Daily Archives: 03/05/2017

China: Chinese Rights Lawyer Still Jailed After Sentence Suspended

May 1, 2017

Chinese human rights lawyer, Li Heping.

The politically motivated case against prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Li Heping has reached a new low. On April 28, a court in Tianjin found Li guilty of “subversion of state power” and handed him a three-year suspended sentence. But the real kicker is that despite the suspended sentence, the authorities haven’t released Li, nor said where he is and when they plan to do so.

Li allegedly “used foreign funding” to “attempt to instigate discontent towards [China’s] social system among some people who do not know the facts.” It is not clear what funds the court was referring to, but shrewd netizens quickly noted the court’s hypocrisy – a 2015 Supreme Court report in which the court boasted of having received funding from the British government for rule of law research. “How come you people are not subverting state power?” human rights lawyer Zhang Lei asked.

While strangers were allowed to attend Li’s verdict announcement, his family was not even informed of it, or his secret trial on April 25. Li’s lawyer – assigned by the police after they forced Li to fire the lawyers his family chose for him – was also not in the courtroom. Instead, that lawyer traveled with the police to Beijing to help them pressure Li’s wife, Wang Qiaoling, to go to Tianjin to meet with Li, whom she has not seen since he was detained in July 2015.


Thailand: Rights Lawyer Feared ‘Disappeared’

May 2, 2017

Thailand: Rights Lawyer Feared ‘Disappeared’ PHOTO

The Thai government should immediately disclose the whereabouts of Prawet Prapanukul, a prominent human rights lawyer and critic of the monarchy, who has been missing since security forces raided his Bangkok home on April 29, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities have not acknowledged his arrest and detention, raising grave concerns that he is the victim of an enforced disappearance.

“The Thai junta should urgently disclose Prawet’s whereabouts and release him if he hasn’t been charged with a credible offense,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “Secretly detaining rights lawyers, critics of the monarchy, and other dissidents has created a climate of fear in Thailand that is generating international outrage.”

Officers of the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) junta, together with soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division and police from Bangkok’s Bang Khen Police Station, carried out a morning raid on Prawet’s house. An official receipt shows that Prawet’s computers, hard drives, flash drives, mobile telephones, CDs containing political programs, and various political T-shirts were confiscated. However, there is no official notification that Prawet was arrested or is in state custody.








The United Nations Human Rights Office for South-East Asia (OHCHR) urges the Thai Government to halt the practice of arbitrary detention of political activists, and to immediately release six people recently charged with criticising authorities.
On 29 April 2017, two political activists – Mr. Danai Tibsuya, a former military officer from Chiang Mai, and Mr. , a Bangkok-based lawyer – were arrested and detained by the military under the lese-majeste law for criticising the King on Facebook. The two men were taken to an unknown location.
On 4 May 2017, the two activists and four other individuals were paraded at a media conference held at the Royal Thai Police’s Technology Crime Suppression Division. The six individuals were charged under the lese-majeste law. Two also face a charge under the Computer Crime Act. Mr. Prawet was also charged under the sedition law reportedly for criticising the Prime Minister. The accused are currently being held at the Bangkok Remand Prison. None of the activists have been given access to legal representatives and their families.
“I am very concerned at the sharp increase in the use of the lese-majeste law after the 2014 coup, with more than 70 people detained or convicted.” said Laurent Meillan, the acting Regional Representative. He added that the UN human rights mechanisms repeatedly stated that the implementation of the law ran contrary to fundamental rights of freedom of expression and opinion.
The UN Human Rights Office is also concerned about the use of incommunicado detention. In March 2017, Thailand was reviewed by the UN Human Rights Committee which raised concerns that individuals had been arrested and detained at undisclosed places without access to lawyers. It recommended that Thailand immediately bring its legislation and practices into compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

(UN Human Rights – Asia Facebook)




http://www.bfmtv.com/international/accuse-d-avoir-diffame-la-famille-royale-un-avocat-thailandais-risque-150-ans-de-prison-1156297.html (FRANCAIS)

http://www.bd.nl/tilburg/tijdelijk-in-tilburg-wonende-thaise-advocate-krijgt-prijs-voor-moedig-werk~a03ee9d3/ (DUTCH)

China: Update re Lawyer Jiang Tianyong

May 1, 2017

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Human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, despite being arbitrarily disbarred in 2009, continued his rights defence work as a legal consultant for victims of power abuses. He disappeared on 21 November 2016. The authorities admitted on 23 December that he was under residential surveillance at designated location. None of his lawyers or family members has seen him by far, and his whereabouts remains unknown.

