Daily Archives: 05/04/2019

The Philippines: Red-tagging NUPL places lawyers, judges in more danger

April 5, 2019

Members of the legal profession could be in more danger due to an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) official’s claim that the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) had alleged links with communist rebels.

“Such reckless claims, on top of the public labeling and vilification of our members, has put the judges, prosecutors, public defenders, law professors, gov’t lawyers, law students and paralegals who belong to our voluntary pro bono organization in even more danger,” NUPL President Edre Olalia said in a statement on Friday.

Olalia’s statement was issued after AFP deputy chief of staff for civil-military operations Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. accused the NUPL and other local organizations of having links with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).

The NUPL President said Parlade “crossed the line way too far” and that the allegation was “baseless” and “does not legally hold water at all.”

Olalia even warned the AFP official that members of the NUPL will face him in court to question the credibility behind the allegation.

“Absent any credible, competent and admissible evidence to even remotely give a semblance of veracity to this unabashedly fascist claim, we shall hale you to court. And you better match our best lawyers money cannot buy with your best lawyers money can buy,” Olalia’s statement read.

NUPL records show that from September 2016 to November 2018, a total of 24 lawyers have been killed, 15 of which are still unresolved.











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Cameroon: Kamto demande la médiation de l’ONU

le 5 avril, 2019

africanews.com Apr 4, 2019 6:26 PM

Des avocats français ont annoncé jeudi avoir saisi jeudi l’ONU concernant l’incarcération “arbitraire” d’opposants camerounais parmi lesquels leur dirigeant, Maurice Kamto, dont ils réclament la libération “immédiate”.

“Le cabinet Dupond-Moretti et Vey a saisi le Groupe de travail sur la détention arbitraire des Nations unies, à Genève, de la situation des trois principaux leaders de l’opposition camerounaise et de leurs partisans détenus depuis plus de deux mois dans des conditions arbitraires”, ajoutent les avocats dans un communiqué.

Le cabinet d’avocats parisiens affirme que Maurice Kamto, Albert Dzongang, Paul Eric Kingue et 150 de leurs partisans et alliés, “ont été arrêtés de manière totalement illégale, sous des prétextes divers masquant en réalité une volonté de répression politique”.

Les avocats rappellent que ces opposants sont inculpés “d’insurrection, rébellion et hostilité contre la patrie (…) encourant à ce titre la peine de mort”. Ils se trouvent “en détention provisoire dans le cadre d’une instruction ouverte près le tribunal militaire de Yaoundé, en violation de l’interdiction pour un tribunal militaire de juger des civils qui s’impose en droit camerounais”.

“Au regard de l’inefficacité de tout recours interne et de l’opposition des autorités camerounaise à toute forme de dialogue”, les prisonniers demandent à l’ONU, par la voix de leurs conseils, “de constater les graves manquements à leurs droits les plus élémentaires et demandent leur libération immédiate”.

Président du Mouvement pour la renaissance du Cameroun (MRC) et avocat de renom, Maurice Kamto a été arrêté avec environ 150 manifestants à la suite d’une marche pacifique le 26 janvier. Ils protestaient contre la victoire du président sortant, Paul Biya, 86 ans dont 36 au pouvoir, à la présidentielle de 2018, qualifiée par M. Kamto, qui avait qualifié la victoire de “hold-up électoral”.










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

Turkey: Statement on situation of lawyers in Turkey

April 5, 2019

On this day, 5 April 2019 – celebrated as Lawyers’ Day in Turkey – 34 organizations, including Lawyers for Lawyers, take the opportunity to strongly condemn the ongoing crackdown against lawyers in Turkey. View the full statement here.

Following the failed coup d’état of 15 July 2016, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and adopted a series of decree-laws that seriously undermined human rights and the rule of law across the country. Although the state of emergency was lifted in July 2018, many of the decree-laws were integrated into ordinary laws and the persecution of lawyers continues, including mass arrests, unfair trials and harsh sentences.

According to the latest information available, since July 2016:
▪ 1546 lawyers have been prosecuted;
▪ Almost 600 lawyers have been arrested;
▪ 274 lawyers have been sentenced to long prison terms – the average prison term being 7 years.

