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            9 February – Dr. Pierre Atlas, Butler University
            13 February – Dr. Nancy Spalding, Eastern Carolina University

On 17 December, Human Rights Watch published evidence that the killings, rapes and other abuses committed by Guinea’s security forces on September 28 were widespread and systematic, amounting to crimes against humanity. On 21 December, a UN Commission of Inquiry also found that crimes against humanity had been committed and called upon the Prosecutor of the ICC to investigate the abuses committed by members of the government, specifically by the leader of the ruling junta, Captain Dadis Camara, chief of the Presidential Guard, Lt. Aboubacar Chérif Diakité, and Moussa Thegboro Camara, an officer in charge of special services.
The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in its latest Policy Brief writes how evidence of the junta’s role in the attack on protestors demonstrates its failure to uphold its responsibility to protect. International and regional actors, recognizing their responsibility to protect, responded quickly to the crisis, increasing the pressure on the junta with a variety of tools such as condemnation, mediation, arms embargoes, sanctions and threats of more coercive measures. The Brief calls on all actors to sustain attention to a situation which remains unstable and volatile, where there exists a continued risk of mass atrocities.
1. The International Response to 28 September 2009 Massacre in Guinea and the Responsibility to Protect
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
13 January 2010
On 28 September 2009, government forces opened fire on opposition supporters peacefully protesting in a stadium in Conakry, Guinea. (…) The crimes against humanity perpetrated on 28 September were atrocities that states committed to no longer tolerate by adopting the norm of the responsibility to protect populations from mass atrocities at the 2005 World Summit. (…)
The primary responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing lies with the state. (…) This includes the responsibility to prevent the massacre before it was perpetrated, halt it once it began, and avert future atrocities. This responsibility includes ensuring that its armed forces exercise restraint, respect international human rights and international humanitarian law, and that individuals who commit crimes against humanity and other responsibility to protect crimes are held accountable. Camara and his cabinet, the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD), failed to uphold this responsibility. (…)
If the situation deteriorates further there is a risk that crimes against humanity will occur on an even greater scale. The recent attempt on Camara’s life by his personal aide Aboubacar Diakité—who was implicated in orchestrating and carrying out the massacre—suggests a lack of unity within the junta and the military more broadly. (…)
As the International Crisis Group has noted, this risk is exacerbated by reports, which indicate that individual junta members are amassing their own private militias around ethnic lines, stoking fears that ethnicity might be mobilized to incite violence. (…) The junta’s failure to protect Guinea’s population, and the country’s rapid militarization calls into question the junta’s ability and commitment to averting future atrocities.(…)
Regional and international actors recognized their responsibility to protect in the wake of 28 September and acted. The response has been swift, coordinated and, when compared to past responses to similar situations, firm. (…)
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) led the way, immediately condemning the acts of repression, calling for an International Committee of Inquiry into the events of 28 September, enacting an arms embargo against Conakry, and appointing a regionally recognized arbitrator to mediate disputes between the junta and its opposition. (…)
 The African Union (AU), while slower to act, fulfilled its pledge to levy sanctions against the junta as well. Nearly a month after the violence of 28 September, the AU’s Peace and Security Council implemented targeted sanctions against individual members of the regime, freezing assets, denying travel visas, and restricting freedom of movement within the union. (…)
International organizations were also quick to speak out against the violence. The International Contact Group—established in January 2009 and boasting a broad membership that includes representatives of ECOWAS, the AU, the EU, the Mano River Union, the OIC and permanent members of the UN Security Council—has been especially strident in supporting intervention for the protection of civilians. It endorsed the establishment of an UN-sponsored international commission of inquiry into the events of 28 September, and exhorted ECOWAS to deploy an international observation and security mission to Guinea to “help provide security to the population” against further “gross human rights violations.” (…)
Secretary-General exercised his Charter powers to create an International Commission of Inquiry, under the direction of Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios. The junta agreed to participate in the inquiry while also carrying out their own investigation. On 20 December, the Secretary-General received the report which recommended that the situation be referred to the International Criminal Court. The Secretary-General has shared the report with ECOWAS, the AU and the Security Council. (…)
Yet the threat of mass atrocities and conflict persists. Thus, in keeping with the responsibility to protect, member states and multilateral organizations should continue pressuring the junta and strengthen their response to ongoing threats to Guinea’s population. Pressure should most immediately be placed on the regime to fulfill Konate’s promise to form a unity government, to refrain from resorting to violence and to uphold the responsibility to protect. In addition, more robust measures should be fashioned to deter future conflict and atrocities. In the event that the junta, or breakaway elements employ violence against civilians or that upcoming elections ignite conflict, regional peacekeeping forces must also be prepared to respond to prevent and halt atrocities. (…)
Read full policy brief.
