Daily Archives: 08/11/2018

Mexico: Clients of disappeared human rights lawyer Ernesto Serna García acquitted

November 8, 2018


On 6 November 2018, 22 members of Sol Rojo announced that they were acquitted of the charges against them after three years of a judicial process marked by irregularities. The group was legally represented by human rights defender and lawyer Dr. Ernesto Sernas García, who disappeared on 10 May 2018, in circumstances related to this case. His work was essential to the present outcome.

Dr. Ernesto Sernas Garcia is a Constitutional Law professor at Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca. He had been legally representing the 22 members of Sol Rojo. He disappeared on 10 May 2018, just before submitting the evidence that resulted in the acquittal of the activists.

On 6 November 2018, the 22 activists members of Sol Rojo announced that they were acquitted of the charges of terrorism and carrying of explosives filed against them on 7 June 2015, when they were arbitrarily arrested for participating in a peaceful demonstration. The criminal procedures following the arrest were marked by irregularities and human rights violations of the defendants, including reports of torture in custody. Before his disappearance, Ernesto Sernas Garcia had gathered key evidence that proved the innocence of the Sol Rojo members and demonstrated the pattern of criminalisation against them.



Click to access EN_HRL_20180817_Mexico_Disappearance-of-lawyer-Dr-Ernesto-Sernas-Garcia.pdf

http://oaxaca.eluniversal.com.mx/estatal/06-11-2018/organizaciones-de-oaxaca-exigen-presentacion-con-vida-de-abogado (ESPANOL)

http://consorciooaxaca.org.mx/denunciamos-falta-de-avances-en-la-investigacion-de-la-desaparicion-de-ernesto-sernas/ (ESPANOL)

http://oaxaca.eluniversal.com.mx/estatal/30-08-2018/denuncian-nulos-avances-en-la-investigacion-de-la-desaparicion-ernesto-sernas (ESPANOL)

China: UN Experts Call For Release of Detained Chinese Rights Lawyers

November 7, 2018

Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Yucheng (Far R) arrives at the United Nations Human Rights Council prior to the Universal Periodic Review of China in Geneva, Nov. 6, 2018.

As the United Nations urged Beijing to release prominent detained rights lawyers, authorities in China’s southwestern region of Guangxi raided a legal consultancy set up by attorneys struck off by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, RFA has learned.

Human rights experts at the U.N. currently reviewing Beijing’s rights record found that “the deprivation of liberty of Wang Quanzhang, Jiang Tianyong and Li Yuhan, being in contravention of articles 9, 10, 11 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is arbitrary.”

“The appropriate remedy would be to release Mr. Wang, Mr. Jiang and Ms. Li immediately and accord them an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law,” the working group on human rights said in a draft statement issued on Wednesday.

It called on the Chinese government to investigate their detention and to take “appropriate measures against those responsible,” and said it had referred their cases to the U.N.’s Special Rapporteurs on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

International rights groups have repeatedly called on China to release all human rights lawyers who remain behind bars, after more than 300 lawyers, law firm employees and activists were detained and questioned in the crackdown.

While many were released from immediate detention, some lost their license to practice, while others found themselves and loved ones subjected to round-the-clock police surveillance and travel bans.

Human rights lawyers, who frequently represent vulnerable clients or cases deemed politically sensitive by the authorities, continue to be targeted under the administration of President Xi Jinping.

Wang Quanzhang has been held incommunicado for the past three years on subversion charges, while rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on subversion charges in November 2017. His family say Jiang has been force-fed unidentified medication and now suffers from memory loss.










https://www.boursorama.com/bourse/actualites/l-occident-demande-a-pekin-de-fermer-ses-camps-d-internement-d-ouighours-b149f9eeb43e5cb814e9c38fd5254d00 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lavozdegalicia.es/noticia/internacional/2018/11/07/occidente-pide-china-cierre-campos-internamiento-xinjiang/0003_201811G7P22993.htm (ESPANOL)

https://www.china-files.com/diritti-umani-lonu-boccia-la-cina/ (ITALIANO)

https://oglobo.globo.com/mundo/na-onu-paises-pedem-china-que-feche-campos-de-detencao-de-minoria-muculmana-23215268 (PORTUGUES)


Iran: 9 Women Activists Summoned In Fresh Crackdown On Human Rights Activists

November 7, 2018

Hoda Amid

(Lawyer Hoda Amid)

Nine women activists were called to appear at Evin court, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

Amir Raisian, a lawyer representing the activists told the state media that “This week the Evin court has sent a summons to a group of women activists, who are nine as of now but their number could increase.”
“The reason for the summons has been mentioned as “presenting some explanations” and we have no further information at this time,” he added.

