February 14, 2017
24 January 2017 was the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. This international initiative was dedicated to the harassment undergone by Chinese lawyers.
24 January 2017 was the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. Hold every year by several lawyers’ organisations, this international initiative is the occasion to raise awareness among the civil society on the situations of jeopardised lawyers in a given country. 2017’s edition was dedicated to China because of the persecutions undergone by lawyers committed to the defence of the rights of their fellow citizens. In Paris, a colloquium took place at the “Maison du Barreau” (Bar Association offices).
The human rights lawyers’ movement in China
For several years, and particularly since 2015, lawyers have been undergoing a crackdown aiming at detering them from taking charge of so-called “politically sensitive” cases. Despite the risks, around 500 of them are still working on the defence of the fundamental rights of their fellow citizens.
Eren Keskin has been prosecuted over 100 times for daring to speak out
Lawyer and former newspaper editor Eren Keskin has been a vocal critic of the Turkish state for decades.
A speech she made 11 years ago has angered the authorities. In it, she accused the state of “slaughtering a 12-year-old child”: Uğur Kaymaz.
To Eren, the 2004 killing of this boy by the army is one of many stains on Turkey’s history – a history she says the authorities need to be held accountable for.
For this and articles published in a Kurdish newspaper she edited, she has been repeatedly charged with insulting the Turkish state and the President.
Eren has been hauled before the courts more than 100 times because of her outspoken stand on the plight of Turkey’s Kurdish minority. In 1995, she spent six months in jail simply for using the word “Kurdistan” in an article. The sheer volume of cases against her are nothing short of harassment.
Eren’s only crime has been to speak out against injustice. And time is running out for her. More trials mean she could be jailed at any time, for a long time.
Eren è stata portata in tribunale oltre 100 volte perché le sue battaglie danno fastidio al governo della Turchia. Ha già trascorso sei mesi in prigione solo perché ha usato la parola “Kurdistan” in un articolo. Noi siamo al fianco delle donne come Eren, l’8 marzo e tutti i giorni http://j.mp/2mmc02b (Amnesty International – Italia Facebook)
Kürt Halk Önderi Abdullah Öcalan’ın avukatlarının yargılandığı davada, önceki duruşmalarda heyet başkanlığı yapan tutuklu hakim Mehmet Ekinci hakkında istenilen ek dosyalar ile “Gülen Cemaati Çatı İddianamesi”nin getirtilmesi talepleri reddedildi.
Kürt Halk Önderi Abdullah Öcalan’ın 46 avukatının yargılandığı KCK avukatlar davasının 7’nci duruşması, İstanbul 19. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görüldü. Duruşmaya, sanık olarak yargılanan 5 avukat katılırken, çok sayıda avukat meslektaşlarını savunmak için duruşma salonunda hazır bulundu.
Fransa, Hollanda, Almanya ve İtalya barolarından avukatlar da duruşmayı izledi.
Duruşma, bir önceki celsede istenen belgelerin okunmasıyla başladı. Önceki celsede, Gülen cemaati soruşturmasından tutuklu bulunan hakim Mehmet Ekinci hakkında yazılan müzakereye verilen cevapta, hakkında toplam 4 soruşturmaya ilişkin bilgilerin gönderildiği görüldü.
(55 lawyers were on trial as defendants (46_Istanbul, 9_Sincan), but only 3 lawyers were taken into custody:
March 9, 2017
Avukat Yunus Yüce Ankara’da isimsiz bir maile dayanıldığı iddiasıyla gözaltına alındı, saat 20.00’de twitterdan sesimizi duyuralım. #AvYunusYüceSerbestBırakılsın
Our collegue Yunus Yüce arrested today !!!
This panel focuses on governmental crackdowns on lawyers and judges across different regions. This type of crackdown can include harassment, disbarment, dismissal from official posts, threats to friends, family, and the lawyers themselves, close supervision and other threats to independence, inability to maintain lawyer-client confidentiality, and in extreme cases, targeted imprisonment or the killing of lawyers for representing their clients and judges for faithfully discharging their duties. The threat to the rule of law becomes substantial as governments move to take away the personal and professional rights of the lawyer and the judge as well as deprive individuals of their right to counsel and ability to assert their legal rights.
Melissa Hooper, Director of Human Rights and Civil Society, Human Rights First
Nate Schenkkan, Project Director for Nations in Transit, Freedom House
Liu Wei, Coordinator & Co-Founder, Public Interest Collaborative for Women Lawyers in China
Javier El-Hage, Chief Legal Officer, Human Rights Foundation
Ochoro Ottuno, Principal & General Counsel, LCN Capital LLC
Proposed cuts to US civil legal aid would be major blow to US justice
In his first draft budget since taking office, US President Donald Trump plans to scrap funding for civil legal aid. The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) would see its current funding of $375m cut to zero.
Speaking exclusively to the IBA, the LSC’s current chair John Levi and former chair Frank Strickland condemn the proposed move. They argue that it would deal a major blow to low-income Americans who rely on the free legal assistance provided through the LSC.
Levi, appointed LSC chair by President Obama, and Strickland, who served under George W. Bush, stress the importance of meeting the unmet civil legal needs of Americans and fair justice for all.
March 9, 2017
On 6 March 2017, human rights defender Salah Dabouz was informed that two intelligence officers were asking about him in Ghardaïa. This development is part of ongoing harassment that Salah Dabouz has experienced since he began legally representing human rights defender Kamal Eddin Fekhar who has, as of 9 March 2017, been on hunger strike for 66 days against his arbitrary detention.
On 6 March 2017, Salah Dabouz was informed that two intelligence officers were questioning people about him in Ghardaïa. Salah Dabouz has, for the past few months, faced ongoing harassment as a result of his involvement, as lead lawyer, in the legal defense of Kamal Eddin Fekhar and his colleagues who were arrested on 9 July 2016.
The human rights defender has received threatening calls from people identifying themselves as police officers who proceeded to ask him to turn himself in to the police despite him receiving no official summons for interrogation. Salah Dabouz has also faced a media campaign against him headed by Al-Nahaar newspaper, that accused him of causing trouble in Ghardaïa. When he tried to challenge the campaign in court, the court refused to accept his complaint. The human rights defender has been called for investigation on multiple occasions. On 13 July 2016, Salah Dabouz was placed under judicial review as a direct result of his representation of Kamal Eddin Fekhar, who was detained on 9 July 2015 under fabricated charges that include inciting violence through peaceful and armed protests, spreading hate and jeopardising national unity. On 1 March 2017, the investigative judge in the review case against Salah Dabouz refused to terminate the review process despite his full compliance and cooperation.