Daily Archives: 13/04/2017

IBA: IBA Human Rights Award

April 13, 2017

Each year, the IBA present an award to an outstanding lawyer in the world of human rights law.

Established in 1947, the International Bar Association (IBA) is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. The IBA influences the development of international law and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world. It has a membership of over 55,000 individual lawyers and 195 bar associations and law societies spanning all continents. Grouped into two divisions – the Legal Practice Division (LPD) and the Public and Professional Interest Division (PPID) – the IBA covers all practice areas and professional interests, providing members with access to leading experts and up-to-date information.

The IBA has always been dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights and the independence of the legal profession under a just rule of law. The IBA’s Human Rights Institute was established in 1995 under the honorary presidency of Nelson Mandela. The IBAHRI is an independent entity within the Public and Professional Interest Division (PPID) of the IBA. The Section on Public and Professional Interest (SPPI) sits within the PPID and within that entity, there is also a Human Rights Committee.

The award will be made to a legal practitioner (whether in private practice, public interest, employment as a legal adviser, academia, bar leadership or other regulation of the profession) who, through personal endeavour in the course of such practice, is deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion, protection and advancement of the human rights of all, or any group of, people, particularly with respect to their right to live in a fair and just society under the rule of law.

http://www.ibanet.org/Committees/Divisions/Legal_Practice/IBA-Human-Rights-Award.aspx

China: U of T researchers uncover extent of China’s censorship on 709 crackdown

April 13, 2017

A paramilitary police officer salutes at a security check point as a car with officials drive past ahead of the CPPCC Closing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 13, 2017. (NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

Even as it was arresting, torturing and imprisoning human-rights lawyers, the Chinese government blocked discussion of its actions on local social media, including images distributed by those drawing attention to what had taken place.

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab discovered that WeChat, China’s digital-communication lifeblood, has censored 42 combinations of terms related to the “709 crackdown,” so called because it began on July 9, 2015.

The research underscores how Chinese authorities assert broad control over information inside the country, eliminating unfavourable information.

Related: Under Xi Jinping, China is increasingly silencing sources of dissent

Nearly 250 lawyers and activists have been questioned, detained and arrested since 2015. Several have provided what foreign governments, including Canada, have called credible details of torture. Twelve of their names are included among the blocked terms.

The digital redactions illuminate how Chinese censorship is “reactive to news events. And compared with other events or categories of censored keywords, the 709 crackdown is one of those censored on a higher frequency,” said Lotus Ruan, a research fellow at Citizen Lab.

Inside China, information on the lawyers “has been sanitized or harmonized, so a lot of information is officially-approved information.”

And in what the researchers called a new revelation, China’s sophisticated censorship tools have expanded to include the ability to peer at digital photographs and delete those deemed sensitive. The blocking even extends to altered images.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/u-of-t-researchers-uncover-extent-of-chinas-censorship-on-709-crackdown/article34694691/

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/2087363/chinas-wechat-censoring-your-sensitive-photos-not-just-text-study-shows

Democratic Republic of Congo: Jean-Claude Muyambo condamné à 5 ans de prison

le 12 avril, 2017

L’opposant Jean-Claude Muyambo a été condamné à 5 ans de prison. Il a été reconnu coupable d’abus de confiance dans l’affaire du conflit immobilier qui l’oppose au grec Alexandros Stoupis.

Le verdict du tribunal de grande instance de la Gombe siégeant au second degré a été rendu au cours d’une audience publique mercredi 12 avril à Kinshasa.

Le tribunal condamne également l’opposant à payer 10 000 dollars américains à titre de dommages et intérêts pour le préjudice subi par la partie civile.

Jean-Claude Muyambo ne devrait rester en prison que pendant environ deux ans et quelques mois. Depuis son arrestation, il a déjà passé un peu plus de deux ans sous les verrous.

Me Thierry Muteba, l’avocat du condamné, indique que son client dispose d’un ultime recours en cassation s’il le souhaite.

L’ancien bâtonnier Jean-Claude Muyambo a été arrêté en marge des manifestations de l’opposition contre la modification de la loi électorale en janvier 2015. Depuis son arrestation, il est incarcéré à la prison de Makala. Il se plaint de l’état de son pied gauche tuméfié à la suite du traitement qu’il aurait subi lors de son arrestation.

http://www.radiookapi.net/2017/04/12/actualite/justice/rdc-jean-claude-muyambo-condamne-5-ans-de-prison#sthash.QVuTiYgz.dpuf

http://laminute.info/lopposant-congolais-jean-claude-muyambo-condamne-a-5-ans-en-appel-pour-escroquerie/

https://www.idhae.org/observatoire-fr-page4.1.rdc170412.htm

 

Cameroon/Turkey/Azerbaijan: UN side event “The independence of the legal profession”

April 5, 2017

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On 16 March 2017 the Law Society, making use of its ECOSOC consultative status, organised a side event with Lawyers for Lawyers on “The independence of the legal profession” at the United Nations in Geneva.

The side event was held in the margins of the 34th Human Rights Council session and was co-sponsored by the Missions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Paraguay and Australia.

Mr Diego García-Sayán, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, appointed in December 2016, was the keynote speaker. It was Mr García-Sayán’s first public speech in that capacity. He outlined the importance of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and emphasised the principle that lawyers should be able to practise their profession independently, without fear of external interference and/or intimidation, and without being identified with their clients. Mr García-Sayán also highlighted some priority areas, which he would be exploring further during his mandate, such as corruption and the role played by non-state actors in undermining the rule of law and the independency of the judiciary.

Lawyers from Turkey, Cameroon and Azerbaijan also shared their experiences and extensively discussed the serious challenges facing the legal profession in their respective countries.

http://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/human-rights/news-and-events/un-side-event-the-independence-of-the-legal-profession/5061260.article

Colombia/UK: Seminar with Colombian human rights lawyer – Jorge Molano

April 13, 2017

Image result for law society of english and wales

 

Event Type:Seminar
When:17/05/2017 16:30 – 18:45Add Seminar with Colombian human rights lawyer - Jorge Molano To Your CalendarAdd To Your Calendar
Venue:The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
Cost:free 
OverviewSRA Competencies: A1 and C3

Jorge Molano is a human rights lawyer from Colombia who works on cases of displacement and extra-judicial killings. He has also worked with the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado in Colombia, members of which were killed for their reluctance to get involved in the Colombian internal armed conflict. Jorge has also represented family members of the persons who disappeared in the Palacio de Justicia case, when hostages were taken in the Justice Palace by urban guerrilla group M-19, and the Colombian armed forces subsequently took over the Justice Palace. He is currently working on cases relating to the gathering of information and surveillance of human rights defenders by intelligence services.

We will discuss Jorge’s work, the situation of lawyers and human rights defenders in Colombia, what the future looks like after the signing of the peace agreement in Colombia, and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.    

Turkey: 500 days since the assassination of Tahir Elci, Turkey’s human rights activist

April 13, 2017

Tahir Elci was shot and killed during a 2015 press conference at a historic mosque in the old city of Diyarbakir, in south-eastern Turkey at the age of 49. His assassination came weeks after he spoke on television and suggested that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was an armed political organization, not a terrorist organization. He had, however, denounced PKK violence over the years.

Before his murder, Elci posted to his Twitter account saying that he had received death threats because of his televised comments defending the rebels. On October 20, 2015, he was detained by the police on charges of spreading “terrorist propaganda” for which he would have faced more than seven years in prison.

When he was shot dead days later in Diyarbakir after having been released pending trial. He was making a statement calling for end to violence between the Turkish state and the PKK when he was shot dead. His killer has not been identified.

At the press conference during which he was fatally shot, Elci called attention to the damage done to historic buildings during recent violence in the city, telling reporters, “We don’t want guns, clashes and operations in this historical area, which has been a cradle to many civilizations.”

http://washingtonhatti.com/2017/04/12/500-days-since-the-assassination-of-tahir-elci-turkeys-human-rights-activist/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tahir_El%C3%A7i

USA: Dead inmate was disbarred Bay Area lawyer who often clashed with authority

April 11, 2017

Man Involved In SF Standoff Dies in Jail From Suspected Jump

A male inmate at the Elmwood Correctional Complex who died from a second-story fall in an apparent suicide was a former attorney disbarred for “frivolous litgation” and who clashed with law enforcement in at least two high-profile incidents, authorities said.

Patrick Missud, 48, was found early Saturday on the floor of a common area in the men’s wing, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, who added that his injuries were consistent with a fall from the upper level.

About an hour after the fall, which was reported at 4:48 a.m., Missud was pronounced dead at a local hospital. A Sheriff’s news release said all available evidence suggests Missud jumped with the “purpose of taking his own life.”

