IACHR to assist with Mexican police abuse, Ntaganda hunger strike on day 13, and UN Syria Inquiry seeks access to refugees


Mexican Government asks IACHR to assist with reparations on police abuse findings: In a statement issued on 17 September 2016, the Mexican government announced that it sent case of police abuse of protesters to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) based. The government asked the IACHR, based in Costa Rica, to “consider how to deal with reparations”. The Mexican Supreme Court and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) found that serious “abuses were committed with security forces cracked down on a 2006 protest against a planned new Mexico City airport”, leading to 2 deaths and almost 200 injured people and more than 200 in detention and 30 women faced sexual aggression or rape after having been arrested by the police forces. The Mexican government stated that 30 people were facing “criminal charges for the abuses against the protesters, though the Supreme Court found no responsibility by senior officials”. While local judges sentenced 12 people right after the protests to years of imprisonment, the Supreme Court threw out the local decisions. (Indian Express)

Ntaganda on 13th day of hunger strike as of 20 Sept: On 19 September 2016, Bosco Ntaganda, detained in The Hague since he surrendered in 2013, was on 12th day of hunger strike. Since 7 September 2016, the former Congolese rebel leader refuses to attend his trial for war crimes. Mr. Ntaganda is the first defendant before the ICC to go on hunger strike. Judges ordered the trial to continue the proceedings. Stephane Bourgon, Mr. Ntaganda’s lawyer, criticizes such position stating “We can’t ignore the absence of the accused whose current state of health is rapidly deteriorating.” A medical report concluded that Mr. Ntaganda, despite showing fatigue, “was fit to be transferred to the courtroom to attend in his trial”. Judge Fremr qualified the accused behavior as “disruptive” adding that “the chamber sees no reasonable alternative but to continue the proceedings”. Mr. Ntaganda read a statement to the court explaining its protest against “the judges’ refusal to ease restriction on his visitors”, mentioning that he lost hope of seeing his family without the presence of ICC officials. The ICC said he will not be force feed. (Yahoo)

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria asks European countries for greater access to refugees: On 19 September 2016, U.N. investigators reported to the U.N. Human Rights Council their difficulty to “interview newly arrived Syrian refugees in Europe” in the view of documenting “suspected war crimes”. Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria, while refusing to name non-cooperative countries, urged European countries “hosting newly arrived Syrian refugees to grant us access and remove any barriers to our work”. He insisted on the importance of acting quickly and explained that their work and database – partly shared with “European governments seeking to prosecute their nationals fighting as foreign militants in Syria” helped in some “successful prosecution”. Another panel member, Carla del Ponte emphasized the need for a formal investigation to be conducted rapidly. On 19 September 2016, Bashar al-Assad described the US air strikes as “flagrant aggression”. (Reuters)

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