World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Sierra Leone: amnesty rejected for horrific crimes


Sierra Leone: Special Court rejects amnesty for the worst crimes known to humanity

Amnesty International welcomes the historic decision by the Special Court for Sierra Leone dated 13 March 2004 to refuse to recognize the applicability of a national amnesty for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone held that, in accordance with international law, the general amnesty granted in the 1999 Lomé peace agreement was "ineffective" in preventing international courts, such as the Special Court, or foreign courts from prosecuting crimes against humanity and war crimes.

"The Special Court's decision is a significant step forward in the fight against impunity for the worst possible crimes. It confirms the extensive jurisprudence of other international courts and interpretations of international treaty bodies which conclude that states cannot use national amnesties to prevent international or foreign national courts from exercising jurisdiction over those accused of crimes against the international community," Amnesty International said.

The organization is, however, concerned that the decision did not expressly state that the amnesty provision of the Lomé peace agreement is void under international law and could not be applied by the national courts of Sierra Leone.

The Special Court did, however, endorse in its conclusions the explicit proviso by the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sierra Leone, when signing the peace agreement, that the amnesty "shall not apply to international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law", confirming that it would be contrary to international law for Sierra Leonean courts to give any effect to the amnesty provision.

"This decision will have an immediate impact in Africa, including making clear that amnesties such as the Ugandan amnesty for crimes committed in the northern part of the country do not bar the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court from investigating and prosecuting any person suspected of crimes against humanity or war crimes," Amnesty International said.

For further information, please see: Special Court for Sierra Leone: A historic decision to reject amnesty for crimes under international law ( http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maab3Ctaa5hdibb0hPub/ ), of 18 March 2004.

Amnesty International's webpages on the Special Court for Sierra Leone: http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maab3Ctaa5hdjbb0hPub/


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news