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U.N. experts seek international court ruling on North Korean human rights violations

The Japan Times

GENEVA – Two legal experts called on the international community to bring human rights violations by the North Korean government before the International Criminal Court in a report released Thursday ahead of a session of the U.N. Human Rights Council. In the report compiled by the U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights situation in North Korea, the two experts called "on the international community to continue efforts to seek accountability for crimes against humanity through the International Criminal Court." U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein named in September 2016 Sonja Biserko of Serbia and Sara Hossain of Bangladesh as part of a team to seek accountability for human rights violations in the isolated country. The two experts work closely with Tomas Ojea Quintana, who succeeded Marzuki Darusman of Indonesia as special rapporteur on North Korea in August 2016. Since their appointment, Biserko and Hossain have visited Geneva, The Hague, Seoul, Tokyo and New York to consult with various stakeholders, including scholars of international criminal justice and persons who left North Korea to assess the human rights situation in the country.

Will Israel be put on trial for war crimes?

Al Jazeera

Nazareth - Israel has agreed to allow the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to send a delegation to Israel and the occupied territories. It was revealed over the weekend in a step that could dramatically increase the risk of Israeli officials being tried for war crimes. Emmanuel Nahshon, a foreign ministry spokesman, confirmed to Al Jazeera on Sunday that Israel had agreed to the visit in principle, though the "when and how" were still under discussion. The ICC's move comes as human rights groups have harshly criticised Israel for closing investigations into dozens of allegations that its military has broken the laws of war during an attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014. The Hague prosecutors are reportedly interested in examining how effective Israel's legal mechanisms are in investigating allegations of war crimes.

Ad giant Dentsu may face criminal case as offices raided in probe of excessive overtime

The Japan Times

Dentsu Inc. offices were raided Monday by labor ministry officials looking for evidence that the advertising firm's employees exceeded legal limits on overtime hours. The latest raid comes after the suicide of a young worker drew national attention to the employment practices of one of the country's largest and most prestigious companies. As a result, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is set to refer the company to prosecutors on suspicion of violation of the Labor Standards Law, ministry sources said. Officials from local labor bureaus searched the company's headquarters in central Tokyo and its branches in Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. Dentsu said it would fully cooperate with the investigations.

South Korea's top court to issue ruling this month on wartime forced labor claims against Japanese firm

The Japan Times

SEOUL – South Korea's Supreme Court has said it will rule on Oct. 30 on a damages lawsuit against Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. filed by four victims of wartime forced labor under Japan's colonial rule. The Japanese government says all matters of assets and claims between the two countries were fully and finally resolved under a bilateral agreement concluded when their diplomatic relations were normalized in 1965. If the court recognizes the plaintiffs' right to claim damages incurred during World War II, a diplomatic spat between Tokyo and Seoul would likely follow. In 2012, the court judged that the accord did not eliminate individuals' rights to claim damages, sending back the suit against the Japanese steel-maker to the Seoul High Court. Following the ruling, the high court ordered the firm to pay 100 million won per plaintiff in 2013.

Bahrain opposition chief gets life in jail over Qatar spy case

The Japan Times

DUBAI – Bahrain's appeals court sentenced the head of the country's Shiite opposition movement to jail for life Sunday over charges of spying for rival Persian Gulf state Qatar, a judicial source said. Sheikh Ali Salman, who headed the now-outlawed Al-Wefaq movement, had been acquitted by the high criminal court in June, a verdict the public prosecution appealed. The latest ruling on Sunday can also be appealed. Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, severed all ties with Qatar in 2017, banning their citizens from travel to or communication with the emirate over what they say are Doha's ties to both Iran and radical Islamist groups. Salman is currently serving a four-year sentence in a separate case -- "inciting hatred" in the kingdom, which has seen mainly Shiite protests against the Sunni monarchy since 2011.