Daily Archives: 03/10/2017

Egypt: Why Khaled Ali is a source of anxiety for Sisi’s regime

October 2, 2017

It was with battling feelings of fury and capitulation that I read the news last week about the conviction of Khaled Ali, a lawyer, activist and advocate for government reform, social justice and labour issues. Ali was sentenced to three months in prison on a charge of “offending public decency”, which was brought last May.

The shambolic case for which he received this sentence was brought by a private citizen who accused him of making an “obscene hand gesture” as he celebrated his victory in a case he had brought against the government for agreeing to hand over the two Red Sea Islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia in April 2016.

The decision sparked the largest public protests against the coup-leader-cum-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Although that victory was later reversed on appeal by the Cairo Court of Urgent Matters and endorsed by a parliamentary majority, it represented a sharp thorn in the side of the regime, as it became a source of tension with its main benefactors in Riyadh.

As Sisi’s regime has shown over and over again, it has zero tolerance for dissent, a policy that has led to the most brutal crackdown on opposition across the political spectrum in the past century.

The fact that Ali was convicted now comes as no surprise. In less than a year, Egyptians are expected to return to the polls to “elect” our next president (as if nobody knows who that will be). Ali’s conviction, if upheld following an appeal process, will however, obstruct his eligibility to join the so-called “presidential race”.

Unwavering dedication and resolve

In 2012, the day after he turned 40, Ali announced his bid for the presidency, becoming the youngest candidate to qualify for the race. Like nine other candidates who contested Egypt’s only democratic elections that year, he lost to the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi.


Egypt Cracks Down, Again


https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/gypte-condamnation-dun-ancien-candidat-llection-pr (FRANCAIS)

Turkey: Turkish Gov’t Detains 4 More Lawyers In Mersin And Van Provinces

October 3, 2017

The houses and the offices of Human Rights Association (İnsan Hakları Derneği – İHD) Mersin Branch Secretary Özgür Çağlar and lawyers Mehmet Altundaş, Bedri Kuran, Ali Bozan, Rıza Oğuz and Sebahat Gençtarih were raided by Turkish police in the early morning hours.

After searches conducted in the houses, lawyers Gençtarih, Kuran and Bozan were detained by police. Despite detention warrants have reportedly been issued for lawyers Çağlar, Altundaş and Oğuz, they were not found at their addresses. Police teams’ search continues in Mersin.

Meanwhile, in Van province, Free Lawyers Platform member lawyer Erhan Çiftçiler’s home was also raided by police late in Tuesday night and he was also detained. The reason for Çiftçiler’s detention is unknow for now.

Turkish government has arrested 551 lawyers while it has been carrying out criminal prosecution about 1390 lawyers since a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.


Libya: Libyan east forces detain lawyer for his Facebook posts

October 2, 2017

Dignity Operation forces have detained Benghazi-based lawyer Osama Bufayed after storming into his house and leading him out in front of his wife and children.

The militias ringed the house with tens of vehicles before storming it.

According to sources from the city, the detention order was issued by the Tobruk Public Prosecution, for which Bufayed was working some time ago.

So far, no official details were given on the incident, while eastern activists said that the reason behind the arrest was Bufayed’s recent engagement on social media with legal criticism of the House of Representatives’ Interim Government and Haftar’s command.

Bufayed is a lawyer from Tobruk and was based in Benghazi working as a legal consultant and was a head of the legal circle of the National Transitional Council and also at the General National Congress before he moved to the HoR in Tobruk, which he left because of “dispute with the chairman of HoR Secretariat Abdullah Al-Masri,” according to activists.

Haftar’s forces opened lately a security branch called anti-electronic-terrorism bureau, which keeps an eye on social media posts and then arrest those who are accused of insulting Haftar or destabilizing Libya.

Many media figures, journalists and activists were arrested by Haftar’s forces earlier with the latest being  and the radio personality , who expressed their opinions on Facebook, but their opinions were against the mainstream opinion of the eastern region.


