Since November 2017 Selçuk KOZAĞAÇLI , the president of ÇHD, the Progressive Lawyers Association has been detained in pre-trial solitary confinement in the Silivri prison camp. He is suffering as a result of the isolation. His repeated demands for occasional contact with other prisoners have been rejected.
Selçuk KOZAĞAÇLı is accused together with 19 other ÇHD lawyers of membership in a terrorist organisation (DHKP-C, the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front ) .Some of them are also charged with leadership of DHKP-C. 8 of them are also accused in the ÇHD lawyer’s trial in which 22 lawyers are on trial. The trial started in December 2013, and will be continued on 24 October. The lawyers who are accused in both trials are accused of more or less the same crime, membership in a terrorist organisation, DHKP-C. Their trial is expected to start on 10th September 2018.
ÇHD is one of the two member organisations of ELDH in Turkey. Selçuk KOZAĞAÇLI himself is member of the ELDH Executive Committee. He has a high reputation outside Turkey as a human rights defence lawyer. In 2014 he was awarded the Hans-Litten-Prize by the German lawyers’ association Vereinigung Demokratischer Juristinnen und Juristen e.V. VDJ. The biggest German lawyers association Deutscher Anwaltsverein DAV wrote on occasion of his arrest in November 2017: “According to the DAV, the arrest of Kozağaçlı exemplifies a number of cases in which lawyers in Turkey have been arrested for defending their clients.”
Over 200 students, alumni, faculty, staff and other members of the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) have condemned the arrest of Mahesh Raut, an alumnus of TISS.
The Pune police arrested Raut on June 6 along with four other activists who are allegedly suspected to be related to the Bhima-Koregaon caste violence, which occurred in the state in January.
On June 6, the Pune police carried out raids at different locations across the country to arrest the five suspects in the case. Apart from Raut, the other accused are advocate Surendra Gadling, Sudhur Dhawale, Rona Wilson and Shoma Sen.
Raut pursued a Masters degree in Social Work from TISS’s Mumbai campus during the academic session 2009-11.
A release issued by the students and other members read, “Mahesh and the others were working relentlessly with the marginalized communities for their rights and we strongly feel that they are being persecuted for the same. We condemn the Central and state government and the Maharashtra police for their undemocratic actions.”
From his suburban home in New Jersey, Teng Biao has watched in frustration as what he sees as the apologies to China from Western companies have come fast and furious this year.
First, there was the hotel chain Marriott International, which apologized to the Chinese government in January for having sent out a customer survey listing Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and the self-governing island of Taiwan as separate territories, a violation of the Communist Party canon that raised the ire of some Chinese citizens.
Then there was Gap Inc., which posted a message to the Chinese apologizing for a T-shirt with a map of China that ignited similar criticism. And in May, Air Canada on its website began listing Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, as a part of Communist-ruled China, which the Taiwanese reject.
For Mr. Teng, one of China’s pre-eminent civil rights lawyers, it all amounted to craven behavior from Western companies trying to stay in the good graces of Chinese officials and citizens to maintain access to the enormous consumer market in China.
On June 13, in her home in Tehran, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested. According to her husband, Reza Khandan, she was then transferred to the prosecutor’s office of Evin prison.
Sotoudeh was told she was being arrested to serve a five-year prison sentence, said Khandan, but neither he nor his wife knew anything about this sentence.
The same day, Amnesty International issued a statement calling for Iranian authorities to immediately release Nasrin Sotoudeh. The statement said, “We call on the Iranian authorities to release Nasrin Sotoudeh immediately and unconditionally.
Any action short of this must be unreservedly condemned by the international community.”
The statement also claims, “In recent weeks, Nasrin Sotoudeh has spoken out against the application of a Note to Article 48 of Iran’s 2015 Code of Criminal Procedure. The Note to Article 48 denies individuals facing some offenses, including those related to national security, the right to access an independent lawyer of their own choosing during the investigation of their charges. Instead, individuals can only select from a roster of pre-approved lawyers chosen by the Head of the Judiciary.
The Head of the Judiciary issued a list with only 20 people pre-approved for Tehran province.”
Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program, stated, “Permitting only lawyers who are pre-approved to defend individuals accused of ‘security’ offences – who often include human rights defenders – completely undermines the right of detainees to a lawyer of their own choosing.”
Nasrin Sotoudeh recently represented Narges Hosseini, who was prosecuted for peacefully protesting against compulsory veiling in Iran earlier this year. Since the December / January protests this year, dozens of women have been violently attacked and arrested for peacefully protesting against compulsory veiling.
Latest update on #NasrinSotoudeh: she called home, saying despite having been told that she was sentenced to 5 years for an unknown charge, she was in fact detained due to a complaint made by an Investigation Officer when she represented a woman who defied the compulsory #hijab. pic.twitter.com/rlbEvA1A5y
Canada is deeply concerned about #Iran’s recent arrests of #humanrights activists. We strongly condemn the arrest of prominent women’s rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh and call for her immediate release.
Le Canada est profondément préoccupé par les récentes arrestations d’activistes des droits de la personne en #Iran. Nous condamnons l’arrestation de Nasrin Sotoudeh, défenseuse importante des droits des femmes. Nous demandons à ce qu’elle soit libérée immédiatement.
The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) representing more than 1 million European Lawyers, urges Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to release Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was arrested 2 days ago at her home. https://t.co/BgQ9J7R0NJ
Seven months ago, Chandrashekhar Azad was supposed to walk out of Saharanpur Jail, where he’d been held for five months. Members of the Bhim Army, a Dalit human rights group that rose to prominence in the Saharanpur protests in May 2017, were excited that their leader would soon be released, telling the Times of India:
We had been waiting for this moment for the past five months and now it’s just a matter of time when our hero will be out of jail and among us. His release will certainly revolutionise our movement.
The excitement was understandable, of course. On that day, the Allahabad High Court had granted Azad bail in the cases filed against him while noting that they seemed politically motivated.
Seven months down the line, however, Azad remains behind bars, and is likely to remain there till at least August 2018. How did it all go so wrong?
No Vakil, No Appeal, No Daleel
Despite the horrors inflicted on common people by the British preventive detention laws, the Indian Constitution didn’t declare such laws to be unconstitutional. Even Dr BR Ambedkar, of all people, justified such laws, and drafted Article 22(3) of the Constitution to expressly say that people detained under preventive detention laws didn’t need to be given legal representation, or told why they were being detained, or even be produced before a magistrate after 24 hours.