International Human Rights Law: Weekly Roundup **Updated** (4/24/11-4/31/11)

In Uncategorized on May 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

UN Human Rights System

Charter-based mechanisms

  • AP: “Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday he will only launch an international investigation into allegations of possible war crimes during the final stages of the Sri Lanka’s civil war two years ago if the government agrees, which is highly unlikely, or member states call for a probe.” Amnesty: “UN must act now on Sri Lanka war crimes report.”  HRW: “UN should establish international inquiry.” Commentary: EJIL:Talk! Marko Milanovic: “UN panel of experts Report on the Sri Lanka conflict.” Commentary: UNDispatch
  • ISHR: “Human Rights Council holds special session on Syria” More from OHCHRAP: Campaign continues to bar Syria from Human Rights Council. AP: “UN body approves probe of Syrian crackdown.” More from Reuters, Jurist and UN News Centre. ICJ Press Release Commentary: JusticeInConflict Blog: “Syria and the International Criminal Court: Taking Justice Seriously
  • Reuters: “A team of United Nations investigators sought answers on Wednesday from Libyan officials about allegations forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi had committed human rights violations.”
  • UNNewsCentre: “The independent United Nations expert on the right to freedom of opinion and expression today called on the Algerian Government to investigate the killing of a political activist he had met on a recent official visit to the North African nation and to bring those responsible to justice.”
  • UNNewsCentre: “UN officials calls on Mauritania to do more to eradicate slave-like practices”
  • UNOG: A UN expert on Monday begins a ten-day visit to study issues relating to the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in Mauritius. Ms. Najat Maalla M’jid will be the first UN Special Rapporteur to visit the country.
  • UNNewsCentre: “Armed groups in Central African Republic continue to recruit children -UN report.”

Treaty-based mechanisms

  • JamaicaObserver: Jamaica moves to ratify Optional Protocol on the Rights of the Child onthe Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

