UK war crimes in Iraq probe: ICC prosecutors move to next stage in assessment

5 December 2017 - The opening of a formal investigation into war crimes committed by UK forces in Iraq is one step closer as prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague progress to the next phase of their preliminary examination. On 4 December 2017, the Court’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) announced that it sees a reasonable basis to believe that members of the UK armed forces committed war crimes. ECCHR welcomed the decision and expect the Prosecutor will move to open a formal investigation. In May 2014, the OTP reopened its review of crimes potentially committed by UK forces following a communication filed by ECCHR and the UK organization Public Interest Lawyers.

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German Federal Prosecutor must issue arrest warrants for Assad’s inner circle

8 October 2017 - Saydnaya, al-Mezzeh and the Aleppo Air Force Intelligence Branch: for the vast majority of people in Syria, these prison names are synonymous with systematic degradation, unimaginable torture and mass executions. Senior officials of President Bashar al-Assad’s government are responsible for the international crimes committed at these prisons. Two new criminal complaints were filed in Germany against 17 of those most responsible for Assad’s policies of repression. The criminal complaints, submitted by 13 Syrian women and men to the Office of the German Federal Public Prosecutor, concern crimes against humanity and war crimes.The complaints were compiled by the ECCHR in collaboration with the Syrian lawyers and activists Anwar Al-Bunni (SCLSR) and Mazen Darwish (SCM).

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ECtHR judgment: Spain's practice of push-backs violates European Convention on Human Rights

3 October 2017 - Spanish long-standing practice of push-backs at the external borders of the EU is unlawful. Automatic expulsions violate the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in Strasbourg. The judgment came in response to two complaints against Spain brought to the ECtHR in February 2015 by two refugees from Mali and Cote d’Ivoire based on the initiative and expertise of ECCHR. The litigation against Spain has an impact beyond the individual case. It sets a precedent in order to assert the fundamental right to have rights of refugees and migrants

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Torture: Syrian military police defector “Caesar” passes key evidence to German Federal Prosecutor

22 September 2017 - Over several years the group of people supporting the Syrian military police defector known as “Caesar” has obtained thousands of photos of tortured and murdered detainees in Syrian government detention facilities. Now, the “Caesar-File Support Group” for the first time took legal action by filing together with ECCHR a criminal complaint with the German Federal Prosecutor against senior officials from the Syrian intelligence services and the military police concerning crimes against humanity and war crimes. A representative of the “Caesar-File Support Group” also provided the Federal Prosecutor with a set of high-resolution images and metadata.This adds to the evidentiary value of the images and paves the way for further investigatory steps.

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