Monthly Archives: November 2016

Turkey: Paris Bar Association gives award to three lawyers from Turkey

November 25, 2016


Libertarian Lawyers Platform (ÖHP) – recently founded by Libertarian Lawyers Association (ÖHD) and Mesopotamian Lawyers Association (MHD) – announced that Paris Bar Association gave the “Prix de la conférence des avocats du barreau de Paris” award to lawyers Ramazan Demir, Ayşe Acinikli and Selçuk Kozağaçlı this year.

Lawyers Ramazan Demir and Ayşe Acinikli will not be able to participate in this evening’s award ceremony because of the international travel ban on them.

Ramazan Demir stated that they accept the award on behalf of their colleagues in custody and prison.

The three lawyers play an important role in the legal struggle against the AKP government’s fascism targeting Kurdish people and democratic forces.

Joint statement: Human Rights Defenders are not criminals

November 29, 2016

OMCT logo

Human rights defenders worldwide are regularly subjected to harassment and trumped-up criminal charges aiming at paralysing, intimidating and delegitimising their human rights activities. They face difficulties carrying out their work in increasingly restrictive legislative and administrative environments denying the right to freedoms of association, expression and peaceful assembly. Licences of human rights NGOs have been steadily cancelled, bank accounts seized and their right to access foreign funds violated. A growing number of States have also developed a systematic pattern of obstacles to human rights defenders’ freedom of movement (in particular through the use of travel bans)in a clear attempt to isolate them.

Within the first year of the project,, the EU Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society, has perceived this phenomenon as a worldwide growing trend, which undermines the existence of an enabling environment for human rights defenders. Only in 2016, as per’s findings1, more than 425 defenders have faced judicial harassment and at least 193 defenders have been charged or sentenced to prison.

The misuse of domestic criminal justice systems and the development of restrictive legislations and regulations against human rights defenders have a threefold impact on their work. Firstly, it practically interferes with their daily human rights activities. It obliges them, for instance, to present themselves regularly to summons, to serve long periods of pre-trial detention or, when convicted, to serve sentences preventing them from pursuing their human rights activities. Secondly, it contributes to the stigmatisation of human rights defenders and organisations depicting them as criminals, therefore delegitimising their positive role in society. Thirdly, criminalisation and judicial harassment of defenders creates a chilling effect on civil society as a whole, specifically within the communities or groups to which the defenders belong, in many cases leading to social fragmentation and isolation of the defenders themselves.

Some groups of defenders have been more frequently the target of criminalisation by State and non-State actors, due to the issues they work on. In particular, land and environmental rights defenders, defenders working on economic, social and cultural rights, women’s rights (including sexual and reproductive rights), LGBTIQ rights, freedom of expression, rule of law or accountability issues, often face trumped-up criminal charges.

Egypt: محام: ضم المحامي «محمد صادق» لقضية محاولة اغتيال النائب العام المساعد التي وقعت بعد اختفائه بأكثر من 30 يوما

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 – 21:32


كشف مختار منير، المحامي بمؤسسة «حرية الفكر والتعبير»، عن ضم اسم المحامي «محمد صادق» في قضية محاولة اغتيال النائب العام المساعد.

وقال المحامي عزت غنيم، المدير التنفيذي للتنسيقي المصرية، أن المحامي محمد صادق المتهم بقضية محاولة اغتيال النائب العام المساعد زكريا عبد العزيز، تم اعتقاله فى 30 اغسطس من قبل قوات الأمن بمحطة قطار الجيزة هو وخاله، مما دفع زوجته لتقديم العديد من البلاغات بسبب اختفاءه.

وأوضح عزت غنيم، أن حادثة اغتيال النائب العام المساعد وقعت في 30 سبتمبر 2016، أي بعد 31 يوم من اعتقال محمد محمود صادق، مما يؤكد أن الواقعة تمت وهو بعهدة الأجهزة الأمنية، موضحاً أن نقيب محامين الجيزة محمود الداخلي أبلغ  زوجته أن محمد مقبوض عليه الحادثة بـ 10 أيام .

وتساءل غنيم لماذا قامت أجهزة الأمن بإقحام اسم السيد الزميل المحامي في قضية بالرغم من احتجازه لديهم من قبل وقوع محاولة الاغتيال و بعدها؟، وهل تتعمد تضليل العدالة لعدم رغبتها أو قدرتها فى الوصول للمجرم الحقيقي وخاصة أن المجني عليها قاضي؟، وهل سيقف القضاء أمام محاولات الزج بأبرياء في قضايا ملفقة وبمحاضر تحريات وهمية؟.

اتهام محامٍ بالشروع في قتل النائب العام المساعد خلال فترة اختفائه قسريًا

(Lawyer Mohamed Sadek disappeared 3 months ago, he then reappeared and was convicted of a charge in relation to the deputy general prosecutor, but this alleged act was committed 2 months after his disappearance)

China: Disappearance of lawyer Jiang Tianyong

November 30, 2016


L4L has grave concerns about lawyer Jiang Tianyong from China. He disappeared on the evening of 21 November 2016 after visiting the wife of detained human rights lawyer, Xie Yang. Xie Yang was detained during the “709-crackdown”.

