Per la protezione e la promozione dei diritti umani, della democrazia, dello stato di diritto e della giustizia internazionale
NPWJ in the news
NPWJ says farewell to the Special Court for Sierra Leone
By Sierra Express Media, 03 Dec 2013
In a ceremony held today at its premises in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) formally handed over the Court’s landmark courthouse and the surrounding court complex to the Government of Sierra Leone, as it takes its final steps towards closure of the institution. Niccolo’ Figa Talamanca, Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice attended the ceremony alongside numerous other guests who have been longtime supporters of the Court, from inside and outside Sierra Leone. Sixteen distinguished jurists were also sworn-in as Judges of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, the institution that will succeed the Special Court when it closes this month.
Giustizia di transizione in Siria
Rai Radio 3, 26 Nov 2013
Formazione per attivisti, medici, avvocati e giudici nel primo training sul tema delle armi chimiche che si tiene in questi giorni in Siria: come raccogliere nella maniera più sicura e corretta prove di eventuali attacchi chimici? Come documentare il ritrovamento di fosse comuni e l’identificazione dei cadaveri, come sensibilizzare la società civile siriana sul tema della giustizia? Mentre si attende Ginevra 2 e l’avvio del programma di smantellamento dell’arsenale chimico in Siria si comincia a lavorare alla memoria e al futuro.
Un futuro e un presente da comunicare liberamente: promossa insieme a giornalisti siriani verrà lanciata questa settimana in Italia una campagna in sostegno al diritto ad esprimersi della stampa indipendente nata nei 3 anni della rivoluzione. Insieme alla redazione di Radio Ana, una delle radio libere nate in Siria dopo l'inizio della rivoluzione ed oggi uno degli obiettivi delle formazioni qaediste, verrà lanciato un appello alla società civile siriana, a quella internazionale ed alle istituzioni, per porre fine ai crimini ed alle violazioni a danno di giornalisti ed operatori dei media in Siria.
Quali verità per la Siria?
Martedì 26 novembre Anna Maria Giordano ne parla con Fouad Roueiha, giornalista siriano che vive in Italia, e Giacomo Cuscunà, collaboratore della Ong "Non c'é pace senza giustizia" in collegamento da Damasco.
States: Use ICC System to Eliminate Grave Crimes against Women
Bahamas Weekly/CICC, 25 Nov 2013
Prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes must begin at national level, says civil society on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
New York/The Hague—States should take greater steps to eliminate violence against women and girls in conflict by joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as prosecuting perpetrators of sexual and gender-based crimes at the national level, the Coalition for the ICC said today.
Marked around the world today, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women brings into sharp focus the work of the ICC to end impunity for sexual and gender-based crimes, as well as the urgent need to restore victims’ dignity and provide them with redress, empowering them to be key actors in peace-building efforts and assume societal leadership roles.
The Rome Statute’s provisions targeting sexual crimes represent a historic advance for international justice. The Coalition has called on states at this week’s annual meeting of ICC members, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), to stay focused on improving the delivery of meaningful justice to the most vulnerable victims of grave crimes through the ICC and Rome Statute system.
Coalition member statements in honor of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:
"In the engagement of the ICC with victims and affected communities, dedicated outreach must be provided to vulnerable groups such as women and girls victims of gender based violence. Their victimization often persists also when they return to their communities, where they are frequently further marginalised as a result of the crimes they have suffered. Redirecting the stigma of the criminal act to the perpetrators, where it should be, and redefining victims as rights holders before the ICC and in their day-to-day lives is an important function of ICC outreach activities about the nature of the crimes committed, their gravity and the proceedings taking place at the Court." Alison Smith, Legal Counsel and Director of the International Criminal Justice Program, No Peace Without Justice.
International Criminal Court/Bonino: cooperation by member states crucial
Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 21 Nov 2013
We should listen to the demands of the countries of Africa and, with them, find agreed solutions. Because effective international cooperation is crucial to International Criminal Court (ICC) in performing its mandate. That is the message voiced by Foreign Minister Emma Bonino at the 12th Assembly of States Parties (ASP) of the ICC, which today saw its second and last day. In her contribution to the general debate, Minister Bonino reiterated Italy’s full support for the Court in The Hague, with which she invited the entire international community to collaborate more fully.
Listen to the countries of Africa, Bonino tells the ICC Assembly
The Assembly of the ICC’s 122 member states was held as the proceedings against the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and his deputy, William Ruto, continue to create tensions between the court and many African states. States which, as a protest, have asked the United Nations Security Council to suspend the proceedings for 12 months in application of Article 16 of the Statute of Rome. The ASP itself devoted an ad hoc session to the “Indictment of sitting Heads of State and Government and its consequences on peace, stability and reconciliation”.
Today, speaking on the second day of discussions, Minister Bonino noted the need to find a solution with the African countries. “The International Criminal Court needs Africa, just as Africa needs the Court to ensure that those responsible for crimes of the utmost gravity committed in that continent are brought to justice. We must not underestimate the demands of the African Union. We must be, and we are, willing to listen, discuss and find solutions to retain the confidence of the African states”, explained the head of Italian diplomacy. She did not mention the Kenyan case directly but underscored that “effective international cooperation is crucial to the Court in fulfilling its mandate”.
