International brief ~ Rights group wants UN to sanction Sudan leaders for Darfur crimes

[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] has called on the UN Security Council [official website] to sanction Sudanese President Omar El Bashir [Wikipedia profile] and other senior Sudanese government officials for complicity in crimes against humanity. In a new report on the situation in the Darfur region [JURIST news archive] of Sudan, the New York-based monitoring group alleges that the Sudanese government [official website] was fully aware of the actions taken by Islamic militias in Darfur that led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and nearly two million internally displaced persons in Sudan. The report recommends that leading Sudanese officials be placed on the list of individuals [JURIST report] submitted to the International Criminal Court [official website] for suspected involvement in crimes against humanity. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST news archive]. Read the HRW report [official text]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] admitted over the weekend that his efforts at land reform [JURIST report] were partially at fault for Zimbabwe's current agriultural crisis. Zimbabwe, once a leading food producer for all of southern Africa, has been dependent on international food aid since Mugabe implemented his land reform scheme in 2000. Mugabe told a meeting of his ruling political party that "lack of proper planning in the land reform exercise, corruption, lawlessness on farms and vandalisation of irrigation equipment and infrastructure, coupled with shortages of fertilizer and seed had exacerbated the effects of poor weather." Mugabe denied that he would back off from futher land seizures however, claiming that they were necessary to restore a historical imbalance between white and black land owners in Zimbabwe. The admission comes just days after Mugabe called UN Humanitarian Envoy Jan Egeland a "liar and hypocrite" who was actually a British agent intent on seeing Mugabe's government discredited [Zim Online report] before the international community. Mugabe said that Zimbabwe would reject all representatives from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as biased and anti-Mugabe from now on and complained that recent criticism of Zimbabwe's human rights record was part of a plot to see him removed from power. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. Zim Online has local coverage.

  • The Association of South East Asian Nations [regional website] (ASEAN) announced Monday that senior officials from all ten ASEAN member nations have agreed to the creation of a Charter for the regional organization. The charter will act as a constitution for the regional organization and will likely include procedures on possible expulsion of members who fail to abide by its provisions. NGOs and human rights groups have hailed the decision as a step forward, but have called on ASEAN leaders to explicitly include pro-democracy and human rights standards in the document to "embody universal values" throughout the Southeast Asia region. ASEAN leaders will be advised on the content of the charter by an 'Emminent Persons Group' [ASEAN report]. Read the official ASEAN statement on the proposed charter. The Jakarta Post has local coverage.

  • WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy [official profile] spoke to a gathering of representatives of the Hong Kong Session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO [IPU backgrounder] on Sunday concerning the role that the Inter-Parliamentary Union and European Parliament [official websites] can play on implementing the WTO Doha Declaration. Lamy emphasized the need for parliaments on both the regional and national levels to take seriously the responsibility of seeing the Doha provisions agreed to in 2001 implemented by the deadline established in 2006. Lamy emphasized the need for working with developing countries and praised the recent decision by the WTO Hong Kong ministerial team to extend the deadline for developing countries to comply with international intellectual property law. The Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference [official website] in Hong Kong begins Tuesday. Read the official transcript of Lamy's speech.

 

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