Daily Archives: 05/05/2017

China: UN denounces China crackdown on lawyers, seeks release

May 5, 2017

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The United Nations human rights office on Friday denounced China’s “ongoing crackdown” and detention of lawyers and activists and called on authorities to release all those being held for exercising what it called fundamental freedoms.

It voiced concern at reports that defence lawyer Chen Jiangang and his family were taken by police on Wednesday while travelling in the southwest province of Yunnan. His whereabouts remained unknown, though his wife and two children were released.

Mr. Chen represents Xie Yang, a lawyer in custody since July 2015 whose trial had been due to begin last week on charges of inciting subversion and disrupting court order, U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said in Geneva.

“Prior to being reportedly taken by police last Wednesday, Chen had, in a video message, expressed concerns that he too may ‘lose his freedom’ and that he may be coerced into self-incrimination,” Ms. Shamdasani told a news briefing.








http://www.un.org/apps/newsFr/storyF.asp?NewsID=39425&Cr=Chine&Cr1=#.WQ1A8dLyjIU (FRANCAIS)

Nepal: Moves to impeach Chief Justice — an assault on human rights – UN

May 5, 2017

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has condemned moves to impeach the Chief Justice of Nepal, warning that such actions suggest a concerted attempt by the Government to undermine the independence of the judiciary.

“Chief Justice Sushila Karki has been instrumental in a number of high-profile and politically sensitive decisions, and therefore the attempt to remove her gives rise to serious concerns about the Government’s commitment to transitional justice and the rule of law,” Zeid said.

On 30 April, the two ruling parties, the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), filed an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice, alleging she had encroached on the prerogatives of the executive branch. This suggests a fundamental misunderstanding regarding the role of an independent judiciary, the High Commissioner noted.

The motion was filed days after the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Karki, revoked the Government’s appointment of a new Inspector General of Police, ruling that the Government had violated existing processes and regulations.

The Chief Justice has been suspended from her post until the impeachment proceedings are concluded. A committee will now be established to investigate the allegations, after which MPs will vote on whether to impeach her. However, this process is unlikely to be concluded before the Chief Justice reaches the mandatory retirement age on 7 June, meaning she will not be able to participate in a number of politically sensitive cases that she had announced the Supreme Court would consider in the near future.





UN slams Nepal’s ‘politically motivated’ move to impeach judge


**BREAKING: Chief Justice Karki reinstated**:






May 3, 2017

Mohammed Khatib

On 7 May 2017, human rights defender, Mohammed Khatib, will appear before an Israeli Military Court after three and half years of lengthy court proceedings following his participation in peaceful demonstrations at Beit Il checkpoint, in the village of Bettin, on 7 March 2013. The human rights defender is facing three charges of entering a closed military zone, participating in an illegal demonstration, and disturbing the soldiers.

The upcoming military trial of the human rights defender will take place on 7 May 2017 in Ofer military court. According to Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations, the conviction rate of Israeli military courts has ranged from ninety to ninety-nine percent in recent years.

Mohammed Khatib has previously been arrested and detained by Israeli forces on several occasions on account of his participation in peaceful demonstrations. On 20 January 2017, Israeli forces arrested Mohammed Khatib while he attended his colleagues’ military hearing for participation in a peaceful demonstration. He was held in Ofer prison for four days and was also accused of participating in an “illegal protest” against Israel’s illegal annexation of Palestinian land in Jerusalem. In 2014, he was detained for participating in a tree-planting project in Turmusaya. All these charges against the human rights defender are still pending and he is expected to have to stand trial for them in the future.

Front Line Defenders condemns the continued judicial harassment of human rights defender, Mohammed Khatib, as it believes it to be solely related to his legitimate and peaceful human rights activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Front Line Defenders further condemns the pattern of intimidation, harassment and prosecution of human rights defenders by the Israeli occupation forces.





China: China’s State Security Police Target Activists Who Showed Up to Xie Yang Trial

May 4, 2017

Ou Biaofeng supports Xie Yang at court in Changsha, April 25, 2017.

Chinese authorities have launched a nationwide crackdown on supporters of jailed rights lawyer Xie Yang after they gathered outside a court in the central province of Hunan in the hope of attending his trial last month.

Xie, who has made a long and detailed report of torture in detention, was due to stand trial at the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court on April 25, facing charges of “incitement to subvert state power” and “disrupting court order.”

But the proceedings were postponed after dozens of supporters, foreign journalists and diplomats flocked to the court in the hope of witnessing the trial from the public gallery.

Now, China’s state security police is targeting some of those supporters in their hometowns.

“It’s now payback time, the aim of which is to sow more fear [among rights activists],” Xu Qin of the China Rights Observer group told RFA on Thursday.

“They want this group of people to feel scared, so that they don’t ever dare to go anywhere to show support ever again,” she said.

Ou Biaofeng, a rights activist from Hunan’s Zhuzhou city, said he was summoned by his local police station and questioned for an hour over his trip to Changsha.