IJCentral is a resource, developed by Skylight Pictures, for concerned citizens around the world who want an effective International Criminal Court to prosecute perpetrators of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. As the IJCentral network builds, our collective voice will become a way to press political leaders to fulfill the mandate of the ICC.
This film looks at the relationship of visual images and war crimes trials. The Principal Investigator of the Beyond Text project Pictures of Peace and Justice, Professor James Gow, and Research Associate, Dr. Milena Michalski, and ICTY Head of Outreach, Nerma Jelacic, report on key findings from the project, and explain how the most significant of these is the capacity of images to have impact beyond the courtroom.
“The Forgotten Victims”, a new documentary produced by IWPR, sheds light on the war crimes and other human rights abuses committed in Afghanistan over two decades of serial conflict. The film raises difficult issues about accountability in a country where the victims of crimes against humanity are sidelined, while the perpetrators walk free and in some cases continue to hold political power.
“The Forgotten Victims” covers the period from just before the 1979 Soviet invasion and the ensuing war with the mujahedin, through the brutal civil war of the early 1990s, to the Taleban’s rule from 1996 to 2001.
Because of this wide historical sweep, the film focuses on selected incidents, such as a massacre of civilians in Yakawlang, central Afghanistan, committed by Taleban forces at the beginning of 2001.
At public screenings around Afghanistan, audiences praised the filmmakers for telling the victims’ stories and opening up a debate on justice and accountability.
“Making a film like this in the current climate requires a lot of courage. It’s a great step towards seeking justice,” Mohammad Nader Atash, a defence lawyer in Nangarhar.
Peace Direct founder Scilla Elworthy has just given a talk at TED-x in Exeter. In the talk, Scilla draws on stories from her inspirations such as Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi and shares half a dozen methods she has identified that allow us to counter violence without having to resort to force, and argues that not only are they more humane, but are more effective too.
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo guilty of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate in hostilities ( 14 March 2012).
Today, judges of the Trial Chamber I, Judge Adrian Fulford -Presiding judge- judge Elisabeth Odio Benito and Judge René Blattmann decided unanimously that Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is guilty, as a co-perpetrator, of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate actively in hostilities from 1 September 2002 to 13 August 2003.
It is the first verdict issued by an ICC Trial Chamber.
The present war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate actively in hostilities were committed in the context of an internal armed conflict that took place in the Ituri (the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and involved the Force patriotique pour la libération du Congo (Patriotic Force for the Liberation of the Congo) (FPLC), led by Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, against the Armée Populaire Congolaise and other militias, including the Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri.
Mr Lubanga Dyilo was the President of the Union des patriotes congolais (Union of Congolese Patriots) (UPC), the Commander-in-Chief of its military wing, the FPLC, and its political leader.
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a national of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was transferred to The Hague on 17 March 2006, pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued by Pre-Trial Chamber I. His trial, the first at the ICC, started on 26 January 2009 and the closing statements were presented by the parties and participants on 25 and 26 August 2011.
The Chamber will hold a separate sentencing hearing. The Chamber will, furthermore, establish the principles that are to be applied to reparations for victims. The defence is entitled to appeal the conviction within 30 days of receiving the French translation of the Judgment
On July 22, the deputy head of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), Ali Essawi said that he wanted to see Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi stand trial at the International Criminal Court in Hague.
Deputy head of Libyan NTC Ali Essawi said, “We would like to have Gaddafi taken to the ICC, we would like justice to play its role and we would like to see the crimes paid also. There is no contradictory between the two. No-one can forgive him, even if he left the country. His crimes have touched all over the world, not only the Libyans, even other people and other countries and his terrorist actions, and we cannot forgive him on behalf of the others also.”
Ali Essawi added, “Negotiations will be only on the departure of Gaddafi. We will not negotiate on his staying in Libya or ruling the Libyans, this is in principle. His statement belongs to him, as far as we know that Gaddafi will not step down. He is insisting on the killing of the Libyans, he is insisting on the revenge from the Libyans and he will not leave the country or the power”
Last month, the Hague-based ICC issued warrants for the arrest of Gaddafi, his son Saif Al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Senussi on charges that they ordered the killing of protestors.
Meanwhile, on July 21, Gaddafi addressed thousands of supporters in an audio message saying that he would never negotiate with the rebels. NTC officials rejected his statement.