Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα war crimes. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα war crimes. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Δευτέρα, Αυγούστου 25, 2014

Ex-New York judge named to UN panel assessing war crimes in Gaza

Mary McGowan Davis is third member of panel formed out of Palestinian resolution. She replaces attorney Amal Alamuddin....

A former New York judge has been appointed the third member of a United Nations panel looking into whether Israel has committed war crimes in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

Mary McGowan Davis was named to the panel by the head of the UN Human Rights Council, Gabon Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella, the Associated Press reported.


The council launched the commission of inquiry on July 23 accepting a Palestinian-drafted resolution.

McGowan joins William Schabas and Doudou Diène on the committee, which is expected to deliver a report next March.

The Israeli government has condemned the UN council's decision to form the panel, saying that Hamas should be the subject of the inquiry. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement at the time that Hamas was "committing a double war crime by firing rockets at Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians. …"

Schabas, who chairs the panel, is a professor of international criminal law and human rights, the UN council said in an August 11 statement announcing the members.

Diène from 2002 to 2008 was the UN's "Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance," the statement said.

On the panel, McGowan replaces Amal Alamuddin, a U.K. attorney and the fiancé of the actor George Clooney. Alamuddin, who the UN said is a specialist in international law and human rights, decided not to serve on the panel, citing her current commitments.

Israel in 2009 faced a similar investigation from the Goldstone Committee, led by the South African judge Richard Goldstone. That panel's report, released in September 2009, harshly criticized Israel's conduct during its 2008 conflict with Hamas in Gaza.   

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.612415
25/8/14
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Δευτέρα, Ιουλίου 28, 2014

Eastern Ukraine: UN rights chief says downing of plane may be "war crime," urges probe


UN, 28 July 2014 – The shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines plane over eastern Ukraine may amount to a war crime, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today said today, releasing a new report that details a total breakdown of law and order and a reign of fear and terror inflicted by armed groups in the area.
“I would like to stress to all those involved in the conflict, including foreign fighters, that every effort will be made to ensure that anyone committing serious violations of international law, including war crimes, will be brought to justice, no matter who they are,” Navi Pillay said. “I urge all sides to bring to an end the rule of the gun and restore respect for the rule of law and human rights.”

The High Commissioner made the comments while issuing a new report by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission deployed to Ukraine in mid-March, calling for greater care to prevent more civilian casualties.
The report, which covers the period from 8 June to 15 July, does not officially cover the 17 July downing of the plane. However, Mr. Pillay used the launch of the report to call for a “prompt, thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigation.”
The UN Security Council has also called for an international investigation into the incident, and demanded that armed groups allow unfettered access to the crash site and ensure that its integrity is maintained.
Meanwhile, in the report, the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) documents how armed groups continue to abduct, detain, torture and execute people kept as hostages in order to intimidate and “to exercise their power over the population in raw and brutal ways.”
“Already increasing numbers of people are being killed with serious damage to civilian infrastructure, which – depending on circumstances – could amount to violations of international humanitarian law,” she said. “The fighting must stop.”
More than 812 people have been abducted or detained, according to the report, including politicians and employees of the local coal mining industry, but the majority of them ordinary citizens, such as teachers and students. Those detained are frequently used to seek ransom, while some are forced to dig trenches or fight on the front lines. There are also reports of alleged executions following so-called military tribunals.
In response, the Government of Ukraine has accelerated its security operations, resulting in heavy fighting and an estimated 101,617 people fleeing to other parts of Ukraine, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
“The reports of increasingly intense fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are extremely alarming,” Ms. Pillay said, with both sides employing heavy weaponry in built-up areas, including artillery, tanks, rockets and missiles.
The report also points out how impunity in the areas under the control of the armed groups in the east has led to the collapse of the rule of law.
OHCHR noted that while the Government faces challenges to restore law, order and security, it must urgently prioritize good governance, rule of law and human rights issues, especially as Ukraine “seeks to fulfil its EU aspirations and establish a democratic and pluralistic society.”
  • In addition, the Office underscored that the human rights situation in Crimea remains a great concern with intensified harassment and discrimination of Ukrainian nationals, Crimean Tatars, religious minorities and activities opposed to the 16 March referendum.
The report also noted the impact of the current economic recession facing the country, particularly in the east which is the country’s centre for heavy industry.
The intensified fighting and continuation of the conflict have led to “more polarized” opinions, including dramatic escalation of hate speech, particularly on social media, as well as demonstrations and protests, including in the Parliament.
[un.org]
28/7/14
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Τετάρτη, Ιουλίου 23, 2014

Israel pounds Gaza as Kerry pushes truce (UN says ‘war crimes’ possible)

Israeli forces pounded Gaza on Wednesday, meeting stiff resistance from Hamas Islamists and sending thousands of residents fleeing, as US Secretary of State John Kerry said on a visit to Israel cease-fire talks had made some progress.

In a blow to Israel's economy and a public relations coup for Hamas, US and European air carriers halted flights to the Jewish state citing concern over a militant rocket from Gaza that hit a house near Ben Gurion airport. Israel urged a rethink, saying its air space was safe.


Adding to pressure on Israel, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Wednesday there was "a strong possibility" that it was committing war crimes in Gaza, where 668 Palestinians have died in the fighting, mostly civilians.

