Daily Archives: 09/04/2019

Turkey: International law obligations to release lawyer Eren Keskin

April 5, 2019

Image result for Eren Keskin

Re: International law obligations to release lawyer Eren Keskin

We write on behalf of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a committee of lawyers and human rights defenders who promote international human rights, the independence and security of human rights defenders, the integrity of legal systems and the rule of law through advocacy, education and legal research. LRWC has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

LRWC has written in the past with respect to various Turkish lawyers and human rights defenders who have been detained, arrested, charged, and/or imprisoned in violation of Turkey’s international human rights law obligations and of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. Communications to the Government of Turkey have been made by LRWC regarding the cases of: Selçuk Kozağaçlı, Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Ramazan Demir, Erin Keskin, Mustafa Aydin, Can Tombul, Taner Kilic and other members of the Turkish legal profession. LRWC has also made oral and written statements to the UN Human Rights Council and submissions to the UN Human Rights Committee and Special Procedures regarding widespread persecution of lawyers, journalists and other human rights defenders through wrongful prosecutions and convictions, arbitrary detention and other grave rights violations.

LRWC is once again gravely concerned regarding the continuing and unjust persecution of lawyer Eren Keskin. Ms. Keskin has been convicted on criminal charges that are illegitimate and unfounded and faces numerous other charges that are equally baseless but could result in lengthy consecutive prison sentences that could keep Ms. Keskin incarcerated for life.

Background of Ms. Keskin

Ms. Keskin, 59 years of age, is a lawyer and vice-president of the Human Rights Association in Turkey (İHD) and the co-founder of the Legal Aid For Women Who Were Raped Or Otherwise Sexually Abused by National Security Forces. She has been a strong advocate for fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey, especially for the Kurds, women and the LGBTQ community. As a human rights advocate for almost thirty years, Ms Keskin has contributed to the protection of minority rights, countered violence against women, campaigned to end torture and challenged militarism.

Ms. Keskin is an internationally recognized human rights defender.

https://www.lrwc.org/turkey-international-law-obligations-to-release-lawyer-eren-keskin/

http://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/207317-verdict-of-release-for-grant-holder-of-newspaper-kemal-sancili?bia_source=rss

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

https://anfnewstv.com/keskin-dunyayi-direnenler-degistirir/ (TURKCE)

https://alevinet.com/2019/04/10/keskin-dunyayi-direnenler-degistirir/ (TURKCE)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eren_Keskin (FRANCAIS)

http://www.schattenblick.de/infopool/buerger/amnesty/baak1906.html (DEUTSCH)

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eren_Keskin (DEUTSCH)

N.B.: Eren Keskin stands trial, yet again, on April 10, 2019.

 

UK: The Law Society launches Intervention Tracker 2018

March 13, 2019

intervention tracker

The Law Society launched its Intervention Tracker 2018. This is the third intervention tracker produced by the Law Society.

 

This latest tracker includes information on all letters sent on lawyers and human rights defenders at risk by the Law Society during the year 2018 (confidential letters are not included). Most letters were sent to countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Latin America. The human rights violations most often committed against lawyers and human rights defenders in 2018 was arrest and detention (53.3%), followed by assassinations (20%) and harassment or threats (20%).

The Intervention Tracker 2018 also includes a comparison of data between the years 2016, 2017, and 2018. This data shows that arrest and detention continue to be the most frequent violations committed and that the number of assassinations of lawyers and human rights defenders increased in 2018. Killings were most frequent in Latin America, followed by South Asia. The Law Society’s Intervention Tracker does not necessarily reflect the situation of lawyers at risk worldwide

http://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/international/international-rule-of-law/lawyers-at-risk/the-law-society-launches-intervention-tracker-2018/5067141.article

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/

Cameroon: Comparution devant un tribunal à hui-clos : Maurice Kamto et ses compagnons refusent d’aller à la Cour d’Appel

le 9 avril, 2019

Le porte-parole du Pr. Maurice Kamto, Olivier Bibou Nissack, l’a annoncé il y a un peu plus d’une heure :

« Le Président élu ne comparaîtra pas ce jour dans la suite de la procédure judiciaire politisée contre lui. Il en est de même pour ses alliés Christian PENDA EKOKA, l’Honorable Albert DZONGANG Président du parti ”La Dynamique”, Paul Eric KINGUE Président du Parti MPCN, l’artiste Gaston Serval ABE dit ”Valsero”; des cadres du MRC tels le Professeur Alain FOGUE trésorier national, et Célestin DJAMEN. ».

Après le rejet le 7 mars de leur demande de libération immédiate par le Tribunal de Grande Instance du Mfoundi lors de la procédure en habeas corpus, Maurice Kamto et six de ses compagnons détenus à la prison principale de Kondengui à Yaoundé avaient interjeté appel de cette décision, croyant trouver en les juges d’appel, des magistrats plus expérimentés pouvant comprendre que les violations innombrables de la procédure pénale ayant émaillé leur arrestation, leur garde à vue au GSO, au commissariat central numéro 1, au GMI de Soa et au SED, ainsi que la procédure et les motivations viciées de leur mise en détention administrative et provisoire, suffisaient pour que des magistrats dignes de ce nom disent le droit

Hélas !, c’est ici que les 7 “terroristes” coupables d’avoir manifesté pacifiquement contre le “hold-up électoral” du 22 octobre 2018, le scandale des gigantesques détournements (“présumés”)de deniers publics destinés à l’organisation de la Coupe d’Afrique des Nations de football 2019, et l’enlisement du Cameroun dans une sanglante et extrêmement meurtrière guerre de sécession dans ses deux régions anglophones, découvriront que la grand-mère de la sorcellerie politico-judiciaire était née au Cameroun. La Cour d’Appel, contre toute attente, a décidé de juger dans un bureau, porte fermée, de très dangereux « criminels » