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.


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.



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.





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

April 5, 2017


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.


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
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.”



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.