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February 2015
Editor-in-Chief: Nicola Giovannini
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 Highlights

IILHR, NPWJ, MRG and UNPO launch Report on Iraq’s Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul
 

Minority communities in Iraq have been targeted by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in a systematic strategy to remove them permanently from large areas of Iraqsays a group of human rights organizations in a report launched in Brussels at the International Press Center today. The findings of the report were also presented at the Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Parliament at its 26 February 2015 session. 
 
Between the Millstones:  Iraq’s Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul’ is a joint report of the Institute of International Law and Human Rights (IILHR), Minority Rights Group International (MRG), No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO)  focusing on the Christians, Kaka’i, Shebak, Turkmen and Yezidi – who have been most affected by the conflict.
 
The report contains practical recommendations to alleviate the immediate humanitarian crisis and bring about comprehensive legal and social reform to end longstanding marginalization of minorities. The report combines eye-witness accounts by members of minorities with legal analysis.
 
The research done for this report shows very clearly that ISIS has committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and even genocide against religious and ethnic minorities in northern Iraq,’ adds Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of NPWJ. ‘These atrocities cannot go unremarked and unaddressed; the Iraqi Government and the international community have to obtain accountability and redress for the victims.’ 
 
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Syria: Free Rights Defenders Held 3 Years
 

The Syrian government should immediately free  the prominent Syrian human rights defenders Mazen DarwishHani Al-Zitani and Hussein Gharir71 human rights groups (including No Peace Without Justice) said today, on the third anniversary of their arrest. The three men have been arrested by Syrian Air Force Intelligence during a raid on the offices of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) in Damascus on 16 February 2012. In February 2013, the three were taken before the Anti-Terrorism Court on charges of “publicizing terrorist acts” under Article 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2012. Since then, the court has repeatedly postponed their trial, most recently in January, 2015. A new trial date has not yet been set.
 
The SCM is an important non-governmental organization working to disseminate information regarding the human rights situation in Syria including media freedom and freedom of expression. The undersigned organizations believe that Darwish, Al-Zitani and Gharir are being persecuted as a result of their legitimate human rights work and exercise of their right to freedom of expression in response to the ongoing crisis in Syria. The Syrian authorities should immediately and unconditionally release the three men and drop all charges against them.
 
The UN General Assembly, in resolution 67/262 of May 15, 2013 called for the release of the three men. In January 2014, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) also found that the three men had been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty due to their human rights activities and called for their immediate release.  UN Security Council Resolution 2139, adopted on February 22, 2014, also demanded the release of all arbitrarily detained people in Syria. The Syrian government should heed the UN’s call and immediately and unconditionally release the three men as well as all other peaceful activists arbitrarily detained.
 
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“International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation”: NPWJ calls for the full and complete implementation of the UN resolution Banning FGM worldwide
 

On this International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, No Peace without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) take the occasion to congratulate all the outstanding individuals and organizations who battle this human rights violation every day for the remarkable advances we have seen over the past year.
 
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a human rights violation and an extreme form of discrimination and violence against women and girlswhich three million girls worldwide are at risk of undergoing every year. In December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 69/150 condemning this human rights violation, renewing a commitment taken with the first historic Resolution 67/146 on the matter in 2012, with an increased number of sponsoring countries and strengthened language.
 
This year has also seen milestones in the application of the law. The first trial of an FGM case in Egypt resulted in the conviction of the doctor who committed the violation, as well as of the father who had procured his daughter for the mutilation.  This outcome sends a strong message in Egypt and worldwide that the medicalization of FGM can provide no alibi to perpetrators. As the medicalisation of FGM is one of the biggest – and growing - risks to its elimination, giving an aura of legitimacy to this human rights violation, the trial in Egypt is a significant step forward in the fight against FGM.
 
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Alvilda Jablonko is Gender and Human Rights Program Coordinator of No Peace Without Justice

 NPWJ events

NPWJ organises a seminar on "Challenges and priorities of Transitional Justice policies in the Libyan and Tunisian cases"
 

On 18 February 2015, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ organised a seminar on "Challenges and priorities of Transitional Justice policies in the Libyan and Tunisian cases”, which was held in Tunis. Participants included civil society representatives from Libya and Tunisia.
 
The purpose of this event was to provide a comparative perspective on the key challenges related to the implementation of Transitional Justice policies in Libya and Tunisia, as well as to highlight the upcoming priorities that the two countries will face in the discourse over justice and accountability from civil society’s perspective. In particular, the discussion focused on civil society’s engagement and contribution to transitional justice in Tunisia, the evolution of transitional justice in Libya and how the Tunisian experience can support and strengthen the work of their Libyan colleagues.
 
Around 4 years ago, both Tunisia and Libya saw the fall of repressive regimes that had gripped their countries for decades. However, while Tunisia has recently celebrated the successful conclusion of their long transitional process with presidential and parliamentary elections, Libya is now witnessing the most violent and turbulent period of its recent history. The challenges faced by Tunisia during this process, as well as the successes and the failed attempts in other post-revolutionary Arab countries, can be instructive for countries, like Libya, that are still struggling to find a path to establish transitional justice mechanisms likely to support the building of democratic and open political institutions. Even if transitional justice mechanisms need to be adapted and adjusted to local conditions and respond to the needs of citizens on the ground, it is critical to ensure that the lessons learned in different places are made available and shared with those that need them most.
 
