La défense de l’avocat Félix Nkongho Agbor, du professeur Fontem Neba et de l’animateur radio Mancho Bibixy, alias BBC, avait déposé une demande de mise en liberté provisoire qui devait être examinée jeudi 27 avril. Mais les juges du tribunal militaire de Yaoundé, où se tient le procès de ces trois leaders de la crise qui secoue le Nord-Ouest et Sud-Ouest, les deux régions anglophones du Cameroun depuis le 21 novembre 2016, ne se sont pas prononcés et ont renvoyé l’affaire au 24 mai.
Ces trois militants sont poursuivis entre autres, avec 25 jeunes arrêtés à Buéa, Bamenda et Kumba, pour « terrorisme, rébellion, crime et délits d’opinion ». Ecroués à la prison centrale de Kondengui à Yaoundé, capitale du Cameroun, depuis plus de trois mois, ils encourent la peine de mort. Tous plaident non coupables.
« Ces actes sont artificiels, s’insurge Me Claude Assira, l’un des avocats de la défense, joint par Le Monde Afrique. Nous savons tous ce qu’est un acte terroriste. Quelqu’un entre dans une pièce où vous avez des gens qui sont réunis, pour assister à la messe, à une cérémonie quelconque. Il a une kalachnikov. Il arrose tout le monde », balayant ainsi l’argument du pouvoir pour maintenir emprisonnés les militants. « Des gens ont exprimé leurs convictions. Tout le monde voit bien les conditions dans lesquelles ce pays est géré et ils estiment qu’on ne peut pas continuer comme ça. Ça s’appelle une opinion et l’expression d’une opinion ne peut en aucune façon être associée à du terrorisme », ajoute l’avocat, mécontent que le procès des trois leaders ait été joint à celui de 25 manifestants arrêtés.
Natalya Vavilina, a lawyer, was killed in northeastern Moscow in her own housing.
The crime was committed yesterday, on the 26th of April. The killer had been waiting for the woman in the entrance hall of an apartment building on Altufevskoe highway. When Vavilina got inside, the unknown man made at least two shots at the woman, after which he disappeared. The woman died on the spot. Police officers found a lawyer’s certificate on her when they arrived at the scene. Vavilina had belonged to the Moscow Bar Association and had been the chairperson of Delphi bar association.
Investigators have worked on the scene all night long. According to REN TV, operatives have found out that the observation cameras in the entrance hall were burnt. The killer must have been preparing for the crime in advance.
Vavilina’s neighbors told the journalists that the woman had lived in the building on Altufevskoe highway for a very long time, however almost nobody knew her there. They say, Vavilina would not talk to anyone and would return from work late at night.
The Investigative Committee has initiated the case under part 1 of Art. 105 of the Criminal Code (Murder) and part 1 of Art. 222 of the Criminal Code (Illegal Arm-Trafficking). So far, the investigators have been considering various versions of what happened. The leading one is related to the job of the murdered woman. The Head of the Moscow Investigative Committee will personally supervise the investigation.
A Palestinian lawyer with Israeli citizenship was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in Israeli prison on Thursday after being convicted in January for allegedly transferring messages between the Hamas movement and Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel prisons, according to Israeli media.
The laweyer, Muhammad Abed, from the Palestinian town of Biina in northern Israel, was also given a one year suspended sentence and was fined 50,000 shekels ($13,760), Israeli media reported.
Lawyers in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory who work with Palestinians imprisoned by Israel are especially vulnerable to being accused of illegal activities, as almost all Palestinian political groups are considered illegal by the Israeli government.
Palestinian prisoners affiliated with Hamas — considered a terrorist group by the Israeli government — are usually the most vulnerable to having their rights violated in Israeli prisons, particularly being denied family visits.
Shireen Issawi, a prominent Palestinian lawyer from the village of Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem, was accused in 2014 along with her brother Medhat for being in contact with Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons and providing them with funds, which Israel considers “terrorism.”
Shireen and Medhat were also working with imprisoned Palestinians affiliated with Hamas in order to help them communicate with their families in the Palestinian territory.
A respected Christian human rights lawyer has been convicted of “subversion of state power” at a secret trial in China, almost two years after he was first detained in a sweeping crackdown.
Li Heping was sentenced to three years in prison with a four-year reprieve, the court in the eastern city of Tianjin said on an official social media account, meaning he should be released but could be arrested and jailed at any point.
The trial was held behind closed doors on Tuesday because “the case involved state secrets”, the court said, but was only announced along with the verdict on Friday.