China: Zhu Shengwu – the first lawyer having his licence revoked because he speaks online

October 3, 2017

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Zhu Shengwu, practising lawyer in Shandong has recently been accused of making online speeches that “endangered state security”.  With the decision to penalise made by the Judicial Department of the Shandong province, Zhu has become the first ever lawyer to be forcefully stripped of his practising licence by administrative measure, not as a result of any professional misconduct but of exercising his civil right of expression.

Zhu’s case came after Zhenjiang lawyer Wu Youshui’s penalty by the local lawyers association of “a 9-month suspension of membership”, also because of his online speeches.  The Lawyers Law in China stipulates that all practising lawyers have to be members of the lawyers association.
Lawyer Zhu began his practice in January 2012. He has served in several law firms. He has been the director of Shandong Xinchang Law Firm in 2017 and he started taking up human rights cases in the same year.  Apart from his professional duties, lawyer Zhu has also been posting his comments on the social media in China on issues of social and political concerns.
On 16 September 2017, the Shandong Judicial Department issued a first notification of administrative penalty to lawyer Zhu Shengwu to revoke his licence of practice.  Zhu was accused of having posted on Sina microblog “speeches that negate the constitutionally established political system, the fundamental principles and that endanger state security”.  He was also allegedly having “seriously damaged the professional image of lawyers by refusing to correct himself but continued with his acts of law-violation despite the many interviews the judicial administration organ had had with him.”
On 10 September, lawyer Zhu requested the Judicial Department to hold a public hearing on the matter, which subsequently took place on 21 September. The authorities however confirmed that Zhu “had used the internet to incite discontent against the Party and the government” and should hence be “heavily punished”.  The decision to revoke the licence was upheld in an official notice dated 22 September 2017.

The roughly 10 online posts were issued between April and June this year (see attached). They either criticised or ridiculed the CCP, the government and or the leaders; and were mainly comments on government performances or expressions of one’s aspirations for freedoms and democracy.  It does not look that they have constructed any objective or concrete threat on state security.
It is worth noting that although the two Measures, that on the Administration of Law Firms and that on the Lawyers Practice,  effective since November 2916, provide the judicial administration organs with the power to supervise and instruct law firms and lawyers, the prescribed power is confined to the behaviours and performances in the professional realm.
The issue has raised strong queries that the revocation of Zhu’s licence by the Shandong Judicial Department lacked any legal or factual grounds. It could amount to power abuses and violation of civil rights on the part of the Shandong authorities.

When the authorities tackled issues of lawyers’ speeches or expressions in the past, they were more prone to using the criminal procedures. But in Zhu’s case, the judicial administration organs have gone beyond the power that the law prescribed them and proceeded directly to revoke a lawyer’s licence.
In this way, the complicated criminal procedure could be sidestepped, and the judicial administration organs might then extend their monitoring on lawyers’ conducts relatively easier and with lower cost.

There is another aspect of concern in Zhu’s case. Lawyer Zhu was born in the 80s and he is a new member to the community of the new lawyers.  He only started taking up rights defence cases in 2017 and early in the year, he pleaded non-guilty for Shandong petitioner Wang Jiangfeng who was accused of using abusive language against the old and new leaders in China, calling them “Mao thugs” and “Xi Baozi”.  In April, Wang was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles”.  The case is pending for appeal.  [1]
To apply the extreme administrative penalty but without justifiable legal grounds, it is worried that the move of the Shandong Judicial Department is also a sign of warning those who are new to join the rights lawyers’ community
Over the recent weeks and months, at least 6 law firms across the country have been searched by taskforce formed by multi-government departments, 3 well-known lawyers are forced to change firms and at least lawyers including lawyer Zhu Shengwu have had their rights to practice either suspended or revoked for their online expression.
In the wake of the 709 Crackdown, the situation of rights lawyers in China will still warrant further international attention as they are being made target of another round of squelching.
Lawyer Zhu has appointed Guangdong lawyer Sui Muqing to take legal action for his case. [2]


For Enquiries:

Lawyer Zhu Shengwu (mainland China):  +86 186 6893 6828 (please whatsapp first)

