Daily Archives: 06/06/2018

Armenia: Lawyers go on strike in Armenia

February 8, 2018

Hundreds of lawyers have gone on strike in Armenia, protesting a draft law they say ‘targets lawyers’. The bill would allow judges to fine them for contempt of the court. The lawyers began a two day strike began on 7 February.

The bill has faced criticism as lawyers fear it will be used to limit their rights during court hearings. It would allow judges to fine them by up to ֏100,000 ($210).

The bill was drafted by the Government and passed its first hearing in parliament in November, according to AzatutyunRFE/RL’s Armenian Service. Armenian law already penalises contempt of court, but the draft would introduce additional fines exclusively for lawyers.

Azatutyun quoted Justice Minister Davit Harutyunyan, the author of the bill, as saying that these provisions had now been removed from the bill.

But according to them, Harutyunyan ‘made clear the amendments will be incorporated into another code’, the Procedural Code, which they plan to amend later in 2018.

In an 8 February statement, the Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Armenia, which organised the protests, said ‘there is no need to establish a judicial penalty for lawyers separately’. The Chamber is a non-profit organisation claiming almost 2,000 members.







Azerbaijan/USA: Azerbaijani human rights lawyer Emin Aslan jailed for 30 days

June 6, 2018

Azerbaijan’s Narimanov District Court has sentenced human rights lawyer Emin Aslan to 30 days administrative detention for ‘disobeying police’. The pretext for police to approach and detain Aslan remain unknown.

Aslan has for years worked to protect human rights in Azerbaijan, litigating a number of cases of alleged human rights abuses of Azerbaijani citizens at the European Court of Human Rights, and working for two Tbilisi-based rights groups.

According to a Facebook post by Azerbaijani journalist Arzu Geybullayeva, a friend of Aslan’s, ‘he was previously accused of tax evasion at the time of his work with some of the NGOs in Azerbaijan, [but] he has paid all his dues and has no history of criminal record’.

Meydan TV reported that his lawyer Elchin Sadigov was not admitted to the court hearing. Following his apparent disappearance on Monday, the Stockholm based Civil Rights Defenders called on the Azerbaijani government to immediately release him, while South Caucasus Director of Human Rights Watch Giorgi Gogia criticised Baku for holding him incommunicado.

According to the head of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS), Anar Mammadli, Aslan was detained on 4 June by plain-clothed police officers. Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova claimed that after international attention, ‘police found no better solution than to take him to the court for ‘resistance to police’ charges’.

Local human rights advocates identified the owner of the car by which Aslan was taken away as that of Mehman Teymurov, a member of the police’s Anti-Organised Crime Unit and an ‘operative in a number of political cases’.





https://www.amerikaninsesi.org/a/emin-istedad%C4%B1-il%C9%99-n%C9%99z%C9%99r%C9%99-%C3%A7arp%C4%B1rd%C4%B1-/4425878.html (AZERBAIJANI)

Argentina/Iran/Israel: Argentine Senators Discuss Removal of Ex-President Kirchner’s Legal Immunity Over AMIA Bombing, Alberto Nisman Killing

June 5, 2018

Argentine senators began discussions on Tuesday on the possible removal of former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s immunity from prosecution — less than a week after a federal court in Buenos Aires ruled definitively that Alberto Nisman, the federal prosecutor who was investigating the 1994 terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in the Argentine capital, along with the Kirchner government’s alleged cover-up of Iran’s culpability, was assassinated in January 2015.

Nisman’s body was found in his Buenos Aires apartment hours before he was due to present a formal complaint to Argentina’s Congress that detailed the alleged role of Kirchner and her government colleagues in covering up Iran’s responsibility for the AMIA atrocity. Eighty-five people died and hundreds more were wounded when a truck packed with explosives rammed into the AMIA building in downtown Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994.

