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.
UK rebukes German-British software company Gamma
27 February 2015 – British-German surveillance technology provider Gamma International infringed on its human rights obligations with products such as “state trojan” FinFischer. This was confirmed by the United Kingdom’s OECD National Contact Point (NCP) in the final assessment of a complaint submitted by human rights groups. The NCP calls on Gamma –explicitly including other companies affiliated with the corporation – to implement effective human rights standards. “The decision of the British NCP is of fundamental importance! The German Gamma affiliate FinFisher Labs in Munich must also comply with it,” said Miriam Saage-Maaß, Vice Legal Director at ECCHR.
Europe’s Treacherous Borders: Justice for the Ceuta Victims!
4 February 2015 - They call it “the protection of the EU’s external borders”. But Nathan has first-hand experience of what this really means. Nathan was 15 years old when he joined a group of around 400 refugees and migrants attempting to swim across the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on 6th February 2014. Members of the Guardia Civil, Spain’s paramilitary police force, responded with batons, rubber bullets and tear gas. At least 15 people were killed; many more were seriously injured. It took more than year until a Spanish judge decided to officially investigate 16 civil guard officers allegedly involved in the incident.
Murder of Nestlé worker Romero: Complaint against Switzerland submitted to ECHR
18 December 2014 - The Swiss judiciary has refused to investigate the role played by Nestlé in the murder of Colombian trade unionist and Nestlé worker Luciano Romero. The ECCHR has responded by submitting a complaint against Switzerland on behalf of Romero’s widow to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg. The ECCHR is basing its case on the right to life (Article 2) and the right to an effective remedy (Article 13) guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECtHR must now determine whether the Swiss judiciary has adequately examined Nestlé’s liability for Romero’s murder.
Germany: Criminal complaint against Bush era architects of torture
17 December 2014 – The ECCHR lodged a criminal complaint against former CIA Director George Tenet, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other members of the administration of former US President George W. Bush. The organisation is accusing Tenet, Rumsfeld and a series of other persons of the war crime of torture under paragraph 8 section 1(3) of the German Code of Crimes against International Law (Völkerstrafgesetzbuch).“The architects of the torture system - politicians, officials, secret service agents, lawyers and senior army officials – should be brought before the courts,” says ECCHR General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck. “Germany can help to ensure that those responsible for abduction, abuse and illegal detention do not go unpunished.”