ICJ Media Review: Accusations made about access to medical examination for Mladic ahead of Judgment

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Friday, November 17, 2017 - 09:19

By ICL Media Review

In this week's review, news about the appeal on the Im Chaem case at the ECCC, Mladic and ICTY medical care, Bashir’s travels, Libyan victims appealing to the ICC, the UN Human Rights Committee and North Korea and the ICC’s agreement on prison conditions:

Cambodia tribunal to hear Appeal on dismissal of Case 004/01 against Im Chaem

In December 2017, the Pre-trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) will hold the appeal hearing against its decision to dismiss Case 004/01 against former district leader Im Chaem. The hearing, set for December 11-12, comes after the tribunal’s decision to dismiss case 004/01 in February on the grounds that Im Chaem was not deemed a “senior leader” within the Khmer Rouge, and hence does not fall within the remit of the ECCC. Ms. Chaem is said to have been allegedly responsible for setting up security offices for the Khmer Rouge, and has allegedly contributed to the arbitrary arrest, detention and execution of thousands from 1976 to 1979. The Chamber will hear arguments from all sides before deciding whether to dismiss the case or send it to trial, a decision which is expected within six months of the hearing, at the latest. (KhmerTimes)

Group representing Libyan victims asks Bensouda to prosecute Khalifa Haftar

Lawyers of UK-based organization Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers have submitted a preliminary filing in the hopes of prompting ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to investigate the Commander in Chief of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar for war crimes. Guernica 37 have stated: “We are acting on behalf of a number of victims. We cannot, of course, disclose their identities but we can confirm that we are acting on behalf of a number of direct victims (victims of actual attacks) and indirect victims (persons whose family members disappeared or were killed).” Earlier this year, Prosecutor Bensouda issued an arrest warrant for Saiqa Special Forces major Mahmoud Warfali for his alleged role in summary executions – the Special Forces are a unit of the Libyan National Army under the command of Haftar, who has since refused to surrender Major Warfali to the ICC. (Middle East MonitorAl Jazeera)

Accusations made about access to medical examination for Mladic ahead of Judgment

On 14 November, Darko Mladic, son of the former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, alleged that the ICTY is prohibiting doctors from visiting his father in prison. “The tribunal said that a visit by doctors is harmful for his health. Interestingly, on the other hand, the court notified us last week when it adjourned the sentencing due to health reasons, that the general’s health condition was stable. How could both conclusions be possible on the basis of an assessment report by same doctors? Since when does a visit by a doctor pose a threat to a patient’s health?” he said. In making such allegations, Darko Mladic told reporters that according to his information, his father’s health has seriously deteriorated recently. Mladic, 74, has been on trial at ICTY since 2011 and is facing 11 charges, including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The judgment for Mladic’s trial is expected for 22 November 2017. (TassInSerbia)

Bashir travels to Uganda; rights group urge his arrest and ICC transfer

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir visited Uganda on 13th November, meeting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and discussing areas of Ugandan-Sudanese cooperation “including trade and investment, agriculture, regional peace and security as well as international matters of mutual interest,” according to a statement by the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Al-Bashir’s visit comes despite the two standing arrest warrants that the ICC issued against al-Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. On this matter, six Ugandan human rights organizations issued a joint statement during al-Bashir’s visit, calling “upon the government of Uganda to fulfill its obligations under international and domestic laws by arresting and surrendering President Omar al-Bashir.” (ABC NewsAll AfricaAfrican Independent)

UNGA Human Rights committee adopts resolution on North Korea’s human rights abuses

The UN General Assembly Human Rights Committee has adopted a Resolution condemning North Korean for actions including human rights violations and the use of resources for nuclear capabilities. The Resolution was sponsored by Japan and the EU. It “condemns the longstanding and ongoing systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights” in North Korea; urges the government to end ongoing human rights violations, including by immediately closing political prison camps and releasing all political prisoners; and noted the findings of the U.N. commission of inquiry on North Korea in 2014 that information it received provided reasonable grounds to indicate that crimes against humanity have been committed. North Korea’s UN Ambassador Ja Song Nam stated to the committee that North Korea categorically rejects the Resolution. (Washington Post)

ICC and European Committee on the Prevention of Torture agree on monitoring conditions of ICC sentenced persons

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture will assist the ICC in monitoring the detention conditions of persons sentenced by the Court, pursuant to a new agreement between the two bodies. The ICC and the Committee have agreed via an exchange of letters that States Parties that have concluded bilateral agreements with the Court on enforcement of sentences, and which are also Parties to the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, may indicate the Committee as the competent body to assist the ICC to monitor the conditions of detention and treatment of sentenced persons.

The conditions of imprisonment of a person sentenced by the Court, pursuant to Article 106(2) of the Rome Statute, are governed by the law of the State of enforcement and must be consistent with widely accepted international treaty standards governing treatment of prisoners. ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi has stated regarding the agreement with the Committee that: “The Committee’s offer of assistance is an additional and welcomed form of cooperation which the Court can rely on in the enforcement of sentences. I take this opportunity to reiterate my call upon States Parties to consider accepting sentenced persons in their territory to give full effect to the Court’s sentences.” (ICC Press Release)

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