While government-appointed investigators initially tried to depict Nisman’s death as a suicide, in December 2017 federal judge Julian Ercolini issued the first ruling that Nisman had been murdered. In the same month, the federal judge investigating Nisman’s original complaint against the former Kirchner government, Claudio Bonadio, indicted the ex-president and several of her close colleagues on treason charges related to a secret pact that effectively exonerated the Tehran regime for the AMIA bombing. Bonadio also requested formally that the Argentine Senate — of which Kirchner is an elected member — remove her legal immunity.







https://diariosanrafael.com.ar/proponen-ponerle-doctor-alberto-nisman-a-una-plazoleta-de-mendoza-93473/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.enlacejudio.com/2018/06/05/caso-nisman-segun-la-gendarmeria-las-manchas-de-sangre-demuestran-que-alberto-nisman-fue-asesinado/ (ESPANOL)

Saudi Arabia: Crackdown on Saudi women human rights defenders sets off alarms

June 6, 2018

Over 30 human rights groups call for their immediate release

The undersigned human rights groups call on the Saudi authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders arrested in the past two weeks who were detained solely for their support of women’s rights or other peaceful human rights work in Saudi Arabia. We further call on the authorities to immediately reveal their whereabouts, allow them access to their families and lawyers of their choice, hold investigations in a transparent manner, and adhere to fair trial international legal standards; while we believe that all charges against them must be dropped and they should be immediately released. We are particularly alarmed that some of those arrested could be sentenced to prison for their peaceful and legitimate human rights work, including their decades-long campaigning to lift the driving ban – ironically barely a month before the authorities are set to finally lift it and enable women in the country to drive legally.

The undersigned groups know of at least 12 named human rights defenders whom Saudi authorities arrested in Saudi Arabia since 15 May 2018. They include advocates and supporters of the #Oct26driving, #Right2Drive and #IAmMyOwnGuardian campaigns who dared to speak openly about human rights violations in the country and are critical of state discrimination against women in Saudi Arabia. State media outlets have publicly declared seven women’s rights defenders and supporters of the women’s rights movement as traitors, including Loujain Al-Hathloul, a well-known women’s rights defender on social media who was arrested on 15 May; Dr. Eman Al-Nafjan, founder and author of the Saudiwoman’s Weblog, who had previously protested the driving ban; Aziza Al-Yousef, a prominent campaigner for women’s rights; Dr. Ibrahim Al-Modaimegh, a lawyer and human rights defender; writer Mohammad Al-RabeaAbdulaziz Al-Mesha’albusinessman and board member of a women’s rights NGO; and an unnamed man. The state media also announced the arrest of Ibrahim Fahad Al-Nafjan.

Saudi human rights defenders also confirmed the arrest of four other women’s rights defenders who have since been released, including Dr. Aisha Al-ManaeDr. Hessa Al-Sheikh and Dr. Madeha Al-Ajroush, who had taken part in the first women’s protest movement demanding the right to drive in 1990. At the time, 47 women had been arrested for driving and had lost their passports and their jobs. The arrests and subsequent release also included that of Walaa Al-Shubbar, a young activist well-known for her campaigning against the guardianship system. They are all academics and professionals who supported women’s rights and provided assistance to survivors of gender-based violence. On 23 May, Dr. Aisha Al-Manae was released from custody, possibly due to illness. Two days later, the Saudi authorities also released Dr. Hessa Al-Sheikh, Dr. Madeha Al-Ajroush, and Walaa Al-Shubbar. The conditions of their release remain unknown. Saudi authorities have since arrested Mohammad Al-Bajadi, a human rights defender and founding member of the Civil and Political Rights Association in Saudi Arabia (ACPRA).




https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1882 (ARABIC)

https://magazin.zenith.me/de/presseschau/verhaftung-von-aktivisten-saudi-arabien (DEUTSCH)

India: Bhima-Koregaon: Lawyer accuses police of linking incident with Maoists

June 6, 2018

Arun Ferreira, lawyer of Sudhir Dhawale who is accused in Bhima-Koregaon violence on Wednesday said that the police officials were trying to fabricate papers to link the incident with Maoists.

Ferreira said, “At the moment when an investigation board has been set up by the Maharashtra government to find the real cause behind Bhima-Koregaon incidents, the police are trying to fabricate papers and link the incidents with Maoists.”

According to a statement by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Rana Jacob were arrested in connection with the case on June 6.

The PUCL, in a statement, condemned the arrests and called them “vindictive and arbitrary”.

