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.
Open letter to the German government
No arms exports to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition's war in Yemen – no exceptions, no time limits. This is what ECCHR and 55 other NGOs call for in an open letter to the German government. In order to prevent the Saudi-led coalition from being supplied with weapons for the war in Yemen, Germany must not only prolong the current export moratorium on some weapon(part)s, it must extend the ban to all military equipment. The German government's arms export policy does not adhere to international law.
On 11 September 2012, 258 people died in a fire in the Ali Enterprises factory in Karachi, Pakistan. The German retail chain KiK, the factory’s main customer, failed to ensure that its supplier adhered to fire safety laws. On the 7th anniversary of the factory fire, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and 63 other civil society organizations are campaigning for a new law to require German companies to conduct human rights and environmental due diligence of their supply chains.
Torture in Guantánamo
For the second time, an international human rights body has refused to examine the torture suffered by a Belgian citizen formerly detained at the Guantánamo Bay US military base. On 2 August 2019, the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) issued the frustrating decision to not look further into Belgium’s role in the torture and ill-treatment of Mosa Zemmouri, who was detained in Guantánamo from 2002 to 2005. The Committee thereby missed a vital opportunity to adequately address the US torture program and European states’ complicity in the so-called war on terror.
The Society for Civil Rights (GFF), Reporters Without Borders Germany (RSF Germany) the blog netzpolitik.org and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) filed criminal complaints against several high ranking CEOs of the German companies FinFisher, FinFisher Labs and Elaman for exporting the FinSpy spyware to Turkey without an export license. The public prosecutor’s office in Munich, where FinFisher is based, has opened an investigation on suspicion of violation of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act. This could result in a fine or up to five years imprisonment.
Open Letter to Messe Berlin GmbH
Since the 1970s, the Western Sahara region has been forcibly occupied and controlled by Morocco. While controlling the territory, Morocco has directly and indirectly displaced the Sahrawi people. Morocco is violating the internationally-recognized right to self-determination of the non-self-governing Sahrawi people. A number of leading European supermarkets continue to stock fresh produce, such as tomatoes and melons, grown by Moroccan and foreign businesses in Western Sahara. Messe Berlin GmbH is arguably linked with these human rights violations through its relationship with Azura Group, who was an exhibitor at the 2019 Fruit Logistica trade fair.
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