A Civil Society Tribunal, Brussels 2022
The Front-Lex Tribunal is an ambitious new project:
An initiative taken by refugee organisations and outraged individuals.
Since the numerous protests against the homicidal European deterrence policy towards refugees – rightly called Europe’s disgrace by some – have remained ineffective, we shall be forced to take legal action against those responsible.
The European Union, its members and associates, their governments, ministries, responsible policy makers, and functionaries should be held accountable for their crimes against refugees in the Mediterranean and at the EU borders.
This project is inspired by the International Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague 2016, which reunited hundreds of participants from different continents. Witnesses, victims, and experts described the violation of workers’ and consumers’ rights, the health injuries as well as the damage to Nature this multinational corporation has caused by spreading its toxic chemicals all over the globe through criminal activity. This tribunal attracted considerable attention. A small group of five renowned and recognised expert judges unanimously agreed on a legal opinion, which constitutes a precedent in the fight against the crimes of a multinational corporation.
Numerous scientific studies confirm what is already obvious: refugees are forced to choose dangerous routes because legal and safe pathways are blocked.
Countless injuries and deaths have been recorded by NGOs as well as official international agencies.
When the European Union and its members withdrew their sea rescue efforts, many rescue organisations documented the violation of human rights and the failure to provide help for persons in distress at sea facing mortal danger. This is one of the main charges for the Tribunal.
Technical investigations have recently brought to light concrete evidence for physical injuries, repression, and other violations, made known by journalists and social media. Furthermore, there is growing evidence and criticism of the complicity by European states and institutions in human rights abuses by buffer states like Libya, to where EU border control has been externalised.
For the Tribunal, we want to assemble a group of renowned judges from European countries in order to hear expert reports, statements by refugees, and their advocates’ pleas.
The possible charges (failure to help, accessory to murder, violation of sea rescue regulations, human rights abuse etc.) will be thoroughly examined by lawyers and experts beforehand.
The experts’ assessment and the final legal opinion of the judges will provide a legal basis for subsequent trials.
The Tribunal will also rehabilitate aid agencies, sea rescuers, and refugee workers who have been wrongly criminalised. Assistance is a human duty, not a criminal offence.
Preventing people and civil organisations from giving aid, on the other hand, is inhuman. Those responsible must be held accountable.
We will create a European documentation centre and connect organisations and individuals working in the Mediterranean or at the external borders in order to share their knowledge and experience.
Our goal is to collaborate with righteous members of the European Parliament willing to actively support our cause.