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Avocats Sans Frontières Annual report

Because justice is not a luxury

Justice for a fairer world

Created in Brussels in 1922, Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) is an international NGO specialising in defending human rights and access to justice.

From Kathmandu to Kinshasa, from Bogota to Tunis, its teams defend the victims of torture and prisoners held illegally, train local lawyers, magistrates and judges and ensure that the voices of the victims of international crimes are heard by the courts. WWW.ASF.BE

Table of content

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Acknowledgements .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Countries, projects and subject areas concerned .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 ASF in Burundi .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 ASF in the Democratic Republic of Congo .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 ASF in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 ASF in Nepal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 ASF in Rwanda .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 ASF in Uganda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 ASF is developing fast .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Promoting the Rome Statute System and enhancing the efficiency of the International Criminal Court .. . . . . . . . . . . 35 The International Legal Network .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Our staff in 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Financial Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Mobile court organised by ASF in Bakara (DR Congo) Š ASF/F. Schinkus



Introduction Dear readers, In this year of 2011, leading up to two decades of particular commitment to human rights, Avocats Sans Frontières has enjoyed major structural support – notably from UK aid, the British Government’s Department for International Development. Quite a unique opportunity as of the 41 other NGOs who benefit from similar support from UK aid, only one is not based in the UK. A key aspect of this structural funding is its length, since it extends over a period of three years. This substantial support of € 1,795,000 per year means that our organisation can truly consolidate and build on its expertise – a vital requirement if we are to respond in the strongest possible way to the needs of the most vulnerable people in terms of justice. Whether it is in the area of international criminal justice, economic, social, civil and political rights or even strategic litigation, furthering justice and promoting rights is becoming increasingly complicated, requiring specific resources. ASF has therefore considerably enhanced its expertise by engaging experts to support our teams on the ground. Beyond the legitimate expectations of our sponsors, measuring the impact of our actions forms an integral part of professional project management, with the aim of constantly improving the planning and implementation of our programmes. The funding from UK aid has allowed us to recruit a Quality and Learning Specialist, whose contribution is to harmonise and consolidate the information collected in the course of projects carried out by ASF – whether in remote areas of Nepal or in the huge Western Province of DR Congo. Finally, ASF mobilises essential resources to better inform its donors, its members and the members of the International Legal Network, as well as the general public, of glaring instances of injustice and its response to them. Human rights will now also be promoted more forcefully, through the testimony of our teams on the ground and our beneficiaries. Before leaving you to read this report and explore our programmes in more detail, I would like to talk about partnership. ASF’s mission – to improve access to justice – has remained the same since the start, although the way in which it is fulfilled has changed over time. Nowadays, besides providing direct assistance for victims of injustice, we are increasingly operating in partnership with local players: bar associations, associations of lawyers and civil society organisations. Often lacking sufficient human and practical resources, these partners work under difficult, sometimes unstable or even dangerous conditions. In dedicating this annual report to them, I pay homage to the commitment of these men and women to the rule of law.

The support provided by UK aid enabled ASF to launch a project to improve the social and legal welfare of young children in Chad. This project now benefits from European Union funding © Michael Von Bergen

Our organisation can truly consolidate and build on its expertise – a vital requirement if we are to respond in the strongest possible way to the needs of the most vulnerable people in terms of justice.


Hafida Talhaoui © J.Aerts



I would like to thank all donors and sympathisers of Avocats Sans Frontières. Thanks to their vital support, vulnerable populations can have access to justice and can enforce their rights. We are conscious that the financial and economic crisis will have an impact on our future sources of funding. This drives us to be ever more creative and to make the most of every penny donated to ASF, whether by an institutional donor, a bar association, or a private individual for whom – like us – injustice is intolerable. On behalf of our beneficiaries, I would like to thank you. Francesca Boniotti, Executive Director

Institutional Donors • Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and. Development Cooperation • Embassy of Canada • Embassy of France • Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany • Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands • European Commission • Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (IFA) • MacArthur Foundation • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) • Open Society Institute • Programme de Stabilisation et de Reconstruction des Zones sortant des conflits armés (STAREC) • Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAE) • UK Government (UK aid) • UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNFVT) • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) • United States Agency for International Development (USAID) © ASF/C.Maon

Other institutions • Flemish Bar Council (OVB) • French and German speaking Bar Council of Belgium (OBFG) • Bar Association of Antwerp

The financial and economic crisis will have an impact on our future sources of funding. This drives us to be ever more creative and to make the most of every penny donated to ASF.


• Dutch section of the Brussels Bar (NOAB) • French section of the Brussels Bar

Francesca Boniotti © J. de Tessieres

• Bar Association of Liège • Bar Association of Marche-en-Famenne • Gemeentelijke Raad voor Ontwikkelingssamenwerking (GROS) Schilde • Amicale des référendaires et des anciens référendaires de la Cour de justice,

du Tribunal et du Tribunal de la fonction publique de l’Union européenne


Burundi: ASF calls for the adoption of a national legal-aid policy

Equal rights for all has been enshrined in the Burundi constitution since 2005. For this to become a reality, the population must be able to count on a system which guarantees access to justice for all, including the vulnerable people without financial resources. Up to now, legal aid in Burundi has been provided almost exclusively by national civil society organisations and international NGOs with foreign funding. This is the case with Avocats Sans Frontières, which has been pursuing a legal aid and assistance programme for the past ten years or so with the support of the Belgian Government, the European Union, UK aid and the Swedish Agency for Development Cooperation. However, there were a number of major developments in this area in 2011 and ASF can be proud of having contributed significantly to this. Since January, all the organisations and institutions in this field (Ministry of Justice, the bar associations, law faculties and civil society organisations) have come together in a Legal Aid Forum. This platform was set up and coordinated by ASF to make it possible for the various participants to exchange their experiences and real-life situations. This common dialogue was fostered by the publication, in June 2011, of a baseline study of legal aid in Burundi (Etude de base sur l’aide légale au Burundi, coordinated by ASF. Based on a wide-ranging survey of 1,079 people, it builds an inventory of the legal aid sector – in terms of both supply and demand – and its strengths and weaknesses. It contains recommendations for the various participants to improve access to justice in Burundi. In September, at the invitation of ASF and the Brussels Bar Association, a delegation elected by the forum took part in a study trip to look at the Belgian legal aid system. A similar trip to Cameroun took place in December. These stepping stones led in April 2012 to the Forum drawing up a proposal for a national legal aid strategy (Proposition de stratégie nationale d’aide légale); this identifies the priority beneficiaries, recommends the policy to be pursued, describes the relationships between the various participants concerned, stresses the importance of careful monitoring, and raises the question of sustainable funding. This document also includes a long list of short, medium and long-term recommendations for putting in place an organised, efficient and universal legal aid system and set out an action plan for the years 2012-2013-2014.

