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Press Releases : Displaying 3-103 of 110
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Former Salvadoran Minister of Defense General Garcia Removed from the United States
General José Guillermo García, the former Defense Minister of El Salvador who was found liable for human rights violations during the country’s civil war in the 1980s, was removed to El Salvador after living as a legal resident in Florida for over 25 years.
Spanish Judge Re-Issues Request for the Arrest of Military Officials
Spanish National Court Judge Eloy Velasco has re-issued a request for international arrest warrants for more than a dozen former Salvadoran military officials for their involvement in the murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador in 1989.
Board Upholds Decision to Remove Former Salvadoran Minister of Defense from the U.S.
Board rules that former Salvadoran Minister of Defense General José Guillermo García can be removed from the United States for his role in some of the most heinous human rights crimes committed in El Salvador in the 1980s.
CJA Welcomes Anti-Torture Legislation
CJA welcomes language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), approved by the Senate this week, that establishes that no agency may engage in torture, and all agencies are bound by the interrogation tactics identified in the Army Field Manual. Click here to view our press release.
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to Review Standards for Accountability for Torture, War Crimes
September 4th, 2015
CJA and pro bono co-counsel DLA Piper presented oral argument in an appeal before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Warfaa v. Ali, a case brought by a Somali torture survivor against the responsible war criminal currently living in Virginia.
Senate Votes to Approve Torture Amendment
June 16th, 2015
The U.S. Senate votes for amendment banning the U.S. from ever again subjecting prisoners to brutal interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, “rectal feeding” and other practices. Click here to read more.
Former Salvadoran General Vides Casanova Deported from the U.S.
April 8th, 2015
General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, the former Defense Minister of El Salvador who was found liable for human rights violations during the country’s civil war in the 1980s, was deported to El Salvador after living as a legal resident in Florida for over 25 years.
Ex-Salvadoran Colonel Accused in Jesuit Massacre Faces Extradition to Spain to Stand Trial for Human Rights Violations
April 8th, 2015
The U.S. government filed a request seeking the extradition to Spain of Colonel Inocente Orlando Montano, the former Vice Minister of Public Safety in El Salvador, for his role in the 1989 Jesuit massacre, in which six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter were murdered in San Salvador.
Supreme Court Upholds Crimes Against Humanity Decision Against Somali Warlord
Supreme Court lets stand a ruling awarding CJA clients $21 million in damages for torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights abuses committed by former Somali Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Mohamed Ali Samantar.
Sri Lanka’s Witness Protection Law Step Forward for Accountability
CJA welcomes news that Sri Lanka has adopted a witness protection law. The announcement comes days after the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights agreed to temporarily delay until September a U.N. report on human rights abuses in Sri Lanka during and immediately following its 26-year civil war. Click here to read more.
Family of Víctor Jara Seeks Truth for 1973 Killing Under Pinochet
February 18th, 2015
CJA filed a brief yesterday in our historic case Jara v. Barrientos, accepting the defendant’s motion to set aside a default judgment and agreeing not to oppose the removal of the default judgment against former Pinochet Lieutenant Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez, accused of torturing and killing Chilean folksinger and activist Víctor Jara. The family of Mr. Jara welcomed Barrientos’s motion, which, if granted, would allow the case to proceed to a full trial and bring to light the events that transpired surrounding their loved one’s death. Click here to read more.
Torture Victims from Abu Ghraib Should Have Their Day in Court
February 6th, 2015
CJA urges federal district court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee to hear claims by four Iraqi citizens about torture inflicted on them by U.S. military contractor CACI Premier Technology, Inc. Click here to read more in our press release and click here to read more about CJA's involvement in this case.
CJA Encourages U.S. Engagement on Sri Lanka's Human Rights Record
February 2nd, 2015
CJA sent a letter to U.S. Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal, encouraging U.S. engagement on Sri Lanka’s human rights record to coincide with Biswal's visit to Sri Lanka. CJA urged Biswal to acknowledge the positive actions taken by the Sirisena government to build reconciliation with the Tamil community and pressed for additional steps. Click here to read more.
