This December marks the 10-year anniversary of the “Convoy of Death.” During Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, 2,000 prisoners who had surrendered to the US and the Afghan Northern Alliance were shot or suffocated to death in sealed truck containers while being transferred by Northern Alliance forces. The dead prisoners – some of who had been tortured - were then buried in a mass grave in a northern Afghanistan desert at Dasht-e-Leili.
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.
Secretary Clinton has an opportunity to call attention to attacks on ethnic groups during her upcoming visit.
Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdullah Eisa Delivers Lecture at SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s School of Public Health
On September 22, Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdullah Eisa, Sudan Program Fellow at PHR, delivered a lecture titled “Human Rights and Health” at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s School of Public Health in Brooklyn, New York. The lecture was part of the Scholar Rescue Fund’s Hite Chair Scholar Lecture Series, which appointed Dr. Mohammed to be a visiting academic fellow.
In the last two weeks the international press has applauded the Burmese government as it made some important steps toward democracy. In early October the government halted construction on a dam project on the Irrawaddy River, saying “it was against the will of the people.” This week, the government freed 206 political prisoners.