Daily Archives: 07/12/2017

Turkey: Court rules to keep pro-Kurdish opposition leader Selahattin Demirtaş behind bars

December 7, 2017

Court rules to keep pro-Kurdish opposition leader Selahattin Demirtaş behind bars

Lawyers for Demirtaş said the court asked him not to show up in the courtroom over security concerns and ordered to defend himself from the prison via SEGBIS. Demirtaş rejected the ruling, underling that he wants “face-to-face” trial.

The Ankara 19th Criminal Court ruled that Demirtaş remains arrested pending trial and the next hearing was scheduled for Feb 14, 2018.

HDP leader has been under arrest along with other party lawmakers on terrorism charges since Nov 2016. At least 33 separate investigations have been launched against Demirtas over the past year.

Turkish government has stepped up political pressure on Kurdish minority in recent years, seizing Kurdish-run municipalities and arresting their mayors. Dozens of trustees have been appointed by the Interior Ministry to mostly pro-Kurdish municipalities in Turkey’s Southeast, replacing the elected mayors and municipal council members.

Earlier this week, a motion was filed against 19 more HDP deputies for disseminating propaganda on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

https://turkeypurge.com/court-rules-keep-pro-kurdish-opposition-leader-selahattin-demirtas-behind-bars

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/hdp-co-chair-demirtass-first-hearing-starts-in-his-absence-123734

https://www.eurasiareview.com/07122017-turkey-parliament-opposition-party-leader-on-trial/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/05/democracy-in-turkey-is-going-on-trial

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/12/06/turkey-parliament-opposition-party-leader-trial

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selahattin_Demirta%C5%9F

http://www.haberturk.com/selahattin-demirtas-hakkinda-karar-1745904 (TURKCE)

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/339866/selahattin-demirtas-tahliye-edilmedi (TURKCE)

http://www.kedistan.net/2017/12/04/turquie-proces-demirtas-figen-yuksekdag/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.francesoir.fr/actualites-monde/turquie-ouverture-du-principal-proces-du-leader-pro-kurde-demirtas (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selahattin_Demirta%C5%9F (FRANCAIS)

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2017-12/prozess-selahattin-demirtas-tuerkei-hdp-chef (DEUTSCH)

http://www.dw.com/de/gerichtsprozess-gegen-kurdenpolitiker-selahattin-demirtas-in-ankara/a-41689289 (DEUTSCH)

http://www.elperiodico.com/es/internacional/20171207/comienza-el-juicio-contra-el-politico-opositor-turco-selahattin-demirtas-6479832 (ESPANOL)

http://www.liberal.gr/arthro/180381/epikairotita/2017/tourkia-xekina-simera-i-diki-tou-S-Demirtas-tou-filokourdikou-kommatos-HDP-.html (GREEK)

Bangladesh/UK: Barrister Michael Polak: Stand up for abducted man, Tulip

December 7, 2017

Barrister Ahmad bin Quasem, known as Ahman, was called to the English bar and lived in London while he trained to be a barrister.

Barrister Ahmad bin Quasem, known as Ahman, was called to the English bar and lived in London while he trained to be a barrister.

Michael Polak is a lawyer at Church Court Chambers fighting for the release of a barrister detained in Bangladesh.

While it is laudable for Tulip Siddiq MP to fight for the freedom of a constituent languishing in an Iranian jail, she also has the opportunity and the influence to speak of the plight of individuals abducted by the Bangladeshi government.

Last year the family of Mir Ahmad bin Quasem approached me to press his case.

He is a British-trained Bangladeshi lawyer who was abducted in August 2016 by state security forces.

I have been told that Tulip Siddiq MP, who is also the Bangladeshi Prime Minister’s niece, is best placed to speak out and use her influence.

