Daily Archives: 15/07/2017

Turkey: Turkey has removed 4,521 judges, prosecutors over past year: official data

July 14, 2017

Turkey has removed 4,521 judges, prosecutors over past year: official data

A total of 4,521 judges and prosecutors were dismissed from their jobs over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, according to Turkey’s Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK).

Speaking to state broadcaster TRT on Thursday, HSK’s inspection committee head Yunus Nadi Kolukısa said 4,521 judges and prosecutors were expelled from profession thanks to administrative investigations that were launched as early as April 2015.

Kolukısa said HSK continues its work to identify camouflaged followers of the movement within judiciary if there is still any.

The military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people and wounded a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government along with Turkey’s President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

More than 130,000 people have lost their jobs with 120,000 detained and 50,000 arrested over links to the group so far.






http://www.la-croix.com/Debats/Forum-et-debats/Lettre-ouverte-concernant-detention-defenseurs-droits-humains-Turquie-2017-07-15-1200863135 (FRANCAIS)

Poland: Poland MPs back controversial judiciary bill

July 15, 2017

Judges of the Polish Constitutional Court. File photo

Opposition parties and human rights groups say this would erode the independence of the judiciary.

The governing Law and Justice party says the reforms are needed because the judiciary is corrupt and serves only the elite.

The bill must now be signed by the president in order to become law.

A demonstration against the changes is scheduled to take place in the capital Warsaw on Sunday.

Since it came to power in 2015, the government of the conservative, populist Law and Justice party (PiS), has passed a series of controversial reforms, triggering mass protests.

Polish senators backed the legislation in a vote in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Earlier this week, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro had argued that the changes were necessary because the current system of appointing judges was undemocratic.

“We want to end corporatism and introduce the oxygen of democracy there. Because Poland is a democracy based on the rule of law.

“This is not court-ocracy,” the minister said.

But opposition parties are concerned that the law would give parliament – dominated by PiS lawmakers – a greater say in appointing judges, violating the constitutional separation of powers.





https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/pologne-une-nouvelle-loi-compromet-lindpendance-du (FRANCAIS)

https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_le-senat-polonais-approuve-deux-reformes-controversees-du-systeme-judiciaire?id=9661183 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2017/07/13/la-hongrie-et-la-pologne-a-nouveau-mises-en-cause-sur-les-libertes-a-bruxelles_5160284_3214.html (FRANCAIS)

http://fr.euronews.com/2017/07/16/pologne-dans-la-rue-au-nom-de-la-democratie (FRANCAIS)

http://www.polskieradio.pl/5/3/Artykul/1789402,Protest-przed-Sejmem-Opozycja-przeciwko-zmianom-w-sadownictwie  (POLISH)

http://www.superstacja.tv/wiadomosc/2017-07-16/opozycja-protestowala-przed-sejmem-przeciw-planom-zmian-w-sadownictwie/  (POLISH)

http://tvnwarszawa.tvn24.pl/informacje,news,przeciw-zmianom-w-sadownictwie-sprzed-sejmu-na-krakowskie,236523.html (POLISH)

Letter Poland – judicial reform July 2017

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Unia Europejska zagroziła zastosowaniem art. 7 TUE jeśli procedowane reformy sądownictwa wejdą w życie. Naszym zdaniem to ważny krok: https://amnesty.org.pl/polska-grozba-zastosowania-art-7-tue-to-krok-w-dobra-strone/. Wezwij polskie władze do przestrzegania Konstytucji i prawa międzynarodowego. Podpisz petycję! https://amnesty.org.pl/akcje/prawo-do-bezstronnego-sadu-zagrozone/

(Amnesty International Polska Facebook)

China: Prominent rights activist Xu Zhiyong freed from Chinese jail

July 15, 2017

Image result for xu zhiyong

One of China’s most prominent rights activists was released by the authorities on Saturday after serving a four-year sentence that prompted international criticism, with his lawyer saying he hoped he would be allowed to live as a free man.

Xu Zhiyong, whose “New Citizens’ Movement” advocated working within the system to press for change, was detained in 2013 and subsequently convicted of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order”.

One of the group’s main demands had been for officials to publicly disclose their assets, a demand taken against the backdrop of the ruling Communist Party’s own efforts to crackdown on deep-seat corruption under President Xi Jinping.

Xu’s lawyer, Zhang Qingfang, told Reuters he had brought Xu up to speed with “events on the outside”, including the death of fellow activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo. He said Xu was “upset” upon hearing the news.






