Daily Archives: 02/09/2017

Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta to court: ‘We shall revisit this’

September 2, 2017

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Saturday the country has “a problem” with its judiciary that must be fixed.

He was speaking a day after the Supreme Court annulled his election win last month and ordered a new poll within 60 days.

“We shall revisit this thing. We clearly have a problem,” he said, referring to the judiciary.

“Who even elected you? Were you? We have a problem and we must fix it,” he said, speaking on live television at the State House in Nairobi after he met with governors and other elected officials from his Jubilee party.

Kenyatta, however, also repeated his message from Friday that he would respect the court’s ruling.

The decision to annul the election was an unprecedented move in Africa where governments often hold sway over judges – and the first time on the continent that a court ruled against the electoral victory of an incumbent.

Analysts viewed the president’s latest comments on the judiciary as a worrisome development.

It’s extremely unfortunate that Kenyatta seems to be issuing veiled threats at the judiciary,” said Murithi Mutiga, a Nairobi-based senior Africa analyst at the International Crisis Group.

“This was a tremendous moment for Kenyan democracy, where the court upheld the rule of law. Politicians should be careful not to incite the public against the judiciary.”











http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20170902-kenya-presidentielle-annulee-uhuru-kenyatta-critique-durcit-ton-cour-supreme (FRANCAIS)

https://www.voaafrique.com/a/uhuru-kenyatta-tance-la-justice-apres-l-annulation-de-sa-reelection/4012593.html (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20170902-election-annulee-kenya-surprise-embarras-communaute-internationale (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20170902-afrique-opposants-saluent-annulation-presidentielle-kenyane (FRANCAIS)

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LSK CRITICISES Uhuru remarks against Supreme Court judges after his win was nullified, warns against leaders threatening judges.

Bahamas: Lawyer Accuses Rbdf Of False Arrest And Intimidation

September 1, 2017

ATTORNEY Sherita Forbes has accused the Royal Bahamas Defence Force of falsely arresting, detaining and intimidating her at the RBDF’s Coral Harbour base as she attempted to counsel a marine who requested representation after he was relieved of duties and taken into custody before the force’s Intelligence Unit.

She also alleges her client’s constitutional rights were breached because he was not allowed representation.

In a letter to RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethell, National Security Minister Marvin Dames and Captain Samuel Evans, Ms Forbes said as a result she is seeking compensation for false imprisonment, the denial of her client’s rights and $800, which was forfeited because she was prevented from rendering services to her client.

The claims spark from a series of events, which took place on August 14 and August 18 involving Ms Forbes’ client, who is a leading seaman.

“On August 14, my client was summoned to the Intelligence Unit of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force for questioning for matters which were unrelated to the said force,” Ms Forbes wrote in the letter dated August 21.

“I am instructed that in the said meeting, the intelligence officers (allegedly) threatened and intimidated my client to cease and desist his pursuing a criminal action – directly linked to a civil matter – which he currently has before the courts for money stolen from him due to mortgage fraud.”

Ms Forbes alleged her client was threatened that should he not drop his action, he would be charged with libel.




India: Protest at SSP office after cops detain lawyer

September 1, 2017

A group of lawyers on Thursday protested outside the SSP office in Surajpur alleging that one of their colleagues was illegally booked and detained by Dadri police on Wednesday night. The lawyers demanded suspension of accused policemen and registration of case against them.

The lawyers said 30-year-old Suresh Raj, a resident of Dadri, was kept whole night in the lock-up and was beaten up. They said a police team had reached Dadri on Wednesday night and picked up a person over some quarrel. Suresh Raj rushed to police station to help the arrested person, who was his neighbour and friend. “The police detained Suresh Raj and thrashed him. He was also booked in a fake case and kept in the lock-up all night,” said Aneet Bhagel, a lawyer.
The lawyers continued protesting till late afternoon. Senior police officials reached the spot and pacified them. The police, however termed the allegations baseless.
Piyush Kumar Singh, circle officer, Dadri said Suresh Raj and his friend were drinking late night outside a shop in Dadri.
“The shop was closed and a police team on night patrol found them drunk. They were told to move away but the tipsy men started abusing and arguing with the cops. The duo was brought to police station and booked under Section 290 of IPC for creating public nuisance,” he said.

Raj and his friend were released only after the secretary of the Gautam Budh Nagar Bar Association came to know about it and visited the police station.



China: China Tries to Muzzle Rights Lawyers Defending ‘Politically Sensitive’ Cases

September 1, 2017

More than 70 lawyers with a history of defending vulnerable groups attend a 'symposium' in Beijing, Aug. 29, 2017.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party has ordered dozens of lawyers to endorse a “declaration” accepting further controls on the legal profession following a nationwide operation launched in July 2015 targeting rights lawyers and their associates for detention, criminal sentences, house arrest, and travel bans.

More than 70 lawyers with a history of defending vulnerable groups in cases considered politically sensitive by the government were told to attend a “symposium” in Beijing from Aug. 28-31, attendees told RFA.

The meeting was addressed by China’s minister for justice Zhang Jun, who told the assembled lawyers that a “Western-style” separation of powers and judicial independence isn’t suited to China.

During the minister’s address, Beijing rights lawyer Li Fangping asked Zhang for information about disappeared rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, who has been incommunicado since his detention in the July 2015.

The minister replied: “Let’s talk about that later.”

Among those told to attend were the former attorney of late Nobel peace laureate and political prisoner Liu Xiaobo, as well as lawyers who represented the families of children who died or were made sick by the 2008 tainted baby milk scandal, and those who defended fellow lawyers in the July 2015 crackdown.

“All lawyers need is to be faithful to the law … but we were told at the symposium that they will be stepping up controls on lawyers,” attendee Chang Boyang said.

“A lot of it was focusing on things that lawyers say in public outside court.”


The Philippines: IBAHRI urges President Duterte to ensure due process of law in the Philippines

September 2, 2017

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) condemns the extrajudicial killings associated with the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ and urges him to ensure due process of law and protect the human rights of all in the Philippines. Further, amid reports of threatening remarks by the President to shoot human rights officials and kill judges and lawyers, whom he perceives to be conspiring with drug offenders, the IBAHRI calls for President Duterte to respect and uphold the independence of the legal profession.

IBAHRI Co-Chair, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, commented:‘The IBAHRI is aghast at the mounting death toll ascribed to extrajudicial killings subsequent to President Duterte’s declaration of a “war on drugs”. We call for an end to these actions and for arrests to be made and due process to be followed. In relation to vocal attacks on members of the judiciary, lawyers and human rights officers, we call on the President to desist making public threats. It is particularly disturbing that he is naming individual judges and legal professionals, on “narco-lists”, whom he alleges have links to drug syndicates. In so doing, he knowingly puts at risk the personal safety of any listed individual and undermines a fundamental principle of the rule of law: the presumption of innocence.’

She added: ‘Crucially, judicial independence is also undermined as the threats are likely to have a chilling effect on the legal profession, stymieing its ability to function independently. There are human rights violations at every turn.’

President Duterte has been vociferous in his criticism of judges and lawyers, and recently has publicly displayed an updated ‘narco-list’ that includes lawmakers, judges and uniformed personnel suspected of being involved in the drug trade in the Philippines. Despite doubts being cast over the list when one judge was found to be already dead and others dismissed, retired, or without jurisdiction over drug cases, President Duterte threatened that the list would be a ‘death certificate’ for those linked to the drug trade. Additionally, he has warned that the list will be extended to include lawyers of alleged drug dealers, and prosecutors whom he blames for causing the dismissal of cases against the suspects.