Monthly Archives: September 2017

The Philippines: NBI to probe killing of Infanta assistant fiscal

September 30, 2017

NBI to probe killing of Infanta assistant fiscal

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the killing of assistant provincial prosecutor Reymund F. Luna in Infanta, Quezon province.

Aguirre on Friday issued Department Order No. 646, directing NBI Director Dante Gierran to investigate and build up a case on the death of Luna.

“The NBI is hereby directed and granted authority to conduct an investigation and case build-up over the killing of Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Reymund F. Luna and if evidence so warrants, to file appropriate charges thereon,” the justice chief said in his order dated September 29.

Luna was shot dead by two unidentified men on a motorcycle in Barangay Tongohin in Infanta on Friday morning. He was the seventh prosecutor to be attacked since October 2016.

Last Sept. 2, Pablito A. Gahol, former Mandaluyong City prosecutor and chairman of Barangay Mauway in the city, was shot dead. In July, Rizal assistant provincial prosecutor Maria S. Ronatay, was ambushed and gunned down by riding-in-tandem men.

In February, Caloocan City prosecutor Diosdado Azarcon was shot thrice in the head by a man on a motorcycle outside his house in Caloocan as he was on his way to work. That same month, Surigao City prosecutor Manuel Tesiorna was attacked.

On Jan. 11, Quezon City prosecutor Noel Mingoa was shot at close range outside a restaurant along Commonwealth Ave., while Mati City prosecutor Rolando Acido was shot dead outside the Mati City Hall of Justice on Oct. 26 last year.

Kashmir/India: Rafto Prize for two human rights activists from Kashmir: Here’s what it means to them

September 29, 2017

Two long-time human rights defenders Parvez Imroz and Parveena Ahangar have been awarded the prestigious Professor Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize, popularly known as the Rafto Prize, for human rights this year.

The past recipients of this award include Aung Sang Suu Kyi and Shirin Ebadi, both of whom went on to win the Nobel prize for peace.

In its statement, the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights said the award was given to the duo for their “decades of campaigning for human rights in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”.

“Their long campaign to expose human rights violations, promote dialogue and seek peaceful solutions to the intractable conflict in Kashmir has inspired new generations across communities,” the foundation said.

Speaking about Parveena Ahangar, the foundation said that she “protests against enforced disappearances and challenges the perpetrators of violence”. Similarly, the foundation praised Imroz as “a lawyer and a leading intellectual who uses the law to ensure fundamental human rights and equality before the law in Kashmir”.

On his part, Imroz sees the award as an acknowledgement of the deteriorating human rights situation in Kashmir by the European civil society.

Imroz has already received the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights prize in 2006 given by the Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Bordeaux, France, and the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE). The award has earlier been conferred to Nelson Mandela.

The duo will be traveling to Norway in November to receive the award and also get a chance to interact with the various civil society groups in the country.

“We will use this opportunity to create some more awareness about Kashmir. And tell the world that the overriding challenge in Kashmir is not terrorism but the massive humanitarian fallout of the thirty years of the conflict,” Imroz said.

J&K activist, lawyer awarded Rafto Prize

Parveena Ahangar and Parvez Imroz in Kashmir awarded Rafto Prize 2017 (FRANCAIS)  (FRANCAIS) (ESPANOL) (DEUTSCH) (TURKCE)

Turkey: CHP leader’s lawyer released under travel ban

September 30, 2017

Celal Çelik, a judge-turned-lawyer representing main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was released on condition of a travel ban on Friday by an İstanbul court after two weeks of detention over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Çelik was detained on Sept. 15 as part of an İstanbul-based investigation into the Gülen movement over its alleged role in stopping National Intelligence Organization (MIT) trucks that were suspected of illegally transporting weapons to Syria in 2014.

According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, Çelik canceled his cable subscription when Gülen-linked television stations such as Samanyolu TV and Bugün TV were removed from the Digitürk platform.

The report said that Çelik was in close contact with the advisor to Kılıçdaroğlu, Fatih Gürsul, who was arrested in December 2016 on charges of using ByLock, a smart phone application that authorities claim is a communication tool between members of the Gülen movement.

CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the detention of his lawyer, said the decision is an “abdication of reason.” (TURKCE) (TURKCE)

Tanzania: Govt Fails to Shed Light On Suspected Lissu’s Attackers

September 28, 2017

Tanzania’s Home Affairs minister Mwigulu Nchemba on Thursday September 28 failed to explain how many suspects linked to the assassination attempt on the life of Singida East MP Tundu Lissu had been arrested.

But he said, so far they have seized 10 vehicles that match the looks of the one the unknown assailants used on the material day.

Mr Nchemba made the statement during an interview with a local TV station, where he also assured on the capacity of local security organs to probe the incident.

“We are holding 10 vehicles in connection with the attempt but I can’t divulge more details on how many people have been arrested, the police continue with their investigations,” he said.

“People should trust their police as they are on duty 24/7, even the government isn’t happy with the blood shedding incidents as our core responsibility is to guarantee safety to everyone,” he added.

Mr Lissu, who is also an opposition Chief Whip and president of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) was showered with bullets on September 7 outside his Area D home in Dodoma as he was coming from Parliament.

Russia: Prominent Putin critic Alexei Navalny arrested on way to opposition rally

September 29, 2017


Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader and prominent critic of Vladimir Putin, says he has been arrested again outside his Moscow home after he left to attend a pre-election rally with supporters.

Mr Navalny tweeted that he had been “detained and was being taken somewhere”, but that he did not know where.

Russia will hold a presidential election in March which incumbent Vladimir Putin is widely expected to contest.

Russia’s central election commission has said Mr Navalny is not eligible to run, but he still hopes to stand against Mr Putin.

Mr Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner, said on social media police had told him they wanted to talk to him about something, but it was not clear what, or whether he would be charged with anything.

He had been due to address a rally in the city of Nizhny Novgorod later on Friday.

This is the third time the Russian opposition leader has been detained this year. (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS)  (RUSSIAN)

Burma: Suspected plotter in Ko Ni murder drove assassin to the airport: police

September 28, 2017

Aung Win Zaw, one of the suspects accused of plotting the brazen assassination of prominent legal adviser U Ko Ni on January 29, is believed to have played a far more hands-on role than initially thought.

Not only was he involved in masterminding the plan with his brother, fugitive Aung Win Khaing, but he drove the alleged shooter Kyi Lin to the airport himself, according to authorities.

“Police have found that they went to the airport together in the same car before the assassination happened. This finding is a crucial link to prove the relationship between these two suspects in this case,” said Robert San Aung, the lawyer for Ko Ni’s family.

Sub-inspector Kyaw Win Oo testified in court in Yangon on September 22 that the two men “went to the airport together on the day the incident happened.”

Kyi Lin then waited for Ko Ni to come out of the departure area and shot him in the back of the head, killing him instantly, according to the official version of events. He is also accused of fatally shooting Nay Win, a taxi driver who tried to chase him down.

The police arrested Kyi Lin near a cabstand minutes later after a chaotic standoff. Days later, on February 2, they confiscated a Toyota Hilux at Aung Win Zaw’s home in Yangon’s Dawbon Township. This was the vehicle allegedly used to take Kyi Lin to the airport.

Investigators believe that Aung Win Khaing masterminded the assassination and that his brother Aung Win Zaw approached Kyi Lin to carry it out. Two additional suspects, Zeya Phyo and Aung Win Tun, have also been arrested.

UK: Full Leigh Day judgment revealed: Firm’s solicitors not ‘people who put financial advantage above professional duty’

September 27, 2017

But partner Martyn Day not ‘a credible, honest or convincing witness’, one tribunal member says

The full judgment in the Leigh Day disciplinary case, the most expensive hearing of its kind, has been revealed in all its 213-page glory.

The case concerned a range of professional misconduct charges brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and argued in court by barristers from Fountain Court Chambers11 King’s Bench Walk and 39 Essex Chambers. The 19 charges focused on human rights outfit Leigh Day’s alleged failure to adequately verify claims made by Iraqi clients of torture and murder by British troops.

During the spring hearing, social media was awash with venom for respondents Martyn Day (a partner), Sapna Malik (a partner) and Anna Crowther (a junior lawyer).

Turkey: 14 lawyers from People’s Law Office arrested and charged

September 27, 2017


On 20 September 2017, 14 lawyers were charged with “being members of a terrorist organisation” by the Istanbul Criminal Judgeship of Peace. They were detained and taken into police custody on 12 September 2017.

