Daily Archives: 03/12/2016

Kenya/Iran/Israel: Iran Urges Kenya to Release Citizens Held on Suspicion of Plotting Attack on Israeli Embassy

December 2, 2016

Sayed Nasrollah Ebrahimi and Abdolhosein Ghola Safafe are charged for taking video clips of the Israeli embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, December 1, 2016.

Iran urged Kenya on Friday to immediately release two Iranians charged with collecting information for a terrorist act after filming the Israeli Embassy in Nairobi, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
The two Iranian nationals and their Kenyan driver were arrested in a car belonging to the Iranian Embassy on Tuesday. The diplomatic status of the two Iranians was unclear.
Tasnim reported that the Kenyan ambassador to Tehran was summoned on Thursday by Iran’s Foreign Ministry over the arrest and that the “necessity for the immediate release of the two Iranians was underlined during the meeting.”
An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman denied any wrongdoing by the arrested men, saying they were university teachers in Tehran.
“The two Iranians are lawyers who had gone to Kenya to provide their jailed Iranian clients in Kenya with legal counseling,” spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said. “Police arrested them as they returned from a meeting with their clients in prison.”


Colombia: Reinaldo Villalba Vargas

le 3 décembre, 2016


Pays d’origine : Colombie

Profession : Avocat

Causes défendues : defense des paysans, syndicalistes, étudiants et opposants politiques. Il a participé à de nombreux procès à la suite de massacres et d’assassinats liés au conflit armé en Colombie.

Vice-Président du Collectif d’Avocats José Alvear Restrepo – CCAJAR, Reinaldo Villalba Vargas fait partie de ces avocats colombiens qui ont dédié leur carrière à la défense de leurs concitoyens dont les droits furent violés, de manière grave et persistante tout au long du conflit armé qu’a connu la Colombie. Pour cet engagement, il a subi de très nombreuses pressions et persecutions et demeure l’un des avocats les plus menaces du pays.

Né le 15 juillet 1959 à Fusagasugá en Colombie, l’engagement de Reinaldo Villalba Vargas en faveur des droits civils et politiques commence très tôt lorsqu’il prend part aux activités des syndicats étudiants pour la defense de l’éducation publique. Diplômé de l’Université de droit et sciences politiques de Colombie, il se spécialise en droit pénal et collabore dès 1992 avec le collectif d’avocats “José Alvear Restrepo”, une organisation non-gouvernementale qui oeuvre en faveur des droits de l’Homme depuis près de 40 ans et est membre du réseau de la FIDH et de l’OMCT, ainsi que membre consultatif devant l’OEA.


Turkey: UN expert says torture appeared widespread after Turkey coup.

December 2, 2016

Sweeping security measures adopted in Turkey after a failed July 15 coup attempt created an environment conducive to the torture and ill-treatment of detainees despite the presence of legal safeguards, a U.N. expert said Friday.

Briefing reporters in Ankara, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer said he had visited numerous prisons and met with Turkish officials as well as individuals detained over their alleged involvement in the botched coup.

He says “torture and other forms of ill-treatment seem to have been widespread in the days and weeks following the failed coup,” particularly at the time when they were detained.

Melzer spoke at the end of a six-day visit to Turkey to look into torture and will present his findings in March 2018 to the U.N. Human Rights Council. After visiting detention facilities in Ankara, Diyarbakir, Sanliura and Istanbul, he described overall detention conditions as satisfactory.

But the expert expressed concern over emergency measures such as the extension of pre-trial detention to 30 days and denying a detainee access to a lawyer for up to five days.





Egypt: Former political prisoner speaks out on Egypt’s jails

October 28, 2016

Mahienour el-Massry is an Egyptian political activist and lawyer who is well-known for employee rights advocacy and for taking part in the January 25 Revolution and June 30, 2013, demonstrations. She is one of the first activists who helped uncover the facts surrounding the killing of Khaled Saeed — the young Egyptian whose death in police custody is widely cited as helping spark the 2011 revolution.

On May 20, 2014, the court upheld a decision to sentence Massry to prison under the protest law for “demonstrating without permit and assaulting security forces,” for protesting during the trial of those accused of killing Saeed on Dec. 2, 2013.

On June 26, 2014, while Massry was in prison, the committee of the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize announced its decision that Massry be awarded the 2014 prize. Massry was released from prison in August of this year. In an interview with Al-Monitor, Massry spoke about her experience in prison.

The text of the interview follows:

Al-Monitor:  How much time did you spend in prison?

Massry:  I was arrested for the first time during a demonstration related to Khaled Saeed on Dec. 2, 2013. A six-month jail sentence was confirmed on May 20, 2014, for protesting, assaulting security forces and causing damages. I was arrested for the second time in 2015, during a protest in front of the Ittihadiya Palace, and I was sentenced to 15 months in prison, which I spent in Damanhour prison and Qanater prison, under the law on public assembly.



http://www.mo.be/interview/de-egyptische-activiste-mahinour-el-masry-we-waren-na-ef-dom-en-we-hebben-onszelf (DEUTSCH)

China: China calls meeting with French, German envoys over rights prize

December 2, 2016


China‘s Foreign Ministry has called a meeting with the French and German envoys to Beijing after the countries awarded a Franco-German award to Wang Qiaoling, the wife of jailed human rights lawyer Li Heping, sources at the German embassy told dpa Friday.

On Thursday, Wang Qiaolong was awarded the Franco-German Human Rights Prize alongside 15 other recipients “for her tireless dedication to representing the families of lawyers and activists held in China,” the countries said in a statement.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault took the opportunity to call on the Chinese government to release Li Heping from jail, where he is awaiting trial.

The release should take place “immediately, in accordance with the rule of law, as set out in the Chinese constitution, and the principle that lawyers must be able to defend their clients without hindrance,” the ministers said in a statement.

Wang Qiaoling was not available for comment on Friday as her phone was switched off. She has been warned by Chinese authorities not to communicate with foreign journalists.



China: Now China comes for the lawyers

December 2, 2016

CHINA’S CRACKDOWN on lawyers and human rights defenders is not a single event but a rolling onslaught. Last month, three prominent rights activists were detained by police in separate provinces. What makes these detentions so pernicious is that China’s security apparatus has targeted the backbone of the rights movement: lawyers and defenders who represent the accused. The latest detentions are part of President Xi Jinping’s broader campaign to snuff out opposition to the ruling party-state wherever it can be found.

Liu Feiyue, one of the activists recently arrested, started a website in 2006, Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch, or Minsheng Guancha. The website has documented protests, land seizures, detentions and other human rights violations that often go unreported by the official Chinese news media. Mr. Liu’s website, one of the few located on the mainland to courageously expose such stories, was blocked in China soon after it was launched. He was undeterred.

For two decades, Mr. Liu has been repeatedly detained, harassed and put under surveillance by the authorities. He was routinely taken in during politically sensitive events such as sessions of the Chinese party congress and legislature. But this time, the charges appear to be more serious.