Daily Archives: 05/09/2017

China/Turkey/Azerbaijan/Russia etc: Joint Civil Society Petition to the International Association of Prosecutors

September 5, 2017

OMCT LogoOMCT logo

Dear members of the IAP Executive Committee and the Senate,

dear members of the IAP,

In the run-up to the annual conference and general meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) in Beijing, China, the undersigned civil society organisations urge the IAP to live up to its vision and bolster its efforts to preserve the integrity of the profession.

Increasingly, in many regions of the world, in clear breach of professional integrity and fair trial standards, public prosecutors use their powers to suppress critical voices.

In China, over the last two years, dozens of prominent lawyers, labour rights advocates and activists have been targeted by the prosecution service[1]. Many remain behind bars, convicted or in prolonged detention for legal and peaceful activities protected by international human rights standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Azerbaijan is in the midst of a major crackdown on civil rights defenders, bloggers and journalists, imposing hefty sentences on fabricated charges in trials that make a mockery of justice[2]. In Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey many prosecutors play an active role in the repression of human rights defenders, and in committing, covering up or condoning other grave human rights abuses[3].

Patterns of abusive practices by prosecutors in these and other countries ought to be of grave concern to the professional associations they belong to, such as the IAP. Upholding the rule of law and human rights is a key aspect of the profession of a prosecutor, as is certified by the IAP’s Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors, that explicitly refer to the importance of observing and protecting the right to a fair trial and other human rights at all stages of work[4].

http://www.omct.org/monitoring-protection-mechanisms/urgent-interventions/2017/09/d24513/

http://www.defendersorviolators.info/petition-iap-2017

http://www.ecns.cn/2017/09-05/272268.shtml

https://www.opendemocracy.net/harry-hummel/prosecutors-human-rights-defenders-of-violators

http://www.iap-association.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Association_of_Prosecutors

The Netherlands: LAST DAY TO VOTE! #HumanRightsTulip

September 5, 2017

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Show your support for Human Rights Defenders by voting for your favourite candidate today! To vote, go to: www.humanrightstulip.nl/candidates-and-voting

#HumanRights #WeAreAllHumanRightsDefenders Nederland, Mensenrechten en de VN

(Justice and Peace Netherlands Facebook)

China: Lawyer Zhang Tianyuan summoned by authorities

September 5, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, text

(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook)

Turkey: Situation in Turkey While New Judicial Year Begins

September 4, 2017

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The judicial year starts on 1st of September every year in Turkey. The judicial recess which starts 20th of July ends on 1st of September and so new judicial year starts but due to official holiday of Eid Al-Adha, this year official opening ceremony takes place on 5th of September.

According to the ceremony programme made pursuant to the new regulation, the president of the Union of Turkish Bars Association will not have the right to give speech at the opening ceremony which will be held in the Supreme Court (Yargıtay). The Union of Turkish Bars Association denounced the programme with a written statement and said “We do not attend (the ceremony) just to applaud”.

SITUATION IN TURKEY WHILE NEW JUDICIAL YEAR BEGINS 

As of 5th September 2017, 524 lawyers have been arrested (since 15th July 2016) and 1323 lawyers are under prosecution. Some of the arrested lawyers were subjected torture and ill-treatment.

There has been a relentless campaign of arrests which has targeted fellow lawyers across the country. In 77 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, lawyers have been detained and arrested on trumped-up charges as part of criminal investigations orchestrated by the political authorities and conducted by provincial public prosecutors. 

14 of detained or arrested lawyers are the presidents or former presidents of provincial bars associations.

Situation in Turkey While New Judicial Year Begins 

https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/09/05/mhp-deputy-judiciary-acting-with-fear-due-to-political-pressure/

https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/09/05/top-appeals-court-president-raises-public-concerns-over-turkish-judiciary/

https://arrestedlawyers.org/2017/09/05/situation-en-turquie/ (FRANCAIS)

Spain/HRW: Defending Spain’s Defense Lawyers

September 1, 2017

Police escort a suspect who was detained during early morning raids in an operation against a group suspected of financing and recruiting Islamist militants in Santa Coloma de Gramanet, near Barcelona, October 16, 2008.

The death toll from the vile attacks which rocked Catalonia two weeks ago has now risen to 16, as some of the most gravely injured have succumbed to their wounds. Troubling details about the background of the alleged ringleader of the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils continue to emerge. Questions remain about the level of information sharing between central and regional police authorities, and international security agencies.

