Daily Archives: 13/03/2019

Australia/Afghanistan: ‘I’m not afraid of going to jail’: Ex-Defence lawyer charged over document leak

March 7, 2019

Whistleblower David William McBride has been charged for leaking defence documents to journalists.

A former Australian military lawyer and captain in Britain’s elite Special Air Service has been charged over the leak of documents exposing alleged unlawful government conduct.

David William McBride, 55, appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday where he was charged with the leaks to journalists Dan Oakes, Andrew Clark and Chris Masters.

He has not entered any pleas.

The charges relate in part to an ABC investigation published in 2017 called “The Afghan Files: Defence leak exposes deadly secrets of Australia’s special forces”.

The investigation was said to give an unprecedented insight into the clandestine operations of Australia’s special forces, including incidents of possible unlawful killings.

Speaking outside court, Mr McBride said he had admitted handing over the documents but would defend the charge on legal grounds.

“I saw something illegally being done by the government and I did something about it,” he said.

“I’m seeking to have the case looking purely at whether the government broke the law and whether it was my duty as a lawyer to report that fact.”

Mr McBride is charged with theft and three counts of breaching the Defence Act, for being a person who is a member of the the defence force and communicating a plan, document or information.

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/former-defence-lawyer-charged-over-leak-to-journalists-20190307-p512e9.html

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/military-lawyer-on-theft-charge/news-story/710b70ca6851fa9819434fcc780ea9d7

Kenya/Canada: Miguna Miguna Announces His Highly Anticipated Return to Kenya

March 13, 2019

Self-proclaimed revolutionary intellectual Miguna Miguna is gearing for his return to Kenya following months of forced exile in Canada.

The firebrand lawyer, who was deported to Canada in February 2018 for his role in the mock swearing-in of Raila Odinga as the president, is looking to return next month.

To ensure his return goes as planned, Miguna Miguna has written to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) asking them to facilitate his comeback.

“In exercise of my birth and Constitutional rights, I wish to inform you that I intend to travel to Nairobi on a date I will publish a few days before my arrival in April 2019,” reads part of the letter.

“In accordance with your constitutional and statutory mandates, I strongly urge you to take steps to ensure that I will be granted entry into Kenya.”

Miguna is counting on a High Court ruling issued on December 4, 2018 in which Judge Chacha Mwita ruled that the Kenyan-born lawyer has never lost his citizenship as claimed by the State.

Seeing as the ruling has not been overturned, Miguna argues that the State should comply with Justice Mwita’s orders.

http://nairobiwire.com/2019/03/miguna-miguna-announces-his-highly-anticipated-return-to-kenya.html

https://hivisasa.com/posts/1087-details-of-migunas-letter-to-knchr-ahead-of-his-return?source=highlightedTrendingHome

https://mobile.nation.co.ke/news/Miguna-says-coming-back-in-April/1950946-5020696-pdh3ag/index.html

https://www.kenyans.co.ke/news/37762-miguna-miguna-lays-ground-april-return

https://allafrica.com/view/group/main/main/id/00066756.html

https://www.pulselive.co.ke/news/miguna-miguna-wants-to-be-issued-with-his-kenyan-passport-on-the-day-he-arrives-in/zseq2tx

https://hivisasa.com/posts/1075-what-miguna-plans-to-do-immediately-after-landing-at-jkia

https://www.tuko.co.ke/299765-deported-lawyer-miguna-miguna-announces-return-kenya-canada.html#299765

https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2019-02-14-miguna-miguna-to-make-a-comeback-in-april/

https://www.mwakilishi.com/article/diaspora-news/2019-02-14/miguna-miguna-announces-new-return-date-to-kenya

https://hivisasa.com/posts/1044-miguna-miguna-i-may-swim-across-atlantic-ocean-to-enter-kenya

https://hivisasa.com/posts/1036-why-kenyans-should-prepare-for-another-drama-at-jkia-in-april

https://hivisasa.com/posts/1088-miguna-reveals-the-crazy-thing-he-is-willing-to-do-to-return-to-kenya

https://www.kahawatungu.com/2019/02/11/miguna-takes-emirates-court-over-deportation/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguna_Miguna

Cameroon: Cameroun : l’avocate Michèle Ndoki, proche de Kamto, écrouée

le 8 mars, 2019

Cameroun : l'avocate Michèle Ndoki, proche de Kamto, écrouée

Une avocate camerounaise réputée, Michèle Ndoki, proche de l’opposant Maurice Kamto, a été inculpée jeudi pour rébellion, insurrection et hostilité contre la patrie et transférée à la prison principale de Yaoundé, ont déclaré à l’AFP ses avocats.

