kharkiv prosecutor at the time of his disappearance. Matviyenko told Radio Free Europe/Liberty Europe that the police and the prosecutor’s office are connected and the investigators aren’t interested in finding Klymentyev, despite statements by the Interior Minister and President. Matviyenko called the investigation a “farce.”
For more information, please see: Ukrainian Journal – Key Witness in Journalist Case Disappears – 1 September 2010 UNIAN – Disappeared Witness in the Case of Journalist Kharkov Klimenteva – 1 September 2010 RFE/RL – Colleague of Missing Ukrainian Journalist Slams Investigation – 30 August 2010 NY Times – Ukraine: Missing Journalist Is Presumed Dead – 26 August 2010 Ukrainian Journal – Minister: Missing Editor Killed by Cops – 26 August 2010 Epoch Times – Missing Ukrainian Journalist Threatened Before Disappearance - 23 August 2010 AP – Ukrainian President Urges Search for Missing Journalist – 20 August 2010


September 14th, 2010 By Christina Berger Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

GENEVA, Switzerland – The 15th session of the UN Human Rights Council opened on Monday in Geneva. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, noted in her speech to the Council the occurrence of widespread worldwide human rights abuses and increasing attacks against human rights defenders. Pillay provided updates to the Council on specific world situations and presented reports from the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. She noted the harsh conditions for migrants in Mexico and the increasing assaults in countries such as Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zimbabwe as a result of competition over natural resources. Pillay also raised concerns over Israeli draft laws. Some of Pillay’s harshest criticism was directed toward France’s Roma expulsion policy. “Such measures can only exacerbate the stigmatization of Roma and the extreme poverty and exclusion in which they live,” she said. “The often stereotyping and discriminatory rhetoric by officials and by the media when referring to the Roma in Europe is also an issue of grave concern.” Larger countries did not escape Pillay’s criticism. She denounced the US program of targeted killings of suspected terrorists as contravening “international norms set to protect the right to life and the rule of law.” China was the subject of censure, along with Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Tunisia, concerning restrictions on civil society groups and activists. Russia, along with Azerbaijan, was criticized for their failure to seek justice against perpetrators of attacks and murders of human rights defenders. Much of Pillay’s speech focused on restrictions, harassment, and attacks against human rights advocates, lawyers, journalists, and 123

organizers through various countries. “I urge the Human Rights Council and the international community to support squarely and vocally human rights defenders. In this context, I would also like to bring to the attention of the Council the vital need to ensure the safety and protection of defenders and other witnesses who cooperate with UN-mandated fact-finding and investigative initiatives. Such protection must span the whole cycle of these missions’ activities and beyond.”
For more information, please see: NY Times – UN Human Rights Chief Criticizes Big Powers – 13 September 2010 Reuters Africa – UN Rights Chief Hits Russia on Murders of Activists – 13 September 2010 UN Human Rights News – Human Rights Council Opens Fifteenth Regular Session – 13 September 2010 UN News Centre – UN Human Rights Chief Voices Concern Over Deportation of Roma From France – 13 September 2010 Voice of America – Widespread Human Rights Abuses Reported Worldwide as UN Council Opens – 13 September 2010

September 16th, 2010 By Ricardo Zamora Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

MILAN, Italy - Libyan officials on board Italian Naval ships continue to fire on boats suspected of carrying illegal African migrants. Such use of force between the coasts of Italy and Libya has been commonplace since May 2009. On May 14, 2009, Italy and Libya entered into a joint agreement to curtail the flow of migrants from Libya to Italy. The terms of the agreement explained that Italy would supply reconnaissance vessels to be operated jointly by Italian and Libyan officials for the purpose of intercepting boats attempting to smuggle African migrants into Italy. The agreement added that Italian officials were not to physically participate in boat interceptions and were on board the vessels only in a “maintenance” capacity. 124

The most recent incident occurred on Sunday, September 12, when Libyan officials on board one of the several Italian vessels opened fire on a Sicilian boat located 30 miles off the Libyan coast, Italian officials report. The incident occurred in international waters. Further investigation revealed that the boat was, in fact, an Italian fishing trawler occupied by ten men – all of them Italian nationals. Although none of the ten occupants were wounded, the boat’s captain openly condemned Libya’s and Italy’s actions and inactions. Italy has apologized for what it called a “mistake.” “The fact that the Libyan patrol fired because it mistook the Italian boat for a ship of migrants does not make it any less serious,” centerleft Democratic Party senator Giuseppe Lumia said. “Here, it’s a question of respect for international norms and fundamental human rights.” While only Libyan officials fired upon the Italian trawler, human rights groups worry that Italy’s silence over the matter implies that it does not condemn the use of deadly force on innocent civilians. Both governments said they are investigating the incident. “The Libyans and Italians appear to agree that it was a mistake to shoot at Italian fishermen, but imply that it’s OK to shoot at migrants,” said Bill Frelick, Refugee Program director at Human Rights Watch. “The bullet-riddled boat shows a reckless use of potentially lethal force that would have been just as bad if it had actually targeted nonthreatening migrants.”
For more information, please see: Human Rights Watch – Libya: End Lice Fire Against Suspected Boat Migrants – September 16, 2010 Sahara Reporters – Libya: End Live Fire Against Suspected Boat Migrants – September 16, 2010 Reuters – Libya Apologizes for Firing at Italian Boat – September 14, 2010


September 29th, 2010 By Ricardo Zamora Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

ZAGREB, Croatia – The conclusion of a recent human rights report suggests that the Croatian government is forcing individuals with intellectual or mental disabilities to live in institutions which deprive them of their privacy, autonomy, and dignity. The government has failed to provide alternative care options as promised to the European Union and the United Nations, according to Human Rights Watch. “Imagine always having to ask permission to leave the place where you live, having no privacy to take a shower, and no chance to decide what to eat or when to go to bed,” said Amanda McRae, fellow with the Europe and Central Asia division at Human Rights Watch and the author of the report. “This is the reality for thousands of people living in institutions in Croatia,” she added. While community-based programs in other countries show effectiveness in offering disabled persons a better quality of life than those living in institutions, Croatia has resisted in implementing such programs. This resistance runs contrary to its position among the first countries to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The UN Convention expressly provides disabled persons the basic right to live in the community. The report recommends that Croatia replace institutions with community-based programs in order to remain consistent with the Convention’s provisions. “Real leadership on this issue will require a serious and sustained commitment to provide community-based housing and support for people with disabilities,” said McRae. While up to 30 percent of persons live in these institutions by choice, Human Rights Watch cautions that such a choice is meaningless due to the lack of alternative options. 126

There are currently over 4,000 people with mental disabilities residing in institutions within Croatia. While there are some community-based programs for the mentally disabled, there are only sufficient resources to support 16 people. Similarly, while 5,000 people with intellectual disabilities are institutionalized, community-based resources for the intellectually disabled are able to support only 250 people. The Croatian government plan for deinstitutionalization is part of its preparations for EU membership. However, those plans have not yet been made public. In the meantime, the number of institutionalized people continues to grow.
For more information, please see: The Open Society Mental Health Initiative – Living Proof: The Right to Live In The Community – September 27, 2010 Human Rights Watch – Croatia: Locked Up, Limited Lives – September 23, 2010 UNHCR – Croatia: Unfulfilled Promises to Persons With Disabilities – September 8, 2010

October 1st, 2010 By Christina Berger Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

LONDON, England – Workers are suffering slave-like conditions on illegal fishing boats supplying fish and seafood to the European market, according to a report published Thursday by the London-based group Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF). The report “All at Sea – The Abuse of Human Rights Aboard Illegal Fishing Vessels” follows an investigation by EJF spanning four years. EJF investigated fishing trawlers operating off the coast of Sierra Leone and Guinea. The boats have official European Union numbers, which means they are licensed to sell to the European market. The official European Union numbers carried by the boats also mean that those vessels should have passed strict hygiene standards. However, the EJF report alleges that extremely unhealthy and hazardous conditions exist on board many of the vessels they investigated. The 127

report claims that the “worst cases meet the International Labour Organization definition of forced labor, including physical confinement, compulsion, retention of identity documents, and nonpayment of wages.” The report goes on to detail conditions where crew members have been “punched, beaten with metal rods, deprived of sleep, imprisoned without food or water, and forced to continue working after injury; the worst cases of violence include murder.” Some workers are forced to work in areas sorting fish with no ventilation and temperatures well over 100 ˚F. Photographs and video show living quarters where the ceiling is less than a meter high, or where wooden structures are perched precariously on deck in danger of “being washed over the side.” EJF alleges that workers are drawn from rural areas of countries like Vietnam or the Philippines, as well as locals, with the promise of higher wages than they could earn at home. It’s only when they get to the boat that they find those promises never materialize – usually after their passports have been taken away. The report details one case of a vessel fishing illegally in Sierra Leonean waters, where “[local] crew members had been picked up in Freetown and taken on without contracts and were not given cash payment. Instead they were paid in boxes of frozen ‘trash’ fish, which is the by catch rejected by the European market. Duncan Copeland, an EJF investigator, said, “We didn’t set out to look at human rights but rather to tackle the illegal fishing that’s decimating fish stocks, but having been on board we have seen conditions that unquestionably meet the UN official definition of forced labor or modern-day slavery.”
For more information, please see: AOL News – Slavery Found on Fishing Boats Supplying Europe – 30 September 2010 EJF – EJF Releases New Report – 30 September 2010 Guardian – Modern-day Slavery: Horrific Conditions on Board Ships Catching Fish for Europe – 30 September 2010


October 30th, 2010 By Christina Berger Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

CATANIA, Italy — Amnesty International called on Italian authorities on Friday to investigate the forcible return of 68 people to Egypt after they were intercepted on a boat near the coast of Sicily. Amnesty International is questioning whether the migrants were given the opportunity to apply for asylum and international protection. The boat was carrying about 130 migrants, who identified themselves as Palestinians. The authorities arrested seven suspected human traffickers when they boarded the fishing vessel, and the other people were taken to a sports facility in Catania. They were detained for 24 hours in order to facilitate identification and return arrangements, the Italian authorities said. 68 of the migrants were put on a plane to Cairo, Egypt because Italian authorities claimed they were illegal immigrants from Egypt and not Palestinians. Amnesty International is questioning how identifications were made and protection needs assessed, and whether these migrants were given appropriate information and opportunity to seek asylum in accordance with international refugee and human rights laws. “All people rescued at sea must be given the opportunity to seek asylum and to have their claims assessed in a fair and satisfactory asylum-determination procedure,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia. “There are concerns that in this case none of the individuals, included the 68 deported, was given such an opportunity.” According to Amnesty International, organizations such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration, Save the Children, and the Italian Red Cross were repeatedly denied access to the migrants. 129

For years, thousand of migrants from Africa attempted crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Italy, but that number has been drastically reduced since Italy and Libya made a deal in 2008 requiring migrants intercepted in international waters to be returned to Libya. Human rights groups argue that this deal violates the rights of asylum seekers. Amnesty International has broadly urged Italian authorities to stop mass summary expulsion of foreign nationals in order to conform with international laws and standards aimed at protecting the rights of asylum seekers.
For more information, please see: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL — Italy Urged To Stop Mass Expulsions — 29 October 2010 AFP — 128 Immigrants Intercepted off Sicily in Egyptian Fishing Vessel –27 October 2010 DEUTSCHE PRESSE-AGENTUR — Italian Coast Guard Intercepts 128 migrants — 26 October 2010

November 3rd, 2010 By Christina Berger Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

LONDON, England – UK military interrogation training manuals told interrogators to use techniques such as enforced nakedness and sleep deprivation in what is an apparent violation of international law, according to a recent newspaper report. In the exclusive report, the Guardian made public the information contained in secret military interrogation training aids and manuals from 2005 and 2008, as well as more recent materials. The manuals advocate methods to promote humiliation, insecurity, exhaustion, and fear in the prisoners before and during questioning. A PowerPoint training aid from September 2005 obtained by the Guardian says “Get them naked. Keep them naked if they do not follow commands.” A manual from 2008 also advocated enforced 130

nakedness. The training materials tell interrogators to remove the prisoner’s clothes and then search behind his foreskin and spread his buttocks. More recent training materials tell interrogators that blindfolds, earmuffs, and plastic handcuffs are necessary tools to be used in interrogation. Also, although the prisoner must be allowed to rest for eight hours in every 24 hours, only four hours of that is required to be unbroken sleep. Additionally, there is a section in the training materials entitled, “positional asphyxiation – signs and symptoms”. The Guardian makes the claim that these abusive techniques violate the 1949 Geneva conventions which prohibit any “physical or moral coercion,” as well as coercion used to get information. This report comes at an especially sensitive time. WikiLeaks recently published secret U.S. files from the war in Iraq showing coalition forces ignored torture conducted by Iraq security forces. In addition, the high court in London will hear arguments next month from the lawyers representing more than 100 Iraqis who claim they were held and tortured during interrogation by British forces between March 2003 and April 2007. Reuters quoted a defense ministry spokesman as saying, “There are ongoing enquiries precisely to establish the previous and current basis for how we conduct our detention operations.” The spokesman added, “The military … is committed to constantly trying to improve these parts of its operations.” According to the Guardian, [a]ddressing the legal status of detainees who may later face prosecution, the [training] material states: “Let the judicial process deal with them after you have finished.”
For more information, please see: Reuters — UK Military Interrogations ‘May Break Geneva Rules’ — 26 October 2010 Telegraph — British Interrogation Techniques Advice ‘Included Sensory Deprivation’ — 26 October 2010 Guardian — Humiliate, Strip, Threaten: UK Military Interrogation Manuals Discovered— 25 October 2010


November 5th, 2010 By Christina Berger Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

LONDON, England – A lawyer representing more than 200 Iraqi civilians told the high court in London on Friday that the Iraqis suffered systematic mistreatment and torture by British soldiers in a secret prison near Basra. The lawyer called this “Britain’s Abu Ghraib.” These allegations come not longer after secret UK military training aids advocating abuse and even torture were leaked to a newspaper. Michael Fordham, a lawyer for the former detainees, told the court that the abuse of detainees began when British forces first entered Iraq in March 2003 until they withdrew from Iraq in 2009. According to the New York Times, Fordham claimed the former detainees had experienced “beatings, starvation, sleep deprivation, electric shocks, prolonged periods of nakedness and sexual humiliation by female soldiers, sensory deprivation through the enforced use of hoods, earmuffs and blackened goggles, and exposure to pornographic DVDs.” The solicitors representing the former detainees submitted video footage which they say substantiate the allegations. The interrogators themselves filmed over 1,200 videos, and 13 of them were submitted to the panel of three High Court judges. One of the videos, which can be viewed on the Guardian’s website, shows two interrogators screaming obscenities at a detainee. The interrogators ignore the man when he says he has not been allowed to sleep, and that he has not had food or drink in two days. One of the interrogators threatens the man with execution. The lawyers for the detainees claim that the man was beaten severely after he was led away from the camera, as evidenced by the muffled sounds at the end of the video.


The hearing before the high court is expected to last three days, at which time the court will have to decide whether or not to overrule two successive British governments, as well as military commanders, who have previously refused to initiate a public inquiry. Opponents of an inquiry have claimed that past reports of abuse of detainees were individual incidents, the result of a few bad apples as opposed to systemic, command-approved abuse. Phil Shiner, a lawyer for the former detainees, believes that it’s “nonsense” to claim it’s a case of a few bad apples. He also asserts that people at the highest level of government knew what was going on, and only a public inquiry will shed light on the truth of the matter. “We want accountability, reparations and an apology,” Mr. Shiner said. “There are lessons that have to be learned.”

For more information, please see: BBC — Iraqi Civilians Systematically Abused, Court Hears — 5 November 2010 NYT — British Troops Accused of Abusing Iraqi Detainees — 5 November 2010 GUARDIAN — Iraqi Prisoners Were Abused at ‘UK’s Abu Ghraib’, Court Hears — 5 November 2010

November 16th, 2010 By Christina Berger Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

PRISTINA, Kosovo — European Union officials have accused seven people of participating in an international organ-trafficking ring. The seven people, including doctors and a former Health Ministry official, have allegedly trafficked kidneys and other organs from impoverished people through a clinic on the outskirts of Pristina. According to the AP, EU prosecutor Jonathan Ratel said in the indictment that an “organized criminal group” had trafficked persons into Kosovo for the purpose of removing “human organs for transplant 133

to other persons”. Ratel is part of the EU’s rule of law mission, which handles serious crime in Kosovo. The victims, who mostly came from impoverished areas of Turkey, Russia, Moldova, and Kazakhstan, were promised up to €14,500 ($20,000) for their organs. The organs were then sold to patients around the globe, from Israel to Canada, for between €80,000 and €100,000 ($110,000 and $137,000). The organ-trafficking ring was first discovered two years ago, but it took time for investigators to learn the extent of the network. EU officials have recently made requests for evidence from Canada, Germany, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. EU officials allege that the leader of the organ-trafficking ring is Dr. Lutfi Dervishi, who is a prominent surgeon and professor at Pristina University Hospital. His son, Arban Dervishi, ran the clinic. According to prosecutors, Lufti Dervishi recruited a Turkish doctor, Yusuf Sonmez, to perform organ transplants after Dervishi attended a medical conference in Istanbul. Moshe Harel, an Israeli citizen, allegedly identified, recruited, and transported the victims, as well as managed the cash payments before the surgeries. Along with those four, Illir Rrecaj, a former senior Health Ministry official, and two other doctors were also indicted. The seven people were charged with counts of trafficking in persons, unlawful exercise of medical activity, and abuse of power. They were all released on bail and are not currently in custody. Allegations have been made in the past that during the war dating back to 1999, the Kosovo Liberation Army kidnapped and killed Serb civilians for organ harvesting. These claims have been investigated, but never proven.

For more information, please see: NYT — Seven Charged in Kosovo Organ-Trafficking Ring — 15 November 2010 AP — EU in Kosovo Probes Organ Trafficking — 15 November 2010 BBC — Kosovo Medics Accused of Trafficking Kidneys — 12 November 2010 AP — EU Prosecutor: 7 Suspected of Organ Trafficking — 11 November 2010


November 19th, 2010 By Ricardo Zamora Impunity Watch Reporter Europe

STRASBOURG, France – A recent investigation in the Greek prison system revealed severe police abuses against detainees. The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), the experts that lead the investigation, report that police conduct, at times, bordered on torture. In its report, the CPT notes instances of detainees being punched, kicked, beaten with clubs and even threatened with rape. While the below-par living conditions in Greece’s prisons are not novel, the increasing detention has many human rights and political groups worried that living conditions and abuses will worsen. In response to such concerns, the Council of Europe is calling on Europe to help Greece process inmates. The “Dublin II Regulation” is major reason Greece is receiving so many migrants. The regulation is an EU law that determines which state is responsible for looking into an asylum-seeker’s application. While it aims to consider the legitimate concerns of asylum seekers and irregular migrants, the living conditions individuals face by being sent to Greek prisons under its guise indicates indifference. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees and human rights groups are calling for the stop of returns under the regulation because of the inadequate protection against inhuman conditions in Greece. The European Court of Human Rights seems to share those concerns. In a recent opinion it appealed to Austria, the Netherlands and Britain not to send any individuals back to Greece. “Greece should not carry the burden of receiving the vast majority of all irregular migrants entering the European Union,” said Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture. “In a number of 135

Criminal Investigation Departments, I found more than 40 foreigners held in administrative detention in office space temporarily used as make-shift cells,” he added. Nowak stressed that such conditions clearly violated Articles 7 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Articles 7 and 10 were adopted to curtail inhuman and degrading treatment. Monsters and Critics reported that while the Greek government is planning on changing its system of expulsion centers, it has rejected the allegations of serious abuse of detainees.
For more information, please see: Monsters and Critics – Council of Europe Group Blasts Greece Over Prison Abuses – 17 November 2010 Radio Free Europe – EU Sends Border Team To Greece Over Immigrants – 25 October 2010 Global Nation – EU Urged to Help Greece Deal With Irregular Migrants – 24 October 2010

December 29th, 2010 By Ricardo Zamora Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