Members of the Legal Aid Forum organised by ASF, which gathers together all the institutions and organisations involved in legal aid in Burundi © ASF

What citizens in Burundi are yearning for is efficient, transparent, comprehensive and accessible justice for all, which upholds human rights and is particularly mindful of the most vulnerable population groups.

Ernest Manirumva, of the NGO Olucome, was found stabbed to death on 9 April 2009. Since the start of the proceedings, ASF has assisted with the defence of the civil parties through the direct intervention of Brussels’ lawyer Alexis Deswaef © ASF/J-M Ndikumana

Thanks to the efforts of ASF and all the partners in the Forum, legal aid is now on the Burundi Government’s agenda, as is clear from two further developments: first, the adoption by the Ministry of Justice of a sectoral policy for 2011-2015 that makes the introduction of a legal aid system one of its priorities. Secondly, the formalisation of the Legal Aid Forum through the establishment, in February of 2012, of the ”Demand for Justice” sectoral working party, coordinated by the Ministry of Justice, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme. The Forum shall pursue its debate of the legal aid policy before it is officially validated and draw up annual action plans setting out the steps involved for all the participants in implementing this policy. There are still many unanswered questions about the funding of this policy; this shall undoubtedly be the greatest challenge to be faced by Burundi if it is to ensure universal access to justice.

Burundi, Ministry of Justice 2011-2015 sectoral policy



burundi : Activities in 2011 at a glance Geographical areas concerned: Bujumbura, Gitega, Ngozi, Makamba, Rumonge

Legal services provided to the population

• Legal assistance in 5 emblematic cases, including that of the murder of Ernest Manirumva, human rights activist and Deputy Chairman of the NGO watchdog Olucome (Observatoire de lutte contre la corruption et les malversations économiques/Observatory for the Fight Against Corruption and Economic Embezzlement). • Capacity building for lawyers: establishment and training of a pool of lawyers specialising in legal assistance: • 4 training sessions on international justice, pre-trial detention, ethical practices and help for victims of sexual violence, and two coaching sessions • Group workshops • Preparatory work for drawing up three vade-mecums • Introduction of tools for monitoring the impact of the training sessions (e.g. a form for evaluating the individual performance of lawyers and a satisfaction survey for beneficiaries) • International criminal justice: recruitment of a pool of lawyers working in this area • Capacity building for the Bujumbura Court of appeals bar association with a view to legal aid being put in place: • 4 training sessions for members of the Bujumbura bar association


This consciousness-raising is solely provided in prisons, the population of which is primarily male.

** This legal assistance includes fixed and mobile legal aid centres, including in prisons.

• Transfer to the Bujumbura bar association of the legal aid centres from Mbwiza and

from the children’s detention centre in Kamenge.

• Roll-out of the bar association strategy on pro-bono legal aid • Training sessions on project management and drawing up funding files

Vulnerable persons who have had the benefit of assistance before the courts: types of litigation

Studies and publications - Analyse jurisprudentielle de la justice pour mineurs en conflit avec la loi (T. De Blauwe, March 2011) - Etude de base sur l’aide légale au Burundi (J. Moriceau and C. Niyonzima, June 2011) - Propositions pour une stratégie nationale d’aide légale (SNAL) au Burundi (José M. Cueto, April 2012)

Introductory comment The indicators given in this report relate to the number of persons made aware of their rights and to whom assistance before the courts was provided between April 2011 and March 2012.



Democratic Republic of Congo: Justice in the face of the trivialisation of rape

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, sexual violence is reaching worrying proportions. For victims, the path to justice is strewn with geographical, logistical, cultural and financial obstacles as well as problems relating to the functional deficiencies of the judicial apparatus itself. A strong feeling that such crimes go unpunished is still ever present. Since 2008, Avocats Sans Frontières has been developing an integrated approach in four provinces to facilitate access to justice for victims: local NGOs are trained in awareness and providing multidisciplinary assistance to victims; lawyers and other judicial participants are trained to defend them, both in pre-trial and court proceedings. In 2011, 80 lawyers attended two training sessions on the new laws in this area: presentation of evidence, defence in criminal cases, legal assistance to child victims and civil redress. Furthermore, a platform bringing together 10 NGOs per province is meeting monthly for an exchange of views on this matter and has been given two training session on improving the presentation of victims’ files and how to make recent legislation more generally accessible. ASF also helps the victims of international crimes to obtain justice and redress before national courts, as was the case during the proceedings in February 2011 against Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Kibibi Mutware (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) and ten of his men. Some 89 victims took part as civil parties in the charges of mass rape (58 victims), arbitrary imprisonment, looting of property and other inhuman treatment. The victims were represented by a law partnership led by ASF. ASF also provided transport, and covered the costs of a proportion of the victims who wanted to provide evidence in Baraka, as well as the payments to the court and third-party legal costs of the victims represented. During the proceedings, they were awarded damages and interest, to be paid by the accused, who were held to be agents of the State. For the first time in a case before the military court, the provisions of the Rome Statute on the treatment of victims during proceedings were applied, including Article 68.2, on proceedings in camera for victims during examination of the arguments in hearings, and Rule 87.3 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence on protecting the identity of those giving testimony at public hearings. However, sexual violence is not a phenomenon limited to war zones: it is also of major concern in regions at peace. Sexual crimes committed in peace time, which are worrying evidence of their perpetrators giving in to their violent sexual fantasies, is being played down as some sort of collateral damage from the wars which have taken place in the DR Congo. This spurred ASF to conduct a Study of the jurisprudence relating to sexual violence under the ordinary rules of law; this analyses 209 general-law rulings made between 2006 and 2011 both in terms of their number and as regards their legal quality. The analysis covers the admissibility of court proceedings, the jurisdiction of the courts, the legal classification, the evidence, the decision on the merits of the case, sentencing, civil action and compliance with the prescribed time limits.

The Ndeke community in the Lisala area in Equateur © ASF/D.Gessara

Victims are increasingly willing to breaking their silence and to bring their cases before the courts. ASF is fighting to ensure that their voices are heard and they obtain fair redress.

There was a twofold objective: to foster an awareness among the Congolese courts of the fact that the new laws on sexual violence apply and to help them to improve the way in which they interpret and apply those laws by pointing to the current deficiencies.

© ASF/C.Maon



Democratic Republic of Congo: • Two data-gathering missions relating to the Mbarushinama case made it possible for 654 victims to file an application to take part in proceedings pending before the International Criminal Court. Of the 130 victims authorised to take part in the proceedings, 30 of the applications were submitted through ASF.

