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January 2015
Editor-in-Chief: Nicola Giovannini
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 Highlights

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

In a joint appeal promoted by Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Radical Party (NRPTT), 110 parliamentarians from 43 countries call on the authorities in Bahrain to immediately release Sheikh Ali Salman, Secretary General of Bahrain’s largest opposition party, Al Wefaq, who has been arrested and detained since 28 December 2014 on charges of "promoting the overthrow and change of the political regime by force". The signatories include 36 Members of the European Parliament  as well as a large part of PGA Board and International Council leaders, who represent the entire membership.
 
The first trial hearing of Sheikh Ali Salman was held today before a Higher Criminal Court in Manama. Despite Salman`s denial of all charges brought against him and the call for his release on bail by his defence team, the judge decided to keep him behind bars and set the next hearing 25 February 2015.
 
As highlighted by the signatories of the appeal, Salman has consistently called for peaceful protest, condemned all forms of violence and advocated for a fair and just democratic political system in Bahrain through the establishment of a genuine constitutional monarchy. The accusations made by the Ministry of Interior against Salman are therefore without merit and are part of a routine campaign of intimidation and threats against leading political figures and human rights defenders through the use of politically-motivated charges.
 
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Egypt: NPWJ welcomes sentence in the country’s first ever conviction for FGM
 

On 26 January 2015, the Aga Misdemeanour Court in handed down a two year and three month sentence and a fine of EGP 500 following the conviction of Dr Raslan Fadl for manslaughter and committing female genital mutilation (FGM) on thirteen-year-old Soheir Al-Batea in June 2013. The girl’s father, who procured Soheir to be subjected to the mutilation, received a three-month suspended sentence.
 
No Peace without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome yesterday’s verdict in the first FGM trial held in Egypt as a significant milestone in the country’s legal struggle to address this violation of human rights. This verdict sends a strong message that anyone who flouts the law by perpetrating this human rights violation will be held accountable and further demonstrates that the judiciary is finally taking necessary steps to protect women and girls from this form of violence.
 

FGM has been a criminal offence in Egypt since 2008, when legislation was adopted in reaction to the highly publicized death of a girl who had been subjected to FGM the previous year, and following years of advocacy by civil society and certain government institutions, including on the occasion of the Conferences organized in 2003 and 2008 jointly by No Peace Without Justice and the National Center for Childhood and Motherhood, among others. However, until the trial of Dr Fadl and Soheir’s father, no prosecutions had taken place since the law had been adopted. Egypt has one of the highest prevalence rates in the world, with at least 90% of Egyptian women between the ages of 15 and 49 having undergone FGM, according to the 2008 Egyptian Demographic Health Survey study, most of them in a medicalized context.

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Alvilda Jablonko is Gender and Human Rights Program Coordinator of No Peace Without Justice

Uganda: NPWJ welcomes transfer of Dominic Ongwen to the ICC and calls for heightened efforts to enforce all other outstanding arrest warrants
 

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome the transfer of Dominic Ongwen to the International Criminal Court (ICC), as an important step towards accountability for thousands of victims of the most atrocious crimes committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda.
 
This outcome is also the result of a successful cooperation between Uganda, the United States, the Central African Republic, the African Union and the ICC which is to be praised. The warrants for arrest issued by the ICC represent a call to members of the international community to take action. Justice depends upon the arrests of these individuals – and the collaboration of individual State actors toward this end. NPWJ and NRPTT therefore urge all States to take all adequate actions to secure the arrest of the other LRA leaders still at large, Joseph Kony and Okot Odhiambo, as well as all other ICC fugitives so that they may be brought to justice.
 
We hope that these proceedings will contribute to weakening the LRA which is still active in Northern Uganda, the North-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic (CAR) and put an end to the atrocities committed by the LRA in Africa. This is also an opportunity for the ICC, as well as the international community as a whole, to re-commit to the victims of the LRA conflict, not only in Uganda but also in the other affected countries.
 
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Alison Smith is Legal Counsel and Director of International criminal Justice Program of No Peace Without Justice

 NPWJ events

NPWJ and KADEM organise a training on "Promoting the ICC’s contribution to democratic and human rights reform in Libya"
 

On 27-29 January 2015, No Peace Without Justice, with the support of the Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (KADEM), organised a training on "Promoting the ICC’s contribution to democratic and human rights reform in Libya", in Hammamet, Tunsia.
 