Italy fully supports the Court in The Hague, declares the Minister
Minister Bonino reiterated Italy’s “full support” for international justice and invited the international community to provide the ICC with “more collaboration, more financial resources and, about all, political support”. Support, she underscored, that “should not be blind to problems and to areas in which the Court must improve”. The foreign minister’s words confirmed an approach taken by the Italian government since the ICC was set up in 1998 with the Statute of Rome.
Italy has always been a leading country in upholding the principle of the rule of law and rejecting impunity for international crimes. And we have always given our unconditional support to the Court and its work. During the 2010 Kampala Conference (which reviewed the Rome Statute by introducing a definition of the crime of aggression with respect to which the Court could exercise jurisdiction) Italy also made three public commitments. One was to create, in the Justice Ministry, an office for the enforcement of arrest warrants and judicial cooperation with the ICC. The second was to set up a permanent contact point with the Court in the Foreign Ministry’s legal department. And the third was to raise awareness of international criminal law and of the International Criminal Court through conferences, workshops and seminars. For 2014, moreover, Italy has earmarked 8,843,714 euros for the Court, an increase of 900,000 euros on its contribution for 2013.
International Criminal Court set up by Statute of Rome in 1998
The International Criminal Court is the only permanent international court that can judge the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. It was set up in 1998, at the end of the Rome Diplomatic Conference, through the adoption of the Rome Statute, which entered into force on 1 July 2002. Italy ratified the Statute on 12 July 1999. The ICC has jurisdiction over the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression.
Its jurisdiction is complementary to that of national courts, in that its can be exercised only when national systems are unwilling or unable to conduct the investigations or hold the trial. The Court’s jurisdiction is not universal: it cannot, therefore, proceed against the citizens of states who have not signed the Statute or with respect to situations that occur on their territory, unless they give their consent.
Two side events co-sponsored by Italy have also been organised. They are “Accountability in Syria”, scheduled for 22 November and organised by Human Rights Watch and No Peace Without Justice, and “Complementarity and Libya”, scheduled for 26 November and organised by No Peace Without Justice.
Prosecutor says not a single rape reported since revolution
By Ashraf Abdul Wahab, Libya Herald, Tripoli, 03 Nov 2013
Very few cases of rape are reported in Libya. The head of the East Tripoli Prosecution Office, Nuri Bakai recently revealed that not a single case of rape had been submitted to the Attorney-General, which would have triggered an investigation by the prosecutor’s office. Bakai said he believed that this was probably because sensitivities around rape mean that victims are reluctant to report attacks.
He was speaking during a debate on sexual violence put on by by Italian NGO No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) in Libya. Part of the Transitional Justice programme, the organisation is supported by both the Italian and British embassies.
The event attracted civil society organisations, members of the judiciary, law students, international NGOS, UNSMIL, embassies and international experts including Francesca Del Mese, who focuses on violence against women, rape and sexual harassment.
She explained how the repercussions of this crime went well beyond the crimes themselves. Therefore the follow-up for rape victims had to extend beyond the initial counselling, to effective support during the investigations and criminal proceedings against the rapists.
These pointed out that sexual violence and rape are not crimes confined to women, as there are many offences against males as well. In both cases there is often a reluctance to admit what has happened and a refusal to testify against the criminals. With female victims there is also the risk that because they have been violated, they would be rejected by their families.
The meeting was told that mobile counselling rooms, first developed in Morocco, were being used in Libya to allow rape victims to speak about their ordeal in total confidence. One Libyan organisation explained that in addition to counselling, it was providing financial support to help rape victims marry former Thuwar (revolutionary fighters), especially those who were amputees. However some attendees protested that marrying victims off in this way should be considered a further crime, as it did not take account of psychological and physical damage which could affect their marriages.
Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal: British Foreign Secretary asked for immediate intervention
Bangladesh Independent News Network (BDINN), 18 Oct 2013
Today a group of members of the House of Lords, along with leading international war crimes and human rights lawyers, have written to Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, with a stinging rebuke of Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal. Their letter asks for the British Government’s immediate intervention and argues the tribunal risks destabalising the country prior to elections.
The letter, signed by senior figures from all three of Britain’s main political parties, follows criticism from human rights organisations and international legal experts over the International Crimes Tribunal.
The tribunal was set up to try those accused of war crimes and genocide during Bangladesh’s 1971 independence war. However, international legal experts have grown concerned the process has been undermined by misconduct by both prosecutors and judges. All defendants so far are members of the political opposition in Bangladesh, drawing accusations the tribunal is being used by the Bangladeshi Government to suppress political dissent prior to elections later this year.
The letter comes after recent death sentences handed out to leading members of the two principal opposition parties have been condemned by Amnesty International, amongst others. It also says there is ‘credible evidence’ the Bangladeshi government influenced the recent judgment of SQ Chowdhury.
The letter is sponsored by Lord Carlile QC, one of Britain’s foremost lawyers and Vice-Chair of UK Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. Cosignatories also include: Sir Desmond De Silva QC, the United Nations Chief Prosecutor in Sierra Leone; Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, Deputy Prosecutor of Slobodan Milosevic at International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; Kirsty Brimelow QC, International Human Rights lawyer, Chair of Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales; Karim Khan QC, legal adviser to the UN Criminal Tribunals for Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; International Defence Council in Special Courts for East Timor and Sierra Leone; Sir Henry Brooke, former Vice-President, Court of Appeal of England and Wales; Niccolo Figa-Talamanca (Secretary General, No Peace Without Justice).
