REDRESS and Lawyers for Justice in Libya release their analysis of the torture provisions in Libya’s constitutional recommendations
Support victims of torture: Donate to our Marathon runners in April
The London Marathon will take place on Sunday 26th April and six supporters will run for REDRESS. Please encourage them by donating to their fundraising pages below.
Your contribution will help more than 800 torture victims by covering essential costs of our cases such as legal research; medical and psychological reports; notary and court fees, and translation and interpretation costs.
Please remember that all the work we do on behalf of torture survivors is free of charge, so we rely on the generosity of our supporters.
DRC training to bolster investigations into conflict-related sexual violence
REDRESS and the International Institute for Criminal Investigation (IICI) recently hosted a training to bolster the skills of investigators in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo who are documenting conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). About 20 members of Congolese NGOs were trained on the basis of the UK Foreign Office’s International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict, which was released last year with input from REDRESS.
During the training that took place from 23 to 27 March in Goma, the participants learned how to plan and manage investigations. The training also emphasised what kind of information needs to be collected to prove international crimes, in particular war crimes and crimes against humanity. The participants were introduced to potential avenues for litigation based on REDRESS' Manual on Litigation Strategies for Sexual Violence in Africa.
Compiled through the experience of torture survivors and experts in the field, it contains useful information for torture survivors and their families as well as front-line service providers and community members who work closely with them.
The handbook provides information on medical and psychological care for survivors, advice on regularising a victim’s immigration status or applying for asylum, as well as advice on social welfare, employment or education. It also gives information on victims’ right to justice, reparation and accountability as well as a list of resources where survivors can seek further support.
You may also find useful our Handbook for Victims of Serious International Crimes, available also in Français and عربي.
DRC: REDRESS to intervene in the Germain Katanga case before the ICC
On 1 April 2015, REDRESS was granted leave to make submissions as "amicus curiae" during the reparation phase in the Germain Katanga case. Mr Katanga was convicted in March 2014 of aiding in the commission of one count of crime against humanity (murder) and four counts of war crimes (murder, attacking a civilian population, destruction of property and pillaging) in relation to an attack on the village of Bogoro, in the Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2003. He was later sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.
The Court now needs to make a decision on the reparation awards that will be granted to the Bogoro victims. REDRESS will provide an analysis on how courts, tribunals and related bodies have decided on the appropriateness of group or individual reparations. REDRESS will also provide information on how courts have dealt with challenges that may impact the effectiveness of reparation programmes, including those relating to a geographically dispersed group of victims, limited funds available for reparation, and issues surrounding how to identify victims.
Photo credit: ICC-CPI
UAE: Submission to UN Special Rapporteurs
REDRESS has recently filed a submission to the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and the Special Rapporteur on Torture concerning allegations that the UAE authorities failed to act appropriately in response to complaints of domestic violence raised by Afsana Lachaux, a British national who was resident there.
The UAE does not have a specific law on domestic violence, and the country's penal code allows the imposition of “chastisement by a husband to his wife and the chastisement of minor children” so long as the assault does not exceed certain limits.
Our submission alleges that authorities – including the police, prosecutors, courts and a state-run refuge – not only failed to respond to complaints of physical and psychological violence made by Ms Lachaux, and relied on discriminatory procedures and stereotypes to reach decisions concerning her and her child, but that some of the authorities’ actions themselves caused harm to her.
It is alleged that these failed responses led to such a lack of trust in the authorities that Ms Lachaux went into hiding. As a result of this she was prosecuted for kidnapping her child and lost custody of him at an age when custody would normally be granted to the mother.
Iran: Complaint to UN experts concerning Kurdish rights activist case
REDRESS and Justice for Iran have urged the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to intervene on behalf of a Kurdish activist who is serving a life sentence in Iran after she was arrested on International Women's Day seven years ago.
Zeinab Jalalian is losing her eyesight and is in need of urgent medical care after sustaining torture. In 2008, Mrs Jalalian was sentenced to death for "enmity against God" (moharebeh) in a trial that lasted a few minutes. She was accused of being a member of the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), an armed opposition group, and was convicted despite not having access to a lawyer and that it was never proven that she had participated in armed activities.