Daily Archives: 26/09/2018

CCBE/European Lawyers Day 2018: Why Lawyers Matter: Defending the defenders of the Rule of Law

September 26, 2018


Iran: Nasrin Sotoudeh Sends Heart-Breaking Apology to Son For Missing First Day of School

September 25, 2018

Detained human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has written a letter to her 12-year-old son, Nima, explaining why she and her husband—also detained in Iran’s Evin Prison—can’t be there for his first day of school.

“How could I witness the execution of juveniles in my country and be silent? How could I close my eyes to child abuse cases … to be able to accompany you to school on the start of the new academic year along with your father? I just couldn’t, my son. That was my sin,” wrote Sotoudeh, who has been detained since June 2018 on trumped-up national security charges.

“These days, I think about you more than ever. I think about you and your dear sister Mehraveh and how lonely you are… I shed tears of love so that these cruel times become more bearable for you,” said Sotoudeh.

For the second consecutive week, Sotoudeh, the country’s most prominent human rights defender, has sacrificed her visitation rights to protest the Tehran prosecutor’s demand that she attend visits draped head to toe in a hijab.

All women in Iran are required to cover their hair in public with a headscarf but conservative Iranian women use the head-to-toe hijab.

Sotoudeh, who has been on hunger strike for nearly a month, did not go to the prison’s family visitation hall during her allotted time slot on September 23, a source close to her family told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

“A day before the scheduled visitation, one of the authorities met with her husband, Reza Khandan, who is being held in Evin’s Ward 4, and asked him to call her on the phone and tell her to observe the hijab during meetings with her relatives,” according to the source who asked for anonymity.








https://www.evrensel.net/haber/362211/iranli-aktivist-sotoudeh-bir-aydir-aclik-grevinde (TURKCE)

http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/dunya/1094095/iranli_aktivist_bir_aydir_aclik_grevinde.html (TURKCE)

https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/dunya/2018/09/26/iranli-aktivist-bir-aydir-aclik-grevinde/ (TURKCE)

https://anfespanol.com/noticias/iran-ganadora-del-premio-sajarov-en-huelga-de-hambre-6592 (ESPANOL)

https://anfdeutsch.com/frauen/iran-sacharow-preistraegerin-sotoudeh-im-hungerstreik-6820 (DEUTSCH)




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The Philippines: Another lawyer escapes slay try in Davao City

September 26, 2018

A lawyer was shot by motorcycle-riding gunmen outside the Hall of Justice here early on Wednesday, two days after a member of the bar was gunned down in Davao del Norte.

Wilmer Donasco, 44, was about to park his car several meters from the city’s Hall of Justice in Candelaria Street, Ecoland, when the assailants approached and opened fire around 7:30 a.m., according to Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, Southern Mindanao police spokesperson.

The bullets did not pierce through the vehicle but shards from the windshield hit and slightly injured him, Driz said.

The suspects then sped off to an unknown direction.

Driz said an investigation on the incident was now being conducted.

Even as the attack on Donasco came just two days after the murder of Tagum-based lawyer Connie Villamor, Driz said the attacks appeared isolated and were not related.

The association of lawyers in Davao on Tuesday condemned the attack on Villamor saying “an attack against any lawyer is an attack against the legal profession itself as it undermines the independence of lawyers.”



https://rmn.ph/abogado-gipusil-sa-riding-in-tandem-sa-ecoland/ (TAGALOG)

https://rmn.ph/abejaron-sunod-sunod-nga-pagpamusil-sa-mga-abogado-maka-alarma/ (TAGALOG)

South Africa: Attorney who marched on Mantashe’s mining meeting charged

September 25, 2018

Richard Spoor, the lawyer of Xolobeni anti-mining group.

An Eastern Cape attorney who was arrested after marching on a venue where Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe was meeting with residents over the weekend has appeared in the Bizana Magistrate’s Court.

Richard Spoor, who together with residents opposes an application for a mine in Xolobeni, was arrested at the weekend after marching with community members.

Read: Attorney arrested after bumping heads with Mantashe, marching at mining meeting

He was released over the weekend with a warning and ordered to appear in court on Tuesday.

Videos on social media showed Spoor and Mantashe in a heated exchange at the venue before an irate Mantashe was seen walking away.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said he had been charged with disobeying a police officer’s instruction, inciting public violence and common assault.

“The matter was postponed to October 25 for further investigations,” he said.

Tear gas, stun grenades

Mantashe had visited the village in the Mbizana local municipality, on the Wild Coast, on Sunday to engage with residents on issues emanating from an application by Australian company Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources (TEM) for rights to mine the titanium-rich sands.










USA/Ecuador: Attorney Steven Donziger Files Human Rights Petition Claiming U.S. Judiciary Failed to Protect Him From Vicious Chevron Retaliation Campaign

September 25, 2018

Image result for steven donziger

Renowned U.S. human rights attorney Steven Donziger, who has helped impoverished communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon maintain a global litigation and advocacy effort against Chevron for over 25 years, filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) on Monday. The petition details how Donziger (bio here) has suffered a massive campaign of retaliatory litigation and media attacks from Chevron that has been facilitated by U.S. judicial and other institutions. Chevron has openly bragged of its efforts to “demonize Donziger,” has frozen Donziger’s bank accounts, and recently asked a U.S. court to imprison him.

