Redress - Ending Torture, Seeking Justice for Survivors
Reparation News
May 2016
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Dear friends and colleagues,

Welcome! In this edition of Reparation News we provide updates on cases in Iran and Lithuania and comment on the recent important judgment given in the Hissène Habré case. We also provide an update on other activities, including our public call to European Member States do more to track, investigate and prosecute suspects of atrocities found in European countries. We also would like to remind you that we are currently recruiting runners for this year's Vitality British 10K London Run, which will take place on 10 July. The run takes in iconic landmarks like the Guards and Cavalry Club, London Eye, Parliament and the Big Ben. If you want to run for a good cause and support REDRESS, please contact info@redress.org for more information.

For the latest updates, please follow @REDRESSTrust on Twitter or join us on Facebook. If you have any questions on our latest news or our work more broadly, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thanks for your continued interest and support for our mission to help torture survivors worldwide.

Carla Ferstman, Director


 

Case updates

REDRESS receives strong decision from UN group of experts in Iranian human rights defender case 

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has ordered Iran to immediately release Kurdish human rights defender Zeinab Jalalian, who is believed to be the only female political prisoner currently sentenced to life imprisonment in Iran. The UN body found on 26 May that her arrest and subsequent 8-year detention have been arbitrary, that she was subjected to an unfair trial and that she has been subjected to torture and ill-treatment at the hands of Iranian authorities. It also finds that the Iranian government should provide her compensation. The opinion follows REDRESS and Justice for Iran's filing of a petition last year.

Read our full statement here.


 
REDRESS helps develop reparation claims in Hissène Habré case 

REDRESS provided technical assistance to Chadian lawyers representing victims in the Hissène Habré case during the reparations phase, which started recently. Habré was convicted of crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes committed during his period as President, from 1982-1990, on 30 May. The 1992 Chadian Truth Commission estimated the victims during Habré’s rule at “more than 40,000 victims, more than 80,000 orphans, more than 30,000 widows and more than 200,000 people who found themselves without moral or material support". Habré's conviction is already a form of satisfaction for many victims, but it should be accompanied by adequate compensation and rehabilitation for those who were permanently marked by the horrible torture suffered by them or their families. 

Read our full statement here


  

REDRESS challenges Lithuania's role in torture of Guantanamo detainee

REDRESS has filed a new appeal in Lithuania concerning Mustafa al-Hawsawi's request for victim status in a pre-trial criminal investigation into CIA secret prisons (also known as black sites).  Lithuania allowed the CIA to establish black sites on its territory where detainees, including Mr al-Hawsawi, were held in violation of their human rights.

If it had not been for the cooperation of countries like Lithuania the CIA would not have been able to carry out its programme of secret detentions and interrogations. The ongoing denial of Mr al-Hawsawi’s right to victim status is an example of the State’s failure to fulfil its obligations under various treaties, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention Against Torture. 

REDRESS and other human rights organisations urged MEPs on 7 June to support a resolution asking EU Member States to do more to ensure accountability for the multiple human rights violations committed under the CIA programme in European Member States.

Read some media coverage about the case

International Policy and Advocacy work

©IRIN News 

Comments sought on the first draft of the General Comment on the right to redress under Article 5 of the African Charter

REDRESS and partners, including the Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, the Kenyan Human Rights Commission and the Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative have supported the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa in its efforts to produce a first draft of a General Comment on the right to redress for victims of torture and other prohibited ill-treatment. The draft has now been uploaded on the African Commission’s website and is open for comments until 30 June.  


 

REDRESS and others human rights groups urge EU States to do more against impunity

On the first EU Day Against Impunity, which took place on 23 May in The Hague, REDRESS and others called on EU Member States to do more to track, investigate and prosecute suspects of atrocities perpetrated in Syria and Iraq found in EU Member States. In a joint statement, the organisations urged EU Member States to further enhance national prosecutions of crimes under international law and human rights violations.

Prosecutions in European courts have already involved crimes committed in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Kosovo, Iraq, Liberia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Argentina, and Syria, among others. The organisations urged EU Member States to consolidate the progress in the prosecution of crimes under international law by national courts in the last 20 years. 

Juergen Schurr, REDRESS' Head of Law and Policy, also participated in a panel discussion entitled "National Jurisdictions in the Front line of Fighting Impunity: Lessons Learned, Contemporary and Future Challenges" in The Hague. Other panellists included Gerard Dive, President of the Belgium Task Force for International Criminal Justice; Stephen Rapp, former US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, and Cristina Ribeiro, Deputy Head of Investigations at the ICC.

Read our joint statement


 

EU Genocide Network meeting

REDRESS attended the 20th meeting of the Network for the Investigation and Prosecution of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes ("EU Genocide Network") on 24 May. The conclusions of the meeting "emphasised the importance of safeguarding victims' and witnesses' participation in criminal and connected civil proceedings regarding core international crimes" and mandated the Network to discuss the importance of ensuring the rights of victims and witnesses in relevant "proceedings at political or ministerial level with the incoming Presidency (of the EU)" .

Read our report Driving Forward Justice: Victims of serious international crimes in the EU

Conferences and training

Workshop in Kenya with victims of post-election violence

REDRESS held a workshop on 11 and 12 May in Nairobi, Kenya, with 28 representatives of victims of the post-election violence. The participants were updated on the latest developments of the Kenya cases at the ICC by the court’s Common Legal Representative for Victims and had the opportunity to discuss their concerns with the victim representative of Kenya's National Consultative Coordination Committee on Internally Displaced Persons.  

Events

REDRESS is looking for runners for the 10K London run

The Vitality British 10K London Run is staged on the world's greatest road race route through the heart of central London, passing many of the capital's truly world class historic landmarks. It will take place on 10 July and REDRESS is looking for runners interested in raising funds for our work on behalf of victims of torture.

Starting on Piccadilly outside The Guards & Calvary Club, runners will pass the new World War 2 Bomber Command Memorial which was unveiled by HM Queen Elizabeth II in June 2012, with Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner forming the backdrop to the start. Runners will take in landmarks like the London Eye, Big Ben, Parliament and more!

These spots tend to go quickly; please contact us quickly (info@redress.org) if you are interested!

REDRESS 87 Vauxhall Walk, London
SE11 5HJ | Tel: +44 (0) 207 793 1777
Charity no 1015787
www.redress.org | info@redress.org
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