Daily Archives: 09/08/2016

Burundi: Lawyers Persecuted Over Torture Report

August 9, 2016

FOUR Burundi lawyers involved in the compilation of a report indicting the government of torture are facing reprisals.

Lawyers Armel Niyongere, Lambert Nigarura, Dieudonné Bashirahishize and Vital Nshimirimana, compiled the report for the United Nations Committee against Torture.

The committee has sent a letter to the Burundian Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland seeking urgent reassurances that no member of Burundian civil society would be subject to reprisals for cooperating with the committee.

On 29 July, a Burundian prosecutor asked the President of the Bujumbura Bar Council to strike the lawyers off, alleging that they had committed several offences, including involvement in an insurrectionist movement and an attempted coup.

The UN committee’s letter, signed by Chair Jens Modvig and Rapporteur on Reprisals, Alessio Bruni, noted the prosecutor requested sanctions against the lawyers, rather than an inquiry to establish the facts.

This concern is stronger given that the prosecutor’s request came as the Burundian delegation, presided over by the Minister of Justice, indicated they would not be participating in the second session of dialogue with the committee, citing the alternative report by Burundian civil society.

The committee is due to publish its findings on Friday.


UNCAT is concerned about reprisals against four Burundi lawyers




http://www.idhae.org/observatoire-fr-page4.1.bur072916.htm (FRANCAIS)

http://www.abogacia.es/2016/08/08/el-observatorio-internacional-de-abogados-en-riesgo-alerta-sobre-amenzas-a-abogados-en-burundi/ (ESPANOL)

Taiwan/China: Advocates slam China’s trials of rights activists

August 9, 2016

Taiwanese human rights advocates and lawmakers yesterday held a news conference in Taipei to condemn Beijing for its conviction of three Chinese human rights activists and a lawyer for subversion, saying that last week’s trials — which featured the unprecedented sentencing of a defense attorney for subversion — were a gross violation of civil liberties.

Organized by the Taiwan Support China Human Rights Lawyers Network, the news conference was attended by Democratic Progressive Party legislators Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) and Wellington Koo (顧立雄); New Power Party Legislator Kawlo Iyun Pacidal; former Social Democratic Party convener Fan Yun (范雲); Taiwan Association for Human Rights lawyer Clarence Chou (周宇修) and Taiwan Association for China Human Rights chairman Yang Hsien-hung (楊憲宏).

Chinese lawyer Zhou Shifeng (周世峰) and human rights advocates Zhai Yanmin (翟岩民), Gou Hongguo (勾洪國) and Hu Shigen (胡石根) were convicted for subversion in trials held from Tuesday to Friday, and were handed down jail terms ranging from three to seven-and-a-half years.

While Chinese authorities claim the trials were open and transparent, none of the accused were allowed to defend themselves, nor were members of their families or the general public allowed in the courtrooms, and only foreign media known to be friendly to China were permitted to observe the proceedings, Taiwan Support China Human Rights Lawyers Network convenor Kuo Chi-jen (郭吉仁) said.

“The Chinese judicial system is shot through with legal abuses and is a tool for suppressing human rights,” he said.







#Freethelawyers #709crackdown

Pakistan: We strongly condemn Quetta blast

August 9. 2016

(lawyers demonstrating today)


Pakistan: Pakistani lawyers go on strike after dozens killed in attack

August 9, 2016

First responders and volunteers transport an injured man away from the scene of a bomb blast outside a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan August 8, 2016. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed

Pakistani lawyers staged a nationwide strike on Tuesday after dozens of colleagues were slain in a suicide bombing that killed at least 70 people at a hospital in the southwestern city of Quetta.

Medical staff said up to 60 of those slain in the bombing at a government hospital were lawyers who had gathered to mourn the assassination earlier on Monday of the president of the Baluchistan Bar Association, Bilal Anwar Kasi.

Islamic State was one of two Islamist militant groups to claim responsibility for the atrocity, although officials and analysts said they had doubts over whether the Middle East-based movement was behind the blast.

Supreme Court Bar President Ali Zafar called for the government to do more to protect lawyers.

“Lawyers are relatively more vocal against militancy and they are fighting cases against people accused of terrorism, so it would make sense that they are being targeted,” said Ali Malik, a Lahore-based lawyer.

“An attack on lawyers makes a mockery of the law enforcement agencies, it undermines the promises of the state against terrorists and breeds fear among vulnerable citizens.”