Missud had been in custody for 50 days since being remanded to jail during a Feb. 16 court appearance, on suspicion of attempted threats against a public official.

Two days earlier, Missud — a vocal critic of the county court system who routinely feuded with judges and other legal officials — caused the evacuation of the South County courthouse in Morgan Hill when he mailed court documents from an ongoing case and assorted medical equipment that raised the alarm of court deputies when tubes were detected by the X-ray scanner, according to the sheriff’s office.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/11/dead-inmate-was-disbarred-lawyer-who-often-clashed-with-authority/

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2017-04-11/california-inmate-who-apparently-killed-self-was-ex-lawyer

https://patch.com/california/milpitas/inmate-who-died-milpitas-jail-previously-involved-armed-sf-standoff

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2017-04-11/california-inmate-who-apparently-killed-self-was-ex-lawyer

https://www.ipethicslaw.com/after-a-decade-of-frivolous-litigation-ip-lawyer-finally-ousted-from-california-bar/

https://www.law360.com/articles/752478/disbarred-ip-atty-sanctioned-for-incomprehensible-appeal

Cameroon: Trial today of lawyer Ayah Paul Abine

April 13, 2017

Image may contain: 2 people, hat

AYAH IN COURT…

We’re currently at the Yaounde Appeal Court premisis. Now resheduled for 11:00 am. But the SED authorities are yet to produce/bring Ayah Paul Abine. We stay put.

STANDBY FOR THE COURT’s VERDICT IN REAL TIME….

(Facebook)

http://cameroon-concord.com/boko-haram/8140-barrister-shusheey-akuwiyadze-hits-back-at-the-president-of-the-cameroun-bar-association

http://bareta.press/hon-ayah-paul-abine-in-court/

(UPDATE April 13: The trial has been adjourned to April 27, 2017.  Details to follow)

BREAKING…

Yaounde Appeal Court throws out Ayah Paul Abine‘s appeal for his immediate and unconditional release on grounds I prefer not to shamefully mention to you. But that only increases our motivation, determination and resolve to HOLD ON TILL THE END.

We are IMMEDIATELY SEIZING THE SUPREME COURT, wherein Ayah Paul Abine, Advocate General of the said court will meet his colleagues to argue his case against them, in the hope that the Law and nothing but the Law will be discussed.

Meanwhile, the AYAH FAMILY is looking forward to meet the UN Envoy currently in Cameroon at all reasonable cost to reveal to him the truth behind Ayah’s abduction and current unlawful detention.

WE CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THE AYAH FAMILY WILL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH IN THIS AFFAIR….

THE STRUGGLE (for Justice) CONTINUES…..

(Facebook)

Breaking news. Hon Ayah Paul lawyers applied for habeas corpus.They refuse to grant him bail.Lots of military and police officers in court.Is almost 1230pm in yde.Case has been adjourn to the 27th of April. If anything changes i will be back with updates.I learned the matter has been sent to the supreme court, bc the case was actually sent to the inquiry control chamber who had no jurisdiction concerning the matter. Still waiting on updates

(Facebook)

Biya Blocks UN Envoy from Talking to AYAH Paul;
AYAH Paul Disgraces Biya’s Judges @ Court Today;

Comrades, I did publish earlier today that the hearing of AYAH’s Habeas Corpus prayer at the Yaounde Appeal Court was delayed till 11:00 AM. Again, the soft-spoken and very Mighty legal luminary played the role of his lawyers and lectured La Republique’s judges and State Counsel. Follow me: Wonna hear news, tolli dey…

After AYAH’s lecture, the State Counsel confessed that all what AYAH had said was correct and that the state did not have any objections. The president of the Yaounde Appeal Court started making closing remarks to adjourn the case but witty AYAH pointed to Section 275 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code of La Republique du CameroUn which states that the court was bound to deliver its judgement within 10 days on cases of remand in custody. It is very disturbing that for someone who calls himself a judge of the Appeal Court would not know basic notions of the law such as this. La Republique du CameroUn must be joking. A banana republic indeed. That is by the way…

After AYAH pointed this out, the court then called for recess of 30 minutes. The question is, if truly the judges were independent, why did he not, based on the arguments before him issue a ruling? He was trying to hastily adjourn so he goes to Laurent ESSO for Biya’s own ruling? Sicko!

