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July 2016
Editor-in-Chief: Nicola Giovannini
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 Highlights

Bahrain: NPWJ welcomes EP resolution and calls for human rights abuses to be addressed in the forthcoming EU-GCC Ministerial Meeting
 

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT), welcome the adoption by the European Parliament of an urgency resolution condemning in the strongest terms the ongoing campaign of repression and persecution against human rights defendersleaders of the political opposition and civil society activists, as well as the restriction of fundamental democratic rights in Bahrain.
 
As called for by the resolution, Bahraini authorities should ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Nabeel Rajab and other imprisoned human rights defenders, whose only “crime” is to advocate openly and peacefully for meaningful democratic reforms and the respect of human rights in Bahrain. The same apply to the head of the Al-Wefaq opposition group Sheikh Ali Salman, whose prison sentence was shockingly increased from 4 to 9 years in May. Furthermore, the alarming decision by the Bahraini authorities to dissolve Al-Wefaq, as well as the misuse of anti-terrorism laws and, especially, the unfair revocation of nationality as a means of political pressure and punishment, can only further increase political turmoil and fuel social unrest.
 
We call on Ms Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as well as the ministers of EU member states, to follow the European Parliament in raising unequivocally the same concerns and in urging the Bahraini regime to comply with its obligations under international human rights laws, on the occasion of the 25th European Union-Gulf Cooperation Council (EU-GCC) Ministerial meeting set to take place in Brussels on 18 July 2016. In particular, we urge High Representative Mogherini and the EU ministers to call for an end to the Bahraini government’s intensified suppression of civil society and political opposition. We further urge the ministers to raise their concerns following the UN Secretary General’s decision to remove the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen from a UN register of children’s rights violators, after the regime and its coalition partners threatened to cut off crucial funding.
 
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Many of Iraq’s minorities now ‘on the verge of disappearance’ – new joint report by NPWJ, UNPO, IILHR and IILHR
 

Minority communities in Iraq are now on the verge of disappearance, says a new joint report issued by No Peace Without Justice,  the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, Institute for International Law and Human Rights and Minority Rights Group International. No Way Home: Iraq’s Minorities on the Verge of Disappearance, which is based on extensive interviews and field research, documents how tens of thousands of persons belonging to Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities have been murdered, maimed or abducted, including unknown numbers of women and girls forced into marriage or sexual enslavement, after the fall of Mosul in June 2014.
 
According to the report, the Christian population, which before 2003 numbered as many as 1.4 million, is now under 250,000. Most of the Yezidi and Kaka’i have been forced from their traditional lands and are now internally displaced or have fled the country altogether, whilst Shi’a Turkmen and Shabak have been driven to the south. Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) forces and commanders have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, summary executions, killing, mutilation, rape, sexual violence, torture, cruel treatment, the use and recruitment of children, outrages on personal dignity, as well as using chemical weapons says the report. Whilst Iraqi Security Forces, Popular Mobilization Units and Kurdish Peshmerga have also committed war crimes prohibited under international law.
 
"It’s unthinkable that crimes of this magnitude and impact are being committed with total impunity. The Government of Iraq really needs to take urgent steps to provide redress to the victims – referring the situation to the International Criminal Court would be a good start", says Alison Smith of No Peace Without Justice. "Families are destroyed. Homes, businesses and farms have been looted. Heritage is either demolished or sold. Survivors will have nothing to return to, unless Iraq and the international community take more robust action to address the crushing needs of minorities", says William Spence Spencer, of the Institute for International Law and Human Rights.
 
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 NPWJ events

Iraq – European Parliament: Presentation of new joint report by NPWJ, UNPO, IILHR and MRG on the situation of minorities since the fall of Mosul
 

On Thursday 14 July 2016, the new joint report issued by NPWJ, UNPO, IILHR and MRG on the situation of minorities in Iraq, was presented at a meeting of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the Republic of Iraq, chaired by Ana Gomes MEP (S&D). "No Way Home: Iraq’s Minorities on the Verge of Disappearance" analyses the situation of various ethnic and religious components of the country, focussing on the crimes and abuses to which they are exposed and the consequences that this might have on the survival of these communities as a whole.
 
