It is impossible to build a just society on foundations of impunity and forgetting. Trauma, including collective trauma, lingers long after the crime has been committed, particularly when the underlying causes are not addressed. For the people affected by crimes against humanity and war crimes, the inherent injustices live on. Remembering and addressing past atrocities as well as seeking justice can form part of the individual and collective healing process.
Justice & Memory
Argentina – Military dictatorship – Germany
The case of Luis Kyburg – The prosecution of an Argentine military officer in Germany
Germany must not be a safe haven for those who commit dictatorship crimes. The former Argentine military officer Luis K is wanted in Argentina for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the country’s military dictatorship (1976-83). As a German citizen, he cannot be extradited. However, the German judiciary may well investigate and prosecute him.
Institute – Research & Academia – Lumumba
Crimes during liberation wars: The Lumumba murder
The criminal investigation into Lumumba’s assassination is part of a broader context of structural impunity for the crimes committed by European colonial powers during decolonization. While the long-term effects of colonization persist, direct accountability is rarely possible.
Chile – Colonia Dignidad – Germany
Colonia Dignidad remains a dark chapter of German legal history
Colonia Dignidad, founded by a German named Paul Schäfer in 1961, was a fortress-like German settlement in central Chile where grave human rights violations were committed over several decades. The former doctor of the Colonia Dignidad, Hartmut Hopp, should face prison in Germany.
Philippines – Sexual and gender-based violence – Malaya Lolas
Philippines: Sexual slavery during the Second World War
On behalf of 28 survivors of sexual slavery during Second World War in the Philippines, ECCHR and CenterLaw submitted a communication to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. They call for the acknowledgement of the crimes and reparations.
Democratic Republic Congo – Armed conflict – Sexual and gender-based violence
Groundbreaking trial in Germany
The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart handed down convictions in the trial of two Rwandan leaders of the Hutu militia group FDLR, Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni. The FDLR are alleged to have utilized sexualized violence against the Congolese civilian population and to have in numerous cases plundered, killed and inflicted grievous bodily injuries.
Argentina – Military dictatorship – Mercedes Benz
Mercedes Benz supported the Argentine military dictatorship
In the Mercedes Benz case ECCHR is assisting relatives of trade unionists who disappeared from a Mercedes Benz plant in Buenos Aires. A senior manager at the company stands accused of involvement in the disappearances and murders of trade union activists carried out by Argentine security forces.
Argentina – Military dictatorship – Minera Aguilar
Involvement of mining company in crimes of the Argentine military dictatorship
In 2012, ECCHR submitted a legal brief in the case relating to the unlawful detention and torture of workers of the company Minera Aguilar SA during the Argentine military dictatorship (1976-1983).
Argentina – Military dictatorship – Ledesma
Involvement of Ledesma sugar company in crimes of Argentine military dictatorship
In 2011, ECCHR submitted an amicus curiae brief in the criminal investigation examining sugar company Ledesma’s liability for human rights violations during the Argentine military dictatorship.
Argentina – Military dictatorship – Käsemann
Justice at last: Judgment in the Elisabeth Käsemann case
More than 30,000 people fell victim to the military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983). The victims included around one hundred people with German citizenship or German roots, among them Elisabeth Käsemann.