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April 2014
Editor-in-Chief: Nicola Giovannini
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 Highlights

Justice for Syria: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome French initiative on ICC Referral
 

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome France’s leading initiative at the UN Security Council to raise the bar for accountability and justice for acts committed during the present conflict and refer the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic to the International Criminal Court (ICC) without exceptions and irrespective of the perpetrators.
 
We urge France to continue its diplomatic efforts and take all necessary steps to deposit a draft resolution doing just that and Security Council members and other countries alike to express support for it. While it is more than likely that Council members who are close allies with President Bashar al-Assad, in particular Russia, will use their veto-power to oppose the resolution, it could mark a turning point in addressing the blatant abuses that have marked the Syrian conflict. It could also force reluctant Council Members to justify their moral and political blessing to the ongoing atrocities and their turning a blind eye to perpetrators acting with total impunity.
 
Since the beginning of the conflict, NPWJ and the NRPTT have consistently advocated for violence not to be rewarded as a legitimate path to power and political leverage. Being firm on accountability is the best way to break the cycle of impunity that is ravaging Syria and to encourage the fighters to abide by international conventions and the laws of war, particularly those that protect civilians.
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No Peace Without Justice mourns the passing of Arthur Robinson, friend of victims and enemy of impunity
 

No Peace Without Justice mourns with great sadness the passing of Arthur Robinson, former Prime Minister and, later, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and former ICC Trust Fund for Victims Board Member. We join others in extending our deepest condolences to his family and friends, and to his many colleagues and friends around the world.
 
Arthur Robinson was a critical contributor to the establishment and development of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Without his dedication, it is unlikely we would have a court at all – certainly not one that has the capacity to make a decisive contribution to peace and accountability throughout the world. In 1989, further to his initiative as Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, a UN resolution was adopted by consensus calling for the creation of an International Criminal Court, which paved the way to the negotiation and adoption of the Rome Statute in 1998.
 
We had the honour to work closely with him since the Inter-Governmental Regional Caribbean Conference in support of the immediate signature and ratification of the ICC Rome Treaty, co-organised by No Peace Without Justice and the government of Trinidad and Tobago, in Port of Spain, on 15-17 March 1999. Like many others, for years afterwards we continued to count on his inspiration, which revived people’s spirits and made us remember why we were fighting this fight in the first place. It was for this reason that we awarded him the NPWJ International Justice Prize in 2002, grateful for the opportunity to recognise his unique place and role in the fight against impunity.
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Bahrain: International and Local Civil Society Groups call for the release of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja on the third anniversary of his arrest
 

On 9 April 2014, NPWJ together with other International and Local Civil Society Groups issued a statement calling for the immediate and unconditional release of imprisoned Bahraini human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja as well as immediate access to independent medical examination and treatment.
 
Former president and co-founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), Mr. Al-Khawaja was arrested three years ago today, on 9 April 2011, and sentenced to life in prison in June 2011 by a military court as part of a group of human rights activists and political leaders known as the Bahrain 13. As acknowledged by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in its September 2012 decision, throughout Mr. Al-Khawaja’s arrest, detention, and trial, the Bahraini Government violated numerous international norms to the right to fair trial. Mr. al-Khawaja’s arrest was due to his exercise of the fundamental rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, and the charges against him were “vague” and “raise doubts as to the actual purpose of detention.” The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) further concluded that Mr. Al-Khawaja was subjected to torture and inhumane treatment during his arrest and detention.
 
Mr. Al-Khawaja continues to be denied adequate medical attention and suffers from severe medical complications as a result of his mistreatment in detention. Despite his incarceration, Mr. Al-Khawaja and his colleagues also continue to be unjustly persecuted for their legitimate human rights activity. We urge the Bahraini authorities to cease harassment and persecution of human rights defenders including unwarranted defamation campaigns.
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 NPWJ events

High Level Conference in Burkina Faso to foster Worldwide Ban on Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriages
 

On 24-26 April 2014, an international conference will be convened in OuagadougouBurkina Faso, to discuss measures aimed at fostering the implementation of the resolution calling for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation (A/RES/67/146), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 20 December 2012. The Conference will also focus on addressing strategies and concrete actions to strengthen the fight against child marriage, a practice which challenges the promotion and protection of women and girls’ human rights.
 
The meeting, entitled “Strengthening the bridge between Africa and the world to accelerate the Tolerance towards FGM and child marriages”, is organised by the Inter-African Committee for Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC), in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), and with the support of the Italian Government and other funders.
 
