Monthly Archives: May 2016

Lebanon: Lawyer Held for Facebook Posts

May 31, 2016


Lebanese authorities arrested a lawyer and human rights activist, Nabil al-Halabi, on May 30, 2016 over his Facebook posts criticizing government officials. The authorities should immediately release him.

In his Facebook posts, al-Halabi accused Interior Ministry officials of corruption and possible complicity with people arrested by Internal Security forces on March 27 in connection with sex trafficking of Syrian women. On April 12, Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk filed a libel and defamation complaint against al-Halabi with the Public Prosecution in Beirut, citing the Facebook posts. A senior advisor to Machnouk also filed a separate libel and defamation complaint over the Facebook posts. Imprisonment for defamation normally violates freedom of expression as guaranteed under international law, and al-Halabi’s detention may also violate Lebanese law.

“Al-Halabi’s arrest for criticizing Lebanese officials and the intimidating way it was carried out sets a dangerous precedent,” said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director. “The Interior Ministry may not like what al-Halabi wrote, but that didn’t give them the right to storm into his house and lock him up.”

Click to access Solidarity%20Statement.pdf (ARABIC) (SPANISH) (FRANCAIS)

China: Chinese human rights lawyer’s five-year jail term after subversion conviction ‘likely to be upheld by appeal verdict’

May 31, 2016

A Chinese former human rights lawyer is likely to have his five-year jail term upheld after a provincial high court heard an appeal into the case that saw him convicted of “inciting subversion of state power”, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Tang Jingling, 45, was sentenced in January by Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court – along with two other activists, Yuan Chaoyang and Wang Qingying, who were jailed for 3½ years and 2½ years, respectively.

Guangdong Provincial High Court reviewed the case following appeals against the intermediate court’s verdict, which were filed by both Yuan and Wang.

Tang had refused to lodge an appeal against the original verdict in January because he considered the court system “an unjust court serving an autocracy,” his lawyer, Ge Yongxi, said on Tuesday.

However, Tang’s case was included in the appeal hearing which had reviewed the verdicts of the other two men because the charges against the three activists had been closely linked.

Iran: Prix Nobel / Iran : Relâchez Narges Mohammadi maintenant !

le 30 mai, 2016

nobel women initiative

Les lauréates du prix Nobel demandent au gouvernement iranien de libérer immédiatement et sans condition la défenseresse des droits humains et journaliste, Narges Mohammadi détenue dans la prison d’Evine en Iran.

Dans la déclaration, les femms ayant reçu le prix Nobel se joignent à l’appel de la communauté internationale pour demander à l’Iran de mettre fin à la répression contre les militants des droits humain.

Le 17 mai, un tribunal à Téhéran a condamné Narguesse Mohammadi à 10 années supplémentaires de prison pour son travail au sein de la campagne contre la peine de mort. Narguesse Mohammadi a été emprisonnée en avril 2012, mais a été libérée trois mois plus tard pour des raisons médicales.

Elle a de nouveau été arrêtée en mai 2015. Naguesse Mohammadi souffre d’un très mauvais état de santé aggravé par les conditions de détention et le manque de soins médicaux. (ENGLISH)

USA: Judge Handcuffs Defense Attorney In Court To Teach Her ‘A Lesson’ For Speaking Out

May 27, 2016

A Las Vegas judge this week ordered a deputy public defender to be placed in handcuffs and seated next to inmates in court, saying he wanted to teach her “a lesson” about courtroom etiquette. But legal experts say it’s the judge who may actually need a lesson in decorum.

On Monday, an irritated Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen told Clark County Deputy Public Defender Zohra Bakhtary to “be quiet” as she tried to defend her client and keep him from serving a six-month jail sentence for violating probation, the Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported. As Bakhtary continued speak out in defense of her client, Hafen exploded and ordered a marshal to place Bakhtary in handcuffs and seat her in the jury box next to inmates.

Hafen told the Review-Journal that it’s not “proper decorum” to talk over or interrupt in court. But Bakhtary told The Huffington Post that it was Hafen who first interrupted her while she was in the middle of defending her client. Here’s the courttranscript from the incident: (THE VIDEO)

India: Madras HC to debar lawyers indulging in objectionable behaviour: New Disciplinary Rules

May 28, 2016

Madras High Court LL Size-min

Madras High Court, has introduced new sets of disciplinary rules for the Advocates through an amendment, enabling it to debar lawyers who indulge in objectionable behaviour. In a notification published on 20th May 2016, new Rules 14A, 14B, 14C and 14D has been added to the existing Rules under Advocates Act.

According to newly introduced Rules, an Advocate can be debarred from appearing before the High Court or Subordinate Courts permanently or for a specific time period, if he is found to have accepted money in the name of a Judge or on the pretext of influencing him or An Advocate who browbeats and/or abuses a Judge or Judicial Officer; oris found to have sent or spread unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations/petitions against a Judicial Officer or a Judge to the Superior Court.

Notification also says that an Advocate can also be debarred for actively participating in a procession inside the Court campus and/or involves in gherao inside the Court Hall or holds placard inside the Court Hall. An Advocate who appears in the Court under the influence of liquor and the one who is found to have tampered with the Court record or Court order, is also liable to be debarred.