KYIV, Ukraine – Migrants and asylum seekers, including children and the elderly, face torturous practices and arbitrary detention at the hands of Ukrainian border officials and police, said Human Rights Watch in a recent report. The inhuman practices include the use of electric shocks to “round up” those apprehended at the country’s borders, lack of access to the asylum procedure, food deprivation, detention of children, corruption and more. The report, “Buffered in the Borderland: The Treatment of Asylum Seekers and Migrants in the Ukraine,” reveals the Ukraine’s failure to live up to its obligations under an agreement with the EU which came into effect on January 1, 2010. For example, Ukraine has not taken the initiative to close major legal gaps in its laws. One of the legal gaps 136

does not provide for the protection of those who flee generalized violence and war or for trafficking victims. Such loopholes are not just inconsistent with the point of the agreement, but also contradict the EU charter of fundamental rights. Under the agreement, the EU provides financial assistance to the Ukraine to assist in the development of acceptable treatment towards refugees and asylum seekers. While the report concedes that some conditions in detention facilities have improved, it notes that Ukraine continues to subject many individuals to inhuman and degrading treatment. The report also criticizes the EU for returning third-country nationals who enter the EU from Ukraine back to Ukraine to face such inhuman treatment. The report notes that the EU’s financial assistance does not absolve its member states of their obligations under the EU charter of fundamental rights to provide access to proper asylum procedures and not to return people to face torture or ill-treatment or of the EU members’ responsibilities toward unaccompanied children. “The EU should suspend its readmission agreement until Ukraine demonstrates its capacity to provide a fair hearing for asylum seekers, to treat migrants humanely, and to guarantee effective protection for refugees and vulnerable individuals,” said Bill Frelick, Refugee Program director at Human Rights Watch. “Buffeted in the Borderland: The Treatment of Asylum Seekers and Migrants in Ukraine” is available at: http:/www.hrw.org/node/94366
For more information, please see: Ukrainians.com – Ukraine: Migrants and Asylum Seekers Tortured. Mistreated –19 December 2010 PressTV – Report: Migrants Abused By Ukrainian Guards – 18 December 2010 Reuters – Migrants Returned by EU to Ukraine Face Abuse: HRW –16 December 2010


January 21st, 2011 By Christina Berger Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

DUBLIN, Ireland — A newly revealed 1997 document shows that the Vatican warned Irish Bishops against mandatory reporting of suspected child-abuse cases by priests to the police. Victims groups are calling this letter the “smoking gun” they’ve been looking for to prove that the Vatican engaged in a culture of cover-up. The document appears to contradict repeated claims from the Vatican over the years that church leaders in Rome did not seek to steer the actions of local bishops in suspected child-abuse cases by priests, nor did they hamper criminal investigations into child abuse. The letter, obtained by the Irish Broadcaster RTE, was sent by the late Archbishop Luciano Storero. Storero was serving as Pope John Paul II’s chief representative to Ireland at the time. The letter was a response to a new policy that included mandatory reporting of suspected abusers to police instituted by Irish Bishops to deal with sexual abuse of children by priests. The Storero letter, a copy of which the New York Times has made available on their website, stated that the proposed policy of mandatory reporting “gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and a canonical nature.” The letter stresses “the need for the policy to conform to the canonical norms presently in force.” The letter goes on to state that by following non-canonical procedures, Bishops “could invalidate the acts of the same Bishops who are attempting to put a stop to these problems” and the “results could be highly embarrassing and detrimental to those same Diocesan authorities.” A spokesman for the Vatican, Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed the letter’s authenticity, but stressed that it was outdated, saying it referred to a “situation that [they've] now moved beyond.” Lombardi indicated that the approach to sexual abuse cases changed in 2001 when the 138

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at the time led by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, was put in charge of such cases. According to the Associated Press, today the Vatican instructs bishops worldwide to report crimes to the police in a legally non-binding lay guide on its Web site. This advice is not included in the official legal advice provided by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was updated last summer. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith continues to stress the secrecy of canon law. Victims groups and activists believe this letter proves that the Vatican did practice a policy of cover up by instructing local bishops not to report suspected abusers to the criminal authorities. “The Vatican is at the root of this problem,” said Colm O’Gorman, director of the Irish chapter of Amnesty International. “Any suggestion that they have not deliberately and willfully been instructing bishops not to report priests to appropriate civil authorities is now proven to be ridiculous.” Joelle Casteix, a director of U.S. advocacy group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said the Storero letter was the “smoking gun” they’ve been looking for, and would likely be used in the future by victims’ lawyers seeking to hold the Vatican responsible. “In the mid 1990s, Irish bishops wanted to start telling law enforcement about horrific child sex crimes,” the group, The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said in a statement. “Top Vatican bureaucrats told them no. That’s what this newly released letter shows. We can’t help but wonder how many other similar documents- in which the Vatican thwarts local efforts to combat abuse - remain hidden in church records across the world.”
For more information, please see: BBC — Vatican officials told Irish not to report child abuse — 19 January 2011 CNN — Irish abuse victims ‘disgusted’ at Vatican letter — 19 January 2011 AP — Vatican Warned Irish Bishops Not to Report Abuse — 18 January 2011 NYT — Vatican Letter Warned Bishops on Abuse Policy — 18 January 2011


January 7th, 2011 By Christina Berger Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Hungary has recently come under fire for a new media law, effective January 1, 2011, which greatly expands the state’s power to monitor and penalize media outlets by imposing heavy fines for media coverage that violates “public interest, public morals or order.” Critics of the new law worry that too much in it remains undefined and can be used to silence public debate or media coverage that is critical of the government. Criticism of the new law by media watchdogs and European governments has been particularly sharp given that Hungary assumed the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union on January 1. If television channels violate the new law, they could receive a fine up to 200 million forints ($950,000), daily publications could receive fines up to 25 million forints ($119,000), and weekly publications could receive fines up to 10 million forints ($48,000). The new law is administered by the newly created National Media and Communications Authority (NMHH). One of the first acts of the NMHH was to begin proceedings against a radio station for playing two songs by the rapper Ice-T, which contain obscenities, before 9 PM, saying that the songs “could influence the development of minors in a negative way”. The radio station responded in a letter saying that few of those under 16, in a country where most people do not possess advanced foreign languages skills, understand lyrics “written in slang, full of words and expressions missing from their curriculum, after one hearing, in a musical environment.” In late December Hungarian Prime Minister Orban took a strong stance against any criticism of the new law. “We are not even thinking in our wildest dreams about making amendments to the law,” he said 140

in an interview with the Hungarian private television channel Hir TV. “I am not inclined to react with wobbly knees to debates in parliament or Western reactions. There is not a single passage in the law that does not correspond to the media law in E.U. countries.” This Thursday, Orban acknowledged that Hungary’s six-month presidency of the European Union got off to a “bad start,” as well as further acknowledging that Hungary might be open to the possibility of amending the new media law if the European Union requires it. However, Orban claims other countries have comparable laws to Hungary’s new media law, though experts say Hungary’s law goes further than others and represents the worst practices in Europe. As a result, Orban says, Hungary will only institute changes to the media law if other EU countries make similar changes.
For more information, please see: AP – Hungary Willing to Consider Changes to Media Law – 6 January 2011 BBC – Hungary PM ‘Ready to Change’ Media Law if EU Demands – 6 January 2011 BBC – Hungary Plunges Into EU Hot Water in Steering Role – 6 January 2011 NY Times – Hungarian Leader Takes On Foreign Critics – 6 January 2011 BBC – Hungary Rejects Western Media Law Attacks – 3 January 2011


February 17th, 2011 By Daniel M. Austin Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

BUDAPEST, Hungary - On Monday, Budapest prosecutors charged a former Hungarian paramilitary officer for his role in the massacre of 1,200 civilians in the city of Novi Sad during World War II. The war crimes charged against the former officer, Sandor Kepiro, comes nearly seventy years after the January 1942 massacre. He was indicted after years of diplomatic pressure from the Simon Wiesenthal Center


which had listed Mr. Kepiro as its number one most wanted Nazi war criminal. The Budapest Investigating Prosecutor’s Office has charged the 96 year old with war crimes for his participation in a raid by Hungarian armed forces on the Serbian city of Novi Sad. The crime involved the killing of unarmed civilians by the invading Hungarian forces. Specifically, the prosecutors allege that Mr. Kepiro helped round up and ordered the execution of hundreds of people during the massacre which took place between January 21 and 23, 1942. Those killed in the attack were mostly Jews, Serbs, and Roma civilians. Novi Sad is a city located in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina. On Monday, Mr. Kepiro proclaimed his innocence and denied he committed any of these acts. Additionally, he claims he is bed ridden and can’t leave his home. Records indicate that he fled Europe after World War II ended and went to Argentina. He remained there for several decades and then returned to Budapest in 1996. In 2006, the Simon Wiesenthal Center obtained information that Mr. Kepiro was living Budapest and pressed the Hungarian government to charge him. The Hungarian government claims that it had known about Mr. Kepiro’s location for several years but was unable to charge him and go forward with their case because of the country’s bureaucracy. Located in Los Angeles, California, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to the continued search for Nazi war criminals throughout the world. Mr. Kepiro had been at the top of the group’s most wanted list of war criminals because of his involvement in this massacre. The massacre at Novi Sad occurred at a time when Hungary was a close ally of Nazi Germany. During this period more than 500,000 Hungarian Jews and more than 50,000 Roma were killed.
For more information, please see: Deutsche Welle– Hungary Charges Former Officer With Wartime Massacre in Serbia - 15 February 2011 Irish Times – Hungary Charges Former Police Captain with Massacre in 1942 – 15 February 2011 JTA - Accused Nazi Killer Charged in Budapest – 15 February 2011


NY Times – Hungary: 96-Year-Old Charged in 1942 Mass Killings – 15 February 2011 YNET News– Hungarian Man Charged with WW2 War Crimes in Serbia - 15 February 2011

February 26th, 2011 By Christina Berger Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A former senior Serbian police official was convicted Wednesday by a UN tribunal for his part in the “campaign of terror” against Kosovans in 1999. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced Vlastimir Ðorðevic to 27 years in prison for crimes against humanity and war crimes. During the conflict in 1999, Ðorðevic was an assistant internal affairs minister and the head of the public security department–the equivalent of chief of police in many countries–as well as a close aid to former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. Ðorðevic was found guilty of taking part in a “joint criminal enterprise” in 1999 along with officials such as Milosevic in order to change the ethnic balance of Kosovo by engaging in a “widespread campaign of terror and violence.” This campaign of terror included murdering, deporting, and forcibly transferring ethnic Albanians, many of which were civilians. The court found Ðorðevic to be responsible for the murder of “not less than 724 Kosovo Albanians” who were murdered by Serbian forces. The court found that “[i]n the large majority of cases the victims, including many women and children, were civilians, who were unarmed and not in any way participating in any form of armed conflict.” Ðorðevic asserted that he had no control over the responsible Serbian forces and instead he oversaw operations geared toward the “terrorists” of the Kosovo Liberation Army. The court rejected these 143

claims, finding that Ðorðevic’s participation in the joint criminal enterprise was “crucial to its success” and that Ðorðevic exercised “effective control” over the Serbian police forces who committed the crimes. The court cited examples to show that the Serbian police forces’ conduct was not part of any police operation to find and arrest terrorists. In March of 1999, Serbian polices forces shot and burned 114 men and boys. On that same day in another city, the police killed 45 members of one family. Serbian police forces also lined up 19 women and children and shot them. Ðorðevic was also found responsible for the mass deportation and forcible transfer of over 200,000 Kosovo Albanians, though according to the court that number is a conservative estimate and the true numbers are likely much higher. The presiding judge stated that “Kosovo Albanians left Kosovo because they were specifically ordered to do so by Serbian forces, or because the conduct of Serbian forces caused them to leave, in particular by shelling, shooting, killing and by burning houses and other buildings in their villages, towns and cities.” Additionally, the court found that Ðorðevic played a “key role” in concealing the killings of Kosovo Albanians. Ðorðevic directed a coordinated operation to remove evidence of the killings committed by Serbian forces by transporting the bodies in trucks and burying them in mass graves. In 2001, 744 individuals were exhumed from a mass grave near Belgrade. The ICTY has indicted 161 persons for serious violations of humanitarian law committed in the former Yugoslavia from 19912001. Proceedings against 125 have concluded. Ðorðevic is the eighth former senior Serbian official to be tried by the tribunal, and the sixth to be convicted.


Following Ðorðevic’s conviction on Wednesday, Amnesty International called on Serbian officials to continue investigating. The Director of Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Programme said, “Amnesty International welcomes the conviction of Vlastimir Ðorðevic, but calls on the Serbian authorities to redouble their efforts to ensure that all police officers and others suspected of the murder of ethnic Albanians and involvement in the cover-up operation, are brought to justice.”
For more information, please see: Amnesty International — Serbia Must Pursue Others after Kosovo Murders Conviction — 24 Feb. 2011 UN News Centre — UN Tribunal Convicts former Serbian Police Official for Crimes in Kosovo — 23 Feb. 2011 ICTY Press Release — Vlastimir Đorđević Convicted for Crimes in Kosovo — 23 Feb. 2011 AFP — Serb Police General gets 27 Years for Kosovo ‘Terror‘ — 23 Feb. 2011 BBC — Serbian Police Chief Jailed over Kosovo Murders — 23 Feb. 2011


May 26th, 2010 By Warren Popp Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

MANAMA, Bahrain — On May 18, Bahrain banned Qatari-based Al Jazeera from operating within Bahrain for an indefinite period of time, and barred a broadcast crew from traveling to Bahrain to interview former UN Climate Chief Yvo De Boer. According to the official Bahrain News Agency, the ban was imposed for “breaching the professional media norms and flouting the laws regulating the press and publishing.” In response to the ban, Al Jazeera claims it was “surprised and puzzeled” by the decision. They also expressed regret that the decision was never officially conveyed to them, and said its editorial line and professional policy in reporting on the news and on issues has not changed. Al Jazeera reiterated that it continues to adhere to its motto, “Equal opportunity for opinions and counter opinions.” It is still unclear what precipitated this sudden ban, especially given that Al Jazeera does not even have a bureau office in Bahrain. According to Tunisian journalist Habib Toumi, the Information Minister claimed the ban was imposed because Al Jazeera was deliberately attempting to harm Bahrain and that it was demonstrating a bias towards Israel. Claims of bias towards Israel have caused the banning of Al Jazeera’s broadcasts in several Arab countries in the past. Israel also had a major clash with Al Jazeera last year, imposing sanctions on the broadcaster after Qatar closed the Israeli trade office in opposition to Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Israel responded by calling the station a hostile entity and to sought to close its offices in Israel. However, Isreal’s High Court of Justice prevented


this action, and instead chose to limit the network’s activity in Israel and Palestine. The Bahraini ban may also have been the result of Al Jazeera’s recent programs on poverty and the treatment of Asian laborers, which are purportedly sensitive matters in Bahrain. Other observers believe that it is simply a reflection of persistent tensions between Bahrain and Qatar since the settlement of a dispute over the Hawar Islands in 2001. According to Gulf Daily News, Bahrain Journalists Association deputy chairman Faisal Abdulla Shaikh said that he believes it is in everyone’s best interests that the dispute be resolved immediately. Watchdog groups such as the Committee to Protect Journalists have also condemned the decision. Reporters Without Borders stated its concern regarding the ban, and they “urge the culture and information ministry to rescind this decision.”
For more information, please see: Al Jazeera – Bahrain Blocks Al Jazeera Team – 19 May 2010 Bahrain NewAgency -Bahrain-based Al Jazeera Office Temporarily Frozen Age– 18 May 2010 Gulf Daily News – Call to Resolve Al Jazeera Row – 25 May 2010 Global Voices – Bahrain: Why was Al Jazeera’s Office Shut Down? – 19 May 2011

June 5th, 2010 By Warren Popp Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

International condemnation has grown in the days following the raid on 31 May of a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid headed toward Gaza, which Israeli forces commandeered in international waters. During the incident, seven Israeli soldiers were severely injured when activists on the ship allegedly attacked Israeli commandos with knives, Molotov cocktails, clubs, iron bars, and even 147

pistols from the injured Israeli soldiers as they descended upon the ship, and nine activists were allegedly shot and killed by Israeli forces either as they descended and/or from commandos in the helicopter above and in nearby boats. The United Nations Security Council acted in emergency session and called for independent investigation into the incident. The Human Rights Council also took action in a special sitting call for by Arab and Islamic states and passed a resolution that sets up an independent investigation and calls for an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza. While Israel has rejected a demand for any international investigation, they reportedly embraced a U.S. proposal on Thursday for an Israeli inquiry that would include the participation of outside observers. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, as well as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other World leaders have joined countries throughout the World in condemning Israeli action in the incident and demanding that the blockade of Gaza be lifted. Mr. Ban noted that this tragedy highlights the underlying problem of the siege of Gaza, stating that the siege was “counter-productive, unsustainable, and wrong.” While the U.S. took an active role in preventing any direct criticism of Israel in the language of the Security Council Resolution, there are also signs that the incident may be altering the U.S. position towards the U.S. support of the Gaza blockade. The New York Times reports that according to U.S. officials, the international pressure from the incident “create[s] a new opportunity to push for increased engagement with the Palestinian Authority and a less harsh policy toward Gaza”; that the Administration considers Israel’s blockade of Gaza to be untenable; and that they will press for alternative approach’s that will ensure Israel’s security while still allowing more supplies into the impoverished Palestinian area.


Mourning the death of the flotilla activists in Turkey (Photo Courtesy of the AP) Turkey immediately responded to the incident by recalling its ambassador to Israel and canceling joint military exercises. Turkey’s President stated, “Turkey will never forgive Israel for the killing of Turkish citizens.” However, since the release of nearly all of the detained activists, tensions between Israel and Turkey have eased: The Turkish foreign minister said, “It was time that calm replaces anger.” Due to diplomatic and political considerations, Israel decided not to prosecute dozens of the detained activists, including many who Israel claimed were linked to terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, and many who allegedly attacked the Israeli commandos when they descended on the ships. According to the Associated Press, Israeli Cabinet Minister Isaac Herzog said the release of the activists was an effort, “to take full control of this crisis management and move forward.” The incident also led to other notable responses by states, including: South Africa temporarily recalling its Ambassador to Israel; Nicaragua severing all diplomatic ties with Israel; Sweden summoning Israel’s ambassador to demand an explanation of the incident; Great Britain calling for an end to the to the blockade; and perhaps most notable the response by Egypt. Egypt, which kept its border crossing with Gaza closed even during the 2008 Israeli invasion of Gaza, responded to the latest incident by at least temporarily opening the border for humanitarian purposes. The Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor has responded to some of the criticism by stating, “Those who criticize Israel would be better advised to turn their criticism against the terror-supporting rioters from the flotilla, who have nothing to do with humaneness.”


Israel appears to be focusing on its own allegations that the Turkish charity participating in the flotilla mission, the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), to terrorist groups. This characterization is in especially stark contrast to the stated adherence to “the principles of nonviolence and nonviolent resistance in word and deed at all times” that is a stated principle and practice of the Free Gaza Movement, the principle organizer of the flotilla, as well as to the professed peaceful and humanitarian nature of the flotilla’s mission in general. Israel Remains Committed to Defending its Actions during the Flotilla Incident Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused world leaders for holding Israel to a double standard in regards to Israel’s actions in the interception of a flotilla of ships on May 31 that was purportedly on a humanitarian mission, stating, “Once again, Israel faces hypocrisy and a biased rush to judgment.” Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have repeatedly justified the actions by the Israeli commandos as acts of self-defense, have claimed that the interception of the flotilla in international waters was permitted by international law, and have stated that it is vital for Israel’s security that they continue to enforce the Gaza blockade. Israel claims that the lives of the Israeli commandos who descended upon the ships were immediately threatened by passengers on the ships that were armed with knives, Molotov cocktails, clubs, and iron bars, and that they were further threatened as the activists took pistols from the injured soldiers, and even threw one injured soldier down to a lower deck of the ship. Israel claims that the soldiers used force only after their lives were clearly threatened as acts of self-defense. Netanyahu claimed, “The international community cannot afford an Iranian port on the Mediterranean … The same countries that are criticizing us today, should know that they could be targeted 150

tomorrow.” He further states, “Opening a naval route to Gaza will present enormous danger to the security of our citizens.” Israel claims that if any significant amount of cement and steel were allowed into Gaza without restrictions it would end up in missiles and other weapons that would be used against Israel. (It should be noted that Israel now claims that cement was not found on the ship as initially alleged; however, the Free Gaza ship that is currently in route to Gaza is purported to have 550 tons of concrete.) However, it appears that Netanyahu is willing to consider easing the naval blockade on Gaza, as well as other creative solutions for monitoring the goods that are allowed to enter the Hamas-ruled territory. The New York Times reported that Netanyahu proposed to Tony Blair, the international envoy of the ‘quartet of Middle East peacemakers’, that an international naval force inspect future aid shipments bound for Gaza. Amos Gilad, a senior defense official, reportedly said in an interview that in Gaza, “we only have bad solutions, worse solutions and worst solutions”: “Hamas is a terrorist organization sworn to Israel’s destruction. We, on the contrary, are facilitating them to bring in all kinds of food, materials; they are even exporting strawberries and flowers.” Recent Developments in the Flotilla Incident The Hamas minister of social affairs, Ahmad al-Kurd, accused Israel of not delivering all of the supplies from the seized flotilla, including batteries for wheelchairs and cement, and has said that he won’t accept the aid from the flotilla until Israel provides everything that was confiscated and all detainees were released. Another ship from the Fee Gaza movement, the MV Rachel Corrie, which was unable to join the ships in most recent flotilla due to


mechanical problems, has been boarded without incident by Israeli forces. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu quickly distinguished the latest incident between the boat filled with Irish and Malaysian activists of the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish-sponsored activists that was intercepted May 31 in an incident that left nine dead and scores wounded: “The different outcome we saw today underscores the difference between peace activists who we disagree with but respect their right to express their different opinion and flotilla participants who were violent extremist supporters of terrorists.” In response, the Free Gaza Movement said, “we’d like to remind Mr. Netanyahu that the only hate evidenced on board all six boats on Monday morning came from the Israeli attackers.”
For more information, please see: Jerusalem Post – Navy Boards, Takes Control of ‘Rachel Corrie’ Off Gaza Coast – 5 June 2010 NY Times – Second Set of Activists Steams Toward Gaza – 4 June 2010 Al Ahram Weekly – Death on the High Seas – 3 June 2010 Al Jazeera – S. Africa Recalls Israeli Ambassador – 3 June 2010 Al Jazeera – Turkey will “never forgive” Israel – 3 June 2010 AP – Israel Trying to Limit Diplomatic Damage From Raid – June 3, 2010 Haaretz.com – Under U.S. Pressure, Netanyahu May Ease Gaza Blockade – June 3, 2010 Jerusalem Post – Flotilla Dead Mourned in Turkey – 3 June 2010 Jerusalem Post – South Africa Recalls Its Ambassador – 3 June 2010 Telegraph.co.uk – Gaza Flotilla Attack: UN Secretary General Demands Blockade be Lifted– 3 June 2010 NY Times – Israeli FM Proposes Inquiry With Foreign Observers – 3 June 2010 Al Arabiya – UN Approves Probe Into Israel’s Ship Raid – 2 June 2010 N.Y. Times – In Bid to Quell Anger Over Raid, Israel Frees Detainees – 2 June 2010 N.Y. Times – New Israeli Tack Needed on Gaza, U.S. Officials Say – 2 June 2010 Free Gaza Movement – Our Mission – 30 January 2009 Free Gaza Movement – We Will Be Back – 30 January 2009


