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Introducing CJA

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Introducing CJA

  1. 1. The Center for Justice & Accountability
  2. 2. “Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced.” Judgment of the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Germany, 1947
  3. 3. Two million refugees live in the U.S. Over 500,000 are survivors of torture.
  4. 4. Former Salvadoran Minister of Defense, General José Guillermo García, resides in Florida. An estimated 1,000 perpetrators of human rights abuses enjoy safe haven in the U.S.
  5. 5. CJA and our pro bono co-counsel files suit against human rights abusers who take refuge in the U.S. from Bosnia, Chile, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Peru and Somalia.
  6. 6. Our lawsuits: • Deter Human Rights Abusers • Develop Human Rights Jurisprudence • Contribute to Transitional Justice • Provide “Closure” for Torture Survivors
  7. 7. Cambodia In the 1970s, 1.5 to 2.2 million Cambodians were killed by the Khmer Rouge in one of the most brutal mass killings of the 20th century.
  8. 8. CJA represents 45 Cambodian-Americans before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) against two former leaders of the Khmer Rouge for charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
  9. 9. The Khmer Rouge interrogated and tortured thousands of victims at Tuol Sleng Prison. Out of an estimated 17,000 persons who entered there, only 7 survived.
  10. 10. Mementos of life under the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, shared by survivors at CJA’s first forum for the Cambodian Diaspora
  11. 11. El Salvador On the morning of November 16, 1989, El Salvador and the world woke up to the news that six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her teenage daughter were brutally executed by the Salvadoran military, purportedly in defense against the Farabundo Martí Liberation Front (FMLN). .
  12. 12. In 2009, the Spanish National Court charged the 14 Salvadoran ex-officers with crimes against humanity and state terrorism. In 2008, CJA filed criminal charges in Spain against former Salvadoran President Alfredo Cristiani Burkard and 14 former military officers for their role in the Jesuit murders.
  13. 13. Thanks to CJA’s case, one of the defendants in the Jesuits Massacre Case was arrested by US authorities in Massachusetts. On September 11, 2012, Former Vice Minister of Public Safety of El Salvador Inocente Orlando pled guilty to six counts of federal criminal immigration fraud and perjury.
  14. 14. Somalia
  15. 15. During the 1980s, the military dictatorship of Siad Barré subjected Somali citizens to horrific atrocities. Many former officials from that period have sought refuge in the U.S. General Samantar, former Commander of the Armed Forces, resides in Fairfax, Virginia.
  16. 16. CJA brought suit against three members of Siad Barre’s regime: - former Commander of the Armed Forces, Mohamed Ali Samantar, - Colonel Yusuf Abdi Ali (aka Tukeh, a notorious high-ranking commander), and - former Chief of Investigations of the National Security Service, Abdi Aden Magan. These cases represent the first international effort to gain justice for the victims of this brutal regime.
  17. 17. On February 23, 2012, Samantar appeared in a federal court in Virginia and accepted liability for torture, extrajudicial killing, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other human rights abuses committed against Somali civilians during the 1980s. General Samantar
  18. 18. Victory in Yousuf v. Samantar! On August 28, 2012, plaintiffs were awarded $21 million in damages against General Samantar.
  19. 19. Ahmed v. Magan CJA client Abukar Ahmed won a historic victory against Colonel Abdi Aden Magan, former chief of the Somali National Security Service, for the torture and arbitrary detention he endured under Col. Magan’s orders. Mr. Ahmed, a former constitutional law professor and human rights advocate, currently serves as the legal advisor to the New Somali Government and is drafting the Somali Human Rights Bill.
  20. 20. In September 1973, General Augusto Pinochet overthrew the elected government of Dr. Salvador Allende. In the ensuing 17 years of dictatorship, the people of Chile were subjected to a systematic campaign of torture and state violence: an estimated 2,600 - 3,400 Chilean citizens were executed or “disappeared” while another 30,000 to 100,000 were tortured. Chile
  21. 21. In 1999, CJA filed suit against Pinochet death squad operative, Armando Fernández Larios, for the torture and murder of Chilean economist Winston Cabello in 1973.
  22. 22. Winston Cabello On October 15, 2003, a Miami jury found Fernández Larios liable for torture, crimes against humanity, and extrajudicial killing. They awarded $4 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the family of Winston Cabello.
  23. 23. Guatemala Over 200,000 Guatemalans were killed or forcibly disappeared in a civil war that raged from 1960-1996: 93% of these human rights violations were carried out by government forces.
  24. 24. In 1999, the Rigoberta Menchu Foundation filed a criminal complaint before the Spanish National Court against Efrain Rios Montt and others, charging terrorism, genocide, and systematic torture. In 2000, survivors filed a case in Guatemala.
  25. 25. In 2006, after efforts to obtain justice in Guatemala failed, CJA International Attorney Almudena Bernabeu led an international legal team working together on the cases in both Spanish and Guatemalan courts.
  26. 26. After Guatemalan Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz took office, Rios Montt was indicted. On March 19, 2013, the trial began.
  27. 27. May 10, 2013 – Rios Montt was sentenced to 80 years in prison for genocide and crimes against humanity. Tragically, the verdict was later overturned. CJA continues to support the on going prosecution in Guatemala and remains hopeful that justice will prevail.
  28. 28. “Survivors of torture around the world will not be silenced. With the help of CJA we are rising up to hold our abusers accountable under the law. CJA’s victories are bringing us closer to a world in which state- sponsored torture is unacceptable.” -Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  29. 29. “CJA is performing groundbreaking work. If the promise of the Nuremberg Charter is to be fulfilled, it is crucial for the U.S. and its courts to be active participants. CJA is leading the efforts of lawyers and activists to enlist the U.S. courts in this global campaign for international justice.” -Honorable Baltazar Garzon Real, Investigating Judge, Spanish National Court
  30. 30. “CJA has become the leader in the never-ending fight to demonstrate to the world that America has not forgotten its ideals.” -Robert White, former United States Ambassador
  31. 31. “When I testified, a strength came over me. I felt like I was in the prow of a boat and that there were many, many people rowing behind – that they were moving me into this moment. I felt that if I looked back at them, I’d weep because I’d see them again: wounded, tortured, raped, naked, torn, bleeding. So, I didn’t look back, but I felt their support, their strength, their energy… Being involved in this case, confronting the General with these terrible facts – that’s the best possible therapy a torture survivor could have.” -Juan Romagoza Arce, CJA Plaintiff
  32. 32. With your support, CJA will continue to investigate human rights abuses from around the world – and will bring those accountable to justice. CJA partner Hibo Abdilahi, Somaliland
  33. 33. Join us! www.cja.org

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