Namibia - (Post-)Colonialism - Germany

"Namibia: A Week of Justice"

Event series in Windhoek and Swakopmund

"Namibia: A Week of Justice" was the title of an event series organized by ECCHR together with German and Namibian institutions and organizations taking place from 25-30 March in Windhoek and Swakopmund in Namibia. Lawyers, artists, constitutional historians and civil society experts from Namibia and abroad discussed how to adequately address the German genocide of the Ovaherero and Nama peoples (1904-08). A central topic was international law in postcolonial contexts.

Colonial Repercussions: Beginning of event series in Swakopmund © Photo: ECCHR

Drones - Yemen - Ramstein

Groundbreaking judgment on Germany's role in US drone program

German government must ensure that US respects international law in Ramstein

In the case "Bin Ali Jaber vs. Germany," the Higher Administrative Court in Münster found in favor of the claimants from Yemen on key aspects. Germany must now take action to ensure that the US respects international law in its use of Ramstein Air Base. Ramstein plays a key role in US drone strikes and thus in many cases in the deaths of innocent people. In August 2012, the bin Ali Jaber family lost two relatives in a drone strike. The airbase at Ramstein hosts a satellite relay station as well as personnel that are crucial for drone operations in the region. This is why, in October 2014, Faisal bin Ali Jaber and two other members of his family brought a legal action against the German government.

Syria - Torture - Sweden

Criminal complaint in Sweden against Assad's intelligence officials

Following criminal complaints in Germany and Austria, torture survivors submitted a criminal complaint in Stockholm in February 2019 against more than 25 senior officials in the Syrian government. ECCHR, whose legal research and analysis form the basis for the criminal complaint, worked closely together with the plaintiffs, Syrian lawyers and Civil Rights Defenders from Sweden.

Abdulnaser, Alaa and Mansour Omari, in February 2019, filed a criminal complaint against high level officials of Assad's security apparatus. © Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

Spain - Push-Backs - Minors

Spanish push-backs violate children's rights

In December 2014, D.D. was pushed back as an unaccompanied minor at the Spanish-Moroccan border – and this was no exception, but a common procedure. On 1 February 2019, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child condemned Spain for its violent push-back practice. The decision followed a complaint submitted by D.D. together with ECCHR and Fundación Raíces in 2015.

Melilla, December 2014: The Guardia Civil grabbing and handcuffing D.D. on Spanish side of the border © Photo: ECCHR

Syria - Torture - Germany

Senior ex-official from Assad government arrested in Germany

A former member of the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate was arrested on 12 February 2019 at the behest of the Federal Court of Justice. Anwar R. is suspected of being responsible for the torture of detainees in the Al-Khatib detention facility run by the General Intelligence Directorate in Damascus. This could lead to a criminal trial in Germany, which would be the first trial anywhere in the world examining the responsibility of senior members of the Syrian intelligence agencies of President Bashar al-Assad for crimes of torture. ECCHR is assisting survivors of torture in Syria in these proceedings. Their testimonies and research conducted by ECCHR contributed to the issuance of the arrest warrant.

Factory fire in Pakistan

KiK evades legal responsibility

The Regional Court in Dortmund will not investigate the facts in the case against textile retailer KiK. In January 2019, the court rejected the lawsuit, which aimed to clarify KiK's joint responsibility for the fire safety deficiencies at a supplier factory in Pakistan, referring to a statutory limitation. KiK had initially agreed to waive a possible statutory limitation, but later insisted that this waiver was void.

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