Daily Archives: 19/07/2017

Argentina: Ongoing threats against Viviana Beigel

July 19, 2017

Viviana Beigel

On 17 July 2017, human rights lawyers Viviana Beigel and Pablo Salinas Cavalotti received additional threatening messages on their personal Facebook accounts. Since 24 June 2017 the couple have been receiving messages containing threats due to their work related to the right to truth, justice and accountability for human rights violations.

Viviana Beigel and Pablo Salinas Cavalotti are human rights lawyers who are specialized in defending victims of crimes against humanity committed during the Argentinian dictatorship. They are also part of the Movimiento Ecuménico por los Derechos Humanos – MEDH (Ecumenical Movement for Human Rights) in the region of Mendoza, and members of the Human Rights Institute at the National University of Cuyo. Both human rights defenders have written several books regarding violations and punishment for perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Argentina.

Since 24 June 2017, both human rights defenders have received multiple threats via their Facebook accounts on a daily basis. The messages are in relation with the human rights defenders’ work in defence of the victims of crimes against humanity committed during the Argentinian dictatorship. The messages contain threats against the work of the lawyers, stating that the human rights defenders “have little time left”, and that their careers will be destroyed through public smear campaigns. The offender has also attempted to call Viviana Beigel and Pablo Salinas Cavalotti several times, mainly late at night or early in the morning. The human rights defenders filed a report to the authorities on 26 June 2017, but until this date they haven’t received any response regarding the investigation.





Click to access EN_HRL_20170809_Argentina_Concerns-regarding-the-threats-against-Argentinian-human-rights-lawyers-Viviana-Beigel-and-Pablo-Salinas-Cavalotti.pdf

Mexico: UN experts call for an independent and impartial investigation into the use of spyware against rights defenders and journalists

July 19, 2017

Image result for office of the high commissioner for human rights

A group of United Nations experts* today called on the Government of Mexico to carry out a transparent, independent and impartial investigation into allegations of monitoring and illegal surveillance against human rights defenders, social activists, and journalists.

The experts’ call comes a month after civil society organizations and the international media revealed allegations that the Mexican authorities deployed a spyware called ‘Pegasus’ to hack and monitor the mobile phones of people involved in the investigation and denunciation of cases of corruption and serious violations of human rights during 2015 and 2016.

“The allegations of surveillance, which represent a serious violation of the rights to privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of association, are highly concerning and are evidence of the hostile and threatening environment that human rights defenders, social activists and journalists face in Mexico today,” the experts said.

The surveillance has reportedly targeted human rights defenders from the NGO Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (Centro Prodh), as well as members of other civil society organizations such as Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad and Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad.

The Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and some members of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), appointed to take part in the investigation into the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, are also said to have been affected.


China: Lawyer under investigation for negative comments about Party, govt

July 18, 2017

The Hangzhou Lawyers Association announced Monday that it is investigating one of its members after receiving complaints about his “negative comments regarding the Party and the government.”

Wu Youshui, the lawyer from the Bijian Law Firm based in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province posted a photo of the association’s notice to his WeChat public account Monday and rejected the allegations against him.

The notice he posted claims that the investigation was sparked by a complaint made to the association by a netizen on July 11 who claimed that “Wu has constantly posted negative comments about the Party and the government on his Sina Weibo, which has exerted a negative social inmpact and marred lawyers’ professional image.”

The notice claimed that the complainer asked the association to punish Wu based on “the relevant regulations.”

The association has demanded Wu submit a written defense, according to the notice.

Regulations passed last year say lawyers should not incite discontent with the Party or government on the Internet.



Sudan: ‘Human Rights Violations in Sudan Continue’ – Huqooq

July 17, 2017

According to a new report of the Sudanese Rights Group Huqooq, the violations of human rights in the country remain alarming.

In its report released today [attached below] about the human rights situation in Sudan in June, Huqooq documented violations in Khartoum, White Nile state, eastern Sudan, and Darfur.

The rights violated include freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and freedom of association, the report reads.

Use of excessive force, arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment in detention were committed by members of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), the police, the public order police, and the newly formed university police.

