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September 2016
Editor-in-Chief: Nicola Giovannini
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UNHRC / Syria: NPWJ supports civil society’s role in promoting justice and accountability"


On the occasion of the 33th 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: the UPR process and civil society’s role in promoting justice and accountability", which was held on Wednesday 21 September 2016. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Lichtenstein, Netherlands, Qatar, UK, USA and the EU Delegation.

By focusing on the situation of children, young people and women, the efforts to document the widespread violations committed in the last five years and on how achieve justice and accountability for the victims of these crimes, this side event aimed at raising awareness about the role the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process can play in reinforcing the importance of including the Syrian civil society community in the pursuit of a political solution to the war in Syria. The meeting served as a reminder that the urgent priority of reaching a lasting political solution requires an inclusive and participatory process capable to ensure that the root causes of the conflict be addressed. It aimed to articulate the request from Syrian civil society for freedom, democracy and accountability for violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political affiliation, which must be met to foster national reconciliation and a political solution.

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NPWJ contributes to a Policy Insight on “The Democratic West - Still a role model for developing and emerging countries?

On Thursday 8 September 2016, No Peace Without Justice contributed to a Policy Insight on “The Democratic West – Still a role model for developing and emerging countries?” organised by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts in Brussels. Speakers to the panel discussion, which was moderated by Shada Islam, Director of Policy at Friends of Europe, included Heidi Hautala, Member of the European Parliament, Committee on Development, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, President of the Kudirat Initiative For Democracy and Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor, Nigeria, and Niccolò A. Figà-Talamanca, Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ).
The key questions addressed during the discussion were whether and why the Western democratic model lost its attractiveness for developing and emerging countries, whether non-Western governance models are the solution for struggling democratic nations and what the West can do in its internal and external policies to promote its liberal democratic values. During the debate, Niccolò A. Figà-Talamanca, Secretary General of NPWJ, stressed how at the core of democracy there is freedom, especially freedom from fear of being targeted as dissident by state powers. He also warned from the danger of populism, which offers simple answers to complicated issues, and eventually reminded how women’s empowerment is important for a healthy democratic process.
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NPWJ joins NGO's appeal for the Release of Human Rights Defender Nabeel Rajab

In a joint statement released on 2 September 2016, 34 civil society organisations (including No Peace Without Justice) called on the Bahraini authorities to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of human rights defender Nabeel Rajab.
On 13 June 2016, the authorities arrested Rajab, who serves as President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Founding Director of the regional Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), Deputy Secretary-General of FIDH, and a member of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East Division. He is charged for tweets and re-tweets about allegations of torture in Bahrain’s Jau Prison, which were investigated by many local and international NGOs, and about the widely reported and criticised human rights violations during the war in Yemen. In total, Rajab could serve up to 15 years in prison for his statements via Twitter.
Rajab’s arrest is one in a series of repressive actions to severely restrict the work of human rights defenders and civil society members in the Kingdom of Bahrain. His detention is an act of reprisal for his work to promote fundamental human rights in Bahrain, as well as a means to restrict Rajab’s freedom of expression and speech.
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 NPWJ events

Syria: NPWJ organises a Workshop on Documentation Protocols and Best Practices on human rights abuses

The conflict in Syria has claimed a staggering numbers of lives; human rights abuses are widespread, in particular Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) against women and men, girls and boys, as well as a range of violations against or affecting children, for which there is no accountability. Important documentation work is being done by Syrian organisations, but they have identified a need for improved knowledge, capacity and improved coordination. On 26-28 March 2016, NPWJ organised a roundtable on “Accountability, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Women’s Rights and Children’s Rights in Syria”, at which many organisations working on documentation indicated a need to improve their knowledge on a range of issues including best practices for collecting and storing information in such a way that it has the potential to be used as evidence in future prosecutions and other accountability processes.
To answer these needs, NPWJ organised a workshop on “Documentation Protocols and Best Practices”, which took place in Gaziantep on 24-26 August 2016. Participants consisted of representatives of Syrian CSOs and NGOs who work on documentation, SGBV and other crimes against men, women and boy and girls, with a focus on smaller organisations who could particularly benefit from this workshop. By developing the documentation skills of these organisations, the workshop was also designed to strengthen assistance to victims of violations on the ground while also helping to challenge abuses and address the denial of justice to survivors.
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 NPWJ on Radio Radicale

Stay tuned 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 Wednesday evening at 23.30.

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 NPWJ press releases

UNHRC: NPWJ convenes side event on "Syria: the UPR process and civil society’s role in promoting justice and accountability"
Geneva, UNHRC, Palais des Nations, 21 September 2016

NPWJ contributes to a Policy Insight on “The Democratic West - Still a role model for developing and emerging countries?”
Brussels, 8 September 2016

Urgent Appeal for the Release of Human Rights Defender Nabeel Rajab
2 September 2016

Syria: NPWJ organises a Workshop on Documentation Protocols and Best Practices on human rights abuses
Gaziantep, Turkey, 24 - 26 August 2016

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

 NPWJ in the news


Panel Discussion in Geneva On Role of Civil Society in Promoting Justice & Accountability
Syrian Coalition, 22 September 2016

Qatar Mission in Geneva Discusses Civil Society’s Role in Syria
QNA / FANANEWS, 21 September 2016

#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

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