We are delighted to issue the fourth annual scholarship call for ECCHR's Legal Training Program which is supported by the Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung. Together, we offer young human rights lawyers with limited financial means the opportunity to gain professional experience in our day-to-day legal work. You can apply for a Kreuzerber Kinderstiftung scholarship for 2019 until 15 January 2019.
"My son has paid with his life for the profits of KiK. Finally, a German court is looking into the case." For claimant Saeeda Khatoon, the hearing in the proceedings against German clothing retailer KiK in front of the Dortmund Regional Court is an important step – regardless of its outcome. KiK tried to evade its responsibility by pointing to a possible statutory limitation.
The Bavarian Lawyer's Association (Bayerischer Anwaltverband) awards the annual Max Friedlaender Prize to recognize "outstanding contributions to the law, the legal profession or society." This year the prize, named after a Jewish lawyer and founder of the Association, went to Wolfgang Kaleck, founder and General Secretary of ECCHR.
After Germany, Sweden and France, also Austrian authorities are investigating into the Syrian intelligence services for their role in systematic torture. The investigations were after 16 Syrian submitted a criminal complaint in May 2018. "I hope that Austria will issue arrest warrants against senior officials of Assad's torture system," said one of the complainants, who was tortured by the military intelligence service. In June 2018, in Germany similar complaints contributed to an arrest warrant against the head of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Service.
War and persecution, exploitation and severe hardship force people to leave their homes and make the life-threatening journey to Europe. But violence and unlawfulness do not end at the borders of Europe. Together with refugees and migrants, ECCHR makes legal interventions against push-backs and fights to enforce applicable human rights. Because everyone has the fundamental right to have rights.
The decision of the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court in Hartmut Hopp's case that the prison sentence imposed in Chile has no relevance in Germany is a slap in the face for the victims of the crimes. "Unfortunately, the decision from Düsseldorf is entirely in line with the way the German judiciary and the Federal Government deal with Colonia Dignidad," says Wolfgang Kaleck. ECCHR was not involved in the proceedings in Düsseldorf, but will continue to work in the criminal proceedings in Krefeld to hold Hopp and other persons responsible for torture, drug abuse and sexual violence in the German settlement in Chile accountable.