Daily Archives: 27/11/2018

Turkey/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: 3 Years Pass Since Murder of Tahir Elçi, No Lawsuit Filed Yet

November 27, 2018

It has been three years since Diyarbakır Bar Association Chair Tahir Elçi was murdered; but, the perpetrators have not been brought to justice. In a parliamentary inquiry, it has been stressed that the video footage of the incident “could not be found.”

Tomorrow (November 28) will mark the third year since the murder of Diyarbakır Bar Association Chair Tahir Elçi; however, not only have the perpetrators of the incident not been found in this three-year period, but no progress has been made in his case file as well.

Submitting a parliamentary inquiry regarding the issue, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Siirt MP Meral Danış Beştaş has emphasized, “The investigation into the death of Tahir Elçi will also be a step towards bringing several other unidentified murders into light.”

In the inquiry submitted to the Parliament, it has been stated that “the ones who could be the suspects of the murder of Elçi were listened only as witnesses; no crime scene investigation was conducted at the scene of incident after Elçi was murdered; and the prosecutors conducting the investigation into his murder have been constantly changed.”

What did the authorities of the time say?

Tahir Elçi was murdered in Sur in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır on November 28, 2015 while making a statement for the press.

In her parliamentary inquiry, Danış Beştaş has also referred to the remarks made by the authorities of the time regarding the murder of Tahir Elçi:

“The then Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said, ‘This incident will definitely be brought to light. We will not let unidentified murders in our time. No matter who has done it, the target is not only Dear Tahir Elçi, but, Turkey.’

“The then Vice Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş also stated that the attack against Tahir Elçi was ‘a brutal assassination’.”

http://bianet.org/english/law/202981-3-years-pass-since-murder-of-tahir-elci-no-lawsuit-filed-yet

https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/remembering-lawyer-and-human-rights-defender-tahir-elci-31004

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tahir_El%C3%A7i

http://www.agos.com.tr/tr/yazi/21614/tahir-elci-anisina-fotograf-sergisi-yapilacak (TURKCE)

https://www.gazetefersude.com/tahir-elcinin-avukati-dosyada-2-bassavci-4-savci-degisti-31485.html (TURKCE)

https://www.gazetefersude.com/meral-danis-bestas-tahir-elci-cinayetinin-arastirilmasi-icin-arastirma-onergesi-verdi-31703.html (TURKCE)

https://kurdistan-au-feminin.fr/2018/11/26/a-la-memoire-de-lavocat-kurde-defenseur-des-droits-humains-tahir-elci/ (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tahir_El%C3%A7i (FRANCAIS)

#TahirElçi

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

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Russia: Threats against defence lawyer Ramil Akhmetgaliyev

November 26, 2018

Ramil Akhmetgaliyev

On 26 November 2018, human rights lawyer Ramil Akhmetgaliyev received threats through messenger and was told not to go to Saint Petersburg, where he will represent the World Congress of the Ingush People in the Constitutional Court of Russia.

Ramil Akhmetgaliyev is a human rights lawyer from Kazan, Russia. He has been providing legal assistance as an attorney since 2004 and is currently working as a legal analyst at the International Human Rights Group Agora, which is an association of more than 50 lawyers working on landmark human rights cases across the European part of Russia including cases of torture, the death of individuals in prisons and penal colonies as well attacks against civil rights activists, journalists and bloggers. In 2014, Ramil Akhmetgaliev received an award from the Moscow Helsinki Committee in the category “Human Rights Protection in Court”.

On 26 November 2018, Ramil Akhmetgaliyev received a message from an anonymous person, who recommended him to not come to Saint Petersburg, otherwise he “might get sick and [his] temperature would rise”. The assailant mentioned the place where the human rights lawyer lives, his daughter and the name of his wife, telling him “to spend more time with them”. On November 27, Ramil Akhmetgaliyev will be representing the interests of the World Congress of the Ingush People in the Constitutional Court of Russia situated in Saint Petersburg. Both the Federal Chamber of Lawyers in Russia and the Secretariat of the Constitutional Court of Russia have been notified on the case of threats received by the human rights lawyer.

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/threats-against-defence-lawyer-ramil-akhmetgaliyev

http://www.vartamitra.com/2018/11/27/threats-against-russian-defence-lawyer-ramil-akhmetgaliyev/25276/

https://en.crimerussia.com/gromkie-dela/lawyer-in-ingushetia-chechnya-border-case-reports-threats/

http://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/45301/

Lawyers for Lawyers: Lawyers Under Attack: Stories of Solidarity Among Legal Professionals

October 14, 2018

The connection between human rights and the independence of judges and lawyers is undeniable. As early as 1994, the Human Rights Commission (replaced by the Human Rights Council in 2006) noted with concern the growing attacks to the independence of lawyers and judges and decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur on this matter. As this problematic issue continued over the years and worsened in many countries, its mandate has been extended and continues nowadays. During the past year, Mr. Garcia-Sayan, current Special Rapporteur, has called for global attention regarding worrisome attacks against lawyers in China, Turkey and the Maldives and efforts by Governments to undermine judicial independence in Poland and the Philippines.