It said, “PUCL strongly condemns the vindictive and arbitrary arrest of Advocate Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Rana Jacob on 6th June 2018. They have been reportedly booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), on the allegation of spreading controversial pamphlets and delivering hate speeches in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence that broke out in January 2018.”









https://www.facebook.com/events/540488599681760/ (PRESS CONFERENCE – The press conference will be followed by United Protest by 30+ organization @ Jantar Mantar @ 3:00PM.)


https://www.jansatta.com/trending-news/gujarat-mla-and-dalit-activist-jignesh-mevani-receiving-threats-he-tells-by-tweet/679606/ (HINDI)

http://www.lokmat.com/nagpur/advocacy-bhima-koregaon-surendra-gadling-and-three-arrested/ (HINDI)



6 JUNE 2018


Today, in the early morning hours, the Pune Police arrested CRPP Public Relations Secretary Rona Wilson, Advocate Surendra Gadling (CRPP AND IAPL), Prof Soma Sen (Nagpur University), Sudhir Dhavale (Dalit activist, Republican Panthers) and Mahesh Raut (anti-displacement activist) by falsely framing them under UAPA after alleging relation to the violence that ensued after the bi-centenary celebrations of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon on 31 Decemeber 2018 and the subsequent bandh. Following close on the heels of arbitrary search operations conducted by the Pune police on 17 April 2018 at the residences of these activists in Maharashtra and Delhi, the present arrests are clearly a deliberate attempt to unleash terror upon activists and lawyers who have been raising their voices against the anti-people policies of the present BJP led NDA government. CRPP condemns all the five arrests in the strongest words and demands their immediate and unconditional release.

Sticking to its script enacted on 17th April while conducting so called ‘search operations’ at the residences of the above activists, the Pune Police arrested the above activists around 6 am in the morning from Maharashtra and Delhi.
As per the Maharashtra police, the arrests have been made under Vishrambaug PS FIR no. 4 of 2018 dated 8th January 2018 under
Sections 153(A), 505(1)(B), 117, 120(B), 34 IPC
and, now, 13, 16, 17, 18, 18(B), 20, 38, 39, 40 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2008. Rona Wilson was arrested early in the morning and produced at Patiala House Court which sanctioned his transit remand upon the appeal of the Pune Police. The FIR under the pretext of which the arrests were made is registered against Sudhir and members of Kabir Kala Manch to which the names of Rona Wilson and Surendra Gadling were later added after court conceded to the prosecution’s appeal. However, the new arrests of Professor Soma Sen and Mahesh Raut whose names were never mentioned in the court papers and were just added by the police today, reveal the desperation of the state to somehow frame a case by arbitrarily associating names of peoples’ activists all the way from Maharashtra to Delhi to construe their cock and bull narrative of supposed Maoists plotting the violence that ensued after the Edgar Parishad conference in Bhima Koregaon after 31st December!

On 31st December 2017, an Elgar Parishad was organised to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon which was attended by thousands who gathered to raised their voice against the forces of Bramanical Hindutva Fascism. On the following day, that is, 1st January 2018, a mob carrying saffron flags instigated by Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote attacked the masses and activists who had gathered for the commemoration. It should be noted that instead of taking timely action against those who incited and perpetrated violence that ensued after the Elgar Parishad, the state machinery has chosen to devote its time and attention to target and arrest activists and lawyers under the draconian UAPA for speaking against the anti-people policies of the government and the repeal of UAPA citing its use to incarcerate thousands of innocent youths under false cases without bail by the Hindutva state machinery. Both the main forces behind the pre-meditated violence on 1st January 2018, Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote, are right wing activists closely connected with the ruling BJP and the Sangh Parivar. The police forces have failed to arrest Sambhaji Bhide in connection with this case. Rather, they seem interested in conjuring up an elaborate tale of how the songs of peoples’ resistance sung by activists at the commemoration on 31st December were deliberately intended to incite violence! Allegedly under the same pretext of investigating the Bhima Koregaon incident, a team of Pune police led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Pravin Munde and investigating officer, Shivaji Pawar searched the residence of Rona Wilson in Delhi and Advocate Surendra Gadling in Nagpur in April.