Victory in Guatemala Court Serves as Model for Justice
January 20th, 2015
CJA welcomes the news that yesterday, after a trial that lasted a few months, a Guatemalan court found ex-police chief Pedro Garcia Arredondo guilty of murder, attempted murder and crimes against humanity for the 1980 massacre of 37 people at the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala during Guatemala’s civil war. Click here to read more.
CJA Deeply Saddened by Loss of Human Rights Champion Robert E. White
January 14th, 2015
Robert E. White was the ambassador to El Salvador from 1980 to 1981, as the Salvadoran civil war began. He was critical of the Salvadoran military, regularly meeting with top commanders to confront them about killings, massacre and torture of civilians. White testified in three CJA civil cases against three of the highest level commanders of the Salvadoran military, and his persuasive voice lent credibility and gravitas to all of our work. Read more in this tribute by Senior Legal Advisor Carolyn Patty Blum on behalf of CJA.
Declaration of Archbishop Romero's Martyrdom Powerful Step for Honoring Human Rights Leader
January 9th, 2015
CJA applauds the news that Vatican theologians reportedly have declared Archbishop Óscar Romero a martyr, a move which is seen as a step towards beatification. Click here to read more.
Congress Should Pass Proposed Legislation to Ban Torture
January 6th, 2015
CJA welcomes Senator Feinstein's proposed legislation to deter torture by the United States outlined in a letter sent to President Obama. CJA's Executive Director Dixon Osburn said, "The United States strives to ensure that dictators and terrorists around the globe do not commit crimes against humanity, including torture; the United States should live up to those standards at home." Click here to read more.
Genocide Trial of Guatemalan Military Dictator Should Proceed Expeditiously
January 5th, 2015
The genocide trial against former Guatemalan military dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt resumed briefly on January 5, 2015. The court suspended the trial after one of the judges recused herself. CJA stands with the Mayan-Ixil community and calls on the court to resume the trial expeditiously. Click here to read more.
CJA Urges Department of Justice to Open Criminal Investigation of U.S. Torture
December 10th, 2014
On December 10, 2014, CJA sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging the Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation to determine whether charges should be filed against any official who committed or authorized torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment based on the findings contained in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s study of CIA interrogation and detention practices after 9/11. Read the letter here.
CJA Staff Attorney Nushin Sarkarati Speaks at UN Event
December 10th, 2014
CJA Staff Attorney Nushin Sarkarati took part in a panel discussion on victim participation in criminal proceedings at a side event for the Assembly of State Parties at the UN headquarters in New York. Drawing on CJA's long history of representing victims directly in universal jurisdiction claims, Sarkarati explained how victim participation and testimony is essential to understanding the full breadth of human rights abuse and how participation in justice mechanisms is an integral part of the healing process for victim communities.
Torture Report Summary Critical Step Forward for Justice
December 9th, 2014
CJA praises Senator Dianne Feinstein's leadership on the Senate Intelligence Committee for publishing a powerful executive summary of its findings based on a 6,000-page report on CIA interrogation and detention practices after 9/11. Click here to read more.
CJA Delegates Return from El Salvador
November 21st, 2014
CJA organized a delegation to El Salvador to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Jesuits Massacre and to salute and support our in-country partners, who have been so crucial to CJA's work in El Salvador for the last 10 years. We called upon the Salvadoran government to support CJA's Jesuits Massacre Case and repeal the amnesty law so that justice can be pursued. Click here to read more.
CJA Urges U.S. Government to Forbid Torture Everywhere
October 21st, 2014
After The New York Times released a report indicating that lawyers in President Obama's administration were considering taking a position that the Convention Against Torture applies only to acts of torture committed within the United States, CJA sent U.S. officials a letter strongly urging them to maintain that torture is illegal everywhere. Click here to read the letter.
