newsletter No Peace Without Justice, X-2013

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October 2013
Editor-in-Chief: Nicola Giovannini
Managing Editor: Alessandro Manno

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Goodbye Sergio

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) mourns with great sadness the death of President Sergio Stanzani. Since 1997, Sergio was the President of No Peace Without Justice, contributing his commitment to human rights and his charisma to the fight for justice, the rule of law and democracy. NPWJ is honoured to have been chaired by Senator Sergio Stanzani, and we mourn and remember him through a letter written by Gianfranco Spadaccia, which follows: Letter from Gianfranco Spadaccia “I met Sergio, with Marco [Pannella] and Franco Roccella, when I started university, it seems almost a century ago now, back in 1953. He was already an engineer, and had moved from Bologna to Rome to work, while still involved in the Italian Student Union (UGI), the lay organization of university students, of which he was a founding member. On behalf of UGI he was also elected first president of the National Italian University Representative Association (UNURI), . Two years later, in 1955, we found ourselves, along with many others, in the constituent committee of the Radical Party. This was recognition to the generation who, within the university - and unlike in the rest of Italian society - had managed make a secular and truly liberal organisation have majority appeal". Read more

Worldwide Ban on Female Genital Mutilation: High Level Event to foster the implementation of the UN resolution

On 22-25 October 2013, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with UNFPA and UNICEF, convened in Rome, Italy, a High Level Meeting to discuss and plan specific strategies at national, regional and international level in accordance with the resolution calling for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation (A/RES/67/146), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 2012. The meeting, involving key-players in the process that led to the adoption of the Resolution (Chantal Compaoré, First Lady of Burkina Faso and Emma Bonino, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and founder of NPWJ), provided an important opportunity to consolidate global political commitment to ensure that the UN resolution realises its full potential as a concrete tool to ban female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide. This breakthrough document, whose adoption is the culmination of years of advocacy efforts conducted by an ever-expanding coalition of NGOs and human rights activists including No Peace Without Justice, explicitly calls the international community as well as individual states to take effective action to address and prevent FGM through “all necessary measures, including enacting and enforcing legislation to prohibit FGM and to protect women and girls from this form of violence, and to end impunity. It is now crucial to ensure the full and swift compliance with and implementation of its provisions and principles at the national, regional and global levels. Only united we can address and free ourselves of this violation of human rights and donate hope to women and girls around the world. Read more

*Alvilda Jablonko is FGM Program Coordinator of No Peace Without Justice

African Union: ICC non-cooperation drive thwarted, but African States should do more to uphold the rights of African victim

The Extraordinary African Union (AU) Summit, which concluded on 12 October 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, thwarted an attempt by Kenya and other States to have African Heads of State adopt a resolution calling for non-cooperation with the International Criminal Court (ICC), or even calling for the withdrawal by African States from the ICC. The meeting was convened amid politically motivated claims that the trials of the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, and Deputy President, William Ruto, who stand accused of crimes against humanity for the post-election violence in 2007 and 2008, indicate that the Court is targeting African leaders. An African Union non cooperation resolution could have provided some political cover for Kenya failing in its international legal obligations as an ICC State Party. Although the decision adopted by the African Union Summit falls short of proposing or endorsing non cooperation or withdrawal, it still raises numerous troubling issues. In its references to Head of State immunity, the AU Decision seems to forget that it is well-established in customary international law, as reaffirmed in the Rome ICC Statute, that there is no immunity when it comes to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It is simply unacceptable to place an entire category of people outside the remit of justice, including sitting Heads of State and Government, or persons acting in that capacity, even if it is limited to their time in office. Instead of “respecting” the law, it encourages criminals to hold onto power at all costs and denies victims their right to justice and to redress. Read more

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

Libya: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome ICC ruling on the Al-Senussi case, which heralds new potential for justice in the country

“NPWJ and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT ), welcome the decision issued by the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I on 11 October 2013, ruling that the Al-Senussi case is to proceed in Libya, which confirms that this State is not only positively eager but also able to take care of crimes under international law committed on its territory by its citizens itself. “Although the ICC arrest warrants against senior Gaddafi officials were welcomed by their victims and the people of Libya, a trial outside Libya is never something that the people wanted; they wanted – and they still want – the alleged perpetrators of the crimes perpetrated during the revolution be tried in Libya, to face justice in the same place in which he allegedly waged their brutal attacks. “As the country has embarked on legislative reforms, the ICC ruling marks an historic opportunity for the Libyan authorities to demonstrate their ability to break with the legacy of impunity and abuses that typified Gaddafi’s rule with a new respect for the rule of law and to meet the promise of justice and redress for the victims and their families that Al-Senussi’s trial represents. It is now up to the Libyan judicial authorities to ensure that the proceedings will be conducted with fairness, impartiality and strict adherence to all due process rights, to the highest international standards”. Read more

NPWJ events

Libya: NPWJ supports justice sector reform on sexual violence and juvenile justice

In the framework of its Transitional Justice Program in Libya, NPWJ supported and contributed to a series of initiatives aimed at strengthening the capacity of Libyan national institutions and civil society actors on accountability, human rights and the rule of law, which were held in Tripoli. On 20-22 October2013, NPWJ organised, in close collaboration with the High Judicial Institute (HJI), a three-day training for judges and prosecutors from Tripoli, Misrata, Zawia, Khoms and Benghazi to build capacity, knowledge and expertise within Libya's judicial and investigative institutions on international standards of law, in particular related to sensitive subjects such as sexual violence and juvenile justice. On 21 October 2013, NPWJ also organised a colloquium on the same topics which involved a wide range of participants, including local civil society organisations, legal students and professionals, members of the judiciary, members of the media, as well as representatives of international organisations and foreign embassies. The objective was to create a platform where knowledge, expertise and information on sexual violence could be exchanged and developed by multiple stakeholders.Judicial reform is fundamental to achieve accountability for crimes committed and building the foundations for national reconciliation in Libya. The important role which local civil society organisations can play in this process was stressed as they can provide a crucial link between victims and the judicial system, and are in a strong position to raise awareness about sexual violence within Libya. Read more