2. U.N. Panel Calls for Court in Guinea Massacre
Neil MacFarquhar
New York Times
21 December 2009
A United Nations panel investigating the massacre and rape of unarmed protesters in Guinea three months ago said in a report released Monday [December 21] that the nation’s military ruler and some of his adjutants should be referred to the International Criminal Court for “crimes against humanity.”
The 60-page report, compiled by three African legal experts, describes in gruesome detail the violence unleashed on what had been something of a festival of protest being held in a stadium in Conakry, the capital, on Sept. 28. (…)
Because some of the victims were found in mass graves, it is likely that the death toll was far higher, the report stated. (…)
Women were a particular target…France has asked that the Security Council take up the report, but Michel Kafango, the ambassador from Burkina Faso and the Council’s president this month, said that would have to wait until the report was translated from French.
The report described the attacks as “widespread and systematic,” which is the basis for crimes against humanity in international law. Because Guinea is a signatory to the International Criminal Court, the court does not have to await a referral from the Security Council, and the court’s prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has said he has already started an investigation.
In an unusual tactic, the report singled out three people as bearing direct responsibility for the violence, because the attacks could not have happened without their orders: Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara, the country’s leader; Lt. Aboubacar Chérif Diakité, known as Toumba, Captain Camara’s aide-de-camp and chief of the Presidential Guard; and a third officer, Moussa Thegboro Camara, who is in charge of the special services. The two aides were at the stadium during the massacre. (…)
Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, said in a statement that it was the responsibility of Guinea’s government to protect the victims and other witnesses who testified to the three-member Commission of Inquiry. (…)
Read full article and the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry.
3. Human Rights Watch Report: Bloody Monday: The September 28 Massacre and Rapes by Security Forces in Guinea
17 December 2009
Human Rights Watch
(…) To date, the Guinean government has failed to investigate, much less hold accountable, any member of the Guinean security forces for their role in the killings, rapes, and other abuses.
In the course of an in-depth, on-the-ground investigation into the events of September 28 and their aftermath, Human Rights Watch interviewed some 240 individuals, including victims wounded during the attack, witnesses present in the stadium, relatives of missing people, soldiers who participated in the violent crackdown and the government cover-up, medical staff, humanitarian officials, diplomats, journalists, and opposition leaders. The investigation found that the majority of killings, sexual assaults, and other abuses described in this report were committed by members of the elite Presidential Guard, in particular the unit at the time directly responsible for the personal security of CNDD President Moussa Dadis Camara. Others who committed serious abuses included gendarmes, police, and men in civilian clothes armed with machetes and knives. (…)
The dearth of any apparent threat or provocation on the part of the demonstrators, in combination with the organized manner in which the security forces carried out the stadium attack—the simultaneous arrival at the stadium of different security units, the coordinated manner of deployment to strategic positions around the stadium in anticipation of the fleeing demonstrators, the failure to use non-lethal means of crowd dispersal, and the presence of officers, including a minister tasked with security responsibilities—suggests that the crimes were premeditated and organized.
The evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch suggests that the killings, rapes, and other abuses committed by the security forces on and after September 28 rise to the level of crimes against humanity. The scale and organization of these crimes strongly suggest that they were both widespread and systematic. As such, the principle of “command responsibility” applies to military commanders and others in position of authority who may be criminally liable for crimes committed by forces under their effective command and control. All those responsible, including those who gave the orders, should be held criminally accountable for their actions, as should anyone who participated in efforts to cover up the crimes and dispose of any evidence.
In a significant display of international revulsion uniting African and other governments as well as regional and international bodies, important international actors—including France, the United States, the European Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, and the United Nations—harshly denounced the September 28 violence in Guinea. This was followed by the imposition of arms embargos by ECOWAS and the European Union; travel bans and asset freezes of CNDD members by the EU, the US, and the African Union; and the withdrawal or cancellation of economic and military assistance from the EU and France.
