Foreign Policy Blogs

War Crimes

One Pirate, At Least, Will Be Prosecuted… Will Others?

I wrote last week about the difficulties in prosecuting pirates, even high-profile ones, and the increase in pirate attacks after the Navy Seals’ awesome and heroic rescue of the Maersk Alabama. As Eugene Kontorovich notes, the surviving Maersk Alabama pirate will be tried in New York. Other pirates detained by the German navy are suing […]

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Spain moves to drop 'torture' charges as Obama releases Bybee memo

Spanish prosecutors Thursday advised against going forward with investigations into six former U.S. officials charged with sanctioning torture as Washington releases memos justifying the use of waterboarding. Spanish Attorney General Candido Conde Pumpido said the decision to hold back on the probe stemmed from the fact that none of the six – including former U.S. […]

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Fighting – but not Prosecuting – Pirates

We’ve talked about piracy a few times – it’s certainly been one of the primary unlawful uses of force in global news over the last year. Of course, this week we have some very good news: US Navy Seals rescued the captain and crew of the Maersk Alabama, an American cargo ship seized by pirates. […]

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Fujimori Convicted

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was convicted today of creating a military death squad that killed 50 people and kidnapped many more during his rule. Fujimori, who disbanded Peru’s legislature and purged its judiciary during his first term, is widely credited with winning the government’s long military campaign against terrorist groups Shining Path and Tupac […]

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IDF chief discounts war crimes violations

A top Israeli army official denied statements made by members of the Israeli military that soldiers had committed war crimes in the offensive on the Gaza Strip. Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi discounted allegations raised in February that Israeli soldiers had violated the laws of war regarding actions against the civilian population […]

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Khmer Rouge prison chief hears charges

The tribunal for the administrator of the notorious Cambodian S21 prison facility, Kaing Guek Eav, or Duch, began Monday following years of delays. The court outlined its charges before Duch Monday, saying the prison chief supervised the execution of some 15,000 people during a quasi-eugenics campaign led by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. […]

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CFR on Darfur

I’m sorry that (for my part at least) posting has been sparse lately; I took a much-needed vacation and have been buried in work since I got back. Here are Stewart Patrick and Kaysie Brown arguing that it is in the Obama administration’s interest to take concrete action against al-Bashir. Money quote: First, he should […]

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Israeli use of white phosphorus constitutes war crimes

The international group Human Rights Watch says the use by the Israeli military of white phosphorus shells over populated areas in the Gaza Strip constitutes war crimes. “In Gaza, the Israeli military didn’t just use white phosphorus in open areas as a screen for its troops,” said HRW’s Fred Abrahams. “It fired white phosphorus repeatedly […]

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U.S. to deport alleged Nazi guard

CINCINNATI, March 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. government said on Tuesday it has sought travel documents to deport 88-year-old U.S. resident John Demjanjuk to Germany to face charges he helped murder at least 29,000 Jews as a Nazi death camp guard. The travel documents are one of the last steps required to deport the ailing […]

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U.S. abandons "enemy combatant" status at GITMO

In a stark departure from the previous administration, U.S. President Barack Obama called for the use of international law as a standard for determining the basis for holding detainees at Guantanamo Bay. “As we work toward developing a new policy to govern detainees, it is essential that we operate in a manner that strengthens our […]

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Mutanga Sentenced to Death

As Kate Cronin-Furman notes, Congolese warlord Kyungu Mutanga was sentenced to death by a military court in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mutanga was found guilty of crimes against humanity, insurgency, and terrorism, as a result of a campaign focusing in the Katanga province, where more than 100,000 people were forced to flee their homes […]

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9/11 Plotters Release New Statement of Responsibility

The five men, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, charged with planning the 9/11 attacks have filed a new document in court accepting – indeed, bragging about – responsibility for the attacks. CNN pulls out this excerpt from the filing: “With regards to these nine accusations that you are putting us on trial for; to us, they […]

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Aziz, others, handed 15-years for 1992 slayings

An Iraqi tribunal Wednesday sentenced former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and others to 15 years for the deaths of 42 businessmen exploiting U.N. sanctions. Aziz, along with Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known as “Chemical Ali,” were handed 15-year prison sentences Wednesday by the Iraqi High Tribunal for their role in the 1992 deaths of […]

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On the Al-Bashir Warrant

Dan summarizes some of the reaction to the warrant handed down today by the ICC. (CFR has another good summary here). Essentially, the criticism of the ICC’s decision raises two arguments: (1) that charging Al-Bashir is bad for the “peace process,” and (2) that other people do bad things too, so charging Al-Bashir is tantamount […]

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Bashir charges stoke controversy

War crimes charges filed Wednesday against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is the first against a sitting head of state, but it may backfire to stoke conflict in the troubled African region. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for Bashir stemming from an ethnic campaign […]

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