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14 September 2009

BIRN BiH Hosts Delegation from Uganda

In Sarajevo, BIRN - Justice Report Editor meets a delegation of judges, prosecutors and human rights activists from Uganda.

The Uganda delegation was led by Justice Minister Frederick Ruhindi. Other members of the group included judges of the Special War Crimes Section with the Supreme Court of Uganda, as well as state prosecutors, lawyers, analysts, human rights activists and the registrar.

Nidzara Ahmetasevic, BIRN - Justice Report Editor, presented the work of her agency to guests from Uganda and spoke to them about the process of facing the past, and the importance of war-crimes trials reporting and of the transparency of courts.

The Uganda delegation met with BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of a study tour organized by the Danish International Development Agency, DANIDA, and the International Center for Transitional Justice, ICTJ. During their stay in Sarajevo, delegation members held meetings with State Court and Prosecution judges and prosecutors. In addition to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the delegation will visit the Sierra Leone Tribunal and the Hague Tribunal.

Following the end of conflict in Uganda, the Peace Agreement foresaw the establishment of a Special War Crimes Section with the Supreme Court of Uganda to try war-crimes cases. 

In 2006 the BIRN Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina trained journalists from Uganda on covering trials conducted before the International Criminal Court, ICC. This was done as a part of the BIRN Justice Africa project.

During a one-month intensive training course participants could see the unique approach applied by BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina to reporters who follow trials conducted in courts in the Balkans. This was then adapted to the needs of Uganda media stations reporting on the work of the ICC.

Training in Uganda was the first opportunity for BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina to share the experiences of Balkans journalists on war-crimes reporting with colleagues dealing with similar issues in post-conflict countries.

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