Arrivée au tribunal militaire de Yaoundé jeudi après-midi, Me Ndoki, arrêtée le 26 février puis placée en garde à vue, a été “inculpée des mêmes faits” imputés à Maurice Kamto, a affirmé Emmanuel Simh, l’un de ses avocats.

Mi-février, le principal opposant du pays, adversaire malheureux du chef de l’Etat Paul Biya lors de la présidentielle d’octobre, avait été présenté devant le même tribunal militaire.

Une information judiciaire pour des faits allégués d’“hostilité contre la patrie” et d’“insurrection”, notamment, a été ouverte à son encontre, ainsi que contre plusieurs de ses partisans.

Tous avaient été arrêtés à la suite d’une manifestation pacifique organisée dans plusieurs villes du Cameroun le 26 janvier.

Lors de ces manifestations, Michèle Ndoki avait été blessée. Le parti de M. Kamto, le Mouvement pour la renaissance du Cameroun (MRC), avait affirmé que la police avait tiré à balles réelles sur les manifestants, ce que Yaoundé avait démenti.

https://fr.africanews.com/2019/03/08/cameroun-l-avocate-michele-ndoki-proche-de-kamto-ecrouee/?fbclid=IwAR1VQ9VECxknxd4lwLeodF6f-f6uojv9g04mnc059QR587RVROiN73_dliQ

https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2019/02/27/au-cameroun-l-avocate-michele-ndoki-victime-d-une-spirale-de-repression_1711966?fbclid=IwAR3j8u0WUDbvZ5D0wqvnxIpeQpLkLDiooIIH3Jtt8-KWSSRXyemxYGX7khU

https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2019/02/27/au-cameroun-l-avocate-michele-ndoki-victime-d-une-spirale-de-repression_1711966

https://www.laminute.info/2019/03/03/cameroun-les-accusations-retenues-contre-me-michele-ndoki/

https://www.afrik.com/michele-ndoki-freedom-une-chanson-de-djala-li-lon

https://www.journalducameroun.com/fr/yaounde-lavocate-michele-ndoki-blessee-auditionnee-au-gso/

https://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/cameroun-un-de-prison-pour-26-personnes-arretees-en-marge-d-une-marche-de-l-opposition

https://www.lebledparle.com/actu/politique/1106989-cameroun-depuis-sa-prison-maurice-kamto-denonce-nous-sommes-des-prisonniers-politiques

https://fr.africanews.com/2019/03/12/le-cameroun-continue-sa-descente-troublante/

https://www.journalducameroun.com/fr/cameroun-doute-sur-la-possibilite-dun-proces-equitable-pour-maurice-kamto/

http://www.cameroon-info.net/article/cameroun-ordre-des-avocats-le-conseil-demande-la-liberation-immediate-des-avocats-arretes-dans-334008.html

https://www.journalducameroun.com/marches-du-26-janvier-le-barreau-du-cameroun-reclame-la-liberation-de-deux-avocats/

http://www.cameroon-info.net/article/cameroun-justice-les-avocats-du-mrc-denoncent-les-abus-autour-de-la-detention-de-334026.html

https://www.camer.be/73822/30:27/cameroun-les-prisonniers-du-president-michelle-ndoki-amazone-de-la-liberte-et-leader-des-detenues-cameroon.html

https://www.237online.com/michelle-ndoki-amazone-de-la-liberte-et-leader-des-detenues/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/cameroon-should-free-maurice-kamto/2019/02/08/8f6f0536-2a60-11e9-906e-9d55b6451eb4_story.html (ENGLISH)

COMMUNIQUE DE L’OBSERVATOIRE INTERNATIONAL DES AVOCATS EN DANGER (OIAD)

Me Michelle Ndoki, avocate camerounaise, grièvement blessée en marge des manifestations du 26 janvier à Douala

