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Tag Archive: War Crimes

State Dept. Office of Global Criminal Justice on the Chopping Block–Time to save it


Word out of Washington is that the Trump Administration has started to restructure the State Department and particularly the Under-Secretariat for Civilian Security, Democracy & Human Rights.  “J” (as it is called around Foggy Bottom) encompasses a number of Bureaus and Offices, including the Bureau of Counter-Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism (CT/CVE), the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP).…   continue »

US-UAE Partnership and Alleged Torture: Recommended Next Steps for the Administration and Congress


An important foreign military partner in our armed conflict against al-Qaida in Yemen—the United Arab Emirates—has faced a series of allegations that it is engaged in systematic torture of detainees in different parts of that country. The US government and individual US officials may be implicated in these abuses under domestic and international law, as Steve Vladeck explained in an analysis for Just Security.…   continue »

A Test Case for Guantánamo’s New Convening Authority

The latest Guantánamo military commission case to make headlines—the new charges against Encep Nurjamen (a.k.a. Hambali)—is shrouded in an unusual amount of secrecy. But when that veil is lifted, it reveals a charge sheet containing a legal flaw significant enough for the Pentagon’s newly appointed senior official in charge of such matters—Convening Authority Harvey Rishikof—to demand a do-over.…   continue »

The Potential Legal Implications for the U.S. in the AP’s Disturbing UAE Torture Scoop


[Editor’s note: for an analysis of the policy issues raised by this news, see Luke Hartig’s post “Reported Emirati Abuse of Detainees and the Perils of U.S. Partnerships.”]

There is a lot to say about Maggie Michael and Maad al-Zikry’s deeply disturbing Associated Press story out early this morning—that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has operated (and may still be operating) a number of different secret terrorism detention centers in Yemen; and that there is evidence that dozens of individuals suspected of being al Qaeda (and/or AQAP) members were tortured and subjected to other abuses by UAE agents at those facilities.…   continue »

The UAE’s Military and Naval Reliance on Eritrea Makes the War in Yemen Even Riskier for the U.S.


The Saudi-led coalition’s near three-year conflict in Yemen appears to be converging on the Houthi-controlled city of Hodeidah. Foreign diplomats, international humanitarian NGOs, and experts have rightly voiced concerns of the humanitarian disaster that would result if an operation to recapture the city takes place.…   continue »

Protecting Civilians through Wartime Investigations: Applying the 2016 Minnesota Protocol When it Matters Most

It is highly important to have internationally recognized standards in investigating and prosecuting “potentially unlawful deaths”—an issue that is well recognized in the Foreward of the recently updated Protocol on Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death (the “Minnesota Protocol”), as well as in Christof Heyns’ piece published at Just Security on Wednesday.…   continue »

Hundreds of foreigners are fighting for UAE in Yemen—How war crimes trials may deter them

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen continues to eye a takeover of the Port of Hodeida, which has been under the control of the Houthi rebels since they forced President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee Yemen back in 2014. Experts have warned about the risk of war crimes should the Saudi- and Emirates-led coalition seize the port (see Monday’s article by Ryan Goodman and Alex Moorehead).…   continue »

UAE, a Key US Partner in Yemen, Implicated in Detainee Abuse


One of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s regrettable statements during the Iraq war was his infamous response to an Army specialist asking about the lack of armor for military vehicles. Rumsfeld replied:

“You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

A similar sentiment may be floating around the Pentagon and White House this time with respect to partner forces in Yemen, who do not appear motivated or capable of handling the effort with the professionalism and respect for even the most basic humanitarian interests of the population on the ground.…   continue »