Daily Archives: 24/02/2017

Turkey: Female Judge Detained Over ByLock Use In Hakkari

February 24, 2017

A female judge, identified with initials N.Ş.D., has been detained in Hakkari province as part of an investigation targeting the Gülen movement, which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government accuse of being behind a failed coup attempt on July 15.

The detained judge is accused of using of a smart phone application known as ByLock, which Turkish authorities say is the top communication tool among the followers of the Gülen movement.

N.Ş.D. was reportedly among the 227 judges who were dismissed by The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) on Feb. 20. Some 4,000 judges and prosecutors have lost their jobs while many of them have been arrested since July 15.

http://stockholmcf.org/female-judge-detained-over-bylock-use-in-hakkari/

Congo-Brazzaville: Remise en liberté de Me Ludovic Désiré ESSOU

le 24 février, 2017

Image result for Maître Ludovic Désiré ESSOU

Maître Ludovic Désiré ESSOU, avocat de Marcel NTSOUROU qui avait été interpellé dans le cadre de l’enquête consécutive au décès à la maison d’arrêt de son client vient d’être remis en liberté il y a quelques minutes.

Le Barreau de Pointe-Noire s’en réjouit. Une assemblée générale est organisée ce samedi 25 février 2017 pour acter la fin de la grève et la reprise des activité du Barreau.

(Barreau de Pointe-Noire Facebook)

http://icibrazza.com/congo-liberation-de-me-ludovic-desire-essou-avocat-de-marcel-ntsourou/

http://www.journaldebrazza.com/article.php?aid=9148

http://www.dac-presse.com/actualites/a-la-une/societe/3557-2017-02-20-19-24-23.html

USA: Draft of first Trump budget would cut legal aid for millions of poor Americans

February 21, 2017

Legal Services Corporation handles cases involving disability benefits, disaster relief, elder abuse and much more.

Cuts in Donald Trump’s first draft budget to funding for legal aid for millions of Americans could strip much-needed protections from victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, families facing foreclosure and veterans in need, justice equality advocates warned Tuesday.

A Trump draft budget circulated over the weekend called for the elimination of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which has a $375m annual budget and provides free legal assistance to low-income people and others in need of help, with cases involving disability benefits, disaster relief, elder abuse, fair pay, wheelchair access, low-income tax credits, unlawful eviction, child support, consumer scams, school lunch, predatory lending and much more.

The legal aid program, which represents a miniscule portion of the government’s projected $4tn budget, is one of many small but mighty programs flagged for elimination in Trump’s draft budget. Others include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Americorps and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. Critics of the cuts point out that they won’t budge the deficit but would erode quality of life and threaten the most vulnerable.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/21/trump-draft-budget-legal-aid-low-income

Saudi Arabia/Canada: Two exceptional human rights defenders honoured by Law Society

February 23, 2017

Law Society Treasurer Paul B. Schabas congratulates the recipients of the Law Society’s 2016 Human Rights Award: Cindy Blackstock, PhD (left), and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada Executive Director Gail Davidson (right), who accepted the award on behalf of human rights defender and activist Waleed Abu al-Khair, who has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia since 2014 for his human rights activities. Dr. Blackstock and Abu al-Khair both received the award at a special ceremony in Toronto on February 22,  in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights and the promotion of the rule of law provincially, nationally and internationally. (CNW Group/The Law Society of Upper Canada)

The Law Society of Upper Canada honoured two exceptional human rights advocates last night at Osgoode Hall.

Human rights defenders Waleed Abu al-Khair and Cindy Blackstock, PhD, were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights and the promotion of the rule of law provincially, nationally and internationally.

“We are extremely pleased to honour Dr. Blackstock and Mr. Abu al-Khair, both of whom have shown remarkable courage and conviction in their tireless efforts to promote human rights, said Law Society Treasurer Paul B. Schabas at the evening ceremony. “Through Dr. Blackstock’s efforts to address systemic discrimination of First Nations children, she has made a significant and lasting contribution that will have a powerful impact on generations of First Nations children,” he said. “Mr. Abu al-Khair has sacrificed a great deal. In honouring him with the Law Society’s Human Rights Award, we say to him, and to others like him, your sacrifice does not go unrecognized,” said Treasurer Schabas.

Recipient Waleed Abu al-Khair, 37, has been arbitrarily imprisoned in Saudi Arabia since April 15, 2014. He is a prominent human rights lawyer and activist and is the founder of the organization 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. Gail Davidson, Executive Director of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, accepted the award on his behalf.

“Waleed began practising law in 2007 and since then he has used the written and spoken word coupled with his legal knowledge, to fearlessly advocate for reforms to improve the lives of all in Saudi Arabia by calling on the government to allow its citizens to enjoy internationally protected rights such as rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and the right to participate in public affairs. He has also advocated passionately for the equal rights of women and on behalf of prisoners of conscience,” Davidson said.

http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/two-exceptional-human-rights-defenders-honoured-by-law-society-614639784.html

http://www.lawsocietygazette.ca/news/extraordinary-night-for-human-rights-and-the-rule-of-law/

http://www.newswire.ca/fr/news-releases/deux-defenseurs-exceptionnels-des-droits-de-la-personne-honores-par-le-barreau-614640034.html (FRANCAIS)

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The Philipppines: Arrested Duterte critic is high-flying lawyer who became rights crusader

February 24, 2017

Philippine drug war critic Leila de Lima was a highly paid lawyer who switched focus mid-career to human rights, a decision that would draw her into the deadly world of President Rodrigo Duterte.

