No end in sight for drone war via Ramstein

Berlin / Cologne, 27 May 2015 – The Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgericht) of Cologne has dismissed the claim brought against the German government by three Yemeni citizens concerning the use of US military base Ramstein in drone attacks. The claimants as well as the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin and London human rights organization Reprieve regret the decision. Together with the claimants the organizations will consider lodging an appeal. “Today’s decision allows the German government to continue to play the innocent,” said ECCHR General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck after the hearing.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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