Coinciding with UN Human Rights Day on 10 December last year, REDRESS and partners in Perú, Libya and Nepal launched an advocacy campaign to bring attention to the prevalence of torture in these countries. The campaign aims to foment stronger alignment of local laws with international standards, in particular, the UN Convention against Torture.
The video from Advocacy Forum features the experiences of several torture survivors from the recent armed conflict and calls for the criminalisation of torture in Nepal. Lawyers for Justice in Libya's video highlights the grave effect that torture is having on all of the Libyan population, not just those who are direct victims.
The video from la Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos in Perú calls for the enactment of the National Preventive Mechanism against Torture in a country where more than half of Peruvians live in fear of being tortured by their own authorities.
ACCESS bulletin features interviews with five former ICC judges
REDRESS has produced a special edition of the ACCESS bulletin which includes interviews with five former ICC judges and two ICC victims’ legal representatives, who have represented between them more than 20,000 victims in ICC proceedings.
The interviewees' first-hand experience of the victim participation system provides a useful lens through which the system and the proposals that have been put forward to improve it may be analysed.
Our new handbook 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. It may 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 those responsible for what happened are inside the EU.
REDRESS presses the Netherlands to assist victim of torture in 'Bulgarian nurses case'
REDRESS has recently called on the Government of the Netherlands to take up Mr Ashraf el-Hagoug's case with Libya with a view to securing his right to reparation.
Mr El-Hagoug, a doctor of Palestian origin, was subjected to multiple incidents of torture, including severe sexual violence, in Libya from 1999 to 2007. He was involved in what came to be known as the "Bulgarian nurses case" and was sentenced to death by Libyan courts for allegedly spreading HIV/AIDS and causing the death of hundreds of children.
In 2007, Libya transferred Mr El-Hagoug to Bulgaria, largely because he had been tried together with the Bulgarian nurses and because Libya and Bulgaria signed a prisoner transfer protocol in 1984. Subsequently, after receiving a Bulgarian passport, he left Bulgaria and moved permanently to the Netherlands in October 2008.
In March 2012, Mr El-Hagoug was awarded €1,000 000 plus interest from a Dutch court following his successful claim against 12 named Libyan defendants, all of whom were former Libyan state agents. The UN Human Rights Committee, also in 2012, found the state of Libya responsible for multiple violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and obliged it to provide reparation to Mr. El-Hagoug.
Neither Libya, nor the named defendants in the Dutch civil claim, have paid any compensation to date despite these rulings and repeated requests to this effect by Mr. El-Hagoug’s lawyer and United Nations organs. There are no effective remedies in Libya that Mr. El-Hagoug can avail himself of.
REDRESS and partner take case of transsexual from Perú tortured in front of the police
REDRESS and its partner in Perú, the Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNNDDHH), are preparing a criminal complaint against the policemen who consented to the torture perpetrated by private individuals against a young transsexual.
The events took place during the night of 28 October 2007, when the victim was assaulted by a group of unidentified individuals in a street in Lima, the capital. The group beat her repeatedly and insulted her for being transsexual. She managed to escape and sought the help and the protection from the police, who not only ignore her pleas for help, but also mocked her. Relying on the inaction of the police, her aggressors started to beat her again. As a result of the attack, her face was disfigured and she had to undergo reconstructive surgery.
REDRESS is carrying out this work as part of a three-year project to fight impunity for torture in countries around the world, including in Perú, Libya, Kenya and Nepal. The program is funded by the European Union's European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
REDRESS has worked before with partners in Perú to fight sexual orientation discrimination in the country and end impunity for hate crimes, including those committed against the LGBTI community.
In 2012, following a report submitted by REDRESS and others to the UN Committee Against Torture, the Committee said that the Peruvian State “should take effective measures to protect the LGBT community from attacks, abuse and arbitrary detention and ensure that all acts of violence are promptly, effectively and impartially investigated and prosecuted, perpetrators brought to justice and victims provided with redress.”