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January 24, 2019
The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) has joined ten other Bar Associations, Law Societies and Legal Organisations in a joint declaration concerning the breakdown of the rule of law and serious threats against the independence of Judges, Lawyers, and Prosecutors in Turkey.
The declaration marks the 9th annual Day of the Endangered Lawyer and, along with BHRC, includes Abogacía Española – Consejo General, Geneva Bar Association–Human Rights Commission, German Bar Association–Human Rights Committee, European Bar Human Rights Institute, Paris Bar Human Rights Institute, International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, International Observatory for endangered lawyers, Law Society of England and Wales, Lawyers for Lawyers, and Norwegian Bar Association–Human Rights Committee.
The Day of the Endangered Lawyer was founded and is organised by the Foundation for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer based in Harrlem, the Netherlands. The 24th of January was chosen to be the annual International Day of the Endangered Lawyer because on this day in 1977 four lawyers and a co-worker were murdered at their office in Madrid, Spain. This was also known as the Massacre of Atocha.
The Day honours lawyers across the world who put themselves at risk in the fight for human rights and the rule of law. It aims to create awareness that the practice of the legal profession in many countries involves significant risks, but also to denounce the situation in a particular country where lawyers are victims of serious violations of their fundamental rights because of the exercise of their profession. Each year, the persecution of lawyers in a particular country is highlighted, and the Foundation coordinates activities outside of the country’s embassies around the world. Previous Days of the Endangered Lawyer have expressed concern for lawyers in Iran (2010), Turkey (2012), Basque Country/Spain (2013), Colombia (2014), the Philippines (2015), Honduras (2016), China (2017) and Egypt (2018).
In line with the focus for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer for 2019, the joint declaration expressed its concern for lawyers in Turkey:
Barreau de Paris
January 23, 2019
Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee next month was supposed to be the first bombshell hearing from the new Democratic House of Representatives.
But on Wednesday, Cohen announced that he was withdrawing his commitment to appear — because, his lawyer said, of “threats against his family” from President Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
On several occasions over the past month and a half, Trump has publicly floated ominous innuendos about how Cohen’s father-in-law (and in one instance, Cohen’s wife) could be tied to criminal activity. Trump’s claim was that Cohen was trying to get a lighter sentence by giving purportedly false information about him, because he didn’t want to have to give accurate information about … something involving his father-in-law.
Finally, last Sunday, Giuliani made the subtext text by asserting on CNN that Cohen’s father-in-law “may have ties to something called organized crime.”
All this took place after Cohen’s plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller was announced — and amid intense speculation about just what Cohen might have told Mueller about President Trump. Cohen had previously pleaded guilty to tax and campaign finance crimes, and he ended up with a three-year prison sentence, which he is set to begin serving in March.
So Trump’s and Giuliani’s comments look a whole lot like an effort to retaliate against or intimidate a witness who flipped on Trump — by circulating unproven smears about his family and even alluding to a potential Justice Department investigation into them.
January 24, 2019
Today marks the ninth annual Day of the Endangered Lawyer, with this year’s focus on lawyers living and working in Turkey.
The Day of the Endangered Lawyer provides an opportunity to learn about the personal and professional safety of lawyers around the world who are facing persecution, prosecution, arbitrary detention, threats, torture, assaults and death as a consequence of carrying out their professional duties, according to Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada.
According to an OHCR report, under the two years that Turkey was ruled under a state of emergency up until July 2018, nearly 570 lawyers were arrested, while 1,480 faced some kind of prosecution, according to the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights.
In the same period, the association noted 79 lawyers were sentenced to long-term imprisonment.
ALDH also said that even after the state of emergency was lifted, “political trials against lawyers did not end”.
“The UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers are permanently violated by the Turkish prosecutors and judges”, the association said, relying on article 18 in particular, which said “lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions”.
http://ildubbiopush.ita.newsmemory.com/?token=b76a6564f40fe3c32f3c9eee6e68ea06_5c48f6e6_2fe1_13413ac&selDate=20190124&promo=push&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=ildubbio-E-Editions&utm_source=ildubbio&utm_content=Read-Button&fbclid=IwAR3XEHNRY7r7SnzaAUEVEfGcu84cU0lkisCxI5asDstiDI4Y-zafB0ZEiEQ (p. 5 ITALIANO)
(Camera Penale Di Milano Facebook, 23/01/19)
(Camera Penale di Brescia Facebook, 24/01/19)
La Camera Penale di Trento aderisce all’iniziativa internazionale del prossimo 24 gennaio “Day of the Endangered Lawyer”.
