justice

There are many things that Zimbabweans are still too scared to speak about in public and that the government is very keen to keep buried. But the most sensitive issue by far is Gukurahundi – the codename for a brutal military operation in Matabeleland in the 1980s that left over 20,000 civilians dead.

Access to justice must be part of post-2015 agenda

South Africans should know that as their government contemplates extending an economic lifeline to Swaziland’s profligate king and court, a South African man is being left to rot in Swaziland’s jails. Last month, the Swazi High Court convicted South African, Amos Mbulaheni Mbedzi, of sedition, murder, unlawful possession of explosives and immigration offences - on the most flimsy 'evidence'. Indeed, the real crime has surely been perpetrated not by Mbedzi but by the court - and Swaziland's 'justice system' - against him.

The old adage that justice delayed is justice denied has never been more pertinent in Malawi – as the whole arm of government that helps citizens to access justice has not been functioning for the past two months. The reason – critical support staff are on strike in order to force the government to review their conditions of service. So apart from the occasional judicial order – such as recent rulings to release Ralph Kasambara on bail – only two arms of government are really operational – the legislature and the executive.

Recently, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng noted in his foreword to a SALC report that the “entry into force of the Rome Statute of the ICC in 2002 is likely the most significant event in the coming-of-age of international criminal justice.” Its significance is undeniable and the support of 122 countries, at least on paper, is testament to this.

(Read the full artilce here or download it below) - By Rakiya Omaar, Director of African Rights - When the Association of African Prosecutors (APA) met in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, in August 2011, John Bosco Siboyintore, the head of Rwanda’s Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit, was blunt and direct. He told the large gathering of justice officials from Africa that they lagged far behind their counterparts in Europe and North America in investigating and prosecuting Rwandan genocide suspects who live openly, and in large numbers, in their midst.

Gabriel Shumba tortured by Zimbabwe

Action for Better Prison Conditions and Access to Justice (ABPCAJ) is a project currently being supported by OSISA and the OSF Human Rights Initiative. The overall aim is to increase the number of people in targeted communities around five of the eleven dioceses for which Caritas Zambia is responsible namely: Kabwe, Lusaka, Mazabuka, Mongu and Livingstone, who are able to access justice and claim their rights, with a specific emphasis on pre-trial detainees.

The intense interest and huge hype generated by the search for a successor to Moreno Ocampo as the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) by state parties, powerful non-member states and international justice actors is telling.

OSISA also highlights Swaziland and SADC Tribunal

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