Daily Archives: 08/07/2016

China: Chinese lawyer Wang Yu to receive inaugural ABA International Human Rights Award

July 8, 2016

The American Bar Association announced today that it has selected Chinese lawyer Wang Yu  (王宇) to receive its first ABA International Human Rights Award, in recognition of her dedication to human rights, justice and the rule of law in China. Wang will be formally honored at the ABA’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco during a 9:30 a.m. ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6, in the Moscone Center West, room 3014. A reception will follow the ceremony in the ABA EXPO hall on the 2nd Level at the Moscone Center.

Announcement of the award comes exactly one year after Wang was detained and jailed by Chinese authorities in what was the beginning of China’s latest crackdown on hundreds of Chinese lawyers and human rights advocates. Wang, who is still incarcerated for her work in support of human rights and awaiting trial on charges of anti-state activity, will receive the ABA award in absentia.

Wang’s selection as the recipient of the inaugural ABA International Human Rights Award recognizes her substantial contributions in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties in China.

“This very special ABA award highlights the important role that lawyers play in upholding human rights and the rule of law,” ABA President Brown said. “In honoring Wang Yu, we pay tribute to her steadfast commitment to doing this essential work in China. We recognize her important work to protect human rights and to advocate that the Chinese government respect the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession and observe fair trial and due process standards—all principles guaranteed under Chinese and international law and critical to sustaining progress toward rule of law.”

http://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2016/07/chinese_lawyer_wang0.html

Chinese lawyer Wang Yu to receive inaugural American Bar Association International Human Rights Award

Human Rights Attorneys Charged with “Subversion of State Power”

China: Appalled by campaign of intimidation against lawyers in China

July 8, 2016

A year ago today, China’s authorities began an unprecedented attack on the defenders of human rights in China.

In the 12 months that have followed, more than 300 lawyers and human rights activists have faced intimidation, harassment, arrest, detention and unlawful restrictions of their basic rights and professional functions. Some are reported to have been tortured. Many lawyers remain in detention, uncertain of what the future holds for them.

Although well-known for their peaceful and legitimate work, it appears that the Chinese government considers human rights lawyers to be a threat to the state.

In a country where conviction is a near certainty following arrest, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is deeply concerned by the serious nature of the criminal charges facing some of those arrested, and joins the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all lawyers detained since the start of the crackdown last year.

http://www.scmp.com/comment/letters/article/1987157/appalled-campaign-intimidation-against-lawyers-china

http://www.voanews.com/content/china-lawyer-crackdown-enters-2nd-year/3409004.html

https://next.ft.com/content/65b1be9c-44ac-11e6-9b66-0712b3873ae1

http://www.jeromecohen.net/jerrys-blog/2016/7/8/chinas-709-crackdown-on-human-rights-lawyers-one-year-on

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/asia-pacific/amnesty-calls-for-release-of-human-rights-lawyers-in-china-1.2713830

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-rights-idUSKCN0ZO15K

Cataloging the Torture of Lawyers in China

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2016/07/09/reluctant-human-rights-defenders-the-wives-of-those-detained-in-chinas-lawyer-crackdown/

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1987372/12-months-after-crackdown-chinese-rights-lawyers-call

http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/china-lawyers-07082016094725.html

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/china-dark-days-human-rights-lawyer-crackdown-continues-one-year

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/09/reap-what-you-sow-families-of-seized-lawyers-send-public-warning-to-china

http://www.leparisien.fr/flash-actualite-monde/en-chine-des-femmes-d-avocats-emprisonnes-contre-attaquent-07-07-2016-5948211.php (FRANCAIS)

Kenya:Kenyans in fear of police ‘death squads’

July 8, 2016

Crowds confront police

The recent killing of human rights lawyer Willie Kimani and two others has once again put the Kenyan police in the spotlight. The police have been accused of running death squads, a claim they deny. The BBC’s Tomi Oladipo investigates the growing public mistrust of the police, especially among young men.

“My friend had gone to bathe in the river when he discovered there was a body in the river so he called me”.

Jackson (not his real name) looks out across the Ol Donyo Sabuk River about an hour-and-a-half outside the centre of Nairobi. He and his friends quickly called the police.

It was not the first time they had come across corpses in the river.

