Daily Archives: 10/04/2017

China/Australia: Lest our politicians forget … China is still a communist state

April 11, 2017

It is now clear that the strife still unfolding between Australia and China has its origins in Beijing’s nationwide campaign to shut down lawyers who take on human rights cases.

The impact of the co-ordinated arrests almost two years ago of 286 lawyers and their colleagues, followed by their jailing for up to 12 years for “state subversion”, continues to send waves throughout China and the region.

These law firms represented cases ranging from farmers whose land was stolen by local officials to writers prosecuted for criticising long-dead communist “heroes”.

A few months before the arrests, President Xi Jinping said on the role of law that the Communist Party must ensure “the handle of the knife is firmly in the hands of the party and the people”.

People who feel cheated or downtrodden must not get their hands on that handle. In recent years, lawyers, often acting pro bono, had begun to articulate such grievances, finding ways to challenge the authorities in the courts. This connection is now decisively being cut.

Six weeks ago, Australia’s ambassador to Beijing, Jan Adams, and envoys from 10 other countries, including Britain, France, Japan, Canada and Switzerland, signed a letter urging Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun to investigate reports that such lawyers are being tortured. The ambassadors called for an end to the government’s lengthy detention of people suspected of “political” crimes at secret locations.

The whereabouts of some of those seized in mid-2015 are still unknown.


Egypt: Gamal Eid selected as Defender of Human Rights & Freedom of Expression for April 2017

April 10, 2017

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Maharat Foundation, and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), in cooperation with IFEX, have selected prominent human rights defender and lawyer Gamal Eid from Egypt as the Defender of Human Rights & Freedom of Expression for the month of April 2017 as part of the campaign entitled “Supporting Human Rights Defenders and Freedom of Expression.”

Gamal Eid is one of the most important defenders of human rights and freedom of expression in Egypt and the Arab world. He has defended many journalists, opinion makers and political prisoners. He has held many honorable patriotic positions, for which he was arrested and faced political persecution.

Gamal Eid has had an important role in the human rights movement. He worked on spreading human rights culture, and he was known for his courage in defending the persecuted, for using digital expression tools for defending human rights, and for opening new spaces for journalists, bloggers and opinion makers in the Arab region.

On 28 March 2004, Gamal Eid established the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANRHI). Through ANHRI and its website, Eid worked on spreading human rights culture, increasing content in Arabic about human rights on the Internet, and presenting different points of view on several human rights issues. He also worked on defending public freedoms by exposing all forms of violations against freedom of expression and Internet freedom in Arab countries, as well as training thousands of journalists, lawyers and Internet activists on credibility, professional writing, adherence to human rights values and principles, and avoiding publishing crimes, to keep up with the rapid developments of communications and the information revolution.



http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1546 (ARABIC)

Cameroon: Bobga And Eyambe Fire Back: Lawyers Strike Continues Indefinitely

April 10, 2017

In a swift reaction to purported suspension of the ongoing Anglophones Lawyers strike which has now entered the 7th month, Common Law Lawyers have rejected the document both in spirit and content following a document signed by La Republique du Cameroun, Bar President, Kamga Ngnie Jackson in far away Douala suspending a strike he did not call.

However, in a swift rebuke to La Republique in line with the spirit of the struggle Common Law lawyers have rejected the press released suspending the strike and insisted that the strike will continue.They questioned government commitment to past promises and insisted the strike will continue.

In a separate released signed by Barrister Eyambe Elias Ebai, President of Meme Lawyers Association and Barrister Harmony Bobga, President of North West Lawyers Association, they all insisted Bar. Kamga lacks jurisdiction and the locus standi to called off a strike he did not initiate. They said the focus of the strike is now on the restoration of statehood. Here them:

”This is still the desperate attempts by the desperate regime in Yaounde to Common Law lawyers into going back to the courts. Some few desperate lawyers were gathered from the northwest and south-west and in a state-sponsored meeting held in Bamenda and Buea recommending the resumption of practice.The majority of lawyers are totally against this move.And I reject it outrightly. Eyambe, President of Meme Lawyers Association Said.







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Cameroon: Common Law Lawyers To Resume Work May 2nd- Bar President

April 9, 2017

The Cameroon Bar President has issued a Press Release stating that Common Law Lawyers will resume work on May 2nd as negotiations continue with the government. BaretaNews is adding that one of the central demands of the Common Law Lawyers was a return to two state Federation or outright Independence. The cosmetic solutions presented by Minister Lawrent Esso cannot be sustainable in this present union. Should common law lawyers decide to heed to the calls of the Bar President without the release of ALL in jail NOT ONLY THEIR COLLEAGUES, without dialogue on a possible platform to restoration, let the lawyers know that they are on their own. Lives have been lost, our people maimed and we demand nothing short of restoration. BaretaNews understands the Bar President had meetings with common law lawyers from both zones in Southern Cameroons before coming with these resolutions. Be it as it may, Southern Cameroonians shall declare any lawyer as persona non grata and if possible the guerilla and UPC tactics shall be employed to make sure the dreams of restoration is achieved. The people’s platform has spoken. Attached is the complete Press Release


Following the extraordinary Bar Council meetings held respectively in Buea and Bamenda on the Saturdays 18th and 25th March 2017, which meetings were immediately followed by working sessions between lawyers of the two Anglophone regions and the Bar Council,

It was recommended that a unique framework comprising of very senior advocates from the North West and South West regions be set up to reflect on the way forward.


