War Crimes

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Former Syrian secret agent convicted after torture victims recognize him in German soil
Former Syrian secret agent convicted after torture victims recognize him in German soil
Credit: Tasnim News Agency / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

For the first time worldwide, an individual was sentenced for aiding crimes against humanity in another country. A German court convicted a former Syrian secret service agent for delivering victims to a detention center in Douma, Syria, where they were tortured. War crimes are covered by international law allowing the prosecution of foreigners for crimes committed in other countries.

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International Criminal Court convicts LRA commander Ongwen of 70 war crimes and crimes against humanity in Uganda
International Criminal Court convicts LRA commander Ongwen of 70 war crimes and crimes against humanity in Uganda
Credit: Courtesy of ICC-CPI

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has convicted Ugandan rebel leader Dominic Ongwen of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

It was the first trial before the world criminal court against a former child soldier. The leader of the notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), now about 46 years old, was accused of atrocities in northern Uganda, including murder, torture, and attacks on refugee camps, as well as the use of child soldiers. The judges considered it proven that the man ordered the deadly attacks.

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Report: Australian elite troops killed Afghan civilians

According to a report by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) that looked into possible behaviour of misconduct in their own forces, 19 current or ex-special forces soldiers should be investigated by police over killings of "prisoners, farmers or civilians" in 2009-13.

The report found evidence for multiple patterns of misconduct. One example mentioned is that new soldiers were told to get their first kill by shooting prisoners, in a practice known as "flooding".

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Kosovo’s President Thaci resigns to face charges for war crimes
Kosovo’s President Thaci resigns to face charges for war crimes
Credit: Koch / MSC / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 DE)

Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci has announced his resignation in order "to protect the integrity of the presidency of Kosovo". He will now face charges for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity at a special Kosovo court based in The Hague.

Along with him, nine other former rebel leaders during Kosovo's independence war from Serbia in the late 1990s have been indicted.

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Former Nazi SS member found guilty by court over mass murder between 1944 and 1945
Stutthof Concentration Camp
Stutthof Concentration Camp Credit: Pipodesign Philipp P Egli (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

In what is expected to be one of the last sentences as survivors and perpetrators of the holocaust are now of an old age, a German former Nazi SS guard has been found guilty. The court ruled that the now 93-year-old man is guilty of complicity in the murder of over 5,000 prisoners of the Stutthof Camp located in the part of Poland that was occupied by Nazi Germany during that time.

The two year prison sentence has been suspended and the man has been tried in a juvenile court as he was 17 during that time. He had been guarding the concentration camp between August 1944 and April 1945.