Activities in 2011 at a glance Geographical areas concerned: Kinshasa, Province of Orientale, North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema and Equateur

Legal services provided to the population:

• ASF is monitoring eight international criminal cases pending before national courts: the Maniragula (alias Kazungu), Kyat Hend RMP, Lemera and Ninja cases (552 victims represented at different stages in the process), and, with regard to cases involving mass rape, the Mutware, Nakiele, Katasomwa and Walikale cases (383 victims represented at different stages in the process). • Capacity building for lawyers :

• Training for lawyers in the ASF pool on assistance for the victims of sexual violence and one support session for lawyers representing the brother of the victim in the emblematic “Floribert Chebeya” case

• Recruitment of a pool of lawyers working in the field of international criminal justice

• Capacity building for civil society and judicial participants:

• Training workshop on the Rome Statute for Congolese judicial police officers

• A training workshop on international crimes reparation mechanisms for provincial authorities and judges and magistrates in Sud Kivu

• Supervision of 40 NGOs forming a network to prevent sexual violence from going unpunished

• Studies and publications:

La justice face à la banalisation du viol en RDC. Etude de jurisprudence en matière des violences sexuelles de droit commun (Justice in the face of the trivialisation of rape in the DR Congo. A case law study of sexual violence under the ordinary rules of law) (M. Schotsmans, publication in May 2012)

* Legal assistance includes fixed and mobile legal consultation centres, including in prisons.

Vulnerable persons who have had the benefit of assistance before the courts: types of litigation

THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS OF FOREST COMMUNITIES IN THE DR CONGO 2011: the Congo Government decided to award operating rights in perpetuity to 80 forestry concessions in the provinces of Equateur (32 land titles), Bandundu and Province Orientale. To qualify for these perpetual concessions, the forestry operating companies were required to incorporate into their tender documents a “social clause” to be negotiated with the local communities. In principle, this clause enables those living in the regions concerned to reap the benefits of the natural resources in their surrounding areas. In the past, however, forestry companies have negotiated the use of community land in exchange for a bag of maize and a few pints of beer or, at best, the construction of a rudimentary school building. In the light of this, ASF has developed a project linked to economic and social rights. It forms part of a broader strategy based on the idea that if injustice is structural in nature, so too must be the response to that injustice: the activities developed therefore deal with structural barriers to achieving a state of law, rather than just individual cases of human-rights violations. In this case, it is not just a matter of preventing unfair negotiations that are detrimental to the local communities, but also impeding any serious breaches of human rights. Precedents set in the past led to fears of a violent response by such companies, with the collusion of the local police and government officials, in the event of protests by the inhabitants: rape, violence, arbitrary arrests, destruction of property and even murder. By supporting the communities during the negotiation of these contracts, ASF helps to prevent such violence and to enable the inhabitants to obtain a just reward for the use of their forests and thus have full benefit from their economic and social rights. In 2011, ASF therefore helped seven communities in the Lisala and Equateur areas to gain a better understanding of their rights during negotiation of the tender documents (by involving four forestry companies) and provided assistance to four communities during the signing of contracts with forestry companies.



Housing rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem are not being respected

The violation of housing rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem by Israeli authorities affects directly the lives of Palestinian families and is a breach of international law, concludes a report* commissioned by Avocats Sans Frontières. The report presented on 31 May 2011 in Brussels is the result of a fact-finding mission done by a delegation of English lawyers in Sheikh Jarrah, an area located in East Jerusalem. Since the start of the Israeli occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967 until today, the Palestinian refugee families in Sheikh Jarrah have been the target of eviction proceedings. Some 60 people have been recently evicted from their home; 500 others are at risk of eviction and forced displacement. This is against the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits any measure by the occupying powers to either deport people or transfer parts of its own population into the territory it occupies. “With regard to East Jerusalem, such measures have been taken by the Israeli government”, states the report presented during a seminar organised by ASF. The situation in Sheikh Jarrah illustrates the fact that Israel is not complying with its obligations under international law and is “an integral part of Israel’s illegal settlement policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”. Another dimension highlighted by the report is the way in which the evictions are taking place. In particular, the Israeli police have attended evictions and demolitions of houses owned by Palestinians in disproportionate numbers, closing off roads, and removing affected families with unnecessary force. “When they [Israeli Defense Forces] came to evict us, it looked like a war zone”, told a Palestinian woman to the delegation. “It was four o’clock in the morning. Within the hour, the settlers were occupying our house and using our belongings”, she said. As a result, people become homeless and no assistance is being provided by the Israeli occupying authorities to the affected families. In Sheikh Jarrah, “there is a persistent violation of the rights to peoples’ determination which is the cornerstone of international law”, says a practicing lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights and member of the delegation. The report concludes that underlying the Israeli processes of zoning and planning control in East Jerusalem are political motivations to engineer the demographic balance between Jewish and Palestinian occupants; this is resulting in a housing crisis for the latter. At the time this report went to press, some 190,000 Israeli settlers were living in settlements inside East Jerusalem. * Enforcing Housing Rights: The Case of Sheikh Jarrah

The ASF delegation meets members of one of the families expelled from Sheikh Jarrah © ASF/S.Denayer

When the Israeli Defense Forces came to evict us, it looked like a war zone. It was four o’clock in the morning. Within the hour, the settlers were occupying our house and using our belongings.

The ASF programme in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is designed to promote respect for international law and its application by strengthening the capacities of human rights lawyers and civil society organisations. Three observation missions also took place in 2011 in connection with the Rachel Corrie v. State of Israel case.

A Palestinian woman to the ASF delegation



Nepal: The challenges of access to justice

The Kanchanpur district is a region located on the western fringes of Nepal some 750 km from the capital. It has a high level of poverty, particularly among women. A significant minority of the population belongs to the Dalit group, the lowest social cast (the so-called “untouchables”). There are frequent breaches of their human rights; domestic violence, discrimination and land disputes are rife. Avocats Sans Frontières has being helping the local bar associations in Kanchanpur and four other Nepalese districts since July 2011 to put in place a system of legal aid for the most vulnerable sections of the population. The project includes fixed and mobile legal aid centres, awareness sessions on various issues and prison consultations. In total, over 60 lawyers have been providing free legal advice and legal aid before the courts. The challenges are many, as confirmed by Anita Thapalia, the Coordinator for the Legal Aid and Consultancy Centre (one of ASF’s Nepalese NGO partners): “Lawyers had to be persuaded to provide pro-bono services without compromising on quality. We are cooperating in particular with young lawyers wanting to gain experience. We cover their transport costs and finance legal courses in English specifically designed for them.” As is also explained by Umesh P. Bista, Legal Aid Coordinator to the Kanchanpur Bar Association, “there is very strong social pressure in Nepal: people are sometimes afraid of talking to lawyers at the mobile clinics held in the villages for fear of attracting attention to themselves and reprisals. Ideally, there should be a lawyer in each administrative body to whom people can go for private consultations.” Other challenge: to inform the population of the existence of these services. Julie Fournier, Head of the ASF Mission to Nepal: “We have been using new methods since December 2011 to inform the population of its rights and the way in which it can bring cases before the courts: radio programmes and even messages circulated at weekly markets through microphones in rickshaws.” Anita Thapalia and Umesh P. Bista add: “messages have been painted on 10 micro-buses used daily by thousands of Nepalese to get to work. There has been a significant increase in the number of people receiving consultations since this was done.”

