CIGJ PhD Candidate, Jacky Parry, is currently in Liberia undertaking fieldwork on the relationship between displacement and transitional justice. She’s based in the capital, Monrovia, and is interviewing returned Liberian refugees both in Monrovia and in the interior provinces about their experiences with transitional justice, and in particular the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Recently, Jacky spent 3 weeks in Buduburam refugee camp, Ghana, interviewing Liberians who remain in exile. She’s also carrying out activities with the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation at the University of Liberia, who undertake a variety of practical activities aimed at promoting peace-building in the community.
The Biak Massacre – A Citizens’ Tribunal
On 6 July 1998, scores of demonstrators on the island of Biak were killed by Indonesian security forces. To mark 15 years since the Biak Massacre, a Citizens’ Tribunal will be held at the University of Sydney this coming Saturday, 6 July 2013. In the words of the organisers:
“We are assembling a distinguished international team of jurists who will hear eyewitness testimony from survivors and issue a formal decree. Prima facie evidence for all of the essential facts of this case will be presented and the Indonesian government will be invited to mount a defence.”
Omar Khadr – The US and Canada’s Treatment of a Child Soldier Turned Adult Prisoner
Next week, Regarding Rights will publish Veronica Fynn’s analysis of the case of Canadian Omar Khadr. On 27 July 2002, 15-year old Khadr became the youngest prisoner since the Second World War to be prosecuted for war crimes by a military tribunal. Detained and tortured at Guantanamo Bay, Fynn argues Khadr was abandoned by Canada, contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Supreme and Federal Courts Rulings, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Khadr was returned to Canada on 29 September 2012 to serve the reminder of his sentence after pleading guilty. Fynn examines the Khadr case as an illustration of the uneven and ad hoc nature of law in the so-called “War on Terror,” where one child (Khadr, born into what has been frequently characterised as a “Muslim terrorist family”) is underserving of state protection while another (e.g. former Sierra Leonean child soldier Ishmael Beah) warrants sympathy and compassion. In such cases, Fynn asks, is the phrase “all are equal under the law” a myth or fact?