Syria Torture Photos Displayed at the UN Security Council

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) yesterday examined photographs of about 11,000 Syrians said to have been tortured, starved and killed by the Syrian government’s forces.

Tramline bruises are produced by blows with rod-like objects, the report explains. ©Carter-Ruck and Co.

Tramline bruises are produced by blows with rod-like objects, the report explains. ©Carter-Ruck and Co.

Most of the photographs were collected by a Syrian military police photographer, code-named Caesar, who smuggled them out on flash drives when he defected and joined an anti-Assad opposition group. “Caesar”, a crime scene photographer for the Syrian military police, was assigned in 2001 to photograph corpses at a military hospital that received bodies from three detention centres in the Damascus suburbs. In his testimony, the photographer described a highly bureaucratic system:

“The procedure was that when detainees were killed at their places of detention their bodies would be taken to a military hospital to which he would be sent with a doctor and a member of the judiciary, Caesar’s function being to photograph the corpses… There could be as many as 50 bodies a day to photograph which require 15 to 30 minutes of work per corpse,” the report said. “The reason for photographing executed persons was twofold. First to permit a death certificate to be produced without families requiring to see the body, thereby avoiding the authorities having to give a truthful account of their deaths; second to confirm that orders to execute individuals had been carried out.” Continue reading

New Issue of the International Justice Tribune

International Justice TribuneAfter almost a two-year break, the International Justice Tribune is back.

In their newsletter, you will find analyses on the legal dispute between Serbia and Croatia in front of the International Court of Justice over the alleged commission of genocide by Serbia in the early 1990’s. The issue also comprises comments on the Gbagbo case at the International Criminal Court (ICC) but also on the asylum trial faced by Mathieu Ngudjolo after his acquittal by the ICC. The newsletter finally addresses the case of General Augustin Bizimungu in front of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The International Justice Tribune is also finalizing a new website which will be launched soon.

Charles Blé Goudé Makes First Appearance Before the ICC

Charles Blé Goudé

Today, Charles Blé Goudé appeared before the Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi set the date of the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case for 18 August 2014.

The Chamber will soon set a calendar for proceedings leading to the confirmation of charges hearing, including for upcoming status conferences and for the disclosure of evidence.

Background: On 22 March 2014, Charles Blé Goudé was surrendered to the ICC by the national authorities of Ivory Coast on the basis of a warrant of arrest issued by ICC judges on 21 December 2011 and unsealed on 30 September 2013.

Charles Blé Goudé, national of Ivory Coast, allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility, as indirect co-perpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity, namely murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, and other inhuman acts, allegedly committed in the territory of Ivory Coast between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011.