The high level event, to be held under the high patronage of H.E. Mrs Chantal Compaore, First Lady of Burkina Faso and under the Presidency of the Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity of Burkina Faso, will bring together high-level government representatives, parliamentarians and civil society activists from Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries, as well as representatives from UN agencies and other international organisations.
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Syria: SIOI and NPWJ hold training on SPHERE humanitarian charter
 

The humanitarian situation inside Syria remains dramatic and the 6 million people internally displaced need to find their daily way to survive: “As the situation gets worse, not better, it is the ordinary men, women and children of Syria who continue to bear the brunt of this conflict, regardless of who they are, where they are from, or their religious beliefs”. These the words used by Valerie Amos, UN Humanitarian Chief, when addressing the United Nations Security Council on 28 March 2014.
 
Building the capacity of Syrian civil society groups and human rights activists involved in  humanitarian assistance was one of the main aims of the SPHERE training, held between 26-31 March 2014 in Gaziantep, Turkey. The training was organised by the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI) and No Peace Without Justice(NPWJ), in partnership with Kirkayak Art Center and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
 
This 6-day course was designed to acquaint participants with the Sphere Handbook, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, the most widely known and internationally recognised set of common principles for quality and accountability in the humanitarian sector. Participants, who came mostly from Northern region of Syria, but also from Damascus, face in their daily life the emergency of IDPs in conflict areas: they work directly in Syrian IDPs camps in the border regions of Idlib and Aleppo or coordinate the humanitarian response carried out by Syrian NGOs and opposition-related institutions.
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 NPWJ on Radio Radicale

Have Breakfast with No Peace Without Justice
 

 

No Peace Without Justice and Radio Radicale, the foremost Italian nationwide all-news radio, have an ongoing partnership to provide news and information on our activities to a broad Italian audience. This partnership features an in-depth weekly program on NPWJ’s current campaigns and activities. The program is broadcast in Italian every Friday morning immediately before the main news summary.

The last episodes have focused on the FGM Program in view of a forthcoming conference to be held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and the favourable turn of events for fighting FGM in Kenya following the nomination of honourable Lina Kilimo as Head of the anti-FGM Commission of Kenya. Other topics included an interview to Gianluca Eramo, MENA Democracy Program coordinator, regarding the role of NPWJ in Libya and the general situation of the country. Finally Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, NPWJ Secretary-General, talked about Syria and NPWJ’s activities in Gaziantep, Turkey, and of the organization’s commitment to fight for justice and against impunity.

Listen to the episodes

 NPWJ press releases

Ukraine: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome formal acceptance of ICC jurisdiction and call for its extension to the situation in Crimea
Brussels, Rome – 17 April 2014

Justice for Syria: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome French initiative on ICC Referral
Brussels-Rome, 16 April 2014

No Peace Without Justice mourns the passing of Arthur Robinson, friend of victims and enemy of impunity
Brussels, 11 April 2014

Bahrain: International and Local Civil Society Groups call for the release of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja on the third anniversary of his arrest
9 April 2014

Libya: NPWJ organises a workshop on Sexual and Gender Based Violence and Victims’ Rehabilitation
Tripoli, 2 April 2014

Syria: SIOI and NPWJ conclude training on SPHERE humanitarian charter
Gaziantep, Turkey - 1 April 2014

Iran sanctions and European companies: EFD and NPWJ convene briefing at the European Parliament
Brussels, 31 March 2014

Syria Transition Roadmap: NDI, EFD and NPWJ convene briefing at the European Parliament
Brussels, 25 March 2014

 NPWJ in the news


 

UNPO Conference on Minority Rights in Ukraine: Political Crisis Gives New Meaning to Minority Protection and Concept of Self-Determination
UNPO, 10 April 2014

Justice in Syria Could Help Break the Cycle of Revenge: Interview with Jeffrey Howell
By Margaret Williams, Global Observatory, 2 April 2014

Europa, giustizia e diritto umanitario
Domenico Letizia, L'Opinione, 1 April 2014

Premiati gli eroi dei diritti umani. Assegnati i riconoscimenti di «Non c’è pace senza giustizia»
La Stampa, 4 March 2014

Premio "No Peace Without Justice per i Diritti Umani”: in Senato la cerimonia di consegna
Agora Magazine, 2 March 2014

Procès contre Kenyatta : La CPI dans l’impasse
KongoTimes!, 25 February 2014

Siria: dati su profughi minori inquietanti
AGENPARL(Roma), 19 February 2014

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