Jiang Tianyong is a human rights lawyer who provides legal assistance and advice to marginalized members of Chinese society and other human rights defenders and human rights lawyers. In 2009, he was disbarred.

On 21 November 2016, Jiang Tianyong accompanied the wife of Xie Yang and three other lawyers to Changsha Detention Centre. He tried to arrange a meeting with the detained Xie Yang. At 10:22 pm, Jiang Tianyong informed his wife that he had purchased his return train ticket from Changsha to Beijing, which was scheduled to leave 30 minutes later. This was Jiang Tianyong’s final communication with his wife. Since that time, none of Jiang Tianyong’s family, friends or colleagues have seen or spoken to him.

On 23 November, one of his family members reported Jiang Tianyong’s disappearance to the Tongbolu Branch of the Zhengzhou Public Security Bureau. The officials refused to take up the case citing jurisdictional constraints because, although Jiang Tianyong’s residential status is registered in Zhengzhou, it was unclear where he was last seen.

China Disappearance of lawyer Jiang Tianyong

Disappeared Lawyer a Long-time Target of Surveillance, Detention, and Torture (FRANCAIS)

Zimbabwe: Police arrest well-known Zim lawyer in protest square

November 18, 2016


Prominent Zimbabwe lawyer Fadzayi Mahere was among a number of anti-government activists arrested on Friday in central Harare – even though they weren’t actually marching against President Robert Mugabe‘s government, the #ThisFlag protest movement said.

Critics of Mugabe had planned a march to demonstrate against the bank notes his central bank is intent upon introducing later this month – but police turned out in force to stop activists taking to the streets, it is understood.

Mahere and others were “sitting quietly” when they were arrested in Africa Unity Square, which is near parliament, according to @ThisFlag1980, the protest movement begun by a Harare pastor earlier this year.

They were later taken to Harare Central Police Station, eyewitnesses say.

Mahere, a Cambridge – and University of Zimbabwe- trained lawyer, posted a selfie earlier on Friday with the words: “We come in peace! Africa Unity Square #comethrough.”

WATCH: ZRP Cops (On Empty Stomach) Arrest Fadzayi Mahere | BREAKING NEWS

Mahere Out On Bail

Cuba: Human rights lawyers under threat in Cuba

November 21, 2016

Members of Cubalex, a Havana-based organization of human rights lawyers, have been subjected to months of harassment and intimidation by the Cuban authorities for their work.

Progressively since September, Cuban authorities have intimidated members of Cubalex (Legal Information Center), a non-government organization, not recognized by the Cuban authorities, which provides free legal and human rights advice in Havana, the capital.

On 23 September, according to its director, Laritza Diversent, authorities searched Cubalex’s centre of operation without warrant, confiscated a number of laptops and documents, and forced at least one woman to undress. The provincial prosecutor in Havana provided notice to Cubalex that it was under a tax investigation.

According to Cubalex, since then, state prosecutors have summoned at least two members of the organization for questioning. Cubalex stated that the interviews, which reportedly lasted up to one hour and 45 minutes, were filmed, leading members to believe that the authorities were seeking information to criminalize activities of the organization.

According to Cubalex, authorities have also questioned people who received advice and information from their centre.

Cubalex’s director reported that she has been stopped and questioned a number of times at the airport during her recent trips. She believes her home, which provides a base for Cubalex’s activities, is under surveillance. One of Cubalex’s members, Julio Ferrer Tamayo, reported being strip searched and detained during the search of Cubalex on 23 September and remains in custody.

Egypt: BHRC calls on Egypt to reverse travel bans imposed on Azza Soliman, Malek Adly and other human rights defenders

November 29, 2016

In a formal statement of concern published today, the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales has called on the Egyptian government to lift travel bans and asset-freezing orders imposed on human rights activists Azza Soliman, Malek Adly and others.

BHRC’s statement follows news that Ms. Soliman (a prominent women’s rights lawyer and co-founder of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance) has been banned from leaving Egypt, despite the lack of any formal legal process or prior notification, or reasons given for the ban. On 21 November, Ms. Soliman was informed that her personal assets and those of her law firm had also been frozen by the government, again without any prior notification or summoning for investigation.

These restrictions form part of an ongoing campaign by the Egyptian government to harass, intimidate and undermine the work of human rights defenders. Other lawyers and activists targeted include:

  • Malek Adly, a human rights lawyer and director of Lawyers Network at the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), banned from travelling abroad with no notice or reasons given.  Mr. Adly was released on 25 August 2016, having been held in solitary confinement for 115 days in contravention of international law.
  • Aida Seif El Dawla, co-founder of the Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, who was stopped as she prepared to board a flight to Tunisia to attend a conference for NGOs on victims of violence.
  • Gamal Eid, director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, Mohammed Zaree, Cairo office director of the Cairo Institution for Human Rights, and Ahmed Ragheb, founder of the National Community for Human Rights and Law, who have been subjected to freezes on their personal assets and those of the organisations they work for.