To counter injustice with legal interventions – this is the aim and daily work of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.
ECCHR is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to enforcing civil and human rights worldwide. It was founded in 2007 by Wolfgang Kaleck and other international human rights lawyers to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other human rights declarations and national constitutions, through legal means.
Together with those affected and partners worldwide, ECCHR uses legal means to end impunity for those responsible for torture, war crimes, sexual and gender-based violence, corporate exploitation and fortressed borders.
German citizen involved in Argentine military dictatorship’s most serious crimes
Berlin – Germany must not be a safe haven for Argentine military dictatorship criminals. That is why the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office should file charges against Luis K, a former naval officer who allegedly participated in crimes against humanity during the Argentine military dictatorship (1976-83). Luis K faces imprisonment in Argentina, so fled to Germany in 2013, where he has lived undisturbed since. The sister of one of the thousands of disappeared and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights filed a criminal complaint in Berlin in 2018, encouraging the German justice system to finally take action.
“I came to Germany seeking justice for my brother,” said Anahí Marocchi, who filed the complaint. “In Argentina, Luis K, who shares responsibility for my brother’s murder, would have been sentenced long ago. But I am hopeful that here in Germany, with the help of the German justice system, we can finally demand justice.”
Marocchi’s brother Omar was presumably killed in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1976. Luis K was the deputy commander of this naval unit that was demonstrably involved in international crimes. Political opponents of the dictatorship were abducted to the Mar del Plata naval base, where they were sexually abused, tortured and killed.
Argentina has already convicted other Mar del Plata military personnel for these crimes. Luis K was scheduled to testify in a trial in 2013, but fled to Berlin instead. He is a German citizen, so Germany cannot extradite him to Argentina.
“Luis K’s German citizenship must not shield him from prosecution,” said Wolfgang Kaleck, human rights lawyer and ECCHR General Secretary. “Omar Marocchi is just one of thousands of people who were kidnapped, abused, and killed in Argentina. Germany must fulfill its responsibility and bring him to justice here.” Kaleck has represented Argentine military dictatorship survivors for nearly 20 years, and contributed to the 2003 arrest warrant for former Argentine dictator Rafael Videla.
Crimes against humanity must not go unpunished, even if they were committed decades ago. The criminal complaint against Luis K is part of ECCHR’s work to end impunity for government and military leaders, and address dictatorship crimes in Argentina and elsewhere. ECCHR is member of the Koalition gegen Straflosigkeit which has been working to address Argentine dictatorship crimes since 1998.
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.
T: +49 30 69819797