International brief ~ African Nobel laureates call for AU sanctions against Mugabe
International brief ~ African Nobel laureates call for AU sanctions against Mugabe

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, two of Africa's most prominent Nobel laureates have called for the African Union [official website] to impose sanctions against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile] for his continued program of mass evictions in Operation Murambatsvina [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Nobel laureates Wole Soyinka and Wangari Maathai [Nobel profiles] both condemned Mugabe's actions as a "disgrace" to the continent of Africa, and Soyinka lamented Mugabe's transformation from "great revolutionary and freedom fighter" into a "rogue leader" and "monster." Both laureates called for African leaders to take a stand on the issue and warned that silence equalled complicity in Mugabe's actions, arguing that for the world to take the African Union seriously, it must be willing to deal with one of its own who has violated the human rights of his people so aggreviously. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. ZimOnline has local coverage.

In other international legal news …

  • The first suspect to reach trial in the 2004 bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia [government website], Irun Hidayat, was sentenced to three and a half years incarceration on Thursday for aiding and assisting the perpetrators of the bombing. Hidayat was cleared of the more serious charge of helping the perpetrators plan the bombing, a charge which, under Indonesia's anti-terrorism laws carries the death penalty. Hidayat, as well as the five other individuals currently charged by police [JURIST report] with perpetrating the attack, are believed to be members of the regional terrorist organization Jamaah Islamiyah [MIPT profile]. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Indonesia [JURIST news archive]. The Jakarta Post has local coverage.
  • In compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1591 [official PDF text], a panel of experts has been dispatched to the Darfur region of Sudan [government website] to monitor the Resolution's provisions creating sanctions prohibiting the importation of arms into the war-torn province. The experts, who met with a supervisory committee created by the same resolution, will spend 90 days in Darfur and will report back to the committee on the Sudan government's compliance with the Resolution. UN and AU peacekeepers have been dispatched to the Darfur region, and part of the goal of the sanctions is to ensure the safety of those peacekeepers. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Darfur [JURIST news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin [official profile] opened the first meeting of the Presidential Council on Promotion of Civil Society and Human Rights Institutions on Wednesday since he combined the previous Council with the Russian Human Rights Commission and raised both of them to advisory level in November, 2004. The Council is comprised of leading experts and advocates of human and civil rights in Russia [government website in Russian] and advises the president on the current status of those rights in Russia and abroad. The Council also has the authority to undertake discretionary reviews of draft legislation before the Russian legislature for compliance with human rights obligations, as well as developing methods for encouraging cooperation between the Russian government and NGOs and advocacy groups within Russia. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Russia [JURIST news report]. Itar-Tass has local coverage.