Daily Archives: 02/06/2018

Egypt/UK/Greece: Trade unionists in UK and Greece back campaign in solidarity with Haitham Mohamedain

June 2, 2018

Dozens of high profile trade unionists from the UK and Greece are among the latest to back the campaign in solidarity with arrested labour lawyer Haitham Mohamedain who was seized by the Egyptian security forces on 18 May in a series of arrests targeting critics of the Sisi regime. His detention was recently renewed for another 15 days. Middle East Solidarity stalls at the annual congresses of the PCS civil servants union and the university and college workers’ UCU union distributed campaign postcards and gathered signatures for the petition demanding Haitham’s release.

Backers for the campaign in PCS include:

Meanwhile signatures have also flooded in from Greece, with leading figures from unions representing health workers, transport workers, civil servants, local government workers, media workers, metalworkers and teachers adding their support. Signatories from Greece include:

Trade unionists in UK and Greece back campaign in solidarity with Haitham Mohamedain







https://www.change.org/p/prosecutor-general-arab-republic-of-egypt-freedom-for-haitham-mohamedain-stop-the-repression-in-egypt (SIGN THE PETITION!)


http://osterreich.site/2018/06/02/aegyptens-sisi-wird-vereidigt-fuer-eine-zweite-amtszeit-inmitten-der-niederschlagung-auf-dissens/ (DEUTSCH)

http://linkswende.org/freiheit-fuer-haitham-mohamedain-stoppt-die-repression-in-aegypten/ (DEUTSCH)


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Turkey/Germany: Turkish gov’t launches probe into German prosecutor over financial support to family of a jailed judge

June 2, 2018

Turkish government has launched an investigation into a German prosecutor and financial support given by the European Association of Judges (EAJ) to the family of Turkish judge Mesut Orta who was jailed over his alleged links to the Gülen movement.

According to a report by blog titled Free Judges, Turkish judge Mesut Orta, about whom a detention warrant was issued but he did not surrender due to arbitrary unlawfulnesses in Turkey, applied for financial support especially for his family when he remained at large, making contact with the EAJ via e-mail. The correspondences as to the financial support given by EAJ were revealed from the computer records of judge Orta, seized when he was detained.

Accordingly, it was found out that 1300 euro was transferred to the bank account of Judge Orta’s wife by means of two separate transactions by Stuttgart prosecutor P.S. who is a member of EAJ as well. The media outlets under the control of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan alleged that German prosecutor provided help for judge Orta so that he was able to hide out.

Judge Orta, held under pre-trial detention arbitrarily over terrorism charges, is being accused this time of the financial support he took from the EAJ. According to the reports taking place in press, beside judge Orta, EAJ and Stutgart prosecutor P.S., leading to this fund transfer, have been also included into this investigation.

The Turkish government has arrested a total of 2,431 judges and prosecutors and dismissed 4,424 others since a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, a Constitutional Court general assembly ruling revealed on early August 2017.







China/Taiwan: Tortured Activist Who Fled China Applies For Political Asylum in Taiwan

June 1, 2018

Chinese human rights activist Huang Yan discusses her persecution by the Chinese Communist Party and her decision to seek political asylum in Taiwan, during an interview with RFA, May 30, 2018.

Chinese rights activist Huang Yan, a former torture victim who spoke out publicly in support of rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, has been granted a temporary stay in the democratic island of Taiwan after being recognized as a genuine refugee by the United Nations.

Huang abandoned a flight from Jakarta to Beijing during its stopover in Taiwan on Tuesday, and sought political asylum on the island instead, she told RFA in an interview on Wednesday.

“I am very happy,” she said. “When I left the airport in Taiwan, pushing my suitcase, I thought to myself that I am totally free. But at the same time, I am still suffering psychologically from all the years of persecution.”

“I was thinking that I would start revealing [my story], bit by bit, after I arrived in Taiwan,” she said. “There is so much to tell; I wouldn’t get done telling it if I spoke for several days and nights without stopping.”

Huang said she is very grateful to Taiwan, which has never been ruled by the Chinese Communist Party, for letting her in on a 90-day permit while her application is being considered.

“Thank God, and thank Taiwan,” she said.

Huang arrived aboard a flight operated by the island’s flag-carrier China Airlines. Her ticket took her as far as Beijing, but she declined to board the second leg of the flight, and made herself known to Taiwan officials at the airport.

She was supported in her application by Yang Sen-hong, president of the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights, and his wife Ling Yao-chiu, its secretary-general.

The couple met Huang, 48, when she emerged at Taoyuan International Airport on Wednesday.

A genuine refugee

Huang fled China after years of harassment, repeated incarceration, and torture at the hands of the mainland Chinese authorities linked to her rights activism.

Her escape to Thailand from the former British colony of Hong Kong, which runs a separate immigration border from mainland China, was assisted by Bob Fu, president of U.S.-based Christian rights group China Aid, and culminated in her being recognized as a genuine refugee by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).









