Black Sub-Saharan refugees are given no legal pathways to enter Spain
A new investigation by Forensic Architecture shows that due to racist policies at the Spanish-Moroccan border, black Sub-Saharan nationals do not have legal pathways to claim protection in Spain. The report, produced by FA and ECCHR, critically undermines the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in ND and NT v. Spain.
Criminal complaint in Germany
It is about time that German authorities prosecute sexual and gender-based violence in Syrian detention centers for what it is: a crime against humanity. This is the aim of a criminal complaint that seven survivors of Assad’s torture system submitted on 17 June 2020 to the German Federal Public Prosecutor. ECCHR drafted the complaint with support from Syrian Women’s Network und Urnammu. The accusations are directed against nine high-ranking officials of the Syrian government and Air Force Intelligence Service, including Jamil Hassan, its former head.
On 23 April 2020, the first trial worldwide on state torture in Syria started at the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany. The defendants are Anwar R and Eyad A, two former officials in of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s General Intelligence Service. ECCHR supports 17 torture survivors in the proceedings, seven of whom are joint plaintiffs and represented by ECCHR partner lawyers. Read our monitoring of the al-Khatib trial here.
For the first time, the Croatian government must answer in court for its practice of pushing back migrants to Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 25 May, the European Court of Human Rights published a communication on three Syrian refugees’ complaints. The applicants – one of whom was an unaccompanied minor – were were summarily expelled from Croatia in 2018. They are supported by ECCHR and PRO ASYL.
Human rights due diligence in times of (economic) crises
COVID-19 has also led to a significant disruption of world trade. Faced with this crisis, transnational textile companies fall back on exactly what their supply chains are designed for: externalizing costs, outsourcing economic risk, and shifting the responsibility for workers’ social rights to suppliers. They leave behind corporate social responsibility as well as human rights obligations. ECCHR’s policy paper explores how proper human rights due diligence by textile companies and retailers should have looked like in the last years and how companies should act now to protect workers in the current situation.
On 18 May, Anwar R, main defendant in the first trial worldwide on state torture in Syira gave a statement. He is charged with being an accomplice in torturing at least 4000 people in the al-Khatib prison. “Anwar R is trying to downplay his role by saying he obeyed orders. That is common practice in such trials. But he allegedly issued, not merely received and followed, them” said Wolfgang Kaleck.