I have written to her office several times but, as yet, with no success.

http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/barrister-michael-polak-calls-on-tulip-siddiq-to-help-free-ahmad-bin-quasem-1-5311474

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/30/vanished-lawyers-family-harassed-bangladesh-mprefuses-raise/

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/labour-niece-of-bangladesh-leader-represented-at-un-rkc7qgb2g

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/29/channel-4-news-complains-to-labour-over-tulip-siddiqs-threat

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/30/wont-tulip-siddiq-lift-finger-help-someone-disappeared-aunties/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/04/tulip-siddiq-bangladesh-disappeared-abducted-prime-minister

https://www.easterneye.eu/mp-denies-influence-abroad/

https://businessnews24bd.com/tulip-apologises-for-remarks-to-channel-4-news-producer/

Democratic Republic Congo: John Luhiriri arrested, whereabouts remain unknown

December 6, 2017

On 28 November 2017, human rights defender John Luhiriri was stopped and held by members of the national police and four other plainclothes agents, recognised by witnesses as members of the national intelligence service, in Tshikapa, the capital of Kasai province. His current whereabouts are yet to be established.

About John Luhiriri

john_luhiriri.jpeg John Luhiriri is a human rights lawyer who served as the protection officer for Synergie d’aide prioritaire – Aide d’urgence – (SAP – AU) (Synergy of Priority Aid – Emergency Aid), a Congolese human rights organisation working on issues related to international humanitarian law, and gender-based violence in particular.

 

On 28 November 2017, John Luhiriri was in Tshikapa on a field mission, during which he was expected to meet local human rights defenders to discuss gender-based violence in the region. At approximately 2:00 pm, he was intercepted by agents of the national police who were accompanied by four plainclothes agents of the ANR – Agence Nationale de Renseignement (The National Intelligence Agency). The officers confiscated his work documents and identity card and then took him to an undisclosed location. Colleagues of the human rights defender have approached local and national police, as well as the local office of the ANR, but have not been able to trace his whereabouts.

Human rights defenders in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been subjected to arbitrary detention and violent attacks, including killings. In 2017, Front Line Defenders has reported on the killings of human rights defenders Tsongo Sikuliwako Alex, Alphonse Luanda Kalyamba, Marcel Tengeneza, the attempted killing of Butoto Kiza and death threats against Philippe Busimba.

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/john-luhiriri-arrested-whereabouts-remain-unknown

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/case/john-luhiriri-arrested-whereabouts-remain-unknown (FRANCAIS)

Egypt: Prominent Egyptian lawyer wins human rights prize

December 7, 2017

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 file photo, Egyptian lawyer Ragia Omran speaks on her mobile phone after a trial session of activists facing charges on organizing unauthorized protests, at a courtroom in Cairo, Egypt. Omran won a European prize for her work representing political prisoners and torture victims as well as advocating for women's rights. She was chosen from among 15 rights defenders from around the world to receive the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

A prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer has won a European prize for her work representing political prisoners and torture victims as well as advocating for women’s rights.

Ragia Omran was chosen from among 15 rights defenders from around the world to receive the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law. The German and French embassies in Cairo announced the award earlier this week, and will present it to Omran on Dec. 10.

Several Egyptian rights activists have been recognized in recent months for their work amid an unprecedented crackdown on dissent.

Since the military overthrew an elected Islamist president in 2013, Egypt has jailed tens of thousands of dissidents, banned all unauthorized protests, restricted civil society groups and blocked hundreds of websites.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-5156101/Prominent-Egyptian-lawyer-wins-human-rights-prize.html

https://www.voanews.com/a/prominent-egyptian-lawyer-wins-human-rights-prize/4153404.html

http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/world/article/Prominent-Egyptian-lawyer-wins-human-rights-prize-12412662.php

https://www.wthr.com/article/prominent-egyptian-lawyer-wins-human-rights-prize

http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/world/prominent-egyptian-lawyer-wins-human-rights-prize-article-1.3683332

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/prominent-egyptian-lawyer-wins-human-rights-prize-51644135

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/society/2017/12/7/prominent-egyptian-lawyer-wins-human-rights-prize

http://www.egyptindependent.com/prominent-egyptian-lawyer-wins-human-rights-prize/