The Philippines: New lawyers risk contempt with purple ribbon at Supreme Court rites

June 2, 2018

AT RISK OF CONTEMPT. Audrey Ng (utmost right) wears a purple ribbon on her hands during the oath taking of new lawyers in a Supreme Court special en banc session on June 1, 2018 at the PICC in Pasay. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

On Friday, June 1, Audrey Ng took her oath as a new lawyer, and she did so rather daringly, as she tied a purple ribbon on her hands and risked being held in contempt of the Supreme Court.

The warning made days ahead was ominous: do not disturb decorum, or you will face contempt.

Moments before they recited their lawyer’s oath, Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin’s threat sounded even more severe: criticize the Court outside “guidelines” and “lose your privilege of membership in the Bar.”

“The fact of the matter is, the Supreme Court has just unseated its own Chief Justice after openly, albeit passive-aggressively, calling for her resignation,” Ng said.

Indeed it was an oath-taking in the strangest of times. The Supreme Court’s quo warranto ouster of former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno led a United Nations prober to declare the country’s judicial independence as under attack.

“Foreseeably, how citizens view this institution had been affected. The purple ribbon is to remind ourselves of this quote from Justice JBL Reyes: ‘No master but law. No guide but conscience. No aim but justice,'” Ng said, referring to former Supreme Court Justice Jose Benedicto Luis Reyes, who championed human rights during the late president Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law.





Pakistan: Woman lawyer shot dead in Jacobabad

June 2, 2018

Sindh police. PHOTO: AFP

A woman lawyer was shot dead on Thursday at her home in Jacobabad district. The slain Sanam Umrani, mother of three children, was a legal counsel for his slain brother Waqar Umrani who had allegedly killed his wife Tahira Khoso in 2015.

Waqar was also shot dead a few months after the killing of his wife. His body was recovered from a car in Balochistan.

City SHO Ghazanfar Ali Bhutto told the local media that the slain woman was the legal counsel for her brother in the murder case. She was being coerced to withdraw herself from the case, the SHO said, adding that the Umrani and Khoso families were locked in a land dispute as well.

Suspects in Zafir Zubairi case declared guilty of murder

The lawyer had recently returned from Dera Murad Jamali in Balochistan to her brother’s house in Jacobabad. The assailants chased her all the way to the house and killed her in front of her children.


Argentina/Iran/Israel: Argentine federal court confirms AMIA prosecutor was murdered


June 2, 2018

Judge rules Alberto Nisman was killed as ‘direct consequence’ of his accusations of cover-up in 1994 Jewish center bombing; instructs ‘speedy and serious’ investigation

 Alberto Nisman gives a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 20, 2009. (AFP/Juan Mabromata)

An Argentine federal appeals court confirmed Friday that special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, found dead in 2015 while investigating a 1994 Jewish center bombing, was murdered.

The Federal Court of Buenos Aires said there was no doubt that Nisman’s death was a homicide rather than suicide, El Pais reported, and came as a “direct consequence” of his accusations that then-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner covered up Iran’s role in the attack on the Buenos Aires AMIA center that left 85 dead and hundreds wounded.

The court called on the judge overseeing the case to focus on the investigation of the homicide “with the speed and seriousness that such a grave matter imposes.”

The court thus confirmed a federal judge’s ruling in December that Nisman’s death “could not have been a suicide.”

Judge Julian Ercolini wrote in a 656-page ruling then that there was enough evidence to support foul play in the death of Nisman, who was discovered in his Buenos Aires apartment with a gunshot wound to the head, delivered at close range from a handgun found at his side.

Ercolini’s ruling also pointed to one suspect in the death: Diego Lagomarsino, an IT employee in Nisman’s office, who he said was a possible accessory to murder.

Nisman had previously accused the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group of carrying out the attack AMIA at the direction of Iran. He established how and when Iran commissioned the bombing and that Hezbollah recruited and dispatched the suicide-bomber, Ibrahim Berro, who drove the explosives-filled Renault Trafic van into the building on July 18, 1994.

The prosecutor later accused Kirchner and other officials of agreeing to ignore Iran’s involvement in exchange for commercial benefits for Argentina, in violation of the country’s penal code and the independence of the judiciary.






https://elpais.com/internacional/2018/06/01/actualidad/1527874230_913080.html (ESPANOL)

http://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2018/06/01/fiscal-argentino-alberto-nisman-fue-asesinado-por-la-denuncia-contra-expresidenta-fernandez-de-kirchner-dice-camara-federal/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article/2018/06/02/argentine-le-procureur-nisman-qui-enquetait-sur-un-attentat-a-bien-ete-assassine_5308498_3222.html (FRANCAIS)

http://www.liberation.fr/planete/2018/06/02/argentine-le-procureur-nisman-qui-enquetait-sur-un-attentat-a-bien-ete-assassine_1656124 (FRANCAIS)

https://g1.globo.com/mundo/noticia/morte-de-alberto-nisman-foi-um-homicidio-determina-justica-argentina.ghtml (PORTUGUES)

https://www.rsi.ch/news/mondo/Alberto-Nisman-fu-ucciso-10538291.html (ITALIANO)


Saudi Arabia/Canada: Detainment of activists brings Saudi-Canadian relationship into question

June 1, 2018

Loujain Al-Hathloul, who was detained alongside several other women’s rights activists by the Saudi Arabian government, is known for posting videos of herself driving to protest the country’s ban on women drivers.