Against this backdrop, there have been worrying attacks in the media – including in national broadsheets and on mainstream TV channels – against lawyers who defend people accused of terrorism. Some of the shrillest accusations – calling them “ethically reprehensible”, or pointing to their “professional connections with alleged jihadists” – have centered on two lawyers who have represented defendants in terrorism proceedings, including the suspected ringleader of the Barcelona attack as well as people arrested in previous counterterrorism operations in Catalonia in 2006 and 2008.

The media attacks are laden with politics; both lawyers have since been elected representatives of the left-wing parties Barcelona in Common and Popular Unity Candidacy, the latter of which favors Catalan independence. One is a deputy mayor of Barcelona, and the other is a deputyin the Catalan parliament. The upcoming referendum on the region’s future is bitterly disputed in Spain.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/01/defending-spains-defense-lawyers

https://www.hrw.org/es/news/2017/09/01/proteger-los-abogados-defensores-en-espana (ESPANOL)

 

China/HRW: China seeks to silence critics at U.N. forums: rights body report

September 5, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech in the Palais des Nations at the United Nations in Geneva, January 18, 2017.

Beijing is waging a campaign of harassment against Chinese activists who seek to testify at the United Nations about repression, while the world body sometimes turns a blind eye or is even complicit, Human Rights Watch said.

In a report released on Tuesday, the group said China restricts travel of activists, or photographs or films them if they do come to the U.N. in Geneva to cooperate with human rights watchdogs scrutinizing its record.

“What we found is that China is systematically trying to undermine the U.N.’s ability to defend human rights, certainly in China but also globally as well,” Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, told Reuters.

“This comes at a point where domestically China’s repression is the worst it has been since the Tiananmen Square democracy movement (in 1989). So there is much to hide and China clearly attaches enormous importance to muting criticism of its increasingly abysmal human rights record.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-rights/china-seeks-to-silence-critics-at-u-n-forums-rights-body-report-idUSKCN1BG0QP

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/05/un-china-blocks-activists-harasses-experts

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2017/09/05/onu-la-chine-entrave-le-travail-des-activistes-et-harcele-les-experts (FRANCAIS)

https://www.hrw.org/zh-hans/news/2017/09/05/308436 (CHINESE)

India/Jammu & Kashmir: NIA summons J&K Bar Association Prez

September 5, 2017

NIA_OFFICE

National Investigation Agency (NIA) has summoned top Kashmiri lawyer and president of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association Main Abdul Qayoom for questioning in the terror funding case as a witness on Wednesday.

NIA issued the notice to Qayoom asking him to present himself at its headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday “for the purpose of answering certain questions relating to the case”.

Qayoom is the third lawyer of Jammu and Kashmir, who has been on the NIA radar after the terror funding case was registered and several separatists and businessmen arrested since April 30.

Earlier, on August 16, NIA raided the residence of advocate Mohammad Shafi Reshi at Bagaat-Barzulla in Srinagar and on July 30, the residence of advocate Devinder Singh Behal in Jammu was raided.

NIA’s notice to Qayoom evoked a sharp reaction from lawyers, who immediately boycotted the courts in a protest on Monday.

“It is aimed at harassing and demonising the lawyer fraternity because they support the cause of people of Kashmir and defend the detainees and under trials before the High Court and the courts subordinate to it,” said Bashir Sidiq, General Secretary of J&K High Court Bar Association.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-nia-summons-jk-bar-association-prez-2543044

http://www.news18.com/news/india/kashmiri-lawyer-who-fought-use-of-pellet-guns-summoned-by-nia-in-terror-funding-case-1509145.html

http://www.catchnews.com/india-news/nia-summons-to-mian-qayoom-kashmir-hc-bar-hurriyat-condemn-but-people-don-t-care-80295.html

http://kashmirreader.com/2017/09/06/lawyers-strike-work-close-ranks-behind-mian-qayoom/

http://dailykashmirimages.com/Details/148730/lawyers-protest-nias-summoning-of-bar-chief

http://risingkashmir.in/news/lawyers-in-south-kashmir-protest-against-nia-for-serving-notice-to-qayoom

http://kashmirreader.com/2017/09/07/kcsds-ejac-condemn-nias-summoning-mian-qayoom/

https://indiablooms.com/ibns_new/news-details/N/34150/nia-raids-hurriyat-g-leader-agha-hassan-s-house-in-terror-funding-probe.html

Belarus: Human rights activists alarmed over new wave of harassment against lawyers

August 30, 2017

Pavel Sapelka

The Ministry of Justice has reportedly ordered an extraordinary certification of a number of lawyers, which may void the licenses of some of them, including those involved in politically motivated cases.

