IRAQ:Speicher Massacre: ‘ Nearly 600-bodies exhumed – officials ‘

#AceNewsReport – #BreakingUpdate:IRAQ:June.11: The remains of 597 people, slaughtered last year at the Speicher military base by Islamic State militants have been exhumed, Iraq’s human rights minister announced.

The mostly Shiite recruits were slaughtered in June 2014, when jihadists captured the area around Tikrit. The number victims of the so-called Speicher Massacre is estimated to be over 1,000 men.

After execution, some were pushed into the Tigris River, while other were buried in different locations.

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‘ Gunmen Shoot Red Cross Official ‘

#AceWorldNews – LIBYA – June 04 – Gunmen shot dead an official at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the central Libyan city of Sirte on Wednesday, Reuters reported, citing ICRC and local officials.

The victim was a Swiss national who ran the ICRC office in the western city of Misrata and was visiting Sirte, according to Libyan television. 

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` Passionate Plea to Pope Francis from Mothers and Wives of Palestinian Detainees’

#AceNewsServices – PRESS RELEASE – May 27 – Urgent Appeal to Pope Francis from Mothers & Wives of Palestinian Administrative Detainees

Your holiness,

We, the mothers and wives of Palestinian administrative detainees in the Israeli occupation’s prisons, welcome you to occupied Palestine, and express our deep admiration of your personal humility and strong commitment to social justice. We consider you as the saviour of our sons and husbands who are jailed as administrative detainees, and suffering from injustice and persecution.

We, as mothers and wives, would like to express our deep concern for the lives of our sons and husbands who have been on hunger strike for more than four weeks to protest the policy of administrative detention. Our sons and husbands are suffering from grave health consequences as a result of their prolonged hunger strikes, as well as from cruel punishments perpetrated by Israeli prisons officials, including strip searches, solitary confinement, insults and humiliation during daily room raids, and denial of visits from their families and lawyers.

Israel has consistently violated its international obligations by arresting Palestinians without informing them for the reason of arrest, detaining them without charge, and denying them their right to a fair and public trial. Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians from the occupied West Bank within Israeli borders violates articles 49 and 76 of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit an occupying power from detaining members of the occupied population outside the occupied territory.

Israel exercises military law in the West Bank, which is used to hold Palestinians without charge or trial on the basis of evidence that is not accessible either to the detainees or their lawyers, a process called administrative detention. According to article 285, Israeli Military Order 1651, these administrative detention orders can be renewed indefinitely every one to six months.

In its concluding observations on Israel in 2010, the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors state compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, criticized Israel’s “frequent and extensive use of administrative detention,” and called on Israel to “refrain from using [it]” and to “complete as soon as possible” a review of relevant legislation.

The laws of occupation, which Israel is bound to respect as the occupying power in the West Bank, permit the use of administrative detention only in exceptional circumstances. Article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides that an occupying power may legitimately order the detention of an individual only “for imperative reasons of security.” The International Committee of the Red Cross, in its “Commentary” to article 78, stresses that the “exceptional character” of such measures “must be preserved.” Israel is currently holding about 186 Palestinians as “administrative detainees” and has long used this measure to imprison Palestinians without trial.

Sarah Leah Whitson , Middle East director at Human Rights Watch stated “It is outrageous that Israel has locked these men up for months without either charging them with crimes or allowing them to see the evidence it says it has against them…The detainees evidently feel they have to put their lives in jeopardy through hunger strikes so that Israel will end these unlawful practices…Israel’s regular use of administrative detention, at the least, inverts international law and turns the exception into the norm, at the cost of the fundamental right to due process.”

We urgently need your blessed efforts to demand Israel immediately charge or release our sons and husbands who are detained without charge or trial. Israel has not charged any of them with any crime, and never allowed them to see or contest any evidence against them, instead placing them in administrative detention for renewed periods, which Israel contends is a preventive rather than punitive form of detention.

