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ICTJ World Report

Issue 11 April 2012

In Focus
Twenty Years On, Bosnia Struggles to Reckon with the Past
Ceremonies throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina today mark 20 years since the beginning of the conflict that saw the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II. In this podcast Refik Hodzic, our communications director and a Bosnian justice activist and journalist, discusses the obstacles Bosnia is facing in achieving a reckoning with its troubled recent past.
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World Report
AFRICA In its first ruling, the International Criminal Court (ICC) found warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo guilty of conscripting child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Belgium requested the International Court of Justice order Senegal to either extradite Chad's former dictator Hissene Habr or prosecute him for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed under his regime. Police are responsible for extrajudicial executions of more than 800 people in the last five years, Kenya's human rights commissioner testified before the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. Kenyan civil society groups called on the government to strengthen witness protection measures for those testifying in postelection violence trials. Activists petitioned a South African court to investigate and prosecute

Zimbabwe citizens suspected of crimes against humanity. The governor of Sudan's Southern Kordofan region, wanted by the ICC for crimes committed in Darfur, allegedly ordered his troops to "take no prisoners" in a fight with rebels in the region, a tactic now considered a war crime. The African Union pledged to deploy 5,000 troops to aid Uganda in the hunt for Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony, wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity.

AMERICAS Canadas Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its interim report, documenting the activities of the commission to date. Colombias FARC released four soldiers and six police officers it had held hostage for 14 years, its last remaining non-civilian captives. Guatemala acceded to the Rome Statute of the ICC and will become the courts 121st member July 1. Meanwhile, five former members of rightwing Guatemalan paramilitaries were sentenced to more than 7,000 years in jail for their role in a 1982 massacre. Brazilian prosecutors filed charges against a former military officer for his role in enforced disappearances during the country's dictatorship. Uruguays president acknowledged the governments responsibility for the death of an Argentine woman during the 1970s Dirty War and formally apologized. Argentina begun prosecutions for economic crimes committed by the regime during the 19761983 dictatorship.

ASIA Burma held parliamentary elections in which the opposition National League for Democracy won 43 of 44 contested seats. A Swiss judge resigned from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, citing political interference in his attempts to investigate additional suspects. On a visit to India the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions called on the country to end impunity for extrajudicial killings by security forces, and recommended the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, saying it violates international human rights law. A group of Korean "comfort women" forced to serve as sexual slaves to the Japanese military during World War II pledged to support victims of sexual violence in the Congo if they receive reparations from Japan. Major political parties in Nepal agreed to the terms of long-delayed bills creating a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a Commission on Disappearances; meanwhile families of the disappeared in Nepal organized protests to pressure the government to act. Taiwan's president Ma Ying-jeou apologized for the "228 massacre" and treatment of pro-democracy activists under the Chinese Nationalist Party's White Terror campaign of 19491987, promising to uncover the truth and compensate victims.

EUROPE A virtual museum presenting the siege of Sarajevo through interviews, video, and photos was launched to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 19921995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the war, pleaded not guilty before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.


MENA A Bahraini court acquitted five members of a teachers union charged with undermining national stability by organizing sit-ins outside schools during last year's anti-government protests. In a series of verdicts in Egypt, the Cairo Criminal Court acquitted police officers charged with killing protesters during the 18-day uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak. Libyan and other officials are seeking the extradition of Muammar el-Qaddafi's intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, arrested in Mauritania in late March. The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC says it lacks jurisdiction to investigate alleged crimes committed during the 20082009 conflict in Gaza on the grounds that Palestine is not a state for the purpose of acceding to the court's statute. The UN increased its death toll estimate for the Syria unrest to more than 9,000; the U.S. envoy to Syria said the regime is committing atrocities that likely amount to crimes against humanity. The UN Security Council expressed concern at a political deterioration in Yemen threatening a transition to democracy in the country in which year-long protests ended former president Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule.

Enough Is Enough! Testimonies of Papuan Women Victims of Violence and Human Rights Violations 1963 2009
In 20092010, ICTJ, the Women Commission, and the Women Working Group of Papuan People Assembly provided support to Papuan women in a project to document gender-based violence and human rights violations that occurred between 1963 and 2009. Their findings and recommendations are published in this report.
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Upcoming Events
May 23 - 24, 2012

Symposium: Transitional Justice after War and Dictatorship

Location: Brussels, Belgium View Details

September 10 - 12, 2012

Essex Transitional Justice Network Summer School

Location: Essex, UK View Details

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Copyright 2011 International Center for Transitional Justice

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