Monthly Archives: June 2015

UK: Legal aid cuts: lawyers to begin boycott that could see courts grind to a halt (The Guardian)

June 30, 2015

Criminal courts could begin grinding to a halt from Wednesday after solicitors and barristers agreed to boycott new cases paid at lower legal aid rates.

The swell of support for direct action follows mass meetings across England and Wales. Fees for duty solicitors to attend magistrates courts and police stations will fall by 8.75% on 1 July; a similar cut was imposed last year.

Criminal solicitors warn that the introduction of new legal aid contracts, due to come into force in January, will force the closure of many law firms and mass redundancies. With the disappearance of experienced lawyers, they argue, the quality of representation will fall and there will be more miscarriages of justice.


In March 2014, human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko, and magazine editor, Bheki Makhubu, were arrested and charged with contempt of court. Maseko and Makhubu had both written articles in Makhubu’s magazine, The Nation, in which they criticised the Swazi judiciary and the Chief Justice. Despite various applications for their release and the recusal of the presiding judge, in July 2014 Judge Mpendulo Simelane found the pair guilty of contempt and sentenced them to a two-year jail term without the option of a fine.

In November 2014, the Supreme Court heard an appeal brought by the Chief Justice against the April 2014 judgment of High Court Judge Mumcy Dlamini. Judge Dlamini had found that Maseko and Makhubu’s arrest and detention was unlawful and unconstitutional and ordered that they be released. However, despite this judgment, Maseko and Makhubu were later rearrested and stood trial.

Egypte: le procureur général du Caire tué dans un attentat (RFI)

le 29 juin, 2015

Le procureur général égyptien Hicham Barakat est mort ce lundi après-midi des suites de ses blessures lors d’un attentat à la bombe qui a visé son cortège dans la matinée. Six autres personnes ont été blessées dans cet attentat à la bombe télécommandée, survenu près du domicile du procureur, dans le quartier résidentiel d’Héliopolis au Caire. Par ailleurs, une personne au moins a été tuée et onze autres blessées dans un autre attentat à la bombe, perpétré dans la ville de Cheikh Zoweid dans le Nord-Sinaï.

L’attentat contre le procureur général est le plus spectaculaire exécuté contre une personnalité égyptienne depuis celui qui avait visé l’ex-ministre de l’Intérieur en 2013.

C’est aussi le quatrième magistrat égyptien tué dans une série d’attentats exécutés par des extrémistes musulmans. Ces derniers avaient juré de se venger après l’exécution en mai de six membres d’une cellule liée au groupe Etat islamique.

Egypt: Egypt prosecutor Hisham Barakat killed in Cairo attack (BBC)

June 29, 2015

Egypt’s public prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, has been killed in a bomb attack on his car in Cairo, officials say.

Mr Barakat died of his wounds in hospital after the bombing in the suburb of Heliopolis, a government spokesman told the BBC.

State media said that at least eight others were also hurt in the attack.

Mr Barakat has referred thousands of Islamists to trial since the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Vietnam: End of Arbitrary Detention of human rights lawyer Mr. Le Quoc Quan | Letter

June 24, 2015

Eleven international human rights NGOs applaud the anticipated release on 27 June 2015 of human rights lawyer and blogger  Le Quoc Quan most recently in prison since 27 December 2012. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention recommended his release in November 2013.

Kyrgyz Republic: Supreme Court decision protects the role of lawyers and the independence of the judiciary (ICJ)

June 25, 2015

The International Commission of Jurists today welcomed the decisions by the Kyrgyz Supreme Court declaring illegal the recent government searches of the homes and offices of lawyers, and seizures of their legal files.

In three related cases, the Court upheld the findings of the Osh regional court that the searches of the homes of lawyers Valerian Vakhitov and Khusanbay Saliyev and lawyers’ offices at the NGO “Bir-Duyno-Kyrgyzstan” by officers of the State National Security Committee were contrary to Kyrgyz law.