A women’s rights activist who wanted to remain anonymous told IRNA that nine women have received the summons to appear at Evin on various dates next week.

Human rights monitors have detected a surge of crackdown targeting human rights and women’s rights activists in recent months, as part of an ‘escalating crackdown to quash Iran’s civil society completely’ and ‘leave human rights defenders in a suffocating climate of fear,’ according to Amnesty International.

“The arrests are happening within the context of the numerous protests that have been taking place in Iran since the beginning of this year,” said Mansoureh Mills, an Iran researcher at Amnesty International. “The authorities do this as a way to weaken the foundations of civil society which would otherwise provide support for people who want to take to the streets peacefully to voice their grievances.”

Tow women activists Hoda Amid and Najmeh Vahedi, were released on bail yesterday.
Human rights lawyer and women’s rights activist Hoda Amid was arrested at her home on September 1, just a day after the arrests of human rights lawyers Payam Derafshan and Farokh Forouzan. Payam Derafshan and Farokh Forouzan were arrested on 31 August while visiting the home of another recently jailed lawyer, Arash Keykhosravi, in the city of Karaj, north-west of Tehran.








https://www.ncr-iran.org/fr/actualites/femmes/21300-iran-neuf-femmes-militantes-des-droits-de-l-homme-conduites-a-la-prison-d-evine (FRANCAIS)

Russia: Russian Lawyer’s Car Torched In Reprisal For Human Rights Work, Watchdog Says

November 7, 2018

Lyudmila Aleksandrova

The car of a Russian human rights lawyer who is involved in cases against law enforcement agencies has been set on fire, a rights watchdog reports.

Lyudmila Aleksandrova, whose car was set on fire on November 4 near her house in the southern city of Krasnodar, is representing the only defense witness in the case of human rights activist Mikhail Benyash, Dublin-based Front Line Defenders said in a statement.

Benyash was arrested on September 9 in Krasnodar, where he went to provide legal assistance to participants in an unsanctioned protest against Russia’s pension reform, it said. Benyash was beaten up by police and was sentenced for administrative offenses, and is currently facing allegations in two criminal cases.

Aleksandrova’s client witnessed the ill-treatment of Benyash by police officers.

Front Line Defenders said it believes that the arson attack was in a reprisal for Aleksandrova’s legal work in criminal and administrative cases against law enforcement agencies.

The group said Aleksandrova was also subjected to harassment between 2008 and 2016, and her license was withdrawn at one point following a criminal conviction for slander in connection to a complaint she sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin about police violence.

“Front Line Defenders is seriously concerned about the arson attack against the human rights defender Lyudmila Aleksandrova,” the group said.






Pakistan: Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi freed from jail, says lawyer

November 7, 2018

Aasia Bibi left a detention facility in Punjab province for the flight to capital Islamabad, officials said [File: AP Photo]

Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, who spent eight years on death row for blasphemy, has been freed from jail, her lawyer said Thursday.

The country’s highest court last week overturned Bibi’s conviction and ordered her release, but she had remained incarcerated as the government agreed to allow a review following Islamist protests over the bitterly divisive case.

“She has been freed. I have been told that she is on a plane but nobody knows where she will land,” lawyer Saif-ul-Malook said in a message sent to AFP.

A release order arrived Wednesday at the prison in the central city of Multan, where Bibi was detained, a prison official told AFP.

Her husband Ashiq Masih has appealed for Britain or the United States to grant the family asylum, while Malook has fled to the Netherlands.

Bibi’s case has underscored divisions between traditionalists and modernisers in the devoutly Muslim nation.

It stems from an incident in 2009 when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields.

Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim, she should not touch the water bowl, and reportedly a fight erupted.

A local imam then claimed Bibi insulted the Prophet Mohammed — a charge she denies.

Blasphemy is an incendiary charge in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unsubstantiated allegations of insulting Islam can result in death at the hands of mobs.

Thousands of Islamists poured onto the streets in protest after Supreme Court judges overturned Bibi’s conviction last Wednesday, causing Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration to sign a controversial deal.










