30 April 2013
SHARES News Items Overview: 16-30 April 2013
The SHARES Project closely follows and collects news items that are linked to the topic of shared responsibility. This is our ‘SHARES News Items Overview: 16-30 April 2013’ consisting of a summary of recent news relating to shared responsibility.
- The Constitution Project released a report on detainee treatment in the war on terror, concluding that the United States engaged in torture and that many other states cooperated with the rendition programme. The report describes that international assistance in rendition ranged from capturing suspects and turning them over to US custody, to assisting in interrogations and abuse, and allowing stopovers of known CIA flights carrying detainees.
- The New York Times reported that Chinese officials are seeking to enlist the help of Nepalese authorities in cracking down on the political activities of the 20,000 Tibetans in Nepal. China is exerting its influence on Nepal in a variety of ways, mostly involving financial incentives. Nepalese police have regularly detained Tibetans during anti-China protests in Katmandu, and have curbed celebrations of the birthday of the Dalai Lama.
- In the Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum judment, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) unanimously dismissed claims brought by Nigerians against Royal Dutch Petroleum under the Alien Torts Statute (ATS). The claimants, now residing in the United States, alleged that the subsidiary company Shell Oil aided and abetted the Nigerian government in torturing and killing people who protested against the company’s activities during the 1990s. The SCOTUS held that the presumption that the ATS has no extraterritorial reach was not rebutted in this case, as there was no sufficient nexus with the US.
- On 24 April 2013, the District Court of the Hague in the Netherlands ordered Frans van Anraat, a Dutch national and former businessman convicted of selling raw materials for mustard gas to Saddam Hussein, to pay compensation to 17 Iranian and Iraqi victims of chemical weapon attacks by the regime of Saddam Hussein in 1988. The case was brought by survivors of attack on the Kurdish city of Halabja in Iraq in 1988, in which an estimated 5,600 civilians were killed.
- There are signs that Lebanon might participate in the Syrian conflict, since there are growing signs of involvement of religious groups – Sunnis on the side of the rebels, Shiites on the side of the regime – in the Syrian situation.
- The Arctic Athabaskan Council filed a petition on black carbon emissions with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Ruth Massie, the Grand Chief of the Yukon Council of First Nations, and member of the council representing First Nations in Alaska, Yukon and N.W.T., would like the Commission to declare that Canada is violating the human rights of Athabaskan peoples because of the inadequate regulation of emissions on black carbon, or soot, in the Arctic.