Foreign Policy Blogs

War Crimes

Interrogations Linked to Brain Damage

(AP) WASHINGTON – The CIA’s harsh interrogations are likely to have damaged the brains of terrorist suspects, diminishing their ability to recall and provide the detailed information the spy agency sought, according to a new scientific paper. The paper scrutinizes the techniques used by the CIA under the Bush administration through the lens of neurobiology […]

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Government Requests Delay in Guantanamo Commissions Already 'On Hold'

In what has been called the most important death penalty case in US history, the government is seeking a 60 day delay in the joint trial by military commission of Guantanamo’s Ramzi bin al Shibh, who, along with four others, is facing war crimes charges resulting from his alleged involvement in the September 11th attacks. […]

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Rwanda's Tea Czar Pleads Guilty To Genocide

Michel Bagaragaza officially plead guilty to Genocide today at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.  He had reportedly entered a plea deal last year with the prosecution ahead of his trial this month.  Bagaragaza was head of OCIR-Tea which controlled the tea industry of Rwanda and used this position to facilitate Genocide against ethnic Tutsis […]

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U.N. Finds Evidence of War Crimes in Gaza

A U.N. fact-finding mission to Israel and Gaza announced today that it has found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian law committed by both Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas during the Israeli invasion of Gaza that commenced at the end of last year. “The mission finds that the […]

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Afghan Detainees May Challenge Their Detention – But Not in US Courts

The Pentagon has announced it will allow those prisoners held by the US military in Afghanistan, including the Bagram military facility, to challenge their detention in a new military review system. The prisoners will be given military officials – not lawyers – to represent them and will be allowed to call witnesses and present a […]

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Former ICTY Prosecution Spokesperson Found In Contempt

Florence Hartmann, former spokeswoman for the prosecution at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugosavia, was found in contempt of the tribunal Monday and fined 7,000 Euros – over $10,000 U.S. dollars.  She was found in contempt for revealing secret information implicating the Serbian government in massacres in her memoir “Peace and Punishment”.  The […]

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Delay in Trying a Head of State: Charles Taylor

After nearly two months of questioning in the Hague, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) has temporarily adjourned the Defense’s questioning of former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor, due to the illness of lead counsel Courtenay Griffiths QC. The SCSL, an ad hoc international-national court – or ‘hybrid’ tribunal – was established by the […]

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Indigenous Massacre May Have Been Perpetrated By Colombian Government

Twelve Awa Indians were massacred in rural southwest Colombia last week.  Seven children were among the dead including one infant.  They were apparently shot by masked men wearing camoflauge. One suspect is in custody.  He is alleged to have extorted the victims.  However independent news organizations report that the government played a role in the […]

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Accused War Criminal Bemba's Release 'Error in Law'

I.C.C. Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo argued this week that releasing former Democratic Republic of Congo Vice-President Jean Pierre Bemba before his trial at the Hague would be an “Error in Law“.  In fact, Ocampo argued, the only significant change that had occurred since the last decision to keep Bemba in detention and now was the […]

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Detainees Part II: Special Prosecutors, CIA Reports & Legal Guidance

(4)  Holder ‘Appoints’ Special Prosecutor to Review CIA Interrogations US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he is expanding the mandate of Special Counsel John Durham to include a ‘preliminary review’ (not yet an investigation) into the legality of CIA interrogations of certain detainees. Durham was originally appointed in 2008 by then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey […]

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Detainees Part I: Panels, Rendition & the ICRC

From enhanced interrogation to rendition, to the roles of the CIA and the FBI in relation to terrorism, decisions and revelations were made in the last 24 hours that will have a lasting impact on the way the US intelligence community, justice system and government officials interact with each other and the world with respect […]

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Apology for Vietnam-era Killings: My Lai

Apology for Vietnam-era Killings: My Lai

The only US Army Officer convicted for involvement in the 1968 “My Lai massacre” has publicly apologized for his role in the Vietnam War-era killings.

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The US & The ICC: The Argument Against

The United States should not join the International Criminal Court (ICC), as it “lacks prudent safeguards against political manipulation, possesses sweeping authority without accountability … and violates national sovereignty” says the Heritage Foundation, a conservative public policy research institute. The ICC was officially established in 2002 as a forum to prosecute serious international crimes–war crimes, […]

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International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Suffers Major Loss

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda suffered a major loss this past week with the untimely death of prosecutor Shyamlal Rajapaksa. His body was found in his Arusha home in Tanzania where the international tribunal is located. Mystery surrounds the forty-two year old’s death with explanations proffered from drug overdose to murder. What has been […]

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War Crimes in Rwanda from Another Angle

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) must prosecute those officers of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) allegedly responsible for war crimes taking place during the 1994 genocide, says Human Rights Watch (HRW). The advocacy organization argues in a series of letters that the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) has enough evidence to prosecute senior […]

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