(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook)




Pakistan: Take Measures to Protect Members of Religious Minorities From Harm and Prevent and Punish Attacks | Letter

May 1, 2017

Lawyer and community leader Saleem Latif, was murdered on 30 March 2017. His attacker has admitted to killing Saleem Latif for adhering to the beliefs of the Ahmadi religion. Prior to the murder, the Government of Pakistan apparently took no action to quell, prevent or punish routine threats against, and public vilification of members of the Ahmadi religion, thereby tacitly encouraging such actions as the terrible murder. LRWC calls on the Government of Pakistan to urgently take measures, including education, to protect members of religious minorities from harm and to prevent and punish attacks.

LRWC strongly condemns the targeted killing of prominent Ahmadi community leader and lawyer Saleem Latif, gunned down on his way to court on the morning of 30 March 2017 in Nakana Sahib.


Saleem Latif, lawyer and local community leader of Jamaat -e- Ahmadi, was gunned down on 30 March 2017 while traveling to court by motorbike. He was with his son Malik Farhan, also a lawyer, who luckily escaped the attack unharmed. Saleem Latif was the cousin of Abdul Salam, a Pakistani Nobel laureate. The banned militant group Lashkhar -e- Jhangui claimed responsibility for the attack. Spokesman for Lashkhar -e- Jhangui Ali Bin Sufyan stated that “Saleem Latif was killed for adhering to the beliefs of the Ahmadi sect.”[1]


China: Letter from lawyer Wang Quanzhang to his parents about why he wanted to be a human rights lawyer

May 2, 2017

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In anticipation of his own arrest as the Crackdown began on 9 July 2015, lawyer Wang Quanzhang wrote the following letter to his parents, explaining why he wanted to be a human rights lawyer, and what it meant for him to be one.

Wang could not be traced soon after. In January 2016, the authorities confirmed his formal arrest, and in February 2017, the indictment.

Wang has been held incommunicado for over 20 months, and to date, there is still no trial scheduled for his case.

Credible source notes that Wang was badly tortured while in detention.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
(Please scroll down for letter in Chinese original)
English translation – HRIC

Dear Father and Mother:

I, your unfilial son, kowtow to you both.

Not only am I unable to let you live your later years in peace, or provide Mother the means to obtain comprehensive traditional medicine treatment, I have brought you to Beijing, and brought upon you a huge disaster.

Perhaps you know what happened to us—especially what happened to me—through official channels.

No matter how despicable and ridiculous we appear to be in the portrayal by the manipulated media, Mother, Father, please believe your son, and please believe your son’s friends.

I have never abandoned the qualities Father and Mother instilled in me: honesty, kindheartedness, integrity. In all these years, I have used these principles to guide my life. Even though I’ve often been steeped in despair, I have never given up thoughts for a better future.

My taking up the work—and walking down the path—of defending human rights wasn’t just a sudden impulse. Instead, it came from a hidden part of my nature, a calling that has intensified over the years—and has always been slowly reaching up like the ivy.

This kind of path is doomed to be thorny, tortuous, rocky.

But when I think of the difficult road we have gone through together, this path seems commonplace.

Dear Father and Mother, please feel proud of me. Also, no matter how horrible the environment is, you must hang on and live, and wait for the day when the clouds will disperse and the sun will come out.

Your son, I kowtow once more.

(Please publish after I have lost my freedom.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *












(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook)

China: release human rights lawyer Xie Yang

May 2, 2017

The ICJ today called on the Chinese government to release immediately Xie Yang, a prominent human rights lawyer who was arrested during the crackdown on human rights defenders in July 2015. Authorities have now canceled his scheduled trial without giving a reason.

He was charged on 16 December 2016 with inciting subversion of State power and disrupting court order. He is detained at an undisclosed location.

“Xie Yang’s arrest and prosecution seem to be in connection with his performing legitimate professional functions as a human rights lawyer,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Secretary General.

“No lawyer should ever be subject to persecution for carrying out their professional duties. Lawyers in China like Xie Yang are indispensable in ensuring human rights protection and upholding the rule of law in China,” he added.

Xie Yang had served as counsel of the family of Xu Chunhe, who was alleged to have been shot dead by police authorities in May 2015 in Heilongjiang Province.

He also acted as counsel for persons alleging religious persecution, alleged victims of unlawful land seizures, and outspoken critics of the government.


