Daily Archives: 26/05/2017

Turkey: Turkey’s Justice Minister Says Over 4,000 Judges And Prosecutors Dismissed Since July 15 Coup

May 26, 2017

Over 4,000 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed from the profession due to alleged membership, contact or affiliations with the Gülen movement, said Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ on Friday as part of Turkish government’s post-coup witch hunt targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Bozdağ made the comments in a ceremony addressing Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) members during which new public prosecutors will be chosen by the casting of lots. “The first place which started fighting FETÖ was the Turkish judiciary,” Bozdağ said and added that “After the HSYK elections, this struggle continued in accordance with the law… The HSYK has finished its investigation. There are no judges and prosecutors who have not been examined yet…  Of course, due to the structure of this organization, there is no possibility to say that there will be no further examinations.”

Meanwhile, a censure motion by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Bozdağ was rejected in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday. The CHP submitted the censure motion against Bozdağ on May 11 on the grounds that the majority of the names of the new list of judges are affiliated with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The motion was rejected by a parliamentary vote of 268 to 105 late on May 24.

“Why didn’t you list all those 800 judges [that you have argued that are affiliated with the AKP]?” Bozdağ said. “If there are 800 judges from the AKP, an honorable and frank person would reveal it to the public. I want all those 800 judges and prosecutors. If you can give those names, I will quit my position as a lawmaker,” Bozdağ said amid raised voices from opposition desks shouting “resign!”

http://stockholmcf.org/turkeys-justice-minister-says-over-4000-judges-and-prosecutors-dismissed-since-july-15-coup/

https://www.ft.com/content/0af6ebc0-421d-11e7-82b6-896b95f30f58

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-turkey-security-idUKKBN18M0QS

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/4000-judges-and-prosecutors-dismissed-justice-minister-says.aspx?pageID=238&nID=113591&NewsCatID=338

https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/05/27/1004-judges-and-prosecutors-under-investigation/

https://turkeypurge.com/report-1004-judges-and-prosecutors-under-investigation

http://stockholmcf.org/1004-judges-and-prosecutors-under-investigation-in-turkey/

https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/05/28/turkish-govt-detains-154695-jails-50136-since-july-15/

http://www.leparisien.fr/flash-actualite-monde/turquie-plus-de-4-000-juges-et-procureurs-limoges-26-05-2017-6985902.php (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2017/05/26/97001-20170526FILWWW00091-turquie-plus-de-4000-magistrats-limoges.php (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2017/05/26/01003-20170526ARTFIG00290-turquie-purges-sans-precedent-dans-la-magistrature.php (FRANCAIS)

China: Outspoken Chinese law professor, government critic, silenced

May 26, 2017

He Weifang.jpg

One of the Chinese government’s most vocal critics is finally falling silent.

He Weifang told The Associated Press Friday that he would no longer publish on social media after authorities repeatedly shut down his personal blog, his Weibo microblog and two WeChat accounts.

He, a famed law professor at elite Peking University and key defender of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, is the latest public intellectual to throw in the towel in President Xi Jinping’s China. Over the past half-decade, freedom of speech and other civil liberties have been rolled back while a radical movement devoted to the People’s Republic’s authoritarian founder Mao Zedong has flourished.

“I feel utterly helpless,” He said by telephone. “It’s as if I’m not allowed to make a single sound.”

He attracted a massive following in Chinese intellectual circles over the past decade for his prolific writings on everything from social ills to architecture, but especially for his languid but trenchant essays on rule of law and politics. By his own count, He boasted 20 million readers at his peak. When his Weibo account was frozen in March, it had roughly 1.9 million followers.

Over the past five years, however, He has come under relentless attack online from defenders of the ruling Communist Party and even more extreme Maoists who’ve held public demonstrations denouncing He’s liberal views, which are considered “rightist” on China’s political spectrum. His speaking engagements dried up three years ago after the Global Times, a party-run newspaper with a leftist bent, reported critically on a lecture he delivered to retired party cadres in southern China, essentially ruling him out of the lecture circuit.

“In the last 40 years, freedom of speech for intellectuals has never been constricted as severely as it is now,” He said. “It makes you outraged.”

https://apnews.com/a797b6f0b2154783918b15de8790fb3d/Outspoken-Chinese-law-professor,-government-critic,-silenced

https://www.voanews.com/a/chinese-government-critic-he-weifang-silent/3872131.html

http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2017/05/law-scholar-weifang-quits-social-media/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He_Weifang

Crimea/Front Line Defenders: 2017 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

May 26, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Defending human rights activists and political prisoners is some of the most dangerous work a lawyer can do in Crimea. After years taking on these risky cases, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was today awarded a top international prize for human rights activists. In Dublin, on 26 May 2017, Front Line Defenders named Emil the 2017 Laureate of its annual Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/2017-front-line-defenders-award-human-rights-defenders-risk

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/statement-report/crimean-tatar-activist-wins-2017-award-human-rights-defenders-risk

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/crimean-tatar-lawyer-honoured-at-dublin-ceremony-1.3097614

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-russia-rights-idUSKBN18M0L2

China: Outspoken Chinese law professor, government critic, silenced

May 25, 2017

One of the Chinese government’s most vocal critics is finally falling silent.

