Tunisia: Solidarity with Tunisian lawyers 2016

December 4, 2016

Turkey: Eren Keskin

le 4 décembre, 2016


Pays d’origine : Turquie

Profession : avocate

Causes défendues : membre active de l’Association turque des droits de l’Homme (IHD), fondatrice d’un bureau d’aide juridique au profit des femmes violées ou abusées sexuellement par les forces de sécurité nationales dans les prisons turques, engagée dans la lutte contre les discriminations, le harcèlement sexuel et les exactions contre les minorités.

Eren Keskin est une avocate et militante des droits humains turque. Elle exerce en tant qu’avocate depuis plus de trente ans, et est une membre active de l’Association turque des droits de l’Homme (IHD), depuis sa création en 1986. En 1997, elle fonde avec d’autres femmes avocates, un bureau d’aide juridique au profit des femmes violées ou abusées sexuellement par les forces de sécurité nationales dans les prisons turques.

Eren Keskin critique ouvertement et depuis des décennies, les abus des autorités étatiques. En particulier, un discours prononcé il y a 11 ans, dans lequel elle avait accusé l’État turc d’avoir « massacré un enfant de 12 ans », Uğur Kaymaz tué en 2004 par l’armée, avait fortement irrité les autorités. L’avocate avait en effet affirmé que le meurtre de ce jeune garçon entachait l’histoire de la Turquie, et qu’à ce titre, l’Etat se devait de rendre des comptes.


Turkey: PRESS RELEASE The CCBE 2016 Human Rights Award

December 2, 2016

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) today granted its 2016 Human Rights Award to four Turkish lawyers who have been particularly active in the defence of human rights and the rule of law in Turkey.

At its Plenary Session in Brussels, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) granted its 2016 Human Rights Award to four Turkish lawyers: Ayşe Bingöl Demir, Ayşe Acinikli, Ramazan Demir and posthumously to Tahir Elçi.

Tahir Elçi was a Turkish human rights lawyer and the President of the Diyarbakır Bar Association and worked on cases concerning the persecution of Kurds and the grave violations of human rights in Turkey. He was one of the key figures in the struggle for a rule of law in Turkey and fought for the respect of democracy and due process. Mr Elçi was murdered on 28 November 2015.

Ayşe Bingöl Demir is a Turkish lawyer who has brought several cases alleging violations of human rights before domestic courts and institutions in Turkey, as well as before the European Court of Human Rights. She has worked extensively on the internal displacement phenomenon in Turkey, representing hundreds of internally displaced persons before the ECtHR.

Ayşe Acinikli is a Turkish lawyer, member of the Association of Libertarian Lawyers (ÖHD). She was one of the nine lawyers arrested and placed in custody in March 2016. She was released along with her colleagues on 19 March and again arrested on 6 April, together with Ramazan Demir. She was conditionally released on 7 September 2016.

Ramazan Demir is a Turkish lawyer who is also the Secretary General of the Association of Libertarian Lawyers (ÖHD), and who works with many human rights NGOs and organisations. In March 2016, he was arrested together with nine other lawyers and was accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation and propagandising for it. All the lawyers arrested were representing the 46 lawyers who were in turn arrested in 2011 on suspicion of “working for, or belonging to, a terrorist organisation”.


http://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/HUMAN_RIGHTS_AWARD/2016/FR_HRA_PR_1016.pdf (FRANCAIS)

USA/Mexico: Man gets life in prison for role in cartel lawyer slaying in Southlake

December 2, 2016

Officers from several cities and counties work the May 2013 shooting at Southlake Town Square.

A 60-year-old man has been sentenced to two life sentences in federal prison for his part in the brazen 2013 murder of a Mexican cartel lawyer at a Southlake shopping center.

Jose Luis Cepeda-Cortes, a Mexican citizen, had been convicted in May on single counts of interstate stalking, conspiracy to commit murder for hire and tampering with documents or proceedings.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means sentenced Cepeda-Cortes to two life sentences as well as a 20-year sentence to run concurrently.

The man’s 60-year-old cousin, Jesus “Chuy” Gerardo Ledezma-Cepeda, is expected to be sentenced Tuesday.

Ledezma-Cepeda was also convicted in May on single counts of interstate stalking and conspiracy to commit murder for hire. He faces up to a life sentence and a $250,000 fine on each count.