July 4th, 2010 By Warren Popp Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

JERUSALEM, Israel – Last week, the Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee approved an initiative by the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, to create an Israeli archaeological park in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. The plan has come under both national and international scrutiny because it calls for the demolition of approximately twenty-two Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. Another sixty-six buildings constructed in the neighborhood without Israeli permission will be legalized under the plan. In this and past cases where Palestinian homes have been demolished, Israel has maintained that it is simply enforcing the law by destroying illegally built homes and other buildings. However, many of the buildings have gone up without a permit because it is reportedly very difficult for Palestinians to acquire permits, and very few building permits have ever been issued to Palestinians in East Jerusalem. When Barkat formally submitted the latest version of the development plan, his spokesman said: “Now, after fine-tuning the plan and seeking more cooperation with the residents as far as their needs and improving the quality of their lives, the municipality is ready to submit the plans for the first stage of approval.” However, Jerusalem city hall had reportedly refused to hold talks with the neighborhood’s Palestinian residents over alternative proposals. The announcement by the Committee came just a day after Israel announced that it will be loosening restriction of aid into Gaza, likely as part of an effort to repair its international standing after the international criticism in response to the Israeli raid of a boat convoy heading to the Gaza strip on 31 May, which resulted in the deaths of nine activists and the injury of dozens more. The latest announcement by the Committee was criticized by Defense Minister Ehud Barak as 153

“bad timing” and poor “common sense.” It was also criticized by the Israeli President, Shimon Peres. The same development plan had been considered earlier in the year, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under pressure from both the United States—who was attempting to revive IsraeliPalestinian peace talks—and from increased international pressure regarding its settlement plans in East Jerusalem in general, persuaded Barkat to put the project on hold in March. While the Committee has approved the plan, Israeli officials are stressing that the final process requires the approval of the Interior Ministry, a process that is likely to take several months, and that the plan could still be blocked by the government. Barkat has defended the development plan, along with other claims of broader housing discrimination against Arabs—especially Palestinians. The Jerusalem Post quotes his spokesman as stating, “Mayor Barkat is moving forward with a master plan for Jerusalem that calls for an additional 50,000 new housing units over the next 20 years to fit the needs of the growing population. Arab residents are approximately one-third of the population of Jerusalem, and as such, we expect a third of those new housing units to be for Arab residents in their neighborhoods.” The spokesman further stated, “In addition, this week’s Municipal Planning and Construction Committee has 41 items on the agenda for approval, 18 of which are plans by Arab residents of Jerusalem for new apartments and construction in Arab neighborhoods.” The Jerusalem Post also reports that the municipality claims it does not keep records of how many local Arab building permits his office has approved since taking office in December 2008. UN Secretary General, Ban-Ki Moon, publicly stated that the housing development plan is illegal under international law, and the European Union also recently stated its belief that the development plan is illegal. Richard Falk, the Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (working in an unpaid and independent capacity), believes, 154

“These actions, if carried out, would violate international law, with certain actions potentially amounting to war crimes under international humanitarian law.” The United States State Department of State criticized the development plan, stating that it undermined trust between parties, and also increased the risk of violence. With Israeli police and Palestinian youth clashing last Sunday in response to the development plan, it appears that the US concerns were not unfounded. The rising tensions between the parties since the Committee’s announcement resulted in the Palestinian youth throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at police in the same neighborhood where the homes would be demolished, causing minor injuries to six police officers who were hit with stones. The recent arrest by Israeli police of a Hamas member of parliament for refusing orders that expelled him from Jerusalem also threatens to further escalate tensions in East Jerusalem. Richard Falk cited the four men’s case as part of “a larger, extremely worrying pattern of Israeli efforts to drive Palestinians out of East Jerusalem – [which is] illegal under international law.”
For more information, please see: Jerusalem Post – An Open City? – 2 July 2010 Al Jazeera – Israel Arrests Hamas MP – 30 June 2010 Voice of America News – EU Says Israel East Jerusalem Housing Plan Illegal – 30 June 2010 UN News Centre – Demolitions, New Settlements in East Jerusalem Could Amount to War Crimes – UN Expert – 29 June 2010 N.Y. Times – Palestinians and Police Collide in East Jerusalem – 27 June 2010 Haaretz – Reining in Barkat – 25 June 2010 BBC – UN Chief Says East Jerusalem Demolition Plan ‘illegal’ – 24 June 2010 Sydney Morning Herald – Jerusalem Housing Plans Jeopardise Peace Talks – 24 June 2010 Al Arabiya News Channel – Israel Revives East Jerusalem Housing Plan – 21 June 2010


July 29th, 2010 By Elizabeth A. Conger Senior Desk Officer, Middle East

TEHERAN, Iran - Mohammad Mostafaei the human rights attorney who represented Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the mother of two whose death by stoning sentence was stayed after international outcry over her case, has gone missing. Amnesty International reported that Mostafaei was called in on Saturday for questioning at Teheran’s Evin prison and appears to have gone missing after his release. Mostafaei’s colleagues have said that they believe he is currently in hiding. Iranian authorities have detained Mostafaei’s wife, Fereshteh Halimi, and brother-in-law, Farhad Halimi, in order to pressure Mostafaei to turn himself in. The two currently remain in detention and have not been allowed access to their lawyer, according to Amnesty International. Mostafaei, an open critic of the Iranian judicial system, has defended many political prisoners, juvenile offenders, and individuals sentenced to death by stoning. His blog helped to generate much of the international outrage over Ashtiani’s stoning sentence. Earlier this month Iranian officials said that Ashtiani would not be executed by stoning, but said that she could still face execution by hanging for her conviction of adultery. Shadi Sadr, a well-known women’s rights advocate forced to leave Iran several months ago, worked with Mostafaei in the past on behalf of women sentenced to death by stoning. She says that she believes the regime is reacting to the “international sensitivity” by placing pressure on Mostafaei. Sadr added that the Iranian government’s reaction embodies the plight of human rights advocates in Iran in general. She says that Mostafaei “worked within the framework of the laws of the Islamic republic, he never crossed the red lines set by the Islamic republic. This case just 156

shows the increasing pressure on human rights activists and how red lines and limitations are becoming every day tighter and tighter.” Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director, said: “Mohammad Mostafaei is a thorn in the side of the Iranian authorities and we fear that he is being persecuted in an attempt to stop him carrying out his professional activities.” According to the BBC, the Iranian government has also put pressure on another attorney involved in Ashtiani’s case, as well as Ashtiani’s son, who has fervently campaigned for her release.
For more information, please see: AP – Amnesty: Lawyer in Iranian stoning case missing - 28 July 2010 BBC – Lawyer in Iran stoning case ‘missing’ – 28 July 2010 Radio Free Europe - Iranian Authorities Pressure Prominent Lawyer By Holding Family Members ‘Hostage’ – 27 July 2010

August 3rd, 2010 By Elizabeth A. Conger, Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

JERUSALEM, Israel - On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet recommended the deportation of 400 children of migrant workers within the next month. The recommendation was approved by thirteen ministers, and voted against by ten, with four ministers abstaining. Out of 1,200 children considered for deportation this past year, 800 were allowed to stay in Israel. Of the remaining 400 children, those whose migrant parents have been in Israel for less than five years, and who have not yet entered first grade or a higher grade, will be deported. Those children allowed to stay in Israel must also speak Hebrew, and if they were not born in Israel, must have arrived in Israel before the age of thirteen. The parents of children allowed to stay must also have entered Israel legally. A special committee will decide borderline cases.


Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog abstained from the vote, stating: “I didn’t vote in favor [of the proposal] despite the improvements, which I supported, I could not accept deporting a group of five-yearold children.” Those families whose children do meet the criteria must submit a request to the Interior Ministry within twenty one days. If they are found to qualify, they will be given an additional twenty one days to produce required documentation. If approved, their parents and siblings will be entitled to temporary residence permits. Netanyahu said of the decision: “This is a reasonable and balanced decision . . . It was influenced by two primary considerations – the humanitarian consideration and the Zionist consideration. We’re looking for a way to absorb and adopt to our hearts children who were brought up and raised here as Israelis. On the other hand, we don’t want to create an incentive that will lead to hundreds of thousands of illegal migrant workers flooding the country.” Israeli Radio has reported that the Kibbutz Movement has made an offer to absorb the 400 children. Kibbutz Movement SecretaryGeneral Ze’ev Schor appealed to Defense Minister Ehud Barak to freeze the cabinet’s decision. Schor stated that the children slated for deportation were Israeli in every aspect beside their citizenship. UNICEF Israel protested the cabinet’s decision calling it a “blatant violation” of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a signatory. “Israel must formulate a human immigration policy and stop the senseless revolving door policy, that wants to deport migrant workers and their children, on the one hand, and bring in new ones instead, on the other.” Physicians for Human Rights Israel also protested the cabinet’s decision and said: “The threat of deportation that hangs over the heads of hundreds of children is a dreadful edict, which we refuse to accept. We will continue to act in order to make sure that all the children 158

receive legal status in Israel and to assure that Israel establish a humane and orderly immigration policy. Adhoc solutions like this one are no replacement for such a policy.” Israel has a population of 7.5 million, 250,000 to 300,000 of which are migrant laborers. Only half of the migrant laborers in Israel have valid documentation. Due to security concerns, Israel began to invite foreign workers for limited time periods to replace Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza to work in construction, agriculture and domestic work. A significant proportion of those initially invited to work in Israel have outstayed their visas. The migrant population also continues to swell because of an influx of African refugees and economic migrants entering the porous border with Egypt.
For more information, please see: Haaretz.com – Kitbbutz Movement Offers to Absorb Children of Foreign Workers set for Deportation - 2 August 2010 The Jerusalem Post – 400 foreign workers’ kids out - 2 August 2010 The New York Times – Israelis Divided on Deporting Children - 2 August 2010 Haaretz.com – Cabinet Approves Deportation of 400 Migrant Children from Israel 1 August 2010

August 24th, 2010 By Warren Popp Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

ADEN, Yemen – Upwards of 80,000 people have reportedly fled the southern Yemeni city of Loder. The massive displaced has been caused by the government alleged battle with al Qaeda-linked militants there. The government has reported that at least thirty-three people have been killed, including eleven soldiers, three civilians, and nineteen militants with alleged links to al Qaeda. Witnesses in Loder reportedly said that the fighting intensified after Sunday night, following the expiration of an ultimatum to militants to surrender.


A security official told the AFP that Yemeni forces have recently been able to enter the city and impose control over most of it, claiming that al Qaeda elements have since fled. Al Jazeera reports that it is difficult to independently verify reports coming out of Loder, including government claims that only gunmen are left in the embattled city, because the city is surrounded by troops. According to the Examiner, Southern Yemenis began protesting three years ago in an effort to obtain equal rights, triggered by escalating state violence and arbitrary arrests. The current coalition of groups, the Southern Movement, which has a range of demands from economic and social improvements to full independence for the region, is allegedly leading the present opposition, including calls for independence. The Examiner reports that nearly seventy percent of southerners are now in favor of succeeding from the north. Some opposition forces, including the prominent exiled south Yemeni leader, Ali Salem al-Baid, condemned the government’s “massacres” in the south, claiming, “The military campaign in Loder is aimed against our people’s resistance in the south,” and that the government’s claim that it is fighting al Qaeda is “an attempt to cover up the massacres committed against our people.” Al Jazeera says that the separatist movement the government has been battling in the South may be related to the current siege. They cite Mohammed Al-Qadhi, a Sana’a-based journalist with The National newspaper, as saying, “The government is trying to use alQaeda as a pretext to attack movement activists who are pushing for independence for the south,” he said. The Yemeni government fully stands by its position that it is battling elements of AQAP in Loder. The Yemeni army reportedly uncovered a large stash of weapons, including rockets and anti-tank weapons hidden in homes in the area, and the Yemeni Defence Ministry stated


on its website that “Outlaw separatist elements” collaborated with al Qaeda in the clashes in Loder.
For more information, please see: AFP – Yemeni Army Regaining Control of Southern City – 24 August 2010 Al Jazeera – Thousands Flee South Yemen City – 24 August 2010 United Press International – AQAP Leader Killed in Yemen – 24 August 2010 Examiner – Yemen Bombs Southern Town and Blames Al Qaeda, Dozens Dead and Wounded – 21 August 2010

August 17th, 2010 By Polly Johnson Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

JERUSALEM, Israel - A former Israeli soldier who posted photos of herself posing with blindfolded Palestinian prisoners to her Facebook account is defending her actions. Eden Abergil, twenty-six years old, claims that she did nothing wrong and was surprised at the controversy surrounding the pictures. The pictures show Abergil posing in provocative positions near the blindfolded prisoners. They were part of an album she posted entitled, “Army – the best time of my life.” The pictures were discovered by a blogger who circulated them around the Internet. The images prompted comments from many users, and her Facebook account quickly became blocked to outside users. In one of the photos, in which Abergil is shown smiling in front of blindfolded prisoners, a friend of hers posted about the photo, “That looks really sexy for you.” Abergil posted a response – “I wonder if he is on Facebook too – I’ll have to tag him in the photo,” referring to one of the prisoners in the background. Abergil says that she did not intend to make a political statement or spark such outrage. In an interview with Israeli Army Radio, Abergil claimed that the images had no “political significance.” 161

Yet both Palestinian and Israeli groups have attacked her actions. The incident highlights a pattern of claims of alleged abuse of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. “This shows the mentality of the occupier, to be proud of humiliating Palestinians,” Ghassan Khatib, Palestinian Authority spokesman, told the Associated Press. “All aspects of occupation are humiliating. We call on the international organizations, starting with the UN, to work hard to end the occupation, because it is the source of humiliation for Palestinians and a source of corruption for the Israelis,” Khatib said. The Israeli army has attempted to distance itself from the controversy. IDF spokesman Barak Raz said that the pictures did not “reflect the spirit of the IDF, our ethical standard to which we all aspire.” Because Abergil was discharged from the army last year, future legal action is still unclear. Yet Jawad Amawi, director of legal affairs for the Palestinian government’s prisoner’s ministry, told CNN, “She did this act while she was in military service, so in retrospect the Israeli occupation is responsible for her acts. This is a breach of international law, clearly a breach of human rights.”
For more information, please see: Al Jazeera – Storm over Israeli ‘abuse’ photos – 17 August 2010 BBC – Israeli woman soldier denies Facebook photos wrongdoing – 17 August 2010 CNN – Israeli in Facebook incident dismisses criticism – 17 August 2010 Haaretz – ‘Facebook photos of soldiers posing with bound Palestinians are the norm’ – 17 August 2010 New York Times – Ex-Israeli Soldier’s Photos Condemned – 16 August 2010

September 8th, 2010 By Alyxandra Stanczak Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

TEHRAN, Iran – This past Tuesday, the European Union condemned the stoning of Iranian women for the crime of adultery. The condemnation comes in light of the sentencing of Sakineh 162

Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was convicted of murder and adultery. Ashtiani confessed to both crimes after receiving ninety-nine lashes. She has since rescinded her confession and her lawyer is adamant that it was made under duress. During the holy month of Ramadan, which ends on 1o September, there is a customary stay of any death penalties; during this time, Ashtiani’s lawyer has appealed to Iran’s supreme court and they are reconsidering her case. Though Ashtiani is the center of the international debate on stoning, the punishment she could face is not rare for Iran to implement. Approximately forty-five people have been sentenced to death by stoning since 2003. The international outcry to this event is overwhelming. France’s foreign minister Bernard Kouchner stated that he would personally fly to Tehran and do whatever it takes to free Ashtiani. Similar sentiments have been expressed by the Vatican, who stated that they would attempt behind-the-scenes diplomacy to save Ashtiani’s life. Brazil has offered Ashtiani political asylum. International human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have also taken a lead roll in advocating on behalf of Ashtiani by placing telephone calls petitioning the government to reconsider their sentence. In response to European criticism, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Ashtiani faced charges of murder and infidelity and the case shouldn’t be linked to human rights. Stoning was implemented as a form of punishment after the 1979 Iranian revolution. The current government maintains that the death penalty, which includes hanging and stoning, is essential to maintain public order. According to Amnesty International statistics, ten people were put to death by stoning in 1995, making it one of the worst years in Iran’s history for that form of punishment. For a brief period in 2002, the Iranian judiciary put a moratorium on death by stoning.


However, in recent years and despite the international outcry, stoning has been increasing in frequency.
For more information, please see: The Huffington Post – Iran stoning case: EU condemns ’barbaric’ plan, Iran scoffs at European concerns - 7 September 2010 Reuters - Iran tells the world: don’t make stoning a rights issue – 7 September 2010 Voice of America - Iran: Stoning case not human rights issue - 7 September 2010 Now Public – Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani Sentenced to Death by Stoning in Iran 5 July 2010

September 22nd, 2010 By Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

KABUL, Afghanistan – Saturday’s parliamentary election in Afghanistan once again illustrated the numerous problems facing international forces and Afghans in the country. Since Saturday’s election, over 3000 complaints of fraud and intimidation have been filed with the United Nation-backed Electoral Complaint Commission (ECC). In the days prior to the election, abductions of civilians and election officials raised security concerns throughout the country. Taliban insurgent forces abducted more than 20 individuals on the eve of the election and at least 22 people were killed by insurgent attacks on election day. During the election, insurgents conducted 485 separate attacks on election facilities, according to NATO forces. Despite these fatalities, a Pentagon spokesman noted that election violence has decreased when compared to the 2009 presidential election in Afghanistan. Over 2,500 candidates ran for the 249 seats up for grabs in the parliamentary elections. Against a backdrop of political instability, the ECC is now charged with the task of ensuring the validity of election results as complaints of illegal voting continue to pour in. 164

Stressing the significance of the elections, a representative for the United Nation’s mission in Afghanistan reported “[t]he independence of these institutions is crucial to the credibility of the completion of the electoral process.” Over 1000 polling centers were forced to close their doors due to inadequate security. In a comment to the Washington Examiner, Army Captain Max Pappas, a member of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan, stated that the “Taliban intimidated people, but they weren’t able to stage a massive attack. At least that’s a good sign, but this is far from over.” Although international forces in Afghanistan remain committed to the fight against the Taliban in the country, many recognize the difficult challenges that lay ahead. Although U.S. officials remain optimistic about the successful promotion of democracy in Afghanistan, Saturday’s election highlights that the prospect of a legitimate and functioning government may still be untenable in the short term.
For more information, please see: Agence France Presse – Afghanistan Says Over 3000 Complaints About Vote – 21 Sept. 2010 Xinhua News Agency – 2 Election Officials Missing, Thousands Complaints Filed in Afghan Polls – 21 Sept. 2001 Washington Examiner – Election Day is Day of Fear in Afghanistan – 20 Sept. 2010 ABC News – 22 Killed During Afghan Polls: NATO – 19 Sept. 2010 Al-Jazeera – Abductions Hit Afghan Poll Build-Up – 17 Sept. 2010

October 7th, 2010 By Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait – Domestic workers in Kuwait are facing abuse and prosecution reported Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday. Domestic migrant workers have been forced to work long hours, are deprived of wages and are often subject to physical and 165

sexual abuse. Last year domestic workers filed over 10,000 complaints of abuse with their embassies however; HRW notes that this represents only a percentage of all cases of abuse. Of these 10,000 cases, roughly 950 claims alleged that workers were raped and sexually harassed by their employers. Domestic workers compose one-third of the 1.81 million foreign workers in Kuwait. Rights observers contend that there is a lack of legal protection for migrant domestic workers who face abuse and wage restrictions from employers. Laws limiting the hours a person may be legally obligated to work during a single day do not apply to migrant workers. One Sri Lankan worker reports that she was forced to work more than 18 hours a day for a period of 10 months without receiving pay. She now lives in a small government run shelter and is dependent on social services. Human rights groups say that the government is to blame. In Kuwait, migrant domestic workers, under a sponsorship program (kafala), are bonded to their employers. This makes it possible for employers to exercise complete control over workers during the course of employment without any recourse for employees. Workers may not change jobs without the permission of their employers and those who attempt to leave an abusive environment are subject to indefinite detention and criminal penalties. A representative of HRW stated “If abused or exploited workers try to escape or complain the law makes it easy for employers to charge them with ‘absconding’ and get them deported.” Rights groups have called for the abolition of the sponsorship system. The government stated that it plans to abolish this system by February of next year and replace it with a government-administered recruitment program. The government however, has been unable to elaborate on whether any additional protections would be afforded to migrant domestic workers under the new system.