Well, after the expiration of the 30 minutes, the criminals in robs threw out the case citing technicalities. They said, the normal procedure for filing appeal cases warranted that the individual concerned had to present it to the President of the Appeals Court upon acknowledgement receipt. How could AYAH, who is in detention leave the confines of his cell to drop an appeal with the court? La Republique needs serious cleansing!

After the ruling, and as AYAH was being taken back to custody, his supporters were spotted hailing and chanting praises. One of them (precisely from Tombel sub-divison), who sued for anonymity said she overheard the judges discussing amongg themselves. They said they were comfortable ‘washing their hands off the case’ because, according to them, the Supreme Court of the land should play their role and free their colleague and that they were flabbergasted that since AYAH’s ‘arrest’, his Supreme Court colleagues have not even as much as garnered the courage to raise an objection.

Meanwhile, the Biya regime has blocked the visiting UN Envoy from meeting AYAH at his cell at SED. Biya knows that AYAH is a walking encyclopedia and masters international law pertaining to the so-called union. They fear that exposing AYAH to the UN will constitute bad news for the Biya regime.

It is worthy of note to mention that AYAH insists that he will exhaust all domestic remedies and then proceed to the international courts if the Supreme Court’s hands too were tied.

My Comment: Let the world know that NO JUSTICE system exists in La Republique and can therefore not be able to try the likes of Nkongho Felix, Fontem Neba, Mancho Bibixy et al… share this post to the ends of the world.

We are in this together. Man No Run!

AKOSON

(Facebook)

https://www.voanews.com/a/un-envoy-pushes-cameroon-to-release-detainees-restore-internet-to-end-strike/3808708.html

Turkey/UN Special Rapporteurs: Ahead of referendum, UN experts warn Turkey about impact of purge on economic, social and cultural rights

April 13, 2017

Image result for united nations office of the high commissioner for human rights

Turkey’s state of emergency has been used as a justification to undertake massive violations of the right to education and the right to work and to plunge many civil servants into poverty, according to United Nations experts*.

“The dismissal of up to 134,000 public servants, without due process, compensation, or access to a proper remedy, for alleged links with organizations that the Government has chosen to proscribe, cannot be justified by reference to Turkey’s longstanding international human rights obligations,” said the experts ahead of this Sunday’s constitutional referendum.

They noted that even under a state of emergency, economic, social and cultural rights can only be limited in ways that respect the basic rights themselves and ‘solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society’. “But there has been no attempt to show that these blanket measures, which have destroyed the careers and livelihoods of tens of thousands of persons, satisfy such criteria in each case,” they said.

The right to education has been targeted in an especially problematic way. A significant proportion of the public servants who were dismissed worked as school teachers or for the Ministry of National Education. Around 1000 schools and 15 universities are estimated to have been closed by emergency decree. Many of the dismissed public servants were trade union members, including more than 10,000 teachers who were members of the Education and Science Workers’ Union.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21497&LangID=E

https://www.icj.org/turkey-constitutional-amendments-threaten-long-term-damage-to-independence-of-the-judiciary/

http://stockholmcf.org/6013-2/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/Erdogans_Turkey

Cameroon: Cameroon – Judiciary: PAP Members Support AYAH Family, Demand Unconditional Release

April 12, 2017

Supporters of the Popular Action Party, PAP, have donated gifts such as toiletries, food stuff and financial support to members of the Ayah Paul family as a sign of solidarity with after the arrest and incarceration of the Advocate General at the Supreme Court.

The items were handed to madam Ayah in their residence in by the National Organizing Secretary Denis Njang in the presence of over half a dozen party militants. The items are expected to help them during this period when the father of the house is absent.

The members of PAP political party demanded the unconditional release of AYAH Paul Abine saying his arrest was illegal.

 

Receiving the gifts, Mrs AYAH said it is a sign that Justice AYAH Paul has people around him and who are ready to stand by him, she said, “If you have money and do not have people it means you have nothing.”

 

http://actucameroun.com/2017/04/12/cameroon-judiciary-pap-members-support-ayah-family-demand-unconditional-release/

(N.B. The trial of Ayah Paul Abine takes place April 13, 2017)

http://www.cameroon-info.net/article/cameroun-crise-anglophone-me-alice-nkom-estime-que-la-coupure-dinternet-au-sud-ouest-et-286524.html (FRANCAIS)