Father Raymond J. de Souza: Canada can and should save this woman’s life







https://www.bbc.com/urdu/pakistan-46132740?fbclid=IwAR3aHovCNtlF2y8WOBScqOyMYd76UjcSfmvDn60ulFLWY69sdQTLlg8RsMk (URDU)

https://www.lemonde.fr/asie-pacifique/article/2018/11/07/pakistan-la-chretienne-asia-bibi-a-ete-liberee_5380368_3216.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/loiad-sinquiete-de-la-situation-de-lavocat-saiful-malook-menace-de-mort-au-pakistan?fbclid=IwAR3jAGomCfubPeCTRl6-96qlflq4kyzmZRWOmwJEgKsfkAbTEGq_9KK8qeE (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2018/11/07/01003-20181107ARTFIG00377-pakistan-la-chretienne-asia-bibi-liberee-de-prison.php (FRANCAIS)

https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/071118/asia-bibi-ete-liberee-et-placee-en-lieu-sur-par-les-autorites-pakistanaises?onglet=full (FRANCAIS)

https://www.laliberte.ch/news/chroniques/la-der-la-chronique/asia-bibi-o-miracle-est-enfin-libre-462942 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lesoir.be/188807/article/2018-11-07/pakistan-la-chretienne-asia-bibi-ete-liberee-selon-son-avocat (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affaire_Asia_Bibi (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lavanguardia.com/internacional/20181107/452793840964/asia-bibi-liberada-pakistan-pena-de-muerte-blasfemia-cristiana.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/pakistan-asia-bibi-103.html (DEUTSCH)

https://religion.orf.at/stories/2946078/ (DEUTSCH)

https://www.ad.nl/buitenland/asia-bibi-is-vrij-weg-uit-de-dodencel~ad81a995/ (NEDERLANDS)

http://www.askanews.it/esteri/2018/11/07/asia-bibi-%C3%A8-stata-liberata-top10_20181107_225700/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.ilsussidiario.net/news/esteri/2018/11/8/asia-bibi-libera-lascia-il-pakistan-fine-dellincubo-uscita-dal-carcere-e-trasferita-in-localita-segreta/1802436/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.publico.pt/2018/11/07/mundo/noticia/asia-bibi-libertada-aviao-parte-incerta-1850288 (PORTUGUES)



Image result for saif malook

Australia/Timor Leste: Witness K lawyers in fight to head off closed court hearing

November 7, 2018

Lawyer Bernard Collaery and Witness K are being prosecuted for disclosing that Australia spied on East Timor-Leste

Bernard Collaery (pictured) and Witness K applied to the ACT magistrates court to hold a hearing ‘as soon as possible’ on national security information.

Lawyers for the whistleblower Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery have pushed the ACT magistrates court to make a ruling about national security information in a bid to head off a possible closed court hearing.

After weeks of negotiations, Witness K and Collaery failed to come to a comprehensive agreement with the commonwealth about handling of protected information in the prosecution of the pair for disclosing the fact Australia spied on Timor-Leste.

The director of public prosecutions has given notice the crown’s brief of evidence in the case is expected to disclose national security information. That notice is likely to trigger the attorney general, Christian Porter, to issue a certificate of non-disclosure for information he judges is likely to prejudice national security.

Witness K and Collaery have applied to the ACT magistrates court to hold a hearing “as soon as possible” on national security information, before Porter can issue the certificate which would trigger a closed court hearing on the issue.

On Wednesday counsel for Witness K, Haydn Carmichael, told the court if it held a hearing on national security information the attorney general “ought not feel any concern or need” to issue a non-disclosure certificate.









The Philippines: NUPL lawyer is 34th killed under Duterte administration

November 7, 2018

A FOUNDING member of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) was gunned down in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental on Tuesday night, Nov. 6, the 34th lawyer killed under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Atty. Benjamin T. Ramos, 56, was shot by two unidentified gunmen in Barangay 5 at 10:30 p.m., according to the police report.

He sustained three gunshot wounds and was rushed to Holy Mother of Mercy Kabankalan City Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

“These beastly attacks by treacherous cowards cannot go on. Not a few of our members have been attacked and killed before while literally practicing their profession and advocacies in the courts, in rallies, in picket lines, in urban poor communities, and in fact-finding missions,” said NUPL President Edre U. Olalia in a statement on Wednesday, Nov. 7.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) said the murder of lawyers is also an attack on the rule of law.

“Each unsolved and un-prosecuted murder of the officers of our courts of law is an attack against the rule of law. It cripples or paralyzes the moving parts of the justice system upon the well-founded apprehension that the attacks are a direct result of the discharge of their functions,” the IBP statement read.