Activities in 2011 at a glance • Persons made aware of their rights: 22,667 • Persons having benefitted from legal consultations or advice: 193 • Persons having benefitted from legal aid before the courts: 54 Capacity building for lawyers and bar associations: • Technical and financial assistance for bar associations to help them to rationalise and manage their legal aid services (including the financing of a legal aid coordinator within bar associations) • 12 coordination and dialogue meetings bringing together lawyers, judges, public prosecutors, police offices, NGOs and representatives of local authorities

A villager reading the words “No money for access to justice? Contact the Kanchanpur District Bar Association” © ASF/G.Parajuli The ASF team visits the building used for providing English lessons to lawyers © ASF

The lawyer explained that ASF would pay the legal fees. I decided to file a complaint with the Court. Since then, my husband has stopped threatening me.

• Recruitment of a pool of lawyers working in the field of international criminal justice • Training for lawyers on providing legal aid services:

• Provision of tools and training on their use for 60 lawyers;

• Setting up a centralised database;

• Courses in legal English for 75 lawyers;

• 1 training session on legal aid for 120 lawyers;

• 1 training session on combatting torture.

Miss X, expelled from her house with her two children by her violent husband (Morang, South Nepal)



Rwanda: Freedom of expression and of the press under attack now more than ever

On 5 April 2012, the Rwanda Supreme Court handed down its appeal judgement in the criminal proceedings against Agnès Uwimana and Saidat Mukakibibi, the editor and journalist respectively for Umurabyo, the bi-monthly tabloid newspaper, who had been held in prison since July 2010 after being convicted by the Kigali High Court for press offences and given prison sentences of 17 and 7 years respectively. The Supreme Court reduced their sentences to 4 years and 3 years respectively. While this was expected, the sentences handed down are nevertheless very heavy for the accused, who were prosecuted for threatening state security and defamation, offences relating solely to their profession as journalists. Given the nature of this case, Avocats Sans Frontières felt obliged to intervene directly in the proceedings by filing conclusions in the form of an amicus curiae* brief. This term is used to refer to legal arguments provided to a court by a body or person who is not a party to the dispute. This type of intervention had never before been tried in Rwanda and, for the first time, a court in that country held that it was admissible. This decision on the admissibility of an amicus curiae brief under Rwandan law sets a genuine precedent which should make it possible for other national or international organisations to provide their technical legal contributions to emblematic court proceedings. Over and above the terrible situation in which Agnès Uwimana and Saidat Mukakibibi find themselves, this leads into the whole question of freedom of expression in Rwanda, and into the questions of acceptable limitations of that freedom and society’s response to protect itself against any abuse. Did the articles for which the two journalists were criticised really threaten the security of the State? Were there no alternatives to a prison sentence of several years? The High Court judgement did not reflect the commitments given by Rwanda to guarantee the freedom of expression of its citizens. It does, however, confirm the need for urgent reform of the existing laws and for a new approach to be developed based on a new-found confidence in the media. *

Journalists Agnes Uwimana Nkusi and Saidati Mukakibibi before the Supreme Court of Rwanda © Steve Terrill - AFP/Getty Images

The amicus curiae brief sought to show that the two accused had not enjoyed their full rights to defence at first instance and that the first judgement had sanctioned several major and unjustified breaches of the fundamental right to freedom of expression established under international law applicable to Rwanda and enshrined in Rwandan legislation itself. It was therefore held to be admissible in principle in an interlocutory decision on 17 February 2012, but its contents were not officially taken into account since the Court took the view that they did not add to the defence arguments.

On 2 March 2011, the ASF Rwanda team officially opened the Muhanga legal aid centre (in the south province). The shop is open to the public for free legal advice two days a week © ASF/K.Ruel

This decision on the admissibility of an amicus curiae brief under Rwandan law sets a genuine precedent.



rwanda : Activities in 2011 at a glance Geographical areas concerned: Kigali, Gisenyi and Muhanga (opening of a legal aid centre in March 2011)

Legal services provided to the population

The ASF’s work on genocide litigation concluded with three publications: • Monitoring of the Gacaca courts – Judgement phase: Analytical report no. 5 (A. Jamar, February 2011) This report consolidates the work conducted by ASF since 2005 on due process in the Gacaca community justice courts and sets out the findings, seeking to identify discrepancies between the legal framework and experience in practice and pointing to the impact of the legal problems identified on the success of the Gacaca process. • Observation of cases before conventional courts: summary report (January to March 2011) • La pratique judiciaire du contentieux de l’idéologie du génocide et infractions connexes: Limites et défis d’application (Judicial practice in cases involving the genocide ideology and related crimes: Operational limitations and challenges) (C. Sculier, April 2011)

Between 2008 and 2011, Rwanda enacted three laws criminalising sectarianism, the crime of genocide and genocide ideology. This study provides an overview of Rwandan jurisprudence and the corresponding legal practice. Objectives: to boost the knowledge of judicial participants (lawyers and judges) in these areas; to gain an understanding of the problems with interpretation and implementation of these laws; to provide insight into the limitations and make recommendations for a reform of the Genocide Ideology Act.

Vulnerable persons who have had the benefit of assistance before the courts: types of litigation

Ms Phylis Omido, a Kenyan environmental rights defender, accused of having organised an illegal demonstration against pollution caused by a battery recycling factory, celebrates her acquittal by the Mobasa Court © EALS

ASF is launching a regional project to provide support to those defending human rights In the sensitive areas in which ASF intervenes, those defending human rights, and in particular lawyers, are often the target of the powers that be, whose policies and actions they are challenging: intimidation, disappearances, murder, arrest, “trumped up“ criminal proceedings, etc.

Capacity building for lawyers • One training session for lawyers in the ASF pool on the subject of support and protection for those defending human rights. Advocacy • ASF has contributed actively to debate on the adoption by the Rwanda Parliament of the Act on the organisation of the Bar Association, intended, for among other purposes, to set up legal aid. ASF’s initiatives have primarily focused on the importance of preserving the independence of the bar association and the need to guarantee the quality of legal services and compliance with ethical principles. The Act was still under discussion when this report was published.


In the light of this, ASF launched a regional project at the beginning of November 2011, in partnership with the East Africa Law Society to provide support to those defending human rights. Funded by the European Union and managed from Arusha, its aim is to provide lawyers and others defending human rights with enhanced mechanisms for protection. The objectives are to add to their resources through direct help (financial and material), to meet their essential needs (medical, psychological, logistical) and to provide legal assistance. It also includes practical training for those defending human rights and the creation of a regional protection synergy (legislative advocacy, creation of a protection fund and establishment of a pool of regional lawyers committed to defending those involved in defending human rights). It shall also be backed by, among others, a network of partner organisations in Rwanda.


