Timeline of Major Human Rights Events
International Labour Organization (ILO) founded.
International Convention Concerning Compulsory or Forced Labour adopted (ILO).
26 June 1945, the United Nations Charter signed—the first international instrument to embody obligations for Member States to promote and encourage respect for human rights as crucial to international peace and security.
Establishment of the Commission on Human Rights under Economic and Social Council resolution 9 (II). UN Commission on Human Rights and Commission on the Status of Women established. ILO becomes the first specialized agency of the UN.
Commission on Human Rights first session held; the Commission establishes the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities on the basis of that resolution.
General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. 10 December 1948, adoption by the General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Convention on the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize adopted in the ILO.
First UN peacekeeping mission to monitor Arab–Israeli ceasefire authorized: the UN Truce Supervision Organization remains active.
Convention on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining (ILO) is adopted. Geneva Conventions provide standards for more humane treatment for prisoners of war, the wounded and civilians.
Second UN peacekeeping mission, the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, authorized; it remains active.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees established.
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide enters into force. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees adopted. Equal Remuneration Convention adopted by the ILO.
General Assembly appoints a Special Commission on the Racial Situation in South Africa. (South African representatives take the position that the UN cannot even discuss race relations in their country as doing so constitutes inappropriate interference with matters within the states’ domestic jurisdiction.)
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees enters into force.
The United Nations advisory services program begins, providing institution-building assistance and other services to Member States at their request.
Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery adopted.
UN Observation Group in Lebanon (UNOGIL) peacekeeping mission authorized to supervise withdrawal of troops from the Suez Crisis (ended June 1967).
Standard Rules for the Minimum Treatment of Prisoners adopted. Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery enters into force. Convention Concerning Abolition of Forced Labour adopted (ILO). Convention Concerning the Protection of Indigenous and Tribal and Semi-Tribal Populations in Independent Countries adopted (ILO).
Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, established. Its primary focus was to recognize and protect the cultural, religious, civil and social rights of indigenous and tribal populations within an independent country, and provide a standard framework for addressing the economic issues that many of these groups face.
Convention Concerning Discrimination in Employment and Occupation adopted (ILO). General Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. UNESCO Convention Against Discrimination in Education adopted.
UN Operation in the Congo (ONUC) authorized to prevent foreign intervention in and preserve the territory of the Congo (ended June 1964).
Amnesty International established in Great Britain.
General Assembly calls for all states to break off domestic relations with South Africa.
General Assembly adopts the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) authorized to prevent conflict between Greek and Turkish inhabitants; remains ongoing.
The United Nations adopts the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted, rounding out the International Bill of Rights. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted. General Assembly issues a resolution calling apartheid a “crime against humanity.”
ECOSOC resolution 1235 permits the Commission to discuss “gross and reliably attested violations of human rights,” marking the transition of the UN human rights machinery from standard-setting to promotion of human rights issues.
General Assembly adopts the Declaration on Social Progress and Development. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination enters into force.
ECOSOC resolution 1503 allows the Commission to process individual complaints for investigation
ILO adopts Minimum Age Convention. Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid adopted.
UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) authorized to maintain ceasefire between Syria and Israel in the Golan Heights; remains ongoing.
General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons.
General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subject to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights enter into force. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights enters into force. Security Council adopts mandatory arms embargo against South Africa in response to apartheid, marking the transition from the era of promotion of human rights in the UN to protection.
UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) authorized to supervise Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and ensure effective Lebanese authority; remains ongoing.
General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
The first Special Procedure of the UN Commission begins with the mandate for a Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women enters into force. General Assembly adopts Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.
General Assembly adopts the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights established.
General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Right to Development.
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment enters into force. Voluntary Fund for Advisory Services and Technical Assistance in the Field of Human Rights established by the Secretary-General.
1989(Cold War ends)
Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN) and the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, are adopted. Convention Concerning Indigenous and Tribal People in Independent Countries adopted (ILO).
UN peacekeeping missions authorized in Namibia to supervise elections and transition to independence (UN Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG)), and in Nicaragua to monitor the ceasefire (UN Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA)).
Convention on the Rights of the Child enters into force. Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families adopted.
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights enters into force. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice established. Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance adopted.
Five UN peacekeeping missions authorized: UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission to enforce the Kuwait–Iraq border (ended 2003); UN Angola Verification Mission II to enforce the ceasefire in the civil war (ended February 1995); UN Observer Mission in El Salvador to enforce the ceasefire in its civil war (ended April 1995); UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, which remains ongoing; and the UN Advance Mission in Cambodia to prepare for the UN Transitional Authority (ended March 1992).
