📢 [Story] – Discover the story of #HRDs Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov, two Kazakh lawyers and activists sentenced to five years imprisonment following a trial that did not live up to the internationally accepted standards of #justice.
In May, 2016, Max et Talgat participated in public demonstrations and published posts on their FB accounts criticizing the reforms of the #landcode and were sentenced to five years in prison. In February 2017, Max and Talgat were put on the list of people linked to #terrorist and extremist activities in Kazakhstan.
OMCT with Kadyr Kassiyet (Dignity) and the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law is submitting an Individual Communication to the Human Rights Committee on behalf of Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov.
The video-campaign has been organized by the Coalition for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Pana Defenders, supported by the @Netherlands Helsinki Committee
The jailed former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb’s defence lawyer was arrested on Thursday night, under a court order.
Police escorted Siraj to his apartment on Friday morning, and proceeded to search the place where his office is located.
As he was being escorted back after the raid, Siraj gestured a number two with his hand and called to vote for Joint Opposition’s candidate in Sunday’s poll. He further noted that ‘this is ending’.
According to his lawyer Ibrahim Shiyam, police seized ‘some documents, a pen drive and a hard disk’ in the raid. He added that they were seized for the investigation against Siraj, where he has been accused of issuing statements, citing Adeeb, with baseless allegations against incumbent President Abdulla Yameen.
Siraj published a number of statements from his most high-profile client last week, with various allegations against incumbent President Abdulla Yameen including sorcery.
While Siraj was arrested over these statements, his arrest order accuses him of spreading ‘fake news’ regarding state institutions and using ‘vulgar’ language in said statements.
Organization: Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
Date: 20/21 September 2018
HRC section: 39th Session (Agenda Item 6)
Speaker: Mr. Paul Scambler
Oral Statement to the 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council Regular Session – Oral Statement Item 6: UPR Outcomes: Colombia
Lawyers for Lawyers  and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada  welcome the decision of Colombia to support  many recommendations made during its 3rd UPR relating to the protection of human rights lawyers and defenders and the investigation of attacks and threats against them. We welcome Colombia’s voluntary commitment to continue adopting measures required for the protection of human rights lawyers and defenders . We call on Colombia to effectively implement these recommendations  without delay.
Despite the November 2016 Peace Agreement, there has been an increase in threats and attacks against human rights lawyers and defenders in Colombia. Since November 2016, hundreds of defenders have been killed and Colombian’s Ombudsman has stated that a human rights defender is killed every three days .
Lawyers who are defending vulnerable communities are the subject of threats, harassment and attacks, and are not always given sufficient protection measures to ensure they can perform their professional activities effectively and safely.
In Poland, demonstrators are dressing famous statues in a white T-shirt with a single word emblazoned on them: “Constitution.”
It’s a protest that goes to the heart of a deepening constitutional conflict in Poland, where the ruling nationalist right-wing party is accused of tightening an authoritarian grip on the country’s judicial system while also stifling dissenting voices and fomenting far-right nationalism.
The battle over the direction of Poland and its legal system is now at the center of European Union politics too.
“I think this is a fight about the heart and soul of Europe,” said Frans Timmermans, a top EU commissioner, late Tuesday at a news conference in Brussels.
“The fundamental question is [whether] the rule of law [is] a fundamental principle of how this union is organized – yes or no?” he told reporters.
This fight has been in the making since 2015 when the Law and Justice party won Polish elections, and became the first government with a clear parliamentary majority in post-communist Poland.
Since its victory, the party has passed a series of laws and measures that critics say undermine the rule of law and target opposition voices. The government’s supporters say it was necessary to overhaul a flawed justice system ruled by a caste of corrupt judges.
Last December, the European Commission took the unprecedented step to trigger sanctions proceedings against Poland because of these moves. Poland became an EU member in 2004.
After the November 2015 election, the Polish government annulled the appointment of five judges to the constitutional tribunal nominated by the previous legislature. Replacements were then appointed by the new government.
After that, the Polish parliament approved other changes that the EU and the judicial establishment say undermined the independence of the Polish justice system.
The changes have given the government more control of common courts, the constitutional court, the supreme court and the final appeals court for civil and criminal cases.
The most controversial change lowered the retirement age for supreme court judges from 70 to 65. This has had the effect of forcing about 27 the court’s 73 judges into retirement.