July 19, 2017
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II condemned the killing of the assistant prosecutor of Rizal province by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Tanay town on Tuesday afternoon as he ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate and identify the perpetrators and file the necessary case.
Assistant Prosecutor Maria S. Ronatay was ambushed by a riding-in-tandem Tuesday afternoon at Tanay, Rizal where she was based.
Rizal police spokesperson Senior Insp. Maria Lourdes Usana disclosed that the victim was riding her vehicle when she was attacked by two motorcycle-riding assailants amidst heavy traffic.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the evidently premeditated killing of prosecutor Maria Ronatay. We ask everyone to join us in praying for the eternal repose of Prosecutor Ronatay’s soul,” Aguirre said Wednesday.
Aguirre issued a department order which granted the NBI authority to do a case-build up on the incident.
Ronatay is the fifth prosecutor attacked since last year.
July 20, 2017
For years, the fiery band of activists pushing for democracy in China looked to Liu Xiaobo, the jailed Nobel Peace laureate, as a source of inspiration. They created social media groups devoted to his iconoclastic poetry. They held up his photos at rallies, demanding justice and transparency.
But Mr. Liu’s death last week of liver cancer, after a final, futile attempt by friends to bring about his release, has dealt a withering blow to the pro-democracy movement. Some say it is now at its weakest point since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989.
“It’s a turning point,” said Yan Wenxin, a human rights lawyer in Beijing. “The feeling of powerlessness among activists has peaked.”
Under President Xi Jinping, the government has imprisoned dozens of lawyers, journalists and advocates and tightened controls over the internet. Now, the ruling Communist Party’s feverish attempts to erase Mr. Liu’s legacy have raised fears that Mr. Xi will intensify his campaign against activists pushing for ideas like freedom of speech and religion.
July 20, 2017
On the call of Pakistan Bar Council, the lawyers on Wednesday observed strike and did not appear before the courts for contesting cases in order to force Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to step down following the investigation report of JIT.
However, the call for strike in courts from the Pakistan Bar Council and Punjab Bar Councils got a mixed response at district and high courts in Rawalpindi.
A good number of lawyers attended their cases both at district and high courts but by and large the lawyers stayed away from the court proceedings. Many litigants returned home with new dates only as their lawyers did not attend the court proceedings.
Advocate Sajjad Akbar Abbasi, President of DBA, when contacted, said that the bars had notified the strike call by the Pakistan and Punjab bar councils.
He added that some lawyers having cases of urgent nature attended the court proceedings. He said that by and large the law practitioners stayed away from the court proceedings.
To a quarry about the bar councils’ general body meetings to endorse the calls for resignation of the PM, Advocate Abbasi said they did not hold the meetings.
He added there was the possibility of clash between the lawyers associated with different political parties in the meetings over the resignation issue.
Panama Papers probe: Lawyers hold protests across Pakistan, demand PM Nawaz Sharif’s resignation
July 19, 2017
The European Union on Wednesday warned Poland’s right-wing government to put on hold controversial reforms to the country’s courts or risk unprecedented sanctions.
In a worsening 18-month standoff between Warsaw and Brussels, the European Commission said Poland’s draft reforms could have a “very significant negative impact on the independence” of the courts.
“We are very close to triggering article seven,” Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans told a press conference in Brussels, following a high-level meeting on the issue.
If article seven of the EU treaty is activated — and the matter could be discussed as early as next week — Poland could see its voting rights suspended in the council of ministers, the EU’s highest decision-making body.
But it was not immediately clear whether the commission could muster the support required from the other 27 member countries, particularly from Poland’s ally Hungary.
Timmermans said the stakes were high as “these laws considerably increase the systemic threats to the rule of law in Poland.”
Planowane zmiany w ustawie o Krajowej Radzie Sądownictwa, ustroju sądów powszechnych oraz Sądzie Najwyższym godzą w konstytucyjną zasadę podziału władzy. Wspieraj nasze działania w obronie praw człowieka w Polsce i kup symboliczną cegiełkę na http://sklep.amnesty.org.pl/
(Amnesty International Polska Facebook)
July 19, 2017
Amnesty International Turkey Director İdil Eser was kept in solitary confinement for 24 hours and denied access to medication within this period, according to a tweet posted by Gauri Van Gulik, deputy Europe Director at Amnesty International.
Gulik also said that Eser was allowed to see her lawyer only one hour in a week.
An Istanbul court put in pre-trial arrest six human rights activists including Amnesty International’s (AI) Turkey director Idil Eser, on early Tuesday.
Turkish police, acting on an anonymous tip, raided a hotel on Büyükada, one of the Princes’ Islands off İstanbul, and detained Eser from AI, 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 — a German and a Swedish national — as well as the hotel owner, who was later released, were among the detainees.
The court overseeing their case ruled to arrest Eser along with 5 other activists: Dalkıran, Acu, Kurşun, trainees Ali Garawi and Peter Steudtner. The accusation raised against them was “to abet a terrorist organization.”
The court released Erkem, Özbekli, Taştan and Üstün on judicial control.