Uganda : The Kwoyelo case, starting point for ASF’s analysis of the amnesty law

The LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) is a Ugandan rebel group which has been engaged in fighting with Ugandan government forces for twenty years since the end of the 1980s. At the end of 2005, LRA forces entered the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and have been divided into small groups since the end of 2008, split between the DR Congo, the Central African Republic and Sudan. Thomas Kwoyelo is a former member of the LRA. In 2009, he was captured when injured in fighting with the Ugandan army at Ukwa in the DR Congo and taken to Uganda, where he was treated for his injuries. According to the Ugandan Government, Kwoyelo held the rank of Colonel in the LRA at the time he was placed in detention. On 11 July 2011, he appeared before the International Crime Division of the Ugandan High Court of Justice. He pleaded not guilty to 12 main counts and an additional 53 charges relating to the Geneva Conventions and the national Criminal Code. An Avocats Sans Frontières team was trained to monitor the process and has attended the hearings since the start of the case. However, the proceedings have never really begun: Kwoyelo’s lawyers have actually invoked the amnesty law, calling for the case to be dismissed. Although the court ordered his release, Kwoyelo is still being held in Luziza prison. More than 25,000 ex-rebel fighters in Uganda have been able to take advantage of the Amnesty Act since it came into effect in the year 2000. This figure clearly raises issues in a society torn between a desire to achieve closure and to forgive and the need to see justice done for the crimes of the past. Revised for the first time in 2006, the Act is due to expire in 2012: an opportunity to carry out an in-depth analysis of the consequences and heated debate nationally on whether or not it should be renewed, to which ASF has contributed significantly.

Thomas Kwoyelo during his trial before the Gulu High Court of Justice © C.Akena/IRIN

© ASF/G.Van Moortel

An unconditional amnesty for crimes committed during the conflict is not compatible with the objective of sustainable peace in Uganda.

Based on its monitoring experience and analysis, the local ASF team has carried out a number of formal and informal consultations of local participants in the field of justice. Is the amnesty compatible with the concept of retributive justice? This question was examined and a working document compiled, which was published in 2012*. Sharon Nakandha, Assistant Coordinator for the ASF project: ”Under the current law, absolutely anyone can claim unconditional amnesty; all you have to do is submit a declaration applying for pardon. We advocate a rewording of the law so that conditions are imposed for this amnesty and an appeals procedure is established. Clearly, we are not opposed to peace, indeed quite the contrary; however, there can be no peace without justice. We must have the courage to focus on the root cause of the disease, rather than just treating the symptoms”. The advocacy tool, which has been shared with the Ugandan judicial authorities, lawyers, prosecutors, members of civil society and also participants within the international community (High Commission on Human Rights, the International Criminal Court, embassies, etc.), should pave the way for Uganda to achieve the right balance between preventing international crimes going unpunished and satisfying the desire for reconciliation.

Sharon Nakandha, Assistant Coordinator for the ASF project on international criminal justice * Amnesty: An Olive Branch in Justice? Amnesty Advocacy Tool for Uganda



Uganda : Activities in 2011 at a glance

International criminal justice

Geographical areas concerned: Kampala, Katakwi and Soroti

• Creation of a platform of participants to conduct a basic survey establishing an international justice inventory for the country (expertise and knowhow available, progress with implementation of the Rome Statute and the principle of complementarity)

Legal services provided to the population:

• Participation in the International Justice Day activities on 17 July 2011 Studies and publications • Presumed innocent, behind bars: the problem of lengthy pre-trial detention in Uganda (in cooperation with Toronto University, June 2011)

Vulnerable persons who have had the benefit of assistance before the courts: types of litigation

In 2011, more than 20,000 young children were made aware of their rights by ASF as part of the project to combat child trafficking © Manoocher Deghati/IRIN



ASF in developing fast

In addition to its direct action on behalf of vulnerable groups (information on the law, legal advice and legal assistance), Avocats Sans Frontières wants to ensure that its initiatives are a driving force for sustainable change. For some years now, the organisation has focused in particular on developing projects designed to increase the overall impact of its initiatives. To this end, ASF: • sets concrete development objectives for all its programmes, such as: measures to strengthen the legislative framework, to improve judicial administration and to provide better support for those involved locally; • shares its expertise and experience in the area of access to justice with all those concerned: civil society, lawyers, bar associations, local and national authorities, sponsors, universities, etc.; • develops advocacy based on its experience as a practitioner and information on the ground; • invests in knowledge transmission and the development of thematic and methodological approaches to assist with advocacy and facilitate capacity building among local participants. The way in which its central office is structured has been designed to support the organisation’s growing level of professionalisation and has welcomed experts in specialist areas (access to justice, economic and social rights, quality and learning, communications, etc.) since 2011, while its field assignments have been reshaped to ensure more autonomy; • places partnership at the very heart of its initiatives. The partners identified become the key participants in the process of analysing and identifying requirements and subsequently the project design phases; • is developing more flexible “operating procedures” calling for the use of fewer logistic and financial resources. These new strategies have been put into effect in two new priority areas since 2011 (see below). © ASF/H.Talbi

In Ndjamena, ASF works in partnership with the Chad Association for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms (APLFT) © ASF/L.Deramaix

ASF shares its expertise and experience with all those concerned: civil society, lawyers, bar associations, local and national authorities, sponsors, universities…



Chad: Better aid for youth

Tunisia: The challenge of transition

© Tom Stevens


Avocats Sans Frontières was initially asked to assist in Chad by providing ad hoc technical support based on its expertise in the field of access to justice; however, in 2011 it developed a project designed to improve the social and legal care of young children in Ndjamena in partnership with the Association for the Promotion of Fundamental Rights in Chad (Association pour la Promotion des Libertés Fondamentales au Tchad - APLFT).

Following the revolution of 14 January 2011 and on the recommendation of lawyers and other contacts established in the past during the days of Ben Ali, Avocats Sans Frontières organised a field study to identify issues in the field of access to justice in Tunisia. The extent of the requirements, as well as the dynamism and commitment of civil society in Tunisia, rapidly convinced ASF to act in support of the complex but promising transition process.

The partnership, based on the principles of joint implementation and sharing of experience and knowhow, shall bring greater benefits for the project’s target group and provide both associations with the opportunity to build up their experience in the field of legal assistance for vulnerable groups in society. The expatriate involved shall be a lawyer specialising in rights of the child recruited to ASF in April 2012 and who shall work from the APLFT offices in promoting awareness, capacity building for all the key participants in the sector (the conventional authorities, social workers, NGOs, police and law enforcement bodies, the legal system, lawyers, etc.), facilitating working relationships between all the participants concerned and developing practices complying with domestic and internal rules on children’s rights.