No Ifs, No Buts: Torture Should Be Universally Condemned

As Liu Xiaobo Dies in Isolation, It’s Time to Abandon ‘Quiet Diplomacy’

http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/renquanfazhi/xl1-07182017105405.html (CHINESE)

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2017/07/15/97001-20170715FILWWW00021-le-dissident-chinois-xu-zhiyong-libere.php?cmtpage=0 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.liberation.fr/planete/2017/07/15/chine-le-militant-anticorruption-xu-zhiyong-est-sorti-de-prison_1584042 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20170715/424140005530/sale-de-prision-el-destacado-activista-xu-zhiyong-tras-4-anos-de-condena.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.salzburg24.at/china-liess-prominenten-menschenrechtsaktivisten-frei/apa-1437136378 (DEUTSCH)

http://www.dn.pt/lusa/interior/ativista-politico-chines-xu-zhiyong-sai-da-prisao-ao-fim-de-quatro-anos-8639161.html (PORTUGUES)

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/internasional/20170715160116-113-228118/china-bebaskan-aktivis-ham-xu-zhiyong/ (INDONESIAN)

https://www.alhurra.com/a/xu-zhiyong/377639.html (ARABIC)


https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xu_Zhiyong (FRANCAIS)

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Burma: Two policemen testify in lawyer Ko Ni’s assassination trial

July 15, 2017

Arriving at court. Photo: Mizzima

Two policemen who were deeply involved in arresting assassin Kyi Lin, who shot lawyer Ko Ni at Yangon International Airport, testified in the court on July 14 as prosecuting witnesses.

Four suspects including the gunman Kyi Lin appeared at the Yangon North District court on July 14. In the court, the two policemen Naing Aung and Thet Arkar Soe testified as prosecution witnesses.

During the assassination, taxi driver Nay Win who tried to chase down the gunman Kyi Lin was also killed by the gunman.

Lawyer Robert San Aung, who represents the family members of taxi driver Nay Win, said, “The two policemen were involved in trying to arrest the suspect Kyi Lin. Their testimonies could provide links.”





Turkey: Turkish coup was Erdogan ‘gift’

July 14, 2017

It is now a year after Turkish democracy survived a military coup, but fell victim to another, which it was not familiar with.

On the fateful night of 15 July, 1.5 percent of the Turkish military tried to topple the democratically elected Turkish government with a planned coup that seemed doomed to fail from the very beginning. However, 250 innocent souls lost their lives.

Seasoned observers of Turkish politics were trying to understand why on earth an army as experienced as the Turkish military in staging coups and toppling governments would choose 10pm on a Friday night to block only one direction of the Bosporus Bridge and start a coup attempt.

Erdogan famously called the coup “a gift from God”. Right after the putsch, a quarter of Turkish judges and prosecutors were dismissed, and many ended up in jail.

The government is pushing ahead the greatest purge the Turkish republic has ever seen as of today, with no end in sight. Some 150 thousand people have been sacked from their government posts. Around 50 thousand people are in jail, of which 17 thousand are women and there have been at least 500 babies born in prisons.

According to Stockholm Center for Freedom – a rights advocate organisation created by exiled Turkish journalists in Sweden – there are currently 200 journalists behind bars in the country. This figure makes Turkey the champion of journalist jailers, well ahead of China.

Some 189 media outlets have either been seized or banned after the coup, while 35 percent of the journalists lost their jobs.

Most shockingly, the chief of staff publicly declared that only 1.5 percent of the Turkish army had joined the coup and most of them were privates.

According to chief of staff registry, there are currently 356 generals in the Turkish military. The number of generals who have been arrested after the coup is 167, which means 47 percent of the top brass is behind the bars. If only 1.5 percent of the military joined the putsch, why has almost 50 percent of the top brass been arrested?

And if 50 percent of the generals joined the coup, how come it collapsed so quickly?

These are still very legitimate questions that beg answers, while the wave of purges, arrests and detentions target not only Gulenists, but all those who dare to criticise Erdogan.





http://www.24heures.ch/monde/europe/an-putsch-manque-reste-gulenistes-caches/story/28480862 (FRANCAIS)

http://fr.euronews.com/2017/07/14/turquie-deux-enseignants-en-greve-de-la-faim-symbole-des-purges (FRANCAIS)

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2017/07/14/turquie-liberer-les-defenseurs-des-droits-humains (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.fr/actions/president-damnesty-turquie-en-prison-aider?utm_medium=reseaux-sociaux&utm_source=facebook (FRANCAIS)

http://www.huffingtonpost.it/2017/07/15/la-turchia-un-anno-dopo-il-golpe-viaggio-nellerdoganistan_a_23031366/ (ITALIANO)

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Nigeria: Kiobel Writ: OGONI 9 SHOW TRIAL: ill-treatment of lawyers and family members

July 14, 2017

On 19 February 1995, when Esther again tried to visit her husband, she was locked up by Okuntimo and tied naked to a chair. Then she was beaten with a koboko and sexually harassed and assaulted by Okuntimo.

The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information is provided after the extracts. 


