Insights from Syria, Turkey, Chechnya and Sri Lanka
Survivors, affected communities and civil society play a crucial role in the fight against impunity for human rights violations. On a national level, they can contribute to peace processes and prevent the resurgence conflicts. As the needs and fight for justice of those affected are often ignored or suppressed, the fight becomes a transnational issue. At our event, we will address these national and transnational issues. The speakers will report on the current human rights situation in Syria, Turkey, Chechnya and Sri Lanka. Then, they will analyze and discuss how legal action can contribute to addressing past injustices.
ICC urged to finally investigate detainee abuse by UK forces
On 31 July 2019, ECCHR filed a follow-up submission to the International Criminal Court concerning war crimes by UK forces in Iraq. ECCHR is calling upon the Court to finally commence a formal investigation. To date, the UK has entirely failed to address the extent to which the abuse was the result of systemic issues as well as to prosecute those most responsible for the crimes.
ECCHR mourns the loss of Simon Rau. Our colleague Simon had just recently turned 30: far too young to die, and yet that is what happened. A few weeks ago, on a Tuesday morning in June. He was laid to rest on 5 July 2019 in Marburg, where he grew up. On 1 July 2019, friends and colleagues joined Simon’s family in his adopted hometown of Berlin to mourn his death. Struggling to come to terms with what had happened, we were all at a loss. May his all-too-premature death be a reminder to us to follow his example, to treat each other and all those we meet with same kindness, openness and empathy that Simon showed. Our thoughts are in particular with Simon’s mother, his family, and his close friends.
The Higher Regional Court of Hamm rejected the application for legal aid filed by Pakistani plaintiffs in the case against German textile retailer KiK. In January 2019, the court dismissed the lawsuit, which aimed to clarify KiK's joint responsibility for fire safety deficiencies at a supplier factory in Pakistan, arguing the case was statute-barred. The plaintiffs applied for legal aid in order to appeal the verdict.
Swedish prosecution authorities responded promptly to the first criminal complaint filed in Sweden against torture in Syria. Since April 2019, four of nine Syrian torture survivors gave witness evidence to the War Crimes Unit. Together with ECCHR they had submitted a criminal complaint under the principle of universal jurisdiction in February 2019 against senior officials of the Assad government.
Wolfgang Kaleck, founder and General Secretary of ECCHR, was awarded the M.C. Bassiouni Justice Award 2019. The prize acknowledges his courageous and vocal objection to the double standards in international criminal law, his efforts in strategic litigation and the founding of ECCHR.