Displaying items by tag: justice
IJM reports, ‘Last week we celebrated justice for IJM lawyer WK, his client and their driver. Three police officers and one civilian were convicted of their murder’. Prior to 2016, few police officers had ever been convicted for murder - despite many instances of police abusing power. But in the past five years, 45 officers have been convicted on murder or manslaughter charges. This gives hope to victims and families of police abuse that justice is possible. ‘Also, praise God for the acquittal of an innocent IJM client in Kenya. He was framed for a crime he didn't commit. During the trial, the prosecution failed to produce any witnesses. He is now free, but please pray for him to be protected from further false accusations.’
Individuals who were due to be removed to Rwanda lodged applications with the Court of Human Rights requesting they be allowed to stay in the UK as their application for residency in the UK is considered. Following a first request for an interim measure, on 14 June others lodged similar applications. There are serious risks that the international law principle of non-refoulement (compulsory repatriation to a nation of origin leading to great danger) will be breached by forcibly transferring asylum-seekers to Rwanda. We can ask God to protect our human rights laws. We can pray for the future UK Bill of Rights, currently being considered by the UK government, to come under God’s authority; and for treaties and laws to be according to His order, not man’s. Protecting people and giving them freedom lies at the heart of human rights laws. Father, we ask for every law and law management around this issue to be aligned with Your principles.
Abdullah al-Howaiti was 14 years old when he was arrested in 2017 on charges of murder and armed robbery. The Supreme Court had overturned his original conviction last year. He was first sentenced to death in 2019, after he was convicted by a court in Tabuk province of shooting dead a policeman while robbing a jewellery shop. Five other defendants were handed 15-year prison terms for allegedly aiding and abetting the crimes. All six had pleaded not guilty, telling the judge that interrogators coerced their ‘confessions’ through torture or the threat of it. The judge also ignored CCTV footage showing that Howaiti was not near the jewellers’ shop at the time of the crime. The court of appeal in Tabuk upheld the conviction in January 2021, but the Supreme Court threw it out in November and ordered a retrial.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has called on the government to ‘put right’ the fact that a group of war widows who remarried after the deaths of their husbands, are not allowed to claim their pensions. He said, ‘One of the Bible's strongest, clearest, and most often repeated commands is to care for and honour the widow. The plight of the war widows who are not able to receive their military pensions is a very great wrong. To find love and happiness again after such loss and heartbreak only to be denied their rightful pension, and for many their means of living, leaves them in a cruel and unjustifiable situation and facing unbearable decisions. It must be put right.’ In 2015, changes were introduced and all who qualified would receive the pension for life. But the changes were not applied retrospectively, leaving around 200 women unable to claim the money.
International Justice Mission (IJM) works globally to release captives and those suffering injustice. Their recent successes include the conviction of violent South Asian traffickers who cut off the right hands of anyone trying to escape from their brick kiln. In Bolivia justice was done for three survivors of sexual violence. In Kenya a police officer was convicted of murder after he shot an innocent man and arrested others for the crime on false charges. IJM workers in El Salvador work closely with public justice system officials, supporting responses to crimes committed against women and children. On 3 August IJM's Anu Canjanathoppil spoke at New Wine United, sharing her remarkable experiences as she works to end slavery. She has led teams globally to bring 10,000+ people out of forced labour. For more information see
At least 1,068 people have been killed by police since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minnesota on 25 May 2020. His killing triggered worldwide protests demanding justice and an end to systemic racism. In April 2021 Floyd’s killer was found guilty of murder and manslaughter; sentencing is on 25 June. Between January 2013 and May 2021, US police killed at least 9,179 people, according to data compiled by Mapping Police Violence, a research and advocacy group. Since Floyd’s death, the group has recorded at least 1,068 police killings across the country – an average of three killings every day. Despite being 13% of the population, black Americans are three times as likely as white Americans to be killed by the police. The group also found that ‘levels of violent crimes in US cities do not determine rates of police violence’.
A Turkish court sentenced Syriac priest Father Sefer to two years and one month in prison on terrorism-related charges. This sentence comes just over a year after Father Bileçen was detained alongside twelve others on the charges of aiding the PKK, an internationally recognised terrorist organisation. Father Bileçen said, ‘Two members of the organisation came to the monastery asking for food, and I gave it. It was detected afterwards, and the gendarmerie commander met me through the metropolitan bishop. I did not deny it. I wanted security measures to be taken so that this would not happen again. But no security measures were taken.’ Nevertheless he thought the case was closed. Christians in rural Turkey are caught in the middle of the Turkey-PKK conflict and no matter how they respond - they lose. Religious charity is being criminalised.
Pray for the IJM Kenya team opening an office in Mombasa in March to address child sex trafficking along the coast. This is a key time for building partnerships and relationships with local government, police, prosecutors, judges and community members. Pray that this would be the start of greater protection for children and more accountability for Kenya’s perpetrators. Pray for the arrest of a suspected perpetrator of online sexual exploitation in the Philippines, who has been evading custody for some time. Pray she is arrested soon, for a just trial, and that this accountability would prevent her from abusing children in the future. Pray also for the upcoming Make #SlaveFree Normal Campaign, that it would highlight the issue of slavery in supply chains and inspire people in their consumer habits. Pray that more people would join to Make #SlaveFree Normal and sign up to receive the video series that raises awareness of trafficking and slavery.
Vera Baird, the victims’ commissioner for England and Wales, said that data showed non-fatal strangulation was dangerous, prevalent, and often ignored. Current legislation minimises the seriousness of ‘domestic terror tactic’, and so a change to the law is urgently required. A push to make such strangulation a criminal offence is being led by the former victims’ commissioner Baroness Newlove, who is campaigning for the change via an amendment to the domestic abuse bill when it returns to the Lords on 12 January.
Harry Dunn died in hospital after his motorbike was involved in a crash outside RAF Croughton, but the driver of the car that hit him was able to claim diplomatic immunity and return to the USA rather than face a court case in the United Kingdom. On 22 July the UK and the US agreed to amend an ‘anomaly’ that allowed the suspect, Anne Sacoolas, to claim diplomatic immunity because she was the wife of a diplomat. She was able to use a ‘secret agreement’ between the two countries even though she has been accused of killing by dangerous driving. Mr Dunn's mother said the change, which is not thought to be retrospective, was a ‘huge step in the right direction’.