Daily Archives: 21/04/2017

Turkey: Avukat Sürgüt 20 ay sonra hakim karşısında



Güneydoğu’da yaşanılan hak ihlali iddialarını raporlaştırmak için 6 Ağustos 2016’da, İdil’e giden avukat Deniz Sürgüt, tutuklandı. 20 aydır cezaevinde olan eski İnsan Hakları Derneği yöneticisi ve KHK ile kapatılan Özgürlükçü Hukukçular Derneği üyesi Sürgüt’ün duruşması bugün saat 10.00’da, Gümüşhane Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görülmeye başlandı.


Tutuklandıktan sonra ilk olarak Midyat Cezaevi’ne gönderilen Sürgüt, daha sonra Gümüşhane Cezaevi’ne sevk edildi. Sürgüt’ün 1’nci duruşması geçtiğimiz 1 Eylül tarihinde Midyat Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görüldü. Sürgüt, 1 Eylül’de duruşmaya SEGBİS yoluyla katıldı. Geçtiğimiz 3 Kasım’daki ikinci duruşmada Sürgüt’ün mahkemeye getirilmesi bekleniyordu. Fakat mahkeme heyeti “güvenlik” gerekçesiyle Sürgüt’ün ifadesini SEGBİS yoluyla almak istedi. Bir türlü hakim karşısına çıkarılamayan Sürgüt’ün duruşması bugün Gümüşhane Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görülüyor.


Özgürlükçü Hukukçular Derneği üyesi ve eski İnsan Hakları Derneği yöneticilerinden avukat Deniz Sürgüt, sokağa çıkma yasağı ilan edilen yerlerde yaşanılan hak ihlali iddialarını incelemek ve orman yangınlarını araştırmak için Şırnak’ın İdil ilçesine gitmişti. Sürgüt, İdil’de “örgüt üyesi olmak” iddiasıyla gözaltına alındı. Avukatları Sürgüt’ün gözaltında işkence gördüğüne dair ellerinde raporların mevcut olduğunu belirtiyorlar.



(N.B. The trial of lawyer Deniz Sürgüt was held today but the judgment was transferred to the city of Gümüshane for security reasons.)



April 21, 2017


A Background Paper for the Pan African Lawyers Union Conference, Nairobi, October 12-15, 2016


The authors of this paper are Gill H. Boehringer and Stuart Russell of the International Association of People’s Lawyers.  The IAPL was created in 2000 to gather lawyers involved in the legal support of collective struggles for people’s rights and in situations of gross rights violations.  The IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers was created in 2014 and maintains a very extensive blog documenting such attacks.

This paper is endorsed by:

the International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (OIAD for its French acronym), was relaunched in 2015 by the Paris Bar, the French National Bar Association, as well as the Italian and Spanish National Bar Associations, and also aims to bring any kind of support a lawyer under threat may need.

Endangered Lawyers | Avvocati Minacciati was started in 2015, and later officially presented in 2016 to the Italian Criminal Lawyers Association (Unione Camere Penali Italiane or UCPI). It is coordinated by Italian lawyers Nicola Canestrini and Ezio Menzione.

Created in 2001, the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE) monitors human rights protection, the training of lawyers in international human rights law, interventions, regardless of the limitations of borders, in favour of freedom and the fundamental rights of lawyers, organizes the World Observatory for Defence Rights and attacks against lawyers, workshops, symposia and seminars related to publications on international human rights law.

Created in 2010, the purpose of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer Foundation is to “call attention on that day to threatened human rights lawyers with special attention to one designated country.”

Avocats Européens Démocrates/European Democratic Lawyers (AED/EDL), founded in 1987, is a professional confederation of lawyer unions and organizations.    On the international level it promotes the rights of defence and especially seeks to preserve the physical integrity, as well as the political and economic freedoms of lawyers.

Current situation

Today, in many countries of the world, it is dangerous to be a lawyer. This is especially true if the lawyer is attempting to protect the rights of the people against corporate or government interests or is uncovering corruption. Attacks on lawyers include both physical and non-physical interference with a lawyer’s capacity to perform his/her professional duty to the client or the court. Examples of the former could be assassination or extra judicial killing (EJKs), involuntary disappearance or wrongful detention, often accompanied by torture. Non-physical attacks are many and various e.g. threats, intimidation and harassment, unjustified professional disciplinary proceedings, illegal failure by the prosecution to make material evidence available to the lawyer, non-provision of legal aid, SLAPP suits such as libel actions. These examples are only the tip of the iceberg as we have been surprised at the extent to which lawyers are under attack and the innovative methods used to prevent lawyers from fulfilling their professional duties.