Second Trial Against Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Begins
October 17th, 2014
The second trial against former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan began on October 17, 2014. The trial will address a wider scope of charges against the two leaders, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and forced marriage. This will be the final trial against the two senior leaders. To learn more about the trial, click here.
CJA Announces New Executive Director
Human rights leader Dixon Osburn has been named the new Executive Director of CJA. We are excited to welcome Dixon, an experienced, visionary leader with a long-life passion for, and commitment to, human rights. Dixon has more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, leader, manager, political strategist, and fundraiser. Click here to read more.
"Baby Doc" Duvalier Dead at 63: Death Cheats Justice
October 6th, 2014
Notorious Haiti dictator "Baby Doc" Duvalier died on October 4, 2014. His death cuts short a long overdue trial for crimes against humanity that held a glimmer of hope for his victims. Under Duvalier’s command, an estimated 300 to 4,000 political prisoners were held incommunicado in a network of prisons. Many died from torture, starvation, denial of medical care, or summary execution. With Duvalier’s death, his prosecution in Haiti will no doubt be closed, but Haiti’s reckoning with its troubled past must not end. Click here to read more.
Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea Found Guilty
August 7th, 2014
On August 7, 2014, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Phnom Penh, known as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), found Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea guilty of crimes against humanity. The Court also awarded reparations to the 3,866 Civil Parties participating in the case. This is the tribunal's first judgment against senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime for atrocities committed. CJA represents 45 U.S.-based Civil Parties before the ECCC. Click here to read more.
CJA Donates Archives to Duke University
July 16th, 2014
CJA donates its historic archives to Duke University's Human Rights Archive. Duke's prestigious archival program ensures that historical collections connect to and inform contemporary human rights scholarship, education and activism. The powerful history of our important work will be preserved from paper case files and electronic records to CJA’s web presence. The cataloged records will be made available to researchers, students and the general public. Click here to read more.
Community Forum for Khmer Rouge Survivors: Update on Final Verdict in Case Against former Khmer Rouge Leaders
July 9th, 2014
On July 26, 2014, CJA and the Applied Social Research Institute of Cambodia (ASRIC) will hold a forum for Cambodian survivors at the Khmer Arts Center in Long Beach, California, to update them on the progress of Case 002/01.
CJA's Statement on India's Fifteenth Prime Minister Narendra Modi
May 27th, 2014
On May 26, 2014, Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was sworn in as India’s fifteenth Prime Minister. Modi’s appointment as Prime Minister is not troubling solely because of his actions—or inaction—during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Instead, his appointment signals a broader problem that those linked to mass atrocities evade accountability at the highest ranks of Indian government. Read CJA's statement on Modi's appointment here.
Spain Presses Ahead with Guatemala Genocide Case Despite New Limits on Universal Jurisdiction
May 22nd, 2014
In a landmark decision, Judge Santiago Pedraz of the Spanish National Court announced on May 21, 2014 that his investigation of genocide in Guatemala will proceed. The ruling challenges a controversial law enacted in March 2014 that limits Spanish jurisdiction over international crimes. Read the press release here.
Ex-Salvadoran General May be Deported for Human Rights Violations
April 11th, 2014
This week, in response to a lawsuit filed by The New York Times and Julia Preston, the Executive Office of Immigration Review of the Department of Justice released an immigration judge ruling, which ordered that former Salvadoran Defense Minister José Guillermo García is subject to removal from the United States due to his assistance and participation in the torture of Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) client Dr. Juan Romagoza, among many other civilians. The ruling also cites Garcia’s assistance and participation in the 1980 extrajudicial killing of the four American churchwomen, the 1981 Sheraton Hotel killings of two Americans and a Salvadoran land reform leader, the 1981 massacre at El Mozote, the 1980 massacre at the Sumpul River, the assassination of the leaders of FDR, the political opposition, among many other killings and massacres.