International group Human Rights Watch (HRW) also denounced the killing of Mr. Ramos and described his death as a product of “impunity” under the Duterte administration.












https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z8CDNn_y831dbveu5mTfg6fNyoeyM4eyiCUjxbi7vCg/edit?fbclid=IwAR2N22Y_-e6SnItbHlQtUTwb1wuHIJ0FsgFR8CKjJGmKMXSfk9S-MWuiZeA (PLEASE SIGN URGENT PETITION!)

https://rmn.ph/tinuligsa-ibp-kinondena-ang-pagpaslang-kay-atty-ben-ramos-sa-negros-occidental/ (TAGALOG)

http://news.tv5.com.ph/recent/watch/tbmY8G9N6QQ/abogado%20ng%20sagay%209,%20patay%20sa%20pamamaril%20sa%20negros%20occidental?fbclid=IwAR0k12Q8u_96D_eyQmLRdfRggwqwSTX_WU2zhm7c3RUaJkRLZKjN7bESvh8 (TAGALOG)

https://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/11/08/18/pagpatay-kay-human-rights-lawyer-benjamin-ramos-kinondena?fbclid=IwAR09YoznjrJrN8cmQcWCawQI7K4nJklcLuxSmnGn2J-FNSgkZ-IxZF07E_U (TAGALOG)

https://tnt.abante.com.ph/pagpaslang-sa-abogado-ng-nupl-kinondena-ng-malacanang/ (TAGALOG)

http://www.giuristidemocratici.it/Internazionali/post/20181107131052?fbclid=IwAR3dsyXgX-zOCOt_JhMtDJPuf-WCd7SrQ8siefeyhafbtCsQ4FdY2OcaCkQ (ITALIANO)






7 November 2018

Justice for Environmental defender Atty. Ben Ramos!

The Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment strongly condemns the killing of Atty. Benjamin Ramos, a member of Paghidaet sa Kauswagan (PDG), a group advocating for sustainable and environment-friendly agriculture in Negros Occidental province. He was also among the leaders of Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG), an organization which works for pro-people and pro-environment agricultural policies and technologies in the country.

Atty. Ben was a staunch environmental defender. Atty. Ben was an effective leader in opposing the commercialization of Monsanto’s Bt corn which farmers have complained of negatively affecting their farm productivity and further tying their dependency to toxic agricultural inputs. With his colleagues in MASIPAG and the environmentalist community, he also pushed for the creation of biosafety standards and regulations in the Philippines which has hitherto not existed.

He and his organization PDG was also involved in the anti-mining campaign to prevent Colet Mines to operate and cause destruction in the hinterland forests of Sipalay City in Negros. He also supported the interests and rights of land defenders of Negros, as part and parcel of his advocacy of sustainable agriculture. Before his death, he was one of the lawyers of the families of the peasants slain in the infamous Sagay Masssacre which remains unresolved.

It is with great sadness we have lost another people’s lawyer and another environmental defender.  Ben’s killing occurred at the eve of botanist and environmental defender Leonard Co’s 8th death anniversary. Injustice continues as eight years have passed and not a single perpetrator behind Leonard’s death has been brought behind bars and Duterte government remains inutile in its obligations to bring justice to the slain environmental defender. The DOJ even downgraded the charges against the soldiers that shot the botanist from murder to homicide, a lesser charge.

We are seething with anger on the ongoing impunity and injustice facing environmental defenders under the autocratic government of President Rodrigo Duterte. Environmental defenders will and must continue to resist the Duterte government which is perpetuating a system hostile to environmental defenders but continues to allow environmental destruction.

The perpetrators and masterminds behind Atty. Ben’s death must be tracked and held to account for their crime. Justice for Atty Ben Ramos! Justice for all victims of extrajudicial killings! Defend our environmendal defenders!#


Leon Dulce

National Coordinator

Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment


Our hearts bleed for the murder of Atty. Ben Ramos.
On day one of the arrest of Myles and the five others, Atty. Ben came regardless of border and distance because no one was there to assist them on legal matters yet. As the Secretary General of NUPL in Negros Occidental, he chose to be more human and showed up to assess the Mabinay 6 case. He escorted the mothers to see their children at the jail. He slept in an office and ate with us. From then on, he never missed a single court appearance together with the other NUPL lawyers for Mabinay 6. He knew he was targeted, but it didn’t deter his spirit to take the cases of the ordinary folks including Mabinay 6. He always braved the more than two hours traveling to attend court hearings. He made his house a home to the families he defended. He eased tension with humor.
In the short time we spent together, we saw a man of compassion and dedication to the less fortunate. He lived for the people without fear. This legacy he left behind is etched in the hearts of the people he served.

(Grace Cantal Albasin Facebook, 07/11/18)

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(Facebook, 07/11/18)

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(BAYAN MUNA Partylist Facebook, 07/11/18)

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(Facebook, 07/11/18)

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