Daily Archives: 01/11/2018

Egypt: Egyptian security forces arrest seven female rights activists and lawyers

November 1, 2018

Prominent human rights lawyer Huda Abdelmonem among those rounded up in early-morning raids

Egyptian security forces arrested at least seven human rights lawyers and activists in early morning raids on Thursday, family members told Middle East Eye.

Those arrested included Huda Abdelmonem, a prominent human rights lawyer, who was detained by police after they raided her flat in Cairo, her family said.

Six others in the Egyptian capital were arrested in the raids, according to two rights activists who spoke to Middle East Eye.

Abdullah El Shamy, an Al Jazeera journalist and Abdelmonem’s son-in-law, posted pictures of her ransacked flat on Twitter.

Gehad Khaled, Abdelmonem’s daughter, told MEE that police spent two hours searching the lawyer’s flat in Nasr City in Cairo’s east.

Abdelmonem, 60, is a prominent human rights lawyer and activist who had a leading role in the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. She is a former member of the National Council on Human Rights.


Her family said in a statement that her whereabouts remain unknown. They are worried about her health, especially as she has recently been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis – a blood clot in the a vein in her leg affecting her movement and requiring regular medication.

Khaled told MEE that security forces burst into Abdelmonem’s flat at 1:30am when they were sleeping.

“They broke down the door, ransacked the flat and left with suitcases full of books and DVDs,” Khaled said.






https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/11/02/dix-neuf-defenseurs-des-droits-humains-arretes-en-egypte-selon-amnesty-international_5377902_3212.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.letelegramme.fr/monde/egypte-19-defenseurs-des-droits-humains-arretes-selon-amnesty-international-01-11-2018-12122672.php (FRANCAIS)

https://afrique.lalibre.be/26632/egypte-19-defenseurs-des-droits-humains-arretes-selon-amnesty-international/ (FRANCAIS)

Pakistan: Asia Bibi: Pakistan Supreme Court’s ‘historic’ ruling

October 31, 2018

Asia Bibi

This could have been an open and shut case.

The complainants had quarrelled with Asia Bibi, and could be reasonably suspected of having dragged her to the court out of malice.

The fact that a formal police complaint was lodged at least five days after the incident created further suspicions that evidence could have been fabricated.

And if that were not enough, some glaring disparities emerged in the depositions of different witnesses about the specifics of what happened when, where, and in whose presence.

As in many countries, Pakistan’s criminal justice system puts the burden of proof on the prosecution. It applies strict rules of evidence to ensure the case is proved beyond all reasonable doubt.

It was in this climate that a PPP leader and governor of its most powerful province – Punjab – Salman Taseer, was gunned down by one of his religiously inclined bodyguards in January 2011.

Why? Because he had visited Bibi in jail, sympathised with her and expressed a desire to reform the blasphemy law.

A couple of months later, Pakistan’s minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, was shot dead for making similar remarks.

These incidents put Bibi’s case on the anvil of the religious lobby, with the anti-blasphemy vigilante groups vowing to draw her blood or that of the judges who would dare let her go.

But while lower court judges are less protected and more exposed to threats from vigilante groups – which is why most blasphemy cases end in convictions at the trial stage – a majority of the cases reaching the high court level are quashed, due to the absence of strong evidence.

The three-judge bench which acquitted Bibi comprised the sitting chief justice, Justice Saqib Nisar, and his designated successor, Justice Asif Khosa.

Justice Nisar is due to retire in January, and there was speculation he could have delayed the announcement of the verdict till after his retirement.

Instead, he has gone ahead and taken the deliberate risk of becoming a target of the vigilante groups.














https://www.midilibre.fr/2018/11/01/pakistan-lavocat-qui-a-sauve-asia-bibi-de-la-mort-se-demande-qui-le-sauvera-lui,4751862.php?fbclid=IwAR20eze9SxMqh_H9iTuqUMRWRQGHqlLMYjE2fgdql1SUZcqA9E97JQyOmuU (FRANCAIS)

http://www.leparisien.fr/international/pakistan-tensions-et-menaces-de-mort-apres-l-acquittement-de-la-chretienne-asia-bibi-01-11-2018-7932756.php (FRANCAIS)

https://www.sudouest.fr/2018/11/01/pakistan-l-avocat-qui-a-sauve-asia-bibi-se-demande-qui-le-sauvera-lui-5530329-4803.php?fbclid=IwAR1IGBb6jew-saPWb7aC_-g7p7R5_SSrkmL0vE8O4x2Qj3tXy11KTj_dcCc (FRANCAIS)

https://kumparan.com/@kumparannews/pengacara-tersangka-penista-agama-di-pakistan-saya-bisa-dibunuh-1541059007150042991?utm_medium=post&utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=int (INDONESIAN)


Image may contain: 1 person, text

(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 01/11/18)

USA/Germany: Book about Jewish lawyers targeted in Nazi Germany resonates today

November 2018

As Adolf Hitler rose to power in Nazi Germany, the first casualty was the rule of law. The Third Reich’s ensuing purge included systematically targeting “undesirables,” including Jewish lawyers, crippling their ability to practice law.

Lawyers Without Rights: The Fate of Jewish Lawyers in Berlin after 1933 by Simone Ladwig-Winters is a chilling portrait, through photos and narratives, of how Jewish lawyers and jurists were degraded and debarred as the Holocaust began. Attorneys were arrested, imprisoned or forced to flee the country.

The book has a directory of 1,404 attorneys of Jewish origin during the war.


The book, first published in 2007, describes the terrors experienced by Jewish attorneys, including Alfred Apfel, who was arrested and later fled to France after being labeled one of the “traitors to the German people”; Ludwig Barbasch, imprisoned for six months and stripped of his license; and Hans Litten, who spent years in concentration camps until his suicide.

Lawyers Without Rights is about remembrance and honoring Jewish lawyers during this time, and it is also a cautionary tale for the world today. To reach a wider audience, the book was translated from German by the American Bar Association this year in partnership with the German Federal Bar.

“Too many non-Jewish lawyers in Germany during the Nazi era stood by and were not vigilant,” says ABA President Bob Carlson. “That is the first lesson from the 1930s. We cannot do nothing. The slippery slope starts when the rights of lawyers to practice their profession and defend against oppression are compromised.”

The German Federal Bar created the “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany under the Third Reich” exhibit in the late 1990s after researching the fate of Jewish lawyers during World War II.




Click to access Panels_neu_1_12.pdf






ABA Journal - When Lawyers Disappeared

Egypt: Release of arbitrarily detained labour rights lawyer a welcome relief

October 31, 2018

Image result for haytham mohamadeen

Responding to the news that human rights and labour lawyer Haytham Mohamdeen has been released, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director Najia Bounaim said:

“Amid the ongoing persecution of hundreds of peaceful activists across Egypt in recent years, Haytham Mohamdeen’s release is a small but welcome victory for human rights in the country and for all those who campaigned for his release. However, he should never have been detained in the first place.

“The valuable work of lawyers such as Haytham Mohamdeen, who defend workers calling for better labour conditions, should be applauded by the Egyptian authorities, not punished with arbitrary detention.

“The Egyptian authorities must now take urgent steps to ensure that all other human rights lawyers, activists and opposition members who are being arbitrarily detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association are released immediately and unconditionally.”

Haytham Mohamdeen thanked all of those who have campaigned on his case:

“I thank Amnesty International for all the solidarity and support for my case, I also thank the activists and human rights defenders that supported me. It had a huge impact in terms of enhancing my detention conditions and pushing towards my release.”