December 11, 2016
A lawyer for the Gabon opposition leader Jean Ping, who is still disputing the re-election of President Ali Bongo, has been missing for three days, according to Ping’s team.
Eric Iga Iga, one of two lawyers who represented Ping in Constitutional Court in September when he sought to challenge Bongo’s victory, vanished without explanation on Thursday, Iga Iga’s associates said.
“He told me on the phone that a suspicious car was waiting at his house and he was trying to find out more,” John Nambo, Ping’s chief of staff, told AFP.
Iga Iga’s wife reported that men had searched the family home in the presence of the couple’s children, Nambo added.
Jean-Remy Bantsantsa, the other lawyer who represented Ping, said of the disappearance: “We have been round to all the police stations and the gendarmerie posts.”
December 12, 2016
In July 2016, the CCBE issued a statement highlighting its concerns over the situation in Turkey following the attempted coup of 15 July. It was particularly concerned about the reports of the dismissal and arrests of thousands of judges. Since then, the CCBE has been monitoring very closely the developments in Turkey, in particular, regarding lawyers.
According to our latest figures, there are approximately 300 lawyers and 3000 judges who have been arrested and/or detained in Turkey.
After the failed coup, human rights and rule of law have been severely undermined by way of 11 decree laws enacted under the state of emergency legislation. Hundreds of civil society organisations have been shut down, with many being detained incommunicado, a wide censorship on media has been put in place, thousands of public servants (including judges and prosecutors) have been removed from office and arrested. Against this background, lawyers are facing overwhelming obstacles in defending their clients.
In anti-terrorism law related cases, lawyer-client confidentiality is barely present: clients’ interviews in prisons are recorded and often take place with the presence of a police officer in the room; documents are confiscated and checked; clients have no access to a lawyer for the first five days of police custody, and this right can be suspended for up to six months.