Daily Archives: 21/03/2019

Colombia: Protective Measures for Human Rights Lawyer Adil Meléndez | Letter

March 14, 2019

Pablo Elías González Monguí
Director, Unidad Nacional de Protección
Carrera 63 # 14 – 97
Puente Aranda
Bogotá D.C. 111611
Colombia

Dear Mr González Monguí

Re: Protective measures for human rights lawyer Adil Meléndez

I write on behalf of the Colombian Caravana (hereafter the ‘Caravana’), a UK registered charity that co-organises the International Caravana of Jurists, and the Foundation of the Spanish National Bar Association, the International Observatory of Lawyers, Lawyers for Lawyers and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada.

During biennial visits to Colombia since 2008, including during the International Caravana of Jurists most recent visit in September 2018, we have called upon the Colombian government to protect the ability of lawyers and human rights defenders to represent their clients, and to refrain from any interferences in their work, in order to comply with both Colombian and international law.

The aforementioned organisations are concerned that in December 2018 Adil Melendez’s bullet proof car was withdrawn by the National Protection Unit (UNP) and instead he was provided with a standard car. Mr Melendez had been provided with an armoured car in recognition of the acute risk he faces as a human rights lawyer; we understand that this acute risk has not diminished.

We were further alarmed when Mr Melendez informed us that one of his two bodyguards, also assigned to him by the UNP, has not provided protection to him since 25 February 2019, when both bodyguards failed to arrive for work. We are informed that the other bodyguard has resumed his work only in the last few days. In effect, for over a week, Mr Melendez has been left without the protection measures granted to him by the UNP and can currently rely on one bodyguard only.

The Caravana works closely with Mr Melendez and has met with him on several occasions, including during our last visit to Colombia, in September 2018. His work is vital to advancing justice and protecting human rights in Colombia, particularly in the Caribbean region. It is understood that he is targeted and threatened as result of his work.

https://www.lrwc.org/colombia-protective-measures-for-human-rights-lawyer-adil-melendez-letter/?fbclid=IwAR3CpMWOrYQBy9kwPkDEwt1B5G3L_FZOyPfQI_M3KUNKshIArKlHcW_W79Q

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/lawyers/adil-jose-melendez-marquez/

https://www.elheraldo.co/atlantico/jorge-luis-alfonso-lopez-se-reune-con-victimas-en-la-carcel-de-sabanalarga-573998 (ESPANOL)

India: Chhattisgarh Bar Council sets aside Bastar Bar Association resolution barring lawyers from other States

March 21, 2019

The State Bar Council of Chhattisgarh has annulled a 2015 resolution passed by the Bastar Bar Association barring advocates who are from other States from practicing in Jagdalpur.

The order comes as a relief for lawyers from other States who wish to practice in the region.

The decision was made in an appeal by lawyers of the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group (JAGLAG), Shalini Gera and Isha Khandelwal against the 2015 resolution. The resolution passed by the Bar Association was part of the pressure exerted on JAGLAG that eventually forced their eviction.

Though Gera and Khandelwal subsequently registered themselves with the Chhattisgarh State Bar Council after appealing against the resolution, they pushed for quashing of the same, for the benefit of their colleagues and other lawyers.

Two and a half years after JAGLAG first began providing legal aid in the Bastar region, the Bastar Bar Association held an aam sabha (general body meeting). At that meeting, a resolution was passed that prohibited non-local lawyers from appearing in cases without the prior approval of the association.

As a clear sign of hostility, the Association passed a second resolution saying that it would not be responsible if something untoward happened to the lawyers.

https://barandbench.com/chhattisgarh-bar-council-sets-aside-bastar-bar-association-resolution-barring-lawyers-from-other-states/

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/shalini-gera

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

https://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/HUMAN_RIGHTS_LETTERS/India_-_Inde/2019/EN_HRL_20190325_India_Murder-of-lawyer-Suresh-Kumar.pdf

Turkey: Judicial farce must end with acquittal of human rights defenders

March 20, 2019

Image result for taner kilic

Almost two years after they were first arrested, two prominent figures from Amnesty International Turkey and nine other human rights defenders must be acquitted of the absurd charges they still face, said Amnesty International ahead of their trial which resumes tomorrow in Istanbul.

Taner Kılıç, Amnesty Turkey’s Honorary Chair, and İdil Eser, the organization’s former Turkey Director, are being tried alongside nine other activists on baseless allegations of “membership of a terrorist organisation”.

“After almost two years and without a shred of credible evidence presented to substantiate the absurd charges made against them, it is now time to end this judicial farce and acquit Taner and the Istanbul 10,” said Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“Over the course of six trial hearings, the prosecutor’s case against the human rights defenders has been comprehensively disproven. The court must now finally lift the threat of conviction that needlessly hangs over their heads and put an end to their ordeal.”

Taner Kılıç spent more than 14 months in prison before his release on bail in August 2018. Eight of the Istanbul 10 spent almost four months each behind bars before they were bailed in October 2017.

“Taner and the Istanbul 10 have dedicated their lives to defending the rights of others and are potent symbols of what is happening under the government’s relentless crackdown in Turkey today,” said Kumi Naidoo.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/03/turkey-judicial-farce-must-end-with-acquittal-of-human-rights-defenders/

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/turkey-amnesty-staff-accused-terrorism-must-be-acquitted-tomorrow

https://www.euronews.com/2019/03/21/amnesty-international-denies-terror-related-charges-against-its-turkish-team

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taner_K%C4%B1l%C4%B1%C3%A7

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/376038/buyukada-davasi-16-temmuza-ertelendi (TURKCE)

https://www.amnesty.org.tr/icerik/turkiye-hak-savunuculari-davasi-hakkinda-bilmeniz-gerken-8-sey?fbclid=IwAR13Aq930SxTbiOPBzfbqLm7o4HoQVk8xNwhRrCuKT1yAdjFDXgsZeXfyC0 (TURKCE)

http://www.agos.com.tr/tr/yazi/22214/buyukada-davasi-caglayan-adliyesi-nde-devam-ediyor (TURKCE)

https://www.amnesty.it/turchia-fine-farsa-giudiziaria/ (ITALIANO)

https://anistia.org.br/noticias/turquia-defensores-de-direitos-humanos-devem-ser-absolvidos-imediatamente/ (PORTUGUES)