4.5 Ill-treatment of lawyers and family members

  1. Both lawyers and family members of the suspects were seriously intimidated, threatened and even ill-treated during the trial.138
  2. On several occasions the lawyers were denied access to the heavily protected court.139 For example, at the session of 21 February 1995 Fawehinmi related how that morning he was forced by Lt. Hassan, who worked directly under Okuntimo, under threat of violence, to board a police bus. Lawyer Falana was beaten in the same incident.140 These two lawyers were also unlawfully detained by the regime during (the run-up to) the trial.141
  3. Oso, Kiobel’s lawyer, related how he became the victim of serious intimidation. On arrival at the courthouse he was told to leave after which his driver was beaten up and his car destroyed.142 That same morning Saro-Wiwa’s 74-year-old mother was beaten up on the instructions of Lt. Hassan when she tried to enter the court.143
  4. When Kiobel was asked on 22 June 1995 whether he could arrange another lawyer since Oso had stopped his defence, he stated, to the annoyance of Judge Auta, how his family was being harassed by the army:


China: Chinese Lawyers and Intellectuals Mourn Liu Xiaobo

July 14, 2017

In this image taken from July 24, 2008, video footage by AP Video, Liu Xiaobo speaks during an interview at a park in Beijing, China. The judicial bureau in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang says jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has died of multiple organ failure Thursday, July 13, 2017, at age 61. (AP Video via AP)

Chinese lawyers have joined intellectuals in paying tribute to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died of cancer at the age of 61 on Thursday afternoon while in custody.

As information related to dissidents like Liu is still largely censored on Chinese media, much of the mourning was done privately and through social media. Lawyers, writers, professors, artists and journalists took to social media outlets such as Twitter, WeChat and Weibo to share Liu’s work—especially his final statement before going to prison in 2009: He famously said then that he had “no enemies and no hatred.”

In advocating the rule of law and upholding the Constitution, Liu Xiaobo’s cause was shared by many of the country’s human rights lawyers. Well-known rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang is among those who signed Charter 08.

On July 9, a few days prior to Liu’s death, lawyers in China, Hong Kong and overseas gathered for the two-year anniversary of the crackdown on Beijing-based Fengrui Law Firm. On July 9, 2015, more than 200 lawyers and associated staffers were arrested. So far, several lawyers are still being detained without having been charged and with no access to communication with anyone outside prison; others are serving prison sentences, are on parole, or are under house arrest.

“The working environment for rights lawyers remains hostile in China,” Albert Ho, a Hong Kong lawyer and chair of the nonprofit China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, said at the July 9 gathering before the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.


Egypt: Free imprisoned human rights lawyers Mohamed Ramadan & Tarek Hussein!


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رسالة محامي مسجون إلي محامي معتقل
#الحرية_لمحامي_الغلابة #الحرية_لمحمد_رمضان






Turkey/UN/AI: UN Human Rights Specialists Call On Turkey To Release Rights Defenders

July 14, 2017

A group of United Nations experts on Friday called on the Turkish government to immediately release nine human rights defenders and two foreign trainers who are being questioned over alleged membership in a terrorist organization.

Turkish police, acting on an anonymous tip, last week raided a hotel on Büyükada, one of the Princes’ Islands off İstanbul, and detained İdil Eser from Amnesty International, İlknur Üstün from the Women’s Coalition, lawyer Günal Kurşun from the Human Rights Agenda Association, lawyer Nalan Erkem from the Citizens Assembly, Nejat Taştan from the Equal Rights Watch Association, Özlem Dalkıran from the Citizens’ Assembly, lawyer Şeyhmuz Özbekli, and Veli Acu from the Human Rights Agenda Association.

Two foreign trainers — Ali Gharawi of Sweden and Peter Steudtner of Germany — as well as the hotel owner, who was later released, were also detained.

“The arrest of these human rights defenders, including prominent figures, is a further illustration of the witch-hunt taking place in Turkey,” the experts said in a joint statement posted on the website of the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner.

“They are among thousands of people currently in detention on terrorism charges, along with political activists, lawyers, journalists and others critical of government policy.”






http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2017/07/14/turquie-plus-de-7-000-limogeages-un-an-apres-le-putsch-rate-contre-erdogan_5160890_3214.html (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2017/07/14/turquie-une-justice-debordee-et-sous-pression-du-pouvoir_5160468_3210.html (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lapresse.ca/international/europe/201707/14/01-5116194-turquie-plus-de-7000-policiers-soldats-et-membres-de-ministeres-limoges.php (FRANCAIS)

UK/USA: New York Bar chief writes to Theresa May over ‘climate of intimidation’ for NI lawyers

July 14, 2017

Irish Legal News - Legal News, Events & Jobs across Ireland

The New York Bar has expressed its concern over the “climate of intimidation” that lawyers in Northern Ireland face.

The Bar represents 24,000 attorneys as well as judges, government officials and legal academics in New York City.

John Kiernan, president of the Bar, has written to British Prime Minister Theresa May and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire to ask that the UK government “refrain from the use of inflammatory rhetoric” in discussions over ongoing cases.

Plans to prosecute former British soldiers over alleged offences committed during the Troubles has causes a backlash in Britain.

Mr Kiernan said in his letter to Mrs May: “We urge you and other government officials to refrain from the use of inflammatory rhetoric against lawyers involved in the reconciliation process and to identify and implement steps to support lawyers working on reconciliation and legacy issues, and to publicly commit to safeguarding lawyers who have been harassed or threatened as a result of performing their professional duties.”

He added that the NYC Bar was “particularly troubled by reports that lawyers in Northern Ireland once again are facing threats, harassment, and media attacks while engaging in their professional responsibilities related to addressing the legacy of the past”.