REDRESS opens new Hague office
To mark the opening of our new office in The Hague, the Netherlands, REDRESS will hold a conference on “Justice for victims and accountability for torturers: past, present and future strategies”, from 2 to 6pm on 29 September 2016, at The Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague.
The aim of the conference is to reflect on a range of approaches taken to afford justice to victims and to hold those responsible for torture to account. It draws on experiences in several countries, and brings together lawyers and other experts with direct knowledge of regional, hybrid and domestic efforts and mechanisms.
Paul Lomas, Chair of the inaugural Board of Directors of our Dutch charity, and a Senior Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, will open the conference. The conference will be followed by a reception.
Please RSVP by 21 September to firstname.lastname@example.org.
REDRESS and other NGOs call for the adoption for strong UN resolution on Sudan
REDRESS and 32 other NGOs and experts have called on the UN Human Rights Council to support the adoption of a strong resolution on Sudan at its 33rd session that started on 13 September 2016 in Geneva.
The organisations note that five years on, the conflicts between Sudan and armed opposition on South Kordofan and Blue Nile continue to have a devastating impact on civilians, with Sudanese forces continuing to attack villages and bomb civilian areas indiscriminately, and to block humanitarian aid from accessing affected areas.
They demand that the resolution mandates a Special Rapporteur to monitor and report on ongoing human rights violations and publicly urges Sudan to implement the recommendations made to Sudan by the UN Human Rights Council in 2016.
Photo by IRIN News
REDRESS and IMLU organise international conference in Nairobi
REDRESS and partners organised an international conference that took place during the 8 and 9 of September in Nairobi, Kenya.
The purpose of the two-day conference "Fighting torture at home: the implementation of States' international obligations at the domestic level" was to provide experts and practitioners from different countries an opportunity to discuss and exchange experiences litigating torture cases domestically as well as before regional and international human rights mechanisms.
During the conference we also launched our "Reporting on Torture" handbook at a reception with keynote remarks by award winning investigative reporter and CNN fellow John Allan Namu.
REDRESS continues to support the Free Nazanin campaign
On 9 September we were shocked and saddened to learn that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual Iran-UK national who was detained in Iran while on holiday with her two-year-old daughter, was sentenced to five years in prison.
Five months after he was arrested, the nature of any alleged confession has not been disclosed yet and would have been obtained while she was held in solitary confinement for 45 days.
REDRESS has called for her immediate release and has brought her case before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD). We are awaiting a decision.
Apart from being arbitrary, her incommunicado detention, solitary confinement and separation from her infant daughter - who is currently taken care of by her Iranian grandparents - constitutes cruel and inhuman ill-treatment, if not torture.
REDRESS seeks justice for British citizen ill-treated while in prison in Panama
REDRESS has filed a criminal complaint on behalf of Nick Tuffney, a British businessman who was held in appalling detention conditions in Panama for 16 months, which included being shackled to the front bars of the prison, exposed to the elements for nearly two months 24 hours a day.
Despite never being tried or convicted of a crime, in 2014 Mr Tuffney was deported and banned from Panama for 10 years. He was forced to leave his young son behind, whom he has not seen since. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has called on the Panamanian Government to start an investigation into the abuse and to provide reparations to Mr. Tuffney, but the Panamanian government has yet to respond.
REDRESS will submit observations on reparations in the Bemba case
REDRESS has been granted permission to submit observations on reparations following the conviction of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo at the ICC for crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging) committed in Central African Republic.
ICC Trial Chamber III sentenced Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo to 18 years' imprisonment for the crimes he committed. The Trial Chamber is now embarking on its reparations procedure, in accordance with Article 75 of the Rome Statute. REDRESS applied for leave to make observations on the trial chamber's reparations process, on 10 August 2016. On 26 August, our application for leave was accepted.
REDRESS has urged the UK Government to continue making the prosecuting of torture suspects a priority, following the acquittal of Nepalese Colonel Kumar Lama of charges of torturing a Nepalese civilian on 6 September 2016.
Colonel Lama was acquitted after a 6-week trial at the Central Criminal Court in London, where two victims testified about his alleged participation in their torture at an army barracks under his command, during Nepal’s internal armed conflict. On 1 August 2016, Colonel Lama was acquitted of charges of torturing the other victim.
Colonel Lama’s case was only the second torture trial in the UK since the Criminal Justice Act 1988 entered into forced, giving British courts jurisdiction to prosecute suspected torturers, regardless of their nationality or where the crime took place, if the suspect is found in the UK.