Wilson has been an activist for several years, advocating for the cause of political prisoners all over India. As Public Relations Secretary of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, he has been at the forefront of organising numerous conventions against the unconstitutional nature of draconian laws like UAPA, AFSPA etc. and against the arbitrary use of death penalty, specifically against Muslims and Dalit minorities. He is an active voice in the campaign for the release of political prisoners condemning the anti-people ploys of the state machinery for arbitrarily persecuting minorities and marginalised sections. CRPP member and Advocate Surendra Gadling has been fighting the cases of many innocent people who have been framed under UAPA and was instrumental in the acquittals of many including Sudhir Dhawale. He has also been representing Delhi University Professor, G N Saibaba and others who were punished with life sentence last year under UAPA by the Nagpur Sessions Court. Professor Soma Sen,Sudhir Dhawale and Mahesh Raut are active voices of resistance in solidarity with people movements’ across the country against the tightening tentacles of Hindutva Fascism.

That these arrests are happening at a time when voices of Dalit resistance are transforming into an avalanche of resistance against the anti-people policies of the state indicates the deliberate attempt by the powers that be to stifle all voices of protest. Moreover, it exposes the brazen vengeance of the state against Dalit upsurge organising against the unbridled loot and plunder of resources by imperialist capital aided by the forces of Hindutva Fascism. By targeting activists and peoples lawyers, the state is blatantly trying to snuff out even voices of defense from political prisoners. It must be understood that violence that ensued in Bhima Koregaon is being used as an alibi by the ruling classes to browbeat activists and lawyers who have been fighting for the people into silence. These pre-meditated raids reflect the desperation of the increasingly police state and its growing tendency within the executive to frame activists and lawyers under false charges and keep them in confinement under prolonged incarceration.

It must also be highlighted that this arbitrary arrest has come at a time when CRPP has been able to gather public opinion against the conviction of Prof. GN Saibaba, Hem Mishra, Prashant Rahi, Vijay Tirki, Mahesh Tirki and Pandu Narote. The Gadchiroli Sessions Court, in its 827 page judgment, inadvertently exposes the workings of a national security state which uses the instrument of law to thwart dissent. It is not a coincidence that these simultaneous raids and arrests are happening after the state ordered continuous firing by para military at Chaibasa village in Jharkhand in March in the name of fighting Maoists followed by the dastardly fake encounter of more than 40 adivasis and Maoists in Gadchiroli in April this year. As the drama of yet another parliamentary election is due to unfold in May 2019, the BJP led NDA government will unabashedly expose its violent fangs of fascism to suppress and polarise the united voices of people’s resistance emerging from all corners of the subcontinent, from Kashmir to Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, by directly waging war on the oppressed people in the so called frontier regions and hinterlands and at the same time targeting and incarcerating activists and voices of dissent from urban areas.

The Committee for Release of Political Prisoners strongly condemns the arrests of Rona Wilson and other activists from Maharashtra which is nothing but a tactic to intimidate activists from mobilising people and raising voice against the violence perpetrated by the state.

In protest,

SAR GEELANI ( President)

AMIT BHATTACHARYYA (Secretary General)

SUJATO BHADRA (Vice President)


MN RAVUNNI (Vice President)

P. KOYA (Vice President)

MALEM (Vice President)

HANYBABU MT (Media Secretary)


Nahi Chalegi Nahi Chalegi
Tana Shahi Nahi Chalegi…!!!

We demand unconditional release of Adv Surendra Gadling along with other activists, join the protest tomorrow !!!

Join protest against the arbitrary detention of Adv. Surendra Gadling, Prof. Shoma Sen, Sudhir Dhawale (Editor, Vidrohi Magazine), Rona Wilson (Scholar), Mahesh Raut (TISS Fellow) in the false cases.

DTV: *Plaza-Sector 17, Chandigarh* / 5:30 p.m./ 7 June 2018




A highly respected Senior Dalit Advocate Surendra Gadling was arrested in the early hours of 6th June 2018 from his office cum residence in Nagpur. He is the General Secretary of the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers.