General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious or Linguistic Minorities. UNSC authorizes UN intervention for famine relief in Somalia, marking the fourth era of human rights—intervention. International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour established in the ILO. First female Special Representative of the Secretary-General appointed in the United Nations mission in Angola.
On 18 December 1992 the General Assembly, by resolution 47/133, proclaimed the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The Working Group, which participated actively in the elaboration of the Declaration, welcomed it as a milestone in the united efforts to combat the practice of disappearance and considered that it constituted an important basis for its own future work. According to the Declaration, the systematic practice of disappearance is of the nature of a crime against humanity and constitutes a violation of the right to recognition as a person before the law, the right to liberty and security of the person, and the right not to be subjected to torture; it also violates or constitutes a grave threat to the right to life.
UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR and UNPRODEP) authorized to protect Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; restructured in 1995. UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) authorized to assist in its reorganization (ended September 1993).
June 1993, the World Conference on Human Rights is held in Vienna; 171 state representatives agree to the Vienna Declaration and Platform for Action recognizing a broad range of human rights, calling them “interdependent” and “indivisible.” International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) established by the Security Council. United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recommends to the General Assembly that the Secretary-General appoint an expert to study the impact of armed conflict on children. 1 October 1993, United Nations Human Rights Field Office established in Cambodia. Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993–2003). 20 December 1993, the United Nations General Assembly establishes the post of High Commissioner for Human Rights. 20 December 1993, General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
UN Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II) authorized to stabilize and assist humanitarian efforts (ended March 1995); UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) authorized to enforce the ceasefire between Georgia and Abkhaz separatists (remains ongoing); UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) established to monitor the ceasefire and, after the genocide, to promote relief efforts (ended March 1996).
14 February 1994, Mr. Ayala-Lasso appointed as the first United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 6 April 1994, Rwandan President Habyarimana is killed after a still-mysterious missile shoots down his plane. Hutu extremists quickly seize control of the government. Over the next 100 days, on average, 8,000 Rwandans a day will be butchered. It is the fastest rate of mass killings in the twentieth century. Some 800,000 people—roughly 10 percent of the population—are murdered. Ninety percent of the victims are Tutsis. Emergency session of the Commission on Human Rights convenes to respond to genocide in Rwanda. International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda (ICTR) established by the Security Council. The first OHCHR Human Rights Field Operation is established in Rwanda (HRFOR). 23 December 1994, General Assembly proclaims the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995–2004) to begin 1 January 1995. Annual meetings of special rapporteurs/representatives, experts and chairpersons of working groups of the special procedures and the advisory services program of the Commission on Human Rights begin as a follow-up to the World Conference on Human Rights.
UN Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) established to monitor the ceasefire after the civil war (ended May 2000).
At the World Summit for Social Development, governments commit to reducing levels of militarization to support the concept of human security. United Nations Human Rights Field Offices established in Burundi and Mongolia. United Nations Human Rights Technical Cooperation Office established in Malawi. International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (1995–2004). United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995–2004).
UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) established to monitor human rights, de-mining and relief; remains ongoing.
Graca Machel, the Secretary-General’s expert on the impact of armed conflict on children, submits ground-breaking report, Impact of Armed Conflict on Children, to the General Assembly. United Nations Human Rights Field Office established in Gaza and Abkhazia, Georgia. UN Centre for Human Rights opens an office in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
UN Secretary-General announces the mainstreaming of human rights throughout the UN system as part of UN reform. United Nations Human Rights Field Office established in Colombia. 12 September 1997, Ms. Mary Robinson of Ireland assumes the post of the (second) United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights after her predecessor, Mr. Ayala-Lasso of Ecuador, resigned, on 15 March 1997, following his appointment as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Terrorism appointed.
UN Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) established to monitor the ceasefire after the civil war (ended May 1997).
10 December 1998 marks the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court adopted. ILO adopts an explicitly rights-based approach to labor law in the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Secretary-General appoints Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict.
UN Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL) established to monitor disarmament and demobilization in Sierra Leone (ended October 1999).
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women adopted. Optional Protocols on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and on Children and Armed Conflict adopted. Convention Concerning the Worst Forms of Child Labour adopted (ILO). Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants appointed.
UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) established to administer the area, including justice; remains ongoing. UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) established to help stabilize and disarm Sierra Leone; remains ongoing. UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) established to facilitate its transition to independence (ended May 2002). UN Organization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) established to monitor the ceasefire; remains ongoing.
21 February proclaimed as the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. Its observance was also formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages. International Mother Language Day originated as the international recognition of Language Movement Day, which has been commemorated in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) since 1952, when a number of Bangladeshi university students were killed for demanding that Bengali be continued to be recognized as the national language of the country.