20 février 2019,
Samedi 26 janvier avaient lieu dans plusieurs villes du Cameroun des « marches blanches » initiées par le parti d’opposition MRC (Mouvement pour la renaissance du Cameroun). Le pays est plongé dans une grave crise depuis la réélection, le 7 octobre 2018, du président Paul Biya (qui entame ainsi un septième mandat consécutif) face au leader du MRC, Maurice Kamto.
Me Ndoki, avocate camerounaise, est vice-présidente du directoire des femmes du MRC. Elle a pris publiquement position pour dénoncer le « harcèlement continuel » subi par ce parti, dont elle assure la défense de nombreux militants actuellement emprisonnés.
Le 26 janvier, les forces de sécurité commencent peu après le début de la manifestation à tirer des gaz lacrymogènes, provoquant un mouvement de foule. Des témoins rapportent des tirs à balles réelles. C’est dans ce contexte qu’un des leaders du MRC, M. Célestin Djamen, est blessé et transporté à l’hôpital. Me Ndoki qui ne fait pas partie des manifestant, décide de se rendre à l’Hôpital en voiture, enfin de s’enquérir de l’état de M. Djamen. L’accès lui est alors refusé, et, lorsqu’elle sort de son véhicule, un policier la suit et lui tire dessus à quatre reprises, la touchant trois fois, et blessant une commerçante qui se trouvait à côté.
La blessure de Me Ndoki s’ajoute au lourd bilan de la répression subie par les avocats camerounais pour la seule journée du 26 janvier, avec notamment la mise en détention de trois de ses confrères Me Emmanuel Simth, Me André Maris Tassa et Me Alphonse Ngaliembou, dont l’un a été appréhendé dans l’hôtel où il résidait.
L’OIAD exprime tout son soutien à Me Ndoki ainsi qu’aux avocats placés en détention suite à la manifestation du 26 janvier, et condamne fermement tant l’usage excessif de la force que le recours aux arrestations arbitraires par les autorités camerounaises.
L’OIAD rappelle à ces dernières que, conformément aux Principes de base des Nations Unies relatifs au rôle du barreau, « les avocats, comme tous les autres citoyens, doivent jouir de la liberté d’expression, de croyance, d’association et de réunion. En particulier, ils ont le droit de prendre part à des discussions publiques portant sur le droit, l’administration de la justice et la promotion et la protection des droits de l’homme » (principe n° 23).
L’OIAD exhorte les autorités camerounaises à respecter leur devoir de veiller « à ce que l’accès à la profession d’avocat, ou l’exercice de cette profession, ne soient entravés par aucune discrimination fondée sur (…) les opinions politiques » (principe n° 10).
Qui sommes-nous ?
L’Observatoire international des avocats en danger a été fondé par le Conseil national des barreaux (France), le Barreau de Paris (France), le Consejo General de la Abogacía Espanola (Espagne), et le Consiglio Nazionale Forense (Italie). Son objectif est de mener une veille permanente de la situation des avocats menacés dans le monde en raison de l’exercice légitime de leur profession et de porter assistance aux avocats dont la vie, la liberté ou l’exercice professionnel sont menacés.

https://africa.cgtn.com/2019/03/08/cameroon-opposition-figure-charged-with-rebellion-lawyer/ (ENGLISH)

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/07/cameroon-cracks-down-opponents?fbclid=IwAR2vVetzfIxfGppfhfTpMBLOBhmf-rjiuT_vBPDY1icuZAeWi_pzB99DsXY (ENGLISH)

https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/cameroon-michele-ndoki-transferred-to-kondengui/ (ENGLISH)

https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/camerooncameroon-bar-president-demands-release-of-michele-ndoki/ (ENGLISH)

https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/cameroon-free-michele-ndoki/?fbclid=IwAR0ZAmA_LAVWrPqL26VT1OoCLX3kgkr_j6PT4WYftmdOA43G4mJaSEOOxU0 (SIGN THE URGENT PETITION!)

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Russia: A Russian Lawyer Said She Filmed Police Abuse. Then She Was Found Dead.

March 8, 2019

Outside the Investigative Committee headquarters in Usolye-Sibirskoye (file photo)

Human rights lawyer Galina Muzyka was found dead in her apartment in the Siberian city of Usolye-Sibirskoye late on March 2 under what fellow activist and regional public oversight commission member Pavel Glushchenko described as “strange circumstances,” one day after she is thought to have made a cell phone video allegedly showing nine Investigative Committee employees beating a detained suspect.

The chain of events leading up to that somber discovery began on a local road on the night of February 28. Mikhail Zagvozdin was driving together with his 18-month-old son when he approached an intersection too quickly and nearly rear-ended the car in front of him, his wife, Yulya Zagvozdina, told RFE/RL on March 1.

