First Hearing on US Drone Warfare at a Court in Germany
20 May 2015 - This case marks the first time that victims of a US drone strike have been granted a legal hearing in Germany: On 27 May the Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgericht) of Cologne will hear the case of three Yemenis, survivors of a drone strike in Yemen in August 2012 in which two of their relatives were killed. The US military base Ramstein in Rheinland-Pfalz was involved in the drone strike. Despite this, the German government has to date rejected any responsibility for the death of civilians in the US drone war. In response, Faisal bin Ali Jaber, Ahmed Saeed bin Ali Jaber and Khaled Mohmed bin Ali Jaber with the support of ECCHR and Reprieve from London submitted a complaint against the German Federal Government, represented by the Ministry of Defense, in October 2014.
Sexualized violence in the Colombian conflict – a matter for the International Criminal Court
27 April 2015 - In 2014 an average of two women were raped every three days in the course of the armed conflict in Colombia. Yet to date there have been very few convictions for sexualized violence – and no convictions at all in cases in which the perpetrator was a member of the armed forces. By failing to act, the Colombian state is denying women the protection against sexualized crimes and access to justice that it is obliged to guarantee under national and international law. In response, the ECCHR, together with the Colombian organizations Sisma Mujer and CAJAR, has today submitted a criminal complaint (known as a communication) against Colombia to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The organizations are calling on the Court’s prosecution authorities to open investigations against suspects in Colombia.
French Court Investigating U.S. Torture: Summons Former Gitmo Commander
2 April 2015 – In a case seeking to hold U.S. officials accountable for the torture and other serious mistreatment of three French citizens formerly detained at Guantánamo, the Chambre de l’instruction de la Cour d’appel de Paris ordered a lower court to summon former Guantánamo Commander Geoffrey D. Miller to explain his role in the abuse. The ECCHR and the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights supported the appeal and submitted documents explaining Geoffrey Miller’s position, while commander of Guantánamo, in the overall command structure within the United States government.
Pakistan factory fire victims sue discount clothing retailer KiK in Germany
13 March 2015 – Justice, not hand-outs. Liability, not voluntary giving. These are the calls made by survivors and relatives of victims of the fatal fire at the Ali Enterprises textile factory in Karachi (Pakistan). 260 people were killed in the fire on 11 September 2012, a further 32 were injured. German discount clothing retailer KiK was by its own admission the factory’s main customer. Four of those affected by the disaster have now filed a compensation claim against KiK at the Regional Court in Dortmund. They are seeking 30,000 euro each in compensation. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), medico international and the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) from Pakistan are assisting with the case.