Daily Archives: 24/03/2017

Belarus: Sentencing of lawyer Oleg Volchek

March 24, 2017

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L4L is concerned about the sentencing of lawyer Oleg Volchek. We shared our concerns in a letter to the authorities of Belarus.

Oleg Volchek is a prominent human rights lawyer and director of the non-governmental organisation Pravovaya Pomoshch Naseleniyu (Legal Aid to Population). He defends political rights and fights against the use of torture and bad conditions in Belarusian detention facilities.

According to our information, Oleg Volchek was charged with ‘taking part in an illegal mass event’, under art. 23.34 part 1 of the Administrative code, after taking part in the demonstration that took place in Minsk on 17 February 2017. Through these peaceful protests participants called on the authorities to withdraw Presidential Decree No 3 on the ‘Prevention of Social Dependence’. The hearing in the case against Mr. Volchek took place on 21 March 2017 in the Frunze district of the City of Minsk. According to our information, Mr. Volchek was sentenced to 13 days of imprisonment. The judgment against Mr. Oleg Volchek has been handed down in absentia.

http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/12502/belarus-sentencing-of-lawyer-oleg-volchek/

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/belarus/2017/03/d24266/

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/oleg-volchek-imprisoned

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Pakistan: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the suicide bomb attack against judges in Pakistan

March 20, 2017

The Law Society of Upper Canada

The Law Society of Upper Canada* expresses grave concern about the suicide bomb attack against judges in Pakistan.

Reports indicate that on February 15, 2017, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle struck a van carrying four judges in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing the driver of the van and injuring the judges.

Shortly thereafter, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing and warned that further attacks targeting the judiciary should be expected. A spokesperson for the militant group stated, “We would continue to target Pakistani judiciary and judges as they are helping imprison the mujahideen.” The term “mujahideen” refers to the group’s fighters.

In response to the attack, the Sindh High Court Bar Association demanded that the federal and provincial governments provide adequate security to members of the judiciary and the legal profession in Pakistan. Meanwhile, lawyers in various cities across the country participated in strikes and protests.

The Law Society of Upper Canada urges the Government of Pakistan to comply with Pakistan’s obligations under international human rights laws, including the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary.

Articles 1 to 6 of the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary state:

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503615

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503615&langtype=1036 (FRANCAIS)

Belgium: L’affaire Martins rebondit à la cour d’assises

le 23 mars, 2017

Stephan Picron, qui risque la perpétuité pour assassinat, refuse d’être défendu par quiconque d’autre qu’Olivier Martins. L’imbroglio est sans fin.

Passe d’armes sans issue, hier à la cour d’assises de Bruxelles, sur fond d’affaire Martins, alors que l’un des accusés se retrouve sans avocat. Et qu’on a failli assister à une remise du procès. Vers 9 h, Sven Mary, ami du pénaliste Olivier Martins, placé en détention préventive sous bracelet électronique dans le cadre de l’enquête sur la tentative d’évasion d’un ancien client, a pris la parole.

Depuis mercredi dernier, “pour rendre service”, il assure la défense, par intérim, du client de Me Martins, Stephan Picron, accusé d’assassinat, des faits qu’il nie depuis le début. “Mardi dernier, je recevais un SMS me demandant de me rendre à la cour d’assises pour ‘un problème’. Je n’ai compris ce qui s’était passé qu’en arrivant ici”, a entamé Me Mary. C’était l’interpellation d’Olivier Martins, suivie d’une tornade médiatique.

Sven Mary va droit au but : “Je vous demande de reporter cette affaire”, indique-t-il, faisant part de son “malaise” face à la situation et au temps qu’il estime trop court pour préparer la défense d’un homme qui risque si gros.

L’avocat général Yves Moreau s’est opposé à Sven Mary. Principalement par l’argument de la détention du principal suspect, le commanditaire présumé, David Dupuis, soupçonné d’avoir fait tuer son propre père pour obtenir son héritage. “Les événements de la semaine dernière sont sans précédent, et on doit faire avec. On a dû batailler ferme pour mener M. Dupuis à son procès. Il a même proposé de l’argent aux policiers qui l’ont arrêté en République dominicaine afin de ne pas revenir en Belgique”, explique-t-il, craignant qu’un report du procès à long terme entraîne la libération de David Dupuis, et une nouvelle fuite.

http://www.dhnet.be/actu/faits/l-affaire-martins-rebondit-a-la-cour-d-assises-58d2ac04cd705cd98e1975a8

http://www.lesoir.be/1466817/article/actualite/regions/bruxelles/2017-03-23/proces-picron-sven-mary-quitte-barre-et-revient

http://www.sudinfo.be/1813013/article/2017-03-23/apres-me-martins-deux-nouvelles-inculpations-pour-la-tentative-d-evasion-a-la-pr

http://www.lacapitale.be/1813820/article/2017-03-24/tentative-d-evasion-le-restaurateur-luigi-m-reste-en-detention

http://bx1.be/news/tentative-devasion-a-la-prison-de-saint-gilles-la-decision-de-la-chambre-du-conseil-reportee-au-3-avril/

Cameroon: Bâtonnier Akere Muna libéré aujourd’hui!

le 24 mars, 2017

 

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, beard and sunglasses

Avec le Bâtonnier Akere Muna ! Libre après l’audition au SED!!

