[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said Friday that Congo President Joseph Kabila should immediately arrest General Bosco Ntaganda and deliver him to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to face charges of enlisting children and using them in hostile activities. Although an arrest warrant [text] was issued by the ICC in 2006 and made public [JURIST report] in 2008, Kabila suggested in a public statement earlier this month that he was considering arresting Ntaganda. Although HRW acknowledges that this suggestion is a significant step and shows a positive change in the government's policies, HRW Senior Africa Researcher Anneke Van Woudenberg said the president needs to act on his statements immediately and deliver Ntaganda to The Hague for trial.
HRW urged the Congo government [JURIST report] in July at a conference at the Holocaust Memorial Museum [official website] in Washington to arrest Ntaganda. The group also urged his arrest [JURIST report] in 2010, expressing outrage that Ntaganda was free to walk around and continue committing crimes against humanity without being brought to justice. The ICC originally issued the warrant under seal, so it was not made public, out of fear that if Ntaganda knew it had been issued he would flee and go into hiding. It was unsealed in 2008 because ICC Prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo decided help from other entities might be needed to execute his arrest.
[JURIST] The Maldives Police Service [official website] on Sunday sent to the Prosecutor General's Office [Minivan News report] the case of the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed, in which the police filed charges against former president Mohamed Nasheed. Although details of the charges have not been confirmed, it is possible they involve a violation of constitutional arresting procedure. The Maldives Constitution [text, PDF] provides that judges can be arrested without a warrant, but only after he has been found committing a criminal activity. If he is only suspected of committing or planning to commit a criminal act, a warrant must be obtained from a higher court and approved by the prosecutor general. It is now in the hands of the prosecutor general to decide whether to go forward with the charges.
An arrest warrant was issued [JURIST report] for Nasheed in February for charges that were not specified, but Nasheed contended that the charges were politically motivated. The warrant was issued days after he resigned [JURIST report] due to protests of the chief judge's detainment. The judge was arrested and detained [JURIST report] by the military in January for corruption, but opposition activists claimed it was in retaliation to a decision made earlier that day that an opposition leader was being held illegally
[JURIST] Madagascar passed a law granting amnesty [AFP report] to those who committed crimes during the political unrest in the country over the last three years, but excluded human rights violations for which former president Marc Ravalomanana [BBC profile] has been convicted and sentenced to death, officials said Saturday. This effectively continues to block Ravalomanana's return to Madagascar. He was sentenced in absentia in relation to 30 protestors killed by his presidential guard in 2010 after he was ousted from his office by current President Andry Rajoelina [BBC profile]. This law was passed as a step towards new elections as called for by the Southern African Development Community [official website].
[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] unanimously approved a legally binding resolution [text], Saturday that officially calls for an end to the violence in Syria [JURIST news archive]. This resolution is the first legally binding resolution passed by the Security Council since the violence began last year. The resolution also authorizes the deployment of a military observer team to the region to foster the implementation of a cease fire. The resolution reads:
[The UN] Calls upon all parties in Syria, including the opposition, immediately to cease all armed violence in all its forms; ... Decides to authorize an advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers to liaise with the parties and to begin to report on the implementation of a full cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties, pending the deployment of the mission referred to in paragraph 5 and calls upon the Syrian Government and all other parties to ensure that the advance team is able to carry out its functions.
The Security Council requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] to report on the resolution's implementation on Thursday. The resolution has widespread support in the UN [UN News Centre report], including the secretary-general and the president of the General Assembly.
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