This time, however it was a more high-profile case. “Shortly after, we saw a sack floating in the water,” he continues.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36733808

China: Individuals Affected by July 9 Crackdown on Rights Lawyers July 13, 2015

Last updated: July 7, 2016

Massive police operations targeting human right lawyers and coordinated by the Ministry of Public Security began on July 9, 2015, across China. During the crackdown, authorities focused on the Beijing Fengrui Law Firm and lawyers who supported Fengrui lawyer Wang Yu, while other law firms have also been affected. Public security bureau (PSB) officers searched homes and businesses, and abducted, detained, summoned, or visited over 300 individuals. Officers warned people against speaking publicly about being visited or detained for questioning; therefore, it is not possible to accurately estimate the number of individuals affected because some people may have remained silent about their encounters with police.

The detentions listed below include cases of lawyers and activists formally arrested, placed under “residential surveillance” in police-designated secret locations, forcibly disappeared, and released after a lengthy period of detention. (Those who police forcibly disappeared were held for over 24 hours, the limit set by Chinese law for the release of a detainee if there is no legal reason to keep detaining the individual.) This page does not contain a comprehensive list of individuals questioned and released after 24 hours. Instead, CHRD has focused on those detained in July 2015 as well as other individuals whose cases police have linked to investigations of those initial cases (e.g. officers transferred their cases from Beijing to a jurisdiction in Tianjin). CHRD continually updates this page.

To date, 19 individuals are still being held, all of whom have been formally arrested. Fourteen total were released after lengthy periods in custody, including three after being formally arrested. At least 300 others were summoned for questioning and then released after 24 hours.

PDF chart of current detentions (as of July 7, 2016)

Individuals Affected by July 9 Crackdown on Rights Lawyers

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1607/S00020/end-relentless-repression-against-human-rights-lawyers.htm

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2016/07/08/one-year-on-chinas-shattered-dream-for-the-rule-of-law/

Zhao Wei Released, Many Rights Lawyers Still in Detention

Kenya: Slain lawyer pursued suspects of police brutality with passion

July 7, 2016

Slain lawyer Willie Kimani was passionate about defending victims of police brutality. His aggressiveness in pursuing rogue officers was unrivalled, according to former colleagues and clients.

It was his keen eye for detail as an investigator that saw him earn a reputation as an unrelenting defender of human rights.

Kimani was killed last week by people believed to be police officers.

It is at the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) that Kimani honed his skills as he got to work very closely with the police.

“His investigations went beyond the work of a normal lawyer. He would pursue a case to its root and this did not please some police officers,” said Henry Maina from a rights lobby, Article 19.

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/mobile/article/2000207893/slain-lawyer-pursued-suspects-of-police-brutality-with-passion

https://tuko.co.ke/150823-an-insight-on-why-lawyer-willie-kimani-was-brutally-murdered.html

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2016/07/08/requiem-mass-for-lawyer-kimani-two-others-held-at-consolata-shrines_c1382803

MWANGI: Silence isn’t golden; see how everybody’s shedding tears

MUNYAGA: Kenya should hasten justice for Kimani

Family, friends remember slain Human Rights lawyer, compatriots at memorial

Kenya: Lawyer defended the poor, fought police brutality

July 8, 2016

Lawyers protest in Nairobi on July 6, 2016 following the killing of their colleague, Willie Kimani. Perhaps because of his experience at Ipoa, Mr Kimani left a trail that detectives are partly relying on to track the killers. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Willie Kimani, the lawyer abducted and killed after a court appearance, was no ordinary advocate, but a hardened fighter against police brutality and extrajudicial executions.

His family and colleagues in the human rights movement believe that because of the nature of his work — which involved looking into the integrity of some of the most senior police officers in the country, as well as working with victims of a criminal justice system that has been known to fight back with killer vengeance — their son and friend was always a marked man living on borrowed time.

 

Mr Kimani, his client Josphat Mwenda, and their taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were found dead in Ol Donyo Sabuk a week ago, nine days after they were abducted while leaving a court house in Mavoko, Machakos County.

 

Corporal Stephen Cheburet Morogo, Senior Sergeant Fredrick Leliman, Leonard Maina Mwangi and Constable Silvia Wanjiku are in custody awaiting trial over the deaths.

http://mobile.nation.co.ke/news/Lawyer-defended-the-poor-and-fought-police-brutality/-/1950946/3284378/-/wi479pz/-/index.html

Saudi Arabia: Imprisoned human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair