April 4, 2019
In the report, Lawyers for Lawyers expressed concerns about the newly passed law ‘On the Professional Activities of Advocates and Legal Assistance’ for it could undermine the independence of the legal profession.
Lawyers for Lawyers also highlighted that the Kazakh authorities do not always uphold the necessary guarantees for the proper functioning of the legal profession in practice. Lawyers are regularly subjected to improper interference or attempts to put pressure on them by members of law enforcement agencies or investigative bodies. Furthermore, lawyers regularly sometimes do not have the opportunity to meet with their clients in full confidentiality.
April 4, 2019
On 2 April 2019, the apartment of Aleksandr Peredruk’s parents located in Murmansk, Russia was searched by an investigator from the Special Case Investigation Department and a Federal Security Service official. The search was made as part of the investigation into a suicide attack in Arkhangelsk in 2018, and the human rights defenders believe it may be an attempt to link him to the event.
Aleksandr Peredruk is a human rights lawyer from Saint Petersburg. He works for the Moscow Helsinki Group, one of Russia’s leading organisations monitoring human rights abuses in the country. He is also a member of the organisation Soldiers’ Mothers of Saint Petersburg which provides free legal and social assistance to conscripts, soldiers and those undertaking alternative civil service, as well as their family members. Further, the human rights defender is involved in Apologia of Protest, a project defending the right to peaceful protest in Russia.
On 2 April 2019, at 6 in the morning, an investigator from the Special Case Investigation Department and a Federal Security Service official searched the apartment of Aleksandr Peredruk’s parents in Murmansk. The human rights defender was registered under their address until March 2018 but has not lived there for the last five years. During the search, a computer and a flash drive were seized. According to the official warrant, the inspection was related to the investigation into a suicide bomb attack that had taken place on 31 October 2018 in the city of Arkhangelsk. Aleksandr Peredruk denied having any connection to the case and he believes that the search may have been an attempt to link him to the event.
April 4, 2019
International delegation heads to Colombia to observe the trial of Santiago Uribe Velez in the “12 Apostles” case
An international delegation of lawyers comprising the Colombia Caravana (UK), the Bar Human Rights Committee (England & Wales) and supported by the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk is in Colombia this week to observe final hearings in the case of ‘Los Doce Apostoles’. The main defendant is Santiago Uribe Velez, brother of former President and current Senator Alvaro Uribe Velez, who stands accused of co-founding the paramilitary group ‘Los Doce Apostoles’ and for the murder of bus driver Camilo Barrientos Duran, allegedly murdered by the group in 1994 in Antioquia.
The victims are represented by Daniel Prado Albarracin, a Colombian human rights lawyer who has represented families of enforced disappearance since the early 1990s. Despite the adoption of the Colombian peace accord in November 2016,’in Colombia, being a human rights defender is a high-risk occupation’: since 2016 there has been an increase in the killings of human rights defenders, to an estimated rate of one in every three days. These risks are particularly prevalent in the case of lawyers like Prado who seek justice for victims of the armed conflict and fight to pierce the culture of impunity which has surrounded systematic human rights violations for decades.
Colombia is bound by the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, the ICCPR and the ACHR, all of which impose obligations on the State to protect defenders from violations of their rights to physical integrity and private life in the exercise of their professional functions.
April 4, 2019
At the 19th World Congress of the ICJ held in Tunisia on 23-24 March, some 100 distinguished judges, lawyers came together to adopt the Tunis Declaration on Reinforcing the Rule of Law. The Declaration was published today. Watch the Congress video clip.
The Tunis Declaration reaffirms the ICJ’s unyielding commitment to defend and advance the Rule of Law and human rights at a time when commitment to them by States and other powerful actors appears to be wavering.
It stresses that not only are human rights and the Rule of Law indispensable to the betterment of the human condition and a dignified life for all people, but also must be harnessed and developed to address such contemporary challenges as catastrophic climate change and the effects of digital technology.
The Declaration sets out key elements of the Rule of Law and human rights and aspects of their application to the independence of judges and lawyers; access to justice and accountability; security; equality and non-discrimination; and civil society space and fundamental freedoms.
https://www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Universal-ICJ-Tunis-Declaration-Advocacy-2019-ENG.pdf (N.B. pp 3-5 ON “INDEPENDENCE OF JUDGES AND LAWYERS”)
le 4 avril, 2019
À l’occasion de la Journée de l’avocat en Turquie, nous nous mobiliserons vendredi 5 avril devant le consulat turc de Bruxelles.
Le 20 mars dernier, 18 avocats turques ont été condamnés à des peines allant de trois à 18 ans d’emprisonnement. Tous les avocats et avocates poursuivis sont membres soit de l’Association des avocats progressistes soit du Bureau des droits du peuple. Ils sont accusés d’être membres ou dirigeants du groupe armé Parti-Front révolutionnaire de libération du peuple (DHKP-C).
Ces condamnations ont été rendues aux termes d’un procès inique. Les accusations reposent en effet sur des preuves très douteuses, fondées sur les déclarations de témoins, certains dont l’identité est tenue secrète. Au cours du procès les avocats des avocats accusés ont parfois été interdits d’entrer en salle d’audience et le juge a rendu son verdict sans avoir entendu les plaidoiries sur le fond.