Lawyers are being targeted solely because they are carrying out their professional activities, on the basis of alleged accusations of supporting terrorist organisations. The use of “mass trials” against lawyers or lawyers’ associations is frequent and fundamental rights and procedural safeguards are often not respected.


Click to access EN_HR_20190405_Joint-Statement-on-the-situation-of-lawyers-in-Turkey.pdf

Statement on the occasion of the Lawyers Day in Turkey


Click to access Letter-to-President-Erdogan-FINAL.pdf


https://www.birgun.net/haber-detay/avukatlar-gunu-kutlama-degil-mucadele-ve-dayanisma-gunudur.html (TURKCE)

http://www.camerepenali.it/cat/9825/lunione_delle_camere_penali_italiane_col_ccbe_e_le_principali_organizzazioni_forensi_europee_ed_internazionali_contro_la_repressione_degli_avvocati_in_turchia.html?fbclid=IwAR3noWzQtenWWFwXkdZ_DGF704imxV78rzZKFgNAmrAtENB9UDpZCCj6wGU (ITALIANO)

http://www.camerepenali.it/cat/9822/giornata_degli_avvocati_in_turchia_solidarieta_ai_colleghi_turchi.html?fbclid=IwAR3iDY-OrtKB_PK1mYxGWd4ROcSjZeTF_h-QC78-DMaIIQnnLFhGYcBJfM8 (ITALIANO)


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Istanbul, 05/04/19

Hungary: Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2019 goes to Hungarian Márta Pardavi

April 5, 2019

Hungarian human rights lawyer Márta Pardavi has been awarded the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2019. As an outspoken critic of the Hungarian government and its policies, Márta is often smeared and her work discredited. The award is a recognition of her work of many years, fighting against the attempts to systematically dismantle democracy, normalisation of xenophobia and hate crimes in Hungary.

Márta Pardavi is the Co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, one of Hungary’s leading human rights organisations. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee is a watchdog organisation that protects human dignity and the rule of law through legal and public advocacy methods. Being both vocal and successful in its activities, and particularly because of their work to support asylum seekers, the organisation has become a prime target of the government’s toxic campaigns.

“Democracy is under threat all over the world and now we see what authoritarians do when they get to power. They target critics, human rights defenders and treat marginalised groups as threats to society. We see this happening in Hungary, but also in other countries such as Poland. This award sends a very strong message, that our work is recognised, and that we as civil society organisations will continue to defend democratic values”, said Márta Pardavi.

Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2019 goes to Hungarian Márta Pardavi






https://nepszava.hu/3031447_a-magyar-helsinki-bizottsag-tarselnoket-valasztottak-az-ev-emberi-jogvedojenek-stockholmban (MAGYAR)

https://hvg.hu/itthon/20190404_Nyiltan_szembefordul_az_allami_elnyomassal__dijaztak_a_Helsinki_Bizottsag_tarselnoket (MAGYAR)

https://index.hu/belfold/2019/04/03/orban_rahel_ma_mar_befolyasosabb_mint_az_edesanyja/ (MAGYAR)

https://www.nsd.se/nyheter/ungersk-manniskorattsjurist-far-utmarkelse-nm5069940.aspx (SVENSK)

The Philippines: Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo charged with murder over Batocabe killing

April 4, 2019

CHARGED. Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo is charged with murder over the killing of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe. Photo from Baldo's Facebook page

Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo was charged with murder over the killing of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed on Thursday, April 4.

Guevarra told Rappler in a text message that the charges were filed on Thursday before the Legazpi City Regional Trial Court (RTC). A copy of the prosecutors’ resolution was not immediately released.

Guevarra added that Baldo was also charged with attempted murder since several others were injured in the attack on Batocabe.

Baldo was earlier barred from traveling outside the country.

Police had arrested Baldo on January 22 over the unrelated case of illegal possession of firearms. He was rushed to the hospital that same night for asthma and remained confined under police custody until his release in February.

He was released on P3-million bail back then by Legazpi RTC Branch 10 Presiding Judge Theresa San Juan Loquillano, then immediately went back to work.