For more information, please see: Arab Times – Some Employers Take Advantage of Weak Legal Protection – 7 Oct. 2010 Daily Mirror – Domestic Workers in Kuwait at Risk? – 7 Oct. 2010 Jakarta Post – Kuwait: For Abused Domestic Workers, Nowhere to Turn – 7 Oct. 2010 Agence France Presse – Abuse of Maids in Kuwait Rising: HRW – 6 Oct. 2010

October 21st, 2010 By Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Europe’s primary human rights body criticized the government of Tajikistan on Monday for its mistreatment of independent media in the country. OSCE representatives announced that the government has failed to comply with its media freedom commitments by “blocking websites, preventing newspapers from printing and launching tax or prosecutorial inspections” against media providers. In a statement to the Tajik government, the OSCE urged the government to re-open foreign and internet media sources. At least three major regional news websites have been shut down since September 29th. Internet providers were ordered to block certain websites after the Tajik government issued a directive demanding that restrictions be imposed on those media providers, which the government deemed to contribute to unrest in the country. The Tajik government is currently conducting an intense counter-terrorism offensive against Islamic militants in the country. One internet provided commented “[w]e are trying to objectively report on the unrest in the east but clearly some officials do not like this. “ The OSCE further noted that government pressure has also resulted in the censor of printing houses, several of which have been forced to stop printing independent newspapers. Although these organizations 167

report that technical failures are to blame for their decision to stop printing certain papers, the OSCE remains unconvinced and believes that the government used threats of tax inspections to coerce printing houses into submission. Representatives from the OSCE stressed the importance of free and open media and encouraged the government to “reverse the ongoing deterioration of the media freedom situation in Tajikistan.” Tajik authorities however, have denied any wrongdoing and argued that national legislation does not prevent the regulation of internet media. “As for newspaper” stated a government representative “no newspapers were shut down, while the suspension of some of them is due to purely technical problems.” Despite international pressure, the government remains un-persuaded by the OSCE’s concerns and may take additional steps to censure and regulate media as it continues its fight against militant forces in Tajikistan.
For more information, please see: Moscow Times – Tajiks Urged to Stop Attacks on Free Media – 20 Oct. 2010 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty – OSCE Warns Media Pluralism in Tajikistan in Danger – 18 Oct. 2010 Reuters Africa – OSCE Urges Tajikistan to Stop Attacks on Free Media – 18 Oct. 2010 Agence France Presse – Tajikistan Blocks Internet sites Amid Unrest – 11 Oct. 2010

November 15th, 2010 By Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – The Sharjah Sharia Court in the UAE today sentenced two foreign workers to 100 lashings and deportation for having “unlawful sex.” This incendiary ruling comes after two immigrant workers, one Filipino and one Bangladeshi, were found to have had sex out of wedlock, a crime under Sharia law. In addition to deportation and other physical punishments, the 168

Bangladeshi national may also be imprisoned for up to a year for committing adultery. Reports indicated that the Filipino worker, a housemaid, invited her boyfriend over to her sponsor’s house on numerous occasions while the family was away in order to have sex. The two were caught after the housemaid’s sponsor saw the worker’s boyfriend sneaking out of the house. Both workers are said to have admitted to having sex while the sponsor family was away. Under Sharia law in the UAE, Muslim immigrants who commit adultery are lashed and deported while non-Muslims immigrants are imprisoned and then deported. According to reports, both workers are Muslims, however, both may be subject to an additional prison sentence. Having sex out of wedlock is illegal in the UAE. Kissing in public is also illegal under Sharia law. The UAE has come under fire recently for a slew of court rulings sentencing foreign workers to a variety of inhumane and disproportionate punishments for various “illegal” acts. In August, the UPI documented 8 cases of excessive punishments. These cases are only illustrative and account for only a portion of the harsh rulings imposed against foreigners in the UAE. The government in Abu Dhabi has yet to comment on the result of this latest case. However, for those countries, which embrace Sharia law, today’s ruling is simply business as usual.
For more information please see: ABC News – Couple to be Lashed for Sex Out of Wedlock – 15 Nov. 2010 Emirates 24/7 – 100 Lashes Each for Illicit Lovers – 15 Nov. 2010 UPI – Illicit Couple Sentenced to Lashing in UAE – 15 Nov. 2010 UPI – Continued Cultural Clashes in Dubai, Abu Dhabi – 12 Aug. 2010


December 21st, 2010 By: Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

BAGHDAD, Iraq – As Christmas draws near, Christians have increasingly become targets of extremist violence throughout Iraq. While the government has condemned the attacks and promised to do more to stem the violence, the death toll continues to rise. The Islamic State of Iraq, a militant group with links to al-Qaeda, has taken responsibility for recent attacks against Christians and declared that all Christians will be considered “legitimate targets” for future operations. Amnesty International stepped up its pressure on the central government to protect Christian populations within the country after an attack on a Christian church in October left 44 worshippers dead. The human rights group noted that targeted attacks against Christians have increased in recent weeks leading up to the Christmas celebration. The group remains concerned about the prevalence of war crimes against minority groups in Iraq and notes that Christians have been forced to flee Baghdad and surrounding cities in great numbers to find refuge. Over a third of those Iraqis who have resettled in the U.S. are Christians and hundreds of thousands more have fled to surrounding countries within the Middle East. Up to a million Christians have fled Iraq since 2003. Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, Malcolm Smart fears that “militants are likely to attempt serous attacks against Christians during the Christmas period for maximum publicity and to embarrass the government.” The government reported to have stopped another set of suicide attacks on Monday after killing 3 Libyan nationals in a house raid. Police found suicide vests, bombs and explosive material in the house. The presence of the three foreign militants in Iraq highlights the government’s growing concerns about the threat of violence from neighboring countries. 170

For the government today, terrorism remains equally an internal and external threat to peace and security. The rush of foreign militants into Iraq continues to be problematic for the government and its attempts to promote stability. As the Iraqi leadership searches to create a unified and legitimate government, it must do more for the politically underrepresented Christians in Iraq. Failure to find a comprehensive and religiously-neutral solution to this crisis may only further exacerbate religious divisions in Iraq and risks further violence.
For more information, please see: The National – Christmas is Not for Us, Say Iraqi Christian Refugees in Jordan – Dec. 21, 2010 Agence France Presse – Amnesty Calls on Iraq to Protect Christians – Dec. 20, 2010 Amnesty International – Iraqi Christians Fear Spike in Christian Attacks – Dec. 20, 2010 Washington Post – Grim Xmas for Iraqi Christians as Many Flee North – Dec. 19, 2010

December 22nd, 2010 By Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Thousands of Somali immigrants in Saudi Arabia have been deported to the war torn city of Mogadishu, reports Human Rights Watch. Calling the government’s policy “inhumane,” the rights organization has found that roughly 2000 Somali immigrants have been sent back into the war zones of Mogadishu since this summer. International law prohibits the forcible return of refugees to any place where they may face further oppression and violence. Noting that the deportations have placed hundreds of refugee children back in harm’s way, Rona Peligal, the Africa Director at Human Rights Watch stated “[d]eporting anyone to a war zone like Mogadishu is inhumane, but returning children is beyond comprehension.” The human rights situation in Somali remains abysmal as domestic conflict 171

continues to engulf the country. The United Nations estimates that approximately 1.4 million civilians have been displaced in recent years and up to 270,000 civilians have fled the capital city in the last year alone. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reiterated these concerns and called upon the Saudi government to stop the deportation of Somali refugees from the country. The U.N. agency stressed that civilians face a “risk of serious harm” in Somali. The Saudi government ignored the U.N.’s initial demands in July of this year to stop deportations of Somali immigrants and it appears that a change in policy is unlikely in the near future. Saudi Arabia has not been the only country receiving international condemnation for deportations. In July, Human Rights Watch and the UN criticized the government of the Netherlands for forcibly deporting Somali refugees back to their home country, citing similar fears that civilians face continued violence in the country. Ensuring the safety of Somali refugees continues to be an important goal for the United Nations. Despite initiatives to protect and facilitate the resettlement of displaced citizens, more action is necessary at the national level to prevent the deportations of those fleeing internal conflict.
For more information please see, Agence France Presse – Saudi Deportations to Mogadishu Inhumane: HRW – Dec. 22, 2010 Human Rights Watch – Saudi Arabia: Stop Deporting Somalis to Mogadishu – Dec. 22, 2010 Human Rights Watch – Somalia Documents / Reports – 2010 Africa News – Somalia: UNHCR Decries Saudi Arabia’s Deportation of Somalis – July 26, 2010


January 13, 2011 By Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – A Saudi court on Sunday issued a three year prison sentence to a female employer of an Indonesian maid. Reports indicate that the ruling may be the first time in the country’s history that a punishment has been handed down to a Saudi citizen for abusing a migrant worker. The employer was found guilty under a new law issued by the Kingdom to fight human trafficking. Observers contend that Sunday’s ruling is a small step in the right direction for a country which continues to face international pressure to secure rights and protections for migrant workers. The maid, 23, suffered internal bleeding and broken bones after she was severely beaten and burned by her employer. This latest case of abuse against migrant workers has sparked international condemnation for a problem which has been prevalent in the Middle East in recent months. Migrant workers continue to be subjected to poor treatment, abuse, arrest and deportations throughout the region. A comprehensive report published by Human Rights Watch last year found that migrant workers who suffer abuse at the hands of their employers are likely to suffer emotional trauma and substantial psychological effects. The report indicates that such abuse may also contribute to forced labor and human trafficking. While the ruling appears to be a small win for rights activists, both sides are appealing the ruling. Indonesian officials have declared the sentence to be unsatisfactory. Didi Wahyudi, the head of citizen protection services at the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah stated that “[t]he punishment is not strict enough, it’s a very light punishment.” Other’s however, appear to embrace the ruling with an optimistic view towards the future. The Saudi daily newspaper, Arab News, reported that the case “may become something of a watershed.” 173

The government in Riyadh has kept its distance in the controversy, failing to comment about the court’s decision. Although the Saudi government is unlikely to announce any significant change in its policies towards migrant workers in the near future, Sunday’s ruling may be a starting point to guaranteeing greater rights and legal protections for migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.
For more information, please see: BNO News – Indonesia to Appeal Sentence in Saudi Arabia Tortured Migrant Worker Case – Jan. 13, 2011 Adnkronos International – Non-govt Groups Fundraise to Repatriate Migrants Stranded in Saudi Arabia – Jan. 12, 2011 CNN World – Woman Gets Three Years for Abusing Indonesian Maid – Jan. 12, 2011 People’s Daily Online – Indonesia Files Appeal on Tortured Migrant Worker Case in Saudi Arabia – Jan. 12, 2011

January 15, 2011 By Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

AMMAN, Jordan – In what was heralded as “a day of rage,” over 5000 Jordanians staged protests against the government for increases in food prices and unemployment. While police were successful in containing the protests, the demonstrations highlight the rising levels of resentment against the government blamed for the country’s declining standards of living and economic stagnation. The protests occurred in five cities and were the latest in a series of demonstrations within the region opposing rising food prices. The protests remained peaceful and no arrests have been reported. Even before the protests broke out, the Jordanian government had dedicated over £141m to subsidize the cost of bread. Some of this money has also been infused into the economy to spur job creation. While the government’s efforts have proven helpful in cushioning the impact of the current economic situation, those who are worse off have 174

felt little relief. Poverty and unemployment continue to be difficult challenges for the leadership in Amman, and may be exacerbated by continued economic decline. Current poverty levels continue to hover around 25 percent in the desert regions of the country and Amman, the country’s capital, continues to be the most expensive city in the Arab world. The country’s budget deficit reach a record high in 2009 standing at $2billion or 9 percent of Jordan’s GDP. The protests in Jordan were just one of many in recent weeks which sought to bring attention to the rising price of food in the Middle East and Africa. Some protests in Tunisia and Algeria turned violent. The protests in Jordan mark the growing dissatisfaction with the population of the government’s economic policy. The latest figures published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reported a 25% increase in the price of many of the most fundamental foodstuffs since last year, including; bread, cereals, cooking oils, meat and dairy products. One protest banner warned of the effects of a resentful and hungry population reading “Jordan is not one for the rich. Bread is a red line. Beware of our starvation and fury.” While these protests were conducted in a peaceful manner, it may only be a matter of time before the government is faced with a more tumultuous scenario.
For more information, please see: Guardian – Jordanians Protests against Soaring Food Prices – Jan. 15, 2011 Agence France Presse – Jordanians Protest Living Conditions, Blame Govt – Jan. 14, 2011 Reuters Africa – Hundreds Protest Over High Prices in south Jordan – Jan. 14, 2011 The Press Association – Jordanians Protest at Rising Prices – Jan. 14, 2011

February 16th, 2011 By Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

MANAMA, Bahrain – Protests in the Middle East continue to spread and escalate as angry citizens test the resolve of their governments in 175

Bahrain and Iran. Energized by the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, thousands have flooded the streets in recent days to demand more rights and freedom from government tyranny. Now the situation has turned deadly. Protests in both countries have met fierce resistance by police forces ordered to break up opposition rallies by government officials. At least 2 people were killed and 50 injured Wednesday in Bahrain as security forces reportedly lobbed tear gas into crowds and attacked groups of protestors in Manama’s Pearl Square. Witnesses also reported that the forces shot rubber bullets at those fleeing the square. Pearl Square has been dubbed the new Tahrir Square and has been the focal point of the growing opposition in the Middle East over the last few days. The protests, which started Monday, proceeded peacefully and thousands remained in the square throughout the nights, sleeping in tents. Thursday morning, the square is nearly empty, the stronghold of the opposition abandoned. Sheikh Ali Salman, general secretary of the Wefaq party, the main Shi’ite opposition party in the country, stated “We’re not looking for a religious state. We’re looking for a civilian democracy in which people are the source of power, and to do that we need a new constitution.” Clashes also erupted in Iran Wednesday at a funeral being held for a student shot during an opposition rally on Monday. The protests in Iran, which are continuing into their second week, are the longest since those held after the reelection of President Ahmadinejad in 2009. The government however, has not been timid in condemning the opposition. Police forces have been given carte blanch in disrupting protests and dozens of people have been arrested. While the protests in Iran are a clear indication of overwhelming dissatisfaction with the government, analysts fear that the movement will do little to shake up the ranks of government. Many governments throughout the region feeling pressure from their citizenry have already given concessions and promised further reforms to calm dissent. Gaddafi however, has 176

been defiant and protestors have already faced violent resistance as several hundred people clashed with police forces on Tuesday. ProGaddafi groups have also turned out in large numbers to assist police forces suppressing the opposition.
For more information, please see: Reuters Africa – Libyan Online Protesters Prepare for “Day of Rage” – Feb. 17, 2011 Agence France Presse – Bahrain Forces Break up Protesters’ Camp: Witnesses – Feb. 16, 2011 BBC – Middle East Protests: Country by Country – Feb. 16, 2011 DiscountVoucers.co.uk – Ahmadinejad Claims Iran Protests are Futile – Feb. 16, 2011 Reuters – Supporters, Opponents of Iran Govt Clash at Funeral – Feb. 16, 2011

March 1st, 2011 By Eric C. Sigmund Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

JERUSALEM, Israel – Debate over Israel’s illegal settlement policy has reignited in recent days after Palestinian protesters were met by violent resistance from Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Israel’s temporary moratorium on settlement construction ended in September but many hope that recent international pressure will force the government to continue a “silent freeze.” Last month, members of the United Nations put forward a draft resolution condemning Israel’s building of settlements in the West Bank. The resolution failed only after the United States exercised its veto power in opposition to the resolution. While Prime Minister Netanyahu has come under intense fire from the international community, internal pressure from Israeli settlers may force him to take a more hardline stance on settlements in the future. Since the settlement freeze, about 1700 new housing units in 67 different settlements have been constructed according to Peace Now 177

and 4000 new housing units are still waiting government authorization. Despite further settlement development, the Prime Minister has been increasingly vocal about Israel’s unsustainable settlement policy noting that “the diplomatic struggle isn’t over additional building in the settlements, it’s over the settlements themselves.” While the Prime Minister has called for the immediate destruction of all illegal settlement outposts, actions speak loader than words. And while Netanyahu has promised one thing, he appears to be doing just the opposite. Despite his anti-settlement rhetoric, Netanyahu on Monday swore to legalize established outposts, stressing “we are currently making efforts to maintain existing construction.” There are other reasons why the Prime Minister’s promise has been received with skepticism. The Israeli Supreme Court has already ruled that the settlements are a legal mechanism to promote and strengthen the Jewish state. In addition, “outposts” have a distinct legal meaning from “settlements” in Israel. Therefore, while the government has promised to dismantle all of its outposts, all Israeli settlements, which remain a central impediment to peace, will continue to stand. Finally, history has showed that anti-settlement policies are political suicide for Israeli Prime Ministers. This may be especially true for Netanyahu who has already faced intense backlash from his Likud party for being too soft on the settlement issue. To address these concerns, one senior official noted that the government may seek a smaller piecemeal peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority. Prime Minister Netanyahu confirmed that the government may take such an approach, calling this option a “phased path” which would seek to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict on an issue-by-issue basis instead of through a comprehensive treaty. This approach has already received substantial criticism from Palestinian officials and some in the international community; including German Chancellor Angela Merkel who has stressed the importance of a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian 178

Authority. Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated “[t]his talk about interim agreement and ‘phased path’ is just a reflection of the fact that we don’t’ have a partner for the end game in this Israeli government.”
For more information please see: Haaretz – Israel Vows to Raze all Illegal Outposts Built on Private Palestinian Land – Mar. 1, 2011 Vancouver Sun – Israel Might Seek Interim Palestinian Peace Deal – Mar. 1, 2011 Jerusalem Post – Netanyahu Slams Settlers Over Gilad Farm Clashes – Feb. 28, 2011 JTA – Settlers Accusing Netanyahu Gov’t of Imposing Silent Building Freeze – Feb. 28, 2011


May 31st, 2010 By Sovereign Hager Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

KINGSTON, Jamaica-Seventy-three people have reportedly been killed and five hundred arrested during Jamaican police efforts to capture Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Coke is a well-known leader in the Kingston slums, who is wanted by the United States on drug trafficking charges. Authorities intend to extradite Coke to the United States. Amnesty International called for a thorough investigation into the violence and deaths. The rights group recognized that while authorities have a responsibility to ensure order, the current extraordinary powers exerted by the Jamaican security forces could lead to human rights violations. A state of emergency has been declared in parts of Kingston. Amnesty pointed out that even in officially declared states of emergency, international law requires Jamaica to guarantee the rights of those detained, including having their detention reviewed by an independent tribunal. Over five hundred people have been detained in the search for Coke. Authorities have not explained the circumstances of the seventythree deaths. The Jamaican prime minister, Bruch Golding has not yet visited his constituents in the affected area. Residents complain about arbitrary arrests and say that they do not feel safe. Coke and other slum leaders, known as “dons” are thought to occupy a void created by a lack of government services in Jamaica’s slums. There is already speculation that the government will not be able to occupy the void in authority after the dons are officially deposed.


Up to this point Jamaican slums have operated under an arrangement where politicians and dons share power. The dons provide security through extortion and control of the drug trade. They then channel some resources through the neighborhoods to build support for certain political leaders by ensuring the loyalty of their voters. Coke is accused with trafficking cocaine and marijuana into the United States’ East Coast, allegedly causing “gangland” conflicts that have killed thousands. The government has asked at least ten other dons, like Coke to surrender in efforts to combat gang violence.
For more information, please see: AFP-Drug Suspect Still in Jamaica: Police Chief-31 May 2010 NY Times-Jamaica Strains to Fill Void After Ejecting Gang Bosses-31 May 2010 Voice of America-Unrest Death Toll Reaches 73-31 May 2010

June 2nd, 2010 By Ali Sprott-Roen Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

SAN FRANCISCO, California - California state employees who are deaf and hard-of-hearing are regularly denied sign language interpreters for meetings, job training, performance reviews, and other work-related events such as meeting with the public and clients. In addition, deaf employees have been left behind during evacuation drills as well as during real emergencies due to a failure to provide accommodations. Employee requested professional interpreters are often substituted by insufficient or ineffective forms of communication such as lip reading, utilizing untrained co-workers as interpreters and email or videophone. The state of California claims budget limitations as an attempt to justify its failure to provide reasonable accommodations.