The international community has been equally definitive about the need for those responsible for the September violence to be held accountable. As a result, an African Union and ECOWAS-proposed international commission of inquiry was on October 30 established by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on October 14 confirmed that it had initiated a preliminary examination of the situation. Unfortunately, continued economic and diplomatic support for Guinea from China and Libya mars the otherwise unified international response.
Based on the evidence presented in this report, Human Rights Watch recommends that the Guinean government immediately suspend from their duties and promptly investigate, prosecute, and punish in accordance with international standards the security officials believed to be most responsible for the killings, sexual violence, and other abuses committed during the September violence. (…)
Guinea’s international partners should maintain the demand for accountability and support international efforts to prosecute these crimes if the Guinean authorities fail to meet their obligations to hold accountable those responsible. Lastly, Human Rights Watch calls on the UN secretary-general to promptly make public the report of the international commission of inquiry into human rights violations associated with the September 28 violence, and ensure that its findings are discussed and implemented.
Read the report by the Human Rights Watch.
1. Novaya Gazeta, Dr. Asma Jahangir, Maurice Strong and Gareth Evans to receive four freedoms medals in May 2010.
Roosevelt Stichting
13 January 2010
On May 29, 2010 the International Four Freedoms Award 2010 will be granted to the European Court of Human Rights, in a ceremony held in the Nieuwe Kerk in Middelburg. Jean Paul Costa, the President of the Court will accept the medal on behalf of the Court. At the same ceremony, the Freedom of Speech and Expression Medal will be granted to the Russian weekly Novaya Gazeta, for their resolute commitment to freedom of the press, the Freedom of Worship Medal to human rights activist and UN-rapporteur for freedom of religion Dr. Asma Jahangir from Pakistan, the Freedom from Want Medal to Maurice Strong from Canada, in recognition of his role as a foremost spokesman regarding global environmental concerns and the principle of sustainability, and the Freedom from Fear Medal to Gareth Evans former Foreign Minister of Australia and recently retired Chair of the International Crisis Group, headquartered in Brussels. (…)
Evans receives the Freedom from Fear award for his pioneering work in compelling the world to understand the Responsibility to Protect Concept (R2P). According to R2P, national sovereignty can no longer serve as a protective shield for nations, which allow their own citizens to be the subject of atrocities and genocidal crimes.
The European Court of Human Rights will receive the award for its contribution to the protection of individual human rights in post-war Europe in the past half century. Since its founding in 1959 the Court has decided more than 10,000 cases on the basis of the principles laid out in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950. The principles of this Convention include the right to a fair trial and a condemnation of discrimination and can be traced to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. The European Court for Human Rights offers citizens an accessible tool to strengthen an effective democracy and reinforce a constitutional state. The Court effectively applies the principles of Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms in the contemporary world.  
The Four Freedoms, first declared by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on January 6th 1941 in an address to the American Congress, are still a pressing concern and essential to humanity. All over the world individual citizens and organizations commit themselves to the protection of these freedoms, which are the basis of the Charter of the United Nations.
The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Hyde Park, New York and the Roosevelt Stichting of Middelburg, the Netherlands, cooperate to organize the annual presentation of the Four Freedoms Awards to emphasize that the struggle for freedom is far from over. The ceremony is a reminder that social engagement and personal efforts are powerful peaceful instruments for the protection of freedom. The event originated in New York in 1950, and since 1982, the centennial of F.D.  Roosevelt’s birth and the bicentennial of Dutch-American diplomatic relations, the Four Freedoms medals have also been presented in Middelburg, the Netherlands. Among the many exceptional laureates decorated in Middelburg have been H.R.H. Princess Juliana, Alessandro Pertini, Harold Macmillan, Olof Palme, Helmut Schmidt, Teddy Kollek, Václav Havel, Jacques Delors, Simon Wiesenthal, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Anan, Mohamed ElBaradei and Richard von Weizsäcker.
Read the full press release.
1. France to set up judicial unit to investigate genocide, war crimes
Edward Cody
Washington Post Foreign Service
6 January 2010
The French government announced Wednesday that it will set up a special judicial unit to investigate and bring charges against people accused of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity in France or abroad.
The move, part of a broader legal reform, is designed not to change French war crimes law but to move more rapidly through the complicated international procedure that surrounds such cases when they are brought under existing legislation, according to Guillaume Didier, the Justice Ministry spokesman.
As a result, the shift is unlikely to create the kind of tension that has arisen recently between Israel and Britain, where former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni and a group of Israeli military officers have reconsidered visits because of the danger they might be arrested on suspicion of war crimes under the 1988 Criminal Justice Act that covers such crimes anywhere in the world.
Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, has said that the British courts, acting on complaints brought by Palestinians and their sympathizers, have created "an impossible situation" that risks damaging British-Israeli ties. The foreign secretary, David Miliband, has announced that the government is looking for ways to change the legislation that, as it stands, gives the courts universal jurisdiction in such cases. (…)
 Unlike British law, legislation in France allows prosecution for crimes committed outside France but requires some connection between France and the alleged crime, such as involvement of a French citizen or the presence of those accused on French soil. A number of people exiled in France have been accused of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, for instance, and French-resident relatives of people allegedly tortured in Tunisia have brought charges against authorities of that North African country.
"As the homeland of human rights, France will never be a sanctuary for the authors of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity," Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Justice Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie said in a joint statement published in Le Monde newspaper. (…)
"People suspected of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity must be judged," they said. "They will be. France solemnly enrolls in the struggle against impunity. Only justice will allow everybody to turn the page, finally bringing out the truth."
Read the full article.
1. The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All
Professor Gareth Evans
Victoria Law Foundation and Melbourne Law School
22 September 2009
Gareth Evans is president and CEO of the International Crisis Group, a leading international nongovernmental organization advising on conflict prevention and resolution. Evans spent eight years as Australia’s foreign minister as well as co-chairing the Canadian-sponsored International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty that initiated the Responsibility to Protect idea in 2001.
The Responsibility to Protect (or R2P) concept was born in 2001 and embraced at the UN World Summit in 2005. The heart of this new international norm is the belief that if sovereign governments fail to protect their own people from genocide, ethnic cleansing, or other major crimes against humanity, then the wider international community must take whatever action is appropriate. 
Speech excerpt:
 “There is one very simple message at the heart of what I want to say to you this evening, and have been saying to audiences around the world for the last decade: whatever else we mess up in the conduct of international affairs let us at least ensure that we never again mess up when it comes to protecting people from mass atrocity crimes - more specifically, genocide, ethnic cleansing and other major crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Let us get to the point that when another man-made humanitarian catastrophe like Cambodia, or Rwanda, or Bosnia, or Darfur looms on the horizon, as it surely will, we will never again have to look back after another disastrous failure, asking ourselves -- with a mixture of anger, incomprehension, and shame - how we could possibly have let it happen again. And let us get to the point that -- when the lives of thousands or more of men, women and children are again at risk because a country has shown that it is unable or unwilling to end a man-made humanitarian crisis within its borders -- the reflex response around the world is not to say, as countries have been saying for centuries, that it's none of our business, but rather to accept immediately that it is the business of all of us, and have the debate only about who should do what, when, and how…”
Read Gareth Evans’s biography. Read the full transcript here.
2. The Responsibility to Protect: An introduction
Professor Edoardo Greppi
University of Torino
International Institute of Humanitarian Law
Dr. Greppi is a Professor of International Rights at the University of Torino. This article discusses RtoP as defined by the ICISS report, and includes explanations of the underlying concept of sovereignty as a responsibility and the responsibilities to prevent, react, and rebuild. Dr. Greppi also discusses the developments of RtoP through the UN 2005 World Summit Outcome Document and through regional activity. Finally, Dr. Greppi discusses the implementation of RtoP and how to move forward by better defining the scope and actions addressed in RtoP concepts. 
At the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1999 and in 2000, Secretary-General Kofi Annan strongly asked the international community to address a key issue:
“…if humanitarian intervention is, indeed, an unacceptable assault on sovereignty, how should we respond to a Rwanda, to a Srebrenica – to gross and systematic violations of human rights that affect every precept of our common humanity?” (…)
In response to this challenge, the Government of Canada, together with a group of foundations, announced at the UN General Assembly in September 2000 the establishment of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), an independent body of distinguished personalities chaired by Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun.(…)
R2P should be accepted for what it is: a defying concept being translated into a policy, a real stimulating challenge to the international community to develop international law. (…)
On the other hand, it is a dangerous concept, as it is perceived by Third World countries as a new means for neocolonialism and imperialism, and it may give rise to a number of abuses, in particular in situations in which States act unilaterally because the UN has proved inactive and inefficient. (…)
Furthermore, international law needs time to consolidate principles and rules. A new approach - although fascinating – is not enough to reshape a traditional pillar like that of sovereignty, still standing as a rock, a real cornerstone, in the international community.