The mission head took up her office in October 2011 and several projects are currently being developed to assist participants in Tunisia – in particular civil society, lawyers and bar associations – to play their roles to the full. The challenges are many: a widespread call for justice in the face of an ailing judicial system corrupted by years of dictatorship, general mistrust in institutions of the State, great uncertainty about the management of the past and issues in relation to the transition of the judicial system.

Through this project and its presence on the ground, ASF also hopes to encourage the impetus existing in the field of justice in Chad: reports on the justice system overall, the adoption of a programme for justice reform and, in particular, the current debate of the institutionalisation of legal assistance supported by the United Nations and the European Union – the project’s principal funder.



International justice: Promoting the Rome Statute System and enhancing the effectiveness of the International Criminal Court New conflicts break out around the world every year and thousands of people are the victims of serious violations of human rights. Often far from national and international courts, they are deprived of their right to participate in proceedings brought against their aggressors and are unable to obtain redress for the injury they have suffered. Avocats Sans Frontières wants to tackle this problem through its project Promoting the Statute of Rome system and enhancing the efficiency of the International Criminal Court, launched at the end of 2010; at the same time, it advocates the principle of complementarity whereby the International Criminal Court (ICC) only has jurisdiction if the case is not already the subject of an inquiry or legal proceedings brought by a State competent for the matter concerned. Set to last three years, this multiple-country project, funded by the European Union and the MacArthur Foundation, works to strengthen the capacities of civil society, lawyers and participants in the judicial sector, develop regional and national networks within the legal profession advocating ratification of the Rome Statute and the adoption of implementing legislation, support and assess national legal proceedings, and provide legal assistance to victims. The countries concerned include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Burundi, East Timor, Nepal and Colombia*. Guatemala*, Chad, Guinea, Kenya and Zimbabwe shall take part in certain regional activities. The foundation stones for the project were laid down in 2011 and involved the different participants concerned preparing national action plans. Baseline studies were conducted to draw up international justice inventories for Guatemala*, Burundi, Kenya and Uganda (expertise and knowhow available, progress with implementation of the Rome Statute and the principle of complementarity) and meetings were organised with participants active in this area in Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Various advocacy initiatives were also undertaken at the level of the ICC by permanent missions to the Hague but also through shared working documents.

Training in Nepal on the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court © ASF

As part of this project, hundreds of victims of international crimes in the DRC have had their voices heard at the International Criminal Court thanks to the work performed by ASF teams on the ground and in its head office.


As part of this project, hundreds of victims of international crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo had their voices heard at the ICC thanks to the work performed by teams on the ground and at the ASF offices. For details of the activities undertaken in 2011 in Burundi, Nepal, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, see the relevant pages in this report. * Activities in Latin America are undertaken by Avocats Sans Frontières Canada. For details of those activities, see


The International Legal Network: Sharing of experience between law professionals

The international Legal Network in 2011, is … • Some 500 law professionals recruited to ASF. • The equivalent of 195 days of pro bono work. • 16 training missions for lawyers cooperating with ASF in Burundi, Nepal, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. • 2 one-month capacity building coaching sessions for lawyers in the ASF pool in Burundi involved in the priority areas for action (criminal procedures, detention pending trial). • 3 process observation missions to report on the equitable nature of the proceedings in the Rachel Corrie v. State of Israel case. • 2 members of the International Legal Network providing support throughout the year to fellow lawyers in Burundi and the Congo in dealing with emblematic cases. • 5 long-term contributions (some lasting for the full year), in the form of research, analysis and reports, to assist with the implementation of projects relating primarily to issues in Iran and Rwanda. • 1 exploratory mission in Tunisia to assess the possibilities for initiatives by ASF in the new setting.

Lawyer Suzanne Bukuru, a member of the ASF pool in Burundi, is helping two children being held in pre-trial detention © ASF/H. Talbi

The knowledge gained has helped me to obtain acquittals and successes in the cases entrusted to me by ASF (defence of minors, women in prison, victims of sexual violence and torture). Maître Arcade Habonimana, of the ASF pool of lawyers


In 2011, no fewer than 12 international lawyers (from Benin, Canada, Belgium, France and Luxembourg) went to Burundi, one after the other, on a pro bono basis to provide capacity building for lawyers in the ASF pool. Read the interview and cross-exchange between lawyers Hanan Talbi (Brussels bar) and Arcade Habonimana (Bujumbura bar) on pages 39-40.


Ms Talbi, you are a member of the International Legal Network and have among other things undertaken two tutoring missions for lawyers on how to monitor criminal cases: what do these coaching and training sessions involve?

Mr Habonimana, you are part of the pool of lawyers cooperating with ASF. Have your professional practices changed following the training sessions you received throughout the year? A.H. : I have, indeed, developed very relevant experience. The knowledge gained has helped me to obtain acquittals and successes in the cases entrusted to me by ASF (defence of minors, women in prison, victims of sexual violence and torture). Other colleagues in the pool have also developed by leaps and bounds.

H.T. : During the coaching session, which lasted one month, I met the lawyers individually, discussed their cases, and worked with them on their proposals for overcoming the obstacles and impasses they face. It is not a question of external monitoring or auditing, but of an exchange of experiences between colleagues, setting out the practical difficulties and legal imperatives and of joint reflection on how to reconcile the two in the customer’s interests. The peculiar feature is that the clients are the “needy”, as they are referred to in Belgium, or, perhaps more accurately in the case of Burundi, “vulnerable persons“.

Ms Hanan Talbi

This type of initiative is designed to be sustainable: each coach is a link in the chain and we have to ensure that our approach to the cases and to our work with the lawyers is consistent.

During a highly intensive one-week training session on pre-trial detention – an important problem in Burundi – I developed work modules for both the procedural and substantive aspects. I dealt with domestic and international legislation but also other sources of law less commonly used by practitioners: general principles of law, jurisprudence and case law, circular letters, etc. We did role play (on the relationship with the customer and oral submissions) and together developed a vade mecum.

Do you have the impression that your actions shall have a lasting impact on the work of lawyers in Burundi? H.T. : I am genuinely convinced of the merits of the coaching project and by the decision to provide intensive training to a pool of lawyers: thanks to tools at their disposal and the skills they have developed, these lawyers shall bring about change, not only to the practices of their fellow lawyers but also to those of judges and magistrates.

At a personal level, what have you gained from this experience?

I joined the ASF team just six months after having started as a lawyer and I therefore felt that I was still lacking in experience: the training sessions have helped me to bridge certain gaps and establish myself as a lawyer.

In your view, does the participation of an international lawyer provide added value? Mr Arcade Habonimana A.H. : The exchanges are particularly interesting: each of us contributes our own knowledge, background, working methods, etc. Having the viewpoint of an outsider on our work is very inspiring and makes it possible to develop new knowledge and skills.

