Earlier this week, Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda was chosento be the new Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court. She will bethe second person, and the first African, to hold this position. Bensouda wasthe likely choice for the position given her professional qualifications,including serving as Deputy Prosecutor to Luis Moreno-Ocampo during hisnine-year tenure as Chief Prosecutor of the Court. Given the extent of theICC’s work in Africa – all seven of the countries with cases before the courtare African – the choice of an African prosecutor seems especially appropriate.
PHR is especially thankful for Bensouda’s commitment toprosecuting crimes of sexual violence, which she reiterated this week. PHR hasdocumented sexual violence in conflict andsupports the work of the ICC to hold perpetrators of these crimes accountable.The work of the ICC is but one important element in the struggle to endimpunity and complements other efforts at reaching accountability. PHR hasdeveloped a program to assure accountability for crimes of sexual violence bytraining medical professionals, lawyers, security officials, and judges todocument evidence of sexual violence for use in local prosecutions.
PHR congratulates Ms. Bensouda on her new position, andlooks forward to her continued efforts to bring perpetrators of the world’smost serious crimes to justice.