Grave Crimes

Double Standards & Democracies

No politician or military officer from a Western state has ever sat on the defendants' bench at the International Criminal Court or gone on trial in a third state for international crimes. Despite many steps forwards, we still seem to be quite far from a truly international system of criminal justice for crimes against international law. With its legal interventions against the US, the UK and other Western democracies, ECCHR sends a clear message against double standards: even powerful perpetrators can face prosecution, and we will use all the means the law provides in order to pursue justice.

Afghanistan

Grave Crimes

ECtHR Grand Chamber to Hear Kunduz Airstrike Case

Kunduz

On 4 September 2009, two US fighter jets, acting on the orders of German Army Colonel Georg Klein, bombed a large group of people and two tanker trucks on a sandbar in the Kunduz River in Afghanistan. More than 100 people were killed or injured. ECCHR is assisting Abdul Hanan, a father who lost his two sons, aged eight and twelve, in the attack.

Egypt

Grave Crimes

ECCHR demands adequate support for injured Egyptian demonstrators

Arab Spring

ECCHR has appealed to five UN Special Rapporteurs on behalf of two injured demonstrators who were shot by security forces during the Egyptian protests in spring 2011. ECCHR is calling for adequate support to be given to the men and their families.

Drones

Grave Crimes

Important judgment: Germany obliged to scrutinize US drone strikes via Ramstein

Yemen

In March 2019, the Higher Administrative Court in Münster (Germany) ruled that the German government must take action to ensure that the US respects international law in its use of Ramstein Air Base. In its judgment the court found in favor of the claimants from Yemen on several key aspects.

Drones

Grave Crimes

The case of Bünyamin E. in Pakistan

Pakistan

ECCHR advises in the case of the German victim of a drone strike in Pakistan: Bünyamin E. According to ECCHR's examinations, the case raises a number of serious doubts as to the application and interpretation of the law and shows insufficient investigations.

Drones

Grave Crimes

Sicily airbase: Freedom of information litigation on Italy's involvement in US drone Program

Italy

The Sigonella airbase in Sicily, Italy, is considered of strategic importance for US drone operations in North Africa. ECCHR has filed requests to access information regarding US drones located at Sigonella according to the Italian Freedom of Information Act.

Italy

Grave Crimes

Counterterrorism and human rights

Double standards

For several years now, ECCHR has been working on so-called "terrorism lists." The main focus of this work is to address the grave violation of basic constitutional and human rights that arises by identifying individuals and groups in such a process of listing.

Serbia

Grave Crimes

NATO Airstrike on Varvarin Bridge

NATO

The Varvarin court proceedings in Germany concern the bombing of a bridge in rural Serbia as part of the NATO Operation Allied Force during the Kosovo war. Since 1999, those affected by the attack have been seeking compensation from the Federal Republic of Germany.

Spain

Grave Crimes

Trial of Spanish judge Garzón

Franco Dictatorship

The Spanish judiciary brought charges against judge Garzón, who declared his court competent to undertake preliminary investigations into the enforced disappearance, torture and execution during the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship. Garzón was acquitted of the charges later-on. It remains doubtful whether Spain is willing to independently adress the past atrocities.

USA

Grave Crimes

UN Committee against Torture refuses to examine Belgium's role in torture of former Guantánamo detainee

Guantánamo

Belgium failed to investigate and prevent torture in US detention camp Guantánamo. Former detainee and Belgian citizen Zemmouri together with ECCHR argues that Belgian officials were complicit in the abuse.

USA

Grave Crimes

France: Court must continue to pursue Guantánamo torture cases

Guantánamo

Since 2002, the French judiciary has been conducting investigations into the U.S. torture program and the high-ranking officials responsible for it. In December 2019, the Court of Appeal (Chambre de l'instruction de la Cour d'appel) in Paris will decide whether the investigations will continue. ECCHR demanded the Court to summon former US Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.

USA

Grave Crimes

Torture in Guantánamo: Spain closes investigations into "Bush Six"

Guantánamo

In March 2009, ECCHR partner lawyer Gonzalo Boye filed a criminal complaint against six former US officials of the Bush administration regarding their accountability for violations of international law, including war crimes and torture. The US officials became known as the "Bush Six."

USA

Grave Crimes

ECCHR supports "Extraordinary Rendition" case

Torture

ECCHR sumbitted an amici curiae brief in order to support the compensation claim in the Arar case. Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, was arrested and abducted by US officials in 2002 and brought to Syria. During his one-year detention he suffered torture and was imprisoned under inhumane conditions.

USA

Grave Crimes

Criminal Complaint against Bush

Torture

As a signatory of the Convention against Torture, the US is obliged to prosecute for these crimes. Nevertheless, there is evidence concerning the torture program after 11 September 2001 with a particular focus on the liability of high ranking US officials, including former President Bush.

USA

Grave Crimes

Rumsfeld torture cases

Torture

Between 2004 and 2007, three complaints were filed in Germany and in France against members of the US Government, including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and members of the military forces in connection with war crimes, torture and other criminal acts in the military prisons of Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib.

USA

Grave Crimes

The El Haski case

Guantánamo

Moroccan citizen El Haski was convicted to imprisonment in 2004 in Belgium for several offences committed with regard to an alleged terrorist group. At his conviction, witness testimony from Morocco was used which, according to El Haski, was procured by torture.

USA

Grave Crimes

Germany must enforce criminal prosecution of CIA agents and demand an apology and compensation for CIA victim El Masri

Torture

The case of Khaled El Masri is one of the best documented extraordinary renditions by the CIA. Several inquiry commissions took up this case and a number of lawsuits were filed before different national and regional courts.

USA

Grave Crimes

Germany: Criminal Complaint against CIA Director Gina Haspel

Torture

ECCHR has filed a criminal complaint with the German Federal Public Prosecutor calling for investigations into Gina Haspel's role in the torture of detainees at a CIA secret prison in Thailand in 2002. Haspel was appointed Director of the CIA by President Donald Trump in May 2018.

United Kingdom

Grave Crimes

War crimes by UK forces in Iraq

Iraq

ECCHR demands investigations into the role and responsibility of British military officials in Iraq. A communication to the ICC documents 2000 cases of grave mistreatment during the five years in which UK forces operated in Iraq.