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New efforts to ensure justice for Chebeya in Senegal

Posted on August 25, 2015 by Olivia Bueno

Five years after the death of Congolese human rights activist, Floribert Chebeya and the disappearance of his colleague Fidèle Bazana shook the Congolese human rights community, the fight for justice continues. Although eight people have been found in connection with the case in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), activists argue that the truth is still not known and the fact that the alleged architect of the crime, General John Numbi, the then chief of police, has not been charged. Now, there is new hope that the full story will come to light.

Lawyers for the families of Floribert Chebeya and Fidèle Bazana, supported by the international human rights organization the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) lodged a complaint before the Senegalese justice against Paul Mwilambwe, one of those found guilty in absentia in the Chebeya case in the DRC.

Chebeya, executive director of the NGO la Voix des Sans Voix (VSV), was found dead in his car on 2 June 2010 and Fidèle Bazana, his close collaborator remains missing. The day before, the two human rights defenders were called to the Directorate of National Police to meet Inspector General John Numbi. The case sparked intense international pressure and the Congolese government was obliged to open an investigation which led to the dismissal of Numbi.

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Rights in Exile Newsletter
Issue 61, July 2015

ISSN 2049-2650

In this issue:

Featured Articles

South Africa: A radical move to allow the public and the media access to the Refugee Appeal Board’s proceedings in appropriate cases

The case of the wandering Chadian

Australia and Europe: Failing the world’s refugees

APRRN Statement: Japan’s review of their refugee status determination system raises new concerns

Short Pieces

The future of refugees in Egypt

Thirty-two Eritreans at risk of forced return from Sudan

UNHCR deeply concerned about abduction of asylum-seekers in eastern Sudan

Read the full newsletter here.


Reconsidering Lubanga’s Sentence: Views from Ituri

The following blog was originally posted on the International Justice Monitor website.

By Olivia Bueno

(24 August, 2015) On August 21, 2015, the International Criminal Court (ICC) heard arguments about whether or not to release Thomas Lubanga, the first person to be convicted by the court. As required under Article 110 of the Rome Statute, the ICC will review Lubanga’s sentence now that two-thirds of it has been served. The prospect of Lubanga’s release has been met with reactions ranging from despair and frustration to satisfaction, depending on who you ask.

As this is the first hearing of its kind at the ICC, it is difficult to predict what the ICC will decide. Among the key issues informing the decision will be whether or not Lubanga has demonstrated good behavior, whether he has expressed remorse or taken action on behalf of victims, as well as the likely impact of his release on the community. (For a fuller discussion of the legal issues involved, see Will ICC Judges Grant Lubanga Early Release?.)

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UN Human Rights Council: Create Commission of Inquiry for Yemen

The undersigned organizations call on the United Nations Human Rights Council to create an international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by all relevant parties since September 2014, when the Houthi armed group took control of Sana’a, the Yemen capital.

On March 26, 2015, a Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign against the Houthi forces. Since then, parties to the conflict have committed serious violations of international law, some of which may amount to war crimes.

The Saudi-led coalition has conducted indiscriminate airstrikes in violation of international humanitarian law that have killed scores of civilians and hit civilian objects and infrastructure. On July 24, for example, coalition airplanes repeatedly struck two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant. These strikes alone killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children.

Read the full letter.