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June 2015
Editor-in-Chief: Nicola Giovannini
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 Highlights

Bahrain: NPWJ and NRPTT strongly condemn sham trial and arbitrary sentence against Sheikh Ali Salman
 

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) firmly condemn the arbitrary conviction to four years of imprisonment of the leader of the main Bahraini opposition party, Sheikh Ali Salman. Today’s sentence is yet another clear example that the right to fair trial is non-existent in Bahrain. The Bahraini authorities continue to be determined to suppress any peaceful dissent and nonviolent quest for meaningful democratic reform, rule of law and respect of human rights in the country.
 
This is a highly dangerous move that can only set the country further along the dangerous path of political turmoil and disunity. Sadly, the response of the international community to the continued and violent assault on Bahrainis’ civic and political freedoms has, so far, been weak and deaf to the plight of the Bahraini citizens. The Bahraini authorities have used this approach as a green light to persevere in its repressive and retaliatory practices rather than engage in a real and inclusive dialogue. It is way past time for the international community to take immediate concrete steps and to react to this latest blow to freedom of expression in Bahrain with the seriousness it warrants. Failure to do so is, in reality, siding with tyranny and repression.
 
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* Niccolò Figà-Talamanca is Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice

ICC: South Africa Fails Darfurian Victims
 

On 15 June 2015, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, who is subject to an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity and genocide by the International Criminal Court, left South Africa where he was attending a Summit of the African Union. Simply put, the South African authorities have allowed President al-Bashir to evade justice by failing not only to fulfil their international legal obligations but also by flouting an order from their own Constitutional Court requiring that President al Bashir be prevented from leaving. The Constitutional Court further stated that South Africa’s failure to arrest him was inconsistent with South Africa’s own Constitution.
 
Much is made of the fact that the ICC needs the political will of its States Parties to support its work and implement its judicial rulings. That is certainly evident in what happened in South Africa. Even more, the ICC needs the rule of law to prevail in its States Parties to ensure that even if political will is absent, at least its States Parties will honour its own internal rules and requirements. This episode shows that in the absence of a true commitment to the rule of law, even national courts cannot count on their rulings being implemented by the authorities.
 
Even as we see and lament the rule of law being degraded, we must never lose sight of the fact that the real losers here are the Darfurian victims. One again, they have been tossed aside in the interests of politics, their rights ignored and their plight forgotten. Siding with their oppressors dishonours South Africa’s history and the victims of the apartheid regime, many of whom died fighting callous leaders and a callous system in the hopes of a better world for all.
 
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* Alison Smith is Legal Counsel and Director of the International Criminal Justice Program of No Peace Without Justice

NPWJ welcomes the entry into force of the legislation banning FGM in Nigeria
 

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome the entry into force of a law banning female genital mutilation, as a landmark in the long-standing fight undertaken by Nigeria against this violation of the human rights of women and girls.
 
We are extremely pleased that Nigeria now has, for the first time, a self-standing law at the federal level that criminalises FGM. We urge the Nigerian Government and local authorities to promptly enact its provisions to stamp out the practice once and for all and to launch a wide-scale awareness campaign to inform communities in areas where this human rights violation persists that it is not only degrading, but also a criminal offence.
 
As called for by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 69/150, NPWJ and the NRPTT that the adoption and the enforcement of explicit and effective legislation, backed by sanctions, banning all forms of FGM are fundamental and crucial factors to successfully combat this human rights violation and promote its elimination.
 
We appeal to all states in which FGM continues to be perpetrated to enact and ensure compliance with legislation that unequivocally bans FGM as well as to provide strong and clear support for the innumerable human rights groups, women’s associations and individual advocates that fight a daily battle to bring an end to this human rights violation.
 
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* Alvilda Jablonko is Gender and Human Rights Program Coordinator of No Peace Without Justice

 NPWJ events

UN / Geneva: NPWJ and NRPTT convene Side Event on "Syria after tyranny: achieving a democratic and pluralistic future"
 

On the occasion of the 29th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, No Peace Without Justice and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT), together with the Euro-Syrian Democratic Forum, convened a Side Event on "Syria after tyranny: achieving a democratic and pluralistic future", which was held on 25 June 2015 at the Palais des Nations. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Qatar, Turkey, USA and the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces.
 
With the fourth anniversary of the inception of the Syrian uprising, the future of that country and its citizens continues to grow bleaker. Crushed between the mass atrocities of Al-Assad regime’s forces and the fanatical savagery of terrorist groups and foreign militias, Syria’s people are looking both for an end to violence, and for justice and redress as concrete alternatives to the dual tyranny of extremism and dictatorship. To envisage a democratic and pluralist future for Syria, it is critical to act now to reclaim and protect a civic space for Syrian civil society, democracy advocates and transitional bodies to work together and to find ways to achieving political transition.
 