Excessive force

In Port Sudan, policemen beat, insulted, and detained lawyer Salwa Abdelhameed on 1 June, when she visited the El Awsat police station for a follow-up concerning a client. When she protested being called ‘you woman’, policemen slapped her, “kicked her with their boots, and punched her on her face, stomach, and back, and insulted her with indecent language”. When she wanted to file a complaint, she was detained in a police cell until the next day.



Pakistan: Pakistan Bar Council joints other bars’ stance against PM, calls countrywide strike today

July 19, 2017

Pakistan Bar Council joints other bars’ stance against PM, calls countrywide strike today

Following Supreme Court Bar Association and Lahore High Court Bar Association, Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Tuesday announced a countrywide protest against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his resignation in Panama leaks’ case.

PBC Vice Chairman Ahsan Bhoon said that report of Panama’s JIT had proven PM Nawaz and his family members guilty of corruption. Therefore, he said, he had lost his justification to remain in office.

He expressed these views while addressing a press conference which was attended by the council’s office bearers and many other lawyers.

Lahore High Court Bar Association was the first bar to raise voice against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over Panama leaks’ case. Pakistan Bar Council, in the beginning, opposed call for PM’s resignation and held a convention in Islamabad.

Ahsan also demanded resignation of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Punjab chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and MNA captain (r) Muhammad Safdar.  He requested the Supreme Court to take the case of Panama leaks’ case to its logical end and disqualify those found guilty of JIT’s report.

Ahsan also requested the court for action against government’s ministers for using derogatory and threatening language against JIT members and SC judges.

He announced that the lawyers would observe countrywide strike across the country on Wednesday (today) to press their demand of PM’s resignation. He also announced that he would host an all parties’ conference on Panama papers’ case.








Turkey/AI: Disgraceful Court Ruling to Jail Rights Defenders

July 18, 2017

Human rights defenders detained by police in Istanbul on July 5, 2017. From bottom left: Nalan Erkem; Nejat Taştan; İlknur Üstün, İdil Eser, Özlem Dalkıran, Günal Kurşun.

A court decision to remand six human rights defenders to pretrial detention on alleged terrorism charges without evidence of any criminal wrongdoing is a shameful day for Turkey’s judiciary, Human Rights Watch said today.

The six jailed by the Istanbul court pending trial include the director of Amnesty International Turkey and two foreign nationals. The court released four activists on bail, conditional on signing in at a police station three times a week and with a ban on overseas travel.

“It’s outrageous that a Turkish court jailed six human rights activists in a politically motivated effort to silence their work defending the rights of ordinary people,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “After a smear campaign by pro-government media and harsh comments by President Erdoğan the court accepted the prosecutor’s case of aiding a terrorist organization without a shred of evidence against them. This ruling is a profound injustice.”

The six remanded to custody are: Özlem Dalkıran (Citizens’ Assembly); İdil Eser (Amnesty International Turkey director); Veli Acu (Human Rights Agenda Association); lawyer Günal Kurşun (Human Rights Agenda Association); Şeymus Özbekli (Rights Initiative); Nejat Taştan (Equal Rights Watch Association); Ali Gharavi (information security consultant, a Swedish national); and Peter Steudtner (well-being trainer and facilitator, a German national).

The four released on bail are: lawyer Nalan Erkem (Citizens’ Assembly); İlknur Üstün (Women’s Coalition); Şeymus Özbekli (Rights Initiative); and Nejat Taştan (Association for Monitoring Equal Rights);










https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/tell-erdogan-free-amnesty-turkey-idil-eser-and-nine-others/ (URGENT AMNESTY ONLINE PETITION – PLEASE SIGN NOW!)





https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/lemprisonnement-de-militants-dont-la-directrice-da (FRANCAIS)

India: CRPF cover for Roger kin

July 18, 2017

The Telegraph

The Supreme Court today directed the CRPF to provide security to the family of Irom Roger, who was shot dead by Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh’s son Ajay Meitei in 2001, while transferring to Gauhati High Court an appeal filed by the family.

The court entrusted the family’s security, earlier provided by Manipur police, to the CRPF to ensure free and fair appeal proceedings in Gauhati High Court.

