[mili]war crimes and impunity/accountability

It is time the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina enacted its 2010 commitment to ensure justice, truth and reparation for hundreds of survivors of wartime sexual violence, Amnesty International said in a briefing published today.

"Nearly two decades after the end of the war, hundreds of women continue to live with the effects of rape and other forms of torture, without proper access to the medical, psychological and financial assistance they need to rebuild their shattered lives. Meanwhile, most of the perpetrators go unpunished," said Jezerca Tigani, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director.

Israeli military forces have demolished 27 houses in the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank over the last two weeks. More than 140 Palestinians have been rendered homeless by the demolitions, while Israeli settlement expansion continues to threaten more land and restrict water access — affecting the vitality of dozens of Palestinian villages in the area. According to the Jordan Valley Solidarity (JVS) campaign, an organization working with local communities, Israeli military and police jeeps and two bulldozers invaded the Bedouin community of al-Hadidya on 21 June. The bulldozers “demolished seven residential tents, 18 animal shelters and four kitchens, leaving 32 people homeless,” the group reports (“Big wave of demolitions in the Northern Jordan Valley,” 21 June 2011).

Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”, Recalling also its resolution 2010/6 of 20 July 2010 and other relevant United Nations resolutions, including General Assembly resolution 57/337 of 3 July 2003, on the prevention of armed conflict, and Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) of 31 October 2000, on women and peace and security,

In a bare, shabby side room in Benghazi's central courthouse, the hub of pro-democracy Libyan operations, Salwa Bugaighis talks animatedly, hardly flinching as gunshots ring out from the raucous crowds outside. They, like her, are in a mood that veers between celebration and defiance to anxiety. They flood the area of the seafront, which is littered with boards displaying caricatures of the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qaddafi and stalls selling souvenirs since the eastern part of the country was liberated on February 20.

Marking International Women’s Month and 8 years since the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq (March 2003), the UK based group of Iraqi and non-Iraqi women Act Together - Women’s Action for Iraq held a talk on 22 March at SOAS on women and violence in Iraq today. Professor Nadje Al-Ali and Dr Nicola Pratt presented some of the latest research findings on gender-based violence and the issues women are facing in Iraq at present. With the numbers of civilians who have lost their lives since the war begun still being contested, they both feel the need to draw attention to the human side of the story behind these numbers, especially when it comes to women’s experiences and ordeals, nowadays seldom reported and studied.

On March 12, 2011, women human rights defenders from Palestine and Israel marked the centenary of International Women's Day with a historic conference at which the following contributions were made:  Ilana Hammerman: The "Entry to Israel" law is illegal and should not be obeyed; and Rivka Sum: The attack in Itamar proves that we should continue to work daily together to end the impossible occupation. 

At a historic General Assembly session this afternoon, the GA voted, by consensus, to suspend Libya’s membership in the Human Rights Council.  In her remarks, Ambassador Rice said, “This unprecedented action sends another clear warning to Mr. Qadhafi and those who still stand by him: they must stop the killing. When the only way a leader can cling to power is by grossly and systematically violating his own people’s human rights, he has lost any legitimacy to rule. He must go, and he must go now.”  Rice also spoke to reporters after the vote. 

تحث المنظمات الموقعة أدناه مجلس حقوق الإنسان إلى التحرك العاجل للرد على القمع العنيف للتظاهرات التي تجري حاليا في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا وخارجها. ولا يمكن لمجلس حقوق الإنسان أن يقف موقف المتفرج من تلك الأحداث التي أودت بحياة مواطنين عاديين أو عرضت أرواحهم للخطر من خلال قمع عنيف وغير قانوني. وقد خرج مئات الآلاف من الناس في عديد من البلدان إلى الشوارع للمطالبة السلمية باحترام حقوقهم وحرياتهم الأساسية، فقتل بضع مئات من المتظاهرين، وتعرض المتظاهرون والصحفيون والمدافعون عن حقوق الإنسان والسجناء السياسيون السابقون والعاملون في المجال الإنساني للضرب أو الاعتقال التعسفي. ومن غير المقبول أن يظل مجلس الأمم المتحدة لحقوق الإنسان صامتاً في مواجهة مثل هذه الانتهاكات واسعة الانتشار لحقوق الإنسان والحريات الأساسية. فينبغي للمجلس:

The undersigned organisations urge the Human Rights Council to act urgently to respond to the violent repression of demonstrations currently underway in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. The Human Rights Council cannot be a passive bystander of such events, during which the lives of ordinary citizens have been taken or put at risk through violent and unlawful repression.

CWP published a new report today, titled “All-Out War: Israel Against Democracy.” This comprehensive report documents the increasing political persecution of peace and human rights organizations and activists, and describes the connections between the assaults led by Israeli government officials, security forces, courts, journalists, and extreme-right organizations in this well-orchestrated offensive on democracy. The report was published in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and English. To download the full report (in English): http://coalitionofwomen.org/home/english/articles/Political_Persecution_Report/AllOutWar-internet-ENG.pdf

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