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Myanmar said Wednesday its leader Aung San Suu Kyi will head the legal team contesting a genocide case filed against it in the International Court of Justice over the crackdown on Rohingya Muslims two years ago that set off their exodus to Bangladesh.

Myanmar’s military has been accused of carrying out mass rapes, killings and arsons against Rohingya during a counterinsurgency campaign initiated in western Myanmar in August 2017 after rebel attacks. Myanmar’s population is overwhelmingly Buddhist, and the country has long denied citizenship and other rights to the Rohingya.

Gambia filed the genocide case on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the court based in the Netherlands said Monday it would hold public hearings on Dec. 10-12.

When filing the case, Gambia’s justice minister and attorney general, Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, told The Associated Press he wanted to “send a clear message to Myanmar and to the rest of the international community that the world must not stand by and do nothing in the face of terrible atrocities that are occurring around us. It is a shame for our generation that we do nothing while genocide is unfolding right before our own eyes.”

The head of a U.N. fact-finding mission on Myanmar warned last month that “there is a serious risk of genocide recurring,” and the mission also said in its final report in September that Myanmar should be held responsible in international legal forums for alleged genocide against the Rohingya.

Myanmar has strongly denied carrying out organized human rights abuses. Its announcement that Suu Kyi would head the legal team was posted on the Facebook page of the office of the state counsellor, a position Suu Kyi holds along with that of foreign minister. Myanmar’s government releases much public information on Facebook.



The International Criminal Court passed its highest ever sentence Thursday, sending a Congolese warlord known as “The Terminator” to prison for 30 years for crimes including murder, rape and sexual slavery.

Bosco Ntaganda was found guilty in July of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role as a military commander in atrocities during a bloody ethnic conflict in a mineral-rich region of Congo in 2002-2003.

Ntaganda showed no emotion as Presiding Judge Robert Fremr passed sentences ranging from eight years to 30 years for individual crimes and an overarching sentence of 30 years.

The court’s maximum sentence is 30 years, although judges also have the discretion to impose a life sentence. Lawyers representing victims in the case had called for a life term.

Fremr said despite the gravity of the crimes and Ntaganda’s culpability, his convictions “do not warrant a sentence of life imprisonment.”

Ida Sawyer, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Africa division, welcomed the ruling.


The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in favor of a Bosnian politician who has sued the state because local elections in the central city of Mostar have not been held since 2008 over a legal problem.

The court in Strasbourg on Tuesday gave Bosnia-Herzegovina six months to amend the election laws so a vote can be held.

The deadlock in Mostar stems from the authorities' failure to enforce a 2010 decision by Bosnia's Constitutional Court.

Mostar politician Irma Baralija has argued the legal void has prevented her from voting or running in a local election.

The court has rejected authorities' claim that the delay was caused by efforts to agree on a power-sharing formula. The case reflects political problems in ethnically-divided Bosnia following its devastating 1992-95 war.


Donaldo Morales caught a break when federal prosecutors declined to charge him after he was arrested for using a fake Social Security card so he could work at a Kansas restaurant. But the break was short-lived. Kansas authorities stepped in and obtained a state conviction that could lead to Morales’s deportation.

A state appellate court overturned the conviction, but Kansas appealed. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether states can prosecute immigrants like Morales who use other people’s Social Security numbers to get a job.

Morales, who plans to attend the arguments with his wife and a son, said he has been having nightmares about being deported. His greatest fear is leaving behind his wife and children if the Supreme Court reinstates his state convictions — felonies that could trigger deportation proceedings.

“What I did was to earn money honestly in a job to support my family,” the 51-year-old Guatemalan immigrant told The Associated Press in Spanish.

The case before the nation’s highest court arises from three prosecutions in Johnson County, a largely suburban area outside Kansas City, Missouri, where the district attorney has aggressively pursued immigrants under the Kansas identity theft and false-information statutes.


A Brazilian Supreme Court justice has blocked efforts by Rio de Janeiro's conservative mayor to have a book fair remove a comic book showing two men kissing.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella had ordered the Bienale to remove the "Avengers" comic that included the kiss, saying he was acting to protect children against "sexual content."

That set off a legal battle as federal Attorney General Raquel Dodge challenged the move by Crivella, a former evangelical pastor. She said allowing the mayor to remove books goes against freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas.

A lower court sided with Crivella. But chief justice José Dias Toffoli ruled in favor of Dodge on Sunday, blocking the mayor from removing any books. Crivella's office said he will appeal to the full court.


A suspected gunman accused of an attempted terrorist attack on an Oslo mosque and separately killing his teenage stepsister appeared in court on Monday looking bruised and scratched, but smiling.

The suspect did not speak, and his defense lawyer Unni Fries told The Associated Press he “will use his right not to explain himself for now.”

Philip Manshaus, 21, was arrested Saturday after entering a mosque in Baerum, an Oslo suburb, where three men were preparing for Sunday’s Eid al-Adha Muslim celebrations. Police said he was waving weapons and several shots were fired but did not specify what type of weapon was used. One person was slightly injured before people inside the Al-Noor Islamic Center held the suspect down until police arrived on the scene.

Police then raided Manshaus’ nearby house and found the body of his 17-year-old stepsister. He is also suspected in her killing, police said, but did not provide details.

The head of Norway’s domestic security agency said Monday officials had received a “vague” tip a year ago about the suspect, but it was not sufficient to act because officials had no information about any “concrete plans” of attack.

Hans Sverre Sjoevold, head of Norway’s PST agency, told a news conference that the agency and the police receive many tips from worried people every day and the information “didn’t go in the direction of an imminent terror planning.”

The suspect’s lawyer declined to comment on Norwegian media reports that Manshaus was inspired by shootings in March in New Zealand, where a gunman killed 51 people, and on Aug. 3 in El Paso, Texas, which left at least 22 dead.

The suspect smiled as he appeared in court Monday with dark bruises under both eyes and scratches across his face and neck. Police had said that he was prepared to cause deaths and more injuries but didn’t succeed because people inside the mosque helped neutralize him.


A dispute between the ruler of Dubai and his estranged wife over the welfare of their two young children will play out over the next two days in a London courtroom amid reports the princess has fled the Gulf emirate.

The case beginning Tuesday in Britain's High Court pits Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum against Princess Haya, daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan.

The princess is believed to be in Britain, where she owns a gated mansion.

The clash between Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya is the latest sign of trouble in Dubai's ruling family. Last year, a daughter of Sheikh Mohammed tried to flee Dubai after appearing in a 40-minute video saying she had been imprisoned.

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