The Supreme Court also dismissed the attempts by the Prosecutor’s Office to initiate disciplinary action against judges of the Osh regional court as a result of their decision in these cases.

Venezuela: Prosecution of Venezuelan lawyer José Amalio Graterol violates fair trial standards concludes new IBAHRI report

November 18, 2013

The prosecution of Venezuelan lawyer José Amalio Graterol was arbitrary and lacking basic due process safeguards concludes the trial observation report published today by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) – the only international organisation to have maintained an observation at the hearings conducted between July 2012 and December 2012.

The 20-page report, entitled The Criminal Trial of Venezuelan Lawyer José Amalio Graterol, considers that as well as multiple due process violations of national and international law, the prosecution and conviction of Mr Graterol contravenes several guarantees for the functioning of lawyers contained in the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

China: Detention of 6 lawyers shows climate of intimidation and abuse still growing (Lawyers for Lawyers)

June 25, 2015

The recent detention of six lawyers in Qing’an county, Heilongjian Province, China, is a worrying indication that the climate of intimidation of human rights defenders and human rights lawyers in China is still growing. The detention seems to be related to the carrying out of their work in human rights cases or in exposing official abuses.

Frontline Defenders reports that when lawyers You Feizhu and Ma Wei recently travelled to Qing’an county to represent a number of illegally detained citizens, they were arrested. On 28 May, You Feizhu received a 15-day administrative sentence for ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’.

On 1 June, their colleagues Tang Tianhao (photo), Ma Lianshun,Ge Yongxi and Xu Zhong also travelled to Qing’an county, to represent them. The police refused to disclose their whereabouts, so the lawyers reported their colleagues missing. Later that day, they were all arrested. Three of them received a 15-day administrative sentence; lawyer Xu Zhong was released after 26 hours. The five lawyers who remained in detention were released from 3 June, onwards; Ge Yongxi was the last to be released on 6 June.

In relation to these events, a petition supported by 733 lawyers from throughout China was launched, calling upon the Standing Committee of the National People’s congress to investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrests and detention of the six lawyers. Furthermore, the petition asked the Standing Committee to address the increase in abuses lawyers have been subjected to in the carrying out of their work. L4L underlines this call.

Azerbaijan: Situation of lawyers continues to deteriorate (Lawyers for Lawyers)

June 23, 2015

The crackdown on Azeri civil society, NGOs, journalists and lawyers has escalated over the past year, as the date of the Baku European Games approached. Human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and others daring to criticize the Azerbaijani government are faced with harassment, intimidation, arbitrary arrest and politically motivated charges.

On May 28, 2015, Members of the European Parliament from all political groups issued a joint statement calling for the unconditional release of political prisoners in Azerbaijan before the starting of the first edition of the European Games. They stressed that “the label ’European’ should be given meaning, in the sense that the European Games should take place while human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected”.

Iran: M. Mohammad Moghimi l’avocat d’Atena Farghadani aurait finalement été libéré, après une brève séance d’interrogatoire moyennant une caution de 20 Millions de Tomans

17 et 19 Juin 2015 nouvelles qui nous sont parvenues via le site du collectif de l’Agence Iranienne de défense des droits humains Human Rights News Agency ou HRANA: Selon les toutes dernières nouvelles reçues par les militant-es et activistes du siteHRANA, l’Avocat de la militante féministe et artiste peintre Atena Farghadani. M.Mohammad Moghimi aurait été finalement été libéré ce Mercredi 17 Mai 2015 du Quartier de la Section Numéro 10 de la prison de Gohardasht Rajaee Sharh, moyennant une caution de 20 Millions de Tomans soit l’équivalent de $ 60 000 U.S.

Mohammad Moghimi avait été arrêté le Samedi 16 Mai 2015 (23 Khordad dans le calendrier persan) après avoir rencontré sa cliente Aetna Farghadani. Puis accusé d’avoir eu des « Relations adultères » avec sa cliente pour lui avoir simplement serré la main lors de l’entrevue qu’il avait eu avec elle dans la prison d’Evin.