Daily Archives: 05/03/2016

Thailand: Thai human rights lawyer gave additional statement, insisted on her right to refuse to consent to warrantless search of her car

March 5, 2016


On 5 March 2016, Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri (June), one of legal representatives for the 14 New Democracy Movement activists, reported to the inquiry official to submit an additional statement and more evidence for the case which she was accused of refusing to comply with a competent official and concealing evidence, relating to the incident at night of 26 June 2015 when she did not allow police to search her car and seize her clients’ phones without warrant. Mr. Kritsadang Nutcharus, the leader of the legal representatives, also gave a testimony as a witness.

Sirikan gave a statement that, on 26 June 2015, she and other lawyers had assisted the 14 arrested NDM activists since they were arrested and held in custody at Bangkok’s Phra Ratchawang Police Station until they were transferred to the Bangkok Military Court, where the lawyers did their jobs as legal representatives to object the pre-trial detention orders. During that time, she parked her car in front of the court after presenting her lawyer license to the military officer because at that time other people could not enter the court. The arrested activists had to leave their belongings with the lawyers when detained. After the lawyers had finished their duties, police officials requested to search Sirikan’s car, suspecting that the 14 defendants’ mobile phones were in the car. However, the officials failed to show a search warrant or explain how the mobile phones were related to the offences. The attempt to search was at night and without reasonable cause. The order was unlawful and not in accordance with Section 92(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which allows the search without a warrant when there is a justifiable evidence. Therefore, Sirikan refused to let the officials search her car at that time.


China: China ignores criticism over arrest of human rights lawyers

March 4, 2016

China ignores criticism over arrest of human rights lawyers

(Protestors against the imprisonment by the Chinese Communist Party of political dissidents, thinkers, human rights activists, lawyers, artists, democracy advocates and petitioners demonstrate in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay district on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong China, 01 October 2013. EFE/File)

China Friday ignored criticism over an official operation against human rights lawyers last year, as a result of which 19 lawyers still remain under arrest, and said it will manage the cases according to law.

“Lawyers should be, first and foremost, role models of observing the law (…) and they will be held accountable if they violate the law,” said the spokesperson of China’s National People’s Congress, or CNC, Fu Ying, when asked about these cases at the customary press conference, prior to the start of the CNC on Saturday.

Fu’s reaction comes eight months after a government crackdown on human rights lawyers led to the arrest of more than 200 lawyers or law firm employees in different parts of the country.

Of those, 19 remain in custody, without being allowed to meet their families or access to legal counsel.




Saudi Arabia: Genève honore un avocat saoudien emprisonné

le 28 novembre, 2015

De gauche à droite: Me Bertrand Favreau, bâtonnier de l'ordre des avocats de Bordeaux; Me Daniel N. Arshack, venu chercher le prix pour l'avocat saoudien Whalid Abu al-Khair; et Me Jean-Marc Carnicé, bâtonnier genevois.

(De gauche à droite: Me Bertrand Favreau, bâtonnier de l’ordre des avocats de Bordeaux; Me Daniel N. Arshack, venu chercher le prix pour l’avocat saoudien Whalid Abu al-Khair; et Me Jean-Marc Carnicé, bâtonnier genevois.Image: Pierre Abensur)

Absent et pourtant si présent. Genève a remis hier soir, et pour la première fois, le Prix international des droits de l’homme Ludovic-Trarieux à un avocat saoudien emprisonné, défenseur du blogueur condamné à 1000 coups de fouet. La cérémonie s’inscrit dans le cadre des 120 ans de l’Ordre des avocats genevois.

Il s’appelle Whalid Abu al-Khair. Son nom est moins connu du grand public que les causes qu’il défend: autoriser les femmes saoudiennes à conduire, à exercer des mandats politiques, défendre la liberté d’expression. Pour avoir fondé l’Observatoire des droits humains dans son pays, il a été condamné l’an passé à quinze ans de prison, notamment pour «désobéissance et rupture d’allégeance au Souverain». C’est lui qui a défendu le blogueur Raif Badawi, mondialement connu pour avoir été condamné à la terrible sentence des coups de fouet.

Quel poids peut avoir le Prix international des droits de l’homme? Nelson Mandela avait reçu le premier, en 1985, le prix décerné par sept barreaux européens, dont celui de Genève, avant d’être libéré cinq ans plus tard. Une avocate égyptienne, figure de la révolution du Printemps arabe, avait reçu en 2014 la distinction au fond de sa prison, avant d’être libérée, puis de nouveau emprisonnée.



China: Earnest Request to the National People’s Congress to Form a Special Committee of Inquiry into the “July 9 Crackdown” on Lawyers

March 4, 2016


To the deputies, presidium, and delegations attending the 4th plenary meeting of the 12th Session of the National People’s Congress:

We are a group made up of defense lawyers and family members of individuals taken into custody during the “July 9 Crackdown,” together with other lawyers and citizens who care about this incident. We are concerned about protecting the rights and interests of the detained and troubled even more by the current state of China’s rule of law and human rights.

The “July 9 Crackdown” refers to the sweeping arrests that took place on July 9, 2015, and the several days that followed. Under the direction of the Ministry of Public Security, police throughout the country placed at least 19 practicing lawyers and rights activists under residential surveillance in a designated location. The vast majority of them were formally arrested after six months on charges of inciting subversion or subversion. The crackdown also extended to at least 317 lawyers and activists who were summoned, forced to meet with police, threatened or harassed. This major social and legal incident has attracted worldwide attention.

We believe that police handling these cases have, through the acts listed below, demonstrated failure to fulfill the state’s responsibility to protect human rights as set out in the UN Charter and international treaties that the Chinese government has signed and the NPC has ratified. They have maliciously interpreted and violated the basic criminal justice principles and provisions set out in China’s constitution, criminal law, and criminal procedure law, as can be seen in these specific acts:

Earnest Request to the National People’s Congress to Form a Special Committee of Inquiry into the “July 9 Crackdown” on Lawyers