Daily Archives: 05/09/2017

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

September 5, 2017

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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].







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

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(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


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”.


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://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/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.”



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


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.