Zambia: 90% support ICC | Chiquita crimes against humanity? | EU Day Against Impunity

A Zambian newspaper clipping © SACCORD
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Zambia: 90% support ICC

Over 90% of Zambians have voted to stay with the International Criminal Court in a poll conducted by Zambia's justice ministry.

In March and April, the Patriotic Front ruling party ran a public consultation on the merits on leaving the Court. Public hearings took place in 30 districts in all 10 provinces of the southern African state. The government intends to present its findings to the African Union summit in June.

Esta semana, el Ministerio de Justicia informó que el 91.43% de los participantes en la votación votaron para que Zambia permanezca siendo un Estado Parte de la CPI.

"The results which indicate over 90% of Zambians opting to remain within the ICC is an indication on the desire by the people to remain on the right side of the international community and history," said Boniface Cheembe, executive director of the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD). "Secondly, the results are an indication that Zambians want their country and Government to continue observing the highest levels of human rights standards which is important to the country when it comes to being role models for others."

"Los resultados son claros y esperamos que el gobierno respete la voluntad de la población. Se espera que el informe se presente ante el Consejo de Ministros y Parlamento para mostrar que los resultados y la voluntad de la población no cambiarán. Los resultados también otorga al gobierno el mandato de ayudar a otros países africanos que puedan tener problemas con la CPI para ayudar a reformar lo que sea necesario dentro del sistema de la CPI, pero permaneciendo como partes."

SACCORD, a Coalition member organization, has been at the forefront of the stay campaign, holding workshops to raise awareness of the benefits of ICC membership.

Cuando se anunció la consulta en marzo, diecisiete organizaciones nacionales e internacionales comenzaron una campaña para pedir a Zambia que continuase siendo un Estado Parte de la CPI.

El proceso de audiencia pública abrió el debate en Zambia, con algunos argumentando que la votación era necesaria con reglas a la democracia, mientras otros argumentaban que los recursos podr1=an ser utilizados de otra manera. 

El líder de la oposición Hakainde Hichilema, que fue crucial en la protesta por la retirada de Zambia de la CPI, fue arrestado acusado de traición a principios de abril, acusado de intentar derrocar el gobierno del Presidente de Zambia Edgar Lungu. Se  espera que esta semana se tome una decisión sobre si el asunto debe ser remitido al Tribunal Supremo.

Zambia firmó el Estatuto de Roma, el tratafo fundacional de la CPI el 17 d ejulio de 1998, ratificandolo el 13 de noviembre de 2002, y desde esa fecha ha sido un miembros activo.

 

¿Cómo apoyó la población civil de Zambia la opción de permanecer en la CPI?

 

Chiquita complicit in crimes against humanity?

¿Podría la CPI perseguir y enjuiciar a los trabajadores de una multinacional por crímenes de lesa humanidad?

La pregunta ha sido objeto de análisis por parte de una coalición de organizaciones defensoras de os derechos humanos, entre las cuales se encuentran la International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School, la Federación Internacional por los Derechos Humanos (FIDH), y la Corporación Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (CAJAR), que pidieron a la Fiscalía de la CPI que investigase la posible relación entre los ejecutivos de la distribuidora internacional de plátanos Chiquita Internacional y el grupo paramilitar de Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC).

El AUC es presuntamente responsable de cerca de 3,700 asesinatos y 6,000 desplazamientos forzosos entre 2002 y 2004, así como de otros crímenes de lesa humanidad entre los que se incluyen la violanción y las desapariciones forzosas. Durante este período, y los siete años anteriores, varios documentos internos de Chiquita presuntamente muestran varios pagos que exceden 1.7 millones de dólares por parte de la compañía al AUC, por lo que la corporación se declaró culpable ante una tribunal federal de EE.UU en 2007.

Sin embargo, la colaición de organizaciones no cree que se haya hecho justicia y por eso ahora intenta dirigir el proceso contra los ejecutivos de la compañía que presuntamente autorizaron los pagos.

