To counter injustice with legal interventions – this is the aim and daily work of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).
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 together with other international human rights lawyers, in order to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other declarations of human rights and national constitutions, through legal means.
Together with affected persons and partners worldwide, ECCHR uses legal means to end impunity of those responsible for torture, war crimes, sexualized violence, corporate exploitation and fortressed borders.
Thursday, 18 June 2020 – 1 pm CEST
Germany is one of the first countries taking steps on the way to justice for Syria: two years ago, an international arrest warrant against Jamil Hassan, former head of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Service, was issued. And two months ago, the first trial worldwide on Syrian state torture started at the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany.
In both cases, Syrian witnesses supported by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) contributed to the proceedings. Also, other European countries like France, Sweden and Austria started investigations to end impunity for the most severe crimes in Syria.
Despite such important steps, those efforts reveal a remarkable deficiency: so far, sexual and gender-based crimes have not been investigated or prosecuted as a crime against humanity, thus as part of a systematic and widespread attack against the civilian population. Especially female perspectives and testimonies on, but not exclusively, sexual and gender-based crimes are missing in legal procedures.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, ECCHR, Urnammu and Syrian Women’s Network invite you to a press briefing on the commission and severe impacts of sexual and gender-based violence in detention facilities in Syria since March 2011, as well as the importance of gender-sensitive prosecution of crimes against humanity in Germany and elsewhere.
The press conference will be held online and with simultaneous translation in Arabic and English. Please register in advance via email@example.com until 17 June 2020.
“As the head of Syrian Air Force Intelligence, Jamil Hassan was responsible for the torture me and my friends suffered. The international arrest warrant shows, that our criminal complaint is the right path to achieve justice”, says Yazan Awad, a Syrian torture survivors who cooperates with ECCHR.
The first trial worldwide on state torture in Syria started in Germany, in April 2020. The main defendant is Anwar R, a former official at the General Intelligence Directorate in Syrian President Assad’s government. ECCHR supports 16 Syrian torture survivors in the proceedings.
On 23 April 2020, the first criminal trial worldwide on state torture in Syria started in Germany. The main defendant in front of the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz is Anwar R, a former General Intelligence Directorate official in Bashar al-Assad’s government. ECCHR supports 17 Syrian women and men in the al-Khatib proceedings, seven of whom are joint plaintiffs. Here you will find regular updates on the proceedings.
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