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News updates

[Online] Advanced summer programme on terrorism, countering terrorism and the rule of law

(For older news updates, please visit our news archive.)

30 November 2021: Taha al-Jumailly, an Iraqi member of the Islamic State (IS) group, was sentenced to life imprisonment for committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Yazidi religious minority in a court in Frankfurt. The case marks the first successful prosecution of genocide concerning IS atrocities against the Yazidi community. 

26 November 2021: The International Crimes Tribunal 1 in Bangladesh handed down the death penalty to Abdul Momin Talukder Khoka for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Bangladeshi War of Independence. The International Crimes Tribunal was established in 2009 to investigate and prosecute international crimes committed in 1971 by the Pakistan Army and their local collaborators during the Bangladesh War of Independence. 

25 November 2021: The Special Criminal Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic arrested and brought charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Hassan Bouba Ali, the Miniter of Livestock and a former rebel group leader UPC. According to Human Rights Watch, the UPC killed at least 246 citizens, burned 2046 homes and was also involved in dozens of cases of rape and sexual slavery in the Ouaka province between 2014 and 2017. 

23 November 2021: The trial of Claude Muhayimana, a former hotel driver charged with complicity in genocide as well as crimes against humanity for providing aid and assistance to Hutu militiamen during the Rwandan genocide, started in the Paris Criminal Court. Additionally, he is accused of having participated in the killings of thousands in the Kibuye church and Gatwaro stadium massacres in April 1994. 

22 November 2021: Rapporteurs from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have called on Serbian authorities to take action against the glorification of war criminal Ratko Mladic after a mural depicting him appeared on a wall in the centre of Belgrade. In 2017, Mladic was found guilty of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

18 November 2021: The International Criminal Court (ICC) temporarily halted the Office of the Prosecutor's (OTP) investigation into possible crimes against humanity committed during the Philippines’s so-called “war on drugs” under President Rodrigo Duterte, in which thousands of people have been killed. ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan explained the reason behind the suspension is due to a deferral request the Philippines filed through its ambassador in the Netherlands.

17 November 2021: The Spanish government filed an amendment to the draft Democratic Memory Law that seeks to force a reinterpretation of the Amnesty Law which has been used as a means to stop any attempts to prosecute political figures during Francisco Franco's dictatorship. The amendment stipulates that all Spanish laws, including the Amnesty Law, must be interpreted and applied in accordance with "conventional international and common law, and in particular, with International Humanitarian Law", and as such, there can be no statutory limitations or amnesty for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and torture.

16 November 2021: Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC)confirmed that he is to run for president in the upcoming elections due to start on 24 December. On 27 June 2011, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi on charges of two counts of crimes against humanity: murder and persecution, allegedly committed in 2011 in Libya.

15 November 2021: Tamil Rights Group (TRG), an international advocacy group, has submitted a Communication under Article 15 of the Rome Statute to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), requesting a preliminary examination into crimes against humanity of deportation and persecution committed against Eelam Tamils within the territories of state parties to the ICC. 

12 November 2021: Prosecutors in Sweden charged the chair and the chief executive office of Swedish oil and gas producer Lundin Energy with complicity in war crimes committed by the then Sudanese regime of Omar al-Bashir. According to the prosecutors, the company had asked the former Sudanese government to capture and secure a potential oil field although they were aware that doing so would require using force. 

10 November 2021: Alaa Mousa, a Syrian doctor was indicted on charges of crimes against humanity involving the murder of one detainee and the torture of at least 18 others in a military facility in Syria. He was arrested last year, having arrived in Germany in 2015.


New cases, briefs and videos

(For older announcements, please visit our announcements archive.)

CALL FOR PAPERS: The International Crimes Database invites submissions of short articles for publication in the online series ICD Briefs on the theme: 'Ecocide as an international crime? Perspectives from domestic and international law'. For more information, see here

NEW CASES: Case analysis of the summary of the judgment in the Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland case (July, 2014) is now online. It can be accessed here.

NEW CASES: Case analysis of the summary of the judgment in the Abu Zubaydah v. Lithuania case (May, 2018) is now online. It can be accessed here.

NEW CASES: Case analysis of the summary of the judgment in the The Prosecutor v Ayyash et al. case (August, 2020) is now online. It can be accessed here.

NEW VIDEO: A new video is available online. The very first online (Zoom) Supranational Criminal Law (SCL) lecture was organised on 3 June 2020, titled ‘Challenges to Prosecuting Paramilitaries: Insights from the former Yugoslavia and Syria’. Speakers were Dr Iva Vukušić, Visiting Research Fellow at Department of War Studies, King’s College London, Ali Aljasem, MA, Researcher at the History Department, Utrecht University and Dr Matthew Gillett, Director, Peace and Justice Initiative and Trial Lawyer, Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC. The video recording can be viewed here

NEW VIDEO: A new video is available online. On 10 February 2020, Dr Christopher Soler, Judge Kimberly Prost and Dr. Yasmin Naqvi provided a lecture at the Asser Institute in the context of the Supranational Criminal Law Lectures Series (SCL). The lecture was organised to celebrate the publication of the book The Global Prosecution of Core Crimes under International Law. The video recording can be viewed here

NEW BRIEF: A new ICD Brief is available on the International Crimes Database entitled “Human Rights Remedies for Violations of the Law of Armed Conflict: Reflections on the Right to Reparation in Light of Recent Domestic Court Decisions in the Netherlands and Denmark”, by Vessela Terzieva.

Vessela Terzieva is an international criminal lawyer and an external PhD researcher at the University of Amsterdam. Her ICD Brief relates to recent decisions in the Netherlands and Denmark awarding compensation for damage at the hands of the military during armed conflict, including the July 2019 ruling of the Dutch Supreme Court in the 'Mothers of Srebrenica' case. It explores how these decisions contribute to the debate on the right to reparation for victims of international humanitarian law violations.

NEW CASES: New case summaries are available on the International Crimes Database!

Prosecutor v Ayyash et al.

Two of the five new case summaries relate to the case of The Prosecutor v Ayyash et al. before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). In its Interlocutory Decision of 16 February 2011 (available here), the Appeals Chamber of the Tribunal found whilst it was bound to apply Lebanese criminal law, international law could be used to aid in the interpretation of these domestic provisions. Significantly, the Chamber concluded that the crime of terrorism exists in customary international law. In the STL Trial Chamber Decision of 1 February 2012 (available here), the Tribunal found that the four accused may be tried in absentia, as all four of the accused had absconded or otherwise could not be found and all reasonable steps had been taken to secure their presence.

Prosecution of Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan

The other three summaries (herehere and here) relate to the trial of Nuon Chea, the former Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, and Khieu Samphan, the former Head of State of Democratic Kampuchea, before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). This string of cases culminated in the conviction and life sentence of Chea and Samphan for crimes against humanity relating to the forcible transfer of the population, as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity committed at security centres and worksites. Both were also found guilty of genocide of the Vietnamese people, whilst Chea was also guilty of genocide of the Cham people.

The Asser Institute received assistance from the Washington College of Law Internship Programme in the preparation of these case summaries.