New Hope for Justice in Sri Lanka
March 27th, 2014
The United Nations Human Rights Council voted to open an international investigation into possible war crimes by both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels in the final stages of a 26-year civil war that ended in 2009. This investigation is an important step towards breaking the cycle of impunity that fuels ongoing and serious human rights violations in Sri Lanka today. Read more here.
Report Points to Recurring Crimes Against Humanity in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province
March 4th, 2014
A report by Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, endorsed by CJA, finds credible allegations of post-war international crimes by government forces against Tamils in Sri Lanka’s north, nearly five years after the end of a three-decade civil war. These findings challenge the Sri Lankan government’s claims of post-war progress and underscore the urgent need to fight impunity with accountability. Click here to read the report; CJA's foreword starts on page vi.
Ex-Salvadoran General has Appealed Judge’s Decision Ordering his Removal from U.S.
February 6th, 2014
The U.S. has defended a judge's decision ordering General Vides-Casanova's removal from the U.S. for his role in widespread human rights abuses in El Salvador in the 1980s, including the torture of CJA's clients and the murder of four American churchwomen. Click here for the press release, here to read the full immigration court decision or here to read a summary of the oral arguments of the appeal hearing.
Sudanese President Indicted for Darfur Genocide Seeks Visa to Attend U.N. General Assembly
September 20th, 2013
The Center for Justice and Accountability is outraged by the proposed visit of indicted war criminal Omar al-Bashir to attend the U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York next week. Sudanese President al-Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on ten counts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Darfur and has two outstanding warrants for his arrest.
Former Pinochet Lieutenant Sued in Florida for Torture and Death of Víctor Jara
September 4th, 2013
The Center for Justice and Accountability (“CJA”) and pro-bono counsel Chadbourne & Parke, LLP (“Chadbourne”) today announced that they have filed a lawsuit on behalf of the surviving family members of Chilean folk singer and social icon Víctor Jara, who was imprisoned, tortured and executed in Chile during the early days of the brutal military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet on September 11, 1973. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez (“Barrientos”), a current resident of Deltona, Florida and a former officer in the Chilean Army under Pinochet.
Federal Court Awards $15 Million in Damages to CJA Client for Torture
August 20th, 2013
Today in Columbus, Ohio, U.S. Federal Judge Mark Abel awarded $5 million in compensatory and $10 million in punitive damages (for a total award of $15 million) against former Somali Colonel Abdi Aden Magan. In 1988, Professor Abukar Hassan Ahmed was arbitrarily detained by Colonel Magan’s subordinates. On Colonel Magan’s orders, Professor Ahmed was shackled in an excruciating position in a squalid prison cell for nearly 24-hours per day for three months. There, he was brutally tortured and subjected to cruel treatment on Colonel Magan’s orders by lieutenants under his command. Nearly 25 years after his torture, Professor Ahmed has finally found justice in a U.S. court.
Conclusion of Sentencing of Former Salvadoran Military Commander Responsible for Jesuits Massacre To Occur Next Week in Boston
August 14th, 2013
Former Salvadoran Vice Minister of Defense for Public Security Inocente Orlando Montano will be sentenced for violating federal criminal immigration fraud and perjury laws in the United States. The sentencing phase, which began in January, should conclude on August 22.
Kiobel v. Shell: Supreme Court Limits Courts’ Ability to Hear Claims of Human Rights Abuses Committed Abroad
April 17th, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a disappointing decision in Kiobel v. Shell, holding that the ATS does not provide an avenue for justice for Nigerian human rights victims who were harmed when Shell Oil assisted the Nigerian government in attacking them and their family members. Despite this, the splintered opinions by Justices Kennedy, Alito, and Thomas leave open the possibility that companies and individuals may still be liable for their abuses in cases with a stronger connection to the United States.
Civil Society Requests Expansion of More Charges in the Current Case 002 Trials
The passing of Ieng Sary and the dismissal of Ieng Thirith for mental unfitness—and the advanced age and poor health of the remaining two Khmer Rouge defendants (Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan)—make imperative the need for an efficient and exhaustive decision on the liability of Khmer Rouge era atrocities.