According to the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, the Ministry has inspected the work of the Minsk City and Mahilioŭ Regional Bar Associations. As a result, 25 lawyers will have to undergo certification.

In addition, about 60 lawyers are awaiting regular recertification, which is held every five years. They will take their tests in local bar associations. However, there is a list of eight more counsels, who will be evaluated by the Ministry of Justice in November. According to the rules, which regulate the certification procedure, it can be carried out by both the Ministry’s Qualification Commission and local bar associations. And yet, the situation does not seem so clear.

On the one hand, the certification procedures may look like ordinary procedural steps within the professional community. On the other hand, of great concern is the sudden extraordinary nature of these decisions, taking into account the vulnerability of the institute of lawyers before the Ministry of Justice.

https://spring96.org/en/news/87716

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/pavel-sapelka

Click to access EN_20170912_HRL_Belarus_Concerns-regarding-the-situation-of-Belarus-lawyers-and-recertification.pdf

Egypt: Two Nubian lawyers arrested along with 22 activists

September 5, 2017

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استمرار احتجاز 24 مشاركًا في مسيرات «يوم التجمع النوبي» بأسوان..
والنيابة لم تصدر قرارًا بشأنهم

مدى مصر
4 سبتمبر 2017

يستمر احتجاز 24 من النشطاء النوبيين لليوم الثاني منذ القبض عليهم أمس، الأحد، بأسوان خلال مشاركتهم في مسيرات «يوم التجمع النوبي». وفي حين أكد المحامي عبد العاطي أبو ترس، عضو لجنة الحريات بنقابة المحامين في أسوان، لـ «مدى مصر»، على تواجد المحتجزين بمعسكر قوات الأمن بمنطقة الشلال بمحافظة أسوان، أوضح المحامي أحمد رزق أن النيابة «أجرت تحقيقًا مع المحتجزين اليوم، الإثنين، دون أن تُصدر قرارًا بشأنهم حتى الآن».

وكانت الشرطة قد ألقت أمس، الأحد، القبض على 24 متظاهرًا في أسوان، خلال مشاركتهم في مسيرات ضمن «يوم التجمع النوبي»، الذي تضمن تنظيم مسيرات بالمدينة من أجل تجديد المطالبة بحق العودة، الذي نَصّت عليه المادة 236 من الدستور.

ومن جانبه قال المحامي عبد العاطي أبو ترس لـ «مدى مصر» إن قوات الأمن قد احتجزت المقبوض عليهم، منذ الأمس، في معسكر قوات الأمن بمنطقة الشلال خارج حدود مدينة أسوان، إلا أنها لم تُعلم المحامين بمكان الاحتجاز، مما أدى لعدم حضورهم للدفاع عن المحتجزين خلال تحقيقات النيابة اليوم، الإثنين. فيما قال المحامي أحمد رزق، عضو لجنة الحريات بنقابة المحامين في أسوان، لـ «مدى مصر» إن تحقيقات النيابة تضمنت اتهام المحتجزين بـ «التحريض على التظاهر»، و«تعطيل وسائل المواصلات العامة»، و«التظاهر بدون ترخيص»، فضلًا عن «توزيع منشورات»، وذلك دون صدور قرار بشأنهم حتى الآن.
وكان من ضمن المحتجزين المحاميَيْن محمد عزمي ومنير بشير، رئيس الجمعية المصرية للمحامين النوبيين.

وكان من المتوقع أن تتحرك مسيرات «يوم التجمع النوبي» أمس، الأحد، نحو حديقة «درة النيل» على كورنيش أسوان، إلا أنها كانت قد تحوّلت إلى «ثكنة عسكرية» بسبب التواجد المكثف لقوات الأمن، حسبما أوضحت بسمة عثمان، شقيقة المُحتجَز محمد عثمان، لـ «مدى مصر».