These practices have resulted in workplace “isolation, exclusion, prejudice and overall pervasive discrimination,” according to a suit filed in the San Francisco Superior Court against the State of California. The suit was filed by Deaf and Hard of Hearing State Workers United and has seven named plaintiffs, including one woman who works for the Office of Deaf Access at the Department of Social Services. It alleges violations of California fair employment law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation act of 1973. It seeks improvements in state policy, while asking for no money damages. The plaintiffs hope to turn it into a class action suit on behalf of the approximately 1,500 CA state workers who are deaf or hard-ofhearing.
For more information, please see: SFGate.com - Deaf State Workers Sue Over Lack of Services – 22 May 2010 KTVU - Deaf Workers Suing State Over No Accommodations – 21 May 2010 SF Weekly – - Deaf Left Behind During Emergencies, Lawsuit Says – 21 May 2010

June 7th, 2010 By Ali Sprott-Roen Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

MASSACHUSETTS, United States – A just-released report from Physicians for Human Rights alleges that Bush-era CIA medical personnel conducted human research and experimentation on detainees in an attempt to provide legal cover for torture and to refine future torture techniques. This created the unintended consequence of placing the medical professionals involved in legal and ethical jeopardy. There are domestic and international laws limiting human research and experimentation, based on both the post-World War II Nuremberg


Code and American Common Rule, which ban experimentation on humans without informed consent. “In an attempt to justify the war crime of torture, the CIA appears to have committed another alleged war crime — illegal experimentation on prisoners,” says Nathaniel Raymond, director of the PHR’s Campaign Against Torture and lead author of the report. Allegedly illegal and unethical human research was conducted by medical staff in three ways, according to the report. First, they monitored and collected data on waterboarding. This lead to modifications of the procedure that resulted in “waterboarding 2.0,” which added saline to the water to avoid rendering detainees comatose or dead. Second, they studied interrogation techniques to determine the most effective tactics, whether in combination or over time, based on the susceptibility of the subject to severe pain. Third, they conducted sleep deprivation experiments, for up to 180 hours, in order to collect data to support future policies. The goal of this research and experimentation was to develop interrogation methods that remained within the limits established by government lawyers, while producing the maximum effect of the torture. “There was no therapeutic purpose or intent to monitor and collect this data,” said Jonathan D. Moreno, professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Consequently, according to the report, medical professionals crossed the line from treating the detainees as patients to treating them as research subjects. These conclusions were based on an analysis by Physicians for Human Rights of publicly released government documents and reports regarding the CIAs interrogation program, including previously classified documents released by President Obama between May 2009 and February 2010. However, despite evidence of human experimentation and research, the government has not investigated any of the medical professionals 183

involved in the interrogations. According to Dr. Steven H. Miles, an expert on the role of medical professionals in torture, “There are countries that, over the years, have condemned medical complicity in torture in principle, but which haven’t really been willing to investigate medical professionals or hold them accountable,” and that includes the United States. The CIA denies any wrongdoing, but Physicians for Human Rights is calling on President Obama to initiate a criminal investigation into the allegations and all agencies involved, and to prosecute the responsible parties if a crime is found. In addition, there is a strong demand for Congress to repeal changes made to the War Crimes Act in 2006, which allow for a more lenient definition of illegal experimentation on detainees. Physicians for Human Rights seeks redress for past wrongdoing and prevention of future interrogation experimentation and research tactics, which its CEO, Frank Donaghue, calls “gross violations of humans rights law” and “a grave affront to America’s core values.”
For more information, please see: Salon.com – PHR report: CIA personnel engaged in human experimentation – 7 June 2010 New York Times – Medical Ethics Lapses Cited in Interrogations – 6 June 2010 New Haven Register – Bush administration conducted torture research on detainees, report claims – 7 June 2010 HeraldSun – Doctors helped CIA perfect ‘torture” technique – 7 June 2010 NatureNews – Medics performed ‘interrogation research’ – 7 June 2010

June 15th, 2010 By Ali Sprott-Roen Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

JUAREZ, Mexico – In the second death of a Mexican citizen at the hands of an American border patrol agent in two weeks, 15-year-old Adrian Hernandez Huereka of Juarez was shot in the head and killed


on June 7th. He was believed to be throwing big rocks at the Border Patrol agents who were trying to detain illegal immigrants. The boy’s body was found on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, while the Border Patrol agent, who was on bicycle patrol, was on the U.S. side. U.S. authorities claim that the agent was defending himself and fellow agents, however Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, has condemned the death and the Mexican Secretary of the state has stated that using a firearm to respond to a rock attack is a “disproportionate use of force.” According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman, Border Patrol agents are allowed to use lethal force “when an agent is in imminent threat of physical or bodily harm, which could cause death or injury or in protection of an innocent third party.” The Border Patrol agent who shot Huereka claims he was surrounded by suspected illegal immigrants who were assaulting him with rocks, but a video obtained by CNN has casts doubts on this report. The video shows the border agent emerging on his bicycle from underneath a railroad bridge linking the U.S. and Mexico, then detaining one individual who he drags along the concrete before raising his arm, with what appears to be a firearm in hand, moments before two shots are heard fired. Witnesses on the video can be heard saying in Spanish, “they’re throwing rocks,” as well as “they hit him…they hit him.” The boy’s body was found approximately 20 feet over the border on the Mexican side. It is believed he was shot at close range due to the presence of spent .40 caliber shell casings found near his body, suggesting that the U.S. agent crossed the border to shoot the boy. The Mexican Foreign Ministry responded to the event by saying that “The growing frequency of this type of event reflects a worrisome increment in the use of excessive force on the part of some border authorities.” According to the Ministry’s data the number of Mexicans killed or wounded by U.S. border Patrol agents has increased from five in 2008 to 12 in 2009 and 17 so far this year. 185

For more information, please see: CBS – U.S. Border Patrol Fatally Shoots Mexican Teen, Incites Anger, Calls for Investigation – 9 June 2010 Silver City Sun-News – Border Patrol agent shoots teen – 8 June 2010 Huffington Post – Border Patrol Agent Shots 15-Year-Old Boy at Bridge – 8 June 2010 CNN – Youth fatally shot by border agent had smuggling ties, officials say – 10 June 2010 Huffington Post – Border Patrol Shooting Video: Footage Emerges Of Moments Before Teenager Was Shot – 10 June 2010

June 17th, 2010 By Ali Sprott-Roen Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

ARIZONA, United States – Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, who was the force behind the passage of Senate Bill 1070, now intends to propose a law that will deny citizenship to children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants. Such children are often called “anchor babies” which is a derogatory term referencing the role of a naturalized child in facilitating the legal immigration of the child’s parents. Pearce has stated his belief that “anchor babies are an unconstitutional declaration of citizenship to those born of non-Americans. It’s wrong, and it’s immoral.” However, contrary to Pearce’s belief, the 14th amendment to the constitution states, “all persons, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” Despite this fact, Pearce and his fellow Arizona republican representatives will likely introduce legislation this fall that will deny birth certificates to children born in Arizona, and therefore American citizens under the Constitution, to parents who are not legal U.S. citizens. 186

In addition to violating the 14th Amendment, those who oppose the proposed legislation also say it would increase discrimination and create deeper divides in the community. The bill is expected to end up in front of the U.S. Supreme court before enactment. In light of the decision in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, which confirmed that individuals born in the U.S. are citizens regardless of their parents’ nationality, constitutional law experts anticipate that federal judges will strike it down as facially unconstitutional.
For more information, please see: Time – Arizona’s Next Immigration Target: Children of Illegals – 11 June 2010 azcentral.com – Arizona immigration law sponsor Russell Pearce thrusts state into political storm – 6 June 2010 LA Progressive – Arizona Anti-Immigration Senator Going After ‘Anchor Babies’ Next – 25 May 2010 The Raw Story – Author of Arizona law plans to target immigrants’ children – 12 June 2010 Mediaite – Report: Arizona State Senator to Target ‘Anchor Babies’ Next? – 21 May 2010

June 29th, 2010 By Ali Sprott-Roen Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

NEW YORK, United States – Maparo Ramadhan, a refugee from Burundi, escaped persecution, torture and murderous officers in his home country, only to be victimized by guards at the Onondaga County Justice Center in Syracuse, NY. Ramadhan was arrested on Dec. 27, 2008, but was not provided an interpreter that spoke his language, Kirundi. So Ramadhan had no idea what the charges were or why deputies came to take other inmates out of his cell one by one – to take them to their court appearances. Remembering African authorities who often took inmates away to 187

their death, Ramadhan sat down when deputies came for him. In response, 8-10 deputies were called to his cell to place in him in restraints, and in the process of doing so a guard broke the humerus bone in his upper arm so severely that it protruded from the skin, as evidenced by video of the incident. However, despite Ramadhan sobbing in pain and concerns voiced from the guards, the jail house nurse looked at his arm and simply said that it was bruised and swollen and nothing else. Moreover, her report indicated three times that the injury was to the lower arm, rather than to the upper arm. As a result of the incident and lack of medical attention, Ramadhan now has a metal plate and screws in his arm holding the bone in place and a foot long scar along his triceps from the surgery. He can no longer raise his arm above his head, lift anything heavier than five pounds, and is prevented from obtaining a job to support his family. The New York Civil Liberties Union is looking into Ramadhan’s case and also investigating the death of a pregnant inmate last year. After spending hours in agony begging for care, 21 year old Chuneice Patterson died from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy on November 11, 2009 at the Onondaga County Justice Center. Because Patterson was vomiting and complaining that she didn’t feel well, a nurse was called twice but declined to check Patterson’s vital signs or follow proper protocol for examining a pregnant inmate on both occasions. Patterson then suffered through the night, during which time she pressed the emergency button saying she couldn’t breathe but an officer said it sounded like a fake asthma attack. In the morning, a deputy heard her moaning, but only responded by telling her to knock it off and to come get her breakfast tray. Shortly thereafter Patterson was found unresponsive in her cell and taken to University Hospital where she was pronounced dead after fourteen hours of agony.


The state commission representative reviewing the case said the nurse “provided grossly and flagrantly negligent and incompetent nursing care to inmate Patterson in that she completely misinterpreted and minimized the significance of pain and vomiting at this juncture.” Typically most nurses in the same situation would err on the side of caution and get a physician to do an examination. An ectopic pregnancy can be diagnosed in as little as five to ten minutes, allowing the patient to receive emergency surgery in time to save her life. Patterson is the second inmate to die from an ectopic pregnancy in the last 14 years. Like Patterson’s death, the previous death of Lucinda Batts was the result of the failure of nurses and doctors at the jail to provide proper medical care. The New York Civil Liberties Union has been investigating the cases of Ramadhan and Patterson, as well as others, for more than a year. The director of the Syracuse chapter of the NYCLU claims “The information we’ve been gathering indicates the possibility of a pattern that’s very disturbing.”
For more information, please see: Syracuse.com – Refugee who fled war in Africa finds injury in a Syracuse jail – 7 June 2010 9wsyr.com – Inmate died without proper medical care – 25 June 2010 Syracuse.com – Pregnant inmate died after hours of agony in Syracuse jail - 16 May 2010

July 16th, 2010 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Despite being the first country to abolish slavery in the Americas, the recent earthquake leaving Port-Au Prince in ruins has increased fears of a soar in child slavery. JeanRobert Cadet, a Haitian advocate an author suspects that the number of 189

child slaves will double from its previous number of 300,000 in the country. The 10 Americans caught at the Dominican border with 33 Haitian children in February only serves to fuel these concerns. ABC News reported that according to UNICEF, there are approximately 300,000 child slaves in Haiti, also known as “restaveks”, a Creole term meaning “stay-with.” Haiti’s restaveks are part of a hundred year system which impoverished families use, sending their children away to wealthier Haitian families, who often subject the children to verbal, physical and sexual abuse the Dissident Voice reports. Poverty forces many Haitian families to sell their children for money or material goods in order to survive. Some however, simply give their children away without payment, an action taken to save on the cost of feeding and caring for their child. Despite Haiti’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on December 29, 1994, little progress was made in eradicating the problem of child slavery in the country. Now, many people may seek to capitalize on the desperation of families and the inability of children to find and re-unite with their families. With poverty on the rise in this country devastated by an earthquake with quickly depleting resources, these same children may escape to richer countries, but only to serve as slaves. “Once children enter the family, they become a domestic slave and they are at the mercy of everyone in the house. The only thing worse is if the child is a girl, because there is sexual abuse and the risk of pregnancy once she reaches puberty,” says Jean-Robert Cadet, advocate and author of “Restavek.” According to Cadet, 80% of the slaves are girls. Cadet himself was given to a Haitian family as a restavek at the age of 4 after the death of his mother. In the 1970’s, the family moved on to the United States. After killing more than 300,000 people, the earthquake has left countless more homeless, with children at great risk for survival, 190

violence and kidnapping. Cadet leaves for Haiti on Monday to monitor the tent camps of earthquake victims and restavek children’s treatment.
For more information, please see: CNN Child Slavery a Growing Problem In Haiti, Advocate Says 11 July 2010 BBC News Haiti’s hidden ‘child slaves’ 20 March 2007 Dissident Voice Child Slavery In Haiti 3 February 2010

August 11th, 2010 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – Nuevo Laredo, the busiest city along the United States-Mexico border with a population of over 360,000 is adhering to a near complete news blackout. Drug cartels have forced the population and news outlets to stop reporting events occurring from drug related violence. The Televisa affiliate in Nuevo Laredo suffered from a grenade attack thrown at the front door of its building less than two weeks ago. However, both Televisa and its competitors failed to report on the attack. Accused of working for Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel, seven civilians and four police officers were escorted to a detainee prison in Nuevo Laredo in 2007. Using telephone calls, news releases and emails, drug smuggling organizations dictate the boundaries of what may be printed or aired to the public. “We are under their complete control,” claimed a veteran reporter speaking anonymously. Another editor claimed, “The cartels have eyes and ears inside our company.” Four journalists were recently kidnapped after covering a protest resulting from a warden’s alleged release of armed inmates. In murder for hire, 3 massacres occurred with the prisoners given access to jail guard’s vehicles and weapons. While many of the dead were rival gang members, authorities confirmed that 17 young people were killed 191

in an attack on a birthday party after prisoners shot randomly into the crowd – and then returned to their cells. Ricardo Najera, a spokesman for the office of the attorney general indicated that ballistics matched four of the guns used in the shooting as the same assigned to guards in the northern Mexico jail. Government officials and military representatives are also at the mercy of drug cartels. The mayor of Nuevo Laredo disappeared for four days, returning with the refusal to discuss violence resulting from drug cartels. Federal police, prosecutors and the military general presiding over city soldiers have refused to answer reporters’ questions or issue statements on drug violence. “Intimidation and coercion have been taken to an extreme level. This drug war is also a war of information. The cartels are now telling reporters what they can and cannot print, and the drug organizations themselves are the content providers,” the Latin America director of the Committee to Protect Journalists said. According to Director Carlos Lauria, 30 journalists have disappeared or been murdered since Mexico’s President launched a U.S. backed offensive against drug crimes.
For More Information Please Visit: NY Times Mexican Officials Say Prisoners Acted As Hit Men 25 July 2010 Washington Post In Mexico’s Nuevo Laredo, Drug Cartels Dictate Media Coverage 2 August 2010 CNN 62 Cops Linked to Drug Cartels Arrested In Mexico 29 July 2010

September 7th, 2010 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

CALIFORNIA, United States - On August 15, 2010, the Native American Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon in Southern California filed an amended complaint objecting to a statement in the Environmental 192

Impact Report (EIR) of Kern County which indicates that “the property owner (who is also the owner of the remains), and of any associated archaeological materials.” The Defendants, Tejon Ranch Corporation and County of Kern made the EIR, pursuant to a project proposing to build Tejon Mountain Village (TMV), a 26 thousand acre resort. The proposal includes 750 lodging units, 3400 homes, a 160,000 square foot shopping center and golf courses. The resort falls within Indian Country and the over 50 pre-historic village sites of the Kawaiisu people, an ancient Great Basin Shoshone Paiute Tribe. Before European encroachment, the Kawaiisu’s territory extended from Utah to the Pacific Ocean. The Kawaiisu tribe calls attention to the Administrative Procedure Act, the federal acknowledgement process and the Native American Repatriation of remains. David Laughing Horse Robinson, Chairman of the Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon claims the statement proclaims TMV ownership of Kawaiisu ancestor remains and sacred objects. He argues that despite the land being set aside in Federal Reservations for Native Americans, “the unborn and our ancestors are made into slaves and property by that statement.” Robinson argues that California Native Americans are receiving unequal treatment from those of European descent. The threat by various corporations to bulldoze the Kawaiisu Tribe’s land represents a serious infringement on humanitarian rights. Robinson further contends that the Kawaiisu tribe was illegally dropped from the list of recognized tribes on the federal register with an allocation of land under federal treaty in 1853. He will defend his right to represent Kawaiisu tribe in the proceeding before a Judge in Federal Court until an attorney can be located. The Defendants, the U.S. Department of Interior, Kern County and Tejon Mountain Village Corporation, were first sued November 10, 2009 in Federal Court in Fresno with the Kawaiisu arguing that the Defendant’s ignored Native American rights to historical sites and burial remains. Both Kern County and Tejon Mountain Village have filed motions to dismiss the complaint. 193

For More Information Please See: The Mountain Enterprise-Second Lawsuit Seeks Injunction…for Kiwaiisu Tribe of Tejon – 13 November 2009 Indigenous People’s Issues and Resources-Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon in Emergency Battle – 23 February 2010 Indigenous People’s Issues and Resources-Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon Lawsuit Amended Complaint Filed – 28 August 2010

September 10th, 2010 By R. Renee Yaworsky Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

SAN FRANCISCO, United States—In what has been called a “sad day” for “torture victims” and “all Americans”, the Ninth Circuit ruled that possible exposure of state secrets outweighs victims’ right to seek damages. The Court ruled 6-5 on Wednesday to block a lawsuit by individuals who claim they were tortured in CIA interrogations. The alleged torture took place under the post-9/11 “extraordinary rendition” program, which transported terrorist suspects to secret prisons. The lawsuit was brought against Jeppesen, a Boeing subsidiary, for allegedly flying the suspects to locations where they were tortured in 2007 by five such subjects. One of the plaintiffs, Binyam Mohamed, was captured in Pakistan and flown to a Morocco CIA “black site” where he says he was tortured. He claims his penis was cut multiple times with a scalpel in efforts to make him confess involvement with al-Qaeda. The court’s decision supports the president’s power to invoke the “state secrets privilege” and dismantle lawsuits that concern national security. The majority agreed with the Obama administration that if the lawsuit proceeded, state secrets could be exposed. In his decision for the majority, Judge Raymond Fisher explained the case as “a painful conflict between human rights and national security.”


