• DR Congo = Representatives from civil society organizations from all 11 provinces of the DRC have agreed to terms for the creation of a special independent court within the national judicial system for the prosecution of international crimes against humanity committed in the DRC since 1990. (HRW)
• Libya = The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights has instituted proceedings against the state of Libya in the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights in response to the massive number of NGO communications imploring it to do so. Libya now “has 60 days to respond to … (the allegations of) serious and widespread violations of the African Charter, including the repression of peaceful demonstrations and the use of heavy weapons and machine guns against its population.” (FIDH)
• USA = Attention New Yorkers: the Human Rights Campaign wants you! If you support marriage equality and would like to say so in a video, show up between 11am and 4pm tomorrow (Sunday)at Gansevoort Plaza in the Meatpacking District and speak out for equal rights. (ADV)
• USA = OMG! WTF? The Red Cross just published a new survey … in which 60% of American teenagers support torture for POWs … and over half of American teenagers support murder of POWs who had killed an American citizen. (GOOD)
How did this happen? What messages are these kiddos getting? These are the people who will making our policy decisions in the not-so-distant future. This does NOT make me wanna LMFAO.
• Venezuela = The Inter-American Commission's Friday report found that Venezuelan human rights activists are working in a “growing climate of hostility” including unjust arrests, assaults, and harassment. President Chavez denies these allegations, saying the claims are politically motivated. (CHRON, WP)
• Tibet = YAY for citizen action! Residents near the Kirti Monastery have gathered to block Chinese military access to the monastery, protecting the 2500 monks within from a forced re-education program led by Chinese security forces, despite the use of excessive force and attack dogs. (HRW)
• Croatia = About time! Yesterday the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac for their crimes against ethnic Serbs in 1995. (AI)
For more information on the ICTY's prosecution of war criminals, you can check out Amnesty International's report, Behind a Wall of Silence: prosecution of war crimes in Croatia here.
• Iran = A proposed law before the Iranian parliament, the Bill on the Establishment and Supervision of Non-Governmental Organisations, will seriously restrain independent activities of Iranian NGOs if passed. Rights at risk include the freedom of association and the freedom of assembly, which would be monitored by the newly created Supreme Committee Supervising NGO Activities, an “unaccountable body” requiring registration of every active NGO in Iran. (AWID)
ALSO OF INTEREST:
• FREE conference in the Hague next month! On May 5-6, a short conference on Post-Conflict Justice and “Local Ownership” will be offered for free at the University of Leiden Campus. Register BEFORE 29 April by emailing pcj @ cdh.leidenuniv.nl