The MESOPOTAMIA OBSERVATORY OF JUSTICE / ÇAVDÊRIYA DADWERÎ YA MEZOPOTAMYA is a Non-governmental Organisation registered in the Swiss Trade Register and governed by the Swiss Civil Code that campaigns for access to justice for victims of international crimes and gross violations of human rights in the Middle East. It was formed in Geneva in September 2018 by a group of experts in International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law and Middle Eastern politics with the aim of promoting and supporting the use of international legal mechanisms to challenge political repression and impunity.

We are conducting a range of activities designed to secure access to justice for victims, expose egregious practices, establish accountability, obtain reparations, and to defend human rights and the rule of law. We work with victims and local legal actors in every country in the Middle East.

Our core activities include monitoring and research, advocacy and strategic litigation, and legal training, across a range of thematic areas, including: the protection of habitat, cultural heritage and civilian infrastructure; the destruction of homes and forced displacement; extrajudicial killings; torture; political persecution; children’s rights; women’s rights; transitional justice.

We have an extensive programme of strategic human rights litigation across these priority areas, with individual complaints and communications submitted to INTERPOL, the EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS and to various UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEURS. We are also organising a series of events and publications to enable the sharing of best practice on the use of international legal mechanisms to combat international crimes and gross violations of human rights.

 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

MoJust promotes the use of international law mechanisms to challenge and seek justice and reparations for victims of gross human rights violations and international crimes. We are working towards the following core aims and objectives:

(a) To shed light on the nature of gross human rights violations and international crimes committed in the Middle East, both in the recent past and the present.

(b) To develop regional and local awareness of the mechanisms of public international law available to challenge gross human rights violations and international crimes.

(c) To encourage and contribute to all efforts in favour of conflict resolution, including the adoption of post-conflict mechanisms.

(d) To improve the protection of habitat and heritage, including cultural sites and assets, and the prospects of securing accountability for those responsible for causing damage and destruction.

(e) To contribute to the juridical work and debate for a non-patriarchal society based on ecological principles, protection of nature, social justice, direct democracy, and solidarity economy.

 

METHODS

Our principal area of work involves preparing complaints and communications before national and international legal mechanisms in cases involving gross human rights violations and/or international crimes. We provide advice and assistance to victims of political repression, torture, forced migration or deportation, and the destruction of homes and cultural heritage. We do so with particular concern for the needs and rights of children, women, the elderly and those violated due to religious, political or ethnic identity or affiliation.

We conduct country-specific and thematic reporting consistent with our core activities and areas of interest. In our experience, NGO reporting is crucial to the development of new or evolving human rights norms and standards. Our reporting addresses three core themes: (1) situations or practices of concern (gross human rights violations, international crimes); (2) the prospects of action before international legal mechanisms (possibilities and structural limitations); (3) legal developments (law, policy and legal decisions at the international, regional and domestic levels).

We are preparing a series of events in support of special projects, including a stakeholder conference, academic seminars and local engagement with lawyers and NGOs in our target region. We are committed to collaborative and inter-disciplinary thinking and action. We work in solidarity with and in support of repressed lawyers and human rights defenders in our target region and are focused on developing sustainable cooperation with organizations pursuing the same objectives, wherever they may be.