(Here is the full copy of Donziger’s petition.)

The new petition raises broader issues of the ability of corporations to abuse the legal process to silence critics and punish adversaries with “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation,” or SLAPPs. The SLAPP problem has been identified for decades, but recent years have seen a massive uptick in such cases. Greenpeace, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations recently launched a national campaign to raise awareness and push back on SLAPPs, using the Twitter hashtags #SLAPPtaskforce and #ProtectTheProtest. The groups identify Chevron’s attacks on Donziger as the seed from which a whole new generation of attacks has grown.

Judicial harassment of human rights defenders by corporations and governments is also a high-profile issue for human rights organizations and UN agencies at the global level. The UN has a dedicated research office or “rapporteur” focused on the problem, and organizations including Amnesty InternationalGlobal Witness, and Frontline Defenders regularly issue reports expressing alarm at the growing incidence of retaliation. Global Witness recently indicated that it would be closely monitoring the Donziger case.

While the retaliation and outright “demonization” of Donziger has been driven by Chevron, acting as a private party hoping to “taint” the legitimacy of the $12 billion environmental liability that four layers of Ecuadorian courts have imposed on the company, the petition asserts that ultimately responsibility lies with the U.S. institutions which have tolerated, facilitated, and at times openly encouraged the attacks.








https://www.vistazo.com/seccion/chucky-7-en-el-caso-chevron (ESPANOL)

Maldives: New government must break with repressive past

September 25, 2018

Image result for amnesty international

The change of government in the Maldives presents a huge opportunity to break with the repression and human rights violations of the past and chart a fresh course where human rights are at the heart of the policies and action of the new government, Amnesty International said today.

The 23 September 2018 presidential election saw the defeat of President Abdulla Yameen to the Joint Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Abdulla Yameen’s rule was marked by attacks on civil society, media workers, the political opposition and the judiciary.

“This is a golden opportunity for the Maldives. The new government must break with the country’s repressive past and put the protection of human rights at the heart of its policies and action,” said Dinushika Dissanayake, Deputy South Asia Director at Amnesty International.

“The joint opposition made several pledges when it comes to the human rights situation in the Maldives. Now, it is time to begin to translate those words into action, including by releasing those people who were wrongly imprisoned, repealing repressive laws, and creating an environment conducive to full respect for human rights and where civil society can flourish.”













Russia: Halya Coynash: Russian lawyer abducted, beaten, jailed and now charged with attacking the police

September 25, 2018

A Russian lawyer defending victims of repression is facing a potentially long prison sentence on openly fabricated criminal charges, with this setting a terrifying precedent for other lawyers both in Russia and in occupied Crimea.

Read more here.


Andrey Loshak: What the Krasnodar Police Did to Lawyer Mikhail Benyash



https://www.kavkazr.com/a/29515009.html (RUSSIAN)

India: Lawyers’ strike paralyses Govt offices in Cuttack

September 25, 2018

Functioning of all government offices here have been  paralysed as agitating lawyers staged demonstrations in front of the offices surrounding the Orissa High Court protesting the attack on a lawyer by police last month.

As part of the protest, the lawyers staged picketing in front of all the government offices, including offices of Treasury, Collector, Sub-Collector, Sub-Registrar, RDC and RTO.

Criminal Court Bar Association president AK Pati informed, “As per the decision taken at our general body meeting, we have decided to paralyse all government offices in our court periphery like the offices of Treasury, Collector, Excise, Sub-Collector’s, Sub-Registrar, State Bank of India, DRDA, RTO, Board of Revenue and RDC.”

The agitating lawyers were also seen picketing at all the four gates on the HC premises.

The protesters alleged that despite several requests, the state government has not taken any concrete steps in connection with the attack on lawyer Debi Pattnaik on  August 28. The lawyers also warned that they would gherao Naveen Niwas on Thursday to press for their demand and will be forced to take extreme step in coming days If the State government does not take any action within next few days.







The Philippines: Female lawyer shot dead in Davao Norte

September 24, 2018

Car of Connie del-Rio Villamor

A female lawyer was shot dead by unidentified perpetrators in Tagum City Monday morning, police said.

Chief Insp Milgrace Driz, Police Regional Office (PRO)-11 spokesperson, identified the victim as Connie Del Rio Villamor, married and a resident of Purok Pag-asa, Barangay Visayan village in Tagum.

Based on initial investigation, Driz said Villamor was driving her black Subaru forester and was traversing the vicinity of Manga Elementary School on Purok Gabayan 1 Manga, Barangay Mankilam, when two unidentified motorcycle-riding perpetrators overtook on the driver side and shot her several times.

The car swerved when she was shot and hit a concrete fence, before the suspects fled.

When the police arrived at the crime scene, Driz said Villamor was already attended to by the team from the Tagum City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and rushed her to the Davao regional medical center.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) found two fired cartridges from a .45 caliber pistol in the area.

In a follow-up investigation, Driz said the victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds on her body and was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician. She was then moved to Rubio funeral services.







https://www.philstar.com/pilipino-star-ngayon/probinsiya/2018/09/25/1854556/lady-trader-ng-alahas-itinumba (TAGALOG)