Transitional justice in the shadow of the Arab Spring
from the article by Sarah Khatib on Muftah:
Whether recovering from the horrific realities of war or the effects of long-standing repressive regimes, societies often find themselves attempting to reconcile their past while safeguarding a better future.
Since the end of World War II, this struggle has become an increasingly important feature of the political transitions undertaken by post-conflict countries.
Why Iraq needs a court of truth and reconciliation now
from the article by Faris Harram in niqash:
Recently I read the arrest warrant that was issued against [Iraqi Vice President] Tariq al-Hashimi on Interpol’s website. It’s difficult to know whether the man is innocent or guilty and we will all have to wait until Iraqi courts issue a verdict. But reading the warrant made me think about the golden opportunity that Iraq after 2003, when the nation had the chance to really redress the cultural imbalances created during the rule of [former Iraqi leader] Saddam Hussein.
When Hussein was caught and arrested very few Iraqis spoke out to suggest a reconciliation process. Such a process would have opened the door for Iraq’s elite - intellectuals, academics, sociologists, psychologists, economists and even clerics - to initiate a unique debate.
Victim/offender mediation in Turkey
After a delegation of members of the Turkish Parliament visited Marquette Law School last month, I had the privilege of traveling to Istanbul to moderate a victim/offender mediation conference for two hundred fifty Turkish prosecutors and judges. There were fourteen of us restorative justice “experts” from ten different countries who were there for three days to talk to the ballroom full of lawyers, who wanted to learn how to best implement Turkey’s already enacted victim/offender mediation process during criminal prosecutions. It was a fabulous experience.
The Jirga in modern day Afghanistan
from the article by Ali Gohar in OPen Democracy:
....The working principals of the Jirga are community based and fact finding; it acts like a modern jury system. The Jirga intervenes to halt violence, identify the issues in order to resolve them through mediation or arbitration, and work towards reconciliation and rehabilitation. The Jirga system could also be described in terms of the three aspects of peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding, through the use of Tega (ceasefire), Nagha (ban on arms show), Community Policing (Arbakai) and volunteer force (Lakhkar).
Afghan women trapped in tribal court system
....Sakina’s imprisonment stems from her attempts to evade a uniquely medieval form of restitution practiced in tribal courts and known as ba’ad. It is Afghanistan’s version of restorative justice in which women and girls are bartered from one family to another as a way to settle a dispute.
I just saw Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation last night. I’m not going to send formal reviews (do I ever?) but I just want to share my feeling that it is a really great film.
....One aspect of the film surprised me because it wasn’t the aspect of the film that was publicized. Farhadi’s depiction of the Iranian justice system as chaotic, overwhelmed, but intensely immediate and direct, is quite powerful as a ground for other aspects of the drama.... One might say that the film gives an insight into what might be right about the Iranian system in comparison with our own.
Restorative Councils help Pakistani police
from the article in PeaceBuilder:
As the founding director of JustPeace International, Ali Gohar (MA ’02) has worked at updating the practice of jirga, an ancient tradition in Pakistan whereby respected and wise elders deliberate in an open community forum to resolve conflicts. In 2003, he and fellow CJP graduate Hassan Yousufza (MA ’03) co-authored Pukhtoon Jirga, a book available for downloading at www.justpeaceint.org.
In a 2010 interview with Insight on Conflict, Gohar explained that he was raised in a traditional Pashtun culture: “My family was involved in enmities, which affected my childhood so much that I promised to do something against the traditions of revenge, honour killing, shame factors, and cruelties by the name of honour.” As an adult, he worked as a social welfare commissioner for Afghan refugees, where he saw “more violence, destruction, kidnapping, murder, and displacement of refugees.”
In April 2011, Gohar told journalist Lis Horta Moriconi of Comunidad Segura (www.comunidadesegura.org) that EMU professor Howard Zehr and his teachings on restorative justice inspired Gohar to tap his own jirga system as a “means to mitigate conflict and contribute towards peacebuilding.”
Iranian woman blinded by acid attack pardons assailant as he faces same fate
A woman blinded with acid in Iran has pardoned her attacker, a man who was scheduled to lose his sight in an eye for an eye punishment on Sunday.
Majid Movahedi, 30, had been taken to Tehran's judiciary hospital to be blinded with acid after being rendered unconscious, but Ameneh Bahrami, his victim, spared him at the last minute, Iran's semi-official Isna news agency reported.
Iran's judiciary had given the green light to the administration for the retributive punishment, which would have been the first blinding of a convict in the country, but human rights groups across the world called on Bahrami, who had asked for eye for an eye justice in the court, to pardon him.
Non-formal education in the Middle East: Giving adolescents a second chance
In May 2005 violence exploded during a soccer game among students who had just enrolled in their town’s first NFE class. Angry over a lost goal, Humam kicked his younger teammate Ayman to the ground. This kind of violence early in the programme jeopardized the entire approach to alternative education. Ayman was a shy, defenseless boy. Other boys like him might feel threatened, and the safety of the learning environment might dissolve if violence went unchecked.
The teaching facilitators decided that the violent incident would best be resolved by the students themselves ruling on justice for the harmed and a penalty for the offender. They announced a trial – with students taking the roles of judge, jury, prosecution and defense – and explained the legal process to the two boys and the other students.
SFCG Morocco Celebrates New Mediation Centers
Search for Common Ground (SFCG) Morocco recently celebrated the opening of two mediation centers in Casablanca. The openings mark the culmination of the team’s project aimed at providing mediation training for youth.
The project is titled, “Mitigating Communal Conflict by Engaging Youth Constructively in Local Democratic and Economic Development Through the Establishment of Youth Community and Mediation Centers in Casablanca and Tetouan.”