Lawyer Sui Muqing (mainland China): +86 137 1112 4956 (please whatsapp first)

Kit Chan, China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (Hong Kong): +852 9735 1611

[1] “Zai Weixin shag chen lingdaoren xibaozi, Shandong wangmin Wang Jiangfeng zao panxing 2nian” Hong Kong 01, 15/04/2017https://www.hk01.com/sns/article/84627  (visited 29/09/ 2017)

[2]  According to the Law on Administrative Review (2009), lawyer Zhu may apply for administrative review at the Shandong Provincial government within 60 days after receiving the notice on the decision to penalise. He may also apply in accordance to the Administrative Litigation Law for administrative litigation in the court within 6 months.


新聞稿 (供即時發放)






祝律師於9月10日要求司法廳就此召開公開聽證。有關聽證會已於9 月21日進行,山東省司法廳最終認定祝律師「利用網路挑動對黨及政府的不滿」,有必要「從重處罰」,決定維持原判。












祝聖武 律師 (中國大陸):+86 186 6893 6828 (請先whatsapp)

隋牧青 律師 (中國大陸):+86 137 1112 4956 (請先whatsapp)

陳潔文-中國維權律師關注組 (香港): +852 9735 1611


[1] 《在微信上稱領導人「習包子」 山東網民王江峰遭判刑2年》香港01, 15/04/2017 https://www.hk01.com/sns/article/84627  (瀏覽29/09/ 2017)

[2]  祝律師可根據《行政覆議法》(2009)於收到處罰決定書起60日內向司法部或山東省人民市政府申請行政覆議;或根據《行政訴訟法》於六個月內向法院提出行政訴訟。


Little-Known Chinese Lawyer Disbarred for Defending Freedom of Speech

http://www.idhae.org/observatoire-fr-wews170922.htm (FRANCAIS)

India: Justice Jayant Patel’s transfer is an attack on independence of judiciary, reminiscent of emergency days: IAPL Statement

October 3, 2017

Justice Jayant Patel’s transfer is an attack on independence of judiciary, reminiscent of emergency days: IAPL Statement



3rd October 2017

The Karnataka Bar Council has called on all advocates to abstain from work on October 4 as a mark of protest against the transfer of Justice Jayant Patel, which prevented his elevation to the seat of Chief Justice of the High Court. In its protest letter to the CJI, the Council has held that the transfer exposed lack of transparency and accountability in the working of Collegium system. The Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association too had given a call to abstain from Court and had questioned the transfer of Justice Patel in their letter to the Registrar.

As the acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, Justice Patel had directed a CBI investigation into the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. This CBI probe led to the arrest and chargesheeting of a large number of senior Gujarat police officers for the cold-blooded killing and was a major embarrassment for Narendra Modi, who was chief minister of Gujarat at the time. As the current Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court is due to retire on October 9th, Justice Patel would ordinarily have become acting Chief Justice of the Court. Hence it will not be incorrect to assume that the timing and nature of this transfer was intended to deny him becoming Chief Justice and punish him for his orders that have embarrassed the State. The Collegium themselves by such an arbitrary act, lacking transparency have cast serious apprehensions whether they can and will safeguard the ‘Independence of the Judiciary’.







France/Israel/Palestine: Rassemblement de soutien à Salah Hamouri, mercredi, à 19h, à Saint-Denis

le 3 octobre, 2017

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(Liberté pour Salah Hamouri Facebook)









https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salah_Hamouri (ENGLISH)

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Syria: GCHR calls for the immediate release of Human Rights Lawyer Khalil Ma’touq and his assistant Mohamed Thatha

October 2, 2017

The Syrian government should immediately release prominent human rights lawyer Khalil Ma’touq and his assistant, Mohamed Thatha, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) said today on the fifth anniversary of their disappearance.

The two men have been missing since 02 October 2012 when they are believed to have been arrested at a government-operated checkpoint in the Damascus suburb of Sahnaya. Despite repeated requests for information to the public prosecutor’s office in Damascus in 2012 and 2013 by family and colleagues, Syrian authorities have denied that they arrested the men.