The driver of the other vehicle got out and tried to hit him through the window that Zagvozdin had opened to speak with the man. Zagvozdin said he did not want to get out of the car with his son in it. When the man allegedly reached in and tried to grab his keys, Zagvozdin began to drive off.

https://www.rferl.org/a/death-of-an-eyewitness-to-russian-police-abuse-strange-circumstances-missing-evidence/29810430.html

https://en.crimerussia.com/gromkie-dela/irkutsk-region-lawyer-who-defended-man-beaten-by-policemen-dies/

India: Stir over FIR against lawyer

March 12, 2019

Stir over FIR against lawyer

Lawyers of the district court staged a protest against the police for registering an FIR against their colleague on Monday. A delegation of the Amritsar Bar Association met senior police officials and apprised them of the matter.

Complainant Lakha Singh said that on March 8, retired ASI Surjit Singh and his nephew reached their residence in Chabba village under the influence of alcohol. He added that the duo created a ruckus and tried to attack his family with a sword. The duo was later caught by the family members and neighbours who handed them over to the police. “We gave a complaint to the police, but instead of taking action, the police let them go,” he said. On March 9, the police registered a case against him (Lakha Singh) and his father on the complaint of Surjit Singh.

“Surjit Singh, in his statement, claimed that we forced him to drink alcohol and attacked him when he came to our house to talk about a property dispute,” said Lakha Singh, adding that the police took away the duo from their house along with their bike and sword. Instead, the police acted under the influence of retired ASI and booked us, Lakha added.

“Later, when we pursued the matter, the police registered a counter case against Surjit Singh and his nephew. We want the matter be investigated as there is no truth in his allegations,” said Lakha Singh.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/amritsar/stir-over-fir-against-lawyer/741887.html

China: Wife of Tortured Chinese Rights Lawyer Calls For Him to Leave China

March 11, 2019

Jiang Tianyong, a human rights lawyer in China, is shown in an undated photo.

The wife of prominent Chinese rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong has called on the government to allow him to travel overseas to seek medical treatment following the end of his jail term last week.

Authorities in the central province of Henan allowed Jiang, 48, to return to his parents’ home three days after his release at the end of a two-year jail term for “incitement to subvert state power.”

But his U.S.-based wife Jin Bianling said she is concerned for his health after he was tortured by cellmates in a bid to get him to “confess” to the charges against him.

“I would like to have Jiang Tianyong come to the U.S. to seek medical treatment,” Jin said. “I hope that international rights organizations will carry on … calling for freedom for Jiang Tianyong and the other human rights lawyers.”

She said her husband has shown signs of ill-health since his return to his parental home, where he remains under close surveillance by state security police.

“I asked Jiang Tianyong why he always has tears in his eyes, and he told me he didn’t know, and that perhaps it was to do with the fact that he hadn’t been allowed outside in a very long time,” Jin told RFA. “He told me he couldn’t sit up straight, but could only sit sideways or lie down.”

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/leave-03112019100918.html

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/2189070/freed-chinese-human-rights-lawyer-jiang-tianyong-threatens

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/visit-03042019111406.html

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/2188374/jailed-chinese-human-rights-lawyer-jiang-tianyong-back-home

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-47406389

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/side-event-freedom-of-expression-in-china/?fbclid=IwAR2tmZcVHLBcqgvGVQEoTS7Vx8oupLjnLNAZzhXr-plXvE7mVxqf9h2HF_c

http://asianews.it/news-en/Lu-Tingge-arrested:-he-asked-for-the-rule-of-law-and-real-power-for-NPC-46422.html?fbclid=IwAR0otCuSG6V3-O4hxl9iirisUQjRtLgWBj6yFRmcK-yh1d6-952V80-rVhQ

https://www.lrwc.org/china-and-saudi-arabia-oral-statement-to-the-40th-session-of-the-un-human-rights-council/?fbclid=IwAR37SnKqn3WsEZRnH8reSsz71z4Q5_-S0k589LdZNgJEyMxQSSoaH9jfMzM

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/erased-03132019132914.html

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/13/ngos-urge-eu-press-china-human-rights

http://www.chrlawyers.hk/en/content/joint-letter-calling-safe-release-jiang-tianyong?fbclid=IwAR2cG12sMdkP2PAc0Jmtkq7O174pgAL7geSfq0Hy9JrF7lNZZh_x_kjCdyU

https://www.hrichina.org/en/press-work/statement/fate-lawyer-jiang-tianyong-and-family-again-exposes-true-face-chinas?utm_source=HRIC%20Updates&utm_campaign=460c60d04c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_03_01_12_04&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b537d30fde-460c60d04c-259223637