What were the key benefits of the support you have been offered? A.H. : I have appreciated the consistency with which training is provided and the choice of coaches. Moreover, I should like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to you all.

And as for the future? A.H. : To be a lawyer calls for diligence and detailed knowledge. Ongoing training is needed. So I do indeed hope that ASF shall continue to provide that training, particularly in the criminal field, about which I am passionate.

H.T. : Countless highly positive meetings in Burundi and in the ASF offices. Exciting challenges a plenty! Thousands of ideas at every turn. Obvious personal and professional enrichment, the latter of which, I must admit, I had not expected. I have learnt a lot about my profession as a lawyer.



Our teams in 2011 Board of DirectorS

In Burundi

Hafida Talhaoui, President

Jean-Frédéric Mortiaux, Head of Mission

Peter Van der Auweraert, Vice-President Jean-Marc Verjus, Vice-President


Philippe Matthijs, Treasurer

Prudence Bugondo, Research Assistant

Filip Van Bergen, Secretary

Déo Burero, Housekeeper

Jérôme de Hemptinne , Lieven Denys, Peter De Smet, Myriam Kaminski, Pierre Legros,

Fanny Cachat, Program Support Officer

Anne Monseu, Marc Nève, Luc Walleyn

Freddy Gahuya, Logistician-Driver Sistor Havyarimana, Coordinator Legal Assistance


Ingrid Kanyamuneza, Coordinator Legal Aid

Francesca Boniotti, Executive Director

Georges Kony, Finance Coordinator Spès Nahabakomeye, Secretary

Jan Budding, Deputy Director

Chantal Nahishakiye, Assistant Legal Aid ASF stand during the 2011 “Belgian week” in Burundi © ASF

Jean Pierre Ndayiragije, Programme Assistant Strategic Coordination

Avit Ndayizeye, Assistant International Legal Network

Lara Deramaix, Strategic Coordinator - New Contexts

Adrien Nifasha, Manager of the decentralised office of Makamba

Hélène Morvan, Strategic Coordinator - Great Lakes a.i.

Grâce Nsabimana, Technical Assistant

Chantal van Cutsem, Strategic Coordinator - Great Lakes

Jean Nsengiyumva, Supervision and Evaluation Officer Egide Nshimirimana, Legal Aid Assistant

Thematic expertise & Project coordination

Eugène Ntaganda, Regional Research Coordinator

Gilles Durdu, Legal Aid Quality Officer

Rose Ntawumenyakaziri, Secretary Legal Aid

Namuezi Fedi, Access to Justice Expert

Laetitia Ntezicimpa, Central Bookkeeper

Dadimos Haile, International Justice Expert

Evelyne Nyagasa, Finance Assistant

Myriam Khaldi, Technical Expert

Gilbert Nzeyimana, Coordinator Administration and logistics

Catherine Lalonde, Strategic Litigation & International Legal Network Coordinator

Gérard Sindayihebura, Programme Assistant Legal Assistance Project

Luc Meissner, International Justice Programme Coordinator

Juste Yamuremye, Legal Support

Julien Moriceau, Quality and Learning Expert

Drivers: Pasteur Baranyanka, Pierre Gahungu, Jean Marie Ndikumana

Jean-Charles Paras, Civil and Political Rights Expert

Security Guards: Aron Mpawenimana, Patrick Ndayizeye, Léonidas Niyongabo

Inès Rubio, Technical Assistant Shira Stanton, Economic and Social Rights Expert

Gitega Willy Bigirimana, Housekeeper

Administration, finances and logistics

Diomède Kagisye, Legal Support

Xavier Lalanne, Finance and Administration Director

J. Berchmans Ndayishimiye, Manager Legal Aid Office of Gitega a.i.

Marion Hugonny, Financial Controller

Barnabé Nyandwi, Driver

Sabrina Lambe, Human Resources Manager Sébastien Lecomte, Financial Controller


Antonio Limanni, Logistician

Emannuel Bigirimana and Félicien Hatungimana, Legal Support

Stéphanie Patrois, Financial Controller

J. Claude Habarugira, Driver Pontien Ndayishimiye, Manager of the decentralised office of Ngozi

Communications and external relations

Josiane Nibigira, Housekeeper

Séverine Degée, Communication Officer Gilles Van Moortel, Senior External Relations Officer

Rumonge Thadée Manirakiza, Legal Support

Manuela Torrao Pereira, Housekeeper Interns: Josje Beukema, Athéna Chantzara, Els Dehantschutter, Christian Ernhecle, Laurie Haddad, Adrien Lantieri, Nora Loozen, Anouche Mardikian, Anne-Gabrielle Pocris, Ines Rubio, Vanessa Willems Volunteers: Frédéric Ernotte, Gisèle Van Antwerpen



In Nepal

Security Guards: Noël Bizimana, Jacques Habimana, Léonidas Habyalimana, James Ngarambe, Jean Claude Nsengimana, Joseph Tuyisenge

Julie Fournier, Head of Mission

Housekeepers: Josephine Mukabayingana, Jeanette Nyiramboneza, Yvette Umutoni Drivers: Pascal Cyubahiro Sezirahiga, Laurent Ngabibanje

Gopi Parajuli, National Programme Manager Binaya Parajuli, National Manager Finance and Administration

In Uganda Séverine Moisy, Head of Mission Melanie Reimer, Head of Mission a.i. Kampala Wilson Jamo, Driver Estella Kabachwezi, Fiona Kwezi and Adam Kyomuhendo, Interns Legal aid Oscar Kalonji and Sébastien Lecomte, Finance, administration and logistics Coordinators Margaret, Housekeeper Dora Mirembe and Ronald Mutalya, Lawyers Abel Muzaale, Logistics Assistant Barbara Nambi, Programme Coordinator Access to Justice Sharon Nankadha, Project Assistant ICC Kenneth Sseguya, Finance & Administration Assistant Mary Consolate Ujeo, Legal Analyst Katakwi Angella Agado, Programme Coordination Assistant Richard Olaja, Driver Soroti Lillian Abalo and David Obore, Interns Legal aid Olive Achipa, Finance, Administration and Logistics Coordinator Samuel Arimon and Judith Nsenge, Programme Coordinators (Teso) Godfrey Ekweny, Driver Deogratias Okot, Assistant Phillip Opio, Lawyer

In Rwanda Karine Ruel, Head of mission Hugues Mukendi, Programme Coordinator access to justice and Head of mission a.i. Espérance Bora Nyiringabo, Bookkeeper Assistant Liliane Icyimpaye, Secretary-Bookkeeper Ben Kabagambe and Clotilde Mukandera, Judicial Assistants Access to Justice Agnès Mukaneza, Programme Secretary Access to Justice Marie Louise Mukashema and Clarisse Munezero, Legal clinic Coordinators Elise Wardah Mutoniwase and Espérance Uwiteguye, Secretary Legal Aid Offices Appolinaire Nshimiyimana, Lostician Grâce Nyiratunga, Administrative, Finance and Logistics Assistant