Syria: NPWJ Concludes First Training Course on Chemical Weapons Awareness and Documentation for Syrian Human Rights Activists

On 7-12 October 2013, NPWJ, together with Assistance Cooperation Unit (ACU), the operative branch of the Syrian National Council (SNC), the Violations Documentation Centre in Syria (VDC) and Global Political Trends Centre (GPOT) of Istanbul Kültür University, and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held a training course on “Chemical weapons awareness and documentation”, in the city of Gaziantep, Southern Turkey. Participants included representatives from ACU, VDC and representatives of informal associations and NGOs working inside Syria, including the Free Syrian Lawyers Union, the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability and Women for Peace. Participants also included legal professionals and doctors and medical personnel active in field hospitals around Northern Syria, Deir Azzor and Damascus countryside. Since March 2011, extended and systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law have been committed in Syria, without there being any real serious prospect of justice for the victims of such abuse. Attacks against civilians and widespread human rights violations continue to be committed daily by the regime, including through the use of artillery and, as recently and tragically demonstrated, of chemical weapons. There is a tremendous need for transitional justice, accountability and reconciliation efforts to be fostered and sustained. To this end, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) is engaged in a program of capacity building of Syrian civil society groups, human rights and democracy activists to promote their active role on transitional justice and accountability issues, including on advocacy and documenting human rights violations, especially in relation to violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. Read more

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 latest episodes have focused on issues related to International Criminal Justice and Female Genitals Mutilation. Among the recent issues, Kenya's proposal to withdrawal from ICC has been analysed by Greta Barbone, ICC Programme collaborator. From Addis Abeba Greta has summarised the AU summit concerning the relation between States Parties and the ICC. Regarding FGM, the Project Coordinator Alvilda Jablonko from Brussels, has introduced the International Conference held in Rome from 22 to 25 October 2013 with the participation of important actors in the fight against FGM. Concerning the activities of NPWJ, The Secretary Seneral of NPWJ, Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, has presented the recent events promoted by NPWJ in Tripoli and Gaziantep.

Listen to the episodes

NPWJ press releases

The “No Peace Without Justice Human Rights Award” 2013
Rome, 24 October 2013

Libya: NPWJ supports justice sector reform on sexual violence and juvenile justice
Tripoli, 23 October, 2013

Worldwide Ban on Female Genital Mutilation: High Level Event to foster the implementation of the UN resolution
Rome, Italy, 22 October 2013

No Peace Without Justice mourns with great sadness the death of President Sergio Stanzani
Rome - Brussels - New York, 18 October 2013

The Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal should be internationalised - for the sake of the nation’s future
by Sir Desmond de Silva QC, former Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Syria: NPWJ Concludes First Training Course on Chemical Weapons Awareness and Documentation for Syrian Human Rights Activists
Gaziantep, Turkey, 14 October 2013

African Union: ICC non-cooperation drive thwarted, but African States should do more to uphold the rights of African victims
Addis Ababa, 12 October 2013

Libya: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome ICC ruling on the Al-Senussi case, which heralds new potential for justice in the country
Brussels-Rome-New York, 11 October 2013

NPWJ calls on African States to honour obligations to the ICC and their commitment to the fight against impunity
Brussels-Rome-New York, 10 October 2013

Libya: NPWJ supports justice sector reform in collaboration with the Tripoli Bar Association and the High Judicial Institute
Tripoli, Libya, 8 October 2013

NPWJ contributes to ODIHR Trial Monitoring Annual Meeting held in Warsaw
Warsaw, Poland, 7 October 2013

NPWJ says EU should push Kenya to cooperate with ICC
New Europe, 2 October 2013

Libya: NPWJ provides civil society capacity-building training on transitional justice and accountability processes
Tripoli, Libya, 1 October 2013

IILHR, NPWJ and UNPO organise launch of book on Iraq’s Minorities and Vulnerable Groups at the European Parliament
Brussels, 30 September 2013

NPWJ in the news

Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal: British Foreign Secretary asked for immediate intervention
Bangladesh Independent News Network (BDINN), 18 October 2013

Judicial reform boosted by training on trial monitoring
By Libya Herald, 13 October 2013

ICC: Libya is Fit to Hold Trials of Crimes under International Law
By The Tripoli Post, 13 October 2013

Syrian activists and doctors being trained to combat chemical attacks
By Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, The Telegraph, 12 October 2013

Senussi trial in Libya “new potential” for country’s justice system, says NGO
By Libya Herald, 12 October 2013

Africa vs Int’l Court: Quotes on the court as leaders meet before trial of Kenya’s president
Associated Press / Washington Post, 11 October 2013

The Hague: Charles Taylor Loses Appeal
Patriotic Vanguard (Sierra leone), 27 September 2013

AnsaMed, 27 September 2013

Sierra Leone: Charles Taylor appeals judgment is an historic step in the fight against impunity and signals imminent successful completion of SCSL mandate
Sierra Express Media, 26 September 2013

Onu: Bonino, ancora in troppi Paesi piaga spose bambine
ANSAmed, 26 September 2013

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