27 May, 2012

Houla, Syria: an act of pure naked savagery

Massacre of Children - Houla, Syria
Update 28th May:  The UN Security Council met on Sunday 27th May and issued a Press Statement on the violence in Syria.  See also UN News

The Guardian - Houla massacre survivor tells how his family were slaughtered

See also UN Human Rights Council for various developments.

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Syria: UN officials deplore brutal killing of civilians near Homs

The United Nations has been largely ineffective over the continuing violence in Syria.  Amnesty International has stated that "the failure of the UN to take decisive action on Syria shows it is no longer fit for purpose and is becoming redundant as a guardian of global peace - see Telegraph 24th May 2012.  This is a very worrying conclusion against which, in relation to Syria,  it is difficult to argue.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International published its report for 2011-12 -  see the Syrian section of the report. 

The latest atrocity in Syria is the massacre in Houla

18 May, 2012

Ratko Mladić - Trial at the ICTY

Updated 25th May 2012 ...

The trial of Ratko Mladić finally commenced on 16th May 2012 at the International Criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) - see Start of the Mladić case.  Prosecution opening statements from the hearings on 16th and 17th May may be viewed via the court's website.

Subsequently, the court decided that the hearings would be adjourned sine die.  This was due to the revelation that prosecuting lawyers had not disclosed evidence to the defence.  The court stated that the trial would resume as soon as possible.  See The Guardian 17th May

On 15th May it was announced that a defence application to remove

01 May, 2012

Foreign and Commonwealth Office - 2011 Report - Human Rights and Democracy

A 392 page report - Human Rights and Democracy - has been published by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).  The report deals with the year 2011 and divides into 9 principal sections dealing with (1) The Arab Spring; (2) the FCO's Human Rights priorities; (3) Promoting British values of democracy, criminal justice and the rule of law, equality and non-discrimination; (4) Human Rights in securing Britain's national security; (5) Human Rights in securing Britain's prosperity; (6) Human Rights for British nationals overseas; (7) Working through a rules-based international system; (8) Promoting Human Rights in Overseas Territories; (9) Human Rights in countries of concern.

The full report is required reading for those with serious interest in human rights globally.   The following is a summary of the section dealing with Criminal Justice and the Rule of Law - (part of Section 3).  This commences at page 42 of the report.

Human rights and the rule of law are