Daily Archives: 01/07/2016

Malaysia: Malaysia urged to drop charges against lawyer N Surendran

June 29, 2016

The Malaysian authorities must immediately and unconditionally drop all charges that have been brought against N Surendran, a lawyer and opposition lawmaker, solely for criticising a court verdict in 2014 concerning his client, the de facto opposition leader and prisoner of conscience, Anwar Ibrahim.

On June 24, 2016, the High Court of Kuala Lumpur found the Sedition Act to be constitutional, and that sedition charges brought against Surendran are still valid. This decision sets a dangerous precedent not only for the continued use of the Sedition Act against government critics, human rights defenders and activists, but also raises concerns on the right of individuals to legal representation and defence.

Surendran’s lawyers filed their appeal against the decision of the High Court on June 27, 2016 to the Court of Appeal.

Amnesty International believes that the criminal charges brought against Surendran are politically motivated, prevent him from carrying out his work independently, and amount to harassment and intimidation. According to international human rights standards, governments should ensure that lawyers are able to perform their professional functions without intimidation, harassment, hindrance or improper interference.

The organisation is also concerned about increasing attempts by the authorities to silence lawyers expressing critical views and opinions about the government. More recently, on March 31, 2016, police hauled up four lawyers Karen Cheah, Charles Hector Fernandez, Francis Pereira and Shanmugan Ramasamy to record their statements.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/347135

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/07/01/surendran-no-obligation-for-guan-eng-to-resign/

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/06/29/lawyer-dharmendrans-family-will-continue-to-seek-justice/

Kenya: Willie Kimani: Missing Kenyan lawyer found dead

July 1, 2016

Portrait of Willie Kimani

The body of a Kenyan lawyer who was representing a client making a complaint against the police has been found.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) said Willie Kimani’s death was a “dark day for the rule of law in Kenya”.

Kenya’s police have often been accused of brutality and they have been blamed for a series of extrajudicial killings.

The police chief has ordered the arrest of three police officers suspected of being involved in his kidnapping.

According to the LSK, Mr Kimani went missing along with his taxi driver and client after a court appointment over a week ago.

One other body has been found but there are conflicting reports as to who this is.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36682639

Saudi Arabia: Waleed Abulkhair: A lawyer vs the Saudi establishment

June 22, 2015

In an article that appeared in the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) in July 2011, Waleed Abulkhair wrote:

It is not easy to be an activist in Saudi Arabia. I have been taken into custody for investigation many times; I have been beaten; my wife is banned from leaving Saudi Arabia; and my Twitter, my Facebook account and my website are blocked. I have no doubt they want to put me in prison and one day this will happen – the authorities are just waiting for a good opportunity.

In Brief:

Waleed Abulkhair’s career as an advocate for human rights and fundamental freedoms began in 2007 when, along with several other activists, he published a statement in Arabic entitled “Parameters of a Constitutional Monarchy”. The statement requested that the Saudi Royal Family change the current ruling system from an absolute monarchy to a democracy. It also landed him squarely on the government’s radar.

On 7 July 2014 the Specialized Criminal Court in Jeddah found him guilty of “undermining the regime and officials”, “inflaming public opinion”, and “distorting the kingdom’s reputation”. Abulkhair, who is a recipient of numerous human rights awards, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, followed by a 15-year ban on travel.

http://www.ifex.org/saudi_arabia/2015/06/22/profile_waleed_abulkhair/

https://waleedabulkhairen.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/jailed-saudi-lawyer-wins-prestigious-human-rights-prize/

https://www.gruene.at/ots/aviso-morgen-freitag-10h-79-mahnwache-der-gruenen-fuer-raif-badawi (GERMAN)

http://publicapos.com/read/3683/Pengacara-HAM-Saudi-Akhiri-Aksi-Mogok-Makan-di-Penjara (INDONESIAN)

Turkey: Dal Tribunale di Istanbul: Processo agli avvocati curdi

1/7/16

Dal Tribunale di Istanbul: Processo agli avvocati curdi

“Lo sapete che le guardie carcerarie con la legge sulla sicurezza sono autorizzate a torturare i detenuti? Lo sapete che in carcere vengono usati manganelli, gas lacrimogeni, cani contro i prigionieri?”. Tribunale di Istanbul. In un’aula stracolma al quinto piano del palazzo inizia il processo a carico di dodici avvocati curdi della Association of lawyers for freedom (Ohd) accusati di essere membri del Pkk per aver, di fatto, preso apertamente posizione contro la violazione dei diritti umani in Turchia.

Le prove sarebbero proprio le dichiarazioni rilasciate alla stampa, i report di denuncia consegnati alla Corte di giustizia europea, le visite in carcere ai loro clienti. Con loro imputati anche trentotto volontari dell’associazione per la solidarietà alle famiglie dei detenuti (Tuad): madri, padri, fratelli di reclusi accusati di fare da tramite tra dentro le carceri e fuori, solo per essere andati a far visita ai propri parenti. È l’effetto della normativa anti-terrorismo approvata dal parlamento turco il 28 marzo scorso, poco prima delle elezioni, che ha esteso all’infinito la definizione di “terrorismo”. A nulla è valsa la richiesta dell’Unione europea di alleggerire la legge per procedere alla liberalizzazione dei visti per la Turchia prevista dall’accordo sui migranti (in particolare proprio attraverso un “migliore allineamento della definizione di terrorismo” alla normativa europea). Ankara tira dritto per la sua strada e continua a “rastrellare” giornalisti, accademici, attivisti, avvocati impegnati nelle difesa dei diritti umani.

E tutti, guarda caso, curdi. Le indagini sul caso Tuad (così è stato rinominato il processo dal nome dell’associazione coinvolta) sono partite nel 2011, ma sono state chiuse solo a marzo con una retata negli studi legali nel centro di Istanbul e l’arresto di nove avvocati, di cui due ancora in carcere. A difendere i cinquanta imputati ci sono duecento legali provenienti da tutto il Paese. In aula, per la partenza del processo, c’è anche una delegazione internazionale di avvocati che faranno da osservatori al processo. La porta però è stata chiusa a chiave: chi esce non può più rientrare, chi è fuori non entrerà mai. Ayse Aciniki, giovane avvocata impegnata nella difesa dei detenuti, in carcere da 78 giorni, si rivolge ai giudici per le sue dichiarazioni spontanee. “Lo sapete – dice – che i malati, in carcere, non vengono curati ma lasciati morire? Lo sapete che vengono continuamente torturati?

http://www.retekurdistan.it/2016/06/dal-tribunale-di-istanbul-processo-agli-avvocati-curdi/

Turkey: Report, trial observation 22 June 2016, Istanbul

June 27, 2016

Report on our observers’ mission to another trial against lawyers and activists in Istanbul. (Everybody got home safe and sound before the attack at Atatürk airport). This is a trial against lawyers, who are defending lawyers, who are defending activists. All of them are accused of “terrorism” or “terrorist propaganda”, just because they did their job as defence attorneys.  The delegation demands the immediate release of our colleagues Ayşe Acinikli and Ramazan Demir, who were arrested in April.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/aqmxl8sl529bbvk/Report%20-%20trial%20observation%2022%20June%202016,%20Istanbul.pdf?dl=0