Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Who should investigate and try these Colombian cases?

Human Rights Watch has issued this statement concerning Colombia's handling of cases of National Police abuse of civilians in recent unrest. Excerpt:
Under international and regional norms, grave human rights violations should not be tried before military courts. The Inter-American Court on Human Rights has ruled that “military criminal jurisdiction is not the competent jurisdiction to investigate and, if applicable, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of human rights violations.”

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has held that it is not appropriate to try violations of human rights before military jurisdictions given that “when the State permits investigations to be conducted by the entities with possible involvement, independence and impartiality are clearly compromised.”

The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors implementation of governments’ obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, has said that countries should ensure that military personnel are subject to civilian jurisdiction for any crimes that are not “of an exclusively military nature.”

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