Afghanistan - Kunduz - Germany

Kunduz air strike

ECtHR Grand Chamber to hear case on 26 February

In September 2009, two US fighter jets, acting on the orders of German Army Colonel Georg Klein, bombed a large group of people on a sandbar in the Kunduz River (Afghanistan). More than 100 people – mainly civilians – were killed or injured. During the following investigations, the German government and military repeatedly put their own interests ahead of prosecuting those responsible. On 26 February 2020 – ten years later – the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg will hear the case before its Grand Chamber.

Spain - Push-Backs - Melilla

Strasbourg shamelessly gives green light to push-backs at Europe's borders

The ECtHR's Grand Chamber dismisses case against Spain's "hot returns"

No rights at the border, too many hurdles in court. ND and NT were handcuffed and immediately expelled through Melilla’s fence structure from Spain to Morocco. No one asked who they were or why they were there. They were given no due process, nor the opportunity to challenge their expulsion. The same happened to at least 70 other individuals on August 13, 2014. These summary, violent and unlawful push-backs are documented in several videos, photos and testimonies. Yet, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg dismissed ND and NT v. Spain. Instead of condemning Spain for failing its human rights obligations, the court is ignoring evidence from all human rights institutions.

Italy – Sea rescue – Criminalization

Sea rescue under attack: UN intervention against Italy demanded

For years, Italian authorities have threatened and attacked sea rescues that provide humanitarian aid to refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean. This is why ECCHR submitted complaints to the responsible UN Special Rapporteur in November 2019 and January 2020. The goal: for him to intervene on behalf of the German NGO ship Sea-Watch 3's crew and German ship Iuventa.

The Sea-Watch 3, with a rescue boat in the foreground © Boris Niehaus, Sea-Watch e.V.

University cooperation

Wolfgang Kaleck at CUNY School of Law


Wolfgang Kaleck, founder and General Secretary of ECCHR, has joined the Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice at City University of New York School of Law as 2020 Scholar-in-Residence. Throughout the spring semester, he will lead a series of human rights seminars about transnational human rights litigation, social movements, business and human rights, and more. The Scholar-in-Residence program features accomplished international legal scholars and practitioners. Previous scholars include judges Richard Goldstone, Rosemary Barkett, Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, Albie Sachs, US Senator George Mitchell, and former UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai.


Human rights before profit

Case studies on corporate human rights due diligence

The study "Menschenrechte vor Profit: So wird's gemacht" (only in German) describes how companies should implement human rights due diligence in their production and supply chains. On the basis of three concrete cases – KiK, Nestlé and Lahmeyer – authors Claudia Müller-Hoff and Miriam Saage-Maaß show avenues to reach this goal.

Foto BHR-Broschüre

Yemen - War crimes - Europe

European arms in Yemen

Communication to the ICC

Eurofighter, Tornados, MK 80 series bombs – European arms are used in the war in Yemen. In order to investigate the role of corporate and state actors for alleged war crimes in Yemen, ECCHR and international partners submitted a Communication to the International Criminal Court in The Hague on 11 December 2019. The Communication focusses on arms firms like Airbus, Leonardo and Rheinmetall.

Residential area in the Old City of Sana'a (Yemen) after an airstrike allegedly conducted by the Saudi/VAE led coalition © Mwatana