Professor Em. M. Cherif Bassiouni passed away today at his home in Chicago. He was an extraordinary man and scholar, with whom we have had the enormous pleasure and honour of working together. In him we found an enthusiastic friend for the promotion of the Rule of Law. In November 2016, Professor Bassiouni accepted our proposal to collaborate with the Global Committee for the Rule of Law “Marco Pannella”, of which he became President of the Scientific Council. A longstanding companion of the Nonviolent Radical Party, in particular in the struggle for the creation of the International Criminal Court, Cherif Bassiouni dedicated himself up until his very last days to the teaching and promotion of international law and human rights, and to the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, which he founded. His passing is a huge loss, his voice and knowledge will be profoundly missed by all those who defend humanity in its deepest values.
We wish to recall his wise words during the presentation of the document for the right to know, which we had the joy of organizing and presenting together with him on May 29th, 2017, in Siracusa:
“we find ourselves on a radically different path than the one chosen in 1948. […] Therefore, this (recognition of the right to know, ndr) is an important step forward as it lays the foundations of a principle. The battle will be long, because every step will be countered by States. To States, realpolitik means they can choose what information to share with the public and what information not to share. Getting to the point where one can force the State to disclose those informations it does not wish to share is close to impossible, because there is no political counter-part keen on stimulating, motivating or enforcing such a right. But, of course, we have no choice. We cannot remain indifferent. Just remember what indifference has led to in the past: in 1939, a Holocaust of 6 million Jews and 20 million Slavs. Largely due to indifference.
After Marco Pannella, we loose another great wiseman and for this reason we will have to multiply our efforts to be worthy of their vision and for having had the fortune and privilege of knowing them. Farewell and thank you, Cherif.
Global Committee for the Rule of Law “Marco Pannella”
Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational Transparty
Hands Off Cain