He Weifang told The Associated Press Friday that he would no longer publish on social media after authorities repeatedly shut down his personal blog, his Weibo microblog and two WeChat accounts.

He, a famed law professor at elite Peking University and key defender of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, is the latest public intellectual to throw in the towel in President Xi Jinping’s China. Over the past half-decade, freedom of speech and other civil liberties have been rolled back while a radical movement devoted to the People’s Republic’s authoritarian founder Mao Zedong has flourished.

“I feel utterly helpless,” He said by telephone. “It’s as if I’m not allowed to make a single sound.”

He attracted a massive following in Chinese intellectual circles over the past decade for his prolific writings on everything from social ills to architecture, but especially for his languid but trenchant essays on rule of law and politics. By his own count, He boasted 20 million readers at his peak. When his Weibo account was frozen in March, it had roughly 1.9 million followers.

Over the past five years, however, He has come under relentless attack online from defenders of the ruling Communist Party and even more extreme Maoists who’ve held public demonstrations denouncing He’s liberal views, which are considered “rightist” on China’s political spectrum. His speaking engagements dried up three years ago after the Global Times, a party-run newspaper with a leftist bent, reported critically on a lecture he delivered to retired party cadres in southern China, essentially ruling him out of the lecture circuit.

https://apnews.com/a797b6f0b2154783918b15de8790fb3d/Outspoken-Chinese-law-professor,-government-critic,-silenced

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He_Weifang

Crimea/Front Line Defenders: 2017 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk – Crimean Tatar Activist Wins 2017 Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

May 26, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Defending human rights activists and political prisoners is some of the most dangerous work a lawyer can do in Crimea. After years taking on these risky cases, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was today awarded a top international prize for human rights activists.

In Dublin, on 26 May 2017, Irish NGO Front Line Defenders named Emil the 2017 Laureate of its annual Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

Since the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, Emil has defended the persecuted Crimean Tatar minority, civil society activists and journalists. He also provides emergency response and documentation of rights violations during raids and searches of activists’ homes. In January 2017, Emil was on his way to the house of an activist that had been raided, when masked representatives from Crimea’s Centre for Counteracting Extremism detained him and took him to a local directorate of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) for interrogation. A district court found him guilty of “propagandising for extremist organisations” and sentenced him to ten days in detention.

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/2017-front-line-defenders-award-human-rights-defenders-risk

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/statement-report/crimean-tatar-activist-wins-2017-award-human-rights-defenders-risk

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-russia-rights-idUSKBN18M0L2

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4544100/Crimean-lawyer-fighting-unwinnable-cases-wins-human-rights-award.html

China: Tortured legal assistant breaks silence on human rights crackdown

May 23, 2017

The youngest legal assistant arrested as part of a nationwide crackdown on human rights recently broke her silence to write an emotional letter to colleagues imprisoned with her, describing the enormous burden of the torture they endured and inviting them to join with her to end China’s abuses.

In the letter, Zhao Wei, a 26-year-old legal assistant arrested connection with the human rights crackdown known as the 709 case, describes her struggle to break through the fear and torture that defined her imprisonment in order to take her first steps into speaking out against injustice. She notes the resilient love of her parents, which prompted them to travel the nation to free her, explains her inability to win the fight for China’s freedom on her own, and encourages the activists who underwent similar experiences to stand with her.

Prior to her arrest, Zhao participated in numerous human rights movements, starting her social justice work after she graduated from Jiangxi Normal University’s journalism department. In October 2014, Christian human rights lawyer Li Heping hired her as his legal assistant. Both of them were taken from their homes in Beijing on July 10, 2015.

On Jan. 8, 2016, the Tianjin police formalized her arrest on charges of subverting the regime. After delivering what police called a “candid confession,” she was released on bail on July 7, 2016.

http://www.chinaaid.org/2017/05/tortured-legal-assistant-breaks-silence.html

http://www.chinaaid.org/2017/05/exposing-abuses-wives-of-persecuted.html

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/05/26/video-cops-track-family-chinese-rights-lawyer-wang-quanzhang-try-sue-authorities/