Equipo Nizkor is an international organization working for the respect and promotion of human rights and civil liberties in different topics and areas. Our work includes the socialization of human rights information, the investigation of human rights abuses, the development of international human rights law and the fight against impunity.
One of Equipo Nizkor's primary purposes is to tackle impunity and its harmful consequences on society. Impunity is clearly incompatible with the exercise of human rights and freedoms. Impunity generates corruption and it subverts the moral and ethical foundations of civil society. This is why we seek to bring those responsible to account while working to obtain reparation for the victims.
Equipo Nizkor was founded in 1994 in Madrid (Spain), at the same time than its sister organisation, Derechos Human Rights, in California. Equipo Nizkor is a Belgian registered not-for-profit association. "Nizkor" is a Hebrew reflexive verb meaning "those we never forget" and it captures the essence of the organisation’s work. The fight against impunity depends upon the painstaking collection of data and records, the gathering of evidence and the reconstruction of the facts. Only by striving to reveal the truth can the final goal of achieving justice be realised.
Equipo Nizkor is comprised of lawyers, economists, researchers, journalists and grass roots activists. Its Network of collaborators and contributors is drawn from 22 countries.
Today Equipo Nizkor manages the world’s biggest online human rights documentation centre in Spanish distributing over 30 million documents per year. We pioneered the use of internet communications technology in the defence of human rights and we are among the first 1,500 websites that existed in the world.
What we do:
Information analysis and dissemination
Our approach to tackling impunity is about putting as much information as possible in the hands of as many people as possible. We do this by collecting, analysing and disseminating the information that documents impunity, by providing legal counsel to other organizations and directing litigation.
We receive more than 1,000 documents every day from a large number of social and human rights organisations around the world. Validation, using our own highly rigorous analysis criteria, means that we publish about 5% of what we receive. Distribution is targeted at key groups: decision makers and those directly involved in the conflicts. Today more than 100,000 documents are downloaded from our website daily.
In 2004 we launched Radio Nizkor, the first human rights audio project on the internet. Using technology that makes it possible to record, process, edit, produce and upload sound to the server it is now possible to listen to audio documents anywhere in the world at any time without having to download the files. Today we distribute some 180,000 files per month.
In selected situations where we there is conflict and/or serious human rights violations, we intervene directly. Typically this involves the definition of a strategy and the preparation of evidence and legal arguments that can be used to effect change. In 1998 Nizkor was responsible for providing the evidence required by the Spanish and British authorities that led to the arrest and detention of Augusto Pinochet in Britain. We have stopped attacks against journalists and human rights workers in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Mexico and we have facilitated the escape to third countries of individuals for whom it was no longer safe to remain in their own countries.
Provision of legal advice
We provide legal strategy and advice to both individuals and to human rights organisations. Our expertise is in international criminal and human rights law and our work has resulted in the application of these laws in domestic courts in cases concerning crimes against humanity and other serious crimes against human rights.
By successfully applying international law in domestic courts the prosecution of these crimes ceases to depend on the will of politicians. In the teeth of opposition from the most senior politicians and others, our work in the case of the Argentinean naval officer Adolfo Scilingo, led to his conviction for crimes against humanity in the Spanish national court. In 2007 that judgement was confirmed by the Supreme Court and marked a major turning point in the fight against impunity.
We publish in depth reports and legal analysis that have played a vital role in influencing legal arguments in Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Peru and in Spain. We also provide advice in cases involving the violation of economic and social rights for example on behalf of the Bolivian Guaraní communities whose rights we are trying to defend and protect from the actions of the State, multinationals and land occupiers.
Training lawyers and legal experts
Working with a number of leading academic institutions around the world, we offer a programme of internships and specialised training opportunities in international human rights law. The Quintiliano Saldaña Programme offered at our Brussels headquarters recognises the Spanish lawyer responsible for introducing the first draft of the international criminal code in 1925.
EN has received interns, inter alia, from Yale Law School, Harvard University, Brandeis College, Amherst College, University of California, Université de Lyon and Humboldt Universität Berlin.
Among our achievements it is worth mentioning the Scilingo and Pinochet cases.
Adolfo Scilingo is a former Argentinean naval officer convicted in Spain for crimes against humanity committed against Spanish nationals during the Argentinean Military Dictatorship which started in 1976. He confessed his own role in the so-called "death flights", in which political detainees were thrown to their deaths in the Plate River. This judicial decision (dated April 19th, 2005) established a precedent in the Spanish legal system to apply international human rights law in the domestic jurisdiction. Equipo Nizkor prepared the only accusation submitted which characterised the offences as crimes against humanity based on international human rights law and we also prepared the documentary evidence supporting the accusation. Our findings and arguments were uphold by the lower court, and later on (October 2007), on appeal, by the Supreme Court.
In the Pinochet case, Equipo Nizkor formulated the strategy to follow and provided the legal and procedural advice that led to the issuance of the arrest warrant enabling British authorities to detain Pinochet as well as preparation of the crucial evidence used in the English High Court.
For 15 years we have been speaking out against threats to civil liberties, peace and human rights, and we do so with no public, state or governmental grant. Your support will allow us to not only continue our work, but to have an even greater impact than we do today.
|Contacting Equipo Nizkor: |
Equipo Nizkor European Office:
Rue d'Orleans 1
6000 Charleroi Ville Haute
Equipo Nizkor | Proyecto Desaparecidos | Radio Nizkor | Derechos HR