Giunta alla nona edizione, la Giornata dell’Avvocato Minacciato viene celebrata in tutto il mondo il 24 gennaio di ogni anno per ricordare l’anniversario della strage avvenuta il 24 gennaio 1977, e ricordata in Spagna col nome di “Matanza de Atocha”, quando un commando di terroristi neofascisti entrò in un ufficio di avvocati giuslavoristi situato, per l’appunto a Madrid, in Calle de Atocha, ed aprì il fuoco uccidendone cinque e ferendone quattro.
La giornata è dedicata anche quest’anno alla drammatica situazione degli avvocati turchi.
Dal 15 luglio 2016, data del tentato golpe, ad oggi, sono stati arrestati con giornalisti, accademici, , magistrati e attivisti dei diritti umani 594 avvocati, fra i quali 14 Presidenti o ex Presidenti di Ordini Forensi; 1546 sono sotto processo e 218 sono stati condannati a lunghe pene detentive. Inoltre, 34 associazioni forensi sono state sciolte.
Nei processi a loro carico, gli avvocati vengono accusati proprio perché difendono coloro che sono sospettati di essere terroristi. Il rischio per gli avvocati penalisti è talmente alto che è diventato estremamente difficoltoso per chi viene arrestato trovare un avvocato che non sia imputato in un processo. Anche dopo la revoca dello stato di emergenza nel luglio 2018, i processi politici contro gli avvocati non si sono fermati.
Ma non sono solo le sentenze di condanna della Corte Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo a non essere eseguite dalla Turchia, dal momento che sono costantemente disattesi sia i Principi Fondamentali delle Nazioni Unite sul ruolo degli Avvocati, in particolare il n. 18 secondo cui “Gli avvocati non devono essere identificati con i loro clienti o con le cause dei loro clienti come conseguenza dell’esercizio delle loro funzioni”, sia la Raccomandazione agli Stati membri n. R(2000)21 del Comitato dei Ministri del Consiglio d’Europa, che ha riconosciuto espressamente la libertà dell’esercizio della professione forense nell’ambito della c.d. “Grande Europa”.
Quasi ogni settimana viene celebrato almeno un processo contro un avvocato, specialmente a Istanbul. Per questo è evidente che gli avvocati ancora liberi stanno praticando la professione con il rischio elevatissimo di essere improvvisamente arrestati; impossibile però non ricordare anche l’omicidio del Presidente Tahir Elci del 28 novembre 2015 senza che sia stato fatto alcun progresso nelle indagini.
L’avvocato, in Turchia come in tutto il mondo, è la sentinella dei diritti e difensore dei diritti fondamentali: proprio per questo è perseguitato anche in Italia, dove sono in aumento gli attacchi alla funzione difensiva.
Tutti i Governi, compreso quello italiano, devono assicurare che egli possa svolgere la sua attività professionale senza subire alcuna intimidazione, impedimento, molestia o illecita interferenza, in ossequio al principio n. 16 dei Principi Fondamentali delle Nazioni Unite sul ruolo degli Avvocati.
Camera penale di Trento
(Camera Penale di Trento “Michele Pompermaier” Facebook, 24/01/19)
24 January 2019
The Nth hour has come; Even Committed Lawyers Worldwide are on the Verge of Extinction
Today, the Day of the Endangered Lawyer, we at
the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers sounds the alarm on the escalating attacks against lawyers everywhere. These are dark times indeed, when lawyers are unjustly arrested and tried and even killed simply for the practice of law as a profession.
The experience of our colleagues in Turkey is a prime example of how an autocratic system has led to the arrest and detention of hundreds of lawyers.. President Tayyip Erdogon suspended or dismissed about 4,238 judges and prosecutors. The vast majority of these lawyers, including two members of the constitutional court, are in prison and only a fraction have heard formal charges.
Scores of lawyers are held in custody in Turkey simply for the practice of law as a profession. The accused are members of the Progressive Lawyers Association in Turkey (ÇHD), including ÇHD President, Selçuk Kozağaçlı, a Bureau member of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL).
The unbelievable indictment claimed that these lawyers merely counseled detained people accused of membership in a banned Turkish organization and they are charged with visiting these individuals in prison, offering legal support, enabling their clients to invoke “the right to remain silent.” The Erdogan regime is targeting ÇHD and People’s Law Office members reportedly because these members continue to resist the regime’s campaign of systematic repression.
