Daily Archives: 18/02/2017

Turkey: Former Prosecutors, Judge Overseeing Iran-Backed Tevhid-Selam Network Detained

February 18, 2017

Former judge Dursun Ali Gündoğdu and prosecutors Adnan Çimen and Sadrettin Sarıkaya, who had overseen an investigation on Iran-backed Tevhid-Selam network in Turkey until they were dismissed from profession in 2014, were detained by police in İstanbul on Friday.

Detention warrants were issued for Gündoğdu, Çimen and Sarıkaya over their alleged links with faith-based Gülen movement which Turkish authorities accuse of being behind a failed coup attempt in Turkey in last July.

Police raided two apartments in Kayaşehir neighborhood of Başakşehir district in İstanbul on Friday and detained three former members of judiciary.

As part of an investigation carried out by Bakırköy Deputy Public Prosecutor Ömer Faruk Aydıner, Gündoğdu, Çimen and Sarıkaya were accused of “political and military spying, attempting to overthrow Government of the Turkish Republic, revealing top secret state documents, fabricating crimes, forgery in official documents and professional misconduct.”




Belgium: Des avocats manifesteront mardi contre la réforme de l’aide juridique

le 17 février, 2017

A la suite d’une assemblée générale organisée par le Syndicat des avocats pour la démocratie, qui s’est tenue en présence de plus de 80 avocats, il a été décidé que les avocats se rassembleront devant le cabinet du ministre de la Justice Koen Geens (CD&V) mardi 21 février, à 8h30, pour manifester leur désaccord avec la réforme de l’aide juridique, entrée en vigueur le 1er septembre dernier. Pour mémoire, l’aide juridique permet à des justiciables qui n’ont pas les moyens de financer un avocat de s’en voir désigner un rémunéré par l’État belge. Cette manifestation vise à tirer la sonnette d’alarme sur les conséquences “désastreuses” de la réforme sur l’accès à la justice des justiciables les plus pauvres, indique Me Marie Doutrepont.

On sait que la nouvelle loi prévoit que les citoyens faisant appel à un avocat pro Deo doivent désormais produire de nombreux documents prouvant leur indigence; qu’il leur est demandé une contribution (un “ticket modérateur”) par désignation d’avocat (20 euros) et par instance (30 euros); que le système de rémunération des avocats a été revu “de sorte” selon Me Doutrepont, “que ces avocats ne sauront pas avant mi-2018 combien ils seront payés pour les prestations qu’ils effectuent actuellement”.

Selon les avocats protestataires, le nouveau système entraîne une surcharge administrative démesurée pour les justiciables, de quoi les pousser à renoncer à faire valoir leurs droits. Par ailleurs, l’incertitude totale qui plane sur le montant de leur rémunération et la dévalorisation générale de celle-ci dans la majorité des matières incitent de nombreux avocats à renoncer à intervenir dans le cadre de l’aide juridique. A Bruxelles, la section surendettement du Bureau d’aide juridique (BAJ) a vu le nombre de ses permanents chuter de 16 à 6 personnes.


China: call for action at UN on lawyers and other human rights defenders

February 17, 2017

The ICJ and other NGOs have written to States urging action on human rights in China, at the upcoming March 2017 session of the UN Human Rights Council.The joint letter highlights continuing concerns about arbitrary arrests, detentions, denial of access to lawyers, incommunicado and secret detention, and unfair trials of lawyers and other human rights defenders, as well as unjustified restrictions on freedom of expression, alongside other human rights issues in the country.

The letter calls on States at the Council to, among other things:

  • Insist that China uphold its obligations to prevent, punish and remedy torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, including by ordering prompt, impartial, independent investigations into reports of torture of detained lawyers and human rights defenders.
  • Urge China to amend or repeal the Overseas NGO Management Law, which contradicts international human rights standards and undermines the independence of civil society.
  • Call for the repeal or revision of the Counter-Terrorism Law, and speak out against the increasing use of national security legislation and draft ‘regulations on religious affairs’ to criminalise and harass those exercising freedom of thought, conscience and religion and freedom of expression.

