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May 2015
Editor-in-Chief: Nicola Giovannini
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 Highlights

Syria / Palmyra: Impunity puts more lives, heritage of humanity at risk
 

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) express their deep concerns about the reported occupation of the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria by ISIL. This puts the lives of thousands more people under the very real threat of widespread and blind violence, mass executions and religious persecution. Given the way in which ISIL has treated antiquities in the past, it also exposes an invaluable cultural and civilian heritage of humanity to arbitrary destruction.
 
The increasingly emboldened actions of the so-called “Caliphate of the Islamic State” are not only the result of the failure by the international community to bring an end to a 4-year conflict in Syria but also of a culture of almost complete impunity that has pervaded the country since the beginning of hostilities. Despite the widely documented violations of human rights and international criminal law, there have been no national efforts for accountability in any shape or form and international efforts, including attempted referrals to the International Criminal Court, continue to be blocked, with no apparent solution in easy sight”.
 

It is also the umpteenth demonstration that ISIS and the Assad regime are the two allied faces of the same sad coin. They even appear to compete in devastating a country and in committing atrocities at the expense of millions of ordinary Syrians. Strong action must be taken now to put an end to the spreading terror by ISIS; Syria will not see any brighter future until the brutal regime that has been most responsible for decades of repression is removed from the equation.

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Alison Smith is Legal Counsel and Director of the International Criminal Justice Program of No Peace Without Justice

Tunisia: NPWJ welcomes the government’s commitment to amend troubling provisions of the initial draft security Bill
 

The draft State Security Bill recently submitted by the Tunisian Government to the Parliament has raised strong concerns. Some of its troubling provisions awaken dark memories of the past and even contradict the ideals and principles that underpinned the Jasmine Revolution.
 
No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome the Government’s commitment to amend the draft Bill and to ensure its consistency with the civil and political rights enshrined in the newly-adopted Tunisian Constitution and international human rights standards.
 
It is, of course, important to ensure that the Tunisian security forces can carry out their duty to defend the public and the rule of law, particularly in an environment marred by increasing terrorism threats. But this cannot and should not be done at the expenses of democratic accountability and legal responsibility of State institutions towards the citizens they serve. The remarkable gains and progress in Tunisia has made in overcoming its undemocratic past is essential to its security: the effectiveness of the security forces response to terrorism hinges on the trust and respect it enjoys within the population it protects and society as a whole.
 
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Niccolò Figà-Talamanca is Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice

 NPWJ events

National consultation in Gambia to foster the adoption of a law banning Female Genital Mutilation
 

On 21 May 2015, GAMCOTRAP, in partnership with No Peace Without Justice and the Inter-African Committee for Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children  (IAC), and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, convened a national consultation in Gambia to review the situation of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the country and to foster the adoption of specific legislation banning the practice, as called for by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 69/150.

 

The event, which was held in Kaira Konko, Soma in the Lower River Region, saw the participation of over a hundred delegates including District Chiefs, National Women Councilors and other women leaders, NGO representatives, Traditional Communicators and members of the media. The consultation was also attended by four members of the National Assembly from the Lower River Region as well as the Governors of the Central River Region and the Lower River Region.
 
Through the four “Dropping of the Knives” celebrations held in the Gambia between 2007 and 2013, 128 FGM practitioners and 900 communities publicly demonstrated their willingness to protect children and girls and end FGM. However, the absence of a specific legislation prohibiting FGM contributes to the perception that it is “acceptable” and weakens the legitimacy and impact of these efforts and gains. It also undermines the commitments made by the State to promote and protect women’s rights. The Kaira Konko Consultation concluded with the adoption of a final communiqué calling on the members of the National Assembly to listen to the voices of the communities and to take action by adopting a law banning FGM by the end of 2015.
 
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National Workshop in Senegal to foster effective implementation of UNGA resolution banning Female Genital Mutilation
 

On 12 May 2015, No Peace Without Justice, in partnership with La Palabre, COSEPRAT, FemnetSenegal, theAssociation des Juristes Senegalaisesand  the Inter-African Committee for Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children  (IAC), convened a national workshop in Dakar, Senegal, aimed at fostering the implementation of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 69/150 calling for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation.
 

The workshop was held under the high patronage of theMinistry of Women, Family and Childhood of Senegal and was organised with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperationand UNICEF. Participants included high-level government representatives, parliamentarians and civil society activists from Senegal as well as representatives of UN agencies and other international organisations and diplomatic missions.

In addition to aiming to consolidate the political will of Senegalese authorities to implement Resolution 69/150, thworkshop provided an opportunity to analyse and discuss national mechanisms designed to protect women and girls against FGM and to identify adequate measures to improve existing strategies addressing violations of the prohibition of FGM and build the capacity of the police, gendarmerie and the judiciary in ensuring compliance with the law.

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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.

Listen to the episodes

 NPWJ press releases

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

National Workshop in Senegal to foster effective implementation of UNGA resolution banning Female Genital Mutilation
Dakar, Senegal, 12 May 2015

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare: NPWJ calls for accountability in Syria
29 April 2015

Syria: Human rights organizations mark birthday of Razan Zaitouneh with renewed call for release of ‘Duma Four’
28 April 2015

Libya: the current UNSMIL-led negotiations should focus on accountability and the fight against impunity
Brussels – Rome – New York, 17 April 2015

Libya: NPWJ presents recommendations on human rights, rule of law and transitional justice to the members of the UN Human Rights Council
Geneva, 10 April 2015

 NPWJ in the news


 

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

Niccolo' Figa-Talamanca comments on the complaint against Goodwill Zwelithini submitted to the ICC
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), 29 April 2015

Libya: Alkarama Calls On State Delegations to Make Appropriate Recommendations Ahead of the State's Upcoming Universal Periodic Review
All Africa, 14 April 2015

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