Daily Archives: 20/10/2015

Spain: Death knell sounds for Eta four years after end of Spain violence

October 20, 2015

Death knell sounds for Eta four years after end of Spain violence

Four years after it renounced violence, the Basque terrorist group breathes its last without dissolving, while many hope a change in government in Madrid will finally turn the page on decades of conflict.

Police pressure on Eta has not let up however — in January the authorities arrested five lawyers who were among the top defenders of the 427 jailed members of the group.

The operation hurt Eta’s efforts to “coordinate and maintain discipline” since the lawyers would pass on messages between group members, according to Spain’s chief prosecutor for terrorism cases, Javier Zaragoza.


Turkey: Kurdish lawyer faces trial for saying PKK not terrorist group

October 20, 2015

(Tahir Elci, the head of Diyarbakir Bar Association, (2nd R) is escorted by plainclothes police officers as he leaves from his office in Diyarbakir, Turkey, early October 20, 2015. REUTERS/SERTAC KAYAR)

A top Kurdish lawyer in conflict-riven southeast Turkey faces trial after saying the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), whose guerrillas are battling Turkish security forces, is not a terrorist group.

Police detained Tahir Elci, who heads the bar association of Diyarbakir province in southeast Turkey, during a pre-dawn raid on Tuesday on his office. An Istanbul court later ordered his release pending the trial, on condition that he not leave the country and that he report regularly to the authorities, his lawyer Mehmet Emin Aktar said.


China: David Cameron should speak out on China human rights in both public and private

October 19, 2015

An open letter from NGOs to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

As organisations that are working to improve human rights in China and around the world, we are writing to you regarding the state visit by President Xi Jinping on October 20-23, 2015. We are deeply concerned with the continuing deterioration of human rights since President Xi Jinping came into office in 2012. We urge you to speak out on human rights in a principled, forceful, and specific way – in both public and private.

President Xi Jinping has committed his administration to comprehensively promoting the “rule of law”, which is even one part of his signature governance platform known as the “Four Comprehensives”. However, to name just one example, his administration has launched an unprecedented attack on the legal profession that is not in any way compatible with the spirit of promoting the “rule of law”.


China: Hundreds of human rights lawyers targeted

October 19, 2015

Wang Yu, Chinese human rights lawyer who went missing on 9 July 2015

(Wang Yu, Chinese human rights lawyer who went missing on 9 July 2015 © Private)

Thank you to the 29,000 of you who took action to demand the release of more than 230 lawyers and activists have been targeted and branded as a ‘criminal gang’ by the Chinese authorities in a widespread crackdown since July 2015.

On Friday 16 October we handed your signatures in to the Chinese Ambassador in London and also called on the UK government to raise the case of these lawyers and activists during President Xi’s visit to the UK.

The UK must stop turning a blind eye to the plight of lawyers, campaigners and journalists that have been locked up simply because they have channeled the Chinese authorities.