Monthly Archives: September 2016

Thailand: Embattled human rights lawyer accused of sedition

September 28, 2016

The police have accused an embattled human rights lawyer of sedition and violation of the junta’s political gathering ban, for observing a pro-democracy protest.

Police from Samranrat Police Station issued a summon order for Sirikan Charoensiri, a lawyer from the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), to report to the station on 27 September 2016, the TLHR reported.

Sirikan was only informed about the summon on 26 September, right after returning from a trip to Switzerland. She had travelled to Geneva on 17 September to speak at the 33rd general meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The police permitted Sirikan to postpone reporting.

According to the summon letter, the TLHR lawyer is accused of violating Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law; and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Head’s Order No. 3/2015, the junta’s ban on political gatherings of five or more persons.

She is accused of such charges for observing a pro-democracy gathering at Victory Monument, Bangkok, on 25 June 2015. The gathering was organised by the New Democracy Movement (NDM) activist group.

The police also accused Rangsiman Rome and other key members of the NDM of the same charges.

Earlier in May, the police police investigators pressed charges against Sirikan under Articles 142 and 368 of the Criminal Code for propagating false accusations against investigating officers and for disobeying police orders.

Turkey: HSYK 2. Daire Başkanı Nesibe Özer açlık grevine başladı


Tutuklu Bulunan Eski HSYK Daire Başkanı Açlık Grevinde

“Fethullahçı Terör Örgütü üyesi” olduğu iddiasıyla tutuklanan eski HSYK 2. Daire Başkanı Nesibe Özer, Bakırköy Cezaevi’nde açlık grevine başladı…

Hürriyet’ten İsmail Saymaz’ın haberine göre “Fethullahçı Terör Örgütü üyesi” olduğu iddiasıyla tutuklanan eski HSYK 2. Daire Başkanı Nesibe Özer, Bakırköy Cezaevi’nde açlık grevine başladı.

Avukatı Musir Deliduman’ın verdiği bilgiye göre Özer, 9 Eylül’de tek başına bir hücreye konuldu.

Dilekçelerine yanıt verilmeyen Özer, hücre uygulamasını protesto için açlık grevine başladı.

(Arrested former president of the second chamber of the judicial High Council, Ms. Nesibe Ozer, has started a hunger strike due to the fact that the prison administration has not been allowing her letters and formal petitions to be sent from prison and she has been subjected to solitary confinement.)

China: China Targets ‘Die Hard’ Lawyers

September 27, 2016

Li Jinxing poses at the entrance of the Bureau of Prison Administration, Zhengzhou, Henan province.

After being expelled from court while trying to defend a client who said he had been tortured, Chinese lawyer Li Jinxing wrote: “Is this what being a lawyer is like…? We have worked hard on behalf of the rank and file; and yet this is the misery we end up with!”

Li is best known for defending individuals facing execution or lengthy sentences for crimes in which they maintain their innocence. Many of his clients said they confessed after being tortured. In some of these cases, Li successfully got courts to overturn the verdicts and saved people’s lives. He and other “die hard” lawyers, as they are now known, advocate for their clients’ rights, publicize those cases, criticize the authorities for their handling of cases, and push for legal reform. Inspired by the United States-based Innocence Project, which works to free wrongfully convicted people from prison, in 2013 Li and others established “Aid the Innocents,” which is dedicated to defending cases in which detainees have suffered the gravest injustices. As the Chinese government feels the pressure of public frustrations with the politicized legal system, it has proved willing to overturn some high-profile wrongful convictions. Li’s project should be viewed as a promising endeavor.

In January 2015, President Xi Jinping vowed to shape the legal system into a “knife held firmly in the [hands of] the Party.” And in a legal system designed to serve Communist Party imperatives rather than the rule of law, Li is not an ally, but an enemy: On September 26, 2016, he revealed that judicial authorities in eastern Shandong province said theyplanned to revoke his license to practice law, after a Guangdong court complained to them about Li’s “disruptions to the order of the court.” Li apparently irked court officials by complaining about procedural violations when he represented Guo Feixiong, a well-known activist.

Over the past year Chinese authorities have increasingly sought to silence human rights lawyers. Courts have handed down harsh sentences against rights lawyers Xia Lin, Zhou Shifeng, and Tang Jingling, while continuing to detain five lawyers who were apprehended in a nationwide sweep in July 2015. The government recently issued a new set of administrative measures that aim to exert greater control over lawyers and law firms.

