IHAT closure threatens proper investigations into allegations of torture by UK soldiers in Iraq
[10 February 2017] REDRESS is concerned that the premature closure of IHAT will limit the prospects for a full accounting of what happened in cases like Baha Mousa, the Iraqi hotel receptionist who died after being interrogated and abused by British soldiers. Rather than closing down IHAT, the Government should ensure that it can continue to fully and independently investigate these and any other credible allegations of abuse within the timeframe set by IHAT itself.
Read our full press release: here
Photo credit: Cpl Paul Jarvis/MOD.
See our recommendations on reparations to the ICC state parties
With the ICC conducting its first reparations proceedings in four separate cases, our participation at the annual session of the Assembly of States Parties focused this year on how to best give full effect to the rights of victims as enshrined in the Rome Statute, in particular, their right to participation, representation and reparation. You can read the recommendations made by the Victims' Rights Working Group, a network of national and international experts that advocates for victims' rights before the Court, informally facilitated by REDRESS, in English here and French here. The meeting of states took place in November.
Training for Greek lawyers, medical doctors, psychologists and social workers working with refugees
This month, REDRESS and Human Rights Foundation Turkey conducted a three-day training in Athens, Greece, for professionals that are providing frontline support to refugees. The purpose of the training was to provide guidance on the documentation of torture and ill-treatment in the context of the mass refugee influx in Greece, and to provide practical guidance on how to address the needs of torture survivors. The training took place in the context of a project coordinated by the Greek Council for Refugees. See REDRESS' recent report: "Mass Refugee Influxes, Refoulement and the Prohibition Against Torture", available in English, French, Arabic and Spanish
REDRESS hails landmark decision of the Supreme Court to hold the UK Government accountable for its alleged role in human rights abuses overseas
REDRESS has hailed a landmark decision of the UK Supreme Court to hold the UK Government accountable for its role in human rights abuses overseas. On 17 January 2017, the country’s highest court issued a long-awaited judgment in the two joined appeals in Belhaj and Others v. Jack Straw & Others and Rahmatullah v. Ministry of Defence and Another.
The Court ruled that the UK Government could not rely on the legal doctrines of sovereign immunity and foreign act of state to escape claims in the two cases alleging UK involvement in breaches of human rights by foreign governments.
REDRESS brings CIA rendition case against Lithuania to Strasbourg
REDRESS has brought a crucial case before the European Court of Human Rights against Lithuania for its alleged complicity in the secret detention and torture of a Saudi Arabian national, Mr Mustafa al-Hawsawi. Lithuania is one of the European countries that we argue facilitated the torture and enforced disappearance of detainees held by the CIA during the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks, but no one has ever been held accountable. Mr al-Hawsawi, now in US custody at Guantanamo Bay, was in secret detention and tortured by the CIA in various locations between March 2003 and September 2006. During this time, he was subjected to water-dousing, beatings, cramped confinement, psychological pressures and sleep deprivation at the hands of the CIA and has developed several serious medical conditions as a result of the torture and ill-treatment that he suffered.
Landmark LGBTI case reaches the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
REDRESS together with two Peruvian NGO partners has taken an eight-year legal battle by a gay Peruvian man, who was raped by Peruvian police officers, before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, one of Americas’ leading human rights institutions. At a hearing last month in Panama City, representatives of Luis Alberto Rojas presented oral arguments on a number of critical aspects of the case. The case will crucially determine whether the alleged rape constituted torture. REDRESS, PROMSEX and La Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos filed their initial petition in 2009 and are now expecting a decision on the merits.
REDRESS highlights need for legal aid for victims in the Ongwen case
REDRESS has drawn attention to the need to provide legal aid to the 2,607 victims who are participating in the Dominic Ongwen case before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Ahead of the start of the trial of the ex-Lord's Resistance Army commander, accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, on 6 December, REDRESS and others outlined these concerns in a letter to the Registrar of the ICC. REDRESS also highlighted the need to do more to provide justice and reparation for victims in a press statement, given that no reparations policy has been developed, adopted or implemented yet in Uganda.