Ledezma-Cepeda’s son, 33-year-old Jesus Gerardo Ledezma-Campano, had pleaded guilty in March to one count of interstate stalking. He was sentenced in August to 20 years in prison.


Day of the Endangered Lawyer: 2017: PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

Day of the Endangered Lawyer

On January 24th, 2017 – the seventh year of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer- the focus will be on China. Lawyering could be a highly risky profession in China especially for human rights lawyers. In the absence of an independent judicial system, the 300,000-odd lawyers in China are subject to close monitoring by the authorities in their work. Rights lawyers who insist in taking up cases with human rights implications, in procedural justice and refuse to succumb to the government’s intervention in their case-handling are prone to even greater risk of harassment and suppression. They are subject to the control of the authorities via both legal and non-legal means.

In the summer of the 2015, a crackdown on rights lawyers in an unprecedented scale took place in China. The incident is now commonly known as the 709 Crackdown to commemorate the date of 9 July when the first lawyer was taken away by police in the early hours of the day. The crackdown has drawn extensive outcry and criticisms from the international communities including many lawyers groups and bar associations from around the world. By far, over 300 lawyers and civil society activists have been impacted. They have either been detained, temporarily detained, harassed, interrogated or banned from travelling out of the country. Among the lawyers subsequently arrested and prosecuted, many have been detained incommunicado, without being allowed to meet their defence counsels of their or their family’s choosing. Some of the detained lawyers have been reported being tortured. In early August, one of the detained lawyers was trialed and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for “subverting state power”

As of 17 October 2016, 6 rights lawyers have remained in detention pending for trial. They are Li Heping, Wang Quanzhang, Xie Yang, Xie Yangyi, Li Chunfu and Liu Sixin (pdf). Apart those who have been impacted by the 709 Crackdown, it is also important that the international community remember a few other rights who have been sentenced to jail for exercising their civil and political rights:



Kenya/Iran/Israel: Iran Urges Kenya to Release Citizens Held on Suspicion of Plotting Attack on Israeli Embassy

December 2, 2016

Sayed Nasrollah Ebrahimi and Abdolhosein Ghola Safafe are charged for taking video clips of the Israeli embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, December 1, 2016.

Iran urged Kenya on Friday to immediately release two Iranians charged with collecting information for a terrorist act after filming the Israeli Embassy in Nairobi, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
The two Iranian nationals and their Kenyan driver were arrested in a car belonging to the Iranian Embassy on Tuesday. The diplomatic status of the two Iranians was unclear.
Tasnim reported that the Kenyan ambassador to Tehran was summoned on Thursday by Iran’s Foreign Ministry over the arrest and that the “necessity for the immediate release of the two Iranians was underlined during the meeting.”
An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman denied any wrongdoing by the arrested men, saying they were university teachers in Tehran.
“The two Iranians are lawyers who had gone to Kenya to provide their jailed Iranian clients in Kenya with legal counseling,” spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said. “Police arrested them as they returned from a meeting with their clients in prison.”


Colombia: Reinaldo Villalba Vargas

le 3 décembre, 2016


Pays d’origine : Colombie

Profession : Avocat

Causes défendues : defense des paysans, syndicalistes, étudiants et opposants politiques. Il a participé à de nombreux procès à la suite de massacres et d’assassinats liés au conflit armé en Colombie.

Vice-Président du Collectif d’Avocats José Alvear Restrepo – CCAJAR, Reinaldo Villalba Vargas fait partie de ces avocats colombiens qui ont dédié leur carrière à la défense de leurs concitoyens dont les droits furent violés, de manière grave et persistante tout au long du conflit armé qu’a connu la Colombie. Pour cet engagement, il a subi de très nombreuses pressions et persecutions et demeure l’un des avocats les plus menaces du pays.

Né le 15 juillet 1959 à Fusagasugá en Colombie, l’engagement de Reinaldo Villalba Vargas en faveur des droits civils et politiques commence très tôt lorsqu’il prend part aux activités des syndicats étudiants pour la defense de l’éducation publique. Diplômé de l’Université de droit et sciences politiques de Colombie, il se spécialise en droit pénal et collabore dès 1992 avec le collectif d’avocats “José Alvear Restrepo”, une organisation non-gouvernementale qui oeuvre en faveur des droits de l’Homme depuis près de 40 ans et est membre du réseau de la FIDH et de l’OMCT, ainsi que membre consultatif devant l’OEA.