Thailand: Lawyer Sirikan ‘June’ summoned for ‘sedition’ charge in another lawsuit



Ms Sirikan Charoensiri (June), human rights lawyer and legal and documentation specialist at Thai LawMyers for Human Rights (TLHR), was summoned to report to the police at the Bangkok’s Samranrat Municipality Police Station at 10 am on 27 September 2016. The summons indicated the ground that she was allegedly being an accomplice to the offence of ‘making an appearance to public by words, writings or any other means which is not an act within the purpose of the Constitution’ according to Section 116, ‘sedition’ like offence, as well as having together participated in an unlawful meeting or political gathering of five persons or more, which violates the Order of the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) no. 3/2015 Section 12.” The case states between a military officer; Lt.Col. Pongsarit Pawangkanan, the accuser, and Mr. Rangsiman or Rome and others, the alleged offenders, which is in relation to the prosecution against the fourteen student activists of the New Democracy Movement (NDM) for organizing their anti-coup gatherings in Bangkok during 24-25 June 2015.

The police summons against Ms. Sirikan was first issued on 14 September 2016 and ordered her to report for the charges on 20 September 2016. The summons was sent to her apartment while she was away. The second summons was issued on 20 September 2016 which ordered her to report to police on 27 September 2016. However, Ms. Sirikan was out of the country to attend the 33rd regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17-25 September 2016, as invited by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), and only returned to Thailand in the evening of 26 September 2016. Therefore, on 27 September, Ms. Sirikan submitted a letter to postpone the reporting for charges with police until a new date is scheduled. The Samranrat Police Station will later issue another summon.

The summons fail to provide any implicit details or circumstance of her actions which allegedly violated the law. Given that the summons were issued by the same police station, which handled fourteen NDM students case, and the same military officer, who filed against them, it is likely that Ms. Sirikan was accused for her presence to provide legal support for the students at their peaceful demonstration on 25 June 2015. This will come clearer once the police inform charges against her on the new reporting date.

Lawyer Sirikan ‘June’ summoned for ‘sedition’ charge in another lawsuit

Egypt: “Court ruling won’t stop us”, say Egyptian rights activists

September 28, 2016


A prominent investigative journalist, a campaigning lawyer and an education rights activist saw their assets frozen on 17 September by an Egyptian court, as part of a long-running attempt by the government to stifle human rights activism in the country. Hossam Bahgat, Gamal Eid and Abdel Hafiz Tayel are among a group of campaigners who have been told by judges that they cannot spend money in their bank accounts, while organisations they work with have been told to shut down. The Hisham Mubarak Law Centre, Right to Education Centre and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies are among the organisations affected by the ruling.

This decision is just the beginning of a series of repressive measures against the human rights movement”, said education rights activist Abdel Hafiz Tayel after the judgement.

The Egyptian authorities are also using travel bans on human rights campaigners. In May this year, Mohamed Zaraa, programme director at the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, was prevented from travelling to Tunis. This followed travel bans on Gamal Eid and Hossam Bahgat, in connection with a 2011 court case over the alleged receipt of foreign funds.

This case began with judges accusing 43 activists from Egypt, the USA, Germany, Norway, Lebanon and Palestine, working for non-profit organisations in Egypt, of establishing an NGO and receiving foreign funding without a license. Receiving funds from abroad is illegal in Egypt, and carries stiff penalties. It is also almost impossible to legally establish an NGO, particularly in fields which the government considers sensitive, such as human rights.

“Court ruling won’t stop us”, say Egyptian rights activists

Turkey: Dépôt devant la Cour Constitutionnelle turque d’un Amicus Curiae rédigé en soutien à nos confrères turcs Ayşe Acinikli et Ramazan Demir

le 27 septembre, 2016



Le Barreau de Paris poursuit son soutien à Ayşe Acinikli et Ramazan Demir, avocats au barreau d’Istanbul et membres d’honneur du Barreau de Paris, poursuivis pour avoir exercé leur profession et défendu leurs clients.

Leurs conseils déposeront, aujourd’hui, devant la Cour Constitutionnelle turque à Ankara, l’Amicus Curiae rédigé par leur équipe de défense française – Jacques Bouyssou, Martin Pradel, Rusen Aytac et Jennifer Halter – et signé par Monsieur Frédéric Sicard, Bâtonnier de Paris, Madame Dominique Attias, Vice Bâtonnière, Monsieur Fadhel Mahfoudh, Ancien Bâtonnier de l’Ordre des Avocats de Tunisie et Prix Nobel de la Paix, et les Secrétaires de la Conférence.

