Daily Archives: 27/04/2018

Turkey: How Women Activists in Turkey Keep Fighting in a Climate of Fear

April 26, 2018

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Last year, the Van Women’s Association in Turkey was about to sign a contract with the European Union for a project on preventing violence against women—one that would have catered for up to 8,000 women in 92 villages over a three-year period. Instead, the organization was closed down.

“There is now a huge gap in the provision of advice and support to survivors of rape and sexual abuse. It really breaks my heart,” says Zozan Özgökçe, the founder of the NGO, which helped raise children’s awareness of sexual abuse and provided training in leadership and financial literacy for women.

The Van Women’s Association is one of many NGOs that have been targeted in the crackdown that followed the failed coup of July 2016. Under the country’s state of emergency, more than 1,300 Turkish NGOs have been permanently closed down over unspecified links to “terrorist” groups.

It’s not just women’s organizations that are under fire.Also under attack are organizations that once carried out vital work supporting LGBTI communities, displaced people, children and many other marginalized groups.

new report by Amnesty International published today reveals how an escalating assault on human rights defenders has devastated the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Turkey, curtailed the vital work of organizations and left swaths of Turkish society in a state of constant fear.

The crackdown on dissent has had an inevitably damaging effect on freedom of expression. Lawyer and human rights defender Eren Keskin, who is facing 140 separate criminal charges, said: “I try to express my views freely but I am also acutely aware of thinking twice before speaking or writing.”








http://www.diken.com.tr/af-orgutunun-turkiye-raporu-insan-haklari-icin-sesini-yukselten-agir-bedel-oduyor/ (TURKCE)

https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/les-militants-en-turquie-dfendre-les-droits-humain (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eren_Keskin (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20180426/443006579588/ai-denuncia-que-turquia-ha-clausurado-1300-ong-bajo-el-estado-de-emergencia.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.nzz.ch/international/eine-warnung-fuer-kritiker-vor-den-wahlen-in-der-tuerkei-ld.1380992 (DEUTSCH)

http://www.capital.gr/diethni/3288344/diethnis-amnistia-sunexizomeni-kai-klimakoumeni-i-katastoli-stin-tourkia (GREEK)

https://noticias.uol.com.br/ultimas-noticias/efe/2018/04/25/ai-denuncia-que-turquia-fechou-1300-ongs-sob-estado-de-emergencia.htm (PORTUGUES)


April 27, 2018

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Beijing human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng has been formally arrested on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” and “obstructing the duties of public officers” after being held incommunicado for three months. The recent alleged dismissal of his family- appointed lawyers has raised grave fears about his wellbeing. In a video recorded prior to his detention, Yu Wensheng stated that he would never give up the right to choose his own lawyer unless he was subjected to torture or other ill-treatment.

View report in English







Click to access EN_HRL_20180507_China_Arrest-of-lawyer-Yu-Wensheng.pdf

https://zh.amnesty.org/more-resources/china-human-rights-lawyer-yu-wenshengforesaw-torture-by-police/ (CHINESE)

https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/chine-dans-une-vido-prenregistre-un-avocat-dfenseu (FRANCAIS)

https://www.es.amnesty.org/en-que-estamos/noticias/noticia/articulo/china-en-un-video-grabado-previamente-un-abogado-de-derechos-humanos-preveia-tortura-a-manos-de/ (ESPANOL)

http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20180426/443012032460/ai-denuncia-que-abogado-yu-wensheng-podria-estar-siendo-torturado-en-prision.html (ESPANOL)

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Tanzania: CJ Warns Lawyers Over Needless Activism

April 26, 2018

CHIEF Justice Prof Ibrahim Juma yesterday warned the Tanganyika Law Society against mixing politics and human rights activism when discharging its functions under the laws for which it was established.

At a press conference in Dar es Salaam, the CJ insisted that the TLS is a public entity and thus, appealed to the leaders of the bar association to go back to the line to avoid any confrontations with the Judiciary or State. “We cannot let you choose the direction you have chosen under the pretext of exercising freedom and mind you the Judiciary under which you’re closely working with will not give you any cooperation or allow you to give any legal advice to us,”

the CJ warned. He recalled that the TLS is the Bar Association of Tanzania Mainland, which was founded in 1954 by an Act of Parliament, the Tanganyika Law Society Ordinance 1954 and currently was being governed by the Tanganyika Law Society Act. According to the CJ, the TLS was established with several statutory objectives, notably to assist the Government and the Courts in all matters affecting legislation and administration and practice of the law in Tanzania.

Prof. Juma mentioned other objectives as facilitating the acquisition of legal knowledge by members of the legal profession and others and protecting and assisting the public in Tanzania in all matters touching, ancillary or incidental to the law. He cited other TLS duties as representing, protecting and assisting members of the legal profession in Tanzania as regards to conditions of practice and otherwise and maintain and improve the standards of conduct and learning of the legal profession in Tanzania. “




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The IBAHRI supported the Tanganyika Law Society in communicating with the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers regarding threats against the Association’s president and against the legal profession in Tanzania.

Read more about this issue in the 2017 Annual Review: https://tinyurl.com/y7rhftx4

(International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Facebook, 2/5/18)

In 2017, the IBAHRI called for accountability concerning cases where prominent legal figures came under attack.

In Tanzania, Mr. Lissu, the President of the Tanganyika Law Society, was shot. In Myanmar, prominent lawyer U Ko Ni was fatally shot. In Venezuela, Judge Afiuni was detained when she judged a politically sensitive case.

The IBAHRI called on the respective country and states to ensure justice for these individuals. To further combat the climate of fear and protect the rule of law, the IBAHRI took on trial-monitoring and fact-finding missions that have continued in 2018.

Read more about the IBAHRI’s work on protecting the legal profession in our 2017 Annual Review: https://tinyurl.com/y7rhftx4

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