Ci-dessous, le communiqué publié ce dimanche 09 avril 2017 par le Bâtonnier de l’ordre des avocats du Cameroun, Me J. NGNIE KAMGA, pour expliquer pourquoi les avocats anglophones ont décidé de mettre un terme à leur mouvement d’humeur le 02 mai 2017


A la suite des sessions extraordinaires du Conseil de l’Ordre des Avocats au Barreau du Cameroun, tenues respectivement à Buea et à Bamenda les samedis 18 et 25 Mars 2017, lesquelles sessions ont été immédiatement suivies de réunions de travail entre les Avocats des deux régions anglophones et le Conseil de l’Ordre,

Il avait été recommandé la mise en place d’un cadre unique de réflexion, comprenant à la fois les Anciens Avocats du Sud-Ouest et du Nord-Ouest.

Par Décision N° 038/BOABC/ADM/03/17 du 31 mars 2017, le Bâtonnier de l’Ordre a mis en place un Conclave d’anciens Avocats du Nord-ouest et du Sud-Ouest, auquel ont été intégrés quelques jeunes Confrères, avec pour mission d’arrêter les modalités de reprise des activités professionnelles par les Avocats résidant dans le Nord-Ouest et le Sud-Ouest.

Ce conclave s’est réuni à Bamenda le 1er avril 2017, puis à Buea le 08 avril 2017.

Prenant acte des réponses du Gouvernement aux revendications exprimées par les Avocats anglophones, telles qu’annoncées par le Garde des Sceaux lors de sa conférence de presse du 30 mars 2017, et de la création par le Ministre de la Fonction Publique d’un Comité Ad-Hoc chargé d’organiser le recrutement spécial d’Auditeurs de Justice et de Greffiers de culture Common Law,

Le Conclave a unanimement formulé les recommandations suivantes à l’attention du Bâtonnier:

1- Autorise le Bâtonnier de l’Ordre à poursuivre le dialogue engagé avec le Gouvernement relativement aux revendications exprimées par les Avocats de la Common Law.

2- Déclare que les Avocats des Régions du Sud-Ouest et du Nord-Ouest reprendront leurs activités le 02 mai 2017, dans l’attente de l’implémentation effective des recommandations du Comité ad hoc qui ont été adressées au Premier Ministre, et qui ont été approuvées par le Chef de l’Etat.

3- Demande au Bâtonnier de réunir de nouveau le Conclave le 30 juillet 2017 pour évaluer les progrès accomplis dans l’implémentation effective des recommandations du Comité ad hoc.

Au nom du Conseil de l’Ordre, le Bâtonnier remercie très sincèrement ses Confrères de ces deux régions pour la confiance renouvelée à l’endroit des Instances dirigeantes du Barreau.

Il remercie plus spécialement les membres du Conclave qui ont consenti d’énormes sacrifices, et qui n’ont ménagé aucun effort aux fins d’aboutir à la normalisation de la situation.

Il prend acte de toutes leurs recommandations, et annonce que les Avocats reprendront leurs activités dans les ressorts des Cours d’Appel du Sud-Ouest et du Nord-Ouest le 02 mai 2017.

Il s’engage enfin à poursuivre avec le Gouvernement, les négociations tendant à la satisfaction effective des demandes exprimées par les Avocats d’extraction anglophone, de même qu’à la libération de ses deux confrères actuellement détenus à Yaoundé.

A très court terme, le Bâtonnier, accompagné d’une délégation du Conseil de l’Ordre, se rendra à Buea et à Bamenda, pour rencontrer les chefs de juridictions avec lesquels seront définies les modalités concrètes de reprise du travail.

Le Bâtonnier tient à souligner que ce retour à la normale n’est que le fruit du dialogue entre le Gouvernement et le Barreau, dialogue qu’il convient de renforcer et de perpétuer, en faisant à la fois montre de détermination et de responsabilité.

Fait à Douala le 09 avril 2017

Le Bâtonnier de l’Ordre


(Comité de Libération des Prisonniers Politiques – CL2P Facebook)

Turkey: Continuation Of Imprisonment For 345 Jurists, Including A Demised One, Decided With One Page Decision

An imprisoned judge has stated in a letter he sent to Christophe Regnard, the President of the International Association of Judges (IAJ) that pro-Erdoğan judge Yunus Süer in an Ankara court has decided for continuation of detention of 345 judges and prosecutors, including a demised judge, in a single decision with one and half page of explanation.

The jailed judge written that “As it can evidently be inferred even from the Turkish version of the decision it contains no reasoning, no evidence, no accusations, no acts, no individualization for 345 suspects. I believe that the decision reveals where the Turkish judiciary has come with respect to the rule of law and independence of judiciary.”

A military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect. Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch.

In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people have been purged due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has announced on April 2 that 47,155 people have been jailed while 113,260 people have been detained with the same accusations. According to Soylu’s statement 2,575 judges and prosecutors have been imprisoned since failed coup attempt.