Presenters of the 3-day training included Fadi El Abbdallah, ICC Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, Amady Ba, Head of International Cooperation at the ICC Prosecutor’s Office, as well as experts from Libya and Tunisia. The training engaged 20 Libyans lawyers and representatives of civil society and the media, who have been selected for their critical role in promoting judicial and legal reform to support accountability and redress for victims, in monitoring trials and in reaching out to the Libyan population, inc
 
The overall goal of the thrainign was to reinforce the knowledge of Libyan civil society actors on the mandate, rules and procedures of the ICC. It will enhance their expertise on the links between the ICC principle of complementarity and the Libyan judicial system, including on the current status of the Libyan cases before the Court and their interconnections with the ongoing national trials against top leaders of Muammar Gaddafi regime. The training also aimed to strengthen the capacity of the target groups to organise ICC-related activities to engage effectively the population, particularly victims and affected communities, through communications and outreach activities.
 
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Bahrain: NPWJ supports visit of opposition leaders in Brussels to call for ending repression and promoting democratic reform
 

On 20 January 2015, as part of a week-long tour of major European Cities, a Bahraini Delegation of opposition leaders visited Brussels for a series of meetings with EU institutions, organised with the support of No Peace Without Justice. The visit aimed at drawing attention to the current situation in Bahrain and also to work with international partners in efforts to consolidate a serious and meaningful dialogue process that can lead to genuine democratic reform.
 
The delegation included Khalil Almarzooq, Political Assistant to the Secretary General of Al Wefaq and former Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Ali Alaswad, Resigned MP of Al Wefaq, Radhi Al-Mosawi, Secretary General of "Waad" (National Democratic Action Society), and Dr. Munira Fakhro, academic and Vice President of Waad. Meetings were organised with officials of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in charge of GCC Countries together with Stravros Lambrinidis, European Union Special Representative for Human Rights, as well as with MEP Ana Gomes and Alyn Smith, Member of the Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula.
 
The Bahraini delegation took opportunity of these meetings to highlight the ongoing deteriorated human rights situation in the country. While the Government of Bahrain continues to claim publicly it is working towards reform, the facts on the ground blatantly speak to the contrary. The arrest and detention since 28 december of Sheikh Ali Salman, the Secretary General of Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, the largest opposition party in Bahrain, further demonstrates the unabated determination of the Bahraini authorities to suppress any peaceful dissent and nonviolent quest for meaningful democratic reform, rule of law and respect of human rights in the country.
 
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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 on the ICC training for Libyan lawyers, civil society and media actors organised by NPWJ in Tunisia and on the current situation in Bahrain. Greta Barbone, Associate within the International Criminal Justice Program of NPWJ, presents the objectives and participants of the training and provides an account of its outcome. Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, NPWJ Secretary, comments the recent visit of the Bahraini delegation of opposition leaders to Brussels, together with the joint statement of parliamentarians promoted by PGA, NPWJ and the Radical Party calling for the immediate release of Sheikh Ali Salman. In addition, a focus on FGM is provided by Alvilda Jablonko, commenting the recent sentence in Egypt’s first ever conviction for female genital mutilation.

Listen to the episodes

 NPWJ press releases

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

Egypt: NPWJ welcomes sentence in the country’s first ever conviction for FGM
Brussels – Rome – New York, 27 January 2015

Uganda: NPWJ welcomes transfer of Dominic Ongwen to the ICC and calls for heightened efforts to enforce all other outstanding arrest warrants
Brussels – Rome – New York, 26 January 2015

Bahrain: NPWJ supports visit of opposition leaders in Brussels to call for ending repression and promoting meaningful political reform
Brussels, 20 January 2015

Bahrain: Verdict Expected for Nabeel Rajab 20 January, NGOs Call for Charges to be Dropped
19 January 2015

NPWJ strongly condemns the attack on Charlie Hebdo and pay tribute to the victims
Brussels – Rome – New York, 8 January 2015

Bahrain: NPWJ and the NRPTT condemn arrest of prominent opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman and call for his immediate release
Brussels – Rome - New York, 29 December 2014

Worldwide Ban on Female Genital Mutilation: UNGA resolution adopted today signals increased support to address this human rights violation
UN General Assembly, 69th Session, New York, 18 December 2014

 NPWJ in the news


 

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

Bahraini opposition cleric must be immediately freed: MPs
PressTV, 18 January 2015

83 MPs across World Demand Release of Bahrain’s Sheikh Ali Salman
Al Manar, 17 January 2015

World MPs Demand Release of Bahrain’s Sheikh Ali Salman
FARS News Agency, 17 January 2015

83 Parliamentarians from 37 countries call for release of Al-Wefaq Secretary General
Shia Post, 17 January 2015

Lawmakers from 37 Countries Call on Bahrain to Release Sheikh Salman
Tasnim News Agency (Tehran), 17 January 2015

More than 80 lawmakers have asked the King of Bahrain to release Salman
Ria Novosti, 17 January 2015

Diritti dell’infanzia, il ricordo di Npwj
di Domenico Letizia, L'Opinione, 23 December 2014

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