Li was swept up in a nationwide crackdown on rights lawyers and activists in July 2015, where police detained or questioned about 250 people. Since assuming power, China’s president, Xi Jinping, has launched a new wave of attacks on activists and the lawyers who defend them.
“A suspended sentence does not mean he’s free until we actually get to see him and he’s allowed to speak freely, and given what we’ve seen in the past that probably won’t happen,” said Eva Pils, a professor at King’s College London and longtime friend of Li.
Nouvelle audience au Cameroun pour les leaders de la contestation anglophone. Ils avaient été arrêtés mi-janvier après d’importantes mobilisations de la population anglophone de l’Ouest qui s’estime délaissée par les autorités de Yaoundé. Ces trois personnalités sont jugées par un tribunal militaire pour terrorisme, incitation à la violence et à la sécession.
L’audience a commencé avec trois heures de retard. Sur le banc des accusés, les trois leaders de la contestation anglophone : l’avocat Agbor Balla, l’enseignant Fontem Neba et l’animateur de radio Mancho Bibixy. Tous les trois sont accusés de terrorisme et d’incitation à l’insurrection. Ils comparaissent avec 25 autres personnes arrêtées dans les régions de l’Ouest à majorité anglophone. Et tous plaident non coupables.
Le procureur a présenté pour la première fois sa liste de témoins : 17 personnes, tous militaires ou policiers qui se sont présentés en uniforme devant la cour.
La défense, elle, a demandé la mise en liberté provisoire des trois principaux accusés, arrêtés mi-janvier. Elle avait déjà préparé le terrain ces dernières semaines, en expliquant qu’en cas de libération tous les trois s’engageaient à tenir un discours d’apaisement dans l’ouest anglophone. A demander par exemple la fin des opérations ville morte, et la fin de la grève des avocats et enseignants qui dure depuis six mois.
Mais les juges ne se sont pas prononcés sur cette demande de mise en liberté. Ils ont renvoyé l’audience au 24 mai prochain.
Little more than an hour after the opening of a retrial against Wilson Wang, two women burst out of the courthouse at the Wuhu City Jinghu District People’s Court.
“The court beats people! Come and see, everyone!” they shouted in front of a small crowd that gathered. Ambulances arrived and, soon, attendants emerged from the courthouse carrying Mr. Wang’s wife, Jean Zou. She is a Chinese-born Canadian whose fight for her husband’s release has attracted Ottawa’s attention and cast new light on abuses in the Chinese justice system.
“I passed out in the trial,” she said from the back of an ambulance. “My husband fell down and I was worried.” Meanwhile, back inside, Mr. Wang had vanished. He fainted, his family said, as he tried to protest his treatment in court. Then he was spirited away and the courtroom was empty, except for his legal team. They waited an hour. “Nothing was really happening,” said Gan Weidong, one of the lawyers. “So we decided to leave.”
It was a moment of baffling legal drama this week in a little-known Chinese city. But it has opened a remarkable window into the prosecution of justice in a country that has claimed great progress in advancing the rule of law, but whose legal system regularly twists suspects and their defenders into Kafkaesque contortions as it maintains a 99.92-per-cent conviction rate.
A new low has been witnessed in effusive Turkish judiciary after a video has been started to circulate in social media venues. According to the video, a lawyer, who was appointed by an unknown defendant, was seen as being thrown out by three police officers following the order of judge Hüseyin Öztürk in Bakırköy 10th High Criminal Court in İstanbul.
It has been frequently reported that Turkish courts have often been rejecting, even sometimes arresting lawyers who are hired by defendants who are generally accused of either being members of faith-based Gülen movement or Kurdish political groups. Pro-Kurdish DİHABER news agency has named the lawyer as Suat Eren from the Libertarian Lawyers’ Platform (ÖHP).
Turkish authorities have issued sweeping arrest warrants against more than 1000 lawyers within last nine months on what is believed to be a part of crackdown on critics and opponents of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government.
So far over 410 lawyers including prominent criminal law attorneys and heads of provincial Bar Associations were formally arrested while many were forced to self-exile to avoid torture and ill treatment in jails. The government also purged 108 academics including famous law professors from law schools of public universities and fired 108 government lawyers en masse.
What is more, the authorities have also ordered the seizure of all assets of lawyers who faced an arrest although they were not convicted of any crime and there was no indictment filed and no trial hearing held yet. The seizure of assets has deprived family members of their livelihood while lawyers are left languishing behind bars in long pre-trial detentions.