Daily Archives: 22/04/2017

Egypt: Remedy Unlawful Arrest, Detention, and Conviction of Lawyer Mohamed Ramadan | Letter

April 21, 2017

Dear President Sisi and Ministers,

Re: Unlawful Arrest, Conviction and Detention of Lawyer Mohamed Ramadan

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 requests the Government of Egypt to immediately and unconditionally release Mohamed Ramadan and ensure that the conviction against him is vacated.  Mohamed Ramadan Mohamed Ramadan was charged under the Egyptian Counter-terrorism Law and summarily found guilty of “insulting the president, misusing social media, and inciting violence.”[1] He was sentenced in absentia on 12 April 2017 to ten years in prison, followed by five years under house arrest and a five year ban on using the internet.

The case against him was apparently fabricated by the Egyptian authorities as a response to his work representing the victims of torture by the Egyptian police. The evidence used against him in court was based on his own Facebook posts, plus posts made on fake Facebook profiles which were created by a third party to impersonate Mohamed Ramadan without his knowledge or consent. All but one of the witnesses who testified against him was a representative of the Egyptian police force.[2]

This conviction was based on Articles 1, 2, 6, 9, 18, 29(1), and 37 of the Egyptian Counter-terrorism Law – Law 94 of 2015. The law vaguely describes “terrorist act” as the “use of … threat or intimidation… for the purpose of disturbing public order … harm[ing] national unity, social peace, or national security.” This vague and overly broad definition allows the law to be used to arbitrarily criminalize internationally-protected activities such as freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and freedom of association.


Click to access EN_HRL_20170503_Egypt_Concerns-regarding-the-conviction-of-Egyptian-human-rights-lawyer-Mohamed-Ramadan.pdf

Iran: Iranian spends birthday in jail for campaign against death penalty

April 21, 2017

Today, human rights campaigner Narges Mohammadi celebrates her 45th birthday in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. Her crime is campaigning against the death penalty.

She faces another nine years in jail, and has already been held on various charges since May 2015.

“Mohammadi has not committed any crime,” Roya Boroumand, a human rights activist, told Middle East Eye.

“She simply refused to be silent on human rights abuses and has tried, along with others, to bring an end to the abuse of death penalty in Iran.”

The heavy sentence “underline Iran’s authorities fear of truth-telling”, added Boroumand, the co-founder of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation.

Mohammadi was convicted in 2016 of “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”, “spreading propaganda against the system” and “founding a group composed of more than two people with the purpose of disrupting national security”, according to Amnesty.


(N.B. Narges Mohammadi is also a lawyer)

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(FreeNarges Facebook)

Cameroon: Case state of Cameroon v. Félix Agbor Balla, Dr Fontem Aforteba’a Neba and Mancho Bibixy at the Military Court

February 13, 2017


Report of the observation of the trial of three anglophone leaders:

Report of the observation of trial of 13 february 2017 at the military court in yaounde (1)

China: International Community calls on the Chinese government and the People’s Courts for fair trial on the 709 cases

April 21, 2017

China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group

To:       All Media (For immediate release)

From:  China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group

Issue:  International Community calls on the Chinese government and the People’s Courts for fair trial on the 709 cases

Date:   21 April 2017

Enquiry:  Alan Wong   (Mobile +852 9430-1379/Office +852 2388-1377)

In view of the upcoming trial of Xie Yang, Hunan lawyer detained in the 709 crackdown, the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG) and the Taiwan Support China Human Rights Lawyers Network (TCLN) issued a press release today.  It calls on the Chinese government and the People’s Courts to abide by the principle of fair trial by ensuring the “independence and impartiality of the court”, “presumption of innocence”, “defendant’s right to counsel” as well as the “implementation of open trial”. 

Regarding human rights lawyers and legal activists implicated in the 709 crackdown, CHRLCG and TCLN issued a joint statement on 23 March 2017, which has received positive support from across the international community. [1]  It was soon co-signed by 5 renowned legal scholars plus 13 legal groups and 13 international human rights NGOs including the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), European Democratic Lawyers (L’AED), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Human Rights in China (HRIC).  The Hong Kong Bar Association also released a separate statement on 31 March to express its concerns.[2]

On 7 April, CHRLCG sent the Joint Statement by express mail respectively to Zhou Qiang, President of the Supreme People’s Court of China, and to the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan that handles the case of lawyer Xie Yang, as well as the Tianjin No.2 Intermediate People’s Court that deals with the cases of lawyers Li Heping, Wang Quanzhang and legal activist Wu Gan.[3]  It is confirmed that the Statement has reached the 3 courts by 13 April. We hence trust that the judicial authorities have well understood the prominence and ardent expectation that the international communities have had on the fair treatment of the cases.

