Redress - Ending Torture, Seeking Justice for Survivors
Reparation News
March/April 2014
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Dear friends and colleagues,

Welcome to the March/April 2014 edition of Reparation News. Please find below a summary of recent case updates, news and publications from REDRESS.

For the most up-to-date information from REDRESS, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Warm wishes,

Carla Ferstman, Director


REDRESS Releases Strategic Plan

On 15th April, REDRESS adopted a new Strategic Plan for 2014-2017. In it, we identify objectives for the period, highlight challenges we face and areas for further development, and recognise existing strengths and opportunities we wish to continue capitalising on in the future. A printable PDF version of the plan is available here. 

New Staff Join REDRESS

We are pleased to welcome Jennifer Marcotte, Piya Muqit, and Beini Ye as new members of staff. They hail from Canada, Scotland and Austria, respectively, and each brings considerable experience to their position at REDRESS.

Jennifer Marcotte joins as Development Executive. Her experience includes working in major gifts fundraising at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and as a policy advisor in human rights at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations, and the Conference on Disarmament. She holds an MA in International Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International Development Studies in Geneva.

Beini Ye will be working as our Post-Conflict Legal Advisor. She earned her law degree at Münster University in Germany, where she also completed a legal apprenticeship. Following her studies, Beini worked as a Civil Peace Service Advisor with the Cambodian Defenders Project, and currently represents victims as an International Civil Party Lawyer in the Courts of Cambodia.

Piya Muqit is our National Standards Project Coordinator. She holds an LLB from the University of Aberdeen and an LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of London, and was called to the English and Scottish bars in 2001 and 2005, respectively. She also received an MA in Child Studies from Kings College London. Piya has worked as both Senior Legal Advisor and Children’s Law and Policy Officer at the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, and she gained further experience with the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana in New Orleans and at Ain O Salish Kendra, a legal aid organisation in Bangladesh.

Here at REDRESS, we extend our welcome to these three new members of staff and look forward to working with them. 

Osman Hummaida

REDRESS mourns the passing of Osman Hummaida, a long time human rights activist on Sudan and former Executive Director of the Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT). Osman’s human rights work in Sudan spanned over three decades, and his tenure at SOAT saw the organisation become a leading champion of human rights. Osman suffered torture himself in the early 1990s, in the ghost houses of Khartoum; following his human rights work with SOAT, he was again subjected to torture in Sudan in 2008. Along with FIDH and OMCT, REDRESS brought a case against the Sudanese Government before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the results of which are forthcoming. His many contributions to the fight for human rights in Sudan remain an inspiration to all of us at REDRESS, and we will continue to do our part to continue that legacy. To read more about Osman’s life and work, visit our website.

Partner Meeting/Meeting at Parliament


From 12-13 March, REDRESS and twenty other non-governmental organisation partners held a meeting in which anti-torture experts from around the globe discussed ways to collaborate as part of REDRESS’ Global Sharing of Expertise Project, funded by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. Partners contributed to the strategic discussions, covering topics including torture in post-conflict settings, domestic and international litigation, access to rehabilitation, and others.

REDRESS and the All Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group (PHRG) held a public discussion at the House of Commons on 12 March, hosted by Ann Clwyd, MP (chair of PHRG) and Sir Emyr Jones Parry, REDRESS’ Chair. The discussion, ‘Reducing vulnerability to torture: Challenges to UK’s foreign policy’, allowed participants to raise issues and questions relating to the strategy and practices of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in its work to prevent torture around the world. See the letter to the Rt Hon William Hague MP, in follow up to this meeting:  

Cases: Sirenko v. Ukraine

On 26 March 2014, REDRESS submitted written comments to the European Court of Human Rights on the international legal standards for determining whether the use of force in response to protests amounts to inhuman or degrading treatment and/or torture. These comments also aim to explain the relationship between individual circumstances in which use of force is applied and the classification of these uses of force as violations of an individual’s right to assembly. See the full intervention here.


Brussels:  On 24 March, REDRESS and partner organisations TRIAL, the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) held a conference on the rights of victims of international crimes, under the 2012 EU Directive on minimum standards for victims of crime. A background paper outlining the objectives of the conference, as well as the conference’s full agenda, are both available to view online or download in PDF format.

Geneva: On 12 March, Kevin Laue of REDRESS joined the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy’s event, ‘Failure to Reform: An Examination of Bahrain’s UPR Recommendations’ as a panellist and contributor on human rights. REDRESS co-sponsored the event alongside Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The event was held in the United Nations Human Rights Council Room XXIV. 

Democratic Republic of Congo/Uganda: From 30 March to 12 April, Gaia Pergolo of REDRESS travelled to Uganda and DRC for a two-week field mission. Along with partner organisations Uganda Victims Foundation and the Ugandan Coalition for the ICC, REDRESS organised a roundtable meeting with the International Crimes Division (ICD) and Ugandan civil society organizations, which took place in Kampala, with the aim of promoting awareness and voicing victims’ concerns to ICD Officials. REDRESS also organised a two-day workshop with UVF in Gulu , Northern Uganda to discuss the particular issue of interim reparations for victims of international crimes. In DRC, REDRESS organised outreach activities on the International Criminal Court and provided updates on recent developments in the Lubanga, Katanga and Ntaganda cases.

UN Briefing Released

On 18 March 2014, REDRESS submitted a briefing paper to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) entitled, ‘Participation in Transitional Justice Processes by Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence’. In it, we explain the ways in which to ensure that victims of sexual and gender-based violence participate effectively in justice processes – both during and after situations of conflict. The report covers both ordinary justice systems and transitional justice systems in its explanation. A full version of the submission is available here.

London Marathon Update

Congratulations and huge thanks are in order to Ronnie, Layla, Eddie, Hugh, and Rhodri who ran for REDRESS in the 2013 Virgin Money London Marathon, and to James Lewis who ran the Manchester Marathon! ! So far, they have raised over £8,000 to support REDRESS. We are very thankful for their contributions. If you or your organisation is interested in participating in other events for REDRESS, kindly e-mail for more information on how to get involved.

London Legal Walk

On 19 May, REDRESS will again participate in the London Legal Walk. The walk is said to be the largest annual gathering of lawyers and the judiciary field in the world. Funds are raised by walkers gaining sponsors, followed by many law firms, chambers, and companies adding to that with matched funding. If you are interesting in stretching your legs and raising money for a worthy cause, please contact Jennifer Marcotte for more information about how to join us. To sponsor REDRESS, please see the fundraising site here.

British 10K London Run

On Sunday, 13th July, REDRESS will be one of the participating organisations in the British 10K London Run. We are currently recruiting runners who would be willing to help raise funds for REDRESS in order to allow us to continue our work towards helping victims of torture obtain justice. If you are interested in running for REDRESS in the British 10K London Run, please contact Jennifer Marcotte as soon as possible. Information about the run is also available here. Thanks for your help! 

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