In order to learn more about this important topic we talked to “Lawyers for Lawyers” (L4L), an independent Dutch lawyers organization, which promotes and protects the independence of the legal profession through the support and empowerment of lawyers all over the world who face reprisals, improper interferences and restrictions because of their work, very often because they stood up for the human rights of their clients. Judith Lichtenberg and Sophie de Graaf (Executive Director and Policy &Programme Officer respectively at L4L) told us about the mission of L4L, problems faced by lawyers in the exercise of the legal profession nowadays and the work of L4L standing up for and supporting lawyers at risk.

Let us start from the beginning: where did the idea to found Lawyers 4 Lawyers come from?

Sophie de Graaf (SG): L4L is an independent non-profit organisation made up of lawyers, who promote common values of lawyers and their contribution to the justice system and the rule of law and stand up for colleagues who are hindered or threatened because of their work. The organisation has its roots in a solidarity campaign with Argentinean lawyers who disappeared or were detained without trial by the Military Junta during the years 1976 to 1983.

http://iravaban.net/en/203663.html?fbclid=IwAR2THAxtqmBvnDSDZAg_VtmXJv-Kge1_xaF4neOuJKWb-TSkctHu8Db3Ujk

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/

https://twitter.com/l4l_int?lang=en

http://iravaban.net/203215.html (ARMENIAN)

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/ (NEDERLANDS)

UAE/AI/Ludovic Trarieux Prize: Matthew Hedges: UAE called on to release dozens of free speech campaigners after UK academic’s pardon

November 26, 2018

Since 2011, the UAE has embarked on a “ruthless crackdown targeting human rights defenders, judges, lawyers, academics, students and journalists, apparently designed to stamp out all dissent in the country,” according to Amnesty International.

Rights groups are calling on the United Arab Emirates to release dozens of prisoners of conscience imprisoned in the country following the pardon of British academic Matthew Hedges.

Mr Hedges, a 31-year-old student at Durham University, was arrested in May while leaving Dubai airport after conducting research for his PhD thesis. He was charged with spying and held for five months in solitary confinement, before being sentenced to life in prison.

He denied all the charges, and following intense diplomatic pressure from the British government was granted a pardon by the UAE’s President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

But following his release, Amnesty Internationalhas called for a renewed focus on other detainees held in the UAE, and a “far more robust position from the UK in defence of human rights across the entire Gulf region.”

“Matthew’s ordeal is a reminder that the UAE is a deeply repressive country which ruthlessly suppresses free speech and peaceful criticism, and we should spare a thought for Emirati prisoners of conscience like Ahmed Mansoor or Mohammed al-Roken who aren’t getting a pardon today,” said Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s Director.

Dr Mohammed al-Roken, a human rights lawyer, was arrested in 2012 in what Amnesty described as a “grossly unfair” trial of 94 reformists known as the UAE 94.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/matthew-hedges-uae-pardon-free-speech-campaign-ai-amnesty-a8653031.html

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/matthew-hedges-pardon-huge-relief-goes-some-way-righting-wrong

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/matthew-hedges-pardoned-uae-spying-dubai-jailed-clemency-case-latest-a8651671.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Al-Rukn

https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/uk-index.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludovic_Trarieux_International_Human_Rights_Prize (ENGLISH)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.agoravox.it/Formula-1-negli-Emirati-Amnesty.html (ITALIANO)

Iran/Ludovic Trarieux Prize: اعتصاب غذای دوباره نسرین ستوده در اعتراض به رسیدگی نکردن به خواسته فرهاد میثمی

یک منبع مطلع به کمپین حقوق بشر در ایران گفت نسرین ستوده وکیل زندانی از تاریخ پنجم آذر ماه در اعتراض به رسیدگی نکردن مسوولان به وضعیت سامتی و بی‌توجهی به خواسته‌های فرهاد میثمی فعال حقوق مدنی دست به اعتصاب غذای «تر» زده است.

به گفته این منبع، نسرین ستوده اعلام کرده تا زمان رسیدگی به خواسته‌های فرهاد میثمی، دست از اعتصاب خود برنخواهد داشت. این منبع به کمپین گفت خواسته فرهاد میثمی «آزادی بی‌‌قید و شرط رضا خندان» است که از تاریخ  بازداشت شده و در بند چهار زندان اوین به سر می‌برد.

خانم ستوده پیش از این در اعتراض به فشارها بر روی اعضای خانواده و فشار و آزار بر روی اعضای خانواده و دوستانش از تاریخ سوم شهریور تا ۱۱ مهرماه دست به اعتصاب غذا تر زده بود. این دومین بار است که پس از بازداشت خانم ستوده او دست به اعتصاب زده است.

