Daily Archives: 14/12/2016

China: Party tightens screw on Chinese lawyers

December 13, 2016

Law firms in China could face punishment if their members or staff take part in activities such as writing open letters or signing petitions under new ‘administrative measures for law firms’ which came into force last month.

The new rules are an example of a continuing clamp-down on lawyers whose cases have human rights implications condemned in a hard-hitting report by the body representing European bar associations.

Reporting on the Situation of Lawyers in China, the Comité Consultatif des Barreaux Européens (CCBE) says that under the new measures, law firms must not permit ‘the manufacture of public opinion pressure to attack or disparage judicial authorities or the judicial system’ through ‘petition signature campaigns, online gatherings, support statements, discussions around specific cases and other tactics.’

The new measures also make the Chinese Communist Party’s presence and participation in law firms’ decision-making mandatory. ‘The introduction of in-house party control and surveillance of law firms and lawyers will increase pressure on lawyers’ ability to work independently,’ the report says.

According to the report, more than 300 lawyers, law firm staff and human rights defenders have been detained or had their freedoms restricted over the past year. These include Zhou Shifeng, sentenced to seven years in prison for subversion of state power after a half-day trial. Of six other lawyers currently in detention, only one of whom has access to a (government appointed) lawyer.

CCBE president Michel Benichou told the organisation’s conference earlier this month of the difficulties in putting professional pressure on the Chinese authorities. ‘We tried to discuss the situation with bar associations but professional institutions are weak. They would much prefer to look the other way,’ he said.





Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Final report of the day of the endangered lawyer 2016 with the focus on Honduras


The AED (European federation of 10) lawyer organizations and the Foundation day of the endangered Lawyer are glad to present to you the final report about the last day of the endangered lawyer 2016 (Honduras), also with great thanks to the ELDH and their members for their great efforts).

As we have not received all relevant information it is possible that not all the activities in all the cities have been highlighted. There were activities between Tegucicalpa and Manilla ,and between Alanya and Toronto.

We really hope that the project will continue growing all over the world. We have received again very enthusiastic reactions from lawyers from new cities in other continents for next year 2017.

We hope to receive next year again more news about actions/manifestations in Asia, Australia, Africa, North- and South America. We want to thank you on behalf of the lawyers in Honduras for all your support in 2016 . In the final report you can read about a follow-up,and you can read unfortunately about 6 new killings of lawyers (now already 8)

Basic report about China

This year – for the 7th celebration  of the DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – we have made a general report without individual cases and pictures, which you find attached. Much more news about the specific problems the Chinese lawyers have to face, you will find on the internet and in very recent press articles which have been published all over the world.

A month ago more than 100 lawyer organizations and human rights organizations have co-signed the letter to the Chinese president. You find attached a final statement and press information, with thanks to Kit Chan about the fate of the lawyers involved in the 709 crackdown. Beside the lawyers mentioned and involved in the crackdown cases there are many lawyers to mention who have been harassed. They were involved in very different human rights cases or cases against the government. At least we have to mention the cases of the lawyers among many other cases:





Human rights defenders: We must find new ways to protect human rights defenders

December 10, 2016

Human rights activists take part in a protest following the murder of Berta Cáceres

In 2018 we will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which recognises the role and guarantees the rights of those who promote and protect human rights.

But despite the declaration, the settings in which defenders work are becoming more contested and volatile – not less. Around the globe, a tectonic shift towards autocratic and semi-authoritarian rule by law, and the pernicious influence of corporate, criminal and fundamentalist non-state actors, has put human rights activists on the defensive and let rights violators go on the offence.

As defenders seek ways to mitigate threats and safeguard themselves and their work, the protection regime or “ecosystem” of public policies, mechanisms, organisations, tools, training and funding that is meant to shield them is under strain.

Now, defenders and the groups and donors who support them face critical questions. Have we adequately analysed the changing dynamics influencing risk and contested civil society space, and adapted the policies and support to confront the new reality? Is the protection model of relying heavily on international groups and service providers insufficient and unsustainable, given the scale and severity of attacks on defenders? Should protection start closer to home?




Gabon: Me Iga Iga : L’avocat se serait réfugié dans une ambassade à Libreville

le 13 décembre, 2016

Porté disparu depuis le 8 décembre au soir, l’avocat de Jean Ping a finalement donné de ses nouvelles il y a quelques heures. Réfugié dans une ambassade, il dit être «en danger». Dans le communiqué publié ci-après, le candidat de l’opposition à la dernière présidentielle livre quelques informations et appelle à la vigilance.

«Le Jeudi 08 décembre 2016, tard dans la nuit, l’un de mes avocats, maître Eric IGA IGA, a eu la visite d’éléments se présentant comme appartenant aux forces de défense et de sécurité, plus particulièrement la Contre Ingérence militaire, dans l’illégalité la plus totale.

Se sentant en danger, maître IGA IGA a choisi de se mettre à l’abri en allant chercher protection auprès de l’Ambassade d’un grand pays ami qui a bien voulu l’accueillir jusqu’à ce jour.

Après plusieurs jours sans nouvelles de lui, Maître IGA IGA a délibérément choisi de rompre le silence en permettant à cette ambassade de faire connaître aux siens là où il se trouve.

Je remercie cette haute représentation diplomatique pour la protection qu’elle a offerte à notre compatriote.

Auteur : Jean Ping, candidat de l’opposition à la présidentielle du 27 août 2016



http://www.africanews.com/2016/12/14/gabon-ping-happy-his-missing-lawyer-is-safe-with-friendly-embassy/ (ANGLAIS)

China: China Dismisses Critics’ Human Rights Day Statements

December 13, 2016

Last Saturday was Human Rights Day, the 68th anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The occasion brought a chorus of protests over abuses in China, from detentions and prosecutions of rights lawyers to measures against citizen journalists and NGOs. Among the critical statements was an open letter from Pen International, signed by 125 writers including Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Yann Martel, and Salman Rushdie. From The Guardian:

On Monday, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang issued a typical response to foreign criticism:

Q: December 10 is the 68th Human Rights Day. What is your take on the development of the cause of international human rights? There are still voices in western countries criticizing China’s human rights record. What is your response to that?

A: To promote and protect human rights is the ideal and aspiration shared by all mankind. The Human Rights Day was designated to give the international community an opportunity to strengthen human rights protection, promote human rights exchanges, and contribute to the sound development of the cause of international human rights. However, it is used as an excuse for some individual countries to hurl accusations at other countries, interfere in their domestic affairs, and politicize human rights issues. We are strongly dissatisfied with and opposed to such behavior.

There is no one-size-fits-all path when it comes to human rights development, as every country needs to improve its record on the basis of its national conditions and its people’s needs.

In this regard, China has made remarkable achievements in the last few years as is widely acknowledged by the international community. On the basis of respecting the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms guiding international relations, we would like to conduct equal-footed dialogue and cooperation with all countries on human rights and make joint efforts to advance the cause of human rights.

As for the individual cases made in some countries’ statements, almost all of which involve persons that either violated or are suspected of violating Chinese laws. China is a country governed by law, and our judicial organs handle cases in accordance with the law. We are firmly against other countries disrupting China’s judicial sovereignty. [Source]


http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20161214/412611649541/el-club-de-las-esposas-disidentes.html (ESPANOL)