Guatemala’s top court has thrown out the conviction of the general and former military dictator for genocide and crimes against humanity in what Amnesty International has called a “devastating blow for the victims of the serious human rights violations committed during the conflict.”
Former Guatemalan President Efrain Rios Montt was hauled off to prison last Friday. It was a historic moment, the first time in history that a former leader of a country was tried for genocide in a national court.
After more than 15 years on the run, Ratko Mladic, commander of Bosnian Serb forces during the Balkan wars of the 1990s, was arrested Thursday on war crimes charges, including the slaughter of thousands of Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995. (more)
Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, took the stand on Tuesday to defend himself against 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The first African leader to be tried by an international tribunal, Taylor is deemed responsible for atrocities committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002), in a tale of murder, rape, amputations, child soldiers and diamonds.
An acclaimed Spanish judge has ordered the unearthing of some of the unmarked graves of the tens of thousands who were killed during the first two decades of Gen. Francisco Franco’s fascist rule of Spain, formally declaring the repression by Franco and associates as a “crime against humanity.”
Kang Kek Ieu, otherwise known as Duch, the first of a group of former Khmer Rouge leaders to be investigated by a U.N.-affiliated tribunal in Cambodia, has been charged with crimes against humanity, according to the BBC.
Musician, actor and social activist Harry Belafonte issues a strident criticism of U.S. foreign policy at the Jan. 20 session of the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration.