Australian law professor and a long-time human rights advocate on the Philippines Gill Boehringer is being held by the Bureau of Immigration at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City since 12 midnight of August 8 upon his arrival from Sydney, Australia, according to an urgent action alert by human rights alliance Karapatan.
Beohringer, 84, was refused entry to the Philippines. He was told by immigration officers that he will be deported and that he is in the agency’s blacklist due to his alleged participation in a rally in the Philippines.
Boehringer, married to a Filipina, has frequently travelled to the Philippines. He has been actively campaigning for human rights issues in the Philippines since the Arroyo presidency.
In a statement, Karapatan deplored “the continuing spate of harassment against human rights defenders like Prof. Boehringer who are being harassed and intimidated, for conducting human rights advocacy and international solidarity for victims of rights violations in the Philippines.”
The human rights alliance called on immigration authorities to respect the rights of Boehringer, including his right to due process and to have access to his family, lawyers and doctors, and his rights as a human rights defender.
The Supreme Bishop of Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Rhee Timbang, also called on the authorities to release Boehringer immediately. Timbang said Boehringer joined their international fact finding mission in Lianga and their pastoral Work with the lumad evacuees in Tandag City in 2015 and 2016.
“His detention is another case of repressive actions by the present government against people, from domestic and international community, who support the lumad people in their struggle for self-determination and for the protection of ancestral lands,” Timbang said in his Facebook post. “In no way this cannot help improve the image of the Philippines before the international community for having alarming high record of human rights violations.”
UPDATE ON THE STATUS OF PROF. GILL BOEHRINGER as of 6pm, August 9, 2018:
Because of the persistence of Prof. Boehringer and his lawyers from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) in asserting his right to due process and against his deportation due to medical reasons, Prof. Boehringer has not been deported yet. He is still at the NAIA Terminal 1 in Pasay City.
His attending doctor, Dr. Geneve Rivera-Reyes of the Health Action for Human Rights (HAHR), has issued and sent to BI authorities copies of Boehringer’s medical certificate that he is unfit to travel, considering his present medical condition, the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis that could lead to another embolic episode, and his age. Dr. Rivera-Reyes also highly recommended that he be seen by a medical specialist at a hospital with adequate medical facilities to ensure his good health and safety.
With Dr. Rivera-Reyes’ recommendation, NUPL, representing Boehringer, sent a letter to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente seeking the recall of the exclusion order against Boehringer to enable his medical check-up and recuperation until he is fit to travel. NUPL also stated in their letter that they will assist Boehringer in responding to the charges against their client as soon as they receive documents pertinent to his case. As of this writing, NUPL has yet to receive the necessary documents stipulating the bases of the reported blacklist order against the Australian law professor, as well as the written reply on their letter this morning to Morente.
Tomorrow, it is expected that the BI will once again pursue Boehringer’s deportation. His lawyers will continue to assert his rights despite the BI’s continuing attempts to persecute human rights defenders like him.
The petitioner S Vanchinathan, an advocate and State Coordinator of the People’s Rights Protection Centre, had been booked in nine cases by the district police and he was later arrested on June 20.
The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court granted bail to advocate Vanchinathan who was arrested on charges of instigating violence in the 100th day of anti-Sterlite protest in Thoothukudi on May 22.
The petitioner S Vanchinathan, an advocate and State Coordinator of the People’s Rights Protection Centre, had been booked under various charges under sections 147 (Punishment for rioting),148 ( Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC in connection with his role during the Thoothukudi protests.
Totally, nine cases had been registered against him by the district police and he was later arrested on June 20 after the High Court Bench denied him anticipatory bail.
While Vanchinathan was in remand, he approached the Bench seeking bail, denying that his role was fabricated by the police in the FIR. Pointing out the flaws in the charges framed against him, he sought bail.
Minsk-Paris-Geneva, June 29, 2018 – The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership between FIDH and OMCT, in collaboration with the Paris Bar and Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, today released a report documenting restrictions on the independence of lawyers in Belarus. Based on an investigation conducted in January 2018, the report criticises the executive power’s stranglehold on the capacity of lawyers defending cases which the authorities consider to be ‘sensitive’ to practise their profession.
In Belarus, lawyers defending cases considered by the authorities to be ‘troublesome’ are generally exposed to retaliatory measures, which can culminate in their expulsion, against a background of changes to the legal framework that have gradually placed Belarusian bars, and lawyers themselves, under the direct authority of the Ministry of Justice. Such retaliatory measures are often initiated following repression by the authorities of large-scale protests, as in 2010 and 2017.
In the course of the past few years, the bars have been stripped of their primary function, which is to guarantee independence and ensure the regulation of the profession. Access to the profession and its organisation now fall under the almost exclusivecompetence of civil servants in the Ministry of Justice.
“Today in Belarus, lawyers can have their right to practise withdrawn for any reason, as soon as they take on cases considered by the authorities to be ‘troublesome’”, said the Observatory and the Paris Bar.
L’avocat lillois Frank Berton, qui comparaissait le mois dernier devant le conseil de discipline des avocats, pour avoir refusé une commission d’office, en 2014, a été relaxé, ce jeudi, à l’unanimité des membres de la commission.
L’incident s’était produit devant la cour d’assises du Pas-de-Calais, à Saint-Omer, lors du procès en appel de Kazim Genc, un Lillois de trente ans accusé de meurtre. Ce même procès avait une première fois été renvoyé pour cause d’incidents à répétition, notamment entre Me Éric Dupond-Moretti, qui assurait la défense de Genc avec Frank Berton, et l’avocat général Luc Frémiot.
Lors de ce deuxième procès, les deux avocats avaient quitté l’audience, et la présidente avait alors commis d’office Me Berton, ce que celui-ci avait refusé. Le parquet général fera connaître très prochainement sa décision quant à un éventuel appel.
The death of one judge would intimidate all other judges as there are only a few of them, Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said Friday.
“It’s always a cause for concern if a judge is killed because we only have few judges and that means that if a judge is killed, you intimidate all the other judges,” Carpio told a convention of lawyers from Southern Luzon.
Last month, Ricky Begino, a judge from the San Jose-Lagonoy Municipal Circuit Trial Court, was shot dead in Camarines Sur allegedly over land dispute.