At an event to commemorate 25 years of the UN Working Group on Arbtirary Detention (WGAD), REDRESS is renewing calls for WGAD decisions to be enforced by states.
REDRESS is working to achieve justice in several cases of arbitrary detention, including the case of Zeinab Jalalian (pictured), a young Kurdish women's rights activist imprisoned in Iran; British national Andy Tsege, kidnapped in Yemen and rendered to Ethiopia leaving his partner Yemi and three children without him; and Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national who was detained on a family visit in Iran.
REDRESS has officially started its operations in The Hague, the international city of peace and justice! To mark the opening we held a conference on “Justice for victims and accountability for torturers: past, present and future strategies” on 29 September 2016, at The Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague.
The aim of the conference was to reflect on a range of approaches taken to afford justice to victims and to hold those responsible for torture to account. It drew on experiences in several countries, and brought together lawyers and other experts with direct knowledge of regional, hybrid and domestic efforts and mechanisms.
Paul Lomas, Chair of the inaugural Board of Directors of our Dutch charity, and a Senior Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, opened the conference.
REDRESS attends international conference in Kyrgyzstan
Our International Legal Advisor Kyra Hild was among more than 200 experts who attended a high level international conference in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, from 21 to 22 September – Istanbul Protocol Implementation: Transforming Regional Experiences into International Norms for Effective Torture Investigation and Documentation. Kyra discussed REDRESS’ work on translating the right to redress into reality during a session examining “Effective Adjudication and Redress.”
Last month, Kyra and our Post-Conflict Legal Advisor, Beini Ye, also met State representatives in Geneva to discuss our work with victims of sexual violence in conflict in Northern Uganda and to call on States to make robust recommendations to the Government of Uganda during the Universal Periodic Review.
The trial against the former commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Dominic Ongwen started today in The Hague. The trial presents the best prospect yet for victims he brutal two-decade conflict in northern Uganda to have the terrible harm that they suffered acknowledged at last. Over 4,000 victims are participating in the case, but even so, the International Criminal Court (ICC) proceedings will only go so far; more remains to be done to provide justice and reparations to all victims of the conflict in Uganda.
For the first time in its history, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which decides on complaints of human rights violations in the Americas, will hold tomorrow an oral hearing in a landmark case concerning allegations of torture committed by police officers against a gay Peruvian. The case of Luis Alberto Rojas Marín against Peru is the first case of torture against a LGBTI person heard by the Inter-American Commission.
REDRESS and its Peruvian partner organisations Promsex and the Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos brought his case to the attention of the Inter-American Commission after he failed to obtain justice in Perú for more than eight years.
On the UN International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2 November REDRESS demanded justice in the case of Olivier Acuña Barba. The Mexican journalist was arbitrarily arrested and subsequently tortured along with two of his neighbours by agents of the elite corps of the ministerial police of Sinaloa, Mexico.
No one has ever been investigated, arrested or sanctioned for the crimes committed against Mr Acuña Barba, even though he has suffered torture, arbitrary detention, police harassment and has lost his home, his possessions and his valuable journalistic files, and has been forced to live in exile since 2010.
On 7 September 2016 the WGAD issued its Opinion stating that Nazanin Ratcliffe’s deprivation of liberty was arbitrary, and called on Iran to release her immediately and to accord her an enforceable right to compensation. It also urged Iran to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding Nazanin Ratcliffe’s arbitrary detention of liberty and to take appropriate measures against those responsible. In addition it referred the case to the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
REDRESS press statement, 13 October 2016
Please read more about her case here