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June 26, 2016
In 1984, the United Nation General Assembly adopted the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Convention). Later in 1997, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 26 June the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (the Day) with a view to rendering support to the victims of torture as part of the efforts for its ultimate eradication.
On this special day, the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG) expresses its solidarity with all those having suffered. It also reiterates its call upon the international community to pay heed to the persistently disturbing situation in China where signs for regressive development are palpable.
As one of the earliest countries ratifying the Convention, China’s progress in fulfilling its state obligations to prevent and prohibit torture as laid out in Article 2 of the Convention has all along been unsatisfactory. Criticisms recurrently raised in and out of the country, and in particular by the UN Committee Against Torture, on problems such as the lack of legal provisions to prohibit torture as defined in full compliance with the spirit and purposes of the Convention and of a centralised judicial mechanism for monitoring, redress and remedy; as well as the flaws and defects in the criminal procedure law that legalise prolonged pre-trial detention, provide space for police power abuse and for the deprivation of the right to due process…have remained grossly unheeded to.
To the many human rights lawyers and defenders targeted by the authorities, the threat of torture has been the impending reality of their daily lives and those of their families’.
Along these lines, CHRLCG calls attention to the 24 individuals still in custody as a result of what is now known as the 709 crackdowns. Among them are 9 prominent human rights lawyers in the country who, together with most of those detained, have been held incommunicado for almost a year. Despite the formal arrests declared by the authorities in January, these people have by far remained in detention without a charge. None of these lawyers have been allowed to meet or communicate with the defence counsels of their own choosing, a right bound by the domestic law in China and elucidated in the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (1990).
June 26, 2016
A small protest broke out inside Egypt’s State Council, where lawyers and activists are awaiting the court’s decision in the Red Sea islands case.
According to Facebook user Mohamed Nassar, protestors inside the State Council are chanting slogans such as “Awad sold his land,” a reference to an Egyptian song about a farmer who sold his land, and “Bread, freedom, these islands are Egyptian,” which is a play on one of the most popular chants from Egypt’s January 25, 2011 revolution.
Former presidency candidate Khaled Ali, along with rights lawyers Malek Adly and Tarek Al-Awady had filed a complaint against the handover of the Red Sea islands after gathering thousands of petitions. Adly was later arrested over charges of “spreading rumors that would disrupt public security” and “harming national unity,” among other charges, and was not released.
Il 22 giugno 2016 una folta delegazione di avvocati europei ha partecipato alla prima udienza di un processo che vede come imputati avvocati dell’associazione ÖHD, tra cui i due colleghi detenuti Ramazan Demir ed Ayse Acinikli, e altri militanti tutti appartenenti ad una associazione per i diritti dei detenuti.
Tutti sono accusati di partecipazione ad organizzazione terroristica (PKK) e, nel caso dell’avv. Ramazan Demir, di propaganda terroristica.
Le condotte ascritte riguardano la criminalizzazione di attività proprie dell’esercizio della difesa, ovvero dell’attività statutaria prevista dall’associazione (riconosciuta dallo Stato turco) di cui fanno parte gli imputati.
Fra gli osservatori vi erano anche 4 avvocati italiani, avv. Barbara Spinelli per Giuristi Democratici ed ELDH, avv. Ezio Menzione per l’Unione Camere Penali e Legal Team Italia, ed in rappresentanza dei Consigli dell’Ordine di Bologna e Palermo rispettivamente gli avv.ti Sergio Palombarini e avv. Nicola Giudice.
L’udienza si è svolta in un clima teso, basta riferire il fatto che le porte dell’aula sono state chiuse a chiave dall’interno per non fare affluire altro pubblico.
Il tribunale, in composizione collegiale, ha prima sentito gli imputati, poi alcuni dei loro difensori.
Preliminarmente sono state passate in rassegna le numerose nullità poste in essere dall’accusa nella raccolta delle prove (intercettazioni iniziate e reiterate aldilà di ogni autorizzazione del giudice, e molto altro).