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Fatou Bensouda to take the helm as ICC’s new prosecutor

Andrea Gittleman, JD on December 15, 2011

Earlier this week, Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda was chosen to be the new Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court. She will be the second person, and the first African, to hold this position. Bensouda was the likely choice for the position given her professional qualifications, including serving as Deputy Prosecutor to Luis Moreno-Ocampo during his nine-year tenure as Chief Prosecutor of the Court. Given the extent of the ICC’s work in Africa – all seven of the countries with cases before the court are African – the choice of an African prosecutor seems especially appropriate.

PHR is especially thankful for Bensouda’s commitment to prosecuting crimes of sexual violence, which she reiterated this week. PHR has documented sexual violence in conflict and supports the work of the ICC to hold perpetrators of these crimes accountable. The work of the ICC is but one important element in the struggle to end impunity and complements other efforts at reaching accountability. PHR has developed a program to assure accountability for crimes of sexual violence by training medical professionals, lawyers, security officials, and judges to document evidence of sexual violence for use in local prosecutions.

PHR congratulates Ms. Bensouda on her new position, and looks forward to her continued efforts to bring perpetrators of the world’s most serious crimes to justice.