The murder charges are set to be raffled within the Legazpi RTC, after which the judge will decide whether there is probable cause to order the arrest of Baldo for murder, a non-bailable case.

Batocabe and his police escort Orlando Diaz were shot dead last December 22, after attending a gift-giving event in Daraga. Batocabe was the first congressman to be killed under the Duterte administration.







https://www.philstar.com/pilipino-star-ngayon/bansa/2019/04/05/1907351/mayor-baldo-kinasuhan-na-ng-doj-sa-batocabe-slay (TAGALOG)

USA/Canada/Ecuador: Fraudulent Ecuador Judgment is Unenforceable Against Chevron’s Canadian Subsidiary

April 4, 2019

global banking finance review logo

The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected a request to review a decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario that a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Corporation cannot be enforced against Chevron Canada Limited, an indirect subsidiary. The Court of Appeal for Ontarios decision, which is now final, dismissed all claims against Chevron Canada Limited, holding that it is a separate entity from Chevron Corporation and that its shares and assets cannot be seized by those seeking to enforce the corrupt Ecuadorian judgment. The Ecuadorian judgment itself has already been found by U.S. courts and an international tribunal in The Hague to have been obtained through fraud, bribery and corruption.

“We are pleased that the highest court in Canada has put an end to the plaintiffs lawyers attempts to enforce their corrupt Ecuadorian judgment against Chevrons indirect subsidiary in Canada, said R. Hewitt Pate, vice president and general counsel, Chevron Corporation. Canadian courts have rejected the plaintiffs efforts to circumvent the determination by U.S. courts that the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron was procured through bribery, fraud and other racketeering activity. Any further efforts by the plaintiffs lawyers to continue this lawsuit in Canada would be an abuse of the countrys legal system and a waste of its judicial resources.

Because Chevron Corporation has never had any assets in Ecuador, the plaintiffs, led by adjudicated racketeer and suspended lawyer Steven Donziger, are attempting to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment in other jurisdictions. Donziger and his associates had sought to enforce the judgment against both Chevron Corporation, which has no assets in Canada, and Chevron Canada Limited, which was not a party to the Ecuadorian lawsuit. Today’s decision confirms once and for all that the fraudsters cannot pursue Chevron Canada Limited’s shares and assets.

In 2018, Donziger was suspended from practicing law in New York State and Washington, DC as a result of his unlawful conduct in procuring the Ecuadorian judgment.






https://eldiariony.com/latinowire/fraudulenta-sentencia-ecuatoriana-es-inejecutable-contra-subsidiaria-canadiense-de-chevron/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.sciencesetavenir.fr/nature-environnement/pollution/chevron-marque-un-point-contre-les-equatoriens_132757?fbclid=IwAR0Hc_2vMTEn9QL6wquHOYYuH9bvMVQYbZjz6OzNq4F_4qrffak9RkQ8KA8 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.zonebourse.com/actualite-bourse/Le-jugement-frauduleux-rendu-en-Equateur-est-inapplicable-a-l-encontre-de-la-filiale-canadienne-de-C–28357808/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ansa.it/sito/notizie/economia/business_wire/news/2019-04-05_1051932895.html (ITALIANO)

https://www.boerse.de/nachrichten/Betruegerisches-Ecuador-Urteil-ist-nicht-vollstreckbar-gegen-die-kanadische-Tochtergesellschaft-von-Chevron/8032356 (DEUTSCH)

France: Avignon : des gilets jaunes devant le commissariat

le 4 avril, 2019


15h15, Me Albert-Salmeron vient d’entrer dans le commissariat accompagnée de son avocat Me Jean-François Camus du barreau de Lille. Le groupe de Gilets jaunes reste devant les grilles fermées de l’hôtel de police.

Une cinquantaine de Gilets jaunes est actuellement devant le commissariat du boulevard Saint-Roch à Avignon. Ils sont venus se réunir en soutien à Me Sophia Albert-Salmeron. Cette avocate du barreau d’Avignon a défendu plusieurs d’entre eux depuis le début du mouvement. Elle se trouve convoquée aujourd’hui au commissariat pour une vidéo postée sur internet et dans laquelle elle s’adresse à un policier.



