As each day brings new developments in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, one of the questions I've been wondering about is what role, if any, U.S. courts might play in helping to provide accountability for his killing. I'm not holding my breath that this Justice Department would be in a hurry to see if any extraterritorial federal criminal statutes might apply, but the specter of civil relief is, at least at first, more promising. At a minimum, it might put a real crimp on the U.S. travels of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other potential defendants. Perhaps the most intriguing potential remedy is the one provided by the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991. In addition to providing a remedy for torture, the statute also provides an express civil remedy against anyone "who, under actual or apparent authority, or color of law, of any foreign nation … subjects an individual to extrajudicial killing," which the statute defines as "a deliberated killing not authorized by a previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is prepared to investigate allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including those committed by U.S. forces, Foreign Policy reported Tuesday. ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is expected to begin the investigation within the next few weeks, between the conclusion of the presidential elections and the end of the year, according to the article that cited "several knowledgeable sources." U.S. officials reportedly traveled recently to the court, which is located in The Hague, Netherlands, to discuss the investigation and what it would entail. In a 2015 document entitled "Report on Preliminary Examination Activities," the court detailed its preemptive findings of alleged abuses committed in Iraq, Palestine, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Colombia, Guinea, Nigeria, Georgia and Honduras. The section on Afghanistan included alleged offenses by the Taliban, the Afghan army and international forces including the U.S. The report specifically criticized the U.S. in its treatment of detainees and sought to determine both the scope of the alleged offenses and whether they were systematic.
Better Life Lab is a partnership of Slate and New America. The rise of women-focused organizations promoting co-working, workplace savviness, and old-fashioned networking is confronting a new backlash: lawsuits from men who say they are being unfairly excluded. Yale University and the University of Southern California are under investigation by the Department of Education for programs and scholarships for women. An organization to get more women on the golf course--long a bastion of male power and a frequent locale for business deals--was sold and shut down after settling with a plaintiff for holding women-only events. The head of Chic CEO, an organization that hosted online resources for women starting their own businesses, downsized her company after settling a lawsuit alleging the group excluded men from networking events.
Eman al-Nafjan must have guessed they were coming for her. A few weeks before her arrest by Saudi authorities, the women's-rights activist changed her profile picture on WhatsApp. Instead of her face and soft, brown hair, it showed a reptile with its mouth open. Deep in the animal's throat was a frog, petrified by fear, at the moment of death. It was a harbinger of doom.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Rights group Amnesty International says a court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a member of an independent human rights organization to eight years prison in the latest guilty verdict to be issued against the group's members. Abdulaziz al-Shubaily is the only founding member of the Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights, known by its Arabic acronym HASEM, not behind bars. Amnesty says he was tried Sunday by the Specialized Criminal Court -- established to try terrorism cases but increasingly used against political activists whose work is deemed a national security risk. Amnesty said al-Shubaily was also barred from traveling abroad for eight years after his release and from writing on social media. His charges included "communicating with foreign organizations" and providing information to Amnesty for use in its reports.