January 26, 2017
The Department of State Services (DSS) says the protest by Lawyers in Defence of Democracy and Citizens for Good Governance that its Director General, Alhaji Lawal Daura, be relieved of his position as misplaced priority.
“We believe that that protest by the group, claiming to be acting on behalf of some aggrieved lawyers and Human Rights activists, has other hidden motives,” the DSS said.
The group of lawyers and others had during the protest complained against the excesses of the DG in trying to destabilise Rivers State, the gradual destruction of Nigerian democracy, abuse of human rights, detention of citizens and journalists.
While calling for the release of their members from the DSS underground detention facilities, they also demanded for the disbandment of the panel set up by the Police to investigate the violence in the last Rivers re-run elections.
Moving from United States, British High Commission, the European Commission and the Human Rights Commission where they submitted petitions, the protesters said their march was to stand up against the SSS boss in his bid to install a reign of fear and intimidation.
But the DSS source who spoke on behalf of head of the country’s secret police said yesterday: “The protesters’ main grouse was that some lawyers who are members of their group are being detained by the DSS. I wish to state categorically that no lawyer is in our custody. I repeat, no lawyer is being detained in DSS custody.’’
January 25, 2017
A Russian lawyer who is defending a prominent Crimean Tatar activist says he was forcibly detained and taken to a Federal Security Service’s (FSB) office in Russia-controlled Crimea on January 25.
Nikolai Polozov, who was seen being forced into a car by men in civilian clothes, said he was released two hours later.
He said FSB officers had used psychological pressure in an effort to force him to answer questions related to the case of his client, Ilmi Umerov.
Polozov added that he refused to answer the questions.
Polozov’s colleague Mark Feigin said earlier on Twitter that Polozov would risk being barred from representing Umerov if he invoked his right to protect his client’s privacy.
Umerov, former deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatars’ self-governing body, the Mejlis, was charged with separatism last year after he publicly criticized Moscow’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.
January 24, 2017
Many thanks to Changho Kim of Human Rights Now in Tokyo for this translation. Changho is a lawyer working for Human Rights Now, a Japan based international human rights NGO. Although Human Rights Now is a human rights NGO, most of their members and staff, including himself, are attorneys or law professionals, including their representatives Shin Haebong and secretary general Kazuko Ito. They have been concerned about the situation of human rights situations of lawyers in China, and have issued statements on this issue which are on their websites.
Click to access 9a2717223a0a859b9cb3eeb0407f6bff.pdf
January 24, 2017
Lawyers across the world run the risk of harassment, imprisonment and even murder just for doing their jobs, the Law Society of England and Wales said today as it marked 24 January: the Day of the Endangered Lawyer.
This annual expression of solidarity is recognition of the dangers many lawyers face as they work to uphold and protect fundamental rights.
Law Society president Robert Bourns said: “Today is a chance to reflect on the importance of the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession – essential foundations for political, social and economic stability.
“Lawyers must be allowed to carry out their professional duties without interference and should never be identified with their clients or clients’ causes.”
The country focus for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2017 is China.
Robert Bourns added: “The Law Society stands in solidarity with legal professionals around the world. We will continue to fight to ensure the survival of strong, vibrant justice systems everywhere.”
January 24, 2017
定於1月24日是因為要紀念 1977 年當日，於佛朗哥執政下受害致死的幾位西班牙律師。
活動至今第七年。去年是關注洪都拉斯，之前有菲律賓，土耳其等。今年 2017 將重點關注中國。活動由包括歐洲律師公會，歐洲律師人權研究所，律師助律師基金會等，來自五個歐洲國家的多個重要的律師團體合作辦理。據主辦機構表示今年世界各地將會有 25~30 城市將會加入行動。我們將會大家陸續更新相關消息。
January 23, 2017
Advocates who are defending political prisoners have to brunt of the police.
The Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), a Mumbai-based organisation, has raised its voice against frequent attacks against human rights lawyers who are allegedly openly targeted by the government and police for defending tribals in Chattisgarh. IAPL has prepared a fact-finding report on such assault cases, which will be released during a protest demonstration on Tuesday. According to the report, advocates who are defending “political prisoners” as well as Chhattisgarh locals, have to bear the brunt of the police, which includes false cases against the aforementioned.
The report reads that such an environment is created in the Bastar district of Chattisgarh that advocates are persistently avoided by their community and their colleagues. “These lawyers, some of whom are members of IAPL, are hounded because they defend alleged Maoists, or because their family members have been arrested for Naxal activities, or because they raise before the courts issues regarding police atrocities. There is a deliberate design by the administration to terrorise and/or threaten advocates into withdrawing their appearance for those accused of Naxal activities. Lawyers are identified with their client’s causes when discharging their professional duties,” reads the report.
The report elaborates on three advocates who were harassed by the local police. Advocate Satendrakumar Chaubey who has been practising since 1996, and who was appearing for the villagers accused of attacking Bargaon police station in Ambikapur, was branded as a Naxalite. The police had raided his house, but they allegedly failed to find anything incriminating. He was arrested in 1999 from Jharkhand and was behind bars for three months.
(29 legal professionals worldwide criticize China on“Day of Endangered Lawyer” for persecuting lawyers)
January 24, 2017
No, we’re not referring to the looming rise of AI legal tech.
Lawyers, their colleagues and clients around the globe today will recognise and commemorate 24 January as international ‘Day of the Endangered Lawyer’ – an initiative launched by European Democratic Lawyers to raise awareness of the human rights challenges faced by practicing legal professionals around the world. The day also stands in recognition of the indispensable role that lawyers play in protecting and ensuring the rights of citizens in the countries where they live and practice. The date 24 January was chosen to commemorate the 1977 murders of four lawyers and their co-worker in Madrid, in what is now referred to as the Massacre of Atocha.
Each year, the Day of the Endangered Lawyer initiative focusses its attentions on the challenges and injustices being faced by the legal community in one country. Honduras was in the spotlight in 2016, while the focus this year will turn to China. ‘Each year a disturbingly high number of lawyers are threatened, beaten, incarcerated or murdered because they represent unpopular clients or speak out against human rights abuses. Their brave and courageous actions are something for all lawyers to salute,’ said New Zealand Law Society president Kathryn Beck in support of the initiative.