(Georgie Massi Ngakele Facebook)

https://www.camerpost.com/cameroun-convocation-de-me-akere-muna-sed-troublante-a-plus-dun-titre-selon-observateurs-avertis/

http://www.camer.be/58996/11:1/cameroun-enquete-judiciaire-me-akere-muna-convoque-au-sed-cameroon.html

Turkey: Turkey Issues 80 Arrest Warrants for Lawyers of Gulen Movement Suspects

March 24, 2017

Turkish anti-terrorism police break a door during an operation to arrest people over alleged links to the Islamic State group, in Adiyaman, southeastern Turkey, early Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017

Turkey has issued arrest warrants for 80 lawyers, representing those alleged to have links to the movement of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, local media reported.

Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wave their national flags and hold a portrait of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric with Turkish words that read: the Coup nation traitor, FETO (Feto is the nickname of Fethullah Gulen), during a pro-government rally at Kizilay main square, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Turkey has issued arrest warrants for 80 lawyers, representing those alleged to have links to the movement of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, suspected by Ankara of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt, local media reported Thursday.

 

Of these, 35 were detained in police raids across the country, the Turkish Minute media portal.

The lawyers were representing suspects accused of links to a terrorist movement, including former Samanyolu TV General Manager Hidayet Karaca, Chairman of Koza Ipek Holdings Akin Ipek, and a number of imprisoned police officers, in ongoing trials.

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201703241051906894-turkey-arrest-warrants-gulen-layers/

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201703241051906894-turkey-arrest-warrants-gulen-layers/

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201703211051800928-turkey-un-judge-coup/

Cameroon: Additional suspects added in terrorism case against Anglophone activists

March 23, 2017

media

The state prosecutor in Cameroon asked a military tribunal in Yaoundé on Thursday to add a number of extra people to a terrorism case involving three Anglophone activists, a lawyer has told RFI. Human rights lawyer Felix Agbor Balla, university lecturer Fontem Neba and radio host Mancho Bibixy have pleaded not guilty to terrorism. They were involved in organising protests in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions over perceived marginalisation by the Francophone government.

The prosecutor requested that the court add “about 25 people” to the case against the three activists, according to lawyer Evaristus Morfaw. The so-called Joinder of Parties process involves adding extra defendants to a case after a complaint has been filed.

“The defence counsel objected to it – the parties were not the same, the dates of commission of the offences were not the same – some of these people were arrested when the others were already charged and arraigned before the court and they took their plea,” said Morfaw. “It would be wrong to join them with people who have been brought to court afresh.”

http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20170323-cameroon-additional-suspects-added-terrorism-case-against-anglophone-activists?ns_campaign=reseaux_sociaux&ns_source=twitter&ns_mchannel=social&ns_linkname=editorial&aef_campaign_ref=partage_user&aef_campaign_date=2017-03-23

http://www.cameroonintelligencereport.com/fru-ndi-in-court-as-agbor-balla-fontem-neba-terrorism-trial-reopens-and-adjourns-quickly/

http://cameroon-concord.com/boko-haram/7998-anglophone-activists-due-in-court-today-as-government-comes-up-with-sham-list-of-witnesses

http://www.cameroon-info.net/article/cameroun-crise-anglophone-le-proces-des-leaders-du-consortium-renvoye-au-27-avril-2017-285093.html

http://www.camer.be/59023/6:1/cameroun-justice-le-ministere-public-enclenche-une-nouvelle-procedure-contre-des-leaders-anglophones-cameroon.html

Barrister Agbor Nkongho on his way to the military tribunal earlier today.

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https://africatimes.com/2017/03/24/cameroon-trial-again-adjourned-in-anglophone-activist-case/

China: A Joint Statement to Call on China to ensure the Right to a Fair Trial (Chinese & English) (updated 30/03/17)

March 23, 2017

Call on China to Ensure the Right to a Fair Trial

A Joint Statement by Legal Professional Groups & Human Rights NGOs

on the forthcoming Trials of

The cases of the 709 Crackdown

(23 March 2017 – Hong Kong/ Taiwan)  Since 9 July 2015, the Chinese government has questioned, summoned and/or detained over 300 human rights lawyers, law firm staff and human rights defenders in a manoeuvre now commonly known as the “709 Crackdown”.  Some of these individuals were subsequently indicted for their “crimes”.  In early August 2016, four individuals – human rights lawyer Zhou Shifeng and defenders Hu Shigen, Gou Hongguo and Zhai Yanmin – were convicted and sentenced in a deeply flawed trial process that breached both domestic and international laws. [1]

Lawyers Li Heping, Xie Yang and Wang Quanzhang as well as legal activist Wu Gan have been indicted following the Crackdown.  It has remained a concern that no trial arrangements have thus far been made for the cases. To caution against repeating the rights violations that took place in the August 2016 hearings, we, the undersigned, solemnly call on the Chinese government to abide by its laws and Constitution as well as international human rights standards by ensuring that respective judicial processes, when take place, will be conducted in full compliance with the basic principles of due process, including the right to a fair trial.  Specifically, we are concerned about violations related to independent and impartial courts; the presumption of innocence; the right to counsel; and an open trial. We also express our grave and continued concern about the status of lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who has been held in secret detention since 21 November 2016. We also express our grave and continued concern about the status of lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who has been held in secret detention since 21 November 2016.[2]

(FIN) 20170327 2135 Joint Statement on Fair Trial (ENG)

(FIN) 20170327 2135 rev Joint Statement on Fair Trail (CHI)

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s474/sh/5030caea-f690-4a7e-b6d6-ca2fece09dfd/abd957a6d228620a798f9d8e1c1a1017

http://www.aeud.org/2017/03/call-on-china-to-ensure-the-right-to-a-fair-trial/#.WNk_Fzb3IHY.facebook

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/republicans-demand-tougher-stance-on-chinese-human-rights/

http://www.duqsm.com/chinese-dissident-hosts-lecture-human-rights-duquesne/