Israel denied the suggestion, stepping up the war of words and accusing Hamas of using fellow Gazans as human shields.

Making an unannounced, one-day visit, Kerry was due to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, signaling an intensification of efforts to end the bloodshed.

"We have certainly made some steps forward. There is still work to be done," Kerry said shortly after arriving.


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Israel launched its offensive on July 8 to halt missile salvoes by Hamas and its allies, struggling under the weight of an Israeli-Egyptian economic blockade and angered by a crackdown on their supporters in the nearby occupied West Bank.

After failing to halt the militant barrage through days of aerial bombardment, Israel sent ground troops into the Gaza Strip on Thursday last week, looking to knock out Hamas's missile stores and destroy a vast, underground network of tunnels.

"We are meeting resistance around the tunnels ... they are constantly trying to attack us around and in the tunnels. That is the trend," Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said Wednesday.

Some 29 Israeli soldiers have been killed so far in the conflagration, including a tank officer shot by a Palestinian sniper overnight. Three civilians have died in rocket attacks out of Gaza, including a foreign laborer hit on Wednesday.

 Source:Reuters - globaltimes.cn
23-24/7/14
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Πέμπτη, Μαΐου 22, 2014

Russia, China block Security Council referral of Syria to International Criminal Court

UN, 22 May 2014 – Despite repeated appeals by senior United Nations officials for accountability for crimes being committed in Syria, the Security Council was unable today to adopt a resolution that would have referred the situation in the war-torn nation to the International Criminal Court (ICC), due to vetoes by permanent members Russia and China.

The resolution, which was backed by the other 13 members of the Council, would have given the Court the mandate to investigate the horrific crimes committed during the course of the conflict in Syria, which since March 2011 has witnessed the deaths of over 100,000 civilians, the displacement of millions and widespread violations of human rights.


“The Syrian people have a fundamental right to justice. The United Nations and its Member States have a fundamental duty to defend that right,” Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said in remarks delivered on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon prior to the vote.

“Since the outbreak of the war in Syria, I have persistently called for accountability for perpetrators of grave human rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The recent attacks against humanitarian convoys and personnel, which may constitute war crimes, add to the urgent need to see action now on accountability in Syria,” he stated.

“The Security Council has an inescapable responsibility in this regard. States that are members of both the Security Council and the Human Rights Council have a particular duty to end the bloodshed and to ensure justice for the victims of unspeakable crimes.”

In February 2013, the UN-appointed Commission of Inquiry concluded that the ICC is the appropriate venue to pursue the fight against impunity in Syria.

“If members of the Council continue to be unable to agree on a measure that could provide some accountability for the ongoing crimes, the credibility of this body and of the entire Organization will continue to suffer,” Mr. Eliasson warned.

Today’s action comes less than 10 days after the Joint UN-League of Arab States Special Representative on the Syria crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, resigned from his post after nearly two years of diplomatic efforts to bring about a political solution to the brutal civil war.

In accepting the envoy’s resignation, the UN chief had acknowledged that the 80-year old Algerian diplomat had faced almost impossible odds, “with a Syrian nation, Middle Easters region and wider international community that have been hopelessly divided in their approaches to ending the conflict.”
[un.org]
22/5/14
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Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 16, 2014

Mass 'executions' in Syria could be war crime: UN

GENEVA: Extremist Islamic groups in Syria are committing a "soaring" number of killings in the country's north that could amount to war crimes, the UN human rights office said on Thursday.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says that over the past two weeks her office has received reports of "a succession of mass executions of civilians and fighters who were no longer participating in hostilities in Aleppo, Idlib and Raqqa by hardline armed opposition groups in Syria, in particular by the" al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

She warned that such killings violate international humanitarian law, and the numbers of such violations are thought to be alarmingly high.


"While exact numbers are difficult to verify, reliable eyewitness testimony that we have gathered suggests that many civilians and fighters in the custody of extremist armed opposition groups have been executed since the beginning of this year," Pillay said in a statement.

Fighting between the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other Islamic groups in northern and eastern Syria has killed hundreds of people over the past two weeks. The infighting is the most serious among opponents of President Bashar Assad since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011.

Pilay's office reported that in the first week of January a number of people were killed in Idlib by armed opposition groups. It said that on Jan. 6 in Aleppo three people reportedly held by the al-Qaida linked group at its base in Makhfar al-Saleheen were found dead, handcuffed, with bullet wounds in their heads.

Two days later, also in Aleppo, "numerous bodies, again mostly handcuffed and blindfolded, were found in a Children's Hospital" once used as a base by the group, the UN office said, and that at least four local media activists were among the dead, as well as captured fighters from armed opposition groups.

Pillay says there also are "deeply disturbing reports emerging of mass executions" by the al-Qaida linked group, both when it withdrew from Raqqa and after it regained control earlier this week.

"These reports are particularly alarming, given the large numbers of people, including civilians, that armed opposition groups in Syria are believed to be holding in custody," Pillay said. "The taking of hostages is prohibited under international humanitarian law and may also constitute a war crime." 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Mass-executions-in-Syria-could-be-war-crime-UN/articleshow/28896783.cms
16/1/14

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