Cinq des avocats en détention provisoire ont entamé une grève de la faim le 24 janvier 2019 pour protester contre les atteintes à leur droit à un procès équitable commises pendant les procédures. Ces avocates et avocats doivent être libérés.
Rejoignez la manifestation co-organisée par le Syndicat des avocats pour la démocratie, AIBF et AIVL le 5 avril pour soutenir les avocates et avocats turcs victimes de violation à leur droit fondamental à un procès équitable et à la liberté d’expression.
Quand ? Le vendredi 5 avril – de 12h30 à 13h30
Où ? Devant le consulat de Turquie (Rue Montoyer 4, 1000 Bruxelles)
Brüksel’de Halkın Avukatlarıyla İlgili Eyleme Çağrı
Türkiye’de bugün 5 Nisan Avukatlar günü! Amnesty Enternasyonal Belçika tarafından yapılan çağrı ile 5 Nisan Türkiye’de avukatlar günü vesilesiyle bugün Belçika’nın başkenti Brüksel’deki Türkiye Konsolosluğu önünde saat 12.00 ile 13.30 arası eylem yapacak.
Amnesty Enternasyonal Belçika birimi halkın avukatlarının serbest bırakılması için 5 Nisan Avukatlar Günü vesilesiyle Brüksel’deki Türkiye Konsolosluğu önünde eyleme çağrıda bulundu. Demokrasi için Avukatlar Sendikası (AIBF) ve AIVL’nin katılacağı eylemin Rue Montoyer 4, 1000 Bruxelles adresindeki Türk Konsolosluğu önünde düzenleneceği bildirildi.
Amnesty Enternasyonal Belçika biriminin açıklamasında, 20 Mart günü Türkiye’de halkın avukatlarına yönelik sürdürülen hukuksuzca davada cezaların verildiği, avukatların ise 24 Ocak günü bedenlerini açlığa yatırarak adalet istendikleri vurgulandı.
Dogan Presse Agence
(Comité de liberté pour les avocats emprisonnés en Turquie Facebook, 05/04/19)
April 4, 2019
The legal fraternity on Wednesday observed a strike to protest registration of a criminal case against an office-bearer of the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) and other lawyers on charges of manhandling a police official on premises of the sessions court.
The aggressive lawyers kept the entrance gates of all subordinate courts locked almost for whole day and denied access to litigant public and police personnel. The jail vans carrying under-trial prisoners remained stranded outside the courts’ premises due to the lawyers’ protest.
The judges at Cantonment, Model Town, district courts, sessions and civil courts adjourned cases without any proceeding. The lawyers also took out a rally from Aiwan-i-Adl to Lahore High Court where they held a joint press conference along with representatives of Pakistan Bar Council and the high court bar association.
The bar leaders demanded of the police high-ups to immediately withdraw the FIR, which they claimed was a fabricated one. They also demanded transfer of Additional IG Malik Khuda Bukhsh accusing him of manipulating the bogus case against the lawyers. They announced continuing the protest till the demand was not met.
Islampura police had lodged an FIR against LBA Secretary Malik Maqsood Khokhar and others on charge of manhandling police inspector Munir Ahmad in a courtroom. The lawyers would also observe a boycott of courts on Thursday (today) against the decisions of National Judicial Policy Making Committee in respect of Section22-A and 22-B of Cr.P.C regarding entertainment of applications for registration of FIRs and establishment of model courts demanding the restoration of the previous position.
April 3, 2019
The European Union has criticised Beijing over its human rights record, ahead of a summit of top Chinese and EU officials in Brussels on April 9.
The criticism, contained in a statement by the EU on Wednesday, followed two days of human rights talks between Chinese and EU diplomats.
EU equally criticised China on flagging high-profile detentions and “political re-education camps’’ in China’s Xinjiang province.
Among other things, the EU highlighted “the deteriorating situation of civil and political rights in China’’ pointing to the arrest and detention of a “significant number’’ of human rights defenders and lawyers.
The statement lists Gui Minhai, a Swedish bookseller detained in Hong Kong, renowned Uighur economist Ilham Tohti and female scholar Rahile Dawut, as well as several persecuted for their religious beliefs and Tibetans facing criminal charges for “exercising their right to freedom of expression.’’
April 3, 2019
Today, the Parliament of Canada issued an open letter calling on the Government of Iran to release imprisoned human rights hero, Nasrin Sotoudeh. The initiative was spearhead by the Canadian Raoul Wallenberg All-Party Parliamentary Caucus for Human Rights and, in particular, Senator Marilou McPhedran, who adopted Nasrin’s case and cause as part of our International Political Prisoner Advocacy Project:
“As a co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights in collaboration with the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, I have been monitoring the case of one of our world’s most courageous human rights defenders, Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. With Senators Raynell Andreychuk and Linda Frum, the [below] open letter went to our colleagues. Parliamentarians across the political affiliation spectrum signed with us in calling on the Government of Iran to release Ms. Sotoudeh, who has been detained in Iran’s Evin Prison since June 2018 due to her activism and legal support for other women’s rights defenders in Iran. Our concern was intensified a few weeks ago when Ms. Sotoudeh was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes and is reflected in the open letter.”
To read the open letter and the full list of signatories, click here.
For a TIME Magazine article on Nasrin Sotoudeh written by her pro bono former client, Iranian women’s rights leader and now RWCHR Senior Fellow: click here