The letter comes as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed similar concerns, stating  that, “Lawyers should never have to suffer prosecution or any other kind of sanctions or intimidation for discharging their professional duties”, emphasising that lawyers have an essential role to play in protecting human rights and the rule of law, and urging the Government of China “to release all of them immediately and without conditions.”



Pakistan: Lawyers boycott courts to protest Sehwan attack

February 17, 2017

Lawyers boycotted court proceedings at courts in Karachi to express solidarity with the victims of the attack in Sehwan. 

The legal fraternity once again boycotted legal proceedings in the metropolis on Friday to condemn the terrorist attack on the shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, which killed 88 devotees and injured many more on Thursday.
A day earlier, they had stayed away from courts as part of their nationwide protest to condemn the attack on a van transporting judges in Peshawar on Wednesday.
Instead of appearing in courts to plead their cases, members of the Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) held a general body meeting, in which they expressed grave concern over the loss of precious lives.

Suicide blast: Lawyers pay rich tributes to martyrs

“The bar association strongly condemns the brutal suicide bomb attack on the shrine of the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar where at least 76 people have been massacred and 250 injured, including women and children,” said the association’s president Shahab Sarki in a joint resolution.
“This bar association is further of the view that the provincial as well as federal governments and other security agencies have been continuously failing to protect the lives of the innocent and defenceless citizens,” he said. He demanded the authorities provide sufficient and foolproof security to educational, and religious institutions, as well as mosques and shrines in the country, so that lives of the public could be protected, adding that the culprits must be brought to justice.
reaction: Lawyers to boycott courts today



China: The Chinese Authorities Tortured a Detained Human Rights Activist

February 17, 2017

The Chinese Authorities Tortured a Detained Human Rights Activist

Human Rights Are Based on the Religious Viewpoint That Human Beings Are Children of God

A Chinese human rights lawyer who had been detained by the Chinese authorities was subjected to torture during questioning, an attorney who met him revealed. Asahi Shimbun and other media reported the detailed story on February 7th.

The tortured lawyer is Xie Yang, a 45-year-old human rights activist from Hunan Province. He had worked on many cases involving human rights, such as defending a blind civil rights activist, Chen Guancheng. On July 9th of 2015, he was arrested in the so-called “709 crackdown,” a nation-wide crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists. It is estimated that the number of lawyers who were detained stood at more than 228, with some released.

In December of 2016, Xie was indicted on charges of attempting to subvert state power by criticizing the Chinese government, the judicial organization and the legal system online, by inciting people to rebel against the government. The Changsa police (Hunan Province) did not allow Xi’s fellow lawyers to meet him on the grounds that he was under investigation for endangering national security. However, with the trial approaching, the authorities permitted attorney Chen Jiangang and other lawyers to meet Xi in January. Chen posted the contents of the five-day interview with Xi online.



Saudi Arabia: Help us #FreeWaleed !

February 16, 2017

Waleed Abu al-Khair is a prominent human rights lawyer and activist in Saudi Arabia and the founder of the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia. He has worked tirelessly to defend human rights and the rule of law for all – in the face of extreme adversity and at the cost of his own freedom. Currently he is imprisoned for 15 years in Saudi Arabia, and unless he is released will be unable to travel to Toronto to receive the 2016 Law Society of Upper Canada Human Rights Award on February.  TAKE ACTION to help free Waleed in time for the ceremony on February 22nd by tweeting:

3 int’l human rights awards can’t be wrong! Release lawyer @WaleedAbulkhair to receive @LawsocietyLSUC award on Feb 22nd in Toronto
Tweet: 3 int'l human rights awards can't be wrong! Release lawyer @WaleedAbulkhair to receive @LawsocietyLSUC award on Feb 22nd in Toronto

Release @WaleedAbulkhair to receive @LawsocietyLSUC human rights award  – join LRWC in solidarity with @AmnestyNow , UIA and @TheLawSociety
Tweet: Release @WaleedAbulkhair to receive @LawsocietyLSUC human rights award  - join LRWC in solidarity with @AmnestyNow , UIA and @TheLawSociety