“Los ejecutivos que aceptaron y autirizaron los pagos a los paramilitares no deberían seguir sentados en sus casas de Estados Unidos como si no hubiesen hecho nada,” declaró un miembros de Peace Community of San José de Apartado, que presentó una carta a la Corte detallando el impacto personal de los militares sobre las víctimas. “La sfamilias en Colombia llevan esperando a que se haga justicia mucho tiempo.”

La CPI tiene un examen preliminar en Colombia, abierto en 2004 para evaluar si procede o no investigar formalmemte los supuestos crímenes de lesa humanidad y de guerra cometidos tanto por el gobierno como por los paramilitares y las fuerzas rebeldes. 

Read more on the ICC Preliminary Examination in Colombia.

 

ICC investigations

DRC: A Congolese military prosecutor has announced that two men will soon face trial, charged with the killing of two United Nations (UN) experts in March 2017 — waving away accusations from human rights groups that Congolese forces were implicated in the murders.

Libya: At least 141 people were killed at a south Libyan airbase in an attack allegedly conducted by the UN-backed Government of National Accord, while the country's UN envoy condemned the suspected militia attack as potentially amounting to a war crime, meaning it could be prosecuted at the ICC if reports prove to be true.

Mali: Military operations alone will not suffice in defeating the country's jihadist threat, Human Rights Watch warned, as Islamist groups increasingly present an attractive alternative to army aggression and corrupt governance. 

Uganda: The African Union has requested international military support for soldiers in the Central African Republic fighting ICC suspect and Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony after the United States and Uganda announced plans to withdraw troops from the search for the insurgents.  Meanwhile, LRA victims have spoken out about the security that the ICC case against former rebel leader Dominic Ongwen has brought to them, but expressed concerns that proceedings were moving too slowly.

 

ICC preliminary examinations

Nigeria: Many of the schoolgirls freed from Boko Haram remain in state custody more than two weeks after being rescued, fuelling speculation that officials suspect the young women developed sympathy for their captors.

Ucrania: In a recapitulation of the country's Soviet history, the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's Office has announced a criminal investigation into Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and his secret police chief, Lavrenty Beria, for the mass deportation of Muslim Tatars from the Crimean Peninsula during World War II which resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.

 

Campaign for Global Justice

The Trust Fund for Victims has decided to launch a new assistance programme in Côte d'Ivoire to survivors of crimes under the ICC's jurisdiction.

A new programme was launched at the The Hague Institute for Global Justice with the aim of providing higher education and employment opportunities for thousands of Syrian refugees.

The CIVICUS Monitor, a Coalition member, has released the first-ever global dataset on civic space to highlight regions where rights to protest, organise and speak out are either respected or ignored. ICC situation countries, such as the DRC, Sudan and Libya, as well as former Soviet Union countries, were shown to be among the least free.

Germany has been under increasing international pressure to provide reparations and return lands to victims of the massacre in Namibia, a former German colony.

 

Around the world

UNICEF has reported that the number of refugee children travelling alone, often in dangerous conditions, has reached a record high, citing a five-fold increase from 2010.

Students representing Kazan Federal University (Russia) won the final round of the ICC Moot Court Competition held at the ICC in The Hague.  

Opposition leaders in Colombia plan to take Venezuelan President Nicolàs Maduro to the ICC on allegations of forced displacement, torture, murder, and other crimes that fall under the Court’s jurisdiction.

Given the influx of foreign-fighters allegedly committing war crimes during the ongoing conflict in Yemen, experts have been discussing the extent of possible ICC jurisdiction in the situation.

Human rights groups and gay-rights activists moved to file a communication to the ICC over the widespread and systematic murders, arbitrary arrests, torture, and persecution that gay men have allegedly been subject to in the Russian region of Chechnya.  

 

Have your say: Which global justice news stories have caught your eye this week?