#GlobalJustice Weekly: Gambia joins ICC withdrawals

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh on Tuesday announced its intention to quit the ICC. © Gainako
In #GlobalJustice this week: governments, civil society and legal professionals unite in their support for the ICC; UN Secretary-General condemns outbreaks of violence and attacks on peacekeepers in CAR; Hopes for new FARC peace deal in Colombia 'by Christmas'; Russia voted off UN Human Rights Council; Former senior military figures indicted in Guatemala for war crimes; DRC elections delayed until 2018 amid protests; Allegations of Nigerian officials abusing those displaced by Boko Haram; and much much more.

World rallies around the ICC as Gambia joins withdrawals

The Gambian information minister’s announcement last week that the West African country intends to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) is detrimental to many African victims of grave international crimes search for justice.

Citing a perceived anti-African bias in ICC prosecutions, the message mirrored rhetoric used by the governments of South Africa and Burundi, both of which have now delivered official notifications to the UN Secretary-General of their intent to withdraw from the Rome Statute system.

The volume of opposition to these withdrawals has only grown in recent weeks, with civil society and governments uniting to support the Court and its reforms in the light of criticism. Civil society was quick to point out that the Court is far from only focused on Africa. The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) was among those to question the rationale provided by the withdrawing African governments.

As many as ten African governments can already be counted on to continue their support for the Court and their divergence from the recent withdrawal announcements. Among these, Botswana and Sierra Leone have been especially vocal.

Reaction: World rallies around the ICC

Coalition statement: Mandela’s legacy on the line as South Africa moves to leave the ICC

Reaction: Burundi votes to leave the ICC

International Criminal Court investigations

Central African Republic: UN Security-General condemns outbreak of violence and attacks on civilians and UN mission in the CAR

Cote d’Ivoire: Amnesty International calls for authorities to stop alleged arbitrary arrests and ‘mobile detention” of opposition supporters ahead of referendum on constitutional changes

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Elections delayed until 2018, as opposition calls strike in protest

ICC judges give Trust Fund for Victims go-ahead on plan to implement symbolic collective reparations for victims of convicted war criminal Thomas Lubanga

 

ICC preliminary examinations

 

Colombia: President Santos says there are hopes for new FARC deal by Christmas

Nigeria: Allegations that government officials and other authorities raping women displaced by Boko Haram conflict

 

Campaign for Global Justice

African activists highlight need for African governments to support the ICC.

Former ICC prosecutor says Court has faced greater political challenges in the past and can still recover.

Former US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues responds to anti-African bias claims, tells African ICC member states to take initiative to refer non-African situations

 

Around the world

UN Human Rights Council urges UN General Assembly to refer Eritrea to the International Criminal Court

Ethiopia state of emergency risks triggering a human rights crisis

Families fleeing Mosul assault find safety in Iraq and Syria according to UN Refugee Agency

Reports mount in Myanmar of human rights violations by security forces in Rakhine state

Russia voted off UN Human Rights Council amid mounting allegations of Syria war crimes

Top ex-military men indicted in Guatemala for war crimes and rape

Allegations that Turkish police authorized torture and mistreatment of detainees in wake of failed coup

Record levels of assault, abduction, and torture reported in Zimbabwe, allegedly perpetrated by state security forces.

Syria: UN education envoy urges ICC probe into Idlib school attack