Monthly Archives: November 2017

Egypt: Khaled Ali’s election bid: Saving Egypt from a dark fate?

November 30, 2017

When human rights lawyer and ex-presidential candidate Khaled Ali became the first to announce on 6 November his bid for Egypt’s presidential elections, planned for around April 2018, it was hard to get excited about the prospect for change traditionally associated with such a contest.

Ali is one of a few candidates who have – so far- announced their intention to join the presidential race. On Wednesday, Ahmed Shafiq, former air force pilot and the last prime minister under Mubarak, who lost in a closely contested race against Mohammed Morsi in the 2012 elections, announced his bid from self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates.

 How do you guarantee electoral transparency if you are dealing with an incumbent who controls all state institutions?

In a strange twist, Shafiq also claimed in a video posted on several media outlets including Al Jazeera that the UAE, where he had sought refuge for the past five years to avoid facing corruption probes in Egypt, had blocked him from leaving the country to prevent him from running against the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Meanwhile, Sisi has yet to announce whether he will run again although he has reaffirmed his support for a two-term limit for the office of the president.

A third contestant is former army officer Ahmed Qunsuh, who declared his intention to run for the presidency in a video that circulated on social media platforms on Wednesday. (ARABIC) (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS)

Burma: The Treacherous Burmese Road from Mandalay

November 29, 201

USA: Legal Aid Lawyers Stage Walkout After Yet Another ICE Court Arrest

November 28, 2017

ICE vs Legal Aid arrest showdown

Chaos erupted at Brooklyn Criminal Court Tuesday morning after agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement snatched a defendant in the hallway, prompting a walkout by public defenders and accusations from court officers that Legal Aid attorneys had physically attacked them.

Genaro Rojas Hernandez, thirty, was in court to face charges of violating a restraining order. Just after 11 a.m., after a judge asked him and his court-appointed attorney to step into the hallway with a Spanish interpreter, Hernandez was arrested by ICE agents, according to his lawyer, Rebecca Kavanagh. After the arrest, attorneys with the Legal Aid Society stormed out of the courthouse on Schermerhorn Street and held a noisy picket line outside the building, calling on immigration officials to stay out of the courthouse.

The arrest makes Hernandez the fortieth individual taken into custody by immigration enforcement agents inside a New York City courthouse, according to official statistics maintained by the state Office of Court Administration, which operates the courts. That estimate is conservative: The Immigrant Defense Project, an immigrant rights and legal assistance group, keeps its own tally that includes arrests made just outside courthouses. This count puts the number at seventy, with Hernandez the first arrest since two weeks ago when the Voice coveredallegations that court officers were unfairly aiding ICE agents.

Immigration arrests in courthouses have skyrocketed since the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January. ICE’s internal policies tightly regulate agent behavior in certain locations designated as “sensitive,” such as schools and hospitals, but the agency has so far refused to place courthouses into this category. OCA guidelines permit immigration enforcement agents to conduct operations in courthouses’ public areas so long as they identify themselves upon entry and stay out of courtrooms.

Bangladesh: Police: Six, including ‘wife’, confess to killing Chittagong lawyer

November 28, 2017


The so-called wife, with help from five others, had planned to force Bappi pay Tk10 lakh as den mohor instead of the amount agreed in the Kabinnama

Six people arrested over the murder of lawyer Omar Faruq Bappi in Chittagong have confessed during preliminary questioning to their direct involvement in strangling the man to death, police have claimed.

One of the arrestees is Bappi’s so-called wife Rasheda Begum, Additional Superintendent of Police Md Moin Uddin of the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) told a press briefing at PBI headquarters on Monday evening.

He said Rasheda had hired four men through her friend Humayun Rashid with the plan to force Bappi pay Tk10 lakh as den mohor instead of the Tk2 lakh agreed in the Kabinnama (marriage contract).