Israel should be forced to respect International Humanitarian Law, by the brave and honest leaders in the world, such as you. We need your help, in ending the policy of administrative detention forever, as this unlawful practice affects the detainees and their families and children negatively and severely.

Thank you for your vital role in revealing the truth on the ground to the world, and for your continuous efforts, which will contribute in achieving justice, and peace in the world, and especially to the oppressed Palestinian people.

Ace Related News:

1.Courtesy of: Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association – ADDMEER – http://tinyurl.com/o6936nb

2 Contributions of:Human Rights Watch – 24/02/2013 – http://tinyurl.com/aw3aapy

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` Red Cross Begins Distributing Food Aid in Aleppo to a Total of 60,000 People in First Wave ‘

#AceWorldNews – ALEPPO – May 21 – The Red Cross has begun a “major distribution” of emergency food supplies on both sides of the front lines in the Syrian city of Aleppo, said the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Reuters reports.

Peter Maurer of the (ICRC) stressed that this has become the first distribution “on that scale,” since October.

This comes after the Syrian government finally gave approval to the plan, submitted in January, this week.

A total 60,000 people will receive food aid.

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` Nine Red Cross Workers Were Released By Pro-Russian Separatists ‘

#AceWorldNews – UKRAINE – DONETSK – May 10 – Nine Red Cross workers were released on Saturday by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, a day after the eight Ukrainians and one Swiss national were detained, the aid group said.

“Now they will take up their humanitarian work and prepare a medical evaluation,” International Committee of the Red Cross spokesman David Pierre Marquet said.

Their capture in the volatile eastern province of Donetsk occurred as security forces clashed with armed pro-Russian separatists in the port city of Mariupol near the Russian border.

Local authorities said seven people were killed and about 50 injured.

The government in Kiev said security forces killed about 20 pro-Russian militants.

Kiev has sent in forces in a bid to reassert control of the restive east, inflaming the pro-Russian faction. On Saturday, the National Guard withdrew from central Mariupol, which was largely calm.

TH 

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Madgascar Village Hit by Bubonic Plague #EndofDays

Madagascar village ‘hit by bubonic plague’; Red Cross warns of epidemic

– DECEMBER 11, 2013POSTED IN: DISEASE AND EPIDEMICSNEWS

An ICRC-led programme is working to reduce prison rat populations
An ICRC-led programme is working to reduce prison rat populations

A village in Madagascar has been hit by a deadly outbreak of the bubonic plague, medical experts on the island have confirmed.

BBC News

Test were carried out after at least 20 people in the village, near the north-western town of Mandritsara, were reported to have died last week.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned in October that Madagascar was at risk of a plague epidemic.

The disease is transmitted to humans via fleas, usually from rats.

Bubonic plague, known as the Black Death when it killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages, is now rare.

Last year, Madagascar had 60 deaths from the plague, the world’s highest recorded number.

The Pasteur Institute of Madagascar confirmed on Tuesday that tests taken from bodies in the village last week showed that they had died of the bubonic plague.

The BBC’s Tim Healy in the capital, Antananarivo, says health officials have now gone to the remote area to investigate.

Prisoners on the island are usually most affected by the plague, which is spread because of unhygienic conditions, he says.

The prevalence of rats in Madagascar’s prisons means the plague can spread easily.

The Pasteur Institute said there were concerns that the disease could spread to towns and cities where living standards have declined since a coup in 2009 and the ensuing political crisis.

On 20 December a second round is being held of presidential elections aimed at ending the political deadlock.

 

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Universal Ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

#AceWorldNews says the history of the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) spans over more than a century. The “road to Rome” was a long and often contentious one. While efforts to create a global criminal court can be traced back to the early 19th century, the story began in earnest in 1872 with Gustav Moynier – one of the founders of the International Committee of the Red Cross – who proposed a permanent court in response to the crimes of the Franco-Prussian War. The next serious call for an internationalized system of justice came from the drafters of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, who envisaged an ad hoc international court to try the Kaiser and German war criminals of World War I. Following World War II, the Allies set up the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals to try Axis war criminals.

