Italy - Sea rescue - Iuventa

UN expert condemns Italy

In October 2020, the UN Special rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders publicly condemned Italy’s actions against the crew of the rescue ship Iuventa and Sea-Watch 3 captain, Carola Rackete. The expert demanded for the charges against them to be dropped. The reason: in 2017, implemented stricter migration policies and since then increasinly put activists under pressure, imposed high fines, and run smear campaigns against them.

The Iuventa during a rescue mission in the Mediterranean © Kenny Karpov

Turkey - Surveillance - FinFisher

German spyware for Turkish authorities?

In early October, the Munich public prosecutor searched offices of the FinFisher company conglomerate in Germany and Romania. The background: ECCHR and its partners had filed criminal complaints against FinFisher CEOs in July 2019. They are accused of selling FinSpy software to Turkey without the German government’s permission. Whether the office search brought forward more evidence is not yet known.

FinSpy: Police use German spyware © FinFisher marketing video

Mexico - Wind park - EDF

Energy firm EDF disregards indigenous rights

French energy giant EDF has been working on the Gunaa Sicarú wind park project since 2015. The power stations are planned on the territory of the indigenous Unión Hidalgo community – but until now, the group was not effectively consulted. This is why Unión Hidalgo representatives, ProDESC and ECCHR filed a civil suit against EDF in France on 13 October and demand that the company halt the project until it can meet human rights standards.

Wind park in Oaxaca, Mexico © ProDESC

India - Pesticides - Syngenta

Poisoning in Yavatmal

Those affected take on pesticide conglomerate Syngenta

Fall 2017: hundreds of farmers were poisoned in the central Indian region of Yavatmal. Official documents show: the pesticide Polo from the Swiss agrochemical company Syngenta played an important role. This is why 51 families, supported by ECCHR and its Swiss and Indian partners, filed an OECD complaint and a compensation claim against Syngenta in Switzerland on 17 September 2020.

Indian farmer applies pesticide – without protective clothing © Public Eye / Atul Loke / Panos Pictures

Syria - Torture - Germany

Al-Khatib trial in Germany

Trial updates

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.

Publication - Decolonial legal critique

New perspectives on the law

“Dekoloniale Rechtskritik und Rechtspraxis“ (Nomos) is the first volume with fundamental texts on decolonial legal criticism in the German language. The anthology’s aim is to critically examine the law, its colonial origins and the question of who does – and does not – have access to the law today. The combination of theoretical and practical approaches presents a new perspective on these topics. Edited by Karina Theurer and Wolfgang Kaleck from ECCHR.