ASF’s Head of Mission and a Coordinator of the Social Welfare Council © ASF


In the Democratic Republic of Congo Aurore Decarnières, Head of Mission

Mbandaka Fabien Kiyimbi, Office Coordinator Séraphin Bompunza and Mutien Ilinga, Security Guards


Marc Hyacinthe Makwala, Assistant Legal Clinics

Jean Pierre Bakuela, Administrative Assistant

Robert Nyabokebo, Programme Assistant Sexual Violence

Jerry Ebanda, Logistician Alphonse Kamba, Programme Coordinator Legal clinics Dominique Kamuandu, Programme Coordinator Sexual Violence

In Tunisia

Jackie Kanku, Housekeeper

Solène Rougeaux, Head of Mission

Gaston Karambiri, Finance and Logistics Coordinator Jean de Dieu Kihoni, Programme Assistant International Justice Honorine Kitoko, Bookkeeper Berry Lukanda, Administration Coordinator Daudat Lutala, Programme Coordinator Access to Justice Julien Mbikayi, Programme Coordinator International Justice Willy Mukangala, Programme Assistant Sexual Violence Papy Ndondoboni, Programme Coordinator International Justice Espérant Ndunda, Secretary Logistician Sylviane Puertas, Finance Coordinator Esaïe Tshamundele, Receptionist Chris Tshibala, Housekeeper Esther Vidikuaku, Housekeeper Drivers: Walter Batshina, Manu Mbuta, Daniel Sabwe Bukavu Claude Maon, Office Coordinator Florence Schinckus, Office Coordinator Benjamin Bukaraba, Driver Julien Cigolo, Programme Assistant Sexual Violence Etienne Kaloge, Administration and Finances Prudence Mapendo, Bookkeeper Zacharie Mikwege, Housekeeper Jospin Muganza, Intern Programme Assistant Legal Clinics Innocent Musafiri, Logistician Jean Mutebesha, Programme Assistant Mobile Courts James Songa Kilauri, Programme Assistant International Justice Germaine Ungaobe, Programme Assistant legal clinics Kindu Juvénal Djende and Octave Kabeya, Programme Assistants Legal Clinics Théophile Kibisa, Secretary Logistician Octave Kabeya, Programme Assistant Sexual Violence Joseph Kaya and Kayembe wa Kayembe, Security Guards The ASF team in Kindu, DR Congo © ASF



Financial report 2011 financing

Operating Charges in 2011

Grants from institutional donors represent the largest part of the ASF budget, contributing 93% of revenues of the organisation. These funds are linked to the implementation of the programmes in the countries where ASF is active.

The implementation of activities in the field represents EUR 3,863,673 or 82% of the expenses in 2010.

In terms of institutional donors, ASF receives significant support from various governments and private foundations. Our primary donors are the UK Government (42%), the Belgian Government (26% only now that funding for the Great Lakes project has ended), the European Union (15%), USAID and the United Nations (5% each). As for non-institutional donors, key sources of funding include the Belgian bar associations, as well as private donations of ASF members and the general public.

Burundi and the DR Congo are the largest programmes in terms of expenditure, with more than EUR 1.1 million, each of them accounting for 25% of expenses. The share represented by structuring costs increased from 13.5% to 18%, primarily due to the investment made by ASF in exploratory missions (Tunisia, Chad), in staff training (Heads of Mission and administrative, financial and logistics coordinators for the missions) and in the recruitment of new thematic experts and a senior communications officer.

Breakdown of expenses

For the first time, ASF also acted as a services company by providing the consultancy services put in place by its experts in Chad and Haiti. Annual operating revenue for the association reached EUR 4,700,879 in 2011, compared to EUR 4,537,986 in 2010, that is to say an increase of 3.5%.

Sources of funding

Human Resources As of 31 December 2011, ASF employed 133 individuals of a dozen nationalities, including 99 people recruited locally by ASF missions in the field, 15 expatriate staff in the missions, and 19 people in headquarters.

Risk Management The risk management of the organisation is tailored to the specific conditions in which ASF implements its activities. In effect, many of those activities are carried out by local offices situated in fragile and/or postconflict countries. Today, the aim of the control procedures and measures put in place – both in terms of finance and general management – is to respond to the needs of these contexts in an appropriate manner.



Balance sheet

Profit and Loss Account















I. Operating Income 20/28

II. Intangible assets III. Tangible assets


21 22/27

Installations, machinery and equipment B.





C. Furniture and vehicles





IV. Financial assets






B. Membership fee, donations and legacies








a. Cotisations




c. Dons Barreaux

b. Dons personnes physiques




d. Dons autres personnes morales













C. Other operating income




II. Operating charges

IX. Cash at bank and in hand





X. Deferred charges and accrued income















B. Salaries, social welfare contribution and pensions









C. Depreciation D Amounts written off on trade debtors





E. Provision for risks and losses





F. Other operating charges














III. Operating profit IV. Financial income





V. Financial charges












VI. Subsides en capital
















A. Services and other goods


Loss brought forward








V. Profit brought forward

4. Other risks and losses

B. Financial debts





C. Trade creditors





E. Taxes , salaries and social welfare contributions





VI. Gain on ordinary activities before taxes


VII. Extraordinary income





VIII. Extraordinary charges





















IX. Profit for the financial year


1. Taxes





A. Profit to be appropriated


2. Salaries and social welfare contribution





a. Profit for the year available for appropriation


F. Other debts


b. Profit brought forward from the previous year

3. Non-interest bearing debt (donor advances)





IV. Reserves











A. Revenues

VII. Amounts receivable within one year










X. Accruals and deferred income










B. Allocation to association fund C. Profit to be carried forward

790 691/2 793/693

Receivables and debts from donors represent, respectively, the amount of expenses incurred by ASF in the context of funding contracts but not yet reimbursed by donors, and advances made by donors that have not yet been spent by ASF.

For a clearer presentation of the accounts, the costs of national staff of the missions are included in IIB “Salaries, benefits and pensions”. This classification differs from the version of the annual accounts 2009 and 2010 published at the National Bank of Belgium (NBN) in which they appear under the preceding heading IIA “Services and various goods”. From 2011, the accounts published by the National Bank of Belgium include the salaries of national mission office staff under account 62 (heading IIB).



Avocats Sans Frontières asbl rue de Namur 72 Naamsestraat - 1000 Brussels Belgium Phone: +32 (0)2 223 36 54 Fax : +32 (0)2 223 36 14 Coordination: Séverine Degée Graphic Design: Total Design Belgium Responsible editor: Francesca Boniotti Cover photograph: International Women’s Day in Bukavu © ASF/C. Maon


Annual Report 2011  

Annual report 2011 English version