The detainment of former University of British Columbia student and women’s rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul could put a damper on Canada-Saudi Arabian relations, say legal experts.

Irwin Cotler, a human rights lawyer and former federal justice minister, says the arrest of Al-Hathloul and the current Saudi human rights record bring into question the reformist message of the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and the very basis of international trade agreements the country has with Canada.

Gail Davidson, executive director of Vancouver-based Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, described Saudi Arabia’s recent human rights message as “completely false,” and said Canada’s current trade relationship with Saudi Arabia is surprising given the circumstances. She referred to the takeover of the Canadian Wheat Board by a Saudi company, as well as the $15-billion armed vehicles purchase.

“Knowing about their human rights record, I’m surprised at the relationship that Canada has with Saudi Arabia, and the extent to which they have become powerful in Canadian affairs,” she said.








https://www.lemonde.fr/big-browser/article/2018/06/01/une-princesse-saoudienne-posant-au-volant-d-une-voiture-en-une-de-vogue-cree-la-polemique_5308430_4832693.html?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1527875752 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.nzz.ch/international/saudiarabien-nimmt-frauenrechtlerinnen-fest-und-erklaert-sie-zu-spionen-ld.1387406 (DEUTSCH)

France/Israel: Qu’en est-il de la libération de Salah Hamouri, victime de l’arbitraire israélien?

le 1er juin, 2018

En ce début de mois de juin, et après près de dix mois d’incarcération dans les geôles israéliennes, le Comité de soutien de l’avocat franco-palestinien, Salah Hamouri, fait le point sur sa situation douloureuse, d’une injustice criante.

Tout d’abord, à l’occasion de la visite du Consul général de France à Tel Aviv auprès de Salah Hamouri, le 26 avril, ce dernier a fait la demande expresse – confirmée par nos soins et son conseil français auprès de l’Elysée – de bénéficier désormais de la protection diplomatique.

Celle-ci, en deux mots, consiste à ce que l’Etat français – un individu ne pouvant le faire – saisisse les juridictions internationales pour faire condamner l’Etat responsable de la détention arbitraire de l’un de ses concitoyens. En quelque sorte le préjudice subi par Salah est considéré comme un préjudice contre la France. Cette procédure dépend uniquement du Président de la République qui a un droit discrétionnaire pour le faire ou non.

En second lieu, lors de l’audience dite de “mi-peine”, le 22 mai, le juge israélien, sous l’influence du Shin Bet déclarant avoir de nouveaux éléments qu’il ne pouvait rendre publics – a laissé planer la prolongation de 3 mois de l’emprisonnement de Salah qui devrait « normalement » sortir fin juin. Cet arbitraire est une machine infernale. On affirme sans jamais avoir à prouver et on ajoute des peines de prison à l’infini à un Palestinien.







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


OHCHR: 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders

June 1, 2018

Image result for UN Human Rights office of the high commisserion

Civil society constitutes a fundamental pillar of the international human rights system. It contributes to promoting and respecting human rights, sustainable development, maintaining peace and security, and acts in line with UN Charter goals.

Civil society assesses and reports on whether State parties are fulfilling their treaty obligations by translating the provisions of the relevant United Nations human rights treaties (the Treaties) into action at the grassroots level. Accordingly, civil society significantly assists Treaty Bodies in monitoring and evaluating State parties’ compliance with the Treaties. In view of this vital role, the human rights Treaty Bodies request civil society organizations to cooperate with them by submitting information on issues related to the enjoyment of rights in a given country.

The active involvement and participation of civil society in the work of the Treaty Bodies is crucial for the wide dissemination, at the international, national and local levels, of information about the Treaties and the Treaty Bodies’ work. In many cases, the concluding observations or views on individual communications adopted by Treaty Bodies receive greater attention and enforcement owing to the intervention and activities of civil society.

Treaty Bodies have consistently encouraged State parties to publicly and specifically recognize the role played by civil society, including human rights defenders, and to engage with them in all relevant processes, including reporting.

The Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders has underscored how the Treaty Bodies benefit from the information provided to them by human rights defenders. This information is essential to monitoring implementation of the treaties and is a valuable early warning system to alert the international community to real, potential or imminent threats to peace, freedom, and security.