Turkey: Turkish gov’t detains former police intelligence chief and judge wife over alleged Gülen links

May 22, 2018

Turkish police detained Zeki Güven, former intelligence chief of the Ankara Police Department, and his wife, Judge Sevda Güven, on Tuesday in a shopping mall in Eskişehir province as part of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement.

According to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, detention warrants issued by Ankara’s 2nd, 4th and 14th high criminal courts are outstanding for Zeki Güven over his alleged involvement in the revelation of a sex scandal concerning Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal in 2010. Judge Sevda Güven is also reportedly wanted over alleged membership in the Gülen movement.



Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia is interrogating ten women’s rights activists who fought for the right to drive, despite the Crown Prince’s promises of change

May 22, 2018

In this March 29 photo, Aziza al-Yousef drives a car on a highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving. Aziza is also said to have been arrested. She is a retired professor at King Saud University, a mother of five and a grandmother of eight

Saudi Arabia is holding and interrogating at least 10 women’s rights activists – seven women and three men – without any access to lawyers, according to people familiar with the arrests.

The detentions are seen as a culmination of a steady crackdown on perceived critics of the government and come just a month before the ultra-conservative kingdom is set to lift the world’s only ban on women driving.

People familiar with the arrests say the activists were allowed just one phone call to worried relatives a week ago, and that one of the women has been held entirely incommunicado.

The sweep began a week ago, on May 15, when police detained the 10 in the capital, Riyadh, and transferred them to the city of Jiddah. Their exact whereabouts now are unknown. Saudi media say the arrests were carried out by forces from the Presidency of State Security, a body that reports directly to the king and crown prince.


Al-Mudaimigh is a lawyer who defended al-Hathloul during her detention in 2015 for attempting to cross the UAE-Saudi border while driving. He has supported human rights defenders in court and offered legal representation to activists in the kingdom.

He’s also represented Waleed Abulkhair, a human rights lawyer now serving a 15-year sentence who’d represented Raif Badawi, a blogger who was publicly flogged in 2015 and is serving 10 years in prison.

Activists say al-Mudaimigh, who ran his own practice, was one of the few lawyers in Saudi Arabia willing to defend human rights activists since others have either fled or been detained.



Saudi female activists arrested, barred from accessing lawyers: sources







https://www.hrw.org/ar/news/2018/05/19/318117 (ARABIC)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/arabie-saoudite-femmes-au-volant-repression-au-tournant (FRANCAIS)

https://www.es.amnesty.org/en-que-estamos/noticias/noticia/articulo/arabia-saudi-aterradora-campana-de-difamacion-contra-defensores-y-defensoras-de-los-derechos-hum/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.hrw.org/zh-hans/news/2018/05/18/318122 (CHINESE)

http://www.bbc.com/indonesia/dunia-44191171 (INDONESIAN)

http://www.bbc.com/swahili/habari-44189137 (SWAHILI)

Turkey: Turkish court rejects appeal for release of HDP’s jailed presidential candidate Demirtaş

May 22, 2018

Turkish court rejects appeal for release of HDP’s jailed presidential candidate Demirtaş

A Turkish court rejected an appeal on May 21 for the release of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) former leader and presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş, the party said, a month before snap parliamentary and presidential elections.

Demirtaş, who has been in jail for a year and a half on security charges and faces a jail sentence of up to 142 years if convicted, was nominated by the HDP as a presidential candidate earlier this month.

Last week, the HDP applied for Demirtaş’s release before next month’s snap election, saying his detention jeopardized voter freedom.

Turkey’s High Electoral Board has approved his candidacy and Demirtaş is running his presidential campaign from behind bars.

“We condemn this lawless decision which prevents an equal and fair election. Every day that Demirtaş, the candidate of millions, is not with his voters will cast a shadow on the June 24 elections and put into question its legitimacy,” the HDP said on Twitter.