Quetta attack: Pakistan mourns as lawyers begin boycott





Quetta Blast: Lawyers observing mourning day, offer absentia funeral prayers



USA: Ed Meese: Proposed Lawyer Ethics Rule ‘Borders on Fascism’

August 8, 2016

Image: Ed Meese: Proposed Lawyer Ethics Rule 'Borders on Fascism'

Edwin Meese III, a former U.S. attorney general appointed by President Ronald Reagan, decried a proposed change in the the American Bar Association’s ethics rules as a threat to freedom of speech and religion in letter written with a religious-liberties lawyer Kelly Shackelford.

The professional organization’s Model Rule 8.4 would make it an ethics violation to “discriminate on the basis of race … sexual orientation, gender identity … or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law.” Critics say the proposal goes too far and would have a chilling effect if it were made part of the rules of conduct governing practicing lawyers.

The rule, “if adopted by state bar associations, would empower those who run state bar associations — largely establishment lawyers — to selectively discipline and even disbar individual lawyers whose values are traditional rather than progressive,” say attorneys Herbert W. Titus and William J. Olson, writing in American Thinker.

The rule change would allow attorneys to be disbarred based on their religious or political views, or for their membership in organizations that express views that could be considered discriminatory, according to Meese and Shackelford.


China: Bailed Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Have Yet to Regain Liberty

August 8, 2016


Two prominent human rights attorneys detained at the start of a nationwide operation targeting lawyers last year have yet to regain their liberty, despite having been “released” on bail, rights activists said.

Bao Longjun, husband and colleague of rights lawyer Wang Yu, was granted bail on Aug. 5, and was reported by state media to be in good health following a meeting with his wife, who is also reportedly out on bail.

But the couple has yet to be seen by friends or former colleagues, however, and may be being held under some form of soft detention at an unknown location.

Meanwhile, 13 other lawyers and rights activists look set to face further televised “confessions” and show trials in the coming weeks, rights activists said.

“[Wang] has so far not been free to go home or contact supporters, and her whereabouts remain unknown,” the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) network, which collates reports from activists inside China, said in a statement on Monday.

“[Bao’s] whereabouts remain unknown at this time,” it said.


#Freethelawyers #709crackdown #WangYu

Endangered Lawyers: On the front line of democracy (2)

August 9, 2016

Endangered Lawyers: On the front line of democracy

August 9, 2016

Pakistan: des avocats en grève après l’attentat

le 9 août, 2016

De nombreux avocats à travers le Pakistan ont décidé de ne pas participer aux audiences aujourd’hui pour protester contre l’attentat suicide qui a tué la veille 70 personnes dont nombre de leurs confrères dans le sud-ouest du pays.

L’attentat a frappé l’hôpital civil de Quetta (sud-ouest) au moment où environ 200 personnes, en grande partie avocats et journalistes, étaient venues se recueillir sur la dépouille du bâtonnier de la province, assassiné quelques heures plus tôt.
“Les avocats de tout le pays vont boycotter les procédures judiciaires mardi en signe de protestation après le meurtre d’avocats à Quetta hier”, a indiqué dans un communiqué le Conseil du Barreau du Pakistan.

Les écoles du Baloutchistan, province instable dont Quetta est la capitale, vont rester fermées aujourd’hui en signe de deuil, a indiqué le porte-parole de l’exécutif provincial, Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar. Les victimes vivant à proximité de Quetta ont déjà été enterrées, selon lui, et seules celles originaires de régions éloignées doivent encore être inhumées. Parmi les 112 blessés décomptés par des responsables lundi, 27 dans un état critique ont été transportés par air jusqu’à Karachi, où ils sont désormais “hors de danger” selon un porte parole de l’hôpital Aga Khan.

L’attentat a été revendiqué hier soir par une faction talibane, Jammat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), puis par le groupe Etat islamique (EI).








Pakistan: Karachi’s lawyers demand justice for slain colleagues

August 9, 2016

Karachi’s lawyers demand justice for slain colleagues

City’s legal fraternity boycotts courts and stages protest, will continue to do so today too;
Sindh govt announces day of mourning


Karachi’s legal fraternity boycotted courts and staged a protest on Monday to protest against the murder of Balochistan Bar Association President Bilal Anwar Kasi in Quetta earlier in the day and then a bomb blast at the civil hospital there wherein at least 70 people were killed and several others injured, mostly lawyers.

“We have lost our fellow lawyers, our brothers and innocent people in Quetta. We will continue our boycott of courts tomorrow too,” Karachi Bar Association (KBA) president Mehmoodul Hassan told The News.


Pakistani lawyers announce week of mourning over hospital blast






http://www.rfi.fr/asie-pacifique/20160808-pakistan-explosion-meurtriere-balouchistan-hopital-quetta-bombe-avocats-barr (FRANCAIS)