trial in Guatemala for military officials, 5 charged w/ war crimes in Bangladesh, SA revokes ICC withdrawal


Guatemalan judges send 5 military officers to trial for illegal detention, torture, sexual violence and enforced disappearance: A Guatemalan Judge has ruled that there is sufficient evidence to try five senior military officers for the unlawful detention, torture, and sexual violence against Emma Molina Theissen in 1981, and the enforced disappearance of her 14-year old brother, Marco Antonio. The accused include two decorated Generals: Benedicto Lucas García, the former head of the High Command of the Guatemalan Army, and Manual Callejas y Callejas, the former head of military intelligence. The proceedings continue amid reports of high tension and intimidation of both press and Molina Theissen family members. (International Justice Monitor)

South Africa official revokes ICC withdrawal after court finds move unconstitutional: South Africa has revoked its withdrawal from the ICC following a recent High Court decision that the government’s withdrawal – notification of which it sent to the UN last October – was unconstitutional. The High Court ruling was handed down in February, and was based on the government’s failure to seek parliamentary approval beforehand, but was answered by a statement from the Justice Minister that the government would continue to consider its options. In the meantime, the UN Treaties website now states that the planned withdrawal has been officially cancelled. (BBC)

Bangladesh special tribunal charges 5 with war crimes: The special International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh has charged five men for crimes allegedly committed during the State’s war of separation from Pakistan in 1971. Solaiman Mridha, 86, Esahaq Shikder, 83, Abdul Goni Hawlader, 72, Awal Moulavi, 69, and Abdus Sattar Pyada, 65 are accused of crimes arising from their alleged participation in the killing of 17 people in the village of Itbaria; destroying and looting 21 houses; and abducting, confining, and raping 6 children and 15 women for a period of ten days. They currently await their case while detained. The prosecution will read opening statements on 26 April 2017. (The Daily Star)

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