In Islam, a den mohor or mahr is a mandatory payment, in the form of money or possessions paid or promised to pay by the groom, or by groom’s father, to the bride at the time of marriage, which legally becomes her property.

Moin Uddin said Rasheda and the five others met Bappi on Friday night and tried to get his signature on a blank paper in an attempt to create a legal document to get the money, but instead they killed him.

Apart from Rasheda, 27, the five other arrestees are Humayun, 28, Al Amin, 28, Md Parvez alias Ali, 24, Akbar Hossain alias Rubel, 23, and Jakir Hossain alias Molla Jakir, 35.

Police recovered Bappy’s body from a flat in a building on KB Aman Ali Road under Chawkbazar police station in the port city on Saturday morning. A case over the murder was also started later.

The hands and legs of the lawyer were tied with rope while his genitals were severed, UNB said in a report.

Why does MP Tulip Siddiq not want to speak out on Bangladesh?

France: Réforme de la carte judiciaire : les avocats de Pau votent la grève illimitée

le 28 novembre, 2017

Des robes d'avocats suspendues dans le palais de Justice de Limoges lors d'une grève, le 29 octobre 2015

Les avocats du barreau de Pau ont voté mardi à l’unanimité une grève générale et illimitée à partir de minuit car ils craignent la disparition de la cour d’appel de la ville dans le cadre d’une réforme de la carte judiciaire, a-t-on appris auprès du bâtonnier.

«Nous avons voté à l’unanimité une grève totale et illimitée de toutes les audiences à partir de mardi minuit», a indiqué à l’AFP Me Antoine Paulian. «Il n’y aura aucune permanence, ni garde-à-vue, ni défense pénale», a-t-il précisé.

Cette grève s’appuie sur un document circulant sur internet et intitulé «Projet discussion confidentielle» où une carte géographique fait état de la disparition de la cour d’appel de Pau, selon Me Paulian. «Je ne sais pas quelle est la véracité de cette information qui aurait fuité du ministère de la Justice. Quoi qu’il en soit, elle circule sur internet et nous craignons fortement la disparition ou l’amputation de certaines compétences de notre cour d’appel», a-t-il ajouté.,2229096.php,2229459.php,2230148.php

Turkey: Amnesty launches world’s biggest human rights campaign

November 29, 2017

Image result for Istanbul 10

The family of an LGBTI activist hacked to death in Bangladesh, the sister of a young man gunned down by Jamaican police, and 11 human rights defenders in Turkey are among those who will be receiving letters of support from Amnesty International supporters this December, as the organization launches its fifteenth global letter writing campaign, Write for Rights.

Every December, Amnesty International supporters across the globe write millions of letters and take actions for people whose human rights are under attack, in what has become the world’s biggest human rights campaign. Last year at least 4.6 million actions were taken.

“For 15 years Write for Rights has given people hope in their darkest moments. Imagine being ill in jail and receiving thousands of letters of support and solidarity; or finding out that people all over the world are behind you in your quest for justice for a murdered relative. Writing letters really can change lives,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“All over the world human rights defenders are under attack, treated like criminals simply for expressing themselves online or protecting the environment, and it’s more important than ever that we show them they’re not alone.

“Write for Rights sends a powerful message to the authorities that we are watching them. Though they may be able to harass, censor or jail individuals, they cannot silence the millions of people around the world who stand in solidarity with them.”

This year, for the first time, those receiving letters include two Amnesty International figures, who are on trial on baseless ‘terrorism’ related charges in Turkey on account of their human rights work. The chair of Amnesty Turkey, Taner Kılıç, was arrested on 6 June 2017 and remains in jail. Amnesty Turkey’s Director İdil Eser, and one of its founding members, Özlem Dalkıran, were among 10 human rights defenders detained while attending a human rights workshop on 5 July. They were released in October after almost four months in jail but are still facing charges.