A former human rights lawyer, Demirtaş is one of Turkey’s best-known politicians, winning votes beyond his core Kurdish constituency in 2015 elections. Prosecutors charge that he and hundreds of other detained HDP members are tied to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).







http://www.haberturk.com/hdp-selahattin-demirtas-kararina-itiraz-edecek-1979506 (TURKCE)

https://www.haberler.com/demirtas-in-avukatlari-tahliye-talebinin-reddine-10876445-haberi/ (TURKCE)

http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/05/22/turquie-d-une-prison-l-autre_5302500_3214.html (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selahattin_Demirta%C5%9F (FRANCAIS)

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/tuerkei-wahlkampf-die-front-gegen-recep-tayyip-erdogan-waechst-a-1208318.html (DEUTSCH)

http://www.globalist.it/world/articolo/2018/05/22/resta-in-carcere-demirtas-il-candidato-curdo-per-le-presidenziali-in-turchia-2024710.html (ITALIANO)

The Philippines: Judicial group concerned over SC decision vs. Sereno, hopes due process is preserved

May 21, 2018

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The Judicial Reform Initiative (JRI) has expressed concern over the decision of the Supreme Court to oust former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

“We respect the power and prerogative of the Supreme Court to hear and decide on petitions brought before its chambers,” the JRI said in a statement dated May 14.

“However, we are concerned that the quo warranto petition against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was given precedence over the constitutionally mandated impeachment proceedings that had already progressed to a substantial extent in Congress at the time the petition was filed,” it added.

The JRI, a private sector umbrella group created by judicial advocacy groups, underscored that determining whether the accusations against Sereno have basis lies solely in the hands of the Congress through an impeachment trial.

“We take particular note of the Court’s statement in the decision that the Chief Justice ‘chronically failed to file her SALNs and thus violated the Constitution, the law and the Code of Judicial Conduct,'”  the JRI said.

“Without passing judgment on the conclusion, this can qualify as grounds for impeachment, the determination of which is left by the Constitution exclusively to Congress through the impeachment process,” it added.

Amid the decision, the JRI said it is hoping that “due process will be preserved and any motion for reconsideration given utmost respect and attention.”










Italy: Buste con proiettili e foto di Giuseppe Russo alla madre e all’avvocato di famiglia


Il ragazzo venne fatto sparire ed ucciso nel 1994. Il legale ha seguito tutta la vicenda penale e sta proseguendo ora il suo mandato in sede civile


Due buste con proiettili e le due metà di una foto di Giuseppe Russo, il ragazzo barbaramente ucciso e fatto sparire nel 1994 ad Acquaro, nel Vibonese, sono staterecapitate alla madre Teresa Lochiatto e all’avvocato di famiglia Marco Talarico.
La madre ha ricevuto la busta questo pomeriggio intorno alle 14.30 e si è immediatamente messa in contatto con i Carabinieri.
Nei giorni scorsi l’altra busta era stata intercettata al Centro Meccanografico delle Poste di Lamezia. Marco Talarico è il legale della famiglia e ha seguito tutta la vicenda giudiziaria che si è conclusa in sede penale con la condanna definitiva di mandante ed esecutore materiale e che adesso sta proseguendo il suo mandato in sede civile.

Pino Russo aveva solo ventidue anni e viveva ad Acquaro, piccolo centro del Vibonese, quando scomparve misteriosamente dopo avere iniziato da poco a frequentare la cognata del boss Gallace. Una giovanissima donna che nelle mire della ‘ndrangheta doveva essere il gancio per stringere nuove alleanze e creare nuovi ponti all’interno della rete della criminalità organizzata e che non poteva permettersi di innamorarsi di chi voleva. Uscito per andare a Vibo, Pino non avrebbe ai fatto ritorno a casa. Si scoprirà solo dopo, grazie ad un pentito, che era stato attirato in una trappola, ucciso con un colpo di pistola alla testa, gettato in una buca, il suo corpo dato alle fiamme. E mentre il fuoco ardeva, sparato ancora, per sfregio.