CHRLCG understood that ever since the disclosure of his experiences being tortured while in detention, Xie Yang has, over the recent months, not been allowed to meet with his defence counsels Mr. Chen Jiangang and Liu Zhengqing.   It was later reported that the two lawyers were dismissed.  CHRLCG and TCLN express their deep regret. The two organisations reiterate that access to adequate legal representatives and consultation of one’s own choosing is the starting point for fair trial.

We also take note of the ordeals of Wang Qiaoling and Li Wenzu, respectively wife of lawyers Li Heping and Wang Quanzhang, both having been detained as a result of the 709 crackdown.  CHRLCG and TCLN strongly condemn the all the harassments including intimidations, hassles, enhanced surveillance measures and the tracking that the public security organs in China have exerted on the two families. On 14 April, Wang Qiaoling and the family were forced to evict from their home for the fourth time in less than ten months.

CHRLCG points out that instead of having the cases settled in a fair manner, the collective punishment enforced by the Chinese authorities will only reinforce public’s disgust towards power abuse and oppression against the underprivileged.

CHRLCG further notes that Li Heping and Wang Quanzhang have both been held incommunicado for over 20 months. While their cases have gone through the stages of investigation and indictment, there has still been no date or arrangement for their trial, which has seriously violated the principle of trial without undue delay.   We urge the Chinese government to either clarify the situation or else the two detained lawyers should be released without further delay.

CHRLCG and TCLN call on the international communities as well as the civil society in China to continue their monitoring of the Chinese government for the betterment of human rights and rule of law protection in the country.

[1] A Joint Statement by Legal & Professional Groups and Human Rights NGOs on the Forthcoming Trials of the Cases of the 709 Crackdown –  https://goo.gl/xBNZ0j

[2] Statement of the Hong Kong Bar Association Concerning the Upcoming Trial of Four Chinese Citizens and Lawyers/Activists – https://goo.gl/Zz8HoH

[3]  The case of Wu Gan was reverted by the court to the procuratorate on 24 March 2017 for further investigation.

(ENG) 20170421 Press release

(ENG) Joint Statement on Fair Trial

(CHI) 20170421 Press release

(CHI) Joint Statement on Fair Trial





Cameroon: URGENT – Family of imprisoned lawyer Ayah Paul Abine threatened

April 22, 2017

Image result for Ayah Paul Abine


I have just been reliably informed by the AYAH FAMILY that a group of terrorists and criminals have been ringing the bell of their residence at Tam Tam for close to 2 hours now (since 1 AM) and have tried to force their way in. The Family is on Hot Alert as I equally learn that there are a group of possibly armed people. Not been able to get either Ayah’s wife nor his son (the Famly Spokes man) on phone. I hope all is well with them there in Yaounde.

MY TAKE: We all know who these people are, for whom they work and who sent them; NO SURPRISES. This comes after Ayah Paul Abine, their dad, was abducted from his residence and is still under illegal detention at SED for 3 months now and counting. There can only be one person/camp responsible for this criminal activity. PRAY FOR THE AYAH’s




For more than an hour now, we have had people ringing our bell and trying to force their way into our home. They are conversing at the gate as write. At least a voice sounds familier but I refrain from drawing hasty conclusions. We heard them get into a car at a certain point but returned shortly after. Please, get this information to all Cameroonians


Permit detail the terrorist activity that occured at our residence as from about 1 AM this morning.

At 1:05 AM, some terrorists were at our gate. They rang the bell about 30 times in all. The tried forcing open the gate as they equally called out several times. We could hear words such as ”Petit”, “je dis hein Petit”, etc, several times. They all spoke in the French language.

They left at a certain point in a car and returned again minutes after to try and enforce their plan to no avail. We have been up since then, trying to better analyse this mystery. We’ve been talking to lots of people since then and we’re now trying to address the authorities.

Well, can it be a coincidence that this is happening at a time that our dad, Ayah Paul Abine, Advocate General of the Supreme Court was abducted from his residence and is currently falsely detained at SED for close to 100 days now without a charge? Is this not similar to the manner in which our dad was picked up but for the fact that his occured during the day? Who are these people and who are they working for? We abstain from drawing any hasty conclusions..

(From a family member)





http://www.cameroonvoice.com/news/article-news-29591.html (FRANCAIS)

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