Help REDRESS raise funds for free legal services that help the poorest and most vulnerable people
On 16 May, our lovely REDRESS team will walk 10 km to raise funds for legal advice centres in and around London that help the poorest and most vulnerable people in the region. We will walk to defend one the most important principles of our society: that justice should be the same for all without regard to economic status.
At REDRESS, we seek to help torture survivors from around the world to obtain justice and reparation, and restore their dignity. All our services are free and your help is vital so we can continue our global campaign for justice and accountability for one of the world's most heinous crimes.
All funds received through the following page will be donated to REDRESS without deduction:
Please sponsor our walkers as generously as you are able!
On 13 December 2001, after answering a request to report to the district’s education office in Okhaldhunga, Chakra Bahadur Katwal, headmaster of a secondary school where he also taught science, was redirected to the district police office for questioning.
He was seen carried away by soldiers the following day, seemingly unconscious, his clothes blood-stained and his body showing signs of beating. He was taken into the police building and never seen again.
See the new video telling the story of his family's struggle for justice at the UN on our Real Rights Now website: www.realrightsnow.org
First draft of the General Comment on the right to redress for torture victims in Africa
REDRESS and the Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative have collaborated with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) to produce the first draft of the General Comment on the Right to Redress for Victims of Torture or Ill-treatment, under Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Earlier meetings already provided the Committee with detailed insight into the challenges which currently prevent victims of torture or ill-treatment from obtaining redress in Africa. The draft has now been uploaded on the African Commission's website to allow the public to give their input: http://www.achpr.org/news/2016/04/d214/
Efforts to end impunity for sexual crimes must not stop with Bemba’s judgment
On 21 March 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) delivered its judgement in the case of former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba. Bemba was convicted of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging).
He is the first military commander to be convicted for crimes committed by soldiers under his command, including rape, and also the first person ever convicted for sexual violence at the ICC.
“The conviction of Jean Pierre Bemba is an important statement that impunity for sexual crimes will not be tolerated,” said Carla Ferstman, Director of REDRESS. “But this must be accompanied by additional steps to address the rampant impunity that has allowed perpetrators to perpetuate their abuses.”
Read our full statement here.
REDRESS seeks to intervene in case concerning alleged ill-treatment of a family of asylum seekers in Belgium
REDRESS has applied to intervene as an independent third party in the V.M. v Belgium case before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. The case concerns a Roma family of asylum seekers from Serbia, including a young baby and a disabled child, who sought asylum in Belgium. The family were subsequently evicted from the reception centre that was housing them upon rejection of their asylum claim (although an appeal was still outstanding).
At issue in the case, among other things, is the extent to which the destitution faced by this family after their eviction breached the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, particularly taking into account the special vulnerabilities of the individuals concerned. The Chamber found in July 2015 that Belgium had, in fact, breached Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and had not given due consideration to the particular vulnerability of the applicants. The case was referred to the Grand Chamber on 14 December 2015.
REDRESS has submitted an urgent action letter to several UN Special Rapporteurs in regards to the deteriorating medical condition of Mustafa al-Hawsawi, a long-term Guantánamo Bay detainee represented by REDRESS in legal proceedings in Europe. Al- Hawsawi was held in secret detention between 2003 to 2006 as part of the CIA programme, during which time he was tortured and contracted Hepatitis C.
In March, REDRESS also continued to pursue actions on Al-Hawsawi’s behalf in Lithuania, challenging the Lithuanian Prosecutor’s repeated refusal to grant him victim status in an ongoing investigation into aspects of the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation programme in Lithuania. See here our appeal against the Prosecutor's decision.
Since 2006, Al-Hawsawi has been detained in Guantánamo Bay without access to adequate medical care. He is suffering from several serious medical conditions, including injuries sustained as a result of the torture inflicted on him by the U.S. Government. These include cervical degenerative disk disease, chronic hemorrhoids, anal fissures and rectal prolapse. His lawyers in the United States have informed REDRESS that his medical condition is deteriorating and that he is in extreme physical pain, which has increased in severity in recent weeks.