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.
European Court of Human Rights examines push-backs to Idomeni
13 February 2017 - A step forward in the legal struggle against push-back practices in Europe: The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg is examining the large-scale collective expulsions of refugees from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to the border camp Idomeni in Greece in March 2016. To this end, the ECtHR communicated the complaints of eight applicants from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to the Macedonian government. The refugees had submitted individual complaints in September 2016 with the support of the ECCHR and PRO ASYL.
Justice within reach for victims of fatal push-backs at the Spanish-Moroccan border
13 January 2017 - At least 15 people died and several more were injured in February 2014 during an operation by the Guardia Civil, Spain’s paramilitary police force, at the border between Morocco and the Spanish exclave of Ceuta. On January 12th the Audiencia Provincial regional court in Ceuta ordered the reopening of investigations into officials involved in the deadly push-backs. The court found that insufficient witness evidence had been gathered and that the postmortems carried out on the dead were inadequate. The Court’s decision comes in response to a complaint submitted by a Madrid lawyer working with the ECCHR against the closing of proceedings in October 2015. ECCHR supports the victims of Ceuta with legal assitance.