(N.B. Death threat in the form of a letter containing bullets sent to a lawyer in Italy.)

Egypt: Freedom for Haitham Mohamedain: speaking up for social justice is not a crime

May 22, 2018

Image result for haytham mohamadeen lawyer

Trade unionists, MPs, writers and academics have launched a protest statement calling for the immediate release of Egyptian labour lawyer Haitham Mohamedain who was seized by the security forces from his home on 18 May. Haitham appeared in court the following day and was remanded in custody for 15 days to face interrogation on charges of “inciting protests over the price of Metro tickets”. His detention follows a wave of arrests in the wake of demonstrations against the sharp rise in fares on Cairo’s underground railways.

Speaking out for social justice is not crime. Add your name to the petition demanding Haitham’s immediate release and an end to repression in Egypt.

Sign the petition online here

Statement text: Freedom for Haitham Mohamedain – Stop the repression in Egypt

Early on Friday 18 May, Egyptian security forces stormed the house of labour lawyer and socialist activist Haitham Mohamedain, taking him away to an unknown destination. Haitham is a well-known defender of workers’ rights, and has worked tirelessly to support independent trade unionists facing state persecution for demanding better working conditions and the right to organise and strike. In addition, as Amnesty International notes, he “has been persecuted by the Egyptian authorities for his human rights work”, playing a crucial role in defending the El Nadeem Centre – which supports victims of torture and violence – from harassment and persecution by the authorities.

On Saturday 19 May, Haitham appeared in court and was remanded in custody for 15 days. According to reports from human rights activists in Egypt, he is being interrogated in relation to “incitement to protest over the price of Metro tickets.”

Freedom for Haitham Mohamedain: speaking up for social justice is not a crime



http://www.idhae.org/OBSAV-fr-wewsegy1870519.htm (FRANCAIS)


Thailand: On 4th anniversary of Thai coup, former law student remains in prison

May 21, 2018

(Jatupat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa (right) and Boonpattararaksa (left) and Vasin Prommanee, seen here at the time of their arrest, had charges dropped of violating the constitution referendum law.)

On May 22, 2014, the National Council for Peace and Order came to power in Thailand. The four years since have seen a dramatic increase in the number of prosecutions for the crime of lèse majesté, or insulting the crown. On the four year anniversary of the coup, Scholars at Risk (SAR) remains particularly concerned over the sentencing on lèse majesté charges of Jatupat “Pai” Boonpattararaksa, a former Khon Kaen University law student and activist.

SAR understands that on December 2, 2016, Mr. Boonpattararaksa posted a BBC Thai article about King Rama X, who ascended the throne that month, on his Facebook account. Authorities arrested him the following day, charging him under Article 112 with lèse majesté, marking the first instance of a student detained in connection with such a charge since the new king’s ascension to the throne. Although the article has reportedly been reposted by more than 2,500 others, we understand that only Mr. Boonpattararaksa was arrested and charged with a crime for doing so.

SAR further understands that Mr. Boonpattararaksa was released on bail the day after his arrest, but was re-arrested and his bail revoked on December 22, 2016, after he posted additional Facebook comments regarding the circumstances of his arrest and prosecution. On February 10, 2017, following weeks of protests and calls for his release, the Khon Kaen Provincial Court formally indicted Mr. Boonpattararaksa on charges of lèse majesté and violation of Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act, which criminalizes the “importation of illegal computer content.” Mr. Boonpattararaksa’s requests for bail were denied ten times by the court, most recently on June 30, 2017. Following more than seven months of detention, Mr. Boonpattararaksa pleaded guilty to the charges against him on August 15, 2017. The court sentenced him to five years in prison, a term which was then reduced to two and a half years. Mr. Boonpattararaksa reportedly took his final exams for law school while in prison, in December 2017; however, he was not permitted to participate in graduation ceremonies.