Monthly Archives: August 2011

Rebels Find Evidence of Mass Killings in Tripoli

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Rebel forces sweeping Tripoli to clear out the last of Gadhafi‘s forces have found a warehouse containing the charred remains of many prisoners who were killed and burned. The warehouse is near the southern Tripoli headquarters of the Khamis Brigade, Libya’s most notorious military unit.

The horrific find makes Libyan rebels more concerned about the fate of thousands of other prisoners who had been held in Tripoli by Gadhafi’s regime.

It is believed that prisoners of the Gadhafi regime were kept in underground bunkers that were abandoned when the rebels pushed into Tripoli.

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On This Day…

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In 1991, the Supreme Soviet, the parliament of the U.S.S.R., suspended all activities of the Communist Party, bringing an end to the institution.

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EPA Settles Civil Rights Pesticide Suit

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On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that California pesticide regulators discriminated against Latino schoolchildren when they annually approved a powerful pesticide used near their schools. The finding stems from a civil rights complaint filed in 1999.

The complaint alleged that approval of methyl bromide used in California had a disproportionately adverse impact on the health of Latino children because their schools are often close to agricultural fields.

The EPA Office of Civil Rights analyzed pesticide use data in California from 1995 to 2001. It concluded that Latino children were at greater risk than non-Latino children.

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Khmer Rouge First Lady Has Dementia

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On Monday, a health expert told the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) that Ieng Thirith, the only female Khmer Rouge leader on trial before the U.N.-backed court, is suffering from dementia and memory loss. The 79-year-old is facing charges over the deaths of up to two million people during the Khmer Rouge’s 1975-1979 regime.

The court-appointed geriatrics expert told judges that Ieng, the sister-in-law of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, had memory problems and needed further assessment.

Ieng’s trial alongside three other senior Khmer Rouge officials on charges including crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes officially opened in June.

Ieng, the regime’s “First Lady,” famously lost her cool during a 2009 court appearance, telling prosecutors they would be “cursed to the seventh circle of hell.”

In July, Ieng’s lawyers said they were unable to take instructions from her.

In the first trial before the ECCC, the court sentenced former prison chief Duch to thirty years in jail for overseeing the deaths of 15,000 people.

Via RNW.

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Ratko Mladic Has First Pre-Trial Hearing

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On Thursday, the former commander of the Serbian Army, Ratko Mladic, appeared at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for a pre-trial hearing.

At his arraignment in July, Mladic was thrown out of court after shouting at the judges. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.

On May 26, after sixteen years of hiding, Mladic was found north of Belgrade.

The next pre-trial hearing is set for October 6.

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Moammar Gadhafi’s Family is in Algeria

Algeria‘s Foreign Ministry has announced that Moammar Gadhafi‘s wife and three children are in Algeria. His wife Safia, his daughter Aisha, and his two sons, Hannibal and Mohamed, entered Algeria via the Libyan border.

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Trinidad and Tobago Declares a State of Emergency

Trinidad and Tobago has declared a “limited” state of emergency to combat drug-related violence.

The capital city and other cities are under a 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew. Authorities are enforcing the curfew to curb a recent increase in murders.

Last weekend alone, there were eleven homicides, bringing the annual total to 264.

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On This Day…

In 1963, 200,000 people participated in a peaceful civil rights rally in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

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CNN Finds Lockerbie Bomber Comatose in Tripoli

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On Sunday, CNN found the convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi is comatose and near death.

CNN found al-Megrahi under the care of his family in his Tripoli villa, surviving on oxygen and an intravenous drip.

Al-Megrahi was released from jail on compassionate grounds in 2009 after serving eight years of a twenty-seven-year sentence for his involvement in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988. All 259 passengers and crew aboard the plane, plus eleven people in the Scottish town of Lockerbie, were killed.

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Chautauqua Institute Conference Teaches of Growing Field of International Law

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Today through Tuesday, the Chautauqua Institution is hosting leaders in the developing field of international law. Prosecutors that participated in cases dating as far back as Nuremberg will be conducting lectures and seminars that are open to the public.

Among the attendees are

  • Andrew Cayley, the chief prosecutor at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, which is trying the leaders of the Khmer Rouge, which ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 and killed an estimated two million of its own people
  • H.W. William Caming, who was a chief prosecutor in the United States Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, which sought to seek justice for Nazi perpetrators during World War II
  • David M. Crane of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, who was the first prosecutor to ever issue an indictment against a sitting head of state when he indicted Charles Taylor of Liberia
  • James Arguin from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which is prosecuting those involved with the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s
  • Daryl Mundis of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, who formerly served as a prosecutor in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Also in attendance will be some of the leaders in the development of these laws. They include William Schabas, Irish Center for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway; Leila Nadya Sadat, Washington University, St. Louis School of Law; and Mike Newton, Vanderbilt University School of Law.

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