International brief ~ UN to help Lebanon set up Hariri assassination tribunal

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that he's sending UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel [official profile] to Lebanon to assist government officials there in identifying the "nature and scope of the international assistance" needed to create a tribunal charged with trying those accused of killing Prime Minister Hariri and others in February 2005. Michel and the UN Office of Legal Affairs [official website] are authorized to lend assistance under UN Security Council Resolution 1644 [official PDF text], which recognizes the need for an international tribunal into the political killings in Lebanon and grants the Secretary-General power to assist Lebanese officials in creating the court. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the Hariri assassination probe [JURIST news archive]. The UN News Centre has more.

In other international legal news ...

  • In an op-ed [text] published Wednesday in the Washington Post, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on the UN Security Council [official website] to make a "firm decision" concerning the creation of a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur [JURIST news archive], Sudan. Annan praised the work of the 7,000 member African Union [official website] peacekeeping force already in the country, but said that those troops were underfunded, understaffed, and lacked a clear mandate to contain the violence. The current UN Mission in Sudan [official website] is tasked with enforcing the provisions of the January 2005 peace accords between the Khartoum government and the now autonomous South Sudan; it has no authority to act in Darfur. Annan's statement came on the heels of a similar call [JURIST report] Tuesday by the head of the UN refugee agency for an established UN presence. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan. The UN News Centre has more.

  • Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] Wednesday released a six-month report [text] on Libya's compliance with international human rights standards that praised its progress but urged other world governments not to ease pressure on the country to improve its record. The report, based primarily on a June to July 2005 visit to Libya, the first allowed to a human rights NGO in nearly two decades, additionally chastised the North African state for its continued incarceration of political prisoners, lack of an independent judiciary, and the absence of free and impartial elections, and urged the government to change domestic legislation limiting the right to free speech. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Libya [JURIST news archive]. Read HRW's press release accompanying the report. South Africa's Mail & Guardian Online has local coverage.

 

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