C’est l’honneur du Barreau de Paris que de contribuer à ce que justice soit rendue lorsque les droits de la défense sont menacés.

Prenez connaissance de l’Amicus Curiae :

Egypt: The Plight of Egypt’s Political Prisoners

Summer 2016

On December 2, 2013, Mahienour al-Massry organized a protest on the corniche running along the Mediterranean seafront in Alexandria, Egypt’s second city. The human rights attorney’s raven ponytail and oversized black glasses made her easy to spot amid the dozens of people with their backs turned to the sea and their eyes trained on the courthouse across the busy roadway. Inside the building, two police officers were appealing their conviction for the brutal killing of Khalid Sa‘id in 2010, one of the incidents that galvanized the 2011 uprising that brought down President Husni Mubarak. The protesters shouted: “Down with every agent of the military!”

It was not long before Alexandria’s chief of police led a contingent of black-clad officers through the traffic to the corniche. They stationed themselves not more than three feet from where the demonstrators had taken their stand. “You have ten minutes,” the chief growled into a megaphone, his amplified voice drowned out by the protesters’ calls for the execution of Mubarak and his ruling clique as well as the current president, ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi.

A phalanx of riot police and a few masked officers fanned out facing the protest. “It was barely ten minutes,” al-Massry recalled, before the first water cannon spouted. The tear gas came next. Then the riot police bore down in a formation so tight it appeared they would swallow the demonstration whole. Women screamed as the policemen swung their batons. “The Interior Ministry are thugs,” they shouted in shaking voices. Al-Massry said the police were “beating us senseless. One protester had his head cut open by a masked special forces man with an American stick.” Luckily, she herself was unhurt.

Vietnam: Nguyễn Văn Đài détenu dans un lieu inconnu depuis le 16 décembre 2015

le 27 septembre, 2016

[L’Observatoire] Les Oubliés (7)
Ils croupissent quelque part seuls dans une cellule sans que personne ne songent à eux…

Lettre ouverte au Président de la République Française François Hollande

Monsieur François Hollande Président de la république Française Palais de l’Élysée 55 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008 Paris France
Paris, le 2 septembre 2016
Monsieur le Président de la République,
A l’occasion de votre visite au Vietnam, du 5 au 7 septembre, la FIDH et ses organisations membres, le Comité Vietnam pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (CVDDH) et la Ligue française des Droits de l’Homme (LDH), souhaitent vous faire part de leur plus grande préoccupation concernant les graves (…) (ENGLISH)

Pakistan: 54 voices: What we lost in the Quetta carnage

August 26, 2016

Black coats and blood. That is all one could make out through the dust and smoke outside Quetta Civil Hospital on that gruesome August 8 morning.

As the news of the targeted killing of senior lawyer Bilal Anwar Kasi spread, the city’s enraged lawyers reached the hospital emergency ward to stage a protest. Just two months earlier, another senior lawyer and academic had been gunned down. They had had enough.

But fate played an even crueler trick. As the crowd of lawyers thickened, a suicide bomber walked into their midst and detonated lethal explosives.

“It will take us five years just to realise what we have lost,” Barkhurdar Khan, a Quetta-based lawyer tells Dawn.

From the total death toll of at least 70, 54 individuals were from the legal community. We take a closer look at the lives of these lawyers — activists, husbands, fathers and sons. (FRANCAIS)

Egypt: joint NGO statement to UN Human Rights Council

September 26, 2016

The ICJ today at the UN Human Rights Council, joined other organisations to condemn the increasing attacks aimed at deterring NGOs from exposing human rights violations.

The statement was delivered by the leading international NGO the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), on behalf of ICJ, Amnesty International, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Centros de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS), Conectas Direitos Humanos, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Programme (EHAHRDP), and Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), during a general debate on Follow up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA).

The organisations stated as follows:

“The failure of States to protect in these instanes is incompatible with the VDPA’s recognition of the ‘important role of non-governmental organisations in the promotion of all human rights’, that NGOs should be able to play this role ‘without interference’, and that they ‘enjoy the rights and freedoms recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.

One example of such interference is the ruling on 17 September by a Cairo Criminal Court to freeze the personal bank accounts of five Egyptian human rights defenders – Bahey el din Hassan, Hossam Bahgat, Gamal Eid, Mostafa El-Hassan, and Abdel Hafiz Tayel – as part of the ongoing investigations into case no.173, also known as the foreign funding case.

The court also froze the bank accounts of three human rights NGOs: the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Hisham Mubarak Law Center, and Center for the Right to Education.

Egypt: joint NGO statement to UN Human Rights Council