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Iran/France: Le barreau de Laval fait de l’avocate iranienne Nasrin Sotoudeh un membre d’honneur de l’Ordre

le 4 avril, 2019

Ardente défenseure des droits de l’homme, cette femme de 56 ans a été condamnée à trente-huit ans de prison et à 148 coups de fouet par la justice iranienne.

Nasrin Sotoudeh en 2013.

L’avocate iranienne, Nasrin Sotoudeh, récemment condamnée et incarcérée dans son pays à 38 ans d’emprisonnement et à 148 coups de fouet pour avoir plaidé la cause des droits de l’Homme, des droits des femmes et pour d’être présenté à une audience sans porter le voile, a été élue, ce mardi soir, membre d’honneur du barreau de Laval, sur décision unanime du conseil de l’ordre des avocats.

“Incitation à la débauche”

À ce jour, cinq barreaux ont créé ce statut honorifique pour cette cause (Montpellier, Paris, Lille, Compiègne et donc Laval). “Une grande fierté pour nous de la soutenir et de dénoncer la cruelle répression, dont elle est l’objet dans son combat pour la liberté en Iran”, souligne le bâtonnier du barreau de Laval, Éric Cesbron. Actuellement incarcérée à la prison d’Evin (dans la capitale iranienne), où sont détenus de nombreux prisonniers politiques, l’avocate paie le prix de son activisme ancien et reconnu en faveur des droits de l’homme.

Cette femme est peu connue du grand public mais elle est devenue un symbole. Elle a reçu en 2012 le prix Sakharov (pour la liberté de l’esprit) du Parlement européen. Elle a également été distinguée l’année dernière par le Prix international des droits de l’Homme Ludovic Trarieux. Sur les réseaux sociaux, les hashtags #FreeNasrin et #NoussommestousNasrin ont fleuri pour soutenir la femme.

Elle était poursuivie pour sept chefs d’accusation, parmi lesquels la conspiration et la propagande contre le système. En l’occurrence, celle pour “incitation à la débauche”, qui correspondrait, au fait qu’elle ait défendu l’an dernier plusieurs femmes arrêtées pour avoir enlevé leur voile en public.




https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/society-calls-for-sotoudehs-release/5069897.article (ENGLISH)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-news-foreign-correspondents-awarded-free-expression-awards/ (ENGLISH)

http://www.ipsnews.net/2019/04/women-activists-protest-torture-imprisonment-repressive-regimes/ (ENGLISH)

https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/opinion/iran-crackdown-fails-silence-protests (ENGLISH)

https://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/global-campaign-free-nasrin-sotoudeh-651884 (ENGLISH)

https://www.dw.com/fa-ir/iran/a-48142456?fbclid=IwAR15MPbdqkNpYIq0kRhow6Q8FpNzGVOHr5IC0IdLLDVw1FWoYGHsqXQAnwg (FARSI)

https://www.publico.es/internacional/iran-clamor-mundial-condena-latigazos-prision-defensora-mujeres-iran.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.ilmessaggero.it/italia/avvocati_congresso_forense-4407975.html (ITALIANO)

http://www.dire.it/05-04-2019/318128-in-mille-a-roma-per-difendere-il-ruolo-di-avvocato/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.articolo21.org/2019/04/nasrin-sotoudeh-perche-il-suo-caso-in-iran-e-diverso-dagli-altri/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.ilcaffegeopolitico.org/104786/difendere-i-diritti-umani-in-iran-il-caso-di-nasrin-sotoudeh (ITALIANO)

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/freising/infostand-in-freising-appellaktion-der-amnesty-gruppe-1.4396559 (DEUTSCH)

http://www.ordeexpress.be/artikel/186/2648/ovb-vraagt-vrijlating-iraanse-advocaat-nasrin-sotoudeh (VLAAMS)

http://www.marieclaire.com.tr/nasrin-sotoudehe-ozgurluk/ (TURKCE)