Besides Roger’s family, the court asked the CRPF to also provide security to social activist Binalakshmi Nepram, who has taken up the family’s cause, and Chandigarh police to provide security to Chandigarh-based advocate Utsav Singh Bains, who has taken up the case. “We will take over responsibility of the security of the family. We will direct the CRPF to provide security to the family… it is now the responsibility of the court to provide the security…we are doing this in the peculiar facts of this case,” a three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, verbally told Manipur’s advocate-general during a hearing.

Later in the day, while passing a formal order, the bench, which also comprised Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Navin Sinha, asked the inspector-general of CRPF, Manipur and Nagaland zone, to prepare an “assessment report” (of the threat to the family and the two others) and place it before the court. The court passed the directions while dealing with a petition filed by the family complaining about the threat to their lives at the alleged behest of the chief minister. In their petition, they claimed that such was the threat and pressure mounted on them that no lawyer was ready to represent them. It was alleged that Bains, who had flown to Manipur to file an appeal in the state high court in the case, was threatened.

Ajay had shot dead Roger on March 20, 2011, after the deceased had reportedly not allowed the convict to overtake him in his SUV. Biren Singh was the sports minister in the previous Congress government at that time.



UAE/Prix Ludovic Trarieux: Call for the release of Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken, Emirati lawyer and former member of the UIA

July 18, 2017

The UIA invites you to support Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken, by signing an open letter to the Emirati government drafted by the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) and calling for his release (see below).

Dr. Mohammand Al-Roken is a prominent Emirati human rights lawyer, former President of the UAE’s Jurists Association and former member of the UIA.

He was arrested as part of a wave of mass arrests that began in March 2012.

In July 2013, after a trial that was qualified as arbitrary by observers, Dr. Al-Roken was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment, of which 3 were in probation for “establishing an organization that aims at overthrowing the government”, a charge he denied in court. He was also banned from practicing law.

Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken has devoted his life to the defense and promotion of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others, emphasizing their universal essence and indivisibility.

Due to his human rights work and his defense of lawyers and political activists of all backgrounds, over the  past 10 years Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken was the target of continual harassment and surveillance proceedings. He has been arrested and detained several times, subjected to a travel ban, and also subjected to enforced disappearance.

Every name countsso please add your name and the name of your function/organization by emailing  the ICJHR at icjhr.geneva@gmail.com.

For a detailed description of his case, pleassee the report below.


DR Congo: Arrêtés le 23 juin dernier, le militant Jean-Marie Kalonji et son avocat libérés

le 18 juillet, 2017

Jean-Marie Kalonji, militant du mouvement citoyen « Quatrième voie / Il est temps » et son avocat, Sylva Kabanga Mbikayi, ont été libérés ce mardi 18 juillet 2017.

Ils étaient détenus au cachot du quartier général de l’ex-DEMIAP (Détection militaire des activités anti-patrie), dans la commune de Kintambo, renseignent leurs proches.

Jean-Marie Kalonji avait été arrêté le 23 juin 2017 aux alentours de 16 heures près du camp militaire de Bumba, à Kinshasa. Son avocat, venu s’enquérir de sa situation, avait également été arrêté.

Kalonji avait déjà été arrêté en 2016 et détenu pendant sept mois avant d’être libéré dans le cadre des mesures de « décrispation » du climat politique.



Turkey: 13 lawyers given prison sentences of up to 12 years due to Gülen links

July 18, 2017

An Eskişehir court has handed down prison sentences varying between 45 months and 12 years to 13 lawyers on charges of membership in the faith-based Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt in July 2016, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.

During the fourth hearing of the trial at the Eskişehir 2nd High Criminal Court, eight jailed lawyers were given a prison sentence of between 45 months and 12 years, while five other lawyers were given prison sentences of between 45 and 90 months. Three of the jailed lawyers were released considering time already served in jail.

The court decided to seize the property of one of the suspects who is at large in case he/she does not turn up in 15 days to give his/her testimony.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.




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[UPDATED NUMBERS] With the recent dismissal of 7,563 more public officials, the total number of those sacked is now 145,711. #Turkey

(Turkey Purge Facebook)