Daily Archives: 02/07/2018

Australia: Lawyer and witness face charges under spy laws, raising questions of openness and accountability

June 29, 2018

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Sarah McNaughton SC, recently filed criminal charges against Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery and his client, a former officer of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).

The Intelligence Services Act 2001 prevents the identification of his client, who is referred to publicly only as Witness K. Collaery is a former Attorney-General of the ACT. Witness K is reported to be the former head of technical operations for ASIS.

The charges are based on Article 39 of the Intelligence Services Act, which criminalises the unauthorised disclosure of certain information about ASIS. The maximum prison term for this alleged offence is two years. The first directions hearing will occur on July 25 in the ACT Magistrates Court, where Collaery has had a long and distinguished career as an advocate. He is now a defendant in his own court.

https://theconversation.com/lawyer-and-witness-face-charges-under-spy-laws-raising-questions-of-openness-and-accountability-99143

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/top-lawyers-jump-to-the-defence-of-former-australian-spy-witness-k-20180629-p4zojl.html

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/prosecution-of-witness-k-and-his-lawyer-is-a-disgraceful-act-of-revenge-20180701-p4zou5.html

https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/business-law/whistleblower-lawyer-and-witness-face-charges-deeper-secrets-are-stake

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/28/timor-leste-bugging-whistleblower-faces-criminal-charges-mp-says

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

http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20180628/45460996811/exagente-acusado-de-conspiracion-en-caso-de-espionaje-de-australia-a-timor.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/1037963/ex-agente-e-advogado-acusados-de-conspiracao-na-australia (PORTUGUES)

http://hk.on.cc/int/bkn/cnt/news/20180629/bknint-20180629140247054-0629_17011_001.html (CHINESE)

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China: 709 Crackdown Three Years on: Mother and Lawyer Reveals Brutality Against Her Teenage Son for the First Time

July 1, 2018

WangYu_Protest

Wang Yu (王宇), born 1971 in Inner Mongolia, was a lawyer with the Beijing Fengrui Law Firm when she was abducted in the early morning of July 9, 2015. The date of her detention marks the beginning of, and gives name to, the most notorious human rights event over the last two years – the 709 Crackdown. That same evening, her husband and son, en route to Australia for the son to attend school, were also detained. Wang Yu and her husband Bao Longjun, also a lawyer, were released on bail in August 2016 and the family of three was sequestered in an apartment in Ulan Hot, Inner Mongolia, under severe surveillance. This continued until late 2017, when they were allowed to return to their home in Beijing. Wang Yu has not been able to resume her legal practice because of government obstruction.

Wang recounted her experience in secret detention in the early months of 709 Crackdown, and her forced TV denunciation of the American Bar Association’s inaugural Human Rights Award. Growing up and attending high school in Beijing, Wang Yu’s son Bao Zhuoxuan, 15 years old in July 2015, was briefly detained and then uprooted from home and school and taken to Inner Mongolia to live with his maternal grandparents. In October 2015, a few friends of Wang Yu inside and outside China devised a plan to help the young man by bringing him out of China secretly. It failed; Bao Zhuoxuan and the two adults accompanying him were captured near the Burmese border and brought back. After being held for two and half years, Bao Zhuoxuan was finally allowed to leave China early this year to study in Australia. While he has not spoken about his experiences, his mother Wang Yu spoke out for the first time in a recent interview with The Epoch Times. The following excerpts were translated by China Change and edited for clarity.

709 Crackdown Three Years on: Mother and Lawyer Reveals Brutality Against Her Teenage Son for the First Time

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Yu_(lawyer)

#709crackdown

#709lawyers

#WangYu

India: Bhima-Koregaon and the fault in our laws

July 2, 2018

 

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act must be cleansed of its vast discretionary powers

On December 1, 1948, Professor K.T. Shah rose to make an impassioned speech in the Constituent Assembly. “The autocrat, the despot,” he warned, “has always wished, whenever he was bankrupt of any other argument, just to shut up those who did not agree with him.” Along with many other members of the CA, he was objecting to the wide range of restrictions that had been imposed upon fundamental rights in the draft Constitution. Drawing attention to the multiple “Public Safety Acts” and “Defence of India Acts” that had been the favourite weapons of the colonial regime, speaker after speaker expressed the concern that, despite the best intentions of the Assembly, the Constitution could easily be interpreted to authorise the continuation of these hated laws.

The arrest of five individuals in early June, ostensibly for instigating the riots at Bhima-Koregaon at the beginning of the year, throws the fears expressed in the CA into sharp relief. The accused, who include activists and lawyers, have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). An examination of the UAPA shows how, in one overarching “anti-terrorism law”, vast discretionary powers are conferred upon state agencies, judicial oversight is rendered toothless, and personal liberty is set at naught.

Boundless discretion

The UAPA authorises the government to ban “unlawful organisations” and “terrorist organisations” (subject to judicial review), and penalises membership of such organisations.

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/bhima-koregaon-and-the-fault-in-our-laws/article24305910.ece

https://thewire.in/media/delhi-journalist-pune-police-press-club-bhima-koregaon

https://www.straight.com/news/1097211/gurpreet-singh-jailed-disabled-activist-gn-saibaba-gains-support-united-nations-experts

#FreeSurendraGadling