February 10, 2013 |
GUATEMALA CITY - When a judge ruled to admit all the prosecution documents and expert witnesses in the genocide trial here of Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt last week - ensuring that Guatemala will be the first country in history to try one of its own heads of state for the most egregious crime against humanity - no triumphal smiles crossed the faces of courtroom observers. Some had been working toward this moment for years: two elderly women who between them lost a brother and a son among the 200,000 dead and disappeared over 36 years of guerrilla warfare and military dictatorship; indigenous Maya survivors from the highlands, where the army by its own account erased entire villages; those who spent their young adulthood in exile, then returned before it was safe to do so, throwing themselves into the tedious labor of collecting the evidence now being used against the general.
January 28, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt will stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, a Guatemalan judge ruled Monday, in incidents that took place during the height of the Central American nation's brutal civil war in the early 1980s. Judge Miguel Angel Galvez ruled that Rios Montt, who took power in a 1982 coup and ruled for just over a year, must appear at a hearing Thursday, according to the attorney general's office. The 86-year-old former army general had been under house arrest since January, when he was originally charged with the crimes.
December 20, 2012 |
A former Rwandan minister was sentenced Thursday to 35 years in jail for crimes tied to the nation's brutal genocide, including handing out machetes to a Hutu militia and spurring them to kill Tutsis. Witnesses described Augustin Ngirabatware as being tantamount to a god in the stretches of Rwanda where he exhorted members of a Hutu militia to wipe out Tutsis, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said in its judgment. He was Rwanda's planning minister during the 1994 genocide, when hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and sympathetic Hutus were slain.
December 12, 2012 |
A Bosnian Serb general was convicted of genocide and other war crimes Wednesday by a United Nations tribunal in the Netherlands for his role in plotting and carrying out the murder of thousands of Muslim men in Eastern Bosnia in 1995. Zdravko Tolimir, intelligence chief and deputy to wartime Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic, was found guilty of murder, persecution, deportation and genocide by a 2-1 judgment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Tolimir, 64, was a key architect of the criminal conspiracies to eradicate Muslims from Bosnian territory coveted by Serbs, including the killing of at least 6,000 Muslim men from the purportedly U.N.-protected enclave of Srebrenica in 1995.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 2012 |
A scathing takedown of the United Nations, "U.N. Me" focuses in on dishonorable episodes in the organization's recent history - the Oil-for-Food scandal, tragic inaction when faced with genocide in Rwanda and Darfur - as part of its larger contention that peacekeeping and human rights efforts of the once noble enterprise have been rendered dangerously absurd by corruption, poor oversight of troops and self-preservation for its own sake. The film slickly packages its outrage.
May 8, 2012 |
A Rwandan woman living in Boston has been convicted of immigration fraud for concealing her membership in Rwanda's ruling party during that country's 1994 genocide so that she could gain entry to the United States. Her sister faces similar charges in New Hampshire. The trial of Prudence Kantengwa, 47, concluded in a Boston courtroom Monday. Meanwhile, her sister, Beatrice Munyenyezi , is in a New Hampshire jail waiting for her second trial on immigration fraud charges to begin.
March 16, 2012 |
With the jury unable to reach a verdict, a judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a Rwandan-born woman who was charged with covering up her role in that country's 1994 genocide in order to obtain U.S. citizenship. The trial of Beatrice Munyenyezi in Concord, N.H., had been closely watched because she was only the second Rwandan immigrant to stand trial in the United States on charges of lying on immigration applications about whether they participated in the killings of more than half a million people in the central African nation.
March 10, 2012
In a March 5 editorial , The Times opposed a bill in the French parliament that would have made it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide. The bill was proposed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, then struck down byFrance's Constitutional Council. Now Sarkozy says he wants to revive it. Reader Berj Proodian wrote suggesting that The Times may have been hypocritical on the subject: "In the past year, the L.A. Times has printed [several] editorials condemning France's law against denying the Armenian genocide.
March 5, 2012
If you live in a country that truly values free speech, then no matter what opinion you hold - whether it's rational or irrational - you have the right to voice it. You can deny the Holocaust happened, or that men walked on the moon, without fear that you will be brought up on criminal charges. (Of course, you still risk public rebuke or humiliation from people who hold the opinion that you are ridiculous.) That freedom is generally considered a fundamental human right. So it was reassuring when France's Constitutional Council last week struck down a proposed law that would have criminalized the denial or minimizing of the genocide of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks in the early 20th century.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2012 |
Survivors of Armenian genocide victims can't sue German insurance companies for failing to pay claims because only the federal government can bring foreign entities to court, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The 11-judge panel dismissed the case brought nearly a decade ago by Southern California Armenians, probably putting an end to their efforts to compel the German companies to pay survivors' benefits on policies sold to victims between 1875 and 1923. A 2000 revision to California's Civil Code allowed California courts to consider the Armenians' insurance claims beyond the deadline for petitioning for payouts by subsidiaries of the German insurance company now known as Munich Re. "The Constitution gives the federal government the exclusive authority to administer foreign affairs," the appeals court said in a unanimous ruling.