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2186816/confidence-chinas-judicial-system-damaged-secret-trial-human

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/lawyer-02222019114645.html

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/protest-02082019152934.html

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3354939

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/2185307/china-faces-barrage-criticism-over-jailing-human-rights

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/22/china-frances-macron-should-press-xi-rights?fbclid=IwAR3n82AKVGaWguRxGh3uXd2DaTzlinNtdsgy9hctM6Ml2rINZBAAQRvUUJ4

https://www.thestandnews.com/china/%E9%97%9C%E6%B3%A8%E6%B1%9F%E5%A4%A9%E5%8B%87%E5%AE%89%E5%85%A8%E7%8D%B2%E9%87%8B%E8%81%AF%E7%BD%B2%E8%81%B2%E6%98%8E/ (CHINESE)

https://www.voachinese.com/a/china-rights-attorney-jiang-tianyong-set-free-20190302/4810544.html (CHINESE)

https://thestandnews.com/china/%E9%A6%99%E6%B8%AF%E5%A4%A7%E5%BE%8B%E5%B8%AB%E5%85%AC%E6%9C%83%E5%B0%B1%E7%8E%8B%E5%85%A8%E7%92%8B%E4%B8%80%E6%A1%88%E4%B9%8B%E8%81%B2%E6%98%8E/?fbclid=IwAR01tygHUWT-oX9tV9MNnn5yua8Ml-fI2vklLiTIjRuj6vBDtxCgC7iutBI (CHINESE)

http://www.rfi.fr/asie-pacifique/20190228-chine-avocat-droits-homme-disparait-apres-liberation (FRANCAIS)

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/03/22/chine-macron-devrait-faire-pression-sur-xi-quant-aux-violations-des-droits?fbclid=IwAR1zNT20NxhGH5XmJflhnli9uvii6dNgzmMUVDSWN6RncRUvT3rbC18rx84 (FRANCAIS)

Thailand: Thai Lawyer’s ‘Disappearance’ Unsolved 15 Years On

March 11, 2019

A sketch of Somchai Neelapaijit.

Fifteen years ago this week, I received a phone call in the middle of the night with the news that Somchai Neelapaijit had gone missing. At the time, Somchai was chair of Thailand’s Muslim Lawyers Association and vice-chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Lawyers Council of Thailand.

Official investigations have at least established that Somchai was abducted on March 12, 2004 and later murdered, though his body has never been found. His alleged assailants are a group of police officers who sought retaliation for Somchai’s involvement in lawsuits alleging widespread police torture of Muslim suspects in Thailand’s insurgency-ridden southern border provinces.

But over the past decade and a half, seven prime ministers, including current Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha, have failed to bring Somchai’s killers to justice.

A key reason is that Thailand’s penal code does not recognize enforced disappearance as a criminal offense. Without the body, prosecutors could only file charges of robbery and coercion against the five police officers implicated in the case. Their trial, hampered by official cover-ups, ended in their acquittal in December 2015.

Efforts by Somchai’s family to obtain justice have been hampered by a 2015 Supreme Court ruling that the family cannot act as a co-plaintiff, because there is no concrete evidence showing he is dead or otherwise incapable of bringing the case himself. The ruling placed the impossible burden on disappeared people of proving they had been disappeared.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/11/thai-lawyers-disappearance-unsolved-15-years

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/03/12/asia-pacific/15-years-activists-disappearance-bangkok-family-missing-thai-lawyer-still-waiting-justice/

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/rule-of-law-more-than-ever-under-pressure/

https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1643044/impunity-remains-victims-obstacle-to-real-justice

https://www.evensi.com/15th-year-somchai-neelaphaijit-embassy-netherlands-bangkok/296162882

https://www.afad-online.org/news/10-statements/450-afad-remembers-and-demands-justice-for-thai-lawyer-somchai-neelapaijit-on-the-15-anniversary-of-this-disappearance

https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1089124-time-to-tackle-the-spectre-of-enforced-disappearance/?tab=comments#comment-13932288

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/15-years-since-disappearance-somchai-neelapaijit/?fbclid=IwAR0oB4Kn3h1gH9GryXAEPFbOpCTcn0bSOWgg25EUbS5tw8E2CODdQfVQwMI