LET’S CREATE TWO, THREE, MANY CONGO TRIBUNALS! – THE CAMPAIGN
Ending impunity in Eastern Congo is an exhausting, tedious process. A comprehensive investigation of the mass crimes committed during the civil war has to date been undertaken neither by national nor by international courts. Exploitation of the raw materials, which are irreplaceable for Western industries, continues to be accompanied by resettlement, conflict and violence.
For The Congo Tribunal, Milo Rau has assembled the victims, perpetrators, witnesses and analysts of the Congolese war in a unique civilian tribunal in eastern Congo. And what seemed impossible was achieved: All parties involved – the government, the opposition, the military, rebels, international mining groups, local miners, farmers, victims, perpetrators/culprits, human rights activists and experts on globalization – took part and testified in the publicly held tribunal.
The success of these symbolic hearings was resounding because for the first time in two decades, a protected public space was created in which the victims of displacement, expropriation, rape and murder were able to raise their concerns and accusations and have been heard by regional and national governments as well as by a local and international audience.
Since the first Congo Tribunal, the victims of mass crimes and the civil society in the provinces of North and South Kivu continue to demand justice and an independent and impartial tribunal. In 2018, the internationally renowned lawyers Jean-Louis Gilissen, criminal defence lawyer and victim’s representative at the International Criminal Court, and Sylvestre Bisimwa, Congolese human rights lawyer, intend to establish a form of continuous civil society legal investigation of human rights violations at local level in order to support the plea against impunity on a national and international level.
Several local tribunals (five are currently planned) are being set up at various locations of past mass and economic crimes in eastern Congo. Their task is to collect credible evidence of the crimes and to call for prosecution of the perpetrators. So that the victims of the civil war in eastern Congo can have a voice and the truth about past crimes can be heard.
We want to support the planned tribunals because we are convinced that they will help pave the way for peace!
(Initiator and artistic director of “The Congo Tribunal”) is author, director and founder of the International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM).
(Member of the “Congo Tribunal” jury) is a land rights lawyer and one of the leading experts in the mining industry in the Great Lakes region.
Head of the United Nations Office in Goma, Eastern Congo.
“The Congo Tribunal” is an urgent and necessary project. It is urgent because it allows us to rehabilitate parts of our humanity by giving a voice to those whose rights have been violated. It is necessary because, in the absence of national and international justice, only a public discussion will advance the urgent political debate on the responsibility of transnational corporations for human rights.”CHANTAL PEYER, Head of the “Business and Human Rights” department, bread for all
“I support the Congo Tribunals because they can help the congolese people to regain lost hope for justice. The Congo Tribunals can strengthen civil society’s efforts to condemn human rights violations in the civil war regions.” DR. NIKOLAUS BERGER, Judge at the Federal Supreme Court (GER)
“70 percent of the people affected by extreme poverty live in countries rich in natural resources. That should make us worry. It has something to do with us and with the companies doing business in these countries. There must be no lawless rooms for them. A tribunal, such as that of Milo Rau in Congo, can give a voice to the victims. This is important. for it is a first step against impunity.” SIMONETTA SOMMARUGA, Federal Councillor for Justice (CH)
“The Congo Tribunal Project has been able to open the door to justice in Congo. In order to ensure that the project has a lasting effect, the positive reception of the vision of a real tribunal in Congo must now be supported from here. It is, of course, not only about the responsibility of Congolese actors, such as the government in that country and the armed gangs, but also about the responsibility of Western states, international organisations and transnational corporations.”WOLFGANG KALECK, founder of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and jury member of the Congo Tribunal (GER)
DONATE & SUPPORT
We want to support the planned tribunals financially, in terms of content, organisation and logistics, because we are convinced that they will help pave the way for peace.