Security Council adopts resolution 1325, expressing its willingness to incorporate a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations and urging that a gender component be established in peace missions. Global Compact launched between UN, global corporations, and NGOs to promote socially aware corporate practices. Joint Special Court in Sierra Leone established between government and UN. The UN adopts the Millennium Development Goals.
UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) established to enforce ceasefire; remains ongoing.
International Criminal Court enters into force. World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa. UN General Assembly adopts a resolution creating an Ad Hoc Committee to consider proposals to develop a convention on the human rights of people with disabilities.
Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families enters into force. Optional Protocol on Children and Armed Conflict enters into force. 12 September 2002, Brazilian Sergio Vieira de Mello takes over as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
UN Mission of Support in East Timor established as it develops government; remains ongoing.
The U.S. fails to win election to the U.N. Human Rights Commission.
Sergio Vieira de Mello killed in an attack on UN headquarters in Iraq.
UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) established to oversee ceasefire and train national police; remains ongoing.
Libya is elected to the presidency of the U.N. Human Rights Commission.
Bulldozers unearthed the remains of dozens of people yesterday as investigators searched for about 700 missing Muslims in what is believed to be the biggest mass grave in Bosnia.The bones, dug up from an area the size of a tennis court, are thought to include some of the 7,000 men and boys who were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb forces at Srebrenica eight years ago - Europe's worst massacre since the Second World War. The grave was found at Crni Vrh, near the town of Zvornik, north of Srebrenica, and is believed to be a site to which the bodies were moved from their original burial places near Srebrenica. Bosnian Serbs reburied victims to hide evidence of massacres from the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, which is prosecuting those accused of atrocities in Balkan wars of the 1990s.
UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling on governments of countries where child soldiers are used to adopt a plan to halt their use; it includes an annex naming governments and non-state actors who use child soldiers.
International Criminal Court agrees to hear its first case on the use of child soldiers by a Ugandan rebel group. 1 July 2004, Louise Arbour, member of the Canadian Supreme Court, takes over as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
UN Mission Operation in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) established to help implement the peace process; remains ongoing. UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) established to return stability to Haiti; remains ongoing. UN Operation in Burundi (ONUB) established to help implement the Arusha accords; remains ongoing.
The United Nations Stabilization Mission In Haiti (French: Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti), also known as MINUSTAH, is the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti. MINUSTAH was established by UN Security Council Resolution 1542 on 30 April 2004 because the Security Council deemed the situation in Haiti to be a threat to international peace and security in the region. The current UN mission is authorized until October, 2008.
The United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) established by the United Nations under UN Security Council Resolution 1590 of the UN Security Council on March 24, in 2005, in response to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government of the Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement on January 9, 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya.UNMIS tasks are to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, to perform certain functions relating to humanitarian assistance, protection, promotion of human rights, and to support AMIS.
On August 1, 2005, the Indonesian government announced the names of the people who would serve on the panel of a special Truth and Friendship Commission for East Timor. The 10-member panel of the new Truth and Friendship Commission is made up of a mixture of legal experts, human rights figures and at least one retired military commander. Half are from Indonesia, and half from East Timor.
On August 11, 2005, the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly approved a war crimes tribunal in Iraq, which was originally established by the US-installed Iraqi Governing Council. The court was mandated to prosecute numerous high level members of the former Iraqi regime who are accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, but the main focus was on Saddam Hussein.
At the United Nations World Summit in September, Member States unanimously recognize the need for “universal adherence to and implementation of the rule of law.”
Miloševi? was found dead in his cell on March 11, 2006 in the UN war crimes tribunal's detention centre, in the Scheveningen section of The Hague. His trial had been due to resume on 14 March with testimony from the former president of Montenegro, Momir Bulatovi?. Milosevic was charged with 66 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
On 17 March 2006, in Kinshasa, Mr Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a Congolese national and alleged founder and leader of the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) was arrested and transferred to the International Criminal Court as part of the judicial proceedings under the Rome Statute (the “Statute”). Thomas Lubanga is alleged to have committed war crimes as set out in article 8 of the Statute, committed in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since July 2002. Mr Lubanga is the first person to be arrested and transferred to the International Criminal Court since the entry into force of the Statute in July 2002
In March, the United Nations General Assembly establishes the Human Rights Council The 47-seat Human Rights Council replaced the former 53-member Commission on Human Rights. The Council is given the status of a subsidiary body of the General Assembly. The 47 seats in the Council are distributed among the UN's regional groups as follows: 13 for Africa, 13 for Asia, 6 for Eastern Europe, 8 for Latin America and the Caribbean, and 7 for the Western European and Others Group.