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/12/07/prominent-egyptian-lawyer-wins-human-rights-prize.html

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

http://nwrcegypt.org/%D8%AE%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AC%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%B9%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A3%D8%AB%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A5%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%A6%D8%B2%D8%A9/ (ARABIC)

http://www.eldiario.es/politica/ecuatoriano-ganadores-franco-aleman-derechos-humanos_0_717778239.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.dw.com/es/premio-franco-alem%C3%A1n-para-activistas-latinoamericanos/a-41751294 (ESPANOL)

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing

Ragia Omran  receives the Franco German prize for human rights and rule of law from the German and French ambassadors to Egypt

(Facebook)

Argentina/Iran/Israel: Argentina judge seeks arrest of ex-leader Fernández

December 7, 2017

Handout picture released by Argentina"s Senate press office showing Argentine former president and Buenos Aires senator Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner swearing-in for a new mandate as senator, at the Congress in Buenos Aires, on November 29, 2017.

A judge in Argentina says he is seeking the arrest of former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner over accusations she took part in a political cover-up.

Ms Fernández, who governed for eight years from December 2007, is now a senator and as such enjoys parliamentary immunity.

For her to be arrested, the Senate would have to lift that immunity with a two-thirds majority vote.

Senators said they would consider the judge’s request once they received it.

‘Criminal plan’

Federal judge Claudio Bonadio, who is seeking the arrest, alleges Ms Fernández was took part in “an orchestrated criminal plan” to cover up the alleged involvement of senior Iranian officials in a 1994 bomb attack against a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires.

She has always denied the allegations and has accused Judge Bonadio of pursuing a campaign of political persecution against her.

Judge Bonadio also ordered that Héctor Timerman, who was foreign minister under Ms Fernández, be placed under house arrest in connection with the same case.

Two more close allies of Ms Fernández were arrested on Thursday morning. They are Carlos Zannadi, a senior legal official in the Fernández administration, and political activist Luis D’Elía.

Argentina’s deadliest terror attack

Judge Bonadio presides over a commission which is investigating the 1994 bombing of the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (known as Amia for its initials in Spanish), a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires.

Firemen, policemen and rescuers search in rubble as a crowd looks on after a bomb exploded at the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (Amia) in Buenos Aires on 18 July 1994,Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe Amia building collapsed in the bombing, which killed 85 people

Eighty-five people died in the bombing, which was Argentina’s deadliest terror attack.

Judge Bonadio re-opened the case against Ms Fernández after it had been dismissed by another federal judge in February 2015.

The allegations of a cover-up in the highest echelons of government were originally made by special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, whose sudden death in January 2015 is still being investigated.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-42264165

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-argentina-fernandez/argentine-judge-seeks-arrest-of-ex-president-fernandez-idUSKBN1E11Q4

http://www.dw.com/en/cristina-fernandez-de-kirchner-ex-president-of-argentina-faces-arrest-warrant/a-41694194

https://www.dailysabah.com/americas/2017/12/07/argentina-judge-orders-arrest-of-ex-president-cristina-kirchner-source

https://www.timesofisrael.com/argentina-judge-orders-arrest-of-ex-president-kirchner-over-iran-cover-up/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/12/07/cristina-fernandez-de-kirchner-ex-president-argentina-faces-arrest-warrant-allegedly-covering-up-bom/930209001/

http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2017/12/8/in-decades-long-amia-jewish-center-affair-the-truth-will-come-out#.WiwAskribIU

http://www.euronews.com/2017/12/08/former-argentina-president-charged-with-treason

http://uk.businessinsider.com/r-arrests-judicial-reforms-under-macri-worry-argentina-opposition-2017-12

http://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article/2017/12/08/argentine-mandat-d-arret-contre-cristina-kirchner_5226622_3222.html (FRANCAIS)

http://www.liberation.fr/planete/2017/12/07/argentine-cristina-kirchner-visee-par-un-mandat-d-arret-pour-trahison_1615177 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/la-justice-argentine-demande-larrestation-de-cristina-kirchner-pour-trahison (FRANCAIS)

