UK Government urged to investigate allegations that consular staff failed to protect British victims of torture
London, 24 November 2014 - The influential Commons Foreign Affairs Committee released its report into consular services on 24 November. The report calls on the Government to investigate allegations that consular staff failed to protect British nationals who may have been tortured or mistreated while in detention abroad.
Several British nationals and rights groups working with victims of torture, including REDRESS, made the allegations during a year-long inquiry by the Committee into consular services. In its submissions to the Committee, REDRESS noted the sharp increase in reported allegations of ill-treatment of British nationals abroad in recent years, from an average of 50 reports a year in 2005-2010 to 95 in 2013, according to the Foreign Office's own figures.
In its report, Support for British Nationals abroad: The Consular Service, the Committee urges the Government to interview the consular officials involved in the claims and to report back to the Committee with its findings.
New handbook for victims of serious international crimes
17 November 2014 - REDRESS, FIDH and TRIAL have published a new handbook to help victims of serious international crimes and their families access support and justice in the European Union.
The Handbook for Victims of Serious International Crimes in the EU: Your rights to access support, advice and justice aims to serve as a guide for victims of serious international crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture and enforced disappearance) who are interested in filing a formal complaint within the EU as well as victims who are already seeking justice through EU courts.
The handbook may also be useful for victims that are seeking asylum as well as individuals living in another country outside the EU, but have information or evidence which suggests that persons or organisations responsible for what happened are inside the EU.
REDRESS is among the proud recipients of the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.
In 2011, REDRESS received a $500,000 grant from the American foundation for effectively addressing pressing national and international challenges and having had an impact that is disproportionate to its small size.
REDRESS calls for the release of Sudan's distinguished human rights lawyer Dr. Medani
9 December 2014 - REDRESS is extremely concerned by the continuing secret detention of Dr. Amin Mekki Medani. On Saturday, 4 December 2014, Dr. Medani and Mr. Farouq Abuessa – who is also still being detained - were arrested by Sudan’s National and Intelligence Security Services, along with a number of other persons.
This followed their return from Addis Ababa where they had signed the Sudan Call, “a political declaration on the establishment of a state of citizenship and democracy”.
Many lawyers, human rights defenders and organisations have benefited greatly from his experience, insights, support and generosity. This includes REDRESS in our work with Dr. Medani on the prohibition of torture, justice and accountability for human rights violations, and criminal law reform in Sudan.
REDRESS expresses its solidarity with Dr. Medani and calls for his immediate release. We call on the Government of Sudan to treat Dr. Medani with all appropriate respect for both the rule of law and human rights that he has fought for all of his life, and to ensure his well-being as a Sudanese citizen.
Withdrawal of charges in Kenyatta ICC case, a devastating blow to victims
5 December 2014 - On Friday 5 December the ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda withdrew the charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had been charged with crimes against humanity in connection with the 2007/2008 post-election violence in Kenya, which left over 1,100 people dead and several hundred thousands of other victims.
The Prosecutor announced her decision two days after an ICC Trial Chamber found that Kenya, which has been an ICC member state since 2005, had failed to adequately cooperate with her investigation in the case, but decided not to refer the matter to the ICC’s governing body, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP). The Chamber had given the Prosecutor a week to either withdraw the charges or express her readiness to proceed to trial.
Reacting to the Prosecutor's announcement, Carla Ferstman, Director of REDRESS, said: "Now that the ICC case against Kenyatta has fallen apart, the victims will once again turn to the Kenyan judicial system in the hopes that justice can be achieved. We hope that these calls for justice will be resolutely answered.”
Photo by ICC-CPI: Hearing in the Kenyatta case.