Regional Systems


  • IACHRPressRelease: “The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its deep concern over the recently published information contained in official documents of the United States concerning torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment carried out against detainees at the Guantánamo Naval Base. These documents confirm information the Inter-American Commission has been receiving since 2002, based on which it has granted precautionary measures for Guantánamo detainees and urged the State to close the detention facility without delay, among other steps it has taken within the framework of its jurisdiction.”
  • IACHR PressRelease: “The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder in Mexico of human rights defender Javier Torres Cruz, a member of the Organization of Campesino Ecologists of the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán. The IACHR urges the Mexican State to investigate and legally clarify this crime, and punish the perpetrators and masterminds.”
  • PressRelease: “The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) deplores the violent death of journalist David Niño de Guzmán and considers the order given by President Evo Morales to immediately start the investigation of the circumstances of the journalist’s death of the greatest importance.”
  • HuffingtonPost: “Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos has announced the extradition of Walid Makled, a Venezuelan drug kingpin, from Colombia to Venezuela. This will take place in the next few weeks, setting a frightening precedent with monumental consequences for Colombia, Venezuela, and, especially, human rights and the fight against torture.”
  • MADRE: “MADRE and our grassroots Haitian sister organization KOFAVIV testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington DC on March 25. At the hearing, we underscored the constant threat of rape faced by women and girls in Haiti’s displacement camps and the need to take immediate steps to end sexual violence in the camps, such as the installation of lighting, the provision of security and the inclusion of grassroots women’s voices in policy-making spaces.”
  • GlobalVoices: “Peru: Hydroelectric projects in the Amazon under discussion again.
  • CEJIL: Inter-American Commission insists that Honduras protect members of community radio stations.
  • CoE PressRelease: “Council of Europe conference adopts the “Izmir Declaration”on the future of the European Court of Human Rights.” Text of the “Izmir Declaration”. Conference Website.
  • Joint NGO statement on Izmir Conference. Amnesty: “European leaders must protect the independence and integrity of the European Court of Human Rights, Amnesty International said today after an inter-governmental conference examining proposed reforms to the Court.”
  • CoE PressRelease: “Protection of national minorities: Council of Europe monitoring body publishes report on Armenia.”
  • CoE: Issue Paper: Adoption and Children: A Human Rights Perspectivecommissioned and published by the Commissioner for Human Rights.
  • Independent: “The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has been “rather too ready to substitute its own judgment for that of national courts”, the Justice Secretary said today. Kenneth Clarke said the ECHR was failing to give enough weight to the domestic legal system and was not allowing for “genuine differences of national approach”.”
  • GreekReporter: “Vice President of the European Court of Human Rights Christos Rozakis said on Wednesday that Turkey cannot interfere in issues concerning Cyprus` exclusive economic zone in its southern seas, adding that Turkey has never claimed to have rights in the zone which has been delimitated with Egypt and Israel.”
  • Enukidze and Girgvliani v. Georgia: Press Release: Amnesty: Georgian authorities must implement Tuesday’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that Georgia failed to carry out an effective investigation into a high-profile murder case involving government officials. PressRelease for other judgments this week.
  • ISHR: “The biannual session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) will start today (28 April) and run until 12 May. It has been preceded by the regular NGO Forum (25 – 27 April).” More from AllAfricaThe Zimbabwean: “A representative of SADC non-governmental organizations and human rights defenders meeting in The Gambia has urged the Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the 49th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) to adopt resolutions on Zimbabwe and Swaziland calling for an end to impunity and the culture of human rights violations in the two countries.” VoA: The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights has been urged to investigate alleged torture and other human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and Swaziland. AfriqueEnLigne: “The Speaker of Gambia’s National Assembly, Abdoulie Bojang, has stressed the need to revisit the Protocol that established the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), to enable it move from its current status of advisory, consultative and persuasive mandate, to a more robust, proactive and binding mandate. Speaking at the opening of the Forum on the Participation of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the 49th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and the 23rd African Human Rights Book Fair in Banjul Tuesday, the Speaker said the weakness of the protocol is part of the reasons human rights defenders had yet to provide effective remedy to all the alleged human rights violations taking place in Africa.” AfriqueEnLigne: “The International Humanist Ethical Union (IHEU) has said that it will draw the attention of human rights stakeholders in Africa to the existence of blasphemy laws in the penal codes of state parties to the African Charter and the threat it poses to the promotion and protection of human rights.” AfriqueEnLigne:“The Network of Human Rights Organizations in Africa has said that ‘Over the last six months, the human rights situation in the East and the Horn of Africa has continued to be closely linked to the conduct of national elections, with journalists particularly at the receiving end.'”
  • FIDH: “FIDH and its member organizations from Algeria, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Togo, Guinea-Conakry, Senegal, Sudan and Zimbabwe, present at the 49th Session of the ACHPR, which opened on April 28th, urge the Commission to support democratic movements on the Continent by adopting resolutions on the North Africa situation and condemning violations of human rights perpetrated in particular in Libya, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Ivory Coast and in Burundi.”
  • MISA-Zimbabwe Communiqué: “The African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights’ (ACHPR) intervention mechanisms should be expanded for it to effectively deal and respond to human rights issues on the continent.”
  • Commentary: OpenSocietyBlog: “African Court takes bold stand on Libya.”
  • IJRC: “Pressure on Libya to Comply with AfCHPR’s Provisional Measures to Protect Civilians.”
  • ASEAN-SEC-NEWS:The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) is now charting the next landmark on Human Rights, for the regional grouping.

International Justice

  • VoA: “Human rights activists and Africa scholars say the new president in Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, faces very difficult and possibly competing challenges of pursuing reconciliation and justice following years of division in the West African nation.”
  • Jurist: ICC prosecutor to brief UN on Libya war crimes probe.
  • Amnesty: “The UN Security Council must refer the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Amnesty International said today, amid escalating government violence against protesters calling for reform.”
  • Jurist: “ICTR removes US defense lawyer from tribunal work.” more from All Africa.
  • HagueJusticePortal: “Lubanga trial drawing to a close 27 Apr 2011. Closing speeches in the first trial at the ICC will be delivered at the end of August, with a judgment expected later in the year.”
  • TorontoStar: International court could probe possible Canadian war crimes
  • Commentary: JusticeInConflict Blog: “The Tides of Justice: Egypt set to join the ICC”
  • Commentary: IntLawGrrls: “ICC Dress Code & Other Developments”

Universal Jurisdiction

  • The House of Lords debates on amendments to UK’s universal jurisdiction laws.

…..And International Humanitarian Law


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