Letter of Nasrin Sotoudeh on Revolutionary Court’s judgments issued for her

March 2019

Fellow Iranians and Human Rights Activists:

With greetings on the occasion of the New Year, and with compliments for the support I received that was beyond my expectation, I would like to hereby comment on the judgments issued by the Revolutionary Court against me. I would also like to use this opportunity to declare that all judgments of the Revolutionary Court are issued under almost identical circumstances, and to clarify to what extent non-presence of a counsel at public prosecutor’s office, and often at courts, violates the rights of defendants, and to clarify how it would be possible to show to others to such an extent the enormous taboo of covering women’s hair.

I would like to remind that my actions were only performing my tasks; meanwhile, I should comment as the following regarding the verdicts issued:

As per the judgment in absentia issued in the year ended 20 March 2017, I had been convicted to five years imprisonment for assembly and collusion to disrupt national security, with my sit-in before the Bar Association given as evidence.

After my arrest on 13 June 2018, a new case was started for me with seven charges, resulting in the following convictions and respective verdicts:

Assembly and collusion to disrupt national security, 7.5 years
Membership in LEGAM (a campaign for the gradual elimination of capital punishment), 7.5 years
Promotional activity against the regime, 1.5 years
Stoking corruption and prostitution, 12 years
Appearance in public without wearing religious veil, 74 lashes
Falsification intended to discompose public opinion, 3 years imprisonment plus 74 lashes
Distortion of public order and convenience, 2 years

Verdicts issued against me are 38.5 years plus 138 lashes in aggregate.

As per Article 134 of Islamic Penal Code, when multiple charges exist, the judge shall determine the verdict for each charge separately, and in the enforcement stage, firstly the severest verdict shall be enforced.

In this case, the severest verdict is 12 years imprisonment which shall be enforced first. But the principal question is on the fate of other verdicts. Article 134 further stipulates “… if the severest verdict become reduced, adjusted or unenforceable for a legal reason, the next severest verdict shall be enforced.” Therefore, under such circumstances, the fates of all verdicts should be determined to result in the release of the convict.

In this judgment, the judge has:

Firstly, regarded as a manifestation of corruption and prostitution my attorneyship in cases related to the Girls of Enghelab Avenue as well as my putting a bunch of flowers on the podium in Enghelab Avenue;

Secondly, used obscene literature in reference to the Girls of Enghelab Avenue, which is in itself subject to criminal prosecution; and

Thirdly, held the hearings without presence of the defendant and counsel, expressly prohibiting the counsel from presence in the public prosecutor’s office stage of the hearings, which is stipulated in the indictment.

In this case, like in many other cases, fair judgment fundamentals are disregarded, and accordingly I am not inclined to take part in this unfair game in any way. Let the Revolutionary Court judges play solo. Meanwhile, the important thing is that the majority, almost all, verdicts of Revolutionary Court are issued with violation of fair judgment fundamentals.

I use this opportunity to remind this trend is so extensive and systematic that [in analyzing it] many convicts are neglected. A large number of political and civil activists and believers in other opinions and religions all face the dangers of unfair judgment where the presence of a counsel is not allowed, and the court does not require reasons and evidence from security authorities and does not give the defendant sufficient time to defend.

This is the scene of the courts which issue decades-long verdicts for individuals who have undergone, and are undergoing, years of their imprisonment under difficult circumstances.

Soon the sun of justice shall shine on our land too, and we practice patience and peace for that day to come, so that we may fulfill our aim in this way.
Nasrin Sotoudeh
Women’s Ward
Evin Prison

Le Barreau des PO confère à Me Sotoudeh, Avocate condamnée à 33 ans de prison et 148 coups de fouet pour avoir défendu les droits de l’homme, le statut de Membre d’Honneur du Barreau.
(Barreau des Pyrénées-Orientales Facebook, 05/04/19)
Le conseil de l’Ordre du Barreau du Havre confère à Me Sotoudeh, Avocate condamnée à 33 ans de prison et 148 coups de fouet pour avoir défendu les droits de l’homme, le statut de Membre d’Honneur du Barreau.
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