Judicial reform boosted by training on trial monitoring
By Libya Herald, 13 Oct 2013
Libya’s recently-established Trial Monitoring Network has been given a boost with training to help it tackle the technical challenges of observing trials in Libya. The Trial Monitoring Network was set up in June by 17 Libyan lawyers, following a series of meetings, field trips and training. Trial monitoring tries to ensure rights to fair trials and is an important tool in helping judicial reform. Workshops focused on addressing some specific challenges the network had faced so far in the process of establishing its presence in Libya and gaining entry to courts. Organised by the Tripoli Bar Association and the High Judicial Institute, in collaboration with NGO No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), the workshop was led by international trial monitoring expert Pipina Katsaris, with input from local experts.Continua
ICC: Libya is Fit to Hold Trials of Crimes under International Law
By The Tripoli Post, 13 Oct 2013
International Criminal Court rules that Libyan judicial system is fit and competent enough to hold the trial of former Gaddafi intelligence chief saying that Libya is willing and able genuinely to carry out investigations and trials. The Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled on 11 October that the case against Abdullah Al-Senussi is currently subject to domestic proceedings conducted by the Libyan competent authorities and that Libya is willing and able genuinely to carry out such investigation. The Judges concluded that the case is “inadmissible before the Court, in accordance with the principle of complementarity enshrined in the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the ICC.”
No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT), welcomed the court’s decision and said it confirms that Libya “is not only positively eager but also able to take care of crimes under international law committed on its territory by its citizens itself”.
Syrian activists and doctors being trained to combat chemical attacks
By Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, The Telegraph, 12 Oct 2013
The horrors that struck the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in August seem a long way from the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo. As the world's most prestigious peace prize was awarded to the body charged with destroying Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, by coincidence a group of survivors of the now notorious attacks were gathered in southern Turkey. The group was comprised of doctors and activists who see it as their mission to protect civilians from future attacks that had assembled for detailed instruction on how to cope with more attacks. Syria has agreed to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal under the supervision of the newly-anointed Nobel Peace laureates, The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), by the middle of next year. But ordinary Syrians remain preoccupied by the potential pitfalls and prospect of outright failure that overshadow the effort and the August attacks in Ghouta are still fresh in the memory. "My best friend died in Ghouta after treating casualties of the attack, he was only qualified for one year as a doctor, they didn't know it was a chemical attack," Dr Mouhamed of Damascus said. "They didn't have any protective equipment, but kept treating those they could get access to. Many doctors and medics died from the contamination, I know of at least seven. "There is still no equipment on the ground that would deal with chemical contamination. Many families don't even know what caused most deaths – most of those died when seeking shelter in their cellars where the heavy gas found them. We did not know what to do then and at least now we have a better idea, but people on the ground need to be told." Western experts in the threat of chemical and biological weapons conducted three days of training for 32 activists, mainly medics, who made the challenging trip out of Syria. In classrooms run by the organisation No Peace Without Justice, the Syrians were painstakingly taken through a framework of chemical weapons experiences.Continua
Senussi trial in Libya “new potential” for country’s justice system, says NGO
By Libya Herald, 12 Oct 2013
The ICC decision to authorise Libya to try Qaddafi’s former spy chief Abdullah Al-Senussi has been welcomed by International NGO No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ). “As the country has embarked on legislative reforms, the ICC ruling marks an historic opportunity for the Libyan authorities to demonstrate their ability to break with the legacy of impunity and abuses that typified Gaddafi’s rule,” said NPWJ Legal Counsel Alison Smith. She added that it gave Libya an opportunity to hold the trial “with a new respect for the rule of law and to meet the promise of justice and redress for the victims and their families.”Continua
Africa vs Int’l Court: Quotes on the court as leaders meet before trial of Kenya’s president
Associated Press / Washington Post, 11 Oct 2013
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Foreign ministers from around Africa on Friday meet at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia to discuss Africa’s relationship with the International Criminal Court. The meeting comes a month before Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is scheduled to appear in The Hague, Netherlands court to answer charges of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in Kenya’s 2007-08 post-election violence that killed more than 1,000 people. Kenya’s parliament, in a nonbinding resolution, voted last month to pull out of the treaty that created the ICC, amid indications Kenyatta may not show up in The Hague for his November court case. Kenya has petitioned the court for Kenyatta to appear by video link.
There is growing criticism inside Africa that the ICC has only prosecuted Africans. On Saturday African heads of state and government meet on the ICC issue. Below are different views on Africa’s relationship to the ICC and Kenyatta’s judicial dilemma.
— “Needless to say, the work and functioning of the ICC should not be beyond scrutiny and improvement. However, considerations of withdrawal risk grave consequences for civilians in Africa, who tend to bear the brunt of serious crimes committed in violation of international law.” — Statement by 130 African and international civil society organizations.
— “Impunity for politically-motivated violence has been the norm in Kenya for far too long and, so far, the Kenyan authorities have failed to undertake any domestic accountability process to address the crimes committed during the post-election violence that rocked the country in late 2007 and early 2008.” Statement by No Peace Without Justice, a group promoting human rights and international justice.
UN, ITALIAN FM SPEAKS OUT AGAINST CHILD BRIDES
AnsaMed, 27 Sep 2013
The right to choose one's own spouse was recognised in 1946 in Article 16 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, but ''even today, too many women and girls are denied this right'', Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino told the UN Core Group of countries leading the campaign against forced marriage. ''The time has come for us to raise our voices and act with courage to underscore the seriousness of this human rights violation,'' she said in her speech. The meeting was held in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and was organised by Core Group members Canada, the Netherlands, and Ghana. Italy joined the group recently.
