Weekly News Recap (19-25 Oct 2020)

Photo by Julian Nyča via Wikimedia Commons




The Netherlands to offer compensation to children of executed Indonesians

On 19 October, the Netherlands announced that it will offer compensation of 5000 euros to children who can prove that their father was executed by Dutch soldiers during the Indonesian War of Independence between 1945 and 1950. The compensation scheme announced by the Netherlands follows this year’s compensation awarded by a Dutch court in The Hague to children and widows of executed men. The cases concern executions of Indonesian men when the Dutch troops attempted to suppress the independence movement. Other cases filed by relatives of Indonesian executed men are presently pending before the Dutch courts.



IRMCT: Transfer of Mr Kabuga to the UN Detention Unit at the Hague Branch

On 21 October, the Single Judge in the case Prosecutor v Felicien Kabuga granted the defendant’s request to be transferred to the Hague Branch of the IRMCT, rather than the Arusha Branch, and accordingly amended the Arrest Warrant and Order for Transfer.


IRMCT: Commencement of Trial Proceedings in Prosecutor v. Maximillen Turinabo et al.

On 22 October, at the Arusha branch of the IRMCT, the trial commenced in the contempt case of Prosecutor v. Maximilien Turinabo et al. Four of the accused of contempt of court have been charged with interference with the administration of justice in the case of Prosecutor v. Augustin Ngirabatware, including by pressuring, offering bribes to, and otherwise influencing protected witnesses. In addition, the Prosecution alleges that two of the accused disclosed identities of the protected witnesses in the Ngirabatware case, and one of them knowingly disclosed confidential information.


Polish Constitutional Tribunal Effectively Bans Termination of Pregnancy

On 22 October, Polish Constitutional Tribunal announced its ruling on the provision of the Polish Act on Family Planning, Human Embryo Protection, and Conditions of Legal Pregnancy Termination, and pronounced the access to abortion on the ground of severe and irreversible foetal defect or incurable illness that threatens the foetus’ life unconstitutional. The decision further restricts the legality of termination of pregnancy and effectively creates a ban on abortion.



The Council of the European Union: Sanctions on Bundestag hackers

On 22 October, two individuals and one entity were sanctioned over the German Federal Parliament cyber-attack in 2015. In April and May of 2015, the attack stole data and email accounts of members of the Parliament – including Angela Markel’s. The total list of sanctioned people consists of 8 persons and 4 bodies, with travel bans and asset freeze measures. These sanctions are part of the framework for “cyber diplomacy toolbox” the Council agreed on in May 2019. Its aim is to “prevent, discourage, deter and respond to continuing and increasing malicious behaviour in cyberspace”.


European Parliament: Sakharov Prize to Belarus Opposition

On 22 October, European Parliament President David Sassoli awarded the 2020 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to the democratic opposition of Belarus during the Brussels plenary chamber. They praised the opposition’s “courage, resilience and determination”, as they also reminded them of the EU’s support.  The Belarus opposition is represented by the Coordination Council, composed of women and political and civil society figures, in conflict against President Lukashenka after disputed elections and violent repression against protesters. Every year this prize honors individuals and entities defending human rights and freedoms, and the ceremony will be held on 16 December.


Libya ceasefire agreement signed between the warring parties

On 23 October, warring parties in Libya, namely the UN-recognized Government in Tripoli and the rival administration of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Commander Khalifa Haftar, signed a ceasefire agreeement in Geneva following the UN-led meditation. The conflict in Libya has persisted since the 2011 overthrow of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The ceasefire agreement is considered by the UN representatives as a critical step towards a safer and more peaceful future in Libya.


50th ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

With the deposit of the 50th instrument of ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by Honduras on 24 October, the conditions for the Treaty’s entry into force are met and the Treaty shall enter into force on 22 January 2021. The deposit of the instrument of ratification by Honduras comes just one day after the deposit by Jamaica and Nauru. The UN Secretary-General saluted the work of civil society, which has been instrumental in facilitating the negotiation and ratification of the Treaty.




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