This morning the Netherlands’ state attorney informed us that the deportation and transfer of the Congolese ICC-witnesses to the Congolese border-authorities on 7 July 2014 was successful. Upon their arrival, our clients were immediately taken into custody and are now staying at an location unknown to us.
We share the deep concerns expressed Amnesty international (here) and Human Rights Watch (here and here) about the treatment that awaits our clients. Above all, the fact that they were kept in detention in the DRC for six years without any charges prior to their arrival in the Netherlands, continues to be cause for very serious concern, especially now that they have been forcibly returned to the DRC.
We will pursue the case internationally and will hold the Netherlands and the ICC accountable for problems that may arise in the future. Where necessary, we will seek international legal scrutiny of any irregularities and human rights violations that may occur. For this purpose we will keep in close contact with local lawyers in the DRC, and with our clients' ICC-appointed lawyer.
- ICC rules that witnesses have the right to seek asylum in the Netherlands
- Amicus Curiae re asylum procedure for witnesses before the International Criminal Court
- ICC-witnesses can seek asylum in the Netherlands
- Summary proceedings against the Dutch State concerning unlawful detention of Congolese men by the ICC
- Judge orders the Netherlands to accept transfer of Congolese ICC-Witnesses
- ICC witnesses win Dutch asylum appeal
- Detention of Congolese witnesses terminated by the ICC, ball in court of the Netherlands
- Göran Sluiter: "The fate of the three Congolese witnesses in ICC detention has reached the level of absurdity"
- Disappointing decision by Council of State re: Congolese witnesses