Timeline of attempts to hold perpetrators responsible:
If genocides and mass crimes against
humanity cannot be eliminated, then at least the perpetrators can be
hunted down, arrested, tried, and imprisoned. Steps
have been taken in this area. Some of the major ones between 2009-JUL to the present time are:
2009-MAY-23: Canada: Rwandan militia leader found
guilty of genocide by Canadian court: The Quebec Superior Court
tried Rwandan militia leader Desire Munyaneza, 42, under Canada's Crimes
Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. He was found guilty of seven counts,
including genocide and crimes against humanity, for rapes, murder, and torture
during 1994. This was a time when about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were
Prosecutor Pascale Ledoux told reporters that: "The case was very
challenging as it involved events dating back 15 years in a foreign country,
2009-JUL-24: North Korea: Kim Jong II:
The Investigative Commission On Crime Against Humanity is seeking a
method by which it could have North Korean dictator Kim charged at the
International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity. The Associated
Press reports that: "Activists claim that such atrocities -- including
murder, kidnap, rape, extermination of individuals in prison camps -- cannot
take place in North Korea without Kim's knowledge or direction as he wields
absolute power. 2 He died on 2011-DEC-17 without ever having been brought to justice.
2009-OCT-29: Canada: Rwandan gets life sentence for war crimes: A
man from Rwanda became the first person to be convicted under Canada's War
Crimes Act -- a law
that allows individuals in Canada to be tried for war crimes committed outside
of the country. He is Desire Munyaneza, 42, a Hutu, who was found guilty in 2009-MAY
of seven charges including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
About 800,000 Tutus and moderate Hutus were massacred by Hutus in Rwanda
during 1994 while the world stood by and ignored the slaughter. Justice Andre Denis said:
"The accused, an educated man from a privileged background, chose to kill,
rape and pillage in the name of his ethnic group's supremacy. The sentence I
am imposing is severe because the law considers the crimes committed by the
accused to be the worst in existence."
He received a life sentence without eligibility for parole for 25 years. 3
2009-NOV: Bosnia-Herzegovina: Radovan
Karadzic has been charged with 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes
against humanity for his role in the 1992-1995 war in which 100,000 people
were killed and 2.2 million displaced. One of the main charges was the
slaughter of over 7,000 Muslim men and boys by Christians at Srebrenica in
1995-JUL. His trial has been temporarily stalled because Karadzic, who is
conducting his own defense, refuses to attend his trial. He claims that he has
not had time to properly prepare his case.
Karadzic's former military commander, Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic,
has not yet been captured. 4
2010-FEB-03: Sudan: Appeals judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have ordered the court to reconsider its earlier decision to not charge Sudah's president, Omar al-Bashir, with genocide. The ICC chief prosecutor has implicated al-Bashir in the deaths of 35,000 persons. He said that a genocide charge would make certain that "... the world knows what happened [in Sudan]. I believe it is important for the victims. That is why I am pursuing these charges." 5
2010-JUL-09: Sudan: According to Amnesty International USA, two Darfuri rebel leaders surrendered to the International Criminal Court at the Hague. Outstanding warrants for three other high-profile individuals have been issued. However, Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb remain at large after being charged with 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Also, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the world's first sitting head of state to ever be issued an arrest warrant by the ICC, continues to be welcomed as a guest in other countries and given full presidential treatment.6
2011-APR-13: Egypt: Laaska News reports that:
Egypt’s prosecutor general has ordered the detention of former President Hosni Mubarak for 15 days. Earlier, his sons Alaa and Gamal were also detained. "... Mubarak ruled the country for 30 years and stepped down on the 11th of February at people’s demand. Mubarak is suspected of criminal offences and misappropriation of money." 7
2011-JUN-24: Rwanda: Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the former minister for women and family affairs in Rwanda, became the first woman to be convicted by the United Nations tribunal, seventeen years after the genocide. During 1994 she presided over a brutal trick in her hometown, Butare. Tutsis were lured into a stadium by promising them Red Cross assistance. They were then slaughtered.8
2011-SEP-24: Libya: News Daily reports that:
"Interpol said it had issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, who are all wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for suspected crimes against humanity.
'Gaddafi is a fugitive whose country of nationality and the ICC want arrested and held accountable for the serious criminal charges that have been brought against him,' said Ronald Noble, secretary general of the Lyons-based police organization."9
On 2011-OCT-20, both Gaddafi and one of his sons, Mo'tassim, were wounded by rebels, captured alive, and assassinated. Their decomposing bodies were displayed in a Misrata meat locker, and and buried.10
With the death of his father and brother, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi became the last remaining member of his family left in Libya. He was arrested on 2011-NOV-19 in southern Libya, and flown to Zintan, where he has been held in detention.11
2012-APR-26: Liberia: According to Kelly Askin, a Senior Legal Officer with the Open Society Justice Initiative, Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president, was convicted:
"...by the Special Court for Sierra Leone of 11 counts of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape and sexual slavery. He was also convicted of the charge of enabling "outrages upon personal dignity", arising from incidents in which women and girls were forced to undress in public and then raped and sexually abused, 'sometimes in full view of the public, and in full view of family members'. In the conviction for terrorism too, the judges found that the raping of women and girls in public was part of the campaign of the campaign aimed at terrorizing the civilian population."
This verdict represents the first time that an international court has convicted a former head of state of responsibility for various forms of sexual violence. Taylor was found to have aided and abetted in the commission of the crimes by providing logistical, financial, technical, medical, and other forms of support to the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), and other rebel groups, providing practical assistance, encouragement and moral support. He substantially contributed to the crimes by supplying arms and ammunition, military personnel, operational support, and other forms of assistance."12
2012-JUN-026: Egypt: Former President Hosni Mubarak, 84, and his former security chief Habib el-Adly received life sentences because they failed to stop the killing of about 900 protestors during the recent uprising. However, he and his sons were cleared of corruption charges. The latter triggered a massive demonstration by up to 10,000 protestors in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez.13
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
"More than 7 years of rape, murder and pillaging have gone unpunished.
Demand justice for war crimes in Darfur," Email, Amnesty International USA, 2010-JUL-09. See also: http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/
Alexander Vatutin, "Egypt’s former leader Mubarak and sons detained for 15 days," Laaska News, 2011-APR-13, at: http://laaska.wordpress.com/
"Former Rwandan Women’s Minister Convicted Of Genocide," Jezebel, 2011-JUN-24, at: http://jezebel.com/