International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

To Detain or Not to Detain: A Human Rights Approach to Custody in Criminal Law

Earlier this week, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Appeals Chamber unanimously reversed a March 10, 2017 decision of Trial Chamber I on the detention of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo. Although Gbagbo will remain in prison at the ICC detention facility, the Appeals Chamber has tasked the trial chamber with conducting a new review to decide if the former head of state’s continued detention is warranted.

Gbagbo, 72, is charged with crimes against humanity following post-election violence in 2010 and 2011, which allegedly led to the killing of around 3,000 people. He has been on trial at the ICC, alongside his former youth minister Charles Blé Goudé, since January 28, 2016.

Previously, Gbagbo’s defense had requested his urgent release in 2014 in … Continue Reading

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Réactions de la population d’une localité de l’Ituri sur le procès de Bosco Ntaganda

Cet article a été préparé par notre partenaire Radio Canal Révélation, une station radio basée à Bunia, en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), dans le cadre d’un projet de radio interactive pour la justice et la paix qui favorise la mise en débat des questions touchant à la justice en RDC. Les vues de la population relayées dans cet article sont celles des personnes interviewées et ne représentent pas forcément les vues de tous les membres de la communauté ni celles des victimes.

Les habitants de Lopa, quartier général de Bosco Ntaganda, dans la province de l’Ituri en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), réclament les enquêtes de la CPI et les réparations aux victimes des suites de sa présence dans leur … Continue Reading

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International Justice Day in Uganda Focuses on Ongwen’s Trial as Community Members Quiz ICC Officials at a Town Hall Meeting

July 17 is globally recognized as the “World Day for International Justice,” also referred to as the “Day of International Criminal Justice” or “International Justice Day.” The day is commemorated around the world as part of an effort to recognize the emerging system of international criminal justice and to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Since the ICC intervened in the Ugandan situation 13 years ago, International Justice Day in Uganda has revolved around activities of the court.  With the trial of Dominic Ongwen currently ongoing before the ICC, it is not surprising that this year’s commemoration focused the Ongwen case.

Ongwen is charged with 70 counts of war crimes and crimes … Continue Reading

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Reactions from the Local Population to Collective Reparations in the Katanga Case

The below article is from our partner at Radio Canal Révélation, a radio station based in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The article was produced as part of the radio station’s Interactive Radio for Justice and Peace Project, which promotes discussion on critical issues around justice in DRC. The views conveyed in this article are those of the people interviewed and do not necessarily represent the views of all the members of the community or those of the victims.  

Several dozen victims of crimes committed by Germain Katanga in the village of Bogoro, in Ituri Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), are waiting impatiently for the reparations ordered by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“We want to … Continue Reading

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Réactions de la population locale sur les réparations collectives dans l’affaire Katanga

Cet article a été préparé par notre partenaire Radio Canal Révélation, une station radio basée à Bunia, en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), dans le cadre d’un projet de radio interactive pour la justice et la paix qui favorise la mise en débat des questions touchant à la justice en RDC. Les vues de la population relayées dans cet article sont celles des personnes interviewées et ne représentent pas forcément les vues de tous les membres de la communauté ni celles des victimes.

Plusieurs dizaines de victimes des crimes commis par Germain Katanga dans la localité de Bogoro, dans la province de l’Ituri en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), attendent impatiemment la réparation ordonnée par la Cour pénale internationale (CPI).

« Nous voulons … Continue Reading

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The Greco-Roman Wrestler Who Defeated Ríos Montt

The following article profiles Édgar Pérez, the director of the Law Firm for Human Rights (Bufete Jurídico de Derechos Humanos), one of the main organizations representing victims in Guatemala’s grave crimes cases. The article and photos come from the news organization Plaza Pública and are being republished on International Justice Monitor with permission. The original Spanish version was written by Emiliano Castro Sáenz has been translated by Evelyn Recinos Contreras.

Pérez, in his office.

Édgar Fernando Pérez Archila has stayed out of the spotlight, even though he was the first to bring military officers responsible for committing grave crimes during Guatemala´s war to justice. He confronted Ríos Montt in the Genocide case representing the Ixil indigenous population, as well as the … Continue Reading

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Victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence Crimes Need Special Reparations

As the trial of Dominic Ongwen continues before the International Criminal Court (ICC), significant questions remain about how reparations for victims of sexual and gender based (SGBV) crimes will be approached.

Ongwen was initially charged with seven war crimes and crimes against humanity, none of which were SGBV related, but after surrendering to rebels in the Central African Republic in 2015, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced the introduction of 63 additional charges. Among the additional charges, Ongwen is facing 19 counts of SGBV crimes, including rape and forced marriage. This article focuses on reparations for survivors of LRA-perpetrated SGBV crimes.

The LRA is known to have abducted over 30,000 children below the age of 18 from 1988 to 2004, including young girls, … Continue Reading

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Formerly Abducted Women Say Ongwen’s Trial is Not Justified

Since the start of Dominic Ongwen’s trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) last year, different stakeholders have expressed their opinions on various issues regarding the case. Few of these opinions, however, have come from formerly abducted women and girls, despite the fact that they constitute a unique category of victims based on their experiences during the conflict. This article explores opinions from seven women who say they were abducted as girls between 1992 and 2004. All of the women openly said that Ongwen should be forgiven despite their own experiences as victims of sexual and gender based violence.

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is believed to have abducted over 30,000 children (under 18) from 1988 to 2004, including girls, who … Continue Reading

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Why Victims ‘Feel Abandoned’ by the Ugandan Government

As the trial of Dominic Ongwen continues at the International Criminal Court (ICC), questions on how victims and conflict-affected communities stand to benefit from the whole process continues to generate discussion. A key issue often raised by victims is the lack of support from the Ugandan government to victims of the conflict, which pitted the government itself against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

This is an issue that has left many feeling that the government is leaving the ICC and other stakeholders to shoulder the entire burden. With the ICC promising to effect reparations for victims in the event of a conviction, it can be argued that Ongwen’s trial has reopened the debate on reparations and assistance for victims in northern … Continue Reading

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Low Turnout at the Lukodi Memorial Prayers as Victims Express Dissatisfaction with the Slow Pace of Ongwen’s Trial

Lukodi village is located approximately 17 kilometers from Gulu town. It was the scene of a horrendous massacre by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in May 2004, leading to the death of over 69 civilians. Dominic Ongwen is currently on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in part due to what happened here.

Ongwen’s trial before the ICC started on December 6, 2016. He is charged with 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in attacks on camps for people displaced by the conflict in northern Uganda. The attacks took place between 2003 and 2004 in the camps of Pajule, Odek, Abok, and Lukodi. Ongwen has also been charged with sexual and gender-based crimes, including the crime … Continue Reading

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