Monthly Newsletter 

November 2014




Sexual violence: BH has to comply with UN recommendations


TRIAL and local NGOs have submitted a new report on sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women in a bid to put the issue back on the international community’s agenda.


In 2011 TRIAL and its local partners had already called the attention of the UN on the dramatic situation of victims of sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and prompted the Special Rapporteur to visit the country and carry out an investigation. The situation however remains pre-occupying to this date: BH turned a blind eye on the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations and very few steps have been taken to help victims of sexual violence.


More than 20 years have passed since the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina but it is hard for victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence during the conflict to turn the page. These women remain marginalized and are still suffering in a society that does not recognize the gravity of the acts committed against them.


TRIAL calls on Bosnia and Herzegovina to apply without further delay the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur and to provide reparation to victims of sexual violence.


Read the full Report


Read the summary of the Report




Victim of torture finally released


Wadi Khattali, a young man of 21, is arrested in 2010 by Tunisian authorities and condemned to six years in prison on the ground of false confessions obtained under torture.


TRIAL and ACAT-France took on the case in 2012 and worked with a Tunisian lawyer to defend the right of Wadi Khattali to a fair and transparent trial. He has just been released, after a long fight against a repressive legal system.


The reforms to eradicate torture undertaken by Tunisia since Ben Ali’s destitution in 2011 remain insufficient. Too many Tunisians still fall victim to police agents who do not hesitate to resort to torture in order to obtain “confessions”.


Since 2012, TRIAL and ACAT work with Tunisian lawyers to protect the rights of dozens of victims of torture and ill treatments in Tunisia.


The path to eradicate torture and guarantee the rule of law is still long but the liberation of Wadi Khattali is an encouraging sight.




Call for applications for TRIAL’s legal training programme in Bukavu


Few months after the start of its new program in DRC to fight impunity in Eastern-DRC, TRIAL is about to launch a one-year legal course for Bukavu lawyers and opens the call for applications.


This in-depth training program on the use of regional and international human rights mechanisms aims to help human rights advocates in DRC defend victims of serious human rights violations before Congolese tribunals.


Selected candidates will learn from the experience of international and national human rights experts. Through personalized coaching every step of the way, they will also put theory in practice by working on concrete case submissions.


TRIAL enhances the participant’s own capacity-building by using the “learning by doing” method and aims at fostering a pool of local lawyers specialized in defending human rights causes at a local, regional and international level.


Applications will be received until 15 November 2014. Selected candidates will be notified individually.


Read and share TRIAL’s call for applications (FR)







Under close scrutiny of UN


8 months ahead of its next presidential elections, Burundi faces an important increase in human rights violations. Among the many abuses committed, authorities have maintained in arbitrary detention Human Rights Defender Pierre-Claver Mponimba. They have also allegedly provided military training in DRC and weapons to the Imbonerakure, youth groups closely affiliated to the power in place.


But the international community keeps the country under close scrutiny for these violations. Both Barack Obama and the European Assembly have taken a clear stand, condemning Burundi for this alarming increase in human rights violations and urging the authorities to comply with its international obligations.


While the UN Human Rights Committee has reviewed Burundi’s track record of Human Rights violations in October, it is now the turn of the Committee against torture to examine Burundi. The review will take place from 11 to 12 November and will be monitored by TRIAL and Burundian civil society. The experts of the Committee will address the widespread impunity in Burundi for crimes of torture and other ill treatments.




New report on the rights of victims of international crimes


The NGOs REDRESS, FIDH, ECCHR and TRIAL launched a new report on the rights of victims of international crimes in the EU presented during a conference at The Hague in the margins of the Genocide Network.


This report reveals that in many countries of the EU, victims of serious human rights violations are all too often forced to deal with opaque national jurisdictions and remain badly informed of the progress of their cases. These flaws hinder proceedings and keep victims from obtaining justice.


In spite of a situation that they judge preoccupying, the NGOs welcome EU’s Directive 2012/29, which sets guidelines to guarantee victims a better access to justice. The new Directive aims to bridge the gaps existing in the current legislations by establishing minimum standards on the rights of victims.


TRIAL and its partner welcome this step forward but urge member states to incorporate these key measures in their respective national legislations and to go further in promoting these rights.


Read the NGOs’ Press Release


Read the full Report











New article

Read latest article on international human rights law by Gabriella Citroni, legal advisor at TRIAL.



Upcoming conference

On 5 November, TRIAL is participating in a Workshop on Universal Jurisdiction hosted by Redress and ECCHR in Berlin.



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