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(Chr Lawyers Facebook)


Cameroon: Cameroun anglophone: les avocats n’ont pas repris le chemin des tribunaux

le 2 mai, 2017

Au Cameroun, les avocats sont à la tête de la contestation dans les zones anglophones, ces régions qui se sentent marginalisées par le pouvoir central. Ils ont commencé une grève en octobre dernier et devaient en principe reprendre le travail ce mardi 2 mai. Mais dans les faits, beaucoup n’ont pas repris le chemin des tribunaux.

Les avocats des régions anglophones n’ont pas respecté l’appel de l’ordre des avocats. Son président avait annoncé début avril que la grève serait levée ce mardi 2 mai. Mais à Bamenda, les tribunaux sont restés vides ce matin, le travail n’a pas repris.

Le président de l’ordre des avocats avait déjà été démenti, il y a quelques semaines, par les défenseurs des leaders de la contestation anglophone. Arrêtés en janvier, ils sont actuellement jugés pour terrorisme et incitation à la sécession. Leurs avocats s’étonnaient de voir le bâtonnier appeler à la fin de grève, mais pas à la libération des détenus, dont fait partie le célèbre avocat Agbor Bala.

Et ils avaient prévenu qu’ils ne se sentaient pas liés par l’appel de l’ordre des avocats. D’ailleurs, le président de l’ordre préférait rester très prudent lundi. Il a simplement rappelé que la décision ne venait pas de lui seul, mais qu’elle avait été prise après des concertations dans les régions anglophones. Et depuis, il n’est plus joignable.


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Image may contain: 1 person

(The Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium Facebook)

Kenya: 2017 elections: Broken promises put human rights defenders at risk – Publication of an international fact-finding report

May 3, 2017

The abduction, torture and killing of renowned Kenyan human rights lawyer Willie Kimani in June 2016 shocked the entire world, provoking a wave of outrage at national and international level. This is only the tip of the iceberg of a widespread pattern of violence and harassment aimed at silencing dissenting voices and perpetuating impunity, declared the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OMCT-FIDH partnership) in the mission report it published today.

Kenya, a country that in 2010 voted a very progressive Constitution strengthening the country’s human rights framework in compliance with international standards, has in recent years chosen a different path. So far the freedoms enshrined in the constitutional Bill of Rights have not been fully incorporated into domestic legislation, and, most importantly, are not upheld or implemented in practice.

To date, the effective implementation of this progressive framework unfortunately remains a mirage and still needs substantial improvement”, declared OMCT Secretary General Gerald Staberock. “With all the right instruments put in place to bring about change, lack of implementation and political will appear to be the main reasons for such disillusionment”.


China: Breaking: Lawyer Chen Jiangang, With Family and Two Friends, Seized by Armed Police in Yunnan

May 3, 2017

Chen Jiangang 法庭外

Lawyer Chen Jiangang (陈建刚), on a holiday driving tour with wife, two young children (six and three), and two friends, were detained in a police station in Jinghong, Yunnan (云南景洪) around 1:00 p.m. on May 3.

The two friends are Zhang Baocheng (张宝成) and Zhang’s wife Liu Juefan (刘珏帆).

Around 5:00 p.m., all six were taken away in vehicles by a dozen or so armed police, according to a handwritten note by Chen Jiangang, circulating on WeChat. The note said:


1. Before I signed [a list of confiscated belongings], no one showed me any proper warrant.

2. Many more of our personal belongings have been stolen from us.

Chen Jiangang

May 3, 2017

Lawyer Chen Jiangang has been the defense counsel for 709 lawyer Xie Yang since December, 2016, and published the Xie Yang torture transcripts on January 19, 2017. On March 1 and 2, the state media launched a massive campaign alleging that the torture of Xie Yang was a fabrication, involving not only lawyer Jiang Tianyong, but also Chen Jiangang.

Breaking: Lawyer Chen Jiangang, With Family and Two Friends, Seized by Armed Police in Yunnan

Urgent Statement by Chinese Lawyers Concerning Lawyer Chen Jiangang Who Was Detained by Yunnan Police Along With Family and Friends

http://www.idhae.org/observatoire-fr-page4.1.chin170503.htm (FRANCAIS)

#ChenJiangang & his family are reportedly released. #ZhangBaocheng is administratively detained for 10 days. His wife’s phone is still off.

#lawyer #ChenJiangang @chenjglawyer left the police station and on his way back to Beijing, accompanied by police

#陈建刚 Latest: Lawyer Chen Jiangang brought to a hotel near where he was detained. Beijing police are w/ him. Wife & kids r flying back to BJ.