Egypt: Immediately Release Lawyer Mahienour El-Massry | Joint Letter

December 5, 2017

L4L and LRWC are calling for the immediate release of prominent human rights lawyer Ms. Mahienour El-Massry, who was arrested on 18 November 2017 and has been transferred to a prison in Cairo far from her home base. Ms el-Massry faces illegitimate charges of participating in an unauthorized protest, insulting the President and thuggery for allegedly being at a protest. Ms el-Massry is known as an outstanding advocate for judicial independence and the rights of women, prisoners and workers. She has been the target of arbitrary detention and false prosecutions for a number of years.

Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) is an independent and non-political Dutch foundation that seeks to promote the proper functioning of the rule of law by pursuing freedom and independence of the legal profession. L4L was granted Special Consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council in July 2013.

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers and other human rights defenders who promote international human rights and the rule of law through advocacy, education and legal research. LRWC is a volunteer-run NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

We are extremely concerned about our Egyptian colleague and human rights lawyer Ms. Mahienour El-Massry.

According to our information, on 18 November 2017 Ms. El-Massry attended a session of the misdemeanour court in Alexandria in relation to her alleged participation in a protest against the government’s transfer of the Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia in June 2016. The court postponed the case until 30 December 2017, and also ordered the two defendants that were present, Ms. El-Massry and Mr. Moatasem Medhat, to remain in custody pending trial. The case also concerns human rights lawyer Asmaa Naeem, lawyer Waleed El Ammary and Zeyad Abou Fadl. The five of them are accused of “participating in an unauthorized protest”, “insulting the President” and thuggery.

Ms. El-Massry is a prominent human rights lawyer known for her activism in favour of judicial independence and the rights of prisoners, workers, and women.

https://www.lrwc.org/egypt-immediately-release-lawyer-mahienour-el-massry-joint-letter/

http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/13055/egypt-human-rights-lawyer-mahienour-el-massry-arrested/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahienour_El-Massry

http://dailycampus.com/stories/2017/12/6/egypt-must-end-censorship-for-democracy

Turkey: İştar Gözaydın: from lectern to prison

December 1, 2017

Turkish riot police crack down on people protesting against the purge of academics, outside Ankara University.

I am a professor of law and politics and have dedicated most of my academic career to analyzing the relations between religion, state and society. I grew up in an almost non-religious family; I guess this is the source of my fascination, since I was a teenager, with the impact of religion on people. Never religious myself, I have nevertheless always respected all variants of belief or disbelief.

The Turkey in which I was born in 1959 has always been a fruitful laboratory for any social scientist to observe religion. It has also given me several opportunities to serve as a human rights activist – though I have never been a radical.

On 5 October 2016, I was heading to an EU project meeting in Sicily when, at the airport, I was informed that my passport had been annulled. At 6.30 am on 20 December, a buzz at the front door of my home in Istanbul marked my own critical juncture.

I was taken into custody in Istanbul and later in the day transferred to Izmir. There, I was detained at Yesilyurt Police Station for eight days with only the clothes I wore and with no book or other reading material. The only thing I could focus my attention on was the box of medication I was immediately given to treat a circulation problem (I have to take this daily). Needless to say, I memorized every word of the pamphlet inside.

Jailed for 92 days

I was charged with being a member of an armed terrorist organization – the so-called FETÖ (Fetullah Gülen Terror Organization) blamed for last year’s coup attempt. But there was no evidence to back this allegation.

https://newint.org/features/2017/12/01/turkey-political-prisoners

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%B0%C5%9Ftar_G%C3%B6zayd%C4%B1n

http://www.haberdar.com/gundem/istar-gozaydin-a-insan-haklari-odulu-h69120.html (TURKCE)

http://www.uniforum.uio.no/nyheter/2018/01/menneskerettsprisvinnar-isthar-g%C3%B6zaydin-ber-folk-k.html (NORWEGIAN)