It is apprehended that his arrest is a part of the ongoing arrests by the Maharashtra police in Nagpur, Mumbai and Delhi ostensibly in connection with the recent incidents of Bhima Koregaon, in which leaders and instigators of Hindutva organizations such as Sambhaji Bhide are yet to be arrested.

However in arresting a lawyer of the stature of Adv Surendra Gadling, who is greatly respected as a defender of dalits, adivasis, activists and political prisoners, the Maharashtra Government is deliberately targetting a defender of defenders, and a lawyer committed to practicing for the marginalized and oppressed.

Please attend the press conference organized by the Indian Associations of People’s Lawyers which will be addressed by post bearers and members of the IAPL, other lawyers organizations, and senior lawyers.

Date: 7th June 2018
Time: 11.30am
Venue: Press Club of India, Raisina Road.

The press conference would be followed by United Protest by 30+ organization @ Jantar Mantar @ 3:00PM.

Sudha Bharadwaj
(Vice President, IAPL)

Ankit Grewal
(Joint Secretary, IAPL)

(IAPL – Indian Association of People’s Lawyers Facebook)


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Turkey: Persecuted members of supreme courts held in solitary confinement in Turkish prisons

June 6, 2018

Dozens of judges and prosecutors, who are former members of Turkey’s supreme courts such as the Court of Cassation, the Council of State, the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), have been persecuted by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Today, most of these jurists are still held in solitary confinement in prisons across Turkey.

The first victims of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch-hunt campaign, which was launched against alleged members of the Gülen movement in the aftermath of a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, have been the members of the judiciary in Turkey. In the early hours of July 16, 2016 morning, thousands of judiciary members were detained during the police raids against their houses.

Mehmet Yılmaz, vice president of the Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK, which replaced HSYK), had confirmed this massive post-coup witch hunt campaign by saying that “We dismissed 2,740 members of the judiciary from their duties at 01:00 a.m. on July 16, 2016.” Yılmaz also said in an interview to the pro-government Akşam daily on April 6, 2018 that “4,100 members of the judiciary have been dismissed, so far.”

It is known that more than 2,000 members of the judiciary were arrested and put behind the bars in the wake of the July 15 military coup attempt. According to the reports in Turkish media, the prosecutors issued detention warrants for 2 members of the Constitutional Court, 140 members of the Court of Cassation, 48 ​​members of the Council of State and 2,700 judges and prosecutors.




Turkey/AI: Year in detention for Amnesty Chair a ‘gross injustice’

June 6, 2018

	Taner Kiliç, Chair of Amnesty International Turkey who was detained and charged in Turkey in June 2017

Taner Kılıç was arrested on 6 June 2017 on a charge of ‘belonging to a terrorist organisation’

Detention demonstrates the Turkish authorities ‘cold-blooded pursuit of anyone deemed to oppose them’ – Salil Shetty

Under crackdown more than 100,000 people have faced criminal investigations and at least 50,000 have been imprisoned

On the year anniversary of his arrest, Amnesty International is again calling for the immediate release of Taner Kılıç, Chair of Amnesty International Turkey.

Taner Kılıç was arrested on 6 June 2017 on a baseless charge of belonging to a terrorist organisation.

Mr Kılıç has been charged with “membership of the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation” based on the false allegation that he downloaded ByLock, a messaging app the authorities say was used by followers of Fethullah Gülen. The government holds the group responsible for the July 2016 coup attempt.

However, no credible evidence has been presented to substantiate the claim and two independent forensic experts have confirmed there is no trace of ByLock ever having been on Kılıç’s phone.

Kılıç’s next hearing is set for 21 June. If found guilty of the charges against him, he could face up to 15 years in jail.





https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/anniversaire-de-lemprisonnement-de-taner-kilic (FRANCAIS)

http://lepersoneeladignita.corriere.it/2018/06/06/turchia-un-anno-fa-larresto-del-presidente-di-amnesty-international/ (ITALIANO)

http://www.expansion.com/agencia/europa_press/2018/06/06/20180606035556.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.dn.pt/lusa/interior/esforcos-para-libertar-ativistas-na-turquia-nao-serao-silenciados—amnistia-9413360.html (PORTUGUES)