On 23 September, in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, the Syracuse International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights held in their headquarters the memorial service dedicated to Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, who passed away on 25 September 2017. Founder and historical president of the Institute, in November 2016 Professor Bassiouni also became President of the Scientific Council of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law “Marco Pannella” (GCRL). The Representative of the Nonviolent Radical Party at UN Laura Harth and myself attended the ceremony in Siracusa, Italy.
After the opening remarks by the President of the Institute, attorney general Jean-François Thony, several key judicial and political actors took the floor to recall the extraordinary career and achievements obtained by Cherif Bassiouni in the field of human rights protection, fight against corruption, and promotion of a global culture of justice. President Mattarella closed the ceremony unveiling a commemorative plaque to dedicate the Siracusa Institute to Professor Bassiouni and renaming it M. Cherif Bassiouni Centre.
As the Secretary General of the Siracusa Institute Paolo Reale put it, remembering his mentor: “If the youth is able to recover those principles that basically consist of respect for human rights we have a future, we have hope.” Laura and I had the privilege to witness directly professor Bassiouni’s ability to create an immediate feeling with young people and to infuse in their hearts courage and hope. We remain grateful to Cherif Bassiouni for his invaluable support to the advancement of the right to know and for his trust in our project and we will do our best to follow the path we were encouraged to take.
More information available on the website of the Siracusa Institute