Daily Archives: 09/08/2018

South Sudan: Detention and Disappearance of Peter Biak Ajak | Letter

August 6, 2018

Your Excellency

Re: Detention and Disappearance of Peter Biak Ajak

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers, students and academics who campaign internationally for advocacy rights, advocates in danger, and on rule of law issues. We also engage in legal research and education about international human rights law. I am a lawyer and a partner of a law firm in Canada, Cohen Highley LLP, and I am writing to you to ask that you intervene with respect to proceedings involving the above named individual.

On July 28, 2018 Mr. Peter Biar Ajak, prominent academic and activist and chair of the South Sudan Young Leaders Forum, was arrested by the National Security Service (NSS) at the Juba International Airport as he was preparing to travel to Awiel for a youth forum he organized. Amnesty International reports that this arrears is believed to be linked to the youth forum. Mr. Ajak was presented with an arrest warrant bearing a date that was one week old. He has since been held at the NSS headquarters in JUBA with no access to a lawyer. Mr. Ajak has not been brought before a court and the reason for his detention is unclear.

We urge the authorities of South Sudan to do the following:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release Peter Biar Ajak;

https://www.lrwc.org/south-sudan-detention-and-disappearance-of-peter-biak-ajak-letter/

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AFR6588532018ENGLISH.pdf

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/peace-efforts-south-sudan-arrests-activist-peter-biar-ajak-180814133528096.html

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Armenia: Lawyers of former Armenian president threatened

August 7, 2018

The defence for Robert Kocharyan is protesting the government’s allegedly indifferent attitude towards the situation

The lawyers of former Armenian president Robert Kocharyan, who is currently under arrest, have reported threats made against them.

One of the lawyers, Hayk Alumyan, said that he began receiving threats as soon as he agreed to help defend Robert Kocharyan.

He quoted one of the threats: “You will be punished. You are a traitor to the nation. You will be convicted with Robert. You came out against the people, and we know where you live.”

Former president of Armenia Robert Kocharyan has been accused of ‘overthrowing the constitutional order’, which refers to the events of 1 and 2 March 2008. After the presidential elections of 19 February 2008, supporters of the first president of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, came out in protest, demanding that the election results be re-examined. They claimed that Ter-Petrosyan had won and not Serzh Sargsyan as was announced by the Central Election Committee. Robert Kocharyan, still president at the time, imposed a state of emergency, and on 1 March 2008 the police and the military were brought in to disperse the protesters. Ten people died.

Alumyan says that law enforcement agencies know about the number of threats being made on social media networks, but have decided not to take any steps to punish guilty parties. He also believes that the threats made against him and other lawyers are an attempt to exert direct influence and pressure on the trial.

“I have never seen lawyers subjected to something of the sort. For me, these are signs of dangerous precedents. Everybody says there will be no pressure on the trial. And I see that there truly is no pressure from the side of the authorities. But if the courts are placed under severe pressure by the publix, then what’s the difference? The judge overseeing the trial would still feel pressured.”

Human rights advocates and colleagues of the lawyers have expressed their support.

https://jam-news.net/?p=116511

https://hetq.am/eng/news/86555/the-statement-of-advocate-vahe-grigoryan-about-the-problems-of-independence-of-the-armenian-bar.html

https://en.azvision.az/news/71045/154-solicitors-started-hunger-strike-in-armenia-list-.html

Pakistan: Jibran Nasir’s life under threat: HRCP

July 23, 2018

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed grave concerns at the escalating threat to independent candidate Jibran Nasir in Karachi.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the HRCP condemned “the violence and malice that has dogged Mr Nasir’s election campaign. It is of serious concern to the Commission that local clerics and supporters of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) have reportedly incited charged mobs to engage in violence to prevent him from canvassing.”

“No member of the public or of any state institution has any right whatsoever to question – or indeed, to demand he prove – his faith. The frightening implications this could have for Mr. Nasir’s personal safety and that of his political workers should be lost on no one – least of all the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the caretaker government.”

The HRCP further stated, “the constant vitriol of TLP supporters such as cleric Naveed Abbasi violates the ECP’s code of conduct for political parties. Given that the TLP has been accorded the status of a legitimate party, HRCP demands that the ECP disqualify any TLP (or other) candidates linked to inciting such violence and provide Mr Nasir with proper security.”

Read more: Nawaz on verge of playing ‘beemari card’

Jibran Nasir is a vocal human rights activist and maintains strong views about the alleged military’s intervention in state affairs and extremism in the country. Mr. Nasir has several times in the past been threatened but he has refused to budge and has continued to raise voice for the downtrodden masses in the country.

Jibran Nasir, a lawyer by profession, is contesting elections from NA-247 Karachi.

https://www.globalvillagespace.com/jibran-nasirs-life-under-threat-hrcp/

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-pakistan-election-independent/rare-secular-candidate-in-pakistan-hounded-by-angry-mobs-idUKKBN1KD1KN

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/07/22/local-cleric-threatens-jibran-nasirs-host-of-dire-consequences/

https://www.dawn.com/news/1420879

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/07/25/jibran-nasir-claims-election-camps-being-torn-down-police-deny/

http://www.atimes.com/article/young-lawyer-redefines-what-it-means-to-be-a-pakistani-politician/

https://dailytimes.com.pk/261376/police-arrest-activist-jibran-nasir/

https://www.dawn.com/news/1417698

https://www.dawn.com/news/1417476

Zimbabwe: Tourism Boss Acquitted On Lawyer Assault Charge – Court Says Allegations Fabricated

July 26, 2018

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoga Kaseke was Wednesday found not guilty of assaulting and insulting a Harare lawyer.

Kaseke walked out of court a free man after Harare magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini ruled that there was an issue of bad blood between him and complainant Philipa Magnify Philips.

The court also said that witness’s testimonies were inconsistent with the allegations making it difficult to believe the testimonies.

“Witnesses statements were not coherent and they all told court different narratives rendering allegations a fabrication,” ruled the magistrate.

Kaseke was acquitted at the close of State’s case after a successful application by his lawyer Nomsa Sabarauta who argued that the allegations were fabricated to tarnish her client’s image.

Kaseke had insisted that he never laid his hand on Philips and further argued that he was the victim.

He also said the lawyer fabricated charges against him because she was linked to the former family of former president Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe’s wife, Grace, had reportedly targeted Kaseke for supporting eventual successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Complainant Philips had told court Kaseke was a violent person adding that this was common knowledge as he was always in the media over related issues.

https://allafrica.com/stories/201807260306.html

https://allafrica.com/stories/201807030402.html