Didem Baydar, Şükriye Erden, Ayşegül Çağatay, Ebru Timtik, Aytaç Ünsal, Zehra Özdemir, Yağmur Ereren, Engin Gökoğlu, Süleyman Gökten, Aycan Çiçek, Naciye Demir, Behiç Aşçı, Barkın Timtik and Özgür Yılmaz are human rights defenders and lawyers belonging to the People’s Law Officein Turkey. They are well known due to their work on high profile cases such as that of 15- year old Berkin Elvan, who died during the Gezi Park protests after being hit on the head by a tear-gas canister fired by a police officer, and  Dilek Doğan, a young woman who was shot and killed by a police officer during an anti-terror raid on her house on 18 October 2015.  They also represent Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, two educators dismissed from their positions following the failed coup attempt on 15 July 2016.  The detention of the 14 human rights defenders from the People’s Law Office occurred two days before the educators’ trial was due to begin on 14 September 2017.

On 11-12 September 2017, around midnight, Turkish police raided the offices of People’s Law Office in Istanbul and Ankara as well as the lawyers’ houses. The 14 human rights defenders were detained following a warrant issued by the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office accusing them of “being members of a terrorist organisation”. On 20 September 2017, the human rights defenders were taken to the prosecutor’s office in Istanbul courthouse where their testimonies were taken. Ahmet Mandacı and Ezgi Gökten were then released under judicial control as they had no formal ties to the People’s Law Office, while all others were arrested. The lawyers are accused of having ties to the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party (DHKP-C) which is recognised as a terrorist organisation in Turkey.,-14-lawyers-arrested:-They-defended-two-imprisoned-professors-on-hunger-strike-41849.html

9 lawyers in Izmir and 3 lawyers in Isparta were arrested in one week

Egypt: Egyptian opposition figure defiant after conviction

September 26, 2017

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2017 file photo, lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali, center, celebrates with other lawyers after winning a landmark case against the government, blocking its attempts to hand over control of two strategic Red

An Egyptian opposition figure whose conviction for “offending public morals” could jeopardize his likely presidential run next year says the verdict is payback for winning a lawsuit against the government over its transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Rights lawyer and activist Khaled Ali has declared his interest in running against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in next year’s election, but would be disqualified if his conviction is upheld by a higher court. He said in a Facebook post late Monday that he intended to appeal.

El-Sissi, who as military chief of staff led the overthrow of an elected Islamist president four years ago, is virtually certain to run for re-election next year, although he has yet to formally announce his candidacy. He is heavily favored to win a second, four-year term, amid a widespread crackdown on dissent and a relentless campaign by pro-government media against any potential challenger.

Ali didn’t attend Monday’s hearing, in which he was convicted of making an obscene finger gesture outside a Cairo courthouse in January, where he and other lawyers had won a case against the government, blocking its attempt to hand over control of the two islands to Saudi Arabia under a 2016 agreement. He was ordered to pay 1,000 Egyptian pounds (nearly $60) to remain free on bail.

Ali, who unsuccessfully ran in presidential elections held in 2012, has disputed the government’s contention that Tiran and Sanafir have always been Saudi, but were handed over to Egypt for protection at a time of heightened Arab-Israeli tension in the early 1950s.

Egypt Cracks Down, Again

Egypt/Brazil: Allard Prize for International Integrity awarded today (LIVESTREAM)

September 28, 2017

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Want to see the #AllardPrize ceremony but can’t make it in person? Check it out on Facebook Live today at 6.30pm Vancouver time:

Finalists include Brazil’s anti-corruption Lava Jato (Car Wash) Task Force which has successfully prosecuted and found guilty more than 100 businessmen and politicians, including former President Lula, and Egyptian human rights lawyer Azza Solimon. (FRANCAIS) (BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE – Supporters of the Brazilian Workers Party (PT) threaten to prevent Lava Jato from receiving the Prize and to protest at the Ceremony in Vancouver.) (BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE) (BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE),estudantes-e-juristas-protestam-para-barrar-premio-a-lava-jato,70002016566 (BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE) (BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE),903632/estudantes-e-juristas-protestam-para-barrar-premio-a-lava-jato-no-cana.shtml (BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE) (BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE) (BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE) (BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE) (BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE) (ARABIC) (AZERBAIJANI)