During the meeting, Allison Smith (Legal Counsel and Director of the International Criminal Justice Programme of NPWJ), explained the methodology used for the report, which is a follow up to a previous one entitled “Between the Millstones: The State of Iraq’s Minorities since the Fall of Mosul”, published in February 2015. She underlined how unfortunately very little has changed since then, with similar crimes and similar brutality occurring regularly in different parts of the country. A sad difference is the emergence of new elements such as the use of chemical weapons by the so-called Islamic State. Among the many horrors currently taking place in the region, Ms Smith highlighted sex and gender-based violence, in particular against minority women, as well as crimes against children. While caution is to be used with the word ‘genocide’, whose legal definition is very precise, the fact that this word is used so frequently by the media is the best indicator of the responsibility to act that the international community should feel.
 
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Press preview of the painting “Angels of Syria” in Brussels
 

On 30 June 2016, the Representation Office of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces (SOC) in Brussels convened a press presentation on the occasion of the first exhibition in Europe of the painting called Angels of Syria”, which is hosted at the Koninklijk Atheneum E.Hiel in Brussels.
 
The piece of art is a collaborative work between Hossam al-Saadi, Hussam Alloum, Abduljaleel al-Shaqaqi and Ahmed al-Dulli who wanted to protest against the killing of Children in Syria. It is considered one of the most important paintings in the World, given its huge size (22m x 21.5m) and content. The painting shows a face of a Syrian child and contains the names of the 12490 children that had been killed during the war in Syria at the time it was completed (in 2014). The names were documented by the Violations Documenting Center (VDC), the NGO founded by Razan Zaitouneh, who was honoured by the European Parliament Sakharov Prize 2011.
 
Participants to the press presentation included Hossam Al-Saadi, one of the artists behind this work and a member of SOC, Joe Buelens, Welcome Refugees Group Grimbergen, and Niccolo’ Figa-Talamanca, Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice.
 
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 NPWJ on Radio Radicale

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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 Wednesday evening at 23.30.

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 NPWJ press releases

NGOs call for human rights abuses to be addressed in the forthcoming EU-GCC Ministerial Meeting
18 July 2016

Iraq – European Parliament: Presentation of new joint report by NPWJ, UNPO, IILHR and MRG on the situation of minorities since the fall of Mosul
European Parliament, Brussels, 14 July 2016

Bahrain: 26 NGOs call for immediate and unconditional release of Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, prior to his trial tomorrow
11 July 2016

Bahrain: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome European Parliament strong stance against ongoing repression and restrictions of fundamental democratic rights
Brussels, 8 July 2016

Many of Iraq’s minorities now ‘on the verge of disappearance’ – new joint report by NPWJ, UNPO, IILHR and IILHR
4 July 2016

Press preview of the painting “Angels of Syria” in Brussels
Brussels, 30 June 2016

ICC / Bemba case: NPWJ welcomes sentencing to 18 years imprisonment as a landmark step forward for victims of sexual violence
Brussels-Rome, 21 June 2016

UNPO, SADF and NPWJ organise roundtable discussion on Roundtable Discussion on the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord
Brussels, 17 June 2016

Bahrain: NPWJ and NRPTT strongly condemn suspension of main opposition party Al-Wefaq
Brussels – Rome, 15 June 2016

 NPWJ in the news


 

#JusticeGlobale Hebdo – Autour du Monde
#JusticeGlobale, 22 July 2016

After 13 years of war, Iraq’s minorities on verge of disappearing, rights groups warn
Daily Star / Reuters, 5 July 2016

Iraq’s Religious, Ethnic Minorities on Verge of Disappearing: Report
By Lucy Westcott, Newsweek, 5 July 2016

Iraq's minorities 'on verge of disappearance' - rights groups
By Emma Batha, Reuters, 4 July 2016

REVEALED: The city where ISIS now occupies all churches as Christians face wipe out
By Tom Batchelor, Express, 4 July 2016

Iraq's Minorities 'On Verge of Disappearance,' Rights Group Warns
Emma Batha, Haaretz / Reuters, 4 July 2016

West Africa: Ecowas Member Communities and Experts On Female Genital Mutilation Lay Strategies for the Way Forward
The Pont (Banjul) / AllAfrica, 15 June 2016

NPWJ Firmly Condemns Sentence Issued against Sheikh Ali Salman
Bahrain Mirror, 1 June 2016

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