فرهاد میثمی پزشک و فعال حقوق بشر یک روز پس از بازداشتش از تاریخ ۱۰ مرداد ۹۷ در اعتراض به بازداشت غیرقانونی‌اش دست به اعتصاب غذا تر زد. بعدتر پس از بازداشت ر ضا خندان و برخی از دوستانش از تاریخ ۱۷ شهریور ماه اعتصاب خود را به خشک تبدیل کرد و در پیامی که از زندان فرستاد خواستار آزادی بی‌قید و شرط آنها شد.

پس از وخامت حال میثمی، مسوولان بند چهارم زندان اوین او را روز چهارم مهرماه برخلاف میلش به بهداری زندان منتقل کرده و تاکنون در اتاقی در مجاورت بهداری تحت کنترل و با تزریق سرم نگهداری می‌شود.

https://persian.iranhumanrights.org/1397/09/nasrin-sotoudehs-hunger-strike/?fbclid=IwAR1M34usopd9vEaobxGL7TP2RZ8oSaYpVgbHE7FIuxT9NITO5fE0JFd5UMo

https://www.radiofarda.com/a/b1-moghimi-on-reza-khandan-and-nasrin-sotoudeh-cases/29622273.html

https://iranians.global/prominent-rights-activist-goes-on-hunger-strike-in-iran-prison/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter (ENGLISH)

https://www.voanews.com/a/iran-doctors-protest/4675480.html (ENGLISH)

http://moderntokyotimes.com/iran-and-the-state-apparatus-that-crushes-dissent-elitist-oppression-and-evin-prison/ (ENGLISH)

https://women.ncr-iran.org/iran-women-news/5604-nasrin-sotoudeh-begins-hunger-strike-in-evin-prison (ENGLISH)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasrin_Sotoudeh (ENGLISH)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/uk-index.htm (ENGLISH)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludovic_Trarieux_International_Human_Rights_Prize (ENGLISH)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/cinema-la-permission-le-combat-dune-iranienne-pour-disputer-le-match-de-sa-vie (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

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Turkey/China/Germany etc: On the Independence of Lawyers, Judges, and Bar Associations – by Roger Juan Maldonado

November 26, 2018

Roger Juan Maldonado

President’s Column, November 2018

Imagine we woke up one day to find that our esteemed bar association, founded in 1870, had suddenly been terminated by decree. All the assets of our association, including operating accounts, long-term capital investments, and real estate, had been confiscated. The members of our Executive Committee, the chairs of our various committees, and our leadership staff had been arrested and were facing severe criminal prosecution.

The recent report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers reveals that the above scenario is happening around the world.

In Turkey, 34 lawyers’ associations, in fact, were shut down by decree and had their assets confiscated without compensation following Turkey’s declaration of a state of emergency in June 2016. The chairs, board members, and many regular members of those associations were prosecuted and imprisoned. In China, more than 300 detentions, summonses, travel bans, and other restrictions have been imposed on lawyers and law firm staff since July 2015.

It’s not a new phenomenon. Where liberal democracy is on the retreat, lawyers are often among the first casualties, and history is replete with examples. In Cambodia in the 1970s, the Khmer Rouge systematically murdered anyone who wore glasses, believing this an effective method for targeting members of the educated elite, including attorneys. In 2014, the City Bar hosted an exhibit co-sponsored by the German Federal Bar and the ABA called “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich.” The project that inspired the exhibit uncovered the fates behind a list of lawyers whose licenses had been revoked by the Nazi regime. “Some were able to leave the country after the Nazis came into power, but very many of them were incarcerated or murdered,” said Axel Filges, president of the German Federal Bar. “The non-Jewish German lawyers of those days remained silent. They failed miserably, and so did the lawyers’ organizations. We do not know why.”

Obviously these are history’s extreme cases, but the City Bar is determined to learn from and not to repeat the failures of the past. We, therefore, must stand up for the rule of law wherever it is threatened.  It’s why several of our committees – including those on International Human Rights, Asian Affairs, and African Affairs, and our Council on International Affairs – have consistently spoken out on behalf of lawyers and judges around the world. Further, it’s why the City Bar recently established a standing Task Force for the Independence of Lawyers and Judges.

Since its creation, the Task Force has put on panels and Great Hall events highlighting crackdowns on lawyers, judges, and bar associations around the world, advocated on their behalf, and taken part in the global “Day of the Endangered Lawyer,” on January 24.

https://www.nycbar.org/media-listing/media/detail/on-the-independence-of-lawyers-judges-and-bar-associations-by-roger-juan-maldonado

https://www.nycbar.org/

https://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/judiciary/pages/idpindex.aspx

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

https://www.ohchr.org/FR/Issues/Judiciary/Pages/IDPIndex.aspx (FRANCAIS)

https://arrestedlawyers.org/

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