Brazil creates truth commission to probe rights abuses
from the article on BBC.co.uk:
Brazil's Senate has voted to set up a truth commission to investigate rights abuses, including those committed during military rule from 1964 to 1985.
The bill, already passed by the Chamber of Deputies, now goes to President Dilma Rousseff to be signed into law.
Ms Rousseff, a former left-wing activist jailed by the military, had urged Congress to pass the legislation.
Namibian memorial reignites call for German reparations
from the article on AFP:
A national memorial Wednesday for 20 Namibian skulls seized by Imperial Germany a century ago provoked emotional calls for reparations for colonial-era abuses.
German forces took the skulls from the tens of thousands left dead during an anti-colonial uprising by the once-mighty Herero and Nama people from 1904-1908.
....Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba decried the colonial-era abuses, but did not mention reparations when he addressed the 1,000 mourners.
Bougainville wants restorative justice approach to settling violence in south
The autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville hopes to resolve a long standing impasse in the south of the main island by taking the traditional Melanesian approach of reconciliation.
Despite six years of autonomy, few government services are available around the district of Konnou because the security of workers can’t be guaranteed.
Stefaans Coetzee is the face of restorative justice
from the article by Bobby Jordan in The Sunday Times:
....Today is no ordinary day for the 33-year-old who grew up in an orphanage in Winburg in the Free State. Head slightly bowed, he looks up at two imams who have finally been allowed to visit him at Pretoria Central Prison. Their two previous attempts failed. The imams are from Rustenburg, where some of their congregation were nearly blown up by two Wit Wolwe bombs outside their mosque.
Now they want to ask Coetzee what it was all about.
A humanist defence and critique of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission
....In order to build more authentic truth and reconciliation commissions in the future, it is also important to acknowledge the largely inauthentic, instrumentalist political foundations of the TRC project.
Crossing the line: Racial healing in a family and community
from the article by Phoebe Kilby on PeaceBuilder:
When I began my quest to determine if my family had owned slaves, I initially focused on slavery alone and my family’s involvement in it. But when I discovered descendants of my family’s slaves, I quickly learned that racial wounds inflicted during the Civil Rights era were much more important to them than any scars left from slavery. They had been denied equal educational opportunities and had been terrorized for demanding change. If I were to do something to nurture healing, I would need to address these more modern wounds.
Colombia moves past reconciliation and revives the idea of reparation
When unspeakable crimes have been committed, justice often falls silent, too. That’s why half a century after Colombia plunged into bloody conflict and oppression, the healing has barely begun. But a new law is trying to make victims of the violence whole in a country still fractured by brutal violence. In the process, it has revived an old debate over reparations, and how society should confront past injustices that still shape life today.
Colombia’s so-called “victims’ law” is the product of years of negotiation between the government and militia groups. The law centers on punishment as well as restitution. Many will be compelled to confess their crimes and, unlike many previous efforts at what’s been dubbed restorative justice, survivors will be allowed to petition for compensation.
Colombia to compensate victims of armed conflict.
From the article by Sibylla Brodzinsky in the Guardian:
Nearly four million victims of Colombia's long-running internal conflict could receive compensation and see their stolen lands returned under a new law.
Government and opposition figures as well as human rights activists have all hailed the legislation, which passed in the Senate last week, as "historic" and "transcendental".
The law aims to give financial compensation – equivalent to about £6,600 – for every victim reported murdered or forcibly disappeared. Colombia has one of the highest numbers of disappearances in Latin America, with more than 57,200 people still missing, at least 15,600 of which were forcibly disappeared, according to the UN high commissioner for human rights. More than 100,000 murders during the last three decades are attributed to rightwing paramilitary groups.
Victim's daughter meets IRA bomber: An interview with Jo Berry
On October 12, 1984 an IRA bomb planted by Patrick Magee demolished Brighton’s Grand Hotel in Brighton killing 5 people including Sir Anthony Berry, MP for Southgate and a member of the Thatcher government. The bomb hit on the last day of the conservative party conference held at the hotel. The IRA bomber Magee was sentenced to 35 years in prison. He was released after 14 years under the negotiated Good Friday agreement.
The following is from an interview Lisa Rea conducted with Jo Berry, daughter of Sir Anthony Berry. She did this interview from her home in Macclesfield UK. Jo Berry chose to meet with Pat Magee in November 2000. Today the two work together on many initiatives including addressing peace conferences, giving workshops in prisons, and speaking at universities.
Q. How did the meeting(s) happen? What was the process? Were you, and Pat, adequately prepared to meet? Walk us through what happened.
Toward Transformative Mediation: Restorative justice practice in South Korea
from the article by Jae Young Lee:
Growing interest in Restorative Justice has been emerging in Korea among scholars, law practitioners, and civil society groups since as early as the late 1990s. However, its practice was very limited until a recent experimental project from 2006-2008. During those three years, Korean Institute of Criminal Justice (KICJ) and a civil organization called Conflict Resolution Center under Women Making Peace carried out the first formal Restorative Justice project in Korea called Victim-Offender Dialog, particularly designed for juvenile cases. Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, Seoul Family Court, and Juvenile Protection Institution referred juvenile cases to Conflict Resolution Center to be dealt with a conference where conflicting parties and trained mediators sat together.