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National Workshop in Mauritania to foster effective implementation of UNGA Resolution banning Female Genital Mutilation
 

n 10-11 February 2015, No Peace Without Justice, in partnership with the Association pour la promotion de l'égalité de genre et des droits humains (APEDH) and the Inter-African Committee for Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children  (IAC), is convening a national workshop in Nouakchott, Mauritania, 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 meeting is organised with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
 
Participants include high-level government representatives, parliamentarians and civil society activists from Mauritania as well as representatives of UN agencies and other international organisations. The workshop will provide an opportunity to consolidate the full-fledged involvement and commitment of Mauritanian political authorities in favor of the implementation of the UNGA resolution explicitly banning FGM as a violation of the human rights of women and girls. The workshop has also among its specific objectives to discuss the local mechanisms designed to protect women and girls against FGM as well as to identify challenges and perspectives for the adoption and effective enforcement of a specific law prohibiting this human rights violation.
 
Despite the years of awareness campaigns and various national action plans implemented by the government to promote the elimination of FGM, prevalence in Mauritania remains high, with an estimated 72% of women and girls who have undergone the practice. The fight against this human rights violation requires enhanced cooperation and synergy of action among all institutions and civil society organisations focused on FGM, including work to prevent and condemn the rise of the medicalisation of FGM, as well as the adoption and effective enactment of a law prohibiting FGM, to protect its victims and to hold perpetrators to account.
 
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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 focus mainly on the International day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilations (6 February), with Alvilda Jablonko speaking, from Ivory Coast and Mauretania, of the activities NPWJ has been implementing there with local partners. Giulia Cappellazzi and Gianluca Eramo talk about the event organised by NPWJ on “Challenges and priorities of Transitional Justice policies in the Libyan and Tunisian cases” and about the training on documentation, which will be held in Tunisia in March. Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, Secretary General of NPWJ, provides an insight into the “for a new human right: the right to know” campaign, recently launched by the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty, in collaboration with NPWJ and Hands Off Cain. In addition, Nicola Giovannini talks about two importants event held in Brussels for the official Launch of Report on Iraq’s Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul, a joint publication of the Institute of International Law and Human Rights (IILHR), Minority Rights Group International (MRG), No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO).

Listen to the episodes

 NPWJ press releases

Minorities in Iraq targeted in deliberate attempt to eradicate Iraq’s religious diversity
27 February 2015

Launch of Report on Iraq’s Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul
26 February 2015, International Press Center, Brussels

NPWJ organises a seminar on "Challenges and priorities of Transitional Justice policies in the Libyan and Tunisian cases"
Tunis, 18 February 2015

Syria: Free Rights Defenders Held 3 Years
Geneva, 16 February 2015

National Workshop in Mauritania to foster effective implementation of UNGA Resolution banning Female Genital Mutilation
Nouakchott, Mauritania, 10-11 February 2015

“International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation”: NPWJ calls for the full and complete implementation of the UN resolution Banning FGM worldwide
6 February 2015

NPWJ contributes to the UNAF “IV International Conference on FGM: Prevention and Eradication Measures”, Madrid, Spain, 5-6 February 2015
Madrid, Spain, 5-6 February 2015

National Workshop in Ivory Coast to foster effective implementation of UNGA resolution banning Female Genital Mutilation
Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 4-5 February 2015

Crowfunding initiative to support "For a new human right: THE RIGHT TO KNOW"
3 February 2015

NPWJ and KADEM organise a training on "Promoting the ICC’s contribution to democratic and human rights reform in Libya"
Hammamet, Tunisia, 27-29 January 2015

Bahrain: 110 parliamentarians from 43 countries call for the immediate release of Sheikh Ali Salman
28 January 2015

 NPWJ in the news


 

Religious minorities at risk in the Middle East: "Death has become something banal"
European Parliament News, 27 February 2015

Islamic State: Iraq minorities 'threatened with eradication'
BBC News, 27 February 2015

Islamic State aims to eradicate Iraq minorities – rights groups
By Kieran Guilbert, REUTERS, 27 February 2015

ONG alertan de que el Estado Islámico atenta contra las minorías para erradicar la diversidad religiosa de Ira
Europa Press, 26 February 2015

Libertà religiosa: Parlamento UE, allarme per cristiani e altre minoranze in medio oriente
Sir Europa - Bruxelles, 26 February 2015

Will the Reinstatement of the Death Penalty in Turkey Prevent Violence Against Women?
Aylin Unver Noi , The World Post, 24 February 2015

Hacen jornadas por erradicación de mutilación genital femenina
Gloria López, Diario Rotativo, 5 February 2015

Mutilazioni Genitali Femminili: evento NPSG in Costa d’Avorio con sostegno Farnesina
Onultalia, 4 February 2015

La Cpi e i crimini dell’Esercito in Uganda
Domenico Letizia, L'Opinione, 30 January 2015

Bahrain opposition head rejects charges as trial opens
The Daily Mail / AFP, 28 January 2015

Justice comes in end, says expert to arrested Uganda rebels commander
CCTV (China Central Television), 21 January 2015

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