Some International Justice Reading Material

It’s been a big couple of weeks for international criminal justice. Karadzic was convicted. Bemba was convicted. Ongwen’s case will proceed to trial. And most importantly, the ICC is FINALLY getting a new website. (This is huge news, because the current one looks like it was designed in 1994 before anyone quite knew what the internet was, which cannot be true because the ICC did not exist in 1994. But I digress.)

The actual worst website ever.

The actual worst website ever.

But what of it, you say. Are the billions (yes, billions) of dollars spent on these institutions and their websites yielding dividends for international peace and security?

The short answer is: We don’t really know. For the longer answer, here’s:

WTF Friday, 3/25/2016

At this point, it feels like cheating to include anything related to the U.S. presidential election. In the last few days alone, the two frontrunners for the Republican nomination got in a fight over whose wife is hotter, and one of them (or possibly both) called for police to “patrol and secure” Muslim neighborhoods in the U.S. in the wake of the Brussels attacks.

In other American political nonsense, North Carolina just basically made it illegal to protect gay and transgender people from discrimination.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the European Union has decided that a good way to deal with the refugee crisis would be to ship all “irregular migrants” arriving in Greece back to Turkey. Human rights advocates say that this measure amounts to unlawful mass expulsion, and MSF is suspending its activities at the refugees’ arrival point in Greece in protest.

So everything is pretty much the worst. And if you thought you were going to console yourself with Easter candy this weekend, think again. All of our chocolate turns out to be poison.

WTF Friday, 3/11/2016

This week’s WTFs come in three flavors: WTF Islamophobia, WTF Eagles, and WTF Cambodia. Check it out:

In a victory for crabby 6 year olds everywhere, “she was LOOKING AT ME” has finally been recognized as a legitimate cause for retaliation. Specifically, two women were kicked off of a JetBlue flight for having their eyes open while also being Muslim. Ugh.

An Egyptian student who posted on Facebook that he “wouldn’t mind serving a life sentence” for killing Donald Trump has had his visa revoked and will have to leave the US by July 5. Most of my Facebook feed should be breathing a sigh of relief that they have American citizenship and can’t be deported.

The rise of Trump is not the only harbinger of doom for America: 13 dead bald eagles were found in Maryland. Authorities suspect that they did not die of natural causes.

Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, two men who filmed themselves torturing and killing an endangered eagle have been arrested.

In Cambodia, three of the five refugees resettled pursuant to a lucrative, much-criticized deal with Australia have left the country, apparently preferring to risk persecution back in Iran and Burma.

And finally, Cambodia’s apparent-Prime-Minister-for-life, Hun Sen, decided to celebrate International Women’s Day on Tuesday by advocating the creation of a men’s rights association.

On the bright side, at least we live in a world where this happened:

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WTF Friday, 3/4/2016

Did you guys see the GOP debate last night? Donald Trump repeatedly referred to Rubio as “Little Marco”, bragged about the size of his penis, and insinuated that our nation’s military would be perfectly happy to commit war crimes at his say-so.

Combined with a lady showing up to the Oscars in pants and the virtually-unprecedented occurrence of Clarence Thomas asking a question from the bench, it all adds up to a pretty clear sign that the end times are upon us.

On the bright side, here is a rhino who thinks he’s a lamb (h/t: Ami Shah).

Happy Birthday, Bob

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Robert Mugabe’s birthday.

Uncle Bob turned 3,113 last week (actually, 92). And, as usual, he celebrated in style. This year’s party cost $800,000 (note: the average Zimbabwean lives on approximately $3 per day) and involved a 203 lb “edible replica of the Great Zimbabwe ruins“.

It also involved this travesty of a birthday cake (photo screengrabbed from the NYT article linked above), which, as far as I can tell, doesn’t admit to the existence of South Sudan, and maybe also has some unorthodox ideas about where Eritrea and Djibouti are relative to Ethiopia?

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Thanks, everyone who sent this to me!

WTF Friday, 2/19/2016

Your weekly dose of horrible:

This just in from the internet’s foremost supplier of lady-bummers, Jina Moore: Women in a German refugee camp are accusing nine security guards of not only failing to provide security, but actively sneaking men into the camp to rape them.

In only slightly lighter news, humans once again demonstrated that we should not have been left in charge of a planet when a bunch of us took a baby dolphin out of the ocean and passed it around taking selfies until it died.

And finally, Maine’s idiot governor thinks asylum seekers are his state’s “biggest problem“. (Note: Despite the efforts of Governor LePage, Maine is one of a small number of states that provided welfare to asylum applicants, making it an attractive destination. But we’re still not talking about very many people; a 2014 article reported that at the time, there were 587 applicants in Maine awaiting their asylum interviews. And, because there’s a good chance that Governor LePage doesn’t know the difference between asylum seekers and refugees, it’s worth noting as well that Maine welcomed a grand total of 388 refugees in 2014.) Anyway. Why are they such a problem, you might ask? Well, apparently, they’re bringing in the “ziki fly”. (Additional note: that is not a thing.)


WTF Friday, 2/12/2016

I’m really busy today and wasn’t going to post, but then Kanye West happened. And not in the usual way Kanye happens –tweeting something insane, or misunderstanding somebody else’s tweet and tweeting something insane, or getting freaked out by a water bottle and then tweeting something insane. No, this was new.

It seems that Kanye had a fashion show last night and the theme was Rwandan refugees.

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You might be wondering “What does that even mean?” or “Isn’t that incredibly offensive?” or “Does he mean mid-90s Rwandan refugees in the DRC, or like, current day Burundian refugees in eastern Rwanda?”

I have no answers for you. Maybe there are none.

H/T: Jay Lyall.

WTF Friday, 2/5/2016

This was the week we were all forced to contend with the term “pro-rape rally”.

In case you were fortunate enough to miss this, I’m here to ruin your day: A noted internet asshole organized men’s rights events in 43 countries for this Saturday evening. Following widespread outrage (prompted by the aforementioned asshole’s public position that legalizing rape would be a good way to stop it), he announced that he was canceling the event because “I can no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend”. Honestly, gross as this is, it’s not 100% clear that this was ever a real thing, and efforts to get more information have only yielded additional nonsense. To wit:

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Meanwhile, the competition to be the biggest dick to refugees continues unabated. The EU plans to criminalize offering assistance to migrants arriving on the Greek Islands. And Australia’s high court just ruled that the country’s abhorrent practice of imprisoning asylum seekers in offshore camps is totally legal.

And also, for some reason, the Dutch are pressing bald eagles into service as an anti-drone patrol.

What Would LM Montgomery Do?

Militant pro-choice Anne of Green Gables, you guys:

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These posters are appearing all over Prince Edward Island, home of the beloved fictional character, and her creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery.

The work of anonymous activists tweeting under the handle @iamkarats, the posters call on Premier Wade MacLauchlan to ensure the reproductive rights of the island’s residents. Currently, PEI women seeking an abortion must travel to one of Canada’s other provinces, an option that is not economically feasible for everyone. A group called Abortion Access Now is seeking a court order to compel the provincial government to make safe and legal (and government-funded!) abortions available to everyone. But in the meantime, Anne Shirley is ON IT.

H/T: Vocativ

Stuff to Check Out

(1) The return of Mass Atrocity Mondays, now live at Justice in Conflict. This month’s atrocity is the 2005 Andijan Massacre, and I’m taking requests for future posts.

(2) Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski is giving a talk here at Stanford on Wednesday (details below). Word on the street(s of Palo Alto) is that this will be a major human rights policy speech. If you’re in the Bay Area, come join the excitement.

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