Daily Archives: 09/07/2016

Kenya: Lawyer’s murder puts spotlight on Kenyan police ‘death squads’

July 9, 2016

The disappearance and killing of prominent Kenyan lawyer Willie Kimani along with his client and taxi driver has sparked nationwide anger over rampant police violations. But can the outrage lead to change?

Kenyan police have such a reputation for human rights violations that in some cities activists working on sensitive cases have established a system of sending text messages to their colleagues if they suspect a car or motorbike is trailing them.

In the eastern Kenyan port city of Mombasa, for instance, a number of victims had reported incidents of unmarked cars or bikes following them just days before they mysteriously disappeared. The suspects in most of these cases are security officers working for police intelligence or anti-terror units.

Over the past few years, Mombasa has experienced a number of cases of “disappeared” imams – or Muslim preachers – suspected of links with the Somali-based jihadist group al Shaabab. The bodies of the imams were invariably discovered weeks or months later, sparking occasional unrest across the city.

http://www.france24.com/en/20160708-kenya-police-death-squads-lawyer-human-rights

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2016/07/09/american-lawyers-join-kenyans-in-fight-against-police-killings_c1383221

http://www.france24.com/fr/20160709-meurtre-avocat-police-kenyane-abus-manifestation-colere-population-justice (FRANCAIS)

 

China: An Open Letter by Legal Professionals To President Xi Jinping On the Occasion of the anniversary of the 709 Crackdown

July 9, 2016

Dear President Xi Jinping,

On the occasion of the anniversary of the arrests and detention of human rights lawyers and defenders, which started on 9 July 2015 (referred to in the media as the “709 crackdown”), we express our continued concern regarding the situation of our colleagues who are still in detention.  Today, 23 individuals are held under formal arrest, 9 of them human rights lawyers, 1 law firm staff and 13 human rights defenders.ii The lawyers and legal assistants held under formal arrest are:Wang Yu 王宇, lawyer of Fengrui Law Firm (arrested for “subversion of State power”, defense counsel was verbally informed that case would be extended for another 2 months for police investigation till 3 August 2016)Bao Longjun 包龙军, lawyer (arrested for ‘inciting subversion of State power’, case status unclear – but assumed to have been extended for another 2 months for police investigation till 3 August 2016)Zhou Shifeng 周世锋, lawyer and director of Fengrui Law Firm (arrested for  “subversion of State power”, family member was verbally informed that the case would be transferred to the Procuratorate for deliberation of an indictment, brother has issued a written notification on 20 June to dismiss the lawyer originally appointed.)Li Heping 李和平 , lawyer (arrested for “subversion of State power”, family member was verbally informed that the case has been transferred to the extended for another 2 months for police investigation till 3 August 2016)Wu Gan 吳淦 (aka butcher), legal assistant of Fengrui Law Firm (arrested for “inciting subversion of State power”, “Picking quarrels and provoking troubles”, family was verbally informed that the case would be extended for another 2 months of police investigation till 20 August 2016)

We note these cases in particular because of the international attention they have attracted and the significant implications they have for the rule of law and exercise of the legal profession in China.

As legal practitioners from around the world, we support and embrace the universal values underpinning human rights and the rule of law, and we aim for the improvement of the situation for lawyers and human rights defenders and access to justice for all. It is in this light that we wish to remind you of your continuous pledges, Mr. President, to uphold the rule of law in China.

We are, however, disturbed by the many reports on the violations of law in the handling of the cases implicated in the 709 crackdown, to which the Chinese government has so far not granted any clarification or explanation. They include:

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s574/sh/07589096-013a-4c6b-9be9-e7fab80be058/735948f6530a71f16b2486b0a446b1dc

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s574/sh/0352cbed-8a80-4db0-bf71-dcc42cad7a2a/0cf9dc0807c6aa55 (CHINESE VERSION)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3681939/Overseas-lawyers-groups-decry-China-rights-crackdown.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/overseas-lawyers-groups-decry-china-rights-crackdown/2016/07/09/e5785b30-459d-11e6-a76d-3550dba926ac_story.html

The ‘709 Incident:’ Some Testimony From the Human Rights Lawyer Community

http://www.ibanet.org/Article/NewDetail.aspx?ArticleUid=268f23d5-e19b-4fbc-abd3-7a884d39be04

China: Human rights lawyers, family members call for release of remaining detainees on first anniversary of ‘709 crackdown’

http://en.europeonline-magazine.eu/german-human-rights-czar-criticizes-china-over-lawyer-detentions_468209.html

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1987753/open-letter-xi-uphold-rule-law-and-release-unlawfully-detained-rights

http://www.dw.com/en/rights-defenders-criticize-china-over-ongoing-lawyer-detentions/a-19390121

http://www.dw.com/de/menschenrechtsbeauftragte-gei%C3%9Felt-chinas-verfolgung-von-anw%C3%A4lten/a-19389854 (GERMAN)