''Up until now, the United Nations has deal with the issue as part of the Omnibus Resolutions, considering it within a large context'' that includes the struggle against violence against women and child abuse. ''But the issue is too important to be only one of many on a list,'' the minister said. It is also an issue that Bonino cares strongly about and which fits into a series of wide-ranging campaigns for women and their dignity, the minister told ANSA. ''It is a campaign that I have been following for years, alongside that against female genital mutilation, since these two horrible practices are linked and present in the same countries,'' she said, underscoring that ''forced marriages are a form of slavery.'' The practice is also widespread. In the 2000-2011 period, 34% of women in 41 developing countries between the ages of 20 and 24 were married before their 18th birthday. In 2010 some 67 million women found themselves in this situation, including 12% of whom were married before reaching age 15. ''We must raise our voices together with those of the victims of early and forced marriages and provide a political and legal framework to protect them,'' Minister Bonino said at the meeting in New York. She also said that Italy would continue to contribute to these efforts, as it does to other campaigns for the protection and promotion of human rights.
The Hague: Charles Taylor Loses Appeal
Patriotic Vanguard (Sierra leone), 27 Sep 2013
Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel and Director of the International Criminal Justice Program of No Peace Without Justice:
“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) applaud the final judgement in the trial of Charles Taylor handed down today by the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), which sends a deterrent and unequivocal message to leaders considering committing serious crimes in violation of international law: nobody is above the law and even those at the highest level will be held to account for their actions.
“Today’s decision, that we have all been waiting for since its indictment in 2003, marks an historic step in Sierra Leone’s long road towards achieving accountability for the horrors of the armed conflict as well as, crucially, providing justice and redress to the victims and populations affected by it. It also signals a major achievement for international criminal justice world-wide, being Charles Taylor the first former head of State whose case has been heard through to the appeals stage by an international tribunal since the Second World War and the Nuremburg trials. (...)"
Sierra Leone: Charles Taylor appeals judgment is an historic step in the fight against impunity and signals imminent successful completion of SCSL mandate
Sierra Express Media, 26 Sep 2013
“Today’s decision, that we have all been waiting for since its indictment in 2003, marks an historic step in Sierra Leone’s long road towards achieving accountability for the horrors of the armed conflict as well as, crucially, providing justice and redress to the victims and populations affected by it. It also signals a major achievement for international criminal justice world-wide, being Charles Taylor the first former head of State whose case has been heard through to the appeals stage by an international tribunal since the Second World War and the Nuremburg trials.
By reflecting the utmost gravity of Charles Taylor’s crimes, the judgment and sentence handed down by the SCSL last year and upheld today, clearly mirrored the findings of the SCSL with regard to use of terror as prior modus operandi in the campaign undertaken by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), which was directed and supported by Charles Taylor before, during and after his Presidency. Instrumental to the Special Court’s findings of prima facie humanitarian law violations in the case of the RUF were the UN Human Rights Reports and the No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) Report based on its conflict mapping program conducted in Sierra Leone in 2000-2004, which were deemed “reliable and useful” for understanding “the background to or context of the conflict, as well as to make general findings”.
Onu: Bonino, ancora in troppi Paesi piaga spose bambine
ANSAmed, 26 Sep 2013
(ANSAmed) - NEW YORK, 26 SET - Il diritto di scegliere il proprio sposo e' riconosciuto sin dal 1946 nell'articolo 16 della Dichiarazione Universale dei Diritti Umani, ma ''ancora oggi, in troppi Paesi a donne e bambine questo diritto viene negato''. In un intervento ad una riunione del 'Core Group' dei Paesi che guidano la campagna conto il matrimonio forzato, il ministro degli esteri Emma Bonino e' stata chiara: ''E giunto il momento per noi di alzare la voce e agire con coraggio per sottolineare la gravita' di questa violazione dei diritti umani''. La riunione, che si e' svolta a New York a margine dei lavori dell'Assemblea generale dell'Onu, e' stata organizzato da Canada, Olanda, e Ghana, Paesi membri del 'Core Group' di cui di recente e' entrata a far parte anche l'Italia.
''Finora, le Nazioni Unite hanno affrontato la questione nell'ambito delle 'Omnibus Resolutions', considerandola in un ampio contesto'', che comprende la lotta alla violenza contro le donne e agli abusi sui bambini. ''Ma la questione e' troppo importante perche' sia solo una tra tante in una lista'', ha affermato il titolare della Farnesina.
Ed e' una questione a cui Bonino tiene particolarmente e che si inserisce nel filone delle grandi campagne a favore delle donne e della loro dignita', come ha ricordato il ministro parlando con l'Ansa. ''E' una campagna che ho seguito da anni e che e' andata in parallelo con la campagna per le mutilazioni genitali femminili, perche' molto spesso queste due pratiche nefaste si combinano e comunque sono presenti negli stessi Paesi'', ha detto, sottolineando che ''i matrimoni forzati sono una forma di schiavitu'''.
