UN to assess Bayer and Syngenta's adherence to international standard on pesticides management
7 April 2017 - Together with organizations from Europe and Asia ECCHR submitted a complaint to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in October 2015 on the marketing of hazardous pesticides by Bayer and Syngenta in Punjab/India. Pesticides are sold without adequate labels, available protective clothing, and proper training of the farmers and dealers as the report shows. A video containing farmers' testimonies was submitted as additional evidence to the FAO and is only released today. The FAO will assess companies' adherence to the Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management during its annual meeting ofthe Panel of Experts in New Delhi from 10 to 13 April and invited the coalition to present its view.
UN Committee accepts complaint by former Belgian Guantánamo detainee against his home country
27 March 2017 - The UN Committee against Torture in Geneva has accepted a complaint (individual communication) against Belgium filed by Belgian citizen and former Guantanamo detainee Mosa Zemmouri. The complaint on behalf Zemmouri had been submitted by ECCHR with its cooperation lawyers in Belgium on 11 January 2017. Zemmouri was detained at the US military base in Guantánamo Bay from 2002 to 2005. The complaint argues that Belgian officials were complicit in the abuse, that Belgium knew about the torture but failed to prevent it, and that Belgian authorities subsequently failed to carry out adequate investigations into the crimes.
Bruno Kreisky Prize 2017 goes to ECCHR General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck
21 March 2017 - Wolfgang Kaleck, General Secretary of ECCHR, will be awarded this year's Bruno Kreisky Prize for Human Rights. The international jurry selected Kaleck for this honor in special recognition of his legal work with ECCHR. Other winners of this prestigious prize in 2017 are the Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan for her outstanding contribution to the protection of human rights as well as the Austrian organizations Queer Base and the UMF Haus Liebhartstal. The award ceremony will take place on 19 June 2017 in Vienna.
Syrian torture survivors submit criminal complaint in Germany against Syrian Intelligence Service
2 March 2017 - The Syrian government led by president al-Assad is responsible for systematic torture targeting opponents and activists for several decades. There are currently only few avenues left to prosecute international crimes committed in Syria. One of them is the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows the German judiciary to become active and initiate legal steps without citizenship of the victims or perpetrators being a prerequisite. ECCHR together with seven Syrian torture survivors as well as the two Syrian lawyers Anwar al-Bunni and Mazen Darwish submitted the first criminal complaint against six high-level officials of the Syrian Military Intelligence Service to the Office of the Federal Prosecutor.