July 20, 2016
The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is extremely concerned by the sudden dismissal of more than 2,500 judges and prosecutors in Turkey, following an attempted coup d’état in the country on Friday 15 July. The IBAHRI calls on Turkey to respect its international obligations, avoid undue mass targeting of state institutions such as the judiciary, and ensure that a transparent investigation is carried out to identify those responsible for instigating the military coup.
Following the attempt to overthrow the government, the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) reportedly held an emergency meeting on Saturday 16 July, during which it made the decision to remove more than 2,500 judges just a few hours after the coup attempt had failed. Subsequently, several of these judges, including members of the HYSK, were reportedly arrested and charged under offences listed in the 15th section of the Turkish Penal Code: ‘Offenses against Constitutional Order and Operation of Constitutional Rules.’
IBAHRI Co-Chair, Ambassador (ret) Hans Corell stated, ‘The speed with which the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors was able to identify such a large number of judges supposedly linked to the coup attempt is extremely concerning to the IBAHRI. The HYSK should refrain from suspending and arresting judges until an independent and transparent investigation has taken place to establish whether there is a concrete link between individual judges and those responsible for the failed putsch. This sort of blanket dismissal is in direct conflict with Turkey’s Constitutional protection for judges’ security of tenure and against unfair dismissal. It also disregards international legal standards, such as the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, which provide that all decisions related to judicial suspension and dismissal should be the result of a fair hearing and be subject to an independent review.’
July 20, 2016
The Bar has erupted yet again. Two separate incidents of striking similarity have rocked the Bar of three States – Punjab, Haryana and Kerala.
While the lawyers in Punjab and Haryana have abstained from work for the past three days, things in Kerala got out of hand yesterday when lawyers assaulted media persons.
Trouble in both places was triggered by arrest of lawyers.
Punjab & Haryana
The trouble began when advocate Jatin Salwan was arrested on July 1 in connection with a drug case by Chandigarh police. Two other persons were also arrested along with Salwan including a retired police officer.
The arrest followed allegations of planting opium and fake currency in a car of one Bhagwan Singh, who was arrested by the police last month.
The arrest of Salwan sparked of protests among lawyers, with a number of District Bar associations and the High Court Bar association calling for a strike.
July 16, 2016
Last Saturday was the anniversary of the “709 crackdown”. A year ago, on 9th July, over 300 lawyers, law firm staff, human rights activists, and their family members were rounded up in a manner unprecedented even for mainland China. One year on, many remain in detention. Last month, over 50 mainland lawyers issued a joint declaration condemning the Tianjin police for the way they handled their cases. Last week, a new documentary was released, highlighting the struggles faced by the human rights lawyers’ wives and their children. With us in the studio is John Clancey of the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group.
(Report about the 709 Crackdown about 12:00 in the video, from a Hong Kong TV station)