Ed e' anche un fenomeno drammaticamente diffuso. Nel periodo 2000-2011, il 34% delle donne in 41 Paesi in via di sviluppo tra e 20 e i 24 anni si e' sposata prima del compimento del 18/mo anno di eta'. Nel 2010 in questa condizione si trovavano 67 milioni di donne, di cui il 12% si sono sposate prima di aver compiuto 15 anni. ''Dobbiamo unire le nostre voci assieme alle vittime dei matrimoni precoci e forzati e fornire un quadro politico e legale per proteggerle'', ha affermato ancora il ministro Bonino nella riunione a New York, in cui ha anche ''assicurato che l'Italia continuera' a contribuire a questo sforzo, cosi' come in altre campagne dedicate alla protezione e alla promozione dei diritti umani''.
AU to debate ICC as Kenyatta/Ruto trial continues
By Laura Angela Bagnetto, RFI-English, 21 Sep 2013
The African Union says it will convene a meeting with African leaders in October regarding the trial of Kenya's president and vice-president at the International Criminal Court. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice-President William Ruto are on trial for alleged crimes against humanity during 2007 post-election violence. Legal expert Alison Smith discusses how this will affect the ICC case. Listen to the interviewContinua
Southern towns could set transitional justice example
Libya Herald, Tripoli, 19 Sep 2013
Locals in Sebha and Brak have welcomed a weekend of transitional justice workshops held by international NGO No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) in the south of the country.
“One of the main things that came out of the workshops was that people in the south feel a bit neglected,” programme officer for NPWJ Rhiannon Smith told the Libya Herald. “They wanted to show the rest of Libya that they can start their own initiatives and set up a network of civil society organisations to promote transitional justice and be an example for Libya.”
NPWJ set up the workshops, which aimed to raise awareness of the concept of transitional justice and accountability, in response to a request from Libyan NGO Libya Ahrar. NPWJ arranged the trainers, which included a Libyan lawyer, and Libya Ahrar organised logistics and participants.
The first day attracted 20 people but word soon spread and on the second day there were 60. The workshops started a debate about what local people could usefully do to promote transitional justice and accountability, to see how this could then help achieve reconciliation.
Some of the recommendations participants from Brak came up with included strengthening the culture of transitional justice among tribal and religious leaders by organising custom-designed workshops, and supporting the role of women in spreading ideas and concepts.
Sebha attendees felt it was important to integrate victims and victims’ associations in the dialogue, as well exploiting modern means of communication, such as Facebook and Twitter, to spread ideas and information.
“With all its problems, the south could offer a solution in many ways, if it can find a way to deal with issues which will benefit the whole of Libya,” Smith said.
NPWJ, which campaigns for the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy, the Rule of Law and international justice, works directly with Libyan NGOs and government ministries in Libya.
Le Kenya se fait le porte-parole des Etats africains opposés à la CPI
Par Stéphanie Maupas (La Haye, correspondance), LE MONDE, 06 Sep 2013
Cinq jours avant l'ouverture du procès de William Ruto, le vice-président du Kenya, le 10 septembre, et deux mois avant celui du chef de l'Etat, Uhuru Kenyatta, Nairobi s'apprête à rompre avec la Cour pénale internationale (CPI). Les deux hommes sont poursuivis, comme le journaliste Joshua Sang, pour crimes contre l'humanité commis après l'élection présidentielle de décembre 2007. Jeudi 5 septembre, le Parlement kényan a adopté une motion pour se retirer du traité établissant la CPI. Un projet de loi doit être déposé dans les trente jours.
Interrogée par téléphone, Tiina Intelmann, la présidente de l'Assemblée des Etats parties, sorte de Parlement où siègent les Etats membres de la Cour, ne cache pas sa déception. "J'espère que le Kenya ne partira pas, mais continuera à contribuer à la Cour", lance-t-elle, depuis le nord de l'Ouganda, où elle rencontrait les victimes de crimes commis par l'Armée de résistance du Seigneur, sur lesquels la Cour enquête. Le vote des députés kényans est une vraie menace pour les futurs procès. Les parlementaires prévoient aussi d'abroger la loi régissant la coopération entre Nairobi et la CPI, encadrant notamment la venue des témoins à La Haye. Or, sans témoins, la CPI ne peut tenir de procès. Depuis plusieurs mois, nombre d'entre eux se sont désistés, invoquant des menaces ou assurant avoir été maltraités par la Cour elle-même.
Qu'en sera-t-il si, demain, tel était le cas ? L'initiative kényane pourrait-elle susciter d'autres vocations ? Dans le concert de protestations des organisations non gouvernementales, Amnesty International craint "un dangereux précédent pour le futur de la justice en Afrique". Pas seulement pour l'Afrique, dit-on. Le traité de la Cour a été âprement négocié par des diplomates qui ont prévu bon nombre de chausse-trappes afin de préserver leurs intérêts.
Mais qu'en sera-t-il du Kenya, s'il refuse de coopérer dans les procédures en cours ? "Si le Parlement s'engage plus avant vers un retrait, il agira illégalement, contrairement aux intérêts nationaux et à la crédibilité du pays", indique dans un communiqué l'ONG No Peace Without Justice. Déjà embarrassé par son statut d'accusé, le président kényan pourrait aussi, en refusant de coopérer, susciter une condamnation diplomatique.
Kenya: withdrawal from the ICC is a shameful embrace of impunity
African Herald Express, 05 Sep 2013
In an emergency session convened today, Kenya’s National Assembly passed a motion to introduce a bill, within the next 30 days, aimed at ending Kenya’s membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Members of the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord), led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, walked out of the House in opposition of the motion, which was tabled by majority leader Adan Duale. The vote comes just days before Kenya’s Vice-President William Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang will stand trial in The Hague facing three counts of crimes against humanity for allegedly organising 2007-2008 post-election violence that killed at least 1,100 people and displaced more than 600,000. The trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces five charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution, deportation and other inhumane acts, is due to start on 12 November 2013.
Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:
“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) strongly condemn Kenya’s Parliament decision to stand on the side of impunity by supporting the Kenyan government’s proposal to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) Statute.
“This decision is another disgraceful and shameful attempt by the Kenyan authorities to protect its leaders from being held to account for human rights violations allegedly committed by them as well as an insult to the hundreds of thousands of Kenyans who lost their lives or were displaced during the post-election violence that rocked the country in in late 2007 and early 2008 (...)".
ICTJ's SCSL Legacy Podcast Series: Alison Smith
ICTJ, 16 Jul 2013
As part of our exploration into the legacy of the SCSL, we talk to Alison Smith, Director of the International Criminal Justice Program for No Peace Without Justice.
In this conversation with Hannah Dunphy of ICTJ, she says that the SCSL should be remembered "for its vision," and talks about the release of a new report by NPWJ, Making Justice Count: Assessing the Impact and Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Ms. Smith served as the chief legal adviser to the Vice President of Sierra Leone on the Special Court and international humanitarian law.
Download the Podcast (File size: 7.37 MB)
NPWJ celebrates a decade of the Maputo Protocol on the rights of women in Africa
African Herald Express, 12 Jul 2013
Declaration by Alvilda Jablonko, FGM Program Coordinator of No Peace Without Justice:
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of a ground-breaking regional legal instrument that enumerates specific measures for the elimination of discrimination against women and addresses a wide range of rights, including the right to dignity, to life, integrity and security of the person, to education and training, to economic and social welfare, to health and reproductive rights, protection during armed conflict and to the elimination of harmful traditional practices.
Crucially, and as a result of the efforts of key activists working towards the elimination of female genital mutilation (FGM) who were tireless during the political process leading up to its adoption, the Maputo Protocol includes Article 5, which explicitly condemns FGM as a violation of women’s rights and calls on AU Member States to adopt specific legislative measures backed by sanctions to prohibit FGM in order to eradicate it. This breakthrough document also paved the way for the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly, on 20 December 2012, of the Resolution calling for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation (A/RES/67/146), Article 4 of which owes a great deal to the text of the Maputo Protocol.
La CPI, Cour internationale sous pression
Par Stéphanie Maupas (La Haye, correspondance), Le Monde, 02 Jul 2013
L'accusation était retentissante. C'était le 27 mai, au terme du sommet marquant les 50 ans de l'Union africaine (UA). Pendant trois jours, les Etats avaient planché sur la meilleure stratégie pour contrer les poursuites engagées par la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) contre le président du Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, fraîchement élu, lorsque le président en exercice de l'UA et premier ministre d'Ethiopie, Hailemariam Desalegn, a accusé la Cour de mener "une sorte de chasse raciale" contre les Africains.
Parmi la trentaine de responsables poursuivis, Uhuru Kenyatta occupe une place particulière : le président kényan, élu le 4 mars, doit répondre avec son colistier, William Ruto, de crimes contre l'humanité pour des violences commises après l'élection présidentielle de décembre 2007. Le procès doit commencer à l'automne. L'Union africaine voit ces poursuites d'un très mauvais oeil. Dans une résolution, elle s'inquiète de la "menace" que ces actes d'accusation pourraient faire peser "sur les efforts destinés à promouvoir la paix et la sécurité ainsi que la primauté du droit et de la stabilité en Afrique". Uhuru Kenyatta fait l'objet de poursuites depuis 2010. Les pourfendeurs de la CPI voient dans son élection à la présidence un véritable référendum contre l'institution. Ses partisans, eux, assurent que les poursuites ont au contraire permis de tenir, cette fois, des élections dans le calme au Kenya.
Quoi qu'il en soit, le label "criminel de guerre" pèse sur Uhuru Kenyatta : ainsi le président américain, Barack Obama, a-t-il soigneusement évité la patrie de son père lors de sa récente tournée africaine. L'Union européenne, elle aussi, est embarrassée. Pourtant, lors d'une visite à Londres, le 7 mai, M. Kenyatta a été longuement reçu par le premier ministre, David Cameron. L'ancienne puissance coloniale ne souhaite pas ternir des relations diplomatiques et économiques fructueuses. Et personne n'a intérêt à susciter une crise politique au Kenya.
Uhuru Kenyatta "ne fait pas l'objet d'un mandat d'arrêt, il s'est toujours présenté devant la Cour", souligne Christian Behrmann, chargé pour Bruxelles des relations avec la CPI. Interrogé sur le risque de déstabilisation du Kenya, Christian Behrmann botte en touche... et invite à contacter l'organisation No Peace Without Justice ("Pas de paix sans justice").
Gli “hacker buoni” a scuola di libertà nascosti nel Cusio. Dalla Siria all’Egitto, in prima fila per l’informazione contro i regimi
Vincenzo Amato, La Stampa, 02 Jul 2013
Sono arrivati da tutto il mondo e domenica hanno lasciato il Lago d’Orta con un po’ di nostalgia. Non erano turisti i 135 ragazzi che per una settimana sono rimasti al Centro d’Ompio di Pettenasco. Tutti attivisti dei diritti umani che si sono incontrati per scambiarsi esperienze e metodi di lavoro, anche tecnologici, per proseguire nelle loro battaglie di civiltà.
