International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

UN Security Council and North Korea.

December 7th 2016.

The UN Security Council will discuss the human rights violations in North Korea this Friday. The meeting was requested by 9 Council Members, Britain, France, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, USA, Uruguay, Ukraine and New Zealand. Back in 2014, the UN commission of inquiry had found many evidences against the authoritarian country for violating the human rights of its citizens through torture, starvation, imprisonment and execution. North Korea has always denied such accusations and continued to pursue  their strict laws and inhumane treatment of their citizens.

However, the meeting on Friday will discuss North Korea’s forced labor and their diversion of resources to create more missile and nuclear programs; something that is being increasingly  In the past, the General Assembly has persuaded the Security Council to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court for its war crimes, however China has always blocked these moves as it is an important ally of North Korea.

DR Congo’s Bemba found guilty of witness/evidence corruption

19th October 2016.

 

DR Congo’s former vice president, Jean-Pierre Bemba was recently found guilty of bribing witnesses and corrupting/falsifying evidences that were presented to him during his trial. Additionally, his lawyer Aime Kilolo; his legal case manager Jean-Jacques Mangenda; Congolese politician Fidele Babala and Narcisse Arido have also been found guilty for this. His lawyer, Kilolo bribed witnesses and forced them to give scripted confessions that would help Bemba’s case while Mangenda was found guilty of exchanging messages and and hide these plans. Additionally Babala was charged with handling the bribes and money transfers, etc and Arido forced witnessed to pose as soldiers by giving them fake military insignia. Not only is this the first corruption case in the Hague but the lawyers will be sentenced  and may even face up to five years in prison for this act. As of now it is unclear whether this will affect Bemba’s appeal to be released early as he is still serving time after being jailed last June for his crimes against humanity and war crimes.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/10/19/icc-convicts-former-congo-vp-interfering-with-witnesses.html
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-37706424

The Monsanto Tribunal

 

tribunal_logoOften termed the Dictator in the agricultural world, Monsanto, a transnational corporation based in the U.S is being put on trail by large groups like the Organic Consumers Association, Regeneration International, IFOAM International Organics, etc. along with many global food, farming and organic organisations. These organisations accuse the company for their crimes against humanity and ecocide by the Hague from the 14th-16th October (World Food Day.)

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The Monsanto Tribunal was opened because of their impact on the environment as well as their effects on farmers. Although they claim to be a “sustainable agriculture company” they have highly changed agriculture in America and globally and the products of this have also led to many new biological defects and health concerns for their consumers due to their genetically modified traits and the chemicals used to produce them. The GMOs also give Monsanto power to control food production and supplies in countries which could be seen as a human right violation as the company is controlling food supplies of countries.

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In developing countries like India, many farmers are fooled into buying GMOs from this company for high costs, causing many to take debts, etc. However, these seeds not only fail to produce crops and profit but have also caused a significant change in the quality of soil, declining biodiversity and even species extinction. These factors have also led to many suicide cases of farmers, who have purchased these GMOs and failed to reap the benefits of it. Monsanto has been one of the reasons for many suicide cases of farmers and this occupation has one of the highest suicide rates both in the US and in India.

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This tribunal is different compared to others because usually most tribunals are held because of human atrocities and crimes and agricultural and environmental issues are not usually seen as crimes worth holding tribunals for. The tribunal will be held on the 16th of October and will be streamed online for the world to watch.

Army Atrocities and Human Rights Violations in Balochistan

2365px-balochistan_in_pakistan_claims_hatched-svgBalochistan has been a struggling province in Pakistan that has been in a state of war for the past few decades as they are trying to break free from Pakistan. Not only is this region culturally different but the Balochs have also faced repeated history of injustice and suppression from the majority population in Pakistan. The main conflict is with the Pakistani government funding violence against the Baloch nationalist party, however over the last few years there have been countless cases of human rights violations and atrocities performed by the Pakistani government against the civilians.

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There have been many accounts and reports of bomb blasts and secret killings of civilians (who may or may not have been part of the opposing party.) Additionally, many of the resources and aid is restricted in the area. Despite aid, support and pressure to the Pakistani government to stop this from foreign countries like Iraq and India, the conflict has failed to improve.

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Recently, the UN has started talks on trying to improve this through the use of economic sanctions on Pakistan. This could help the Blochi improve the situation because for a developing economy like Pakistan it is important for them to be in good terms with the global economy.

Is Prevention Possible?

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Genocide is often a result of prejudiced beliefs and ideas that are passed down generations or have been misinterpreted by powerful people. This built hatred, which is then passed down to populations, seems justifiable and acceptable for societies. When genocide occurs, it is not something abrupt or accidental and because there is so much thought and careful planning put into this by the groups committing the crime, it is not easy to stop this overnight.

There is no limit of deaths at which officials can term the mass killings as a “genocide.” Therefore, it is usually wise for international organisations to be cautious of the situation at a conflicted area/region and then intervene, before the death tolls rise. Genocide is greater in conflicted areas or countries where there is active war and a powerful dictator/government ruling and controlling the civilians. Global peace organizations and other countries need to address this while the discrimination and intolerance of a particular group is not as widespread. This can be done through taking swift action through the use of military forces, setting up warning systems that help detect the early signs and take action. If civilians are already being targeted, organizations can create plans/locations to provide them with safety and resources. These changes will not only lead to faster peace but could also prevent these atrocity crimes from occurring repeatedly.