Judge Michael Daly Hawkins, writing for five dissenting judges, expressed concern that the lawsuit was dismissed too hastily. “[The alleged victims] are not even allowed to attempt to prove their case by the use of non-secret evidence in their own hands or in the hands of third parties,” he wrote. The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Ben Wizner of the ACLU, has promised to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. “If this decision stands,” he said, “the United States will have closed its courts to torture victims while extending complete immunity to its torturers.” Wizner categorized the decision as “a sad day not only for the torture victims whose attempt to seek justice has been extinguished, but for all Americans who care about the rule of law and our nation’s reputation in the world.” Reprieve, a human rights group, stated that the court had “derailed another precious chance at a legal reckoning with the excesses of the war on terror. Yet again, those responsible for torture and rendition have used ‘state secrecy’ to avoid facing up to their crimes in court.” Opponents of extraordinary rendition worry that the practice outsources torture to countries where it is deemed acceptable.
For more information, please see: Independent-Victims of extraordinary rendition cannot sue, US court rules- 10 September 2010 San Francisco Chronicle-Court dismisses suit alleging ‘torture flights’- 9 September 2010 Guardian-US courts must lift lid on torture- 9 September 2010 AP-Appeals court lets government halt torture lawsuit- 9 September 2010

September 16th, 2010 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – 72 migrants of a group of 77 were killed in Mexico on their way to the United States border by the Zetas cartel after refusing to work for the widely known drug gang. Authorities discovered the bodies bound, blindfolded and slumped 195

against a wall at a ranch in the state of Tamaulipas. The group was made up of mostly of Hondurans, Ecuadorians, Guatemalans and one Brazilian. The whereabouts of the three Mexicans, two drivers and an assistant, are unknown. Two escaped the massacre after the shooting stopped. The Ecuadorian, Luis Freddy Lala suffered from a gunshot wound to the neck but was able to stumble to a marine checkpoint, alerting authorities. The Honduran who freed him was forced to separate after hearing more gunshots behind them. Lala, 18, is now under the Ecuadorian Witness Protection Program while the Honduran survivor, whose name is being withheld, is under the protection of Mexican security forces until further notice. Honduran Foreign Minister Mario Canahuati issued a statement declaring that “We call on Mexican authorities to take measures as soon as possible to avoid events like the one that occurred in Tamaulipas.” According to government figures, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are the most violent countries in the northern hemisphere. Street gangs and the increase in drug trafficking have only exacerbated the violence. Just 5 days ago in the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, at least four men using assault rifles burst into a shoe factory, killing 18 and wounding 5 of the 23 employees on duty. Authorities, including Police Commissioner Hector Ivan Mejia believe the massacre was carried out as a part of a turf battle on a rival gang. None of the 18 employees killed had criminal records. Mexican authorities have seen an increase in violence and the use of vulnerable migrants by cartels in order to further drug trafficking.
For More Information Please See: Associated Press Official: Honduran helped massacre survivor flee – 4 September 2010 Washington Post 18 massacred in Honduras had no criminal records – 8 September 2010 CNN There Was Second Survivor From Mexico Massacre, Officials Say – 1 September 2010


October 10th, 2010 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

NEW YORK, United States – “It is tragic to see what hate can do,” says President of the Human Rights Campaign for gay rights, Joe Solmonese. Solmonese is among the many activists who believe that the perpetrators of crimes against gay victims should be prosecuted. His statement comes on the heels of the arrest of 8 members of a New York gang for the battery and sodomy or four victims. The attacks began after the Latin King Goonies, as the gang is known, learned of the sexual orientation of an aspiring member. New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that one suspect is still believed to be at large. Kelly indicated that the gang forced the 17-year-old pledge into an unoccupied apartment around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. After being questioned about his relationship with a 30-year-old man, the gang stripped him of his clothes, hit him with a beer can and used a box cutter on him before sodomizing him with the handle of a wooden plunger. At 8:30pm that night, another 17- yearold was lured to the same apartment and questioned before being robbed and beaten. At 9:30 pm, the gang found the 30-year-old man and lured him to the same location. The man was stripped naked and tied opposite the 17- year-old before the teenager hit and burned the man with cigarettes under duress by the gang. The 30-year-old was assaulted and sodomized with a baseball bat before being dumped outside of his home, according to Police Commissioner Kelly. The suspects then raided an apartment the 17-year-old shared with his brother, holding the teenager for ransom to force his brother to give the gang money. After hearing his younger brother’s voice on a cell phone telling him to give the gang the money, the brother complied before being tied up and left in the apartment. A search of the apartment Wednesday revealed little information, which 197

Commissioner Kelly believes resulted from the suspect’s bleach cleaning and repainting the walls. All of the suspects are residents of the Bronx and despite 5 of the 8 being 16 and 17-year-olds, all of them will be tried as adults. Gay rights groups continue to address the upsurge in violence in their community. Since July, at least 4 teenagers have committed suicide as a result of anti-gay targeted bullying, including one Rutgers University student, Tyler Clementi, whose suicide shook the nation after his roommate live streamed his sexual encounter with another male student online. The law has been slow to catch up with punishment for the deaths of the victims. The Human Rights Campaign however continues to fight and will this week descend upon Salt Lake City, Utah to force a senior Church leader to rescind anti-gay comments.
For More Information, Please Visit: Washington Post – U.S. Gay Rights Leaders Headed to Utah – 8 October 2010 Washington Post – Suicide Surge – U.S. Schools Confront Anti-Gay Bullying – 9 October 2010 CNN - 8 arrested in String of Anti-Gay Hate Crime in New York – 10 October 2010

November 15th, 2010 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala- The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, an organization supported by the United Nations was created in 2007 to eradicate contract killings, dismantle illegal security groups and root out corruption among Guatemala’s business and political elite. The same people who have helped in the campaign are now its quarry with the head of national police and a former presidential candidate now fugitives with arrest warrants issued for their capture.


In late June 2010, the severed arms, legs and head of an unidentified woman are found at a crime scene. Despite a homicide rate three times the number as Mexico, the Commission was met with great resistance from a number of top officials. Former Vice-President Eduardo Stein has accused the commission of “going out of control,” ignoring Guatemalan law and overstepping its mandate. Stein believes the Commission is issuing erroneous criminal charges to the government. Carlos Casetrana, former leader of the International Commission told the Associated Press “all the cases we’ve brought to justice have so far ended in prison sentences for the accused.” Those accused of kidnapping, murder, drug trafficking received the most rapid convictions. 1700 police officers, prosecutors and judges have been purged as a result of Casetrana’s recommendations. Human Rights First has praised the arrest of “hitherto untouchable ex-military leaders.” One of the Commission’s biggest accomplishments was the purging of Guatemala’s Pavon prison farm. Pavon was supposed to be a rehabilitation center for inmates where prisoners could tend livestock and grow vegetables. It instead became a feudal state where inmates had access to prostitutes, internet, video games, drugs and fast food. The largest prison in the state, officers swarmed the prison on September 25, 2006, retaking it from inmates running a cocaine lab from its premises. Today, nearly half the countries territory of 14 million is controlled by drug cartel and other criminals. Civilians face dangers in even the safest of government addresses.
For More Information Please Visit: The Guardian – Bars, Brothels, And A Regime of Terror - 30 September 2006 Washington Post – U.N. Backed Investigators Shake Up Guatemala – 14 November 2010 CNN – U.N. Names Anti-Impunity Chief For Guatemala – 30 June 2010 Guatemala Times – UN Expert Calls For Drastic Change In Global Drug Control Policy – 25 October 2010


November 21st, 2010 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – “Cholera is an extremely simple disease to cure,” comments Nigel Fisher, the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator in Haiti. Human rights groups are viewing the recent outbreak of cholera as a foreseeable health risk and the failure to counteract it a human right, which the government has the responsibility to prevent and control. The outbreak has claimed approximately 1, 186 lives In Haiti, with over 50,000 people seeking medical attention. Haitians continue to receive inadequate treatment as poor living conditions increase the rapid spread of Cholera. Easily treatable, the United Nations has blasted the international response and the lack of donor contributions to curb the disease. The United Nations recently appealed for a contribution totaling $164 million to counter the cholera outbreak in Haiti. Only ten percent of the funds needed to curb the disease have been pledged. Fear among Haiti’s sick has led to protests and violent responses in some provinces of Haiti. Many Haitians suspect that Nepalese Peacekeeping forces are responsible for the outbreak. With most forces camped alongside the river, river communities were the first to be hit, leading many to suspect the disease was brought to Haiti by soldiers in the country. Last Monday, 7 peacekeepers of the United Nations were injured by protesters at Cap-Haitien, a northern city suffering from the epidemic. The national police and the U.N. were forced to use teargas on hundreds of protesters attempting to burn a police station and a peacekeeping base. One protester, Pierre Allodor, claims “The Haitian government is never do nothing for us. And we know the international government is 200

still spending a lot of money for the Haitian people. But Preval, with his government, he still keeps their money to take back to the United States to buy some house.” The January earthquake only exacerbated unsanitary living conditions, poverty and a broken health care system. Doctors Without Borders head of mission, Stefano Zannini, says, “There is no time left for meetings and debate.” With over 18,000 Haitians hospitalized from the disease, “the time for action is now.”
For More Information Please Visit: Washington Post – 7 U.N. Troops Hurt, Attacked By Haitians Blaming Foreigners For Cholera Epidemic – 15 November 2010 CNN – U.N. Blasts Global Response To Haiti Cholera Outbreak As Inadequate – 20 November 201 CNN – Anti-U.N. Protests Erupt In Haitian Capital – 18 November 2010 Human Rights Watch – Why Democracies Don’t Get Cholera – 25 October 2010

November 29th, 2010 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – While abortion continues to be illegal in Nicaragua, the use of 9 year olds to advocate for its use in the country is not. According to reports by Nicaraguan police, more than two thirds of the countries rape victims from 1998-2008 had not reached the age of 17. Various tactics and measures used as solutions to resulting sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies result in stigmatization and further trauma. Current Nicaraguan President Ortega's stepdaughter accused him of rape in 1998. Authorities never prosecuted him. Amnesty reported that one mother attempted to file a complaint regarding her daughter’s rape by her stepfather. Despite her report, authorities charged her with complicity and placed her in jail for 12 years for her failure to report the crime earlier. Authorities never took action to arrest the stepfather.


Esther Major, a Nicaraguan research for Amnesty recognizes that “Young victims of rape and sexual abuse demand that their right to be free from sexual violence is protected by the Nicaraguan government, and that they are supported so they can overcome the physical and psychological trauma caused by such acts of violence.” Nicaragua’s abortion law demands that rape victims who become pregnant face imprisonment if they refuse to have the baby. Many other victims are pressured into delivering the baby or giving the baby up for adoption. Of the 14,000 cases reported in ten of the last 12 years, the main perpetrators were those in positions of power or relatives of the victims. The result of inaction taken by authorities is silence from the victims. His stepdaughter accused Daniel Ortega, the current President of Nicaragua, of rape in 1998. Zoilamerica Narvaez reported the abuse to the authorities, indicating that Ortega molested her from the age of 11 to the age of 22. As a member of parliament, Ortega maintained immunity from prosecution and the case was never brought to trial.
For More Information Please Visit: Free Republic – Pregnant 9 year Old Victim Being Used To Push Abortion Legalization – 20 April 2010 Amnesty International – Nicaragua Must Put An End To Rape And Sexual Abuse Of Girls– 25 November 2010 BBC News – Nicaragua Accused Of Failing Rape Victims – 24 November 2010

December 18th, 2010 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Spanish authorities re-arrested Former Interior Minister Carlos Vielmann in Spain on Thursday for the second time this month. Vielmann is wanted in connection with the execution of prisoners at El Pavon Prison in Guatemala, 202

extrajudicial killings and the murder of case witnesses. Evidence suggests that the murders were not the result of a vicious gun battle, but a carefully staged execution. After Guatemalan authorities were unable to capture Vielmann, Spanish authorities arrested him on the basis of a Guatemalan warrant. 40 days later, authorities were forced to release him because of lack of an extradition request. In 2006, 7 inmates were killed at El Pavon prison immediately preceding a raid where authorities were thought to have discovered corruption among inmates. Authorities later discover that top officials and prison personnel were involved in illegal and illicit activities including drug trafficking and prostitution. Guatemalan authorities are also seeking his arrest in connection with the killing of 3 escaped inmates located at El Infiernito prison in 2005. The UN backed group, International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, spearheaded the effort to bring down the former Interior Minister after discovering his involvement. New photographic evidence shows Vielmann standing next to prison officials the day of the uprising. Further photographic evidence shows that some prisoners were redressed and moved after being executed. A report by the Guatemalan Human rights Ombudsman’s Office and new physical evidence tracks the fate of various inmates. One inmate was shown shot to death with no bullet holes in his clothing, suggesting that he was shot while naked and redressed to cover the execution. “There are no super-citizens that are above the law,” says Francisco Dall’Anese, head of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala. Vielmann was arraigned Thursday after turning himself into authorities, charged with murder, crimes against humanity and released on $132,000 bail.


For more information, please visit: CNN – Fugitive Guatemalan Official Re-arrested – 17 December 2010 CNN - Photos Provide Evidence In Guatemalan Killings Case, Officials Say - 15 December 2010 CNN – Spain Re-arrests Ex-Guatemalan Minister - 16 December 2010

January 16th, 2011 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

WASHINGTON, United States – Six Miami and Washington based human rights groups filed a petition to halt Haitian deportation by the United States with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Given the cholera epidemic and civil unrest, human rights groups are attempting to stem the flow of Haitians back to the quake ravaged country. Over 350 Haitians have been placed in detention centers in the United States since the Administration announced their decision to resume deporting Haitians. While the Obama administration indicated that deportation would be for Haitians who have finished serving time for violent crimes, other Haitian families are terrified at the extended possibilities. “We should not be having to look at families and telling them we don’t know what’s going to happen, we don’t know if they are going to be sent back to Haiti, we don’t know if they are going to be given work permits so they can support their families,” says Cheryl Little, immigration advocate of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. Amnesty International argued that the deportation of Haitians would lead to grave human rights violations. In the past week, 950 Haitians have been deported. Javier Zuñiga, Amnesty International’s Senior Advisor believes “Haiti is still recovering from a devastating natural disaster. Instead of forcing people back to a desperate situation, the


Dominican Republic and other countries should be stepping up their efforts to help Haiti and its people.” Those facing deportation will be subject to harsh conditions and will likely be placed in detention centers upon their arrival. 48 Haitians placed in such centers have died in their holding cells. Over tens of thousands of immigrants living and working in the United States are Haitians who do not have legal permission to remain in the country. While Haitians may apply for Temporary Protective Status (TPS), many have stopped applying in spite of a January 18 deadline. Over 1 million Haitians still remain homeless and without proper sanitation in Haiti. The Department of Homeland Security has refused to comment on the situation.
For More Information Please Visit: Caribbean News Now – Rights Groups Petition U.S. To Stop Haitian Deportations – 15 January 2011 Amnesty International – Dominican Republic Must Stop Forcible Deportation of Haitians– 7 January 2011 Public Radio International – U.S. Resumes Haitian Deportation – 14 January 2011

January 20th, 2011 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Report, North America

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – After living in exile in France for over 25 years, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier returned to Haiti Sunday, receiving an unexpected welcoming committee: heavily armed police. Duvalier was charged and arrested at the Karibe hotel Tuesday, just two days after his arrival back to his homeland. Succeeding his father in 1971, the former dictator faces possible charges stemming back to the torture and murder of thousands of Haitians during his 15 year rule.


In the midst of a questionable election, Haitian citizens are poised for answers, questioning the reason for his return amid such turmoil in the country. ”Everybody is in a wait-and-see mode, nothing is clear, and this is very frustrating, especially for the people living in the tents,” said Michele Pierre Louis, former prime minister to current President Rene Preval. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians were forced to flee the country in fear of Duvalier’s corrupt administration. Duvalier associate, Henry Robert Sterlin, indicated that the former dictator returned because he missed Haiti and was moved by the January earthquake’s anniversary. While a press conference was scheduled, it was quickly cancelled due to the hotel’s inability to handle the overwhelming crowd. Part of a familial rule which lasted thirty years, Duvalier assumed power after the death of his father at the age of 19. Human rights organizations have called for justice for the crimes he committed. Michele Montas, Haitian journalist and former spokesman for the United Nations secretary-general declared, “We have enough proof. There are enough people who can testify. And what I will do is go to a public prosecutor, and there is a public prosecutor that could actually accommodate our complaints.” Government sources indicate that a judge may take up to 30 days to determine whether the accusations Duvalier faces have any merit in order to move forward with the case.
For More Information Please Visit: CNN – Charges Filed Against ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier in Haiti – 18 January 2011 CNN – Baby Doc Duvalier Returns to Haiti in Surprise Move – 16 January 2011 Washington Post – Duvalier’s Return Adds to Haiti’s Political Turmoil – 17 January 2011


January 31st, 2011 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

CHEROKEE, United States – On Friday, Rashica Manjoo stopped in Cherokee, North Carolina to discuss action to be taken against those that physically and sexually assault Native American women. As the special rapporteur for the United Nations on violence against women, Manjoo plans to report her findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Matilda Black Bear discusses her experience with domestic violence and the unavailability of support for women. According to the Department of Justice, one out of every three Native American women are raped during their lifetime. Three of four will become the victims of a physical assault. Over 30 years ago at the age of 26, Matilda entered into a relationship with a man that quickly turned violent. “In the ’70s there were no services for victims, let alone any laws to hold perpetrators accountable,” recalls Tillie. “I went to the police and to the judges and they didn’t know what to do with me.” The Indian Civil Rights Act limits tribal courts sentencing authority over Indians who have been accused of sexual and domestic violence against women. Further, non-Indians are protected from sentencing by Indian Nations which are prohibited from exercising jurisdiction over non-Indian offenders. Terri Henry, Councilwoman for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians believes, “The right to be safe and live free from violence is a human right that many in this country take for granted—but not Native women, who are beaten and raped at rates higher than any other population of women in the United States.” Advocates have expressed the need to push for greater jurisdiction, services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, funding and federal support. This past Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the formation of the Violence Against Women Federal and 207

Tribal Prosecution Task Force. In an attempt to change the rates at which Native American women experience violence in their communities, the Task Force has been directed to complete a trial manual and discuss “best practices” for prosecuting those accused of violence against women in Indian Country. Holder stated that, “The creation of the Violence Against Women Tribal Prosecution Task Force has been a priority for me since my visit with tribal leaders last year, and I believe it is a critical step in our work to improve public safety and strengthen coordination and collaboration concerning prosecution strategies with tribal communities.”
For more information, please see: Citizen-Times – UN Studies Domestic Violence in Cherokee – 29 January 2011 Indian Law – UN Expert Investigates Violence Against Indian Women – 28 January 2011 Cherokee One Feather – DOJ Attempting to Combat Violence Against Indian Women – 25 January 2011

February 27th, 2011 By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – Concern surrounds the safety of human rights activists after Josefina Reyes Salazar was shot dead earlier this year. On Friday, three more relatives of the slain activist were found dead near a gas station in Ciudad Juarez. This brings the total number of Salazar’s relatives found slain to 5. Salazar was a widely known activist and protester of human rights abuses by the Mexican military who have been deployed to fight crime. Amnesty International has urged greater protection for activists since the murders. A participant in the “Forum on Militarization and Repression,” Salazar aided in examining reports of citizens who 208

claimed members of the Mexican military committed human rights violations. According to an eyewitness, in early January 2010, Salazar was seized outside of a shop in the town of Guadalupe by a group of armed gunmen. One of them reportedly stated “You think you are tough because you are with the organizations.” After Salazar fought back to avoid being abducted, she was shot in the head. Authorities believe another female activist, Cipriana Jurado, is also at risk. Since 2007, violence linked to drugs and organized crime has increased dramatically. President Calderon has dispatched over 50,000 units of federal police and military personnel to secure the safety of all citizens and contain the violence. Ciudad Juarez has remained among the most heavily infected areas. This past February 15, the home Josefina Salazar’s mother was torched and burned down by unknown assailants.