U.S. Cambodian Survivors See Death of Accused Ieng Sary as Missed Opportunity for Justice
March 14th, 2013
Co-founder of the Khmer Rouge, Ieng Sary, died before a verdict was reached in the trial against him and two other senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). His death at the age of 87 serves as a wake-up call to the UN backed Tribunal, which has been riddled with delays since its inception.
'Baby Doc' Duvalier Human Rights Prosecution Must Continue!
February 21, 2013, Port au Prince, Haiti: Today the Haitian Court of Cassation will hear an appeal challenging the dismissal of human rights charges against former Haitian president Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), along with twenty-seven other human rights and torture treatment organizations from the Americas and around the world, filed an amicus brief with the court, arguing that Haiti will violate its duties under international and domestic law if it does not move forward with the prosecution.
Genocide Trial Against Former Guatemala President General Ríos Montt to Start January 30, 2013
January 28th, 2013
In a historic step, Guatemalan Judge Miguel Angel Galvez has decided to send to trial the case against former general Efrain Ríos Montt for genocide and crimes against humanity committed against the Mayan people, specifically the Ixil indigenous people.
Victory in Case Against Somali Colonel Magan!
November 20th, 2012
A federal court in Ohio found Colonel Magan liable for the torture, arbitrary detention and cruel treatment of CJA client and former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience, Professor Abukar Ahmed (pictured here). Magan was the head of the notorious National Security Service where thousands were unlawfully detained and tortured.
CJA Statement on Defendant Ieng Thirith's Dismissal from Khmer Rouge Trial
September 14th, 2012
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) dismissed Ieng Thirith from the second Khmer Rouge trial on grounds of mental unfitness. Ieng Thirith has been widely believed to have Alzheimer’s disease, affecting her memory and ability to confront evidence against her at trial.
Samantar Case: $21 Million Judgment in Favor of CJA Clients
August 28th, 2012
U.S. Federal Judge Leonie Brinkema awarded $21 million in compensatory and punitive damages against former Somali General Mohamed Ali Samantar. This judgment marks the first time that any Somali government official has been held accountable for the atrocities perpetrated under the Siad Barre regime.
CJA Statement on the Supreme Court's Decision in Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority
April 18th, 2012
On April 18, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) does not impose liability against organizations for acts of torture and extrajudicial killing. CJA calls upon Congress to ensure that organizations who are responsible for human rights abuses, such as torture, extrajudicial killing, and crimes against humanity, are held liable.
Somali General And Commander Of The Armed Forces Liable For War Crimes
February 23rd, 2012
Former Somali General Mohamad Ali Samantar accepted liability before U.S. federal judge Leonie Brinkema for torture, extrajudicial killing, war crimes and other human rights abuses committed against the civilian population of Somalia during the brutal Siad Barre regime.
Jesuits Massacre: Spain Requests Extradition of Salvadoran Ex-Military Officials from El Salvador and the U.S.
January 12th, 2012
CJA has confirmed that the formal extradition requests from the Spanish Government have arrived in El Salvador, with simultaneous transmittal to the United States likely, for fifteen former members of the Salvadoran military, including members of the high command. The defendants have all been charged with conspiracy to assassinate and the assassination of 5 Spanish Jesuits and 3 Salvadoran citizens. Of these requests, 13 are for defendants in El Salvador, and 2 are for defendants in the United States
Ahmed v. Magan: Former Chief of Somali National Security Service Faces Lawsuit for Torture
April 21st, 2010
The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of constitutional law professor Abukar Hassan Ahmed who was imprisoned and tortured in Somalia during the brutal regime of Siad Barre.
CJA Files Respondents' Brief with U.S. Supreme Court in Samantar v. Yousuf
January 20th, 2010
Court to decide if former foreign government officials who use torture, rape and killing as tools of repression are above the law, or whether those who avail themselves of all the benefits of living in the U.S. must, like all other Americans, submit themselves to U.S. law.
Carranza Verdict Upheld
March 17th, 2009