The inability to achieve any type of accountability for anyone for what is happening in Syria has created a situation where impunity is the norm, breeding extremism, terrorism and widespread violence. Violations continue to increase in scope and intensity as perpetrators see an “easy” way to reach their objectives. The consequences currently do not fall on those who are breaking the law, but on those whom the law should protect, namely the civilian population of Syria, particularly in areas that are unreachable by aid efforts. The meeting served as a reminder that to achieve a lasting political solution to the Syrian war, the international community must overcome obstacles to accountability and instead act upon it as a necessity for the future of Syria.
 
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UN / Geneva: NPWJ and Sentinel Human Rights Defenders convene Side Event on “Single Mothers and the Architecture of Confinement in Ireland”
 

On the occasion of the 29th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, No Peace Without Justicethe Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT), and Sentinel Human Rights Defenders, in partnership with Adoption Rights Alliance and the National Women’s Council of Ireland, convened a Side Event on “Single Mothers and the Architecture of Confinement in Ireland”, which was held on 24 June 2015 at the Palais des Nations.

The purpose of this event was to shed light on a tragic aspect of Ireland’s unofficial history, which involved the incarceration, enslavement and death not because of people’s beliefs, race or class, but because of their gender. It resulted in the establishment of a network of institutions that illegally removed the parental rights of unmarried women as well as their basic human rights and liberty (and their children’s)

 
For some victims, there has been a modicum of admission, through a State apology issued in 2012, although the report preceding it has been criticised as “incomplete” and lacking “many elements of a prompt, independent, and thorough investigation”. For most of them, however, there has been no apology, no redress and no acknowledgment of the crimes they endured.  This parallel history must also be highlighted during Ireland’s centennial to be celebrated in 2016, to recognise and embrace all of Ireland’s heroes and acknowledge the wrongs done so that Ireland can truly become a modern home of equality for all its citizens.
 
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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.

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 NPWJ press releases

UN / Geneva: NPWJ and NRPTT convene Side Event on "Syria after tyranny: achieving a democratic and pluralistic future"
Geneva, UNHRC, Palais des Nations, 25 June 2015

UN / Geneva: NPWJ and Sentinel Human Rights Defenders convene Side Event on “Single Mothers and the Architecture of Confinement in Ireland”
Geneva, UNHRC, Palais des Nations, 24 June 2015

Syria: UN Security Council should take immediate action against indiscriminate attacks on civilians
19 June 2015

War crimes in Bangladesh: unfair trials and death penalty will not bring justice
Brussels – Rome, 17 June 2015

Bahrain: NPWJ and NRPTT strongly condemn sham trial and arbitrary sentence against Sheikh Ali Salman
Brussels – Rome, 16 June 2015

ICC: South Africa Fails Darfurian Victims
Brussels – Rome, 15 June 2015

Launch of project to enhance women’s economic inclusion in the MENA Region
Cairo, Egypt, 9 June 2015

NPWJ welcomes the entry into force of the legislation banning FGM in Nigeria
Brussels-Rome, 3 June 2015

Syria / Palmyra: Impunity puts more lives, heritage of humanity at risk
Brussels – Rome, 22 May 2015

National consultation in Gambia to foster the adoption of a law banning Female Genital Mutilation
Kaira Konko, Jarra Soma, Gambia, 21 May 2015

Tunisia: NPWJ welcomes the government’s commitment to amend troubling provisions of the initial draft security Bill
Brussels - Rome, 19 May 2015

 NPWJ in the news


 

Giustizia: diritti umani, una sfida impossibile se non c'è "conoscenza"
di Domenico Letizia, Il Garantista / Ristretti Orizzonti, 23 June 2015

No business as usual as Al-Bashir flees South Africa
CICC Global Justice Newsletter, 16 June 2015

L’Egitto instabile
OltreRadio, 15 June 2015

Sheikh Salman detention absurd, unnecessary
Press TV, 10 June 2015

Ex-LRA commander appears before ICC judges
SMSMEDIA (Uganda), 20 May 2015

Elimination des mutilations génitales féminines : La Déclaration de Dakar en gestation
Le Quotidien (Sénégal), 13 May 2015

Croisade contre les mutilations génitales : Diverses organisations de la Société civiles en concertation à Dakar
Saër Dial & Idrissa Diop Idy, L’Actuacho, 13 May 2015

Canada to fund investigations into ISIL crimes
The BricsPost, 13 May 2015

Plaidoyer pour l’élimination des mutilations génitales féminines
Agence de Presse Sénégalaise (APS), 12 May 2015

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