The UN General Assembly Resolution n. 260 on 9 December 1948, provided for the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and was the first step towards the establishment of an international permanent criminal tribunal with jurisdiction on crimes yet to be defined ininternational treaties. In the resolution there was a hope for an effort from the Legal UN commission in that direction. The General Assembly, after the considerations expressed from the commission, established a committee to draft a statute and study the related legal issues.

States parties of the Rome Statute of the Inte...

States parties of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Updated to July 2011 (116 members). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

States parties of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Updated to July 2011 (116 members). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1951 a first draft was presented; a second followed during the same year but there were a number of delays, officially due to the difficulties in the definition of the crime of aggression, that were only solved with diplomatic assemblies in the years following the statute’s coming into force. The geopolitical tensions of the Cold War also contributed to the delays.

In June 1989, motivated in part by an effort to combat drug trafficking, Trinidad and Tobago resurrected a pre-existing proposal for the establishment of an ICC and the UN GA asked that the ILC resume its work on drafting a statute. The conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia as well as in Rwanda in the early 1990,s and the mass commission of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide led the UN Security Councilto establish two separate temporary ad- hoc tribunals to hold individuals accountable for these atrocities, further highlighting the need for a permanent international criminal court.

In 1994, the ILC presented its final draft statute for an ICC to the UN GA and recommended that a conference of plenipotentiaries be convened to negotiate a treaty and enact the Statute. To consider major substantive issues in the draft statute, the General Assembly established the Ad Hoc Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, which met twice in 1995.

After considering the Committee’s report, the UN GA created the Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of the ICC to prepare a consolidated draft text. From 1996 to 1998, six sessions of the UN Preparatory Committee were held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, in which NGOs provided input into the discussions and attended meetings under the umbrella of the NGO Coalition for an ICC (CICC). In January 1998, the Bureau and coordinators of the Preparatory Committee convened for an Inter-Sessional meeting in Zutphen, the Netherlands to technically consolidate and restructure the draft articles into a draft.

Statute of Rome AfricaEstablished by the Rome Statute of 1998, the ICC can try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the court can initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.

Despite collective efforts, much remains to be done towards universal ratification of the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC),United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said recently encouraging Member States to ratify or accede to it.

“I am convinced that the solution of broadening the reach of the Court is not disengagement, but universality,” Mr. Ban told the 12th session of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC in a <”http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7295“>message delivered by Miguel de Serpa Soares, UN Legal Counsel and Under-Secretary-General.

Of the 139 States that signed the ICC’s founding treaty, 31 have yet to ratify it and 43 States have neither signed nor acceded to it.

“Only once the Rome Statute has been universally accepted can the Court be as effective as we would wish it to be, with a truly global reach,” he said in the message.

Beyond the lack of universality, the ICC also faces other challenges, including a struggle for necessary resources and staffing shortages.

The Court also has difficulties bringing the accused to judgement and delivering justice to the victims without undue delay,the UN chief noted in his message.

“It faces the fundamental challenge of upholding the core principles of justice, equality and the rule of law: that the law applies equally to all,” Mr. Ban’s said, adding that the law must also be delivered independently, impartially and in conformity with international human rights law and standards.

Just as importantly, the law must be seen as being so delivered, Mr. Ban highlighted.

He also noted the importance of building effective national justice institutions and dispute mechanisms.

“Our commitment to international criminal justice is not only a commitment to strengthened international cooperation and dialogue, but also to strengthened domestic human rights and rule of law systems,” he added.

“At this difficult moment, we must remain steadfast and ensure that we are on the right side of history,” the Secretary-General said, stressing that as uncomfortable as it might be, “we must address our challenges head on” by encouraging dialogue and remaining true to the principles of the statute.   “This Assembly is the best forum for this dialogue.”

New York, Nov 20 2013  5:00PM

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