Amnesty International believes members of the Coordination of Civil Society Organizations, a local Ciudad Juarez group composed of activists and supporters of investigation into abuses, may also be targets of various gangs and attacks. “The authorities must ensure that Cipriana Jurado, and other human rights defenders with the Coordination of Civil Society Organization in Ciudad Juárez, receive immediate and effective protection,” stated Kerrie Howard, Amnesty International’s deputy director of the Americas Program.
For more information please visit: Amnesty International – Mexico Urged to Protect Activists After Campaigner Shot Dead – 6 January 2010 CNN -3 More Relatives of Slain Activist Found Dead in Mexico – 25 February 2010 Washington Post – Suspect Arrested in Shootings Outside Mexico City – 17 February 2010


June 5th, 2010 By Sovereign Hager Impunity Watch, Managing Editor-News

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea- A cholera outbreak, which started in August of 2009 appears to be getting worse. There have been over 600 cases reported since August and reports of the disease are no longer only appearing in rural areas. There have been reports of the disease in the capital city of Port Moresby. The government declared a public health emergency in August after there were reports that public funds to fight the disease were “dried up.” The spread of the disease to urban areas has been linked to sanitation problems. A health expert told Radio News Australia that in “the urban areas you’ve got a lot of settlement areas, low income settlement areas, and also enclaves of squatter settlements and these are generally not well serviced with good quality water and sanitation standards.” When asked about government preparedness for such an outbreak, the government stressed that Papua New Guinea has “very limited resources within its health care sector . . . they generally have a high burden of health related issues, things like malaria, TB, HIV Aids etc . . . when diseases like this come along, they really have to divert resources from those areas to deal.” Government officials are calling for multi-sector collaboration to combat the disease aggressively.
For more information, please see: Top News-Cholera Outbreak in Papua New Guinea’s Capital Port Moresby-4 June 2010 Radio News Australia-Death Toll Rises from PNG Cholera Epidemic-3 June 2010 Radio News Australia-Poor Sanitation and Water Quality Fuelling-3 June 2010


June 7th, 2010 By Joseph Juhn Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania

SYDNEY, Australia – The Australian government plans to transfer all asylum seekers currently located in Christmas Island to a mainland detention center. These refugees – about 600 Afghans and 150 Sri Lankans – have arrived by boat since the suspension took effect in April of this year. Australia’s immigration minister Chris Evans says the government is looking for mainland sites to accommodate the asylum seekers. “It is our intention to take that cohort probably in the first instance to Curtin where we’re increasing our capacity, but we’ll obviously make judgments based on individuals,” he said. Senator Evans says he hopes the improving situation in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka – where most of refugees come from – will soon allow the Australian government to send some of the asylum seekers back. “The experience we’ve had since the suspension has confirmed what we were seeing in the few months before that – that we’re getting a much higher refusal rate,” he said. “Many of the people who are coming to this country are no longer found to be refugees and we’re able to – at the end of their processes – potentially return them.”
For more information, please see: Radio New Zealand – Asylum seekers being moved to mainland – 3 June 2010 Radio Australia – 750 asylum seekers head to Australian mainland centres – 3 June 2010 ABC News – 750 asylum seekers heading for mainland centres – 3 June 2010


July 24th, 2010 By Polly Johnson Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania

JAKARTA, Indonesia – The U.S. military has decided to lift a decade-long ban on engagement with Indonesia’s Komanda Pasukan Khusus (Kopassas), a special forces unit that has been accused of human rights abuses. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, during a visit to Jakarta on Thursday, said after meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that a limited program of engagement with the group would be permitted after the Obama administration concluded that the group has demonstrated a commitment to human rights. “I was pleased to be able to tell the president that as a result of Indonesian military reforms over the past decade, the ongoing professionalization of the [Indonesian armed forces], and recent actions taken by the ministry of defense to address human rights issues,” Gates told reporters after meeting with Yudhoyono, “the United States will begin a gradual, limited program of security cooperation activities with the Indonesian army special forces.” Yudhoyono promised that Indonesian Military (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, or TNI) reforms would continue and that there would be no repeat of the abuses that once took place. According to Human Rights Watch, Kopassus members have engaged in serious human rights abuses, including carrying out abductions, forming deadly militia forces in East Timor in 1999, engaging in arbitrary detention of civilians in Papua, and abducting and killing Papuan activist and leader Theys H. Eluay in 2001. The U.S. government severed all aid to the Indonesian military in 1999 because of the widespread human rights violations. 212

Human rights groups have expressed concern with the recent decision. “The Obama administration has just failed a key test. This is not the way to encourage reform with a military that has yet to demonstrate a genuine commitment to accountability for serious human rights abuses. This decision rewards Kopassus for its intransigence over abuses and effectively betrays those in Indonesia who have fought for decades for accountability and justice,” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, in response to Thursday’s decision. Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Gates that outlined recommendations on how to approach continued engagement with the Indonesian military, urging the Obama administration to focus on a relationship that would both protect human rights in Indonesia and further national security objectives in the United States. However, as the letter noted, “without the necessary reforms in place, such assistance may facilitate continued violations of human rights in Indonesia and reinforce impunity.” The letter detailed past and recent human rights violations. The decision comes in the development of the U.S.’s attempt to strengthen ties with Indonesia. President Obama has planned two trips to Indonesia this year. Both had to be cancelled in the wake of important domestic events: the health care reform bill and the Gulf oil spill. Pentagon officials have indicated that the relationship will develop slowly, and that no cash aid will be delivered. Gates noted that members of Congress had been briefed on the decision and response was positive. Indonesian officials also welcomed the announcement. “This is a positive start,” said Djoko Suyanto, Indonesia’s commander-in-chief, adding, “we will prepare ourselves.”
For more information, please see: Asia Sentinel - Kopassus Reinstatement Stirs Outrage - 23 July 2010 Jakarta Post - Kopassus officially off US military embargo – 23 July 2010 Los Angeles Times - U.S. to resume aid to controversial Indonesian army unit – 23


July 2010 Washington Post - U.S. to end ban on Indonesia’s special forces, angering human rights groups – 23 July 2010 CNN - U.S. to resume ties with once-notorious Indonesian military unit – 22 July 2010 Department of Defense - Gates Seeks Stronger Military Ties With Indonesia – 22 July 2010 Human Rights Watch - Indonesia: US Resumes Military Assistance to Abusive Force – 22 July 2010 Human Rights Watch - Letter to US Department of Defense Regarding US Military Assistance to Indonesia – 4 February 2010

August 5th, 2010 By R. Renee Yaworsky Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania

SUVA, Fiji–Fiji’s prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, remains unapologetically in favor of censorship and an iron-fisted military regime. Despite pressure from nearby nations such as Australia and New Zealand, Fiji’s strongman continues to place trust in his military, but not his own people. Commodore Bainimarama took control of the impoverished island nation in a military coup in 2006. He did away with the constitution and now rules by decrees. He told ABC television that he believes only the military can adequately run the country and that politicians, judges, and the publics are not trustworthy. He also defended his strict censorship regulations and rule-by-decree regime. “I don’t trust the people,” the dictator said. “We can’t bring about changes if there are people that are still talking about bringing instability.” Bainimarama says dissent will not be allowed and has silenced opponents, including the Methodist Church and tribal chiefs. He has also expelled Australian and New Zealand diplomats after their governments spoke out against his seizure of power and refusal to implement elections. 214

“We need to stop all people speaking out against the government and its reforms. I need to silence them,” the military leader stated. A ban on foreign ownership of the media has been installed, and Fiji Times, a popular news outlet, will close soon. “I’ll be glad that people like the Fiji Times will no longer be here,” Bainimarama said. “We’ll have our ownership of the papers, so we’ll have at least some support for what we’re trying to do.” The dictator has tried to justify censorship by explaining that some media outlets understand his reasons. “They understood that at some stage we’ll need to shut some people up. . . . Reforms will never happen if we open everything out to every Tom, Dick and Harry to have their say.” Fiji has been suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum, which is holding its annual summit this week in Vanuatu. Bainimarama has criticized the Forum, saying it is dominated by Australia and New Zealand, countries that are not Pacific Islanders. “They crept in slowly like the proverbial camel,” he complained, “with their head in, and then the front legs, and then the back legs, and all of a sudden the owners of the tent were out and they were inside the tent.” Bainimarama says he wants to free Fiji from racial politics and hold elections in 2014. Fiji has been divided by a power struggle between a majority Fijian Indian community and various indigenous groups.
For more information, please see: AFP-Fiji ruler says he doesn’t trust his people with democracy-3 August 2010 Sydney Morning Herald-Only military can save Fiji: Bainimarama-3 August 2010 ABC-At home with Fiji’s strongman-3 August 2010


September 19th, 2010 By Joseph Juhn Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

JAKARTA, Indonesia – A Papuan political prisoner in Jayapura’s Abepura prison says ongoing pressure by the international community is crucial to force Indonesia to address human rights abuses. Filep Karma, age 51, has been in the Abepura prison for over five years after the district court found him guilty of treason when he raised the outlawed Papuan Morning Star flag and organized a proindependence rally in late 2004. Karma has been openly advocating for Papua’s independence from Indonesia. He has been arrested and held in detention by the Indonesian military on numerous occasions, most notably one being in 1999, when the Biak district court found him guilty of treason for leading and giving speeches at the Biak protests. Despite being sentenced for six and a half years in jail, he successfully appealed this sentence, won his appeal, and was freed that year. In 2001, when members of the Indonesian special forces (Kopassus) killed then-Papuan-leader Theys Eluay, which dramatically raised political tensions in Papua, Karma became more involved with the independence movement. Three years later, Karma helped organize an event on December 1, 2004, to celebrate the anniversary of Papua’s independence from the Dutch. The event was joined by hundreds of Papuan students, who chanted “freedom” and displayed the Morning Star Flag, which led to Karma’s arrest.


Today Filep Karma is probably one of Papua’s most popular proindependence leaders as he never advocated violence as a means of obtaining liberty and independence. “We want to engage in a dignified dialogue with the Indonesian government, a dialogue between two peoples with dignity, and dignity means we have no use of violence,” Karma said. There have been critical moments, too. In August 2009, after experiencing difficulties urinating, Karma requested medical assistance from the staff of Abepura prison, only to be denied of any treatment or transfer to other medical clinic for diagnosis. After long fight and intervention of various NGOs, Karma finally received prostate surgery in September 2010, a year after he first made requests for urgent treatment, which prison authorities repeatedly denied. He claims that international awareness of his plight has substantially helped improve the prison’s treatment of his health condition and brought positive change at the notorious prison. “Because every time we report everything to people in the world, it makes shame for the Indonesian government. They changed the head of the prison. That’s why now, they will try to do best for the people,” he said.
For more information, please see: Radio New Zealand – Papua prisoner calls for pressure to halt abuses by Indonesia – 20 September 2010 Human Rights Watch – Prosecuting Political Aspiration – 22 June 2010


October 27th, 2010 By Joseph Juhn Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea – A Papua New Guinea (PNG) policeman shot a 15-year-old being held in police custody. The police was arrested immediately and was charged for willful murder. The Post Courier newspaper reports Micah Anaiwe, provincial police commander, as saying, the policeman is alleged to have gone into a cell and shot the underage suspect many times. The teenager was in police custody after he stabbed a supermarket manager during a robbery in the Oro province town. According to reports, the policeman was under the influence and had allegedly been drinking with owners of the supermarket before the shooting took place. This is the second time a shooting by a police officer of a suspect in custody has happened in the province. Just last month, a suspect arrested by two police officers was taken to a nearby stream and shot. Superintendent Dominic Kakas says PNG’s Police Commissioner, Gary Baki, takes such matters very seriously and investigation will be underway. “We’ve done our level best to try and win back public confidence. He’s taken on a number of initiatives to also improve policing and so on and this sort of like sets back a lot of positive developments that have taken place.” An investigation from early this year by the United Nation show a high incidence of police brutality and torture at PNG police cells, and the government was urged to improve the situation.
For more information, please see: see: Radio New Zealand – PNG Police Commissioner concerned at shooting in custody – 27 October 2010 Radio New Zealand – PNG policeman arrested following fatal shooting of jailed child – 27 October 2010 Radio Australia – PNG Policeman kills detainee in cell – 26 October 2010


January 10th, 2011 By Joseph Juhn Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga – After the historic November 2010 general elections in Tonga, which marked a transition away from the 165-year rule of the monarchy, two unsuccessful candidates are alleging fraud in the election results. According to the Tongan Supreme Court, a candidate of the Vava’u 14 constituency, Siale Fifita alleges that the winner overspent the permitted amount on the campaign, carried out election propaganda beyond the cut-off date and used bribery. According to Mr Tuita, supreme court registrar, says a businessman, Siosaia Moehau who was just four votes behind the winner of the Tongatapu 6 constituency is convinced he won the seat as he thinks there were a number of irregularities. “Some of the grounds stated are: voting twice, which is false impersonation; another one was lack of police control; and the other grounds is voting after declaration of the ballots; and the last but not least is voting after 4pm, that was when the voting was supposed to have ceased.” In November 2010, general elections under a new electoral law were held in Tonga, which determined the composition of the 2010 Tongan Legislative Assembly – a first popularly elected parliament. For the first time in the nation’s history, a party formed by a pro-democracy movement emerged as the biggest winner in the election. Four years prior to the election, anger over government’s forced political reforms led to riots in the Capital, Nuku’alofa. During the riots, gangs targeted businesses run by ethnic Chinese people. Hundreds were injured and eight people were killed as much of the town was burned down. Tonga suffers high unemployment and a quarter of its population live below the poverty line. The November election drew 89% of the 42,000 registered voters to cast ballots, 219

according to election officials. King George Tupou V called the election “the greatest and most historic day of our kingdom”. Amid expectations and concerns for this new democratic nation, this election petitions came to light. However, the Supervisor of Elections in Tonga, Pita Vuki, says it is common for one or two unsuccessful candidates to file petitions after an election as the Electoral Act permits. “It’s quite normal for any candidates to file a petition if they feel there was something wrong in the conduct of elections or any behavior of any other candidates.”
For more information, please see: Radio New Zealand – Tonga Supreme Court receives election petitions – 10 January 2011 BBC News – Strong showing for Tonga democrats in election – 26 November 2010 Radio New Zealand – Two failed Tongan candidates question election results – 10 January 2011


June 2nd, 2010 By Patrick Vanderpool Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BRASILIA, Brazil – In recent years, Brazil has become a haven for agro-toxins that are shunned by other industrialized countries. According to O Estado de Sao Paulo, the National Agency for Sanitary Monitoring, the United Nations and the Brazilian Development, Industry and Commerce Ministry claim that Brazilian farmers make unabridged use of ten to twelve chemicals that are specifically banned in other parts of South America, the United States, and the European Union. While legislation currently exists to limit the use of these dangerous toxins, the government is “dragging their feet” and has failed to take appropriate actions to reassess the chemicals or take them off of the market completely. More specifically, the government has failed to act even though many of these substances, including metamidophos, have long been associated with endocrine problems in humans. Despite Brazil’s movement toward genetically modified crops, the use of toxins has not subsided. In fact, recent studies have shown that more toxins have been used to treat genetically modified crops than were used to treat non-genetically modified crops. Businesses that sell genetically modified seeds, including Bayer and Dow, are the same companies who manufacture the agro-toxins. These companies place a great deal of pressure on Brazil to purchase the chemicals along with the genetically modified crops. Rosany Bochner, coordinator of Brazil’s National System of ToxicPharmacology, fears that Brazilians are being exposed to potentially dangerous substances that the rest of the world has rejected. Although 221

data does not currently exist that studies the health repercussions of these agro-toxins, few deny that they will have long-term negative side effects. According to Researcher Frioruz Marcelo Firpo, Brazil is under mounting pressure to keep up with the world’s economy. As pressure mounts to ban these chemicals across the world, additional pressure is being put on Brazil to purchase the toxins. While Firpo openly acknowledges that Brazilians are paying a heavy “invisible” cost as a result of ingesting these toxins, there does not appear to be a great deal of optimism that practices will change.
For more information, please see: Merco Press – Brazil has become a “haven” for the use of world-banned agrotoxins – 31 May 2010 O Estado de Sao Paulo - Brasil é destino de agrotóxicos banidos no exterior - 30 May 2010 Check Biotech – Uruguay and Brazil: Genetically Modified Products and Agrotoxins Go Hand in Hand-18 August 2009

June 5th, 2010 By R. Renee Yaworsky Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Five Argentine ex-military officials have gone to trial accused of human rights abuses and the deaths of 65 people under a clandestine co-operative by several South American dictatorships. Operation Condor, which operated between 1976 and 1983, was an effort to eliminate dissidents seeking refuge in neighboring countries. There are hopes that the trial will bring to light the secrets of the notorious Automotores Orletti torture center, one of many similar prisons used by the military dictatorship.


The Automotores Orletti, nicknamed “the garden” by the military, appeared as an auto-body shop in a popular middle-class neighborhood of Buenos Aires. But behind its metal garage door, bound, blindfolded prisoners were held alongside car parts and engines that ran to mask their screams. Prisoners were interrogated and tortured, given electrical shocks and submerged headfirst in water. Rodolfo Yanzon, a human rights attorney representing the plaintiffs, said, “This trial is even more important since the clandestine center was used by intelligence services of other Latin American countries, and people from those countries were detained there.” Among the 200-plus people held at Automotores Orletti were Argentines, Uruguayans, Chileans, Paraguayans, Bolivians and Cubans. John Dinges, author of “The Condor Years,” estimated that only 10 percent of them survived. A prosecutor described what took place in the secret prison as “calculated and planned and amounted to a death sentence.” The center was shut down after two Mexicans escaped, grabbing a firearm and firing at guards. In 2008, the center was converted into a museum. Those charged on Thursday were Raul Guglielminetti, Ruben Visuara, Eduardo Cabanillas, Nestor Guillamondegui, Honorio Martinez Ruiz, and Eduardo Ruffo. They were charged with illegal detention, torture and the killing of 65 people. Guillamondegui was excused from the trial because of bad health. Court officials said his health would be monitored to determine if he would face trial later. Operation Condor was a coordinated repression by South American dictatorships against left-wing activists. Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay all participated. Rights activists say that between 1976 and 1983, 30,000 people were killed or disappeared under the Argentine dictatorship.
For more information, please see: BBC-New ‘Operation Condor’ trial starts in Argentina – 4 June 2010 AP-Argentina court opens dirty war torture garage trial – 3 June 2010 Nine MSN-Argentines face trial for Condor deaths – 3 June 2010


June 21st, 2010 By Ricardo Zamora Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

LIMA, Peru – Human rights groups in Peru are complaining about setbacks in trials and leniency of punishments for security force members responsible for crimes against humanity during the Peruvian Counterinsurgency War. The court dealing with these trials is the Sala Penal Nacional, the highest-level court dealing with human rights cases against members of the armed forces. Since 2009, the tribunal has acquitted 65 accused and convicted only 15. “There’s a clear tendency towards impunity on the part of the Sala Penal Nacional in cases of extremely serious human rights violations, that benefits members of the military and police who should be punished for the crimes they committed,” said Ronal Gamarra, executive secretary of the National Human Rights Coordinating Committee. Many facing the tribunal have committed several crimes against humanity pursuant to orders from former Peruvian president, Alberto Fujimori. Gamarra, who took part in the trial against Fujimori, said that those defending the accused are, in essence, “paving the way for an amnesty for the members of the criminal commandos that acted under the former president’s orders.” While support of the military is one of the main causes of delay in judicial proceedings, military supporters allege that the delay is actually caused by human rights groups and the judiciary. Peruvian Defense Minister and military supporter, Rafael Rey, recently reported that there is no information on the members of the military who were posted at a number of army counterinsurgency bases. The report noted “there are no documents because in the counterinsurgency period military personnel were given their orders 224

verbally, using aliases as a security measure.” Therefore, Rey concludes, military members being accused are victims of “judicial persecution.” But the lack of documents raises the inference that there was an attempt at hiding crimes against humanity. In a related investigation of several acquittals, Rivera found an “alarming” willingness of the Sala Penal Nacional to acquit defendants based on “questionable arguments.” Floria Cano, a lawyer with the Association for Human Rights, said that “Rey asks us to be tolerant of the [military]. Our response is that we are, and we will remain, intolerant of impunity.” She added that the survivors remain eager to find out the truth and to see justice done.
For more information, please see: Terraviva – Peru Faces Severe Setbacks for Justice in Cases Involving Military – 21 June 2010 Global Issues – Rights-Peru: Severe Setbacks for Justice in Cases Involving Military – 19 June 2010 IPS – Severe Setbacks for Justice in Cases Involving Military – 19 June 2010

July 7th, 2010 By Patrick Vanderpool Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina-Jorge Rafael Videla, a former Argentina dictator who helped to overthrow former President Isabel Martinez de Peron, is on trial for human rights abuses. The abuses, which date from 1976-1983, include kidnapping and torture. The trial comes shortly after another former Argentina dictator, Gen. Reynaldo Benito Bignone, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for very similar crimes. Videla’s reign as dictator, often referred to as the “Dirty War,” was shroud with secret military prisons and torture centers. It was not uncommon for Videla’s regime to capture leftist students, labor leaders


or intellectuals and seclude them in one of these secret holding places. Some estimate that as many as 30,000 leftists were abducted. Just days into the trial, Videla, who has previously been found guilty of unrelated human rights abuses and sentenced to life in prison, took responsibility for the military’s actions under his watch. Speaking to the court, Videla stated “I fully assume my military responsibilities for all the Argentine army’s actions during this internal war.” Videla and his codefendants are specifically on trial for the murder of 31 political prisoners who were held captive and then shot to death when they tried to escape. One attorney stated that there are significant differences between the previous cases against Videla and the present case. The 31 political prisoners at the center of this case were jailed under the civilian government before Videla’s coup and were then murdered when Videla took power, before the prisoners had a chance to stand trial. Miguel Ceballos, an attorney representing the victims, has a more personal connection to this trial than most: Ceballos’ father was killed under Videla’s watch. Ceballos said, “when they came looking for my father at the prison, he knew he would be killed. He said goodbye to his friends and left a photo of our family so they could tell us what had happened.” Any added jail time from this trial would mean little to Videla because he is already serving a life sentence; however, a conviction would offer relief to the victim’s friends and family members. Ceballos stated, “This trial has been a long time coming. He is having the trial that he denied my father.”
For more information, please see: Euro News – Former Argentine Dictator Speaks In Court – 6 July 2010 Philly.com – Argentine Ex-dictator Faces Human Rights Charges – 2 July 2010 CNN – Former Argentina Dictator To Go On Trial In Rights Abuse Case – 30 June 2010


July 28th, 2010 By Patrick Vanderpool Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

SANTIAGO, Chile – The Roman Catholic Church recently called on conservative Chilean President Sebastian Piñera to pardon longserving human rights violators. Specifically, The Chilean Bishops’ Conference urged President Piñera to show clemency to prisoners who showed repentance from human rights violations that occurred during the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship. Many of the longest-serving prisoners are elderly and ill, including ex-military officials who were directly responsible for abuses. The proposed pardon would have pardoned 60 individuals. The Church’s actions come while Chile is set to commemorate 200 years of Chilean independence. The Church set specific parameters for those that they seek to be pardoned: individuals who are over 70 years old, have served at least half of their sentence, and who are ill. The Pinochet regime, which lasted from 1973-1990, saw more than 3,000 Chileans killed at the military’s hands. In a letter sent to President Piñera, the Bishops’ Conference stated that not all human rights violators shared equal responsibility. The letter provoked a great deal of public outcry from family members representing those who were killed and tortured on Pinochet’s watch. The victims’ families called the request a setback for justice and fairness. Despite the effort, the Chilean President has refused to offer a pardon stating, “I have reached the conclusion that it would not be prudent or convenient in the current circumstances to promote a new law of general pardon.” President Piñera was, however, receptive to the Church’s proposal for improving the country’s prison system, according to the President of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference. The measures include improving facilities and building more jails to curb overpopulation. 227