وقالت بسمة إن التجمع كان قد انتقل إلى ميدان الجزيرة بجوار نادي المهندسين، وغنَّى المشاركون الأغاني النوبية على دقات الدفوف، مما جعل قوات الأمن تتحرك نحو الوقفة؛ وتعدّت على المشاركات والمشاركين بالضرب، ثم ألقت القبض على 24 منهم.

ومن جانبها قالت الناشطة النوبية فاطمة إمام لـ «مدى مصر» إنها تعتبر خطوة القبض على 24 من المشاركين في تجمع الأمس «تصعيدًا غير مسبوق من قِبل الحكومة». وأضافت: « الدولة مستمرة في التسويف والتعنّت في الملف النوبي. وأن النوبيين استهلكوا جميع السُبل السلمية من أجل أن ينالوا حقهم الدستوري سواء من خلال وقفات سلمية أو المشاركة في لجنة وزارة العدالة الانتقالية (التي كان يترأسها إبراهيم الهنيدي في حكومة إبراهيم محلب العام قبل الماضي) لوضع مشروع قانون العودة وإعادة التسكين، الذي لا يزال في درج الوزارة».

في سياق متصل كان أشرف العشماوي، المستشار القانوني لوزير العدالة الانتقالية السابق إبراهيم الهنيدي، قد صرح لـ «مدى مصر»، في وقت سابق من العام الجاري، إنه كان قد شارك في إعداد قانون متكامل يضمن عودة النوبيين إلى أراضيهم، وقال: «فوجئت بأن القانون دخل الأدراج شأنه شأن غالبية القوانين التي أعدتها الوزارة».

وتنص المادة 236 من الدستور على أن «تكفل الدولة وضع وتنفيذ خطة للتنمية الاقتصادية، والعمرانية الشاملة للمناطق الحدودية والمحرومة، ومنها الصعيد وسيناء ومطروح ومناطق النوبة، وذلك بمشاركة أهلها فى مشروعات التنمية وفى أولوية الاستفادة منها، مع مراعاة الأنماط الثقافية والبيئية للمجتمع المحلى، خلال عشر سنوات من تاريخ العمل بهذا الدستور، وذلك على النحو الذى ينظمه القانون. وتعمل الدولة على وضع وتنفيذ مشروعات تعيد سكان النوبة إلي مناطقهم الأصلية وتنميتها خلال عشر سنوات، وذلك على النحو الذى ينظمه القانون».

وكان الرئيس عبد الفتاح السيسي قد أصدر، في 2014، القرار رقم 444، الذي قضى بإعلان جزء من المناطق الحدودية كمناطق عسكرية لا يجوز للمدنيين العيش فيها أو الاستفادة منها، والذي شمل 16 قرية من قرى العودة النوبية. وكانت مجموعة من النشطاء النوبيين قد تقدمت بطعن أمام مجلس الدولة، العام الماضي، ضد القرار. وقد أوصت هيئة مفوضي مجلس الدولة، في أغسطس الماضي، بإلغاء القرار 444. وقالت، في تقريرها، إنه عمل إداري وليس سياديًا.

ويطالب النوبيون بالعودة إلى ضفاف بحيرة ناصر جنوب البلاد استنادًا لتعرضهم، تاريخيًا، لموجات من التهجير. وقد بدأت الموجتان الأولى والثانية، في عامي 1912 و1933، بالتزامن مع تعلية سد أسوان خلال فترة الاحتلال البريطاني لمصر، وكانت المرة ثالثة، بين عامي 1963 و1964، خلال فترة حكم الرئيس جمال عبد الناصر بالتزامن مع بناء السد العالي.

(Mada Facebook)

Yesterday two Nubian lawyers were arrested alongside 22 other Nubians who were marching to demand the application of the constitution and their right to return.

https://www.madamasr.com/en/2017/09/05/news/u/singing-march-in-aswan-lands-24-nubian-protesters-in-detention/

http://www.egyptindependent.com/aswan-prosecutors-interrogate-24-nubian-protesters/

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/276560/Egypt/Politics-/-Nubian-activists-detained-for-illegal-protest-in-.aspx

https://www.ifex.org/egypt/2017/09/04/detention-rights-advocate-eldin/

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/04/egypt-nubians-call-return-home-170419072213647.html

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/mohamed-azmy

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/06/egypt-torture-epidemic-may-be-crime-against-humanity