News round-up

The trial against Ratko Mladic, the former Serbian Army general who stands accused of the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, begins at the Hague war crimes tribunal. As we’ve stated before, we hope that the trial, although it can never amend the horrendous crimes of Srebrenica, Sarejevo and other human rights violations of the Bosnian conflict, it may bring these crimes to light and bring justice to the victims – and most hopefully to their families. Bringing these crimes to light is of utmost importance, especially in a context such as Serbia where many still disbelieve or don’t acknowledge that the horrors of the conflict happened.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll recognise the name of this centre: the Interregional Nongovernmental Committee Against Torture, who has contributed to World Without Torture one several occasions about their work, particularly in Chechnya, against impunity, has recently faced increased and targeted harassment of their chairman Igor Kalyapin. Kalyapin has been interrogated by the Special Investigation Department, and learned that criminal proceedings have been initiated by the Federal Security Service. CAT is very concerned about this ongoing matter and invites all to write to the relevant Russian bodies to register your concern:

The FSB:
Moscow, 107031, Bolshaya Lubyanka st., 1/3
Fax: 007 (495) 914-26-32

The Investigational committee:
Fax 007 (495) 640-10-48
Moscow, 105005, Tekhnicheskiy pereulok, 2

Below, watch a video of Kalyapin when he was awarded the Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders At-Risk


The Women’s Media Center project Women Under Seige has been mapping sexual violence and torture against women in Syria. Using crowdsourcing, anecdotal stories from the victims, doctors, witnesses themselves, allowing them to speak out against these horrific crimes, and use the data to map where, how and when this takes place. Stories coming from the besieged country are increasingly horrific. “[Sexual violence] appears to be widespread, not limited to any particular city, and often involves rape.”


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  1. Human rights defenders: those who fight through the risks « World Without Torture

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