The United Nations Integrated Mission in East Timor (UNMIT) established on August 25, 2006 by UN Security Council Resolution 1704. Its objectives were "to support the Government in consolidating stability, enhancing a culture of democratic governance, and facilitating political dialogue among Timorese stakeholders, in their efforts to bring about a process of national reconciliation and to foster social cohesion”.
On November 5, 2006, the court found Saddam Hussein guilty of the 1982 massacre that took place in Dujail, north of Baghdad and sentenced him to death. He was hanged on December 30, 2006. The United Nations, human rights organizations and anti-capital punishment activists around the world all condemned the execution of Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants. In a separate trial that took place a week after the former Iraqi leader’s execution, the court dropped all charges against him for his role in the killing of 180,000 Kurds during the 1980s.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 December 2006. Parties to the Convention are required to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law. It was opened for signature on 20 March 2007.
On December 13, 2006, The General Assembly adopted the Convention on Protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities marking the culmination of nearly two decades of work on protecting and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities and a major shift in the way the world treats its 650 million disabled people.
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was adopted on 20 December 2006 by the UN General Assembly and signed in Paris on 6 February 2007 by the representatives of 57 countries. The new convention defines "enforced disappearance" and recognizes it as a crime against international law.
On December 20th 2006 the text for the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances was adopted by the UN General Assembly. The Convention recognizes the right of all persons not to be subjected to enforced disappearance. It is the first instrument to recognize this right.
The Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formally launched with the goal of healing societal wounds of Liberia’s brutal 14-year civil war.
With an overwhelming majority of 143 votes in favour, only 4 negative votes cast (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United States) and 11 abstentions, the United Nations General Assembly (GA) adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on September 13, 2007. The Declaration has been negotiated through more than 20 years between nation-states and Indigenous Peoples.
The U.N.-backed genocide tribunal opened its first formal hearing in the Cambodian capital on November 20, 2007, with the alleged chief torturer of the Khmer Rouge the first to appear.Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, was the first of five defendants to appear before the panel for a pretrial hearing. He is charged with carrying out mass executions and torture while serving as commandant of the Tuol Sleng interrogation center in Phnom Penh.
The United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is the joint African Union and United Nations peacekeeping mission formally approved by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769 on 31 July 2007 to bring stability to the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan while peace talks on a final settlement continue. The peacekeepers are allowed to use force to protect civilians and humanitarian operations. UNAMID is the first joint UN/AU force and the largest peacekeeping mission.
United Nations passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on September 13, 2007. The document states that indigenous peoples, whose number has been put at 370 million worldwide, "have the right to self-determination". In addition, the non-binding declaration sets out global human rights standards for indigenous populations.
Khmer Rouge "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, Pol Pot's top surviving henchman, was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity on September 19 by the U.N.-backed "Killing Fields" tribunal.
The United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) is a United Nations peacekeeping mission established by the United Nations Security Council on September 25, 2007 to provide a multidimensional presence of up to 350 police and military personnel to eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic.
The mission comes as a response to the dire situation of an estimated 230,000 refugees from Darfur who continue to flee into bordering eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR). Armed Sudanese rebel groups have continuously carried out attacks across the Sudanese border, endangering local residents and Darfurian refugees alike.
Public hearings started at the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission look into violations in the conflict that ended in 2003. The commission was established along similar lines to South Africa's post-apartheid body.
On February 6, 2008, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui became the third war crimes suspect to be transferred to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. His transfer marks another milestone in ongoing efforts to address the impunity which facilitated widespread atrocities that occurred during the war in Congo.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities received its 20th ratification on 3 April 2008, triggering the entry into force of the Convention and its Optional Protocol on May 12, 2008. This marked a major milestone in the effort to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.
On July 2, 2008, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Trial Chamber ruled that Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a Congolese warlord and the first person ever to be arrested on ICC charges, should be released from detention.
President Omar al-Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday July 14, 2008, on charges of crimes against humanity. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague found President Bashir guilty of the murder and rape committed by the Sudanese government troops and their militias against the people of Darfur.
Former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic, accused of masterminding "ethnic cleansing" deportations and killings of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, was arrested on July 21, 2008, after more than a decade in hiding. He is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war. Last seen in public in 1996, Karadzic was the Bosnian Serb political leader during the 1992-1995 war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia. The conflict included the Srebrenica massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and a deadly, 44-month siege of Sarajevo.
Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni national, was convicted by a panel of six US military officers of "providing material support for terrorism", but acquitted of "conspiracy". The Pentagon confirmed that he would remain in indefinite detention as an "enemy combatant" regardless of the verdict. Amnesty International believes that the conviction under procedures that do not meet international fair trial standards compounds the injustice of his more than five years' unlawful detention in Guantánamo.