Daily Archives: 01/04/2017

China/Australia: Dr Feng Chongyi returns to Australia

April 1, 2017

Image result for feng chongyi uts

Patrick Poon

35 mins ·

China/Australia: Australia Debates Extradition Treaty as Academics Protest Professor’s Travel Ban

March 31, 2017

Last weekend, Sydney-based professor Feng Chongyi was repeatedly prevented from boarding flights from China back to Australia. Feng, a Chinese citizen and Australian permanent resident, has vocally criticized China’s expanding influence in Australia, and was in China conducting research on its ongoing crackdown on rights lawyers. Though not detained, he has repeatedly been questioned and told that he was suspected of threatening state security. On Thursday, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson confirmed to reporters that “in order to safeguard China’s national security, the relevant departments took measures in accordance with law against Chinese citizen to prevent him from leaving the country.” The remarks did not appear in the official press conference transcript.

Also on Thursday, Feng’s daughter in Sydney begged the Australian public and academics not to “let this issue go away,” expressing fear “that this will be drawn out and we don’t get an indication of when he can come home.” (The daughter of detained Hong Kong publisher Gui Minhai has expressed solidarity on Twitter.) More than 80 scholars from Australia and around the world have responded to Feng’s situation with an open letter to the Chinese leadership:

Dear President Xi and Prime Minister Li,

We the undersigned are members of the global China Studies community. We are deeply concerned by the travel restrictions recently placed upon Professor Feng Chongyi of the University of Technology Sydney, which have prevented him from departing the People’s Republic of China and returning to his workplace and family in Sydney since last week.

Professor Feng is an internationally respected scholar of intellectual and political developments in modern and contemporary China. He is the author of a number of groundbreaking books, and a frequent commentator on issues of importance in the Australian media. He is, furthermore, a vital contributor to the global China Studies community, and his presence in Australia has significantly enhanced its learning and research environments in Chinese Studies.

We are disturbed that a fellow researcher, who has dedicated himself to promote the understanding of and interest in China, has been prevented from returning to his home and workplace for no reason other than his conscientious work as a China Studies scholar. Such actions make it difficult for the rest of us to be confident in the research environment in China today, and do not contribute positively to the continued construction of open and productive higher education collaboration between China and the rest of the world.

In light of China’s commitment to expanding international scholarly engagements, we respectfully request that Professor Feng be released and permitted to return to his workplace and home in Sydney. [Source]



Iran: Continued targeting of prominent human rights defenders by authorities must stop

April 1, 2017

Human rights defenders in Iran continue to be targeted by authorities as a result of their human rights work. Prominent human rights defenders face arrest, detention and even on their release continue to be subjected to travel bans and on-going harassment.

Dr. Abdolfattah Soltani, is a prominent human rights lawyer and co-founder of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre. He is in detention in the notorious Evin prison where the appalling conditions exacerbate his pre-existing ill health. In 2012, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison and an additional 20-year ban from practising as a lawyer based on charges including “spreading propaganda against the system” and “founding an illegal group”. He has suffered from various medical conditions, including heart problems, while in prison and the prosecution authorities have repeatedly refused to authorise medical leave or transfer to hospital in contravention of his doctor’s recommendations. Furthermore he was told that he was allowed some days prison leave to celebrate Nawruz with his family, however, the conditions attached by the Public Prosecutor’s Office were so restrictive that he could not accept them. The conditions included, not having any contact with people such as activists, not to give any interview with media, and also he should come back exactly after one week to prison.

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh continues to be banned from travelling. She was released in September 2013 having spent over three years in prison. Her original sentence comprised an 11-year prison sentence, a ban from practising law and a 20-year travel ban. Her prosecution and continued harassment by authorities relate directly to her work as a lawyer in representing human rights defenders and young prisoners sentenced to death.

Human rights defender, lawyer and writer Emadeddin Baghi also continues to be subjected to a travel ban. He is founder of the Society for the Defence of Prisoners’ Rights and laureate of the 2009 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders. He has advocated for the peaceful improvement of human rights since the 1980s. He has spent several years in prison including in December 2009, when he was arrested during a wave of arrests and spent five months in solitary confinement. Although now released, a travel ban remains in place against him and his basic right of freedom of movement continues to be denied.


http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1540 (ARABIC)

Democratic Republic of Congo: La vérité éclate sur le dossier de l’Opposant Jean Claude Muyambo contre le Ministère public

le 30 mars, 2017

Emmanuel Alex Stoupis serait un escroc et un usurpateur au service des forces obscures engagées contre les Opposants congolais. L’Opposant Muyambo confirme qu’il n’a pas qualité d’ester ou d’agir en justice. Quelle que soit la longueur de la nuit, la vérité triomphe toujours, bien qu’elle vienne lentement. Jean Claude Muyambo a pris du temps pour parler dans l’affaire qui l’oppose plus de deux ans, au Ministère public et la partie civile Emmanuel Alex Stoupis, de nationalité grecque.