While President Piñera closed the door to a broad sweeping pardon, he did leave the option open for the government to consider pardons on an individualized basis. However, Piñera also said that no pardons would be considered for those who violated serious crimes, including murder and torture. Mireya Garcia, vice president of the Group of Relatives of the Detainees and Disappeared, expressed concerns over this case-by-case evaluation. Garcia fears that people who are sentenced under different categories, but who committed human rights violations, might be incorrectly pardoned.
For more information, please see: Merco Press – Piñera Rejects Bishops’ Plea To Pardon Military Involved In Human Rights Abuses – 26 July 2010 NPR – Chile Rejects Pardons Proposed By Catholic Church – 25 July 2010 New York Times – Chile Rejects Church Call To Pardon Officials – 25 July 2010

August 2nd, 2010 By Ricardo Zamora Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

RIOHACHA, Colombia – Another human rights activist was gunned down last week, the latest murder in the ongoing struggle between human rights supporters and guerilla groups. Human rights groups are urging Colombia to be more proactive in protecting activists and in prosecuting and punishing those responsible for this and other crimes against humanity. Luis Alfredo Socarras Pimienta, a local dentist, dental-care campaign organizer, leader of the Wayuu indigenous people, and human rights activist was gunned down last Friday in the doorway of his home. The unidentified gunman reportedly fled the scene after the shots were fired. Over the past year, Pimienta had organized several demonstrations to protest the human rights violations and egregious living conditions the 228

Wayuu people were subjected to. The Wayuu people used the demonstrations to urge the Colombian government to respect their human rights and assist them in obtaining a better quality of life. During the year Pimienta also ran for the position of mayor of the Manaure municipality and for a position on the Polo Democratico Alternativo party. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) reports that Pimienta was widely recognized as a human rights activist and indigenous leader of the Wayuu people. The Commission explained “attacks against leaders break down the cohesion of indigenous people when it comes to defending their human rights, and undermines their sociocultural integrity” and “that the work of human rights defenders is an essential component in building a solid and lasting democracy.” In short, the IACHR says that it urges the State to protect activists because a leader’s removal essentially disintegrates the cohesion, and therefore the voice, of prejudiced groups, whether indigenous peoples or otherwise. Without leaders such a Pimienta, indigenous groups cease to have a collective voice, leaving only the voices of independent and uninterested individuals, which are unlikely to be heard or understood by local or federal governments. Created by the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR is an independent panel consisting of seven independent members equally representing its 35 member nations. It assists in unifying the voices of victims of human rights violations.
For more information please see: CNN – OAS Human Rights Commission Condemns Colombian Activist’s Slaying – August 2, 2010 Colombia Reports – OAS Body Condemns Murder of Indigenous Leader – August 2, 2010 Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources – IACHR Condemns Murder of Human Rights Defender of Wayuu People in Colombia – August 2, 201


August 28th, 2010 By R. Renee Yaworsky Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

PUERTO ASIS, Colombia—A small Colombian town has been gripped by panic after three teens that were named on online hit lists were murdered. Many local families have reacted by moving out of the area or sending their children away to safety. Three hit lists, containing 90 names, were posted on the social networking website Facebook. Those named were youths, threatened with death if they did not leave the town Puerto Asis. According to a local official, some of the names on the lists were nicknames only known and used within the youths’ group of friends. The message on Facebook read in part: “Please, as a family, urge them to leave town in less than three days, otherwise we will be obligated to realize acts such as those of August 15.” On August 15, Diego Jaramillo, 16, and Eibart Ruiz, 17, were shot and killed while riding a motorcycle between Puerto Asis and Puerto Caicedo; soon afterward, the first hit list was posted online containing their names. Five days later, Norbey Alexander Vargas, 19, was murdered in Puerto Asis after his name was included in one of the ominous lists. Although officials at first believed the lists to be a prank, they have now launched an investigation aided by Internet experts. The Facebook page has been blocked. Puerto Asis is a small town of 70,000 people, located in the remote jungles of southern Colombia near Ecuador. The names on the Facebook hit lists indicated that most if not all of the youths mentioned were from Puerto Asis. Colombia is a country at war with various militant anti-government groups and violent gangs. The infamous FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) group and a dangerous gang called Los Rastrojos 230

have ties in the area. Internet hit lists are new to Colombia, but similar threats have been signed and publicly displayed by right-wing paramilitaries, naming alleged “drug addicts and prostitutes.” In 2005, the paramilitaries were demobilized and splintered off into numerous criminal gangs. It is believed that criminal gangs in Colombia consist of 4,000 to 9,000 members and operate in 24 of the country’s 32 states. The Colombian ombudsman Volmar Ortiz issued an alert, indicating that the Los Rastrojos gang may be responsible for the recent murders and hit list intimidation. Ortiz’s warning said the gang “executes violent acts, spawning community conflicts, imposing their will, intimidating and dispensing punishment against those culturally and socially stigmatized.”
For more information, please see: LA Times-COLOMBIA: Deaths of 3 teens feed fear over Facebook threats-26 August 2010 Time-Colombia’s Facebook Hit List: Drug Gangs 2.0-26 August 2010 ABC News-Facebook Death List: 3 Colombian Teens Killed-25 August 2010

August 31st, 2010 By Patrick Vanderpool Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BRASILIA, Brazil – Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recently signed a contract allowing the construction of a controversial dam to begin. The Belo Monte mega dam, as it is being called, is set to be built on the Amazonian Xingu River. President Lula championed the dam under the guise that it will be a victory for Brazil’s energy sector and the Brazilian government claims that the project will create 20,000 jobs. Critics contend that, in all likelihood, the dam will devastate the area and cause the demise of the local government and indigenous peoples.


Walter Coronado Antunes, former Environment Secretary of São Paulo state, has called the dam “the worst engineering project in the history of hydroelectric dams in Brazil, and perhaps of any engineering project in the world,” in response to the many design flaws of the project. The buildup to this move has been wrought with controversy and legal action from the area’s indigenous peoples and human rights groups. The bidding process was interrupted three times by legal action by different groups, including the Brazilian Federal Public Prosecutors Office, who object to the dam. Hundreds of Indians are currently protesting, joined by experts, human rights groups, environmental organizations, and Brazil’s Public Ministry, against the Belo Monte dam. Set to be the world’s third largest hydroelectric dam, Belo Monte is projected to flood 154 square miles and will permanently dry up a 62mile section of the Xingu River, leaving the indigenous communities along the banks without water transportation and the food provided by the river, according to International Rivers, a California-based NGO. Initial numbers project that the dam will affect 50,000 peoples’ lives, including displacing at least 20,000 people from the region. Critics fear that this project sets a dangerous precedent and more dams will follow Belo Monte. These critics also say that the power needed for Brazil’s economic growth could be greatly reduced by less invasive measures, including investing in energy saving techniques. The dam is scheduled to begin operating in 2015. It will generate enough power to supply 23 million homes in Brazil.
For more information, please see: The Epoch Times – Brazilian Government Signs Huge Amazon Dam Project – 27 August 2010 Radio New Zealand News – Massive Hydro Electric Dam Approved For Brazil – 27 August 2010 Survival International – Brazilian President Signs Death Sentence for Amazonian River – 27 August 2010 Survival International – Serious Damage: Tribal Peoples and Large Dams Report – 2010


September 4th, 2010 By Patrick Vanderpool Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

SANTIAGO, Chile – Chilean President Sebastián Piñera recently called for an end to an ongoing hunger strike by indigenous Mapuche inmates. The Mapuche political prisoners are protesting a Pinochetera anti-terror law that was used to convict them. The Mapuche people have clashed with the Chilean government and farmers for years over ancestral lands in the southern part of the country. The anti-terror law, which has been widely criticized by human rights groups, including Amnesty International, was used to label the inmates “terrorists” based on certain actions, such as setting timber shipments on fire. The law also allows government witnesses to conceal their identities at trial and permits defendants to be tried by military commissions. The hunger strike began in July with five prisoners and has since grown to include 34 inmates in various jails throughout Chile. Many of the prisoners have lost up to 40 pounds during the hunger strike and are experiencing dizziness and low blood pressure. Last month, the families of the Mapuche prisoners went to Santiago, the capital, to denounce irregularities in their trials and push for dialogue with the authorities. Spokespersons for the Mapuche families stated that the prisoners were at a critical stage in the hunger strike and continue losing muscle tissue and experiencing vital organ failure. President Piñera said that his government will send two bills to Congress next week to reform anti-terror legislation and the military justice system in an effort to end the strike. He added, “I want to ask all of those worried about the health of the protesters to help us end this hunger strike.” 233

The police and military have been accused by human rights groups of using excessive force against the Mapuches in the past. But the indigenous peoples have come under fire for sometimes violent protests where they have burned crops and the trucks and machinery of forestry companies. The Mapuches lost their lands to the newly formed states of Argentina and Chile in the early 19th century after having fended off the Spanish conquistadores for centuries. The indigenous peoples ancestral territory spanned most of the south of Chile and crossed over into Argentina.
For more information, please see: Reuters – Chile Wants to End Hunger Strike over Terror Laws – 3 September 2010 The Argentine Independent – Chile: Health of Mapuches on Hunger Strike Worsens – 2 September 2010 IPS – Mapuche Prisoners on Hunger Strike to Demand Talks – 12 August 2010 Intercontinental Cry – Mapuche on Hunger Strike over Chile’s Militancy – 4 August 2010

October 9th, 2010 By Patrick Vanderpool Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BOGOTA, Colombia – Colombian officials have arrested an army officer suspected of 11 extrajudicial killings of civilians. Major Orlando Arturo Cespedes Escalona was arrested Thursday in the northwestern city of Medellin. The 11 deceased individuals were presented as leftist guerillas killed during combat. Those allegedly killed by Escalona include 11 adolescents and young men, ages 16-28, from Toluviejo, a town in the northern province of Sucre. Recruiters lured these young men to areas through promises of agricultural work and money, but they were then executed. While


remains from 10 bodies have been found and returned to family members, one 16-year-old is still missing. Colombia’s Attorney General has stated that Escalona will face aggravated kidnapping, criminal conspiracy, and homicide charges. The case is being handled by a special human rights and international law prosecutor who also ordered the arrest of retired Col. Luis Fernando Borja. In what has become known as the “False Positives” scandal, the Colombian army has been accused of killing civilians and presenting them as guerrillas killed in combat to pump body counts. The soldiers who claimed credit for the “kills” received weekend passes and other benefits. Civilian accomplices lured the victims away from their homes and in what is described as a common practice, army recruiters would bury the men in common graves to give the impression that they were insurgents killed in combat. There are many other instances of extrajudicial killings aside from those that Escalona is accused of. The number of documented victims has already topped 2,000. However, some suspect that the number could be closer to 3,000 victims. Other recruiters have been already been convicted and sentenced to no less than 25 years in prison. Victims’ families and human rights activists suspect that a directive issued in 2005 by then-Defense Minister Camilo Ospina offering incentives to soldiers for insurgent deaths may have spurred many of these killings.
For more information, please see: Latin American Herald Tribune – Colombian Army Officer Arrested for Unlawful Killings– 8 October 2010 Colombia Passport – Military Arrested for Murder of a Protected Person – 7 October 2010 Colombia Reports – Army Major Arrested for 11 “False Positive” Murders – 7 October 2010


November 20th, 2010 By Patrick Vanderpool Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

SANTIAGO, Chile – A group of 33 women have banded together in a Chilean mine 3,000 feet underground to protest the end of a program which, at one time, provided thousands of people with jobs. In February, an earthquake devastated Chile. As a result, the Chilean government created a Military Job Corps program, which put people to work clearing debris and constructing emergency housing, amongst other things. In September, the government failed to extend the program, forcing – by some accounts– 12,000 people out of work, adding additional stress on those who had already lost their homes and livelihoods to the earthquake. In an interview with the Santiago Times, protest spokesperson Ivania Anabalón stated that Chileans have “tried several actions at all levels [since September] and cannot make the government understand that all we need is a source of work.” Anabalón also stated that “[t]he governor wouldn’t even look at us.” Reports from several news agencies indicate the women have hundreds of supporters and sympathizers protesting and rallying outside the mine, which was operating as a tourist attraction when the women occupied the coal mine. Javier Matamala, who is currently in charge of the mine, has urged all parties involved to end the protest quickly and peacefully “to avoid damages to this historic location.” The women sent an open letter to the Piñera Administration, referring to the recent effort to rescue 33 trapped miners in the north of the country. They ask the government to use that same kind of effort to provide assistance for the thousands of Chileans who have lost their 236

jobs and homes due to the earthquake and the failure to reauthorize the jobs bill. Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter urged the 33 women on hunger strike to reconsider their protest and said they were “lucky” to have had jobs for a few months. The governor of the Concepción region, where the mine is located, told Radio Cooperativa that Lota municipal chief of staff Vasili Carrillo, a one-time guerrilla who battled the 19731990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, was orchestrating the women’s protest.
For more information, please see: Epoch Times – Women Stage Hunger Strike in Chilean Mine – 18 November 2010 Latin American Herald Tribune – Chilean Women Mount Hunger Strike to Demand Jobs– 18 November 2010 Hispanically Speaking News – 33 Chilean Women Lock Themselves in 9,000 Feet Deep Mine – 16 November 2010

December 30th, 2010 By Patrick Vanderpool Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BOGOTA, Colombia – A recent report published by Swiss-based Press Emblem Campaign calls Latin America the most dangerous region in the world for journalists. In 2010, there were a reported 105 murders of journalists worldwide, 35 of which occurred in Latin America. While Mexico and Honduras were among the most dangerous countries on Press Emblem Campaign’s list, Colombia was named the seventh most dangerous area, with four murders of journalists in 2010 alone. According to the Swiss NGO, Colombia’s numbers are on par with other South American countries, such as Brazil.


Fewer fatalities have been reported this year compared to 2009, when 122 journalists died, but the toll is higher than the 91 deaths recorded in 2008. Blaise Lempen, Press Emblem Campaign’s SecretaryGeneral, said that “the killing of journalists has become an epidemic with no cure.” “The international community has not found solutions to it, or put in place effective mechanisms for bringing the perpetrators of those crimes against journalists to trial.” Since the NGO began keeping statistics five years ago, 529 journalists have been murdered performing their professional duties. The media watchdog’s president, Hedayat Abdel Nabi, pressed for action to better protect journalists. PEC campaign promotes the adoption of international legislation to protect journalists in carrying out their mission. Nabi also stated “let’s move together in 2011 to achieve a well deserved bold step for journalists, 2011 could be the target date, then or never.”
For more information, please see: Examiner – Latin America Considered the Most Dangerous Region for Journalists – 27 December 2010 Hindustan Times – Journalists’ Death Toll Reaches 105 in 2010 – 27 December 2010 Latin American Herald Tribune – Latin America Most Dangerous Region for Journalists in 2010 – 27 December 2010

January 5th, 2011 By R. Renee Yaworsky Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BRASILIA, Brazil—On Monday, 88 more private firms were accused by the Brazilian government of engaging in slave labor, or forcing laborers to live and work in conditions equivalent to slavery.


The Labor Ministry now lists 220 such firms on Brazil’s registry of worker exploitation. The accused companies will be punished by steep fines and will be unable to obtain credit at public banks or sell their products to government entities. The firms will be blacklisted this way for at least two years until they demonstrate that they have brought their practices up to code. Agricultural firms listed on the registry are believed to have forced workers to live and work in dangerous conditions, threatening their safety, hygiene and health. There have also been allegations that the agricultural workers have been made to work illegally long hours and receive less than adequate pay. The majority of the workers who have been trapped in slave labor were recruited from the poorest areas of Brazil. After the laborers agreed to be relocated in promise of a job, they became imprisoned by employers who demanded money for food, rent, and previously unmentioned services. The workers become imprisoned in debt bondage and have little choice but to do as their employers order. The recent influx in slave labor in Brazil is the most severe since records on the matter emerged in 2003. The 220 firms on the updated list include plantations, sugar mills, coal yards, timber businesses, construction companies and textile factories. The government blacklist is updated every six months and 14 firms were recently dropped because they improved their operations to meet government standards. Last year, a government task force rescued almost 5,000 slave laborers after conducting 133 raids on suspected farms in Brazil. According to the United Nations International Labor Organization, there are roughly 12.3 million workers suffering from similar situations throughout the world.
For more information, please see:


EIN News-Brazil Cracks Down on Farm Slave Labor; 88 Firms Accused-5 January 2011 Sify News-Over 200 Brazil firms found treating workers as slaves-5 January 2011 Fox News-Brazil accuses 220 firms of using slave labor-4 January 2011


February 7th, 2011 By R. Renee Yaworsky Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

EASTER ISLAND, Chile—On Sunday, police officers raided a luxury hotel on Easter Island to evict indigenous individuals who had been occupying the building. The occupants have been protesting the loss of their ancestral lands on Easter Island to tourists and other nonindigenous residents who visit the island to view its famous ancient monolith statues. Chilean police drove the last of dozens of indigenous Rapa Nui protesters from the Hangaroa Eco Village and Spa hotel, one of the last strongholds captured by them in protest last year. Members of the Hitorangi clan have remained on the grounds since August of last year and insist that the property was illegally taken from their illiterate grandmother. They claim that the notoriously cruel dictator General Augusto Pinochet illegitimately sold their grandmother’s land to the Schiess family. The protesters also argue that there are plans to develop Easter Island to cater to non-indigenous people, and their ancestral lands will be lost. The police raid on the hotel came just two days before the protesters were scheduled to go to court and discuss ownership of the property. According to Rodrigo Gomez, the protesters’ lawyer, about 50 armed police officers raided the hotel in order to oust the last 5 inhabitants. Gomez called the incident “utterly irregular and illegal.” The Save


Rapa Nui website has reported that a Chilean judge had previously refused to allow police to evict the hotel’s occupants. Last December, over 20 people were wounded by pellet guns shot by police as they tried to scatter Rapa Nui protesters. Last month, James Anaya of the United Nations spoke out in defense of the Rapa Nui, asking Chile’s government to “make every effort to conduct a dialogue in good faith with representatives of the Rapa Nui people to solve, as soon as possible, the real underlying problems that explain the current situation.” The Rapa Nui protesters who were squatting in the hotel were arrested by police and then let go to await a court hearing. Easter Island (officially called Rapa Nui) is a Unesco World Heritage Site and was annexed by Chile in 1888. It has a population of approximately 4,000.
For more information, please see: Today Online-Police evict last of Easter Island protesters-7 February 2011 BBC-Police evict Rapa Nui clan from Easter Island hotel-6 February 2011 Herald Sun-Easter Island squatters evicted-6 February 2011

February 15th, 2011 By Patrick Vanderpool Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

QUITO, Ecuador – A judge in Ecuador has awarded $8.64 billion to Ecuadorian residents of the Amazon who had sued Chevron for years of crude oil pollution. The award is set to double if Chevron does not apologize within two weeks. Both sides have indicated that they will appeal the verdict. Chevron claims that the court’s verdict is the “product of fraud.” The plaintiffs assert that the award is too small in relation to the cost of the


pollution’s cleanup. In addition, Chevron alleges, “the Ecuadorian court’s judgment is illegitimate and unenforceable.” The lawsuit charged that the oil company used a variety of substandard production practices in Ecuador that resulted in pollution that “decimated” several indigenous groups in the area. According to the Amazon Defense Coalition, Chevron has admitted that Texaco, its predecessor, dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic waste into Amazon waterways, abandoned more than 900 waste pits, burned millions of cubic meters of gases with no controls and spilled more than 17 million gallons of oil due to pipeline ruptures. The coalition claims that cancer and other health problems were reported at higher rates in the area. Luis Yanza, a spokesperson for the Assembly of those Affected by Chevron, said at a news conference that the ruling was “historic” and a “collective victory.” Yanza was also quick to proclaim that the award was fairly insignificant in terms of the harm that 30 years of pollution has had on the area. The judgment against Chevron is the latest skirmish in 18 years of litigation between the Amazon indigenous groups and Chevron, which inherited the lawsuit when it purchased Texaco in 2001. Although both parties will appeal, Humberto Piaguaje, a local leader, called the judgment “a victory for the population that lives in the oil-producing area in northern Ecuador.” “The judge did justice and has seen reality,” said Piaguaje. “We know that this is only one part of our fight and we will continue until there is justice and the damage is healed. The world should know that what happened in the Amazon and our fight for life, for justice.”
For more information, please see: Bloomberg – Chevron’s $17 Billion Ecuador Judgment May be Unenforceable, Analysts Say – 15 Febraury 2011 CNN – Appeals Planned after Amazon Residents Win Ruling Against Chevron – 15


February 2011 Reuters – Snap Analysis – Chevron-Ecuador Case Only at Beginning of the End – 14 February 2011


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