Read the full article here
3. Reconstructing the Responsibility to Protect in the Wake of the Cyclones and Separatism
Professor Jarrod Wong
Tulane Law Review, Volume 84
December 2009
Throughout his article Professor Jarrod Wong reconceptualizes the doctrine of the responsibility to protect (R2P). The U.N.’s apparent failure to include natural disasters in the catalogue of harms potentially justifying R2P intervention generated considerable controversy when Myanmar refused foreign aid following the devastation wrought by Cyclone Nargis. Those seeking to limit the scope of R2P read the U.N.’s focus on mass atrocities as a conscious exclusion of natural disasters as triggers for R2P. Supporters of R2P, by contrast, have argued that there is no meaningful distinction between the failure to protect following natural disasters and from mass atrocities.
Professor Wong shows that the causes of the harm are irrelevant. Developing what he labels a “constructive interpretation” of R2P, he demonstrates that R2P applies equally to a state’s failure to protect its population from harm caused by its omission to act when that omission constitutes a crime against humanity. This thesis is advanced through the novel application of fundamental criminal law principles to the regime of international human rights, and includes an interesting discussion of the extent to which the concept of crimes against humanity can be deployed where the harm to a population comes about by means of inaction rather than action.
Find more information about Dr. Wong and article.
Read the full article here
1. World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) Great Decisions Lecture on Kenya and RtoP
The World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) has an established program entitled “Great Decisions”, which is a way to connect to regional World Affairs Council organizations across the United States. Each regional Council organizes a Great Decisions lecture series based on eight topics selected by WACA each year. This year, one of the topics will be Kenya and RtoP. Speakers who will give the Great Decisions lecture on this subject will focus on the post-election rioting that took place in Kenya in December 2007 and the international intervention that reinstalled stability, and look at how these events relate to RtoP.
Butler University
Dr. Pierre Atlas
9 February 2010
Indiana Council of World Affairs
Lecturer: Pierre Atlas, Ph.D., Director of the Richard G. Luger Franciscan Center for Global Studies at Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.  
Read more information.    
Eastern Carolina University
Dr. Nancy Spalding
13 February
WAC of Eastern North Carolina
The Daily Reflector
Lecturer: Nancy Spalding, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science at Eastern Carolina University.
2. First full meeting of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific’s Study Group on RtoP
26-27 February 2010
The Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) has established a new Study Group on the Responsibility to Protect co-chaired by CSCAP Australia, CSCAP Canada, CSCAP Indonesia, and CSCAP Philippines. The Group aims to explore the implications of RtoP for regional actors and organizations and provide policy recommendations regarding regional contributions to the implementation of RtoP.
The first full meeting of the Study Group will take place 26-27 February 2010 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
See details about the Study Group.  
3. Center for Jewish History, Yeshiva Jewish Museum, and Cardozo Law School host Panel Discussion on RtoP and International Law
10 March 2010
Center for Jewish History
The Center for Jewish History (CJH), the Yeshiva University Museum (YUM), and the Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies at Cardozo Law School have organized a panel discussion surrounding the evolution and status of the Responsibility to Protect in international law on Wednesday, 10 March at 6:30pm. The event, Genocide and "Responsibility to Protect": The Evolution of International Law, will take place at CJH, 15 West 16th Street in New York.
General admission is $15 and $12 for CJH, YUM members, and Yeshiva University faculty, staff, students. For reservations, please call SmartTix at 212-868-4444 or visit their website.
Visit the event website.
4. 2010 Holocaust Remembrance Activities
United Nations Headquarters, New York
25-28 January 2010
A series of events will take place the week of 25 January 2010 at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at United Nations Information Centers around the world. The week-long observance at UN Headquarters in New York will include the following events:  
Monday 25 January: · Exhibit Opening: “Generations: Survival and the Legacy of Hope” 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 26 January: · Exhibit Opening:  “Architecture of Murder: The Auschwitz-Birkenau Blueprints” 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 27 January: · Panel Discussion: “Interreligious Responses to the Holocaust: 65 Years after Liberation”, 3:30p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Holocaust Memorial Ceremony and Concert, General Assembly Hall, 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Thursday 28 January: · DPI-NGO Briefing on “The Legacy of the Jews in Morocco”, 10:00 a.m and screening of the film “Defiance”, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
See schedule  of Holocaust Remembrance week for more details on the venue and how to RSVP.

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