However, individuals released from the government’s custody in 2015 have informed Ma’touq’s family that while in detention they spotted him in various government-operated detention facilities, including State Security Branch 285 and Military Intelligence Branch 235 in Damascus. Since then, the family has not received any information on his whereabouts. Despite repeated calls from human rights organisations, Ma’touq and Thatha have not been released.

There are grave concerns for the health of Ma’touq, as he suffers from advanced lung disease, for which he requires appropriate medication and medical care.

The Syrian authorities should immediately disclose the whereabouts of Ma’touq and Thatha, and unconditionally release them as well as all others detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights in Syria.


http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1702 (ARABIC)

France: Thionville : avocats en grève, audiences reportées

le 2 octobre, 2017

Photo Julio PELAEZ

À compter de ce mardi 3 octobre et jusqu’à jeudi inclus, le jugement des affaires pénales, civiles ou encore sociales sera reporté. Aucune audience n’aura lieu au tribunal d’instance ainsi qu’au tribunal de grande instance de Thionville. Et les avocats n’assureront pas non plus les commissions d’office en garde à vue. Réunis en assemblée générale ce lundi, en fin de journée, les avocats du barreau de Thionville ont massivement voté en faveur d’un mouvement de grève à l’instar de leurs homologues messins.

Ils organisent un blocage des tribunaux thionvillois dès ce mardi matin et la rédaction d’une motion explicative pour justifier leur grogne. Celle-ci fait écho au projet de réforme portée par la Garde des Sceaux qui prévoit de ne conserver qu’une seule cour d’appel par grande région. La cour d’appel de Metz s’en trouverait menacée. Le projet envisage également la création d’un unique tribunal de première instance par département. En Moselle, il siégerait à Metz. La juridiction thionvilloise s’en trouve donc doublement menacée. Le barreau de Thionville, comme les autres, exige des éclaircissements mais surtout des garanties sur le sujet. « Nous menons cette action en attendant la conférence de presse de la ministre de la Justice prévue vendredi », annonce Me Marc Baerthelé, bâtonnier à Thionville.


















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Blocage du Palais de Justice de Metz dés 7h30 ce matin. Personne ne rentre!

(Uja de Metz Facebook)

Image result for avocats grève Metz


Russia: Alexei Navalny sent to jail for 20 days before Russian rally

October 2, 2017

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has received a 20-day jail sentence for calling an unsanctioned rally in St. Petersburg. Its his third such sentence in an unusual “election campaign,” even by Russian standards.

Russland Alexej Nawalny vor Gericht (picture-alliance/AP/dpa/P. Golovkin)

A court in Moscow handed Alexei Navalny, leader of Russia’s opposition Progress Party, a jail sentence of 20 days for repeatedly organizing unsanctioned public events.

Navalny and the Russian courts are repeatedly crossing paths as a result of the anti-corruption activist’s “presidential campaign.” Russia votes in March in a curious election: Incumbent Vladimir Putin is yet to confirm he will seek another term, while Navalny says he intends to compete although his recent jail sentences mean that officially he is ineligible.

Monday’s sentence related to a rally the 41-year-old Navalny was planning to hold in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-most populous city and President Putin’s hometown. The rally, part of Navalny’s campaign tour of Russia, was scheduled for Saturday, October 7, Putin’s 64th birthday.

“Twenty days in jail,” Navalny wrote on Twitter, claiming that the Kremlin was “scared” of his rallies, while in court he called the verdict “a gift to Putin for his birthday.”









http://www.rfi.fr/europe/20171002-alexei-navalny-condamne-20-jours-detention-justice-russe (FRANCAIS)

http://www.eleconomista.es/internacional-eleconomista/noticias/8648197/10/17/Opositor-ruso-Alexei-Navalny-condenado-a-20-dias-de-prision.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.tgcom24.mediaset.it/mondo/russia-l-oppositore-navalny-condannato-a-20-giorni-di-carcere_3098427-201702a.shtml (ITALIANO)