Lotta per il mondo giusto. Ha partecipato all’«Evidence and influence camp», seminario durante il quale si scambiano esperienze, si impara uno dall’altro a comunicare e a lottare affinché il mondo sia un po’ più giusto. «Un’utopia? Forse, ma sognare è il primo passo affinché un’idea diventi realtà» dice Nicolò Figà-Talamanca, segretario dell’associazione «Non c’è pace senza giustizia», ong messa in piedi anni fa da Emma Bonino.
Rendere il mondo migliore non è impresa facile. Nemmeno in Italia le cose sono semplici. «Abbiamo condotto un’inchiesta in tutta Europa sulla trasparenza negli atti pubblici - dice Lydia Medland dell’associazione Access Info Europe - e l’Italia è risultato il Paese dove è molto difficile avere risposte dalla pubblica amministrazione. Il 73% degli enti non ci ha mai risposto; il 27% lo ha fatto dopo molte insistenze». Peggio c’è solo la Spagna.
Justice transitionnelle et justice internationale dans le Monde arabe, thème d’une conférence à Tunis
TAP, 21 Jun 2013
Une conférence internationale sur le thème « Justice transitionnelle et justice internationale dans le Monde arabe » s’est tenue, jeudi à Tunis, avec la participation d’experts, de militants des droits humains et d’acteurs de la société civile.
Dans une allocution à l’ouverture des travaux, le président de l’Assemblée nationale constituante, Mustapha Ben Jaafar, a indiqué que la justice transitionnelle en Tunisie n’a pas pour but de dresser les échafauds ni de tirer vengeance, mais la reddition de comptes, la réconciliation, la sauvegarde de la mémoire collective et la réhabilitation, morale et matérielle, des victimes de l’arbitraire.
Il faut que le processus de justice transitionnelle soit en symbiose avec les conventions internationales et respectueux des libertés et des droits humains, a-t-il affirmé, relevant l’importance du rôle de la Cour pénale internationale dans l’instauration de la justice internationale et sa compétence à poursuivre les gens impliqués dans des violations graves dans leur pays. Pour sa part, le président du centre Al-Kawakibi pour la transition démocratique, Mohsen Marzouk, a affirmé que la justice internationale ne peut se substituer à la justice tunisienne. Toutefois, il existe certaines similitudes avec la justice internationale dont on peut tirer avantage et que la coordination avec ses structures est souhaitable, a-t-il dit.
Il a estimé que la justice transitionnelle n’est pas sujette à l’instrumentalisation politique et partisane, relevant la nécessité de définir clairement la nature des atteintes énoncées par la loi sur la justice transitionnelle, outre l’identification explicite de la responsabilité politique. De son côté, la Procureure de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), Fatou Bensouda, a souligné l’impératif de d’éviter l’interférence des questions politiques dans le processus de justice transitionnelle, de respecter les standards internationaux en matière des droits humains et de garantir des procès équitables en vertu de ce processus.
Elle a, en outre, mis en relief les obstacles que rencontre la CPI dans le traitement des affaires relatives aux atteintes aux droits de l’Homme et aux crimes de guerre, indiquant que la CPI ne dispose pas de forces armées ni de police pour garantir l’exécution de ses décisions et pour rendre la justice dans ces affaires. Pour sa part, le ministre palestinien de la Justice, Ali Mhenna, a indiqué que le peuple palestinien qui n’aspire qu’à la paix et à la justice, veut exercer son droit à l’autodétermination et à un Etat souverain.
Il a relevé le refus de l’occupant israélien d’appliquer les accords de paix et sa persistance à commettre des crimes contre le peuple palestinien.
Le programme de la conférence comporte des interventions d’experts en matière de justice transitionnelle sur l’évaluation du processus de justice transitionnelle dans plusieurs pays arabes, le rôle de la CPI dans la région arabe ainsi que les défis et les perspectives dans ce domaine. Cette conférence se tient à l’initiative de l’Académie de la justice transitionnelle, du Centre Al-Kawakibi pour la transition démocratique et de l’organisation «No Peace without Justice».
Tunisia: International Conference On Transitional Justice and International Justice in Arab World
By Tunis Afrique Presse, 20 Jun 2013
Tunis — An international conference on "Transitional Justice and International Justice in the Arab World" was held on Thursday in Tunis with the participation of experts, human rights activists and members of the civil society. In an address at the opening works, National Constituent Assembly (NCA) president Mustapha Ben Jaafar said that transitional justice in Tunisia does not aim at preparing scaffolds or revenging but seeks accountability, reconciliation, safeguard of collective memory and moral and material rehabilitation of victims of arbitrary.Continua
Tunisians, Libyans learn about transitional justice
By Jamel Arfaoui, Magharebia / All Africa, 19 Jun 2013
Media representatives from Tunisia and Libya recently attended a training course on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and transitional justice.
The event, which wrapped up June 12th, was held in Tunis by the Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Centre (KADEM) and No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ).
The objective of the two-day training was to "give journalists in Tunisia and Libya the necessary cognitive tools for objective and accurate media coverage", KADEM Director of International Programs Wafa Belhadj Omar said.
Liberia: Lawless Liberia - Legal Failure Renews International Calls for Female Genital Cut Law
Tecee Boley, Front Page Africa , 03 Jun 2013
The case of Ruth Berry Peal has prompted renewed calls from anti-FGC activists for the Liberian government to join that 24 other African countries that have passed laws that specifically make female genital cutting illegal. No such law exists in Liberia at present, prompting lawyers acting on behalf of clients like Berry Peal to pursue other charges such as kidnapping and felonious restraint. Lawyers say such charges may not be as clear-cut for the court system and may not attract a jail sentence that is appropriate for the crime. In June 2011 then Internal Affairs Minister Nelson Blamo promised FGC opponents that he would work with the Ministry of Justice to draft a law banning FGC. In November 2011 the government took steps towards ending FGC by persuading Sande leaders to stop the practice. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attended a ceremony to mark the event. The Ministry then issued a notice to all countries directing that all Sande activities by shut down and promising that violators would be held liable. Some members of Sande have promised to defy that dictate and numerous incidences of cutting have been reported. To date there has been no more action to introduce a law banning FGC. (...) The international community has made a strong push against the practice, also known as female genital mutilation or FGM, in recent years, because of the health effects on women who have undergone it. In December 2012, the UN General Assembly passed an Africa-led resolution calling for a global ban on female genital cutting. That represented the first time that the General Assembly agreed to include the elimination of FGC on its agenda. Its adoption represented the culmination of years of advocacy work by the Ban FGM Campaign, an international coalition of human rights groups led by No Peace Without Justice, and including the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices, Equality Now, Euronet-FGM, La Palabre, and Manifesto 99.Continua
Non dimentichiamo le mutilazioni genitali
Emma Fattorini, L'Unità, 18 May 2013
I diritti umani mettono in crisi la tradizionale e assoluta idea di sovranità nazionale così come quella di un'unica e superiore identità culturale. Se dunque quella dei diritti umani diventa anche una possibile lettura della globalizzazione stessa, la sua cultura non è solo giuridico-costituzionale ma anche storica, etica, politica. E diventa, ormai, il tema sul quale un Paese è giudicato, e sul quale si misura il livello di civiltà e civilizzazione non meno che le questioni economiche o angustamente nazionali. Ed è con questo spirito, quello di un diverso, nuovo senso dei diritti umani che va intesa la difesa la dignità dei corpi femminili. Penso al grande lavoro fatto dall'attuale ministro degli esteri Emma Bonino sul tema delle Mutilazioni genitali femminili (Mgf), che, nonostante rappresentino una grave violazione dei diritti delle donne, sono una pratica molto diffusa nel mondo. (...)
Dal 2009, con la collaborazione di Unicef e Unfpa e l'attivo coinvolgimento dell'Ong «Non c'è pace senza giustizia», l'Italia ha attivamente promosso a New York riunioni periodiche di un gruppo di Paesi, prevalentemente africani, con l'obiettivo di delineare un approccio comune su questa tematica. Il nostro Paese ha agito affinché si coagulasse all'interno del gruppo africano un consenso sulla proposta di una Risoluzione dell'Assemblea generale sulle Mgf. Questo cammino è stato coronato, nell'autunno 2012, dalla presentazione da parte del Gruppo africano in seno alla Terza commissione dell'Assemblea Generale, di un testo sull'eliminazione delle Mgf, che ha costituito la base di in una Risoluzione adottata per consenso dalla plenaria dell'Assemblea generale.
President Kenyatta is not an ICC fugitive
By Greta Barbone, Daily Monitor (Uganda), 10 May 2013
On May 6, recently-elected Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in London for a three-day visit. The purpose of his trip was to attend a conference co-hosted by the UK and Somali governments to rally international support for the rebuilding of Somalia. This was the first trip out of African soil since his election last March.
While Kenya’s strategic role in supporting Somali transition is undeniable, many are claiming that the UK’s invitation to participate in a meeting in the presence of many States parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is, instead, a betrayal of that court. The reason? President Kenyatta is charged before the ICC with crimes against humanity for his alleged involvement in the 2007-2008 Kenyan post-election violence.
So, the reasoning goes, to meet publicly with an ICC-indictee betrays the very ideals the ICC was established to promote, including an end to impunity and redress and dignity for victims. Is that really the case, though? Is President Kenyatta’s participation in the conference alongside ICC States parties really a betrayal of the court?
Libya: Lawyers learn the power of forensics
By Tom Westcott, Libya Herald, 19 Mar 2013
Lawyers, including judges and prosecutors, are being taught how forensic evidence can be used in cases involving political violence. Some 50 advocates are learning about a range of forensic skills, including techniques for surveying and excavating mass graves and recovering human remains, as well as analysing and identifying them. The course will also look at the preparation of reports and ways of presenting forensic evidence in court.
The five-day event is being run at the Ministry of Justice by the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF). This is an NGO that was set up in Argentina in 1984 to deal with some 30,000 cases of missing persons, the South American country’s legacy from six dictators. EAAF has also worked in Columbia and Mexico.
“Physical evidence is very important in cases of political crimes,” Luis Fondebrider from EAAF told the Libya Herald, “because people lie, and people forget.”
Forensic skills are particularly useful when looking into crimes committed a long time ago. “Identifying skeletons is much harder than actual bodies,” Fondebrider said, “so DNA has been playing an increasingly important role.”
Organised by the international NGO No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, the training will also look at how to work with the families of missing persons.
“It is terrible for families not to know if someone is alive or dead, not to have a body or a grave,” Fondebrider said, “every family has the right to know what happened to a loved one.”
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