Condamné en date du 1er février 2017 par défaut, Jean Claude Muyambo a résolu de faire opposition et interjeter appel pour mal jugé. Un appel qui a rencontré aussi celui du Ministère public, ainsi que celui de la partie civile pour respectivement peine dérisoire et mal jugé. En opposition devant le même Tribunal, la composition dirigée par juge MANIANIA avait créé un scandale en décrétant la surséance du traitement de l’opposition étant donné qu’il gît au dossier, trois appels. Ce qui avait surpris toutes les trois parties au procès au point de trouver que c’était une décision dictée par des mains obscures où cette composition s’est même abstenue de motiver sa décision. Raison pour laquelle, Jean Claude Muyambo est allé en appel au Tribunal de Grande instance de Kinshasa/Gombe contre la décision du Tribunal de paix de Kinshasa/Ngaliema. L’affaire a été appelée le mardi 14 mars 2017 en audience foraine à la Prison Centrale de Makala où toutes les parties se sont retrouvées devant un juge méticuleux et ayant la maîtrise de ses attributions et compétences qui a dirigé les débats avec une autorité et compétence qui pouvait rassurer tout le monde.


https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Claude_Muyambo_Kyassa (N.B.: “Avant d’être ministre, il fut d’abord bâtonnier du Barreau de Lubumbashi pendant 3 ans…”)

Burma: Examination of Murder Charges Begins in U Ko Ni Assassination Trial

March 31, 2017

Rangoon’s Northern District Court began an examination of the murder charges in the assassination of prominent lawyer U Ko Ni as the suspects made their third appearance at the court on Friday.

Shooter Kyi Lin and three alleged co-perpetrators—Aung Win Zaw, Aung Win Khaing and Zeya Phyo—are being charged under Article 302 of the Penal Code for homicide. According to the lawyers who are handling the case, there are about 80 witnesses who will testify for the murder.

The head of Mingalardon Township police station Moe Naing submitted the case. He was examined by defense attorneys U Aung Khaing, who represented Aung Win Zaw, and U Kyaw Kyaw Htike, who represented Kyi Lin.

U Ko Ni, legal adviser to Burma’s ruling party the National League for Democracy, was shot by Kyi Lin outside Rangoon International Airport on the afternoon of Jan. 29. The police’s claim that Aung Win Zaw was with the gunman at the airport terminal, said the defense attorney, will only be legitimatized when the airport’s CCTV control room presents CCTV footage to the court.

The gunman also fatally shot an airport taxi driver, U Nay Win, while attempting to flee the scene. Kyi Lin was immediately apprehended at the crime scene.


Cameroon: Immediately Release and Remedy Arbitrary Detentions of Anglophone Rights Advocates | Letter

March 31, 2017

In response to protests against discrimination and marginalization of the English-speaking population and violations of the 1961 unification agreement, the Government has employed measures that violate international law obligations. A crackdown using measures that violate Cameroon’s international law obligations began in January after four protesters were killed, allegedly by actions of police and security. As part of the crackdown, several leading Anglophone jurists and educators have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, illegitimately charged and are being tried before a military court. Some of the charges carry the death penalty. LRWC sent a letter on 31 March calling for immediate release, withdrawal of charges, discontinuance of military court proceedings and a proper investigation of the deaths of protesters.

Dear President Biya and Prime Minister Yang;

Re: Arbitrary arrest, detention and trial of Anglophone rights advocates

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers and others who promote human rights and the rule of law through advocacy, education and research.  LRWC is a non-governmental organization in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

LRWC writes to object to the misuse of criminal law powers to arrest, detain and prosecute jurists, educators and other members of English-speaking communities in Cameroon for exercising their democratic rights to engage in dissent and protest. The arrest, detention, prosecution and trial of Nkongho Felix Agbor-Balla and Dr. Fontem Aforteka’A Neba are, according to the facts and law summarized below, are arbitrary and in violation of Cameroon’s domestic law and international law obligations. The Government of Cameroon appears to be wrongly using criminal law powers to silence and punish leading community members calling for reforms to address unequal access by members of the English-speaking minority in Cameroon to education, employment, access to courts and legal remedies, and other essential services.  Other prominent Anglophones believed to have been similarly arbitrarily arrested, charged and brought before a military court are: