La Fiscalía de la Audiencia Nacional española pide penas de entre siete y 19 años de cárcel para nueve personas que fueron arrestadas en abril de 2010 por su labor como abogados o en el ámbito de la solidaridad con los presos. Las mayores peticiones recaen sobre Arantza Zulueta y Jon Enparantza, para quienes solicitan 19 y 12 años de cárcel, respectivamente.
En su escrito de acusación, recogido por la agencia Europa Press, el fiscal José Perals solicita la pena más alta para Zulueta por los presuntos delitos de «integración en organización terrorista» y depósito de armas y explosivos, por los que pide que sea condenada a 19 años de prisión.
Otro de los principales acusados es el abogado Jon Enparantza, para quien pide 12 años de cárcel.
El Ministerio Público acusa también de «integración en organización terrorista» a Naia Zuriarrain (11 años de prisión), Iker Sarriegi (10 años) y Julen Zelarain (11 años); mientras que atribuye sendos delitos de «colaboración» a Joxe Domingo Aizpurua (9 años), Saioa Agirre (7 años), Juan Mari Jauregi (otros siete) y Nerea Redondo (siete años).
La líder de la CC criticó con dureza al juez por la desaparición del abogado de Lázaro Báez; “Marijuan había pedido su indagatoria”, recordó. A través de su cuenta de Twitter, Elisa Carrió cargó contra el juez Sebastián Casanello por no poner bajo custodia al abogado vinculado a Lázaro Báez, principal imputado del caso. La ministra de Seguridad, Patricia Bullrich, aseguró hoy que Jorge Chueco, el abogado de Lázaro Báez que desapareció la semana pasada, pudo haber cruzado la triple frontera “por cualquier lado”.
April 18, 2016
Chinese authorities are stepping up a crackdown on rights activists and lawyers who are trying to help Inner Mongolian herders embroiled in a bitter protest over the contamination of their grazing lands, sources told RFA.
The moves come amid ever-tighter security in Ar-Hundelen township in the region’s Zaruud Banner (Zaluteqi in Chinese), where local residents are demanding compensation for the damage to their health and their live stock that they blame on widespread industrial pollution caused by nearby alumni smelters.
“Four lawyers who were heading towards Zaruud to offer legal advice to Ar-Hundelen herders have been stopped by police,” a local resident who declined to be named told RFA. “Two others are being followed, it seems, so they can’t continue their journey here.”
An ethnic Mongolian scholar was also detained briefly en route to offer help to protesters, local sources said.
April 18, 2016
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC)’s hearing on April 14 on systematic torture commonly used in Communist China’s detention facilities was sobering and disturbing. The witnesses provided graphic detail of what they had personally seen and experienced.
The primary purpose of torture in China is to coerce confessions to crimes. It is also employed to breakdown the subject’s will and humiliate him or her. For example, it has been employed extensively on Falun Gong adherents to make them renounce their beliefs and practice.
Chairman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) convened the meeting by first recounting the shocking torture of lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who has been the subject of several hearings in the past. Gao was tortured because he “dared to represent persecuted Christians and Falun Gong [practitioners],” said Chairman Smith.
April 19, 2016
Reports continue to tell of repression of rights lawyers and dissidents — lawyer Pu Zhiqiang was formally disbarred earlier this month — but little is said of other serious illegalities that should provoke concern. Notably, human rights groups have long charged that one of the crudest examples of illegality in Chinese criminal procedure is the political use of psychiatry to detain, imprison, and forcibly medicate dissidents and activists.
The use of this tactic, borrowed from the Soviet Union early in the Maoist era, was reduced after the Cultural Revolution, but revived in 1987 with the creation of psychiatric hospitals, administered by the police, called Ankang (“peace and health”) institutions. Media reports throw light on the systematic violation of human rights in the psychiatric hospitals operated by China’s Ministry of Public Security.
In one case, a prominent Chinese dissident was confined in 1992 to an Ankang after he was detained for demonstrating in Tiananmen Square against the June 4, 1989 crackdown on political activists. He was held there until he was released in 2005. The practice has continued. According to Radio Free Asia, the China Rights Observer group has tracked more than 30 cases of activists “who were forcibly committed to psychiatric institutions in 2015, often without their relatives’ knowledge or consent.”
April 18, 2016
Earlier this month, police say, a client walked into his lawyer’s Cathedral Hill office and shot a 23-year-old clerk. As St. Paul reels from Chase Passauer’s death, similar threats and attacks have put many in the legal community on notice.
Attorneys are regularly threatened and verbally abused, often by their own clients. It comes with the job, they say. While cases rarely escalate to violence, a few recent incidents have left some on edge.
“People are at their worst when they go to see an attorney. Whatever it is, they’re at a point where they’re in a conflict that they don’t know how to handle or can’t handle,” said Stephen Kelson, a lawyer from Utah who studies violence against the profession. “The attorneys end up being an outlet.”
Survey-based studies of 22 states, conducted by Kelson the past 10 years, show between 35.5 percent and 46.5 percent of registered attorneys have been threatened or assaulted. Minnesota has not been the subject of a study, though Kelson said he approached the state’s Bar Association about one last year.
April 18, 2016
The report by Isaac Stone Fish in Foreign Policy, “Leaked Email: ABA Cancels Book for Fear of ‘Upsetting the Chinese Government’,” stirred up a lot of discussion over the weekend. The American Bar Association’s 2015 reversal of its initial decision to publish a book by the famous Chinese rights scholar/activist Teng Biao was allegedly market-driven, the ABA belatedly claimed, and not based on fear of China as originally explained by the ABA employee in charge of book negotiations.
Did the ABA tell the truth in seeking to explain its reversal of the original decision to publish? The fable from the ABA reminds me of the stories the PRC has recently put out to try to explain China’s kidnappings of certain Hong Kong publishers. Reasonable people could argue about the ABA’s discouragingly timid statement last August about the oppression of China’s human rights lawyers, which I wrote about here, but what can one say about the Teng Biao incident other than that it is a pathetic chapter in the history of the world’s leading bar association?