On Sunday 12 July, eight runners took part in the British 10K London in support of REDRESS. Congratulations to Ernesto, Nancy, Paul, Maï, Eva, Natalie, Gaia and Kartik, who all finished the run in impressive time. Thank you to all those who have donated already, and to those who came out to show their support.
It's not too late to donate to the runners and help them raise funds for REDRESS so that more torture survivors can obtain the justice they deserve. Simply click on their names above to donate to them quickly and securely through JustGiving.
You can now watch REDRESS and partner organisations' Google+ Hangout and hear about how torture is being combated in Perú, Libya, Kenya and Nepal. During this hangout, organisations from these countries share their experiences of seeking justice for torture survivors.
Former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Sir Nigel Rodley also participates in the discussion. The organisations joining this webinar are la Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos in Perú (CNDDHH), Advocacy Forum-Nepal (AF), Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) and the Independent Medico-Legal Unit in Kenya (IMLU).
Training for lawyers in Kenya
REDRESS and partners in Kenya organised trainings and activities in June. A training organised with IMLU focused on documenting and litigating torture cases at the national, regional and international levels and was attended by 15 Kenyan lawyers. On 26 June, IMLU also organised a symposium in Nairobi, where the Attorney General gave an update on the current status of the Anti-Torture Bill 2014, which, when enacted, would bring domestic laws in compliance with the UN Convention against Torture. REDRESS and IMLU are advocating for the enactment of this bill. From 15-17 June, REDRESS also organised a workshop together with Kituo Cha Sheria for victims' representatives on domestic transitional justice mechanisms.
Submission to UNHRC on the UK
REDRESS has made a written submission to the UN Human Rights Committee for its July examination of the UK's 7th Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Our submission raises concerns including: the UK's retreat from its previous assurance of an independent judge-led inquiry into complicity in torture allegations; the fresh allegations concerning the UK's knowledge of the USA's use of Diego Garcia in its torture programme and allegations concerning UK renditions in and from Iraq. We also recommend that the UK adopt a comprehensive, consistent and transparent anti-torture policy compliant with international standards.
Peru: REDRESS highlights impact of torture on mother of survivor
REDRESS and several Peruvian human rights organisations have submitted additional observations to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the case of Luis Alberto Rojas, a young Peruvian who was tortured by police officers for his sexual orientation in 2008. We argued that the violence suffered by Mr Rojas has deeply impacted his mother due to the strong bond between them and therefore her right to personal integrity has been violated as well. REDRESS is working with PROMSEX and La Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDDHH) in this case and is progressing a number of additional cases that highlight the special vulnerability of the LGBTI community to torture in Peru.
USA: Intervention on behalf of torture survivor accused of giving incomplete information on her immigration application
REDRESS and other organisations submitted an amicus curiae brief in the case of USA v. Rasmieh Yusef Odeh before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The case concerns the case of a Palestinian woman accused of lying in her immigration application who has had her citizenship revoked. She is a victim of torture. We argued that the district court should not have excluded expert testimony on the long-lasting and debilitating effects of torture on a survivor, and specifically, testimony on the symptoms and effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can cause a victim to involuntarily practice techniques, including avoidance and dissociation, that lead to compartmentalization or narrowing so as not to trigger a recollection of the trauma.
DRC: Submission in case of rape victim seeking reparation award's enforcement
REDRESS has made a submission on admissibility in the case of S.A. v DRC, concerning the complaint of a Congolese rape victim before the African Commission. The victim was raped by a member of the Armed Forces during the armed conflict in Eastern DRC and was awarded damages against the State which have not yet been paid. REDRESS is working on this case with the Synergie pour l'assistance judiciare aux victimes de violations des droits humains au Nord Kivu (SAJ).