REDRESS and Lawyers for Justice in Libya release their analysis of the torture provisions in Libya’s constitutional recommendations
REDRESS urges EU Genocide Network to discuss implications of Senate report on CIA abuses
On April 23, ahead of the 18th meeting of the EU Genocide Network - which brings together national authorities from EU Member States investigating and prosecuting genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes - REDRESS and four other human rights organisations called for a special meeting of the Network to discuss ongoing and potential future investigations and prosecutions following the release of the US Senate Intelligence Committee report summary last year.
Report on effective victim representation before the ICC
REDRESS has published a new report. The purpose of this report is to draw attention to some of the challenges that stay in the way of ensuring effective and efficient representation for victims before the ICC.
The report reflects many of the discussions that took place during a seminar REDRESS convened last year in which counsel for victims, intermediaries, representatives of the ICC Registry and others were invited to discuss how to strengthen victims’ legal representation and overcome the challenges that were identified during the meeting. The report is further supplemented by additional research carried out by REDRESS.
REDRESS at the 56th ordinary session of the African Commission
In late April REDRESS attended the 56th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights and participated in a number of events, including a panel discussion on torture organised by the Commission's Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) on 22 April 2015.
The panel discussion focused on the CPTA's initiative to draft a series of general comments on Article 5 of the African charter, which prohibits torture and ill-treatment.
REDRESS' Legal Advisor Juergen Schurr presented on the importance of general comments in interpreting obligations and guiding States in the implementation of those obligations, with a particular emphasis on the right to reparation.
REDRESS also participated in the NGO Forum preceding the session. Together with several of our partners we organised a panel discussion, "Accountability for Torture: national developments and the role of the ACHPR", which analysed the challenges that currently prevent accountability and access to justice for victims.
DRC: REDRESS intervenes on the issue of reparations in the Katanga case
REDRESS has recently intervened on the issue of reparations in the Germain Katanga case before the International Criminal Court and filed observations on 15 May.
Mr Katanga was convicted in 2014 of aiding in the commission of one count of crime against humanity and four counts of war crimes in connection to an attack on the village of Bogoro, in the Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2003. During the attack, about 200 civilians were murdered, many others were mutilated and several women and girls were enslaved for sexual purposes. The attack also resulted in the destruction and pillaging of civilian property. Mr Katanga was later sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. This is the second ICC trial to come to completion concerning war crimes and crimes against humanity in Eastern DRC.
The Court is now faced with the challenge of determining a fair reparation award with limited funds for the Bogoro victims who have indicated that they prefer individualised awards. In our submission, we analyse how courts, tribunals and related bodies have decided on the appropriateness of collective or individual reparation (or both). We also provide information on how courts and bodies have dealt with challenges relating to the identification of beneficiaries, the fact that they may be dispersed over large geographical areas and the prioritisation of limited funds available for reparation.
Photo credit: ICC-CPI.
REDRESS urges Peruvian prosecutor to investigate rape of soldier
REDRESS and its partner organisation in Peru, la Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDDHH), have written to the National Criminal Prosecutor of Peru urging that the investigation in the case of C.A.M.V., a young man who was raped and mistreated during the time he served in the Peruvian Army, be advanced.
In 2011, C.A.M.V. suffered physical and psychological abuse and was raped while doing voluntary military service as an 18-year-old recruit at army barracks in Cusco, a city in southeastern Peru. The perpetrators allegedly committed the rape, after drugging him without his knowledge and while he was unconscious. Toxicological tests confirmed he had been drugged. His injuries were so severe that he had to be hospitalised for more than a month.
While an investigation was initiated more than four years ago, progress has yet to be made with regard to a number of investigative steps. DNA samples that were supposed to be taken from suspects have not been taken yet, despite the fact that the prosecutor's office ordered this test two years ago.
DRC: African Commission will consider complaint of rape victim fighting for compensation from the State
The African Commission on Human and People's Rights has seized our complaint on behalf of a female rape victim who was awarded damages against the Democratic Republic of the Congo but has not received any payments from the State until today.
The victim, S.A., was raped by a member of the Armed Forces in the late 2000s, in the context of the armed conflict in war-torn Eastern DRC, where rape and other forms of sexual violence are rampant. REDRESS and the Synergie pour l'assistance judiciaire aux victimes de violation des droits humains au Nord Kivu (SAJ) brought the complaint before the African Commission, the body tasked with considering individual complaints of violations of rights set out in the African Charter, with the hope that it leads to reparation for the victim and also opens the door to other victims.
Photo credit: UN photo by Marie Frechon.