Madras HC to debar lawyers indulging in objectionable behaviour: New Disciplinary Rules notified [Read the Rules]

Madras High Court Advocates Association passes unanimous Resolution against new ‘Disciplinary’ Rules introduced by HC

Iran: “A travesty of justice” – UN experts condemn latest conviction of prominent rights defender

May 20, 2016


A group of United Nations experts expressed outrage today at the recent conviction and sentencing of Narges Mohammadi, a prominent activist and human rights defender, to 16 years’ imprisonment by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran, and called for her immediate and unconditional release.

On 18 May 2016, Ms. Mohammadi’s lawyer announced that Iran’s judiciary had sentenced his client to 16 years in prison for her activities on behalf of a grassroots organization calling for the abolition of the death penalty, ‘assembly and collusion against national security’, and for ‘propaganda against the state’. She was allegedly tried behind closed doors.

Prior to her arrest on 5 May 2015, the human rights defender was subjected to constant harassment, verbal assaults and interrogations for her peaceful human rights activities. Ms. Mohammadi, who suffers from a critical neurological condition, had previously been sentenced to six years in prison.

Turkey: Call to Action! Join us in Supporting our Turkish Colleagues!

May 27, 2016

The UIA is joining the movement initiated by its members in support of our colleagues, Ayse Acinikli and Ramazan Demir, who have been detained in Turkey since April 6, 2016.

Along with the lawyers Irfan Arasan, Hüseyin Bogatekin, Sefik Çelik, Adem Çalisçi, Tamer Dogan, Mustafa Ruzgar and Ayse Gösterislioglu, Ms. Acilinikli and Mr. Demir are charged with violating anti-terrorist laws, while in fact, it appears that they are being persecuted for their legitimate practice of law and their human rights defence activities.

These lawyers were denied access to their case until very late in the proceedings, and they were not apprised of the salient facts on which accusations were premised. They were called in for questioning the evening before a hearing at which  they were to appear in defence of 46 other lawyers similarly identified with their clients’ cause and accused of violating anti-terrorist laws. Assimilation of this kind constitutes a breach of the profession’s most fundamental principles.

The UIA has condemned these arrests, which, apart from being arbitrary, violate defence rights enshrined in the international and regional instruments on the protection of human rights that have been ratified by Turkey.

Don’t stand by – take action! Join us in the fight to end Turkish abuses against our profession! (FRANCAIS)

Egypt: Unlawful detention of lawyer Malek Adly

May 27, 2016


L4L expresses its deep concern over the recent violence, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and unfair trials targeting civil society in Egypt, including Egyptian human rights lawyers. These government actions seem to have been triggered by the protest of 25 April 2016 against the human rights abuses by the regime and its recent decision to cede the sovereignty of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Prominent human rights lawyer Malek Adly is among the lawyers that have been arrested. He is the director of the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) and the founder of the Front for Defending Egypt’s Protesters, a group of human rights organisations and lawyers documenting illegal practices carried out by the police against protesters, and providing assistance to protesters and prisoners. Malek Adly was arrested on 5 May 2016, after an arrest warrant was issued against him on 23 April following his call to participate in a demonstration planned for 25 April. He has been charged with, inter alia, destabilising the country and attempting to overthrow the regime. He is currently detained in Cairo’s Tora prison; during a remand hearing held on 18 May his detention was prolonged with another two weeks.

Egypt Unlawful detention of lawyer Malek Adly (PETITION) (ITALIAN)

China: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the house arrest of human rights lawyer Ni Yulan in China

May 27, 2016

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the house arrest of human rights lawyer Ni Yulan in China.

Ni Yulan is a human rights lawyer based in Beijing who rose to prominence defending people evicted from their homes to make way for development. Ni Yulan has been jailed several times. After her first arrest in 2002, Ni Yulan was allegedly beaten by police, sustaining such traumatic injuries that she was permanently confined to a wheelchair. In 2008, Ni Yulan was jailed again for defending the rights of residents faced with eviction to make way for Beijing’s 2008 Summer Olympics. In 2012, Ni Yulan was sentenced to a two-year prison term — later reduced to two months — for “fraud” and “causing a disturbance” by the Xicheng District People’s Court in Beijing.

In our letter dated 26 September 2013, the Law Society expressed concern about the arrest and detention of Ni Yulan.

The Law Society received reports that on 13 April 2016, Ni Yulan was placed under house arrest. This followed a travel ban imposed on Ni Yulan in order to prevent her from travelling to the US in order to accept the State Department’s 2016 International Women of Courage Award. In mid-April, five diplomats from Canada, France, Switzerland, Germany, and the European Union were prevented from visiting Ni Yulan in her home. (FRANCAIS)

Indonesia: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concerns about the maltreatment of lawyer Alldo Fellix Januardy in Indonesia

May 27, 2016

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concerns about the maltreatment of lawyer Alldo Fellix Januardy in Indonesia.

The Law Society has received reports that on 12 January 2016 Alldo Fellix Januardy was attacked by members of the Civil Service Police Unit and the Sub-District Head of Tebet, resulting in several wounds to his face. The alleged attack occurred during a forced eviction in Bukit Duri, Tebet, South Jakarta. According to reports, Alldo Fellix Januardy was attempting to persuade police to wait until the Administrative District Court had ruled on the legality of the eviction order when he was attacked.

The Law Society is deeply concerned that the maltreatment of Alldo Fellix Januardy by the police appears to relate solely to his legitimate actions as a lawyer.

The Law Society of Upper Canada wrote to His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, urging the government of Indonesia to comply with Articles 16 and 23 of the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.  (FRANCAIS)