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Archive for the tag “Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”

My Letter to President Duterte: Do you got something to hide?

Oslo, 17th March 2019

Dear Sir, His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the President of the Republic of Philippines.

I am writing today to you and yours for a very simple reason. Not that I have the answers, but I am seeking those. Because I am worried about you and your administration. Since, the act of withdrawal from the Rome Statute and leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) came to affect today.

A quick brief about the ICC and the Rome Statute: “The primary mission of the International Criminal Court is to help put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, and thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes” (…) “On 17 July 1998, a conference of 160 States established the first treaty-based permanent international criminal court. The treaty adopted during that conference is known as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Among other things, it sets out the crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the ICC, the rules of procedure and the mechanisms for States to cooperate with the ICC” (…) “ The mandate of the Court is to try individuals (rather than States), and to hold such persons accountable for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression, when the conditions for the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction over the latter are fulfilled” (ICC – Understanding the International Criminal Court).

The reason for writing this is very clear as an outsider, a man who follows the Republic and sometimes worried about the state of affairs. I’m writing to you President Duterte, because this is a serious gamble. Your risking more than just some mere donations or bilateral loans, you are risking more than that.

Mister President, your actually taking yourself out of institution, whose prosecuting for international crimes and crimes against humanity. Which is a very specific court, not just any tribunal. Why I am asking, because your administration accepted the verdict of another international court, which ordered a verdict in your favour. That was the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague on the 12th July 2016 [The South China Sea Arbitration (The Republic of the Philippines v. The People’s Republic of China)]. Therefore, the administration your running has accepted this and didn’t question the sovereign of this nor the laws it used for the ruling of this court.

If you as President are saying the ICC shouldn’t have any grounds of investigation you, than the same Republic and the same administration accept the verdict of another international court either. That is just an easy assessment, Mr. President.

As we are seeing the Republic leaves the ICC, could there be another reason for leaving it? Are you afraid of cases built up against you? Would you be afraid if they really investigated or looked into the anti-drug war? Are you afraid of what you did as Mayor of Davao?

I just got to ask. Since there has to be something, a reason why you are afraid of the ICC. If you had nothing to hide, if you had nothing to look into or questionable activity. You wouldn’t have revoked the Rome Statute and run away from the International Law?

I am really questioning it, since the same state had no issues accepting one International Court, but leaving another one. Are you leaving the laws and statutes of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague too? That would have been a bit fair, especially if your a supreme sovereign and not wanting any interference. This is a weird argument using against one, but accepting the other one.

I just had to ask. I don’t anticipate any answers, but the Filipino should get to know. Just not some PR Stunt and sample of the Withdrawal of the Rome Statute. There should be released an legal argument released to the public to read and with justified explanation. If not, we can wonder, if the you as a President is afraid of the ICC and what they could find.

I hope you could answer to that and also show grace. Not that I expect any, but as an outsider. This is just weird. No one is running away from something unless, they got something to hide. That is just ordinary fashion in these manners.

Best Regards

Writer of Minbane

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UN Human Rights Office in Burundi Closes (05.03.2019)

The UN Human Rights Office in Burundi was set up in 1995.

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 5, 2019 – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet today announced, with deep regret, that the UN Human Rights Office in Burundi was closed down on Thursday 28 February at the insistence of the Government.

“It is with deep regret that we have had to close our office in Burundi after a 23-year presence in the country,” Bachelet said. “Since the UN Human Rights Office in Burundi was established in 1995, for many years we worked with the Government on peacebuilding, security sector reform, justice sector reform and helped build institutional and civil society capacity on a whole host of human rights issues.”

The UN Human Rights Office in Burundi was set up in 1995, in the context of massive human rights violations perpetrated in the country following the assassination of then President Melchior Ndadaye. The Office helped ensure the incorporation of a human rights dimension to the implementation of the Arusha Agreement, which was the bedrock of the country’s stability for many years. The Office played a leading role in the establishment of the independent National Commission on Human Rights, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in legislative reforms and in the emergence of strong civil society organizations.

“Unfortunately, many of these human rights gains have been seriously jeopardized since 2015,” Bachelet said.

In October 2016, the Government – in reaction to the report by the UN Independent Investigation in Burundi established by the UN Human Rights Council – suspended all cooperation with the Office in Burundi.

“This meant that UN human rights staff were severely hampered in their ability to look into allegations of violations,” the High Commissioner said. Nonetheless, the UN Human Rights Office, in Burundi itself and at its Geneva headquarters, has continued to receive allegations of human rights violations and abuses.

Two years after the suspension of cooperation, on 5 December 2018, the Government requested the closure of the UN Human Rights Office in Burundi, explaining that the country had made sufficient progress in putting in place national mechanisms for the protection of human rights, so the existence of the Office was no longer justified.

“Our reports on the human rights situation in Burundi have always been developed in a constructive spirit, intended to support the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. But I am disappointed by Burundi’s lack of cooperation in recent years with UN human rights mechanisms – which even went so far as to include threats to prosecute members of the independent international Commission of Inquiry established by the UN Human Rights Council,” High Commissioner Bachelet said.

Bachelet paid tribute to the many human rights defenders and civil society actors in Burundi who have worked with inspiring dedication, perseverance, courage and expertise through many political and social crises in the country, while noting with concern that in recent years, many of them have been detained or forced into exile.

“Even as our Office in Burundi closes, we will continue to explore other ways to work to shed light on human rights concerns and support the advocacy, promotion and protection of human rights in the country,” she said.

“The Government has expressed its readiness to work with UN Human Rights Office after the closure of our Country Office and we stand ready to engage constructively. I also call on the Government of Burundi to cooperate with all relevant UN human rights mechanisms, including UN independent experts and human rights treaty bodies.”

Burundi: Communiqué de presse du Bureau du Coordonnateur Résident du Système des Nations Unies concernant la fermeture de l’Office du Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies aux Droits de l’Homme au Burundi (04.03.2019)

Burundi: Declaration du Parlement de la Republique du Burundi Reuni en Congres Jeudi le 21 Fevrier 2019 sur la Decision de reduire l’Effectif des Troupes Burundaises au sein de l’AMISOM (21.02.2019)

Burundi: Communique de Presse – Reaction du President Pierre Buyoya au Document Distribue par la Delegation du Gouvernement du Burundi au 32eme Sommet de l’Union Africaime le 10 fevier 2019 (10.02.2019)

Burundi: ALUCHOTO – Portant sur la Poursutte du Dossier de Viol Sexuel d’Une Jeune Fille Ecoliere a l’ECOFO Mwura, Commune Vyanda, Province Bururi (09.02.2019)

Burundi: Communique du CNARED-GIRITEKA apres le 20eme Sommet des Chefs d’Etats de la Communaute de l’Afrique de l’EST (08.02.2019)

Burundi: Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres – Communique de Presse (01.02.2019)

Burundi: Partis Politiques de l’Opposition lettre du President de l’Ouganda Yoweri Museveni – “Objet: Appel pour une action urgente afin d’eviter une guerre civile au Burundi” (29.01.2019)

Burundi: Declaration of Izere Ntiwihebure Human Rights League after the Gruesome Discovery of 1947 Military Outfits in Burundian Refugee Camps in Tanzania (23.01.2019)

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