China: Sentence for artist Ai Weiwei’s defence lawyer reduced from 12 to 10 years on appeal

April 21, 2017

Xia Lin human rights lawyer

RTHK reported that Xia’s wife and brother were allowed to attend the proceedings at the Beijing Higher People’s Court.

Prominent activists that the lawyer defended also include Tan Zuoren – who investigated the construction quality of structures affected by the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, and Guo Yushan – a mainlander accused of supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Occupy protests.

The prosecution argued that he defrauded some RMB 10 million in order to pay off gambling debts.

No hearing?

Hong Kong-based NGO China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG) cited Xia’s lawyer Tong Zongjin as saying that the court did not conduct a hearing on Friday, but simply issued a reduced sentence for Xia.

“Appeal hearings in China are usually done by delivering only the written verdict and courts often ignore defence lawyers’ arguments,” Amnesty International researcher Patrick Poon told HKFP. “[This] exemplifies the problem of China’s criminal system.”

Xia Lin



https://www.idhae.org/observatoire-fr-page4.1.chin.0421721.htm (FRANCAIS)

Cameroon: Anglophone Crisis: Towards The Release Of Agbor Balla And Co.?

April 21, 2017

President Paul Biya has ordered the restoration of internet services to the crisis-hit North West and South West regions in a move widely seen as a step towards unlocking the Anglophone crisis deadlock.

The presidential instructions given on Thursday April 20, 2017 come 93 days after the regions were deprived of what the U.N. calls an important tool for development, communication and collective development.

The government ordered the disconnection of internet services to the region in January protests by the minority English speakers over alleged marginalisation by majority French speaking Yaounde regime.

Besides the internet freeze, the government arrested leaders of the now outlawed Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC) which has been coordinating the teachers and lawyers’ strike that spiralled into violence.

CACSC president, Barrister Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla and secretary-general, Dr Fontem Neba as well as Mancho Bibixy are now facing a death sentence at the Yaounde military court on charges of terrorism.

About 100 other detainees including opposition political leaders and journalists arrested in relation to the crisis are yet to be charged.




http://www.cameroon-info.net/article/cameroun-crise-anglophone-bernard-muna-ancien-batonnier-les-membres-du-gouvernement-ne-287253.html (FRANCAIS)

Zambia: Zambian judge demands probe into attacks on lawyers

April 20, 2017

Zambian judge demands probe into attacks on lawyers

A court in Zambia on Thursday ordered an investigation into claims that lawyers for opposition figures accused of treason have been attacked and harassed.

Vincent Malambo, a lawyer for United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema, said the defendants’ legal representatives had been harassed since taking on the case.

“One lawyer has since gone into hiding after an attack at his home last night,” Malambo told the court in capital Lusaka, referring to fellow lawyer Keith Mweemba.

“This is a serious matter that needs serious ruling and order to protect lawyers and their families.”

Hichilema was arrested at his home on April 10. He is accused with five other UPND officials of treason over an incident two days earlier when they allegedly blocked President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade as it passed through Mongu, a town 500 kilometers (310 miles) west of Lusaka.


Turkey: Joint statement by lawyers, judges, journalists on ongoing crackdown on rule of law in Turkey

April 20, 2017

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and the European Association of Judges (EAJ) firmly condemn the ongoing widespread persecution of lawyers, journalists, judges and prosecutors in Turkey.

After the failed coup of 15 July 2016, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and adopted 21 decree-laws, which led to a serious undermining of human rights and the rule of law across the country. Thousands of judges and prosecutors, and hundreds of journalists and lawyers have been dismissed from jobs, detained, or arrested. A widespread censorship on media has been put in place and hundreds of civil society organisations have been shut down. Several lawyers’ associations and the independent judges’ Association YARSAV have been closed down and their assets have been seized or frozen without compensation.

Currently there are around 2000 (out of 4088 dismissed) judges and prosecutors, 350 lawyers and 150 journalists and media workers being detained, with a further 867 lawyers being prosecuted. Most of them are being targeted solely for carrying out their professional activities, on the basis of alleged accusations of supporting terrorist organisations. In many cases, they are detained without charges and without being brought before a judge. When Turkish courts issue detention warrants, they order the freezing of assets, leaving the detained unable to support their families.

The adopted decree-laws undermine the right of the defence. In anti-terror legislation related cases, the detained have no access to a lawyer for the first five days of police custody, and this right can be suspended for up to six months. When access to a lawyer is authorised, lawyer-client confidentiality is violated: clients’ interviews in prisons are recorded and often take place with the presence of a police officer in the room, and documents are confiscated and checked. Furthermore, several non-governmental organisations have expressed their concern about frequent episodes of mistreatment against detainees.1