It is no different in the Philippines, a country headed quite ironically by a lawyer himself. Here, at least thirty-five lawyers have been killed and several others harassed simply for abiding by their sworn oath to defend their clients. Many of these killings remain unsolved with no one held to account for the murders, thus the perpetrators continue to kill with impunity.
Last year has been especially hard for the NUPL as we still mourn the loss of one of our beloved members, human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos. Ben was gunned down by two unidentified men riding in tandem close to his home. For many years, he has dedicated his life in the staunch defense of the rights of the farmers, not only in Negros Island but also in other parts of the country.
Many of the lawyers attacked or harassed are involved in human rights work, most of whom are members of NUPL. NUPL has been very critical of human rights violations committed by the State’s machinery and many of its members have been handling cases of sectors whose rights have been violated – indigenous peoples, farmers, workers, urban poor, political prisoners, human rights defenders and even suspected petty drug users. The harassment has spiraled to the point of red-tagging – accusing these dedicated lawyers as members of terrorist organizations.
The intent of the killings and harassment is clear – silence dissent, penalize those who criticize government, discourage lawyers from taking up the cudgels in behalf the oppressed and poweless.
Under the 1990 UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, all State parties shall ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference and where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities. It angers us that many State parties have not only failed to comply with this obligation but are themselves violators and perpetrators of intimidation and harassment.
But this is not the time to despair at the sheer number of deaths and unjust arrests and detention of lawyers worldwide.
On this Day of the Endangered Lawyer, we call on all lawyers to close ranks and stand our ground in the face of attacks on the very exercise of our profession.
We Filipino lawyers who are also under siege, stand in solidarity and unite with our Turkish colleagues and with lawyers from all parts of the world in condemning the trumped-up charges, the detentions, the labelling, the harassments, the intimidations and the killings. We ask that they be respected, protected, given due process and freed.
We hold all autocratic governments accountable for failing to fulfill their obligations and for being themselves violators of these basic principles.
Finally, we reiterate our call for governments to take action for the cessation of all killings and harassments of lawyers, to investigate and hold accountable all those who have violated the rights of endangered lawyers and the rights of marginalized peoples of the world that these lawyers represent.#
Atty. Ephraim B. Cortez
NUPL Secretary General
Atty. Josalee S. Deinla
(National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Facebook, 24/01/19)
January 22, 2019
Embattled National Resistance Movement (NRM) Kenya leader Dr Miguna Miguna has stated the one condition he wants fulfilled for him to return to Kenya.
The outspoken lawyer on Monday said he is ready to jet back to Kenya anytime but only after the state has returned his confiscated passport which the High Court has ordered to be returned to him.
In a tweet from Canada where he was deported to early in 2018, Miguna maintains he is a Kenyan and the decision by the Immigration Department to cancel his travel document on grounds that he is not Kenyan was done in contravention of the law.
“Some people keep asking, ‘Miguna, when are you coming back?’ I am ready to come to Kenya immediately, however, to do that, I need my valid Kenyan passport, which the High Court has ordered should be returned or issued to me unconditionally but the despots have not given me,” he said.
The former Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant’s passport was canceled by the Immigration Department on orders from Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i following the controversial swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The lawyer was among NASA leaders who oversaw Raila’s inauguration, an event that calumniated in arrests of key opposition personalities including Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang’ and his Makadara counterpart George Aladwa.
January 23, 2019
On September 28, 2015, Tajik lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov left his office to meet with officials from the Ministry of Interior. The head of the ministry’s Organized Crime Unit had summoned Buzurgmehr to his office for what his family prayed might be a simple conversation.
Buzurgmehr must have had an idea of what was to come. One of Tajikistan’s most indefatigable human rights lawyers, he had recently taken on representation of 13 opposition politicians accused by the government — without evidence — of plotting a coup. Just a few days earlier, Buzurgemehr announced that one of his clients had been tortured in pretrial detention and called for a coalition of lawyers to join him in representing the detained politicians. Shortly after this announcement, government officials asked Buzurgemehr to drop the case. He refused.
When Buzurgmehr entered the Ministry of Interior offices on September 28, he was immediately arrested and ultimately charged with forgery, fraud, arousing national, racial, local, or religious hostility, and extremism. A statement issued by the ministry described him as an “attorney-fraudster” and a “swindler.” A few weeks later, a television show depicted Buzurgmehr as an “attorney-fraudster” with stock images of money bags.