De Lima was arrested on Friday (Feb 24) on drug trafficking charges which she insisted were manufactured to silence her opposition to Duterte’s anti-crime crackdown, which has claimed more than 6,500 lives in eight months.

De Lima, 57, began her career as one of the brightest legal prospects in the Philippines, having scored the eighth highest mark in the country’s annual lawyer licence exams in 1985.

She worked as a law clerk for the House of Representatives and as a legal aide of a Supreme Court associate justice, while building a successful law practice that specialised in helping prominent politicians in election court challenges.

De Lima helped now-Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jnr to unseat a senate election rival, and future senator Alan Peter Cayetano beat a suit alleging he was not a Filipino citizen and therefore not qualified to run for office.

Ironically, Pimentel and Cayetano are now among the most powerful allies of Duterte, a longtime mayor of the southern city of Davao who won presidential elections last year after promising to kill tens of thousands of criminals.

De Lima’s life turned in 2008 when she accepted her first government post as chairwoman of the government’s independent Commission on Human Rights.

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/arrested-duterte-critic-is-high-flying-lawyer-who-became-rights-crusader

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/874740/lawyer-congratulates-de-lima-for-being-dutertes-first-political-prisoner

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/23/philippine-law-enforcers-arrest-duterte-critic-on-drug-charges.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/philippines-issues-arrest-warrant-top-drug-war-critic-133341491.html

https://www.wionews.com/world/senator-and-renowned-president-duterte-critic-de-lima-arrested-for-drug-related-charges-12736

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/02/24/1675352/nupl-de-lima-political-prisoner-others-jailed-far-nobler-causes

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/875168/dictatorship-feared-with-de-limas-arrest

http://news.mb.com.ph/2017/02/26/de-limas-senate-bar-membership-in-serious-jeopardy-house-leaders/

http://fr.euronews.com/2017/02/24/philippines-arrestation-de-la-principale-opposante-du-president-duterte?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_source=Facebook&utm_term=Autofeed#link_time=1487935931 (FRANCAIS)

 

Israel/Palestine: Palestinian lawyer signs plea bargain as NGO slams Israeli ‘persecution of rights defenders’

February 24, 2017

A Palestinian lawyer signed a plea deal earlier this week in order to avoid a prison sentence for his alleged involvement with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), as his organization called the case the latest example of Israel’s “persecution of human rights defenders.”

Anas Barghouthi, a lawyer for prisoners rights group Addameer, accepted a plea bargain on Sunday in order to forgo a prison sentence for allegedly being a member of PFLP and leading demonstrations against Israeli policies, NGO Amnesty International reported on Wednesday.
Barghouthi has denied both charges.
“The case exemplifies the persisting persecution of human rights defenders in the absence of any adequate evidence showing that they pose a security threat,” Addameer legal unit director Mahmoud Hassan told Ma’an on Thursday, citing the “prolonged trial proceedings” and “excessive” bail.
The plea bargain includes a 7,000-shekel ($1,892) fine, as well as a suspended sentence of 18 months in prison if Barghouthi is found to be involved with PFLP in the coming five years, and an eight-month suspended sentence if he participates in protests in the next three years.
Barghouthi was initially detained in September 2013 and released on bail in October of that year. The plea deal marked the end of a nearly three-and-a-half year legal ordeal.

https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775626

Iran & Thailand: Lifetime Achievements: Paying Tribute to 4 Human Rights Heroes

February 23, 2017

On 26 February Hollywood’s brightest stars will gather in LA for the Oscars. The biggest film event on the calendar will provide a welcome distraction from the reality of a year that has seen assaults on human rights in almost every country.

 

Times like these can bring out the best in us, mobilizing people around the world to fight for what is right. Just like in the movies, sometimes extraordinary circumstances can make heroes out of ordinary people.

 

There are countless brave activists around the world who take great personal risks to defend human rights. Since it’s awards season, Amnesty International is paying tribute to four human rights heroes whose dramatic stories could – and should – be made into movies:

Sirikan Charoensiri

Sirikan Charoensiri, also known as “June”, is a young lawyer who has bravely stood up for human rights during a dark period of military rule in Thailand. In June 2015, she was on hand at a peaceful protest by pro-democracy student activists in Bangkok to monitor the situation and provide legal representation, if necessary.

….

Narges Mohammadi

In Iran, human rights defenders and other peaceful critics are subject to relentless harassment. Over the past year, those jailed after shockingly unfair trials before Revolutionary Courts including lawyers, bloggers, students, women’s rights activists, filmmakers and even musicians.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lifetime-achievements-4-human-rights-heroes_us_58aef532e4b01f4ab51c7736

https://coconuts.co/yangon/news/rohingya-lawyer-wai-wai-nu-among-six-women-leading-human-rights-activism-southeast-asia/