lubanga

The International Criminal Court has just this morning handed down it’s first ever verdict, finding Thomas Lubanga guilty of conscripting child soldiers. Lubanga was the leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots and stands accused of being the military authority behind the abduction of children as young as eleven to serve the Patriotic Forces of the Liberation of Congo in the 1998-2003 war. Lubanga was handed over in 2006, the first suspect to be detained by the ICC, and has been on trial since 2009. 

This guilty verdict is great for the DR Congo and wonderful for the International Criminal Court. Last year former Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz told ICC judges: “Let the voice and the verdict of this esteemed global court now speak for the awakened conscience of the world.

Photo: Ed Oudenaarden/AP.

[AJ English Twitter; Al Jazeera; AP]

Rights groups have welcomed the guilty verdict for former Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga at the International Criminal Court, but say he should have faced more charges. Analysts also say the ruling could be a sign of things to come for other African ICC suspects. 

Labunga was found guilty of recruiting child soldiers – under the age of 15 – during the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003.

And while the conviction could put him in prison for the rest of his life, rights groups say the prosecution left out some important charges.

Lubanga’s main role during the conflict was as president of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), an armed political group which, backed by Ugandan forces, battled a rival ethnic group for control of the gold-rich Ituri region.

Human Rights Watch said the UPC massacred civilians, executed or tortured those they captured, and burned down villages in their path. The group says at least 60,000 people were killed across Ituri in inter-ethnic fighting.

In a statement, Amnesty International said it is “disappointed” the ICC prosecutor did not pursue other crimes Labunga’s forces are accused of, including sexual violence against girls and other civilians.

There is also the question of what impact the verdict will have in the DRC, said Thierry Vircoulon, the Central Africa Director for International Crisis Group. 

“It’s a victory for the ICC, it’s definitely good news,“ said Vircoulon. "I don’t know if this will impact much on Congolese politics, but it’s definitely good news for international justice.” 

Vircoulon pointed out that the UPC, which began as a rebel group, is a recognized political party in the DRC.

FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)

The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) guilty verdict against rebel leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo for recruiting and using child soldiers in hostilities is a first step in bringing justice to the tens of thousands of children forced to fight in conflicts, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and elsewhere, Human Rights Watch said today.
people suck.

really want to create passive aggressive facebook statuses about Lubanga being found guilty in the ICC today - but unfortunately posting things like ‘Lubanga found guilty! But there’s no 30 minute heart-wrenching video about it so I’m the only one posting about it today’ seems counterproductive to educating people. 

youtube

“Many will be scared after this judgment, especially those military groups that are still very active. Many of whom think that international justice is just a myth.”

-Congolese Activist

23 maart. Ivoriaanse politicus aangekomen in cel Internationaal Strafhof

De Ivoriaanse politicus en zakenman Charles Blé Goudé is aangekomen in Den Haag om terecht te staan voor het Internationaal Strafhof ICC. Hij wordt beschuldigd van misdaden tegen de menselijkheid. Blé Goudé was de rechterhand van de afgezette president Gbagbo, die eveneens in een Haagse cel zit in afwachting van zijn proces.

Het ICC in Den Haag trad op 1 juli 2002 in werking, nadat vier jaar eerder op voordracht van de Verenigde Naties het Statuut van Rome was ondertekend, dat de basis legde voor oprichting van het Strafhof. Het ICC heeft uitsluitend jurisdictie over zaken betreffende genocide, misdaden tegen de menselijkheid en oorlogsmisdaden die na de oprichtingsdatum gepleegd zijn.

Inmiddels hebben 122 landen dit statuut geratificeerd. Dit is nog niet gebeurd in een aantal belangrijke landen, waaronder de VS, Rusland, Israël, Iran en Soedan.

Tot nu toe zijn er strafrechtelijke onderzoeken gestart naar misdaden in acht landen, alle in Afrika. Dit levert het Strafhof veel kritiek op. Er zijn tot nu toe enkele belangrijke (zij het niet gehonoreerde) arrestatiebevelen uitgevoerd voor onder meer de Oegandese militieleider Joseph Kony, president Omar al-Bashir van Soedan, en Moammar al-Khadaffi.

Op 14 maart 2012 vond de eerste veroordeling door het ICC plaats: de Congolese rebellenleider Thomas Lubanga werd schuldig bevonden aan werven en inzetten van kindsoldaten. Hij kreeg veertien jaar.

Lubanga tijdens zijn proces

Watch on bslcllng.tumblr.com

Der Chefankläger - Am Internationalen Strafgerichtshof

Beeindruckende Doku über Luis Moreno Ocampo, der den Internationalen Strafgerichtshof in Den Haag aufgebaut hat

Die Beine hat er übereinander geschlagen, das Handy eingeklemmt zwischen Schulter und rechtem Ohr, der Bügel seiner Brille wippt im Mund. Er spricht ein schnelles Englisch mit argentinischem Akzent und telefoniert mit dem Rebellenführer Libyens. Luis Moreno Ocampo ist Chefankläger des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs (ICC) in Den Haag und eine charismatische Persönlichkeit. In den 80er-Jahren war Ocampo Assistent im Prozess gegen die Generäle der argentinischen Militärjunta. 20 Jahre später wird er zum Chefankläger des ersten permanenten Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs gewählt, der 1998 in Rom von 120 Staaten beschlossen wurde. Die Regisseure Marcus Vetter und Michele Gentile begleiten Luis Moreno Ocampo sechs Jahre nach seiner Ernennung zum Chefankläger des ICC mit der Kamera. Sie reisen mit ihm nach Libyen, nachdem Haftbefehle gegen Muammar Gaddafi und seinen Sohn Saif Al Islam ausgestellt wurden. Sie sind unter anderem bei den Verhandlungen des Anklägers mit einer palästinensischen Delegation dabei. Es geht darum, ob das Gericht Palästina als Staat anerkennen kann – Voraussetzung für eine Anklage gegen Israel und die Hamas wegen Kriegsverbrechen im Gazakrieg. Und sie verfolgen, wie sich der Internationale Gerichtshof mit Thomas Lubanga Dyilo beschäftigt, einem ehemaligen Milizenführer im Kongo, der Kindersoldaten für seine Kriege missbraucht hat.

youtube

This video tells a brief history on the International Crimes Court and an overview of what’s going on now. The conviction of DRC’s Lubanga for enlisting child soldiers was the first ever conviction for the ICC. The court may seem arbitrary, if it only has one conviction under its belt. However, it is not anything within the organization of the ICC to blame - it is mostly other countries blocking their investigations and paths to justice. The video highlights a current example with China and Russia continually vetoing any action the UN Security Council has tried to take in Syria.

This video is apart of Amnesty International’s campaign to Demand Justice Now. Check out the video and check out the website for more information.