The CCBE President wrote a letter of concern to President Erdogan

Click to access EN_HRL_20171116_Turkey_Concerns-regarding-the-situation-of-lawyers-inTurkey.pdf  (FRANCAIS)

China: Former Top Rights Lawyer Unable to Find Work After ‘Release’ From Bail in China

November 28, 2017

Chinese rights lawyers Bao Longjun (R), Wang Yu (C), and Li Yu (L) in an undated photo.

Several months after her bail status was officially lifted, top Chinese rights attorney Wang Yu and her family remain under tight restriction, unable to seek employment and banned from traveling overseas, RFA has learned.

Wang, one of the first and most prominent of hundreds of human rights lawyers and associates swept up by Chinese authorities in a crackdown that started in July 2015, was “released” on bail alongside her husband and colleague Bao Longjun after being held for more than a year on subversion charges.

But the family have been held under tight surveillance at an apartment chosen by state security police, cut off from friends and family, and the couple’s son Bao Zhuoxuan, has developed depression after being prevented from going overseas to study, as previously planned.

According to rights activist and family friend Ye Jingchun, Wang still holds a valid license to practise law.

“Normally, if she wanted to practise general law, then she could probably transfer to a different law firm and start working normally again, but Wang’s case is somewhat different,” Ye said.

“All of the firms she has contacted have said it would be ‘difficult’ for them to hire her, because the judicial authorities have already been in touch to warn them off hiring Wang Yu,” she said.

Ye said Wang hasn’t worked in two years, while Bao has also been stalled in his progress through the “articles” stage of his professional training.

Tanzania/Kenya: Opposition chief whip Lissu speaks from Nairobi Hospital

November 28, 2017

Tundu Lissu

Tanzania’s Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Tuesday visited fiery opposition chief whip Tundu Lissu who is admitted at Nairobi Hospital.

Mr Lissu was shot on September 7 in Dodoma by unknown gunmen.

The Vice President made the stopover after representing her boss, President John Magufuli, during the swearing-in ceremony of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

READ: Shot Tanzanian MP in critical, stable condition


Ms Hassan, who was escorted to the hospital under tight security, spent 15 minutes in the ward with the Singida East MP.

Members of the press were not allowed to join the VP’s convoy, which included the Presidential Director of Communication, Grayson Msigwa.

Speaking to the Nation after her visit, Mr Lissu lauded the gesture, calling it a sign of goodwill.

Turkey: Turkish Gov’t Issues Detention Warrants For 85, Including 10 Lawyers, Over Links To Gülen Movement

November 28, 2017

Turkish police has detained 16 people in an Ankara-based investigation in 30 provinces as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement on Tuesday after Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants over 85 people including 10 lawyers.

Online news portal Aktif Haber has reported that 75 people were identified former police academy students along with 10 lawyers, five of whom were allegedly using ByLock which is a controversial mobile phone application that Turkish authorities claim to be the top communication tool among the alleged members of the Gülen movement.

While 16 of those people were taken to Ankara Security Directorate after being detained following detention warrants, the police officers have still been carrying out the operation.

According to data compiled by independent monitoring site The Arrested Lawyers’ Initiative, 565 lawyers have been arrested as of November 28, 2017 since July 15, 2016 and 1,448 lawyers were under prosecution as of Oct. 27, 2017. Sixty-nine lawyers have received lengthy prison sentences thus far. Some of the arrested lawyers were reportedly subjected torture and ill treatment. Fourteen of the detained or arrested lawyers are  presidents or former presidents of provincial bar associations.

Iran: Demand the Judiciary to #FreeNarges Now

November 28, 2017


The Appeals Court has upheld the 16-year prison sentence against prominent human rights activist Narges Mohammadi. She was sentenced to 10 years for “membership in the [now banned] Defenders of Human Rights Center,” five years for “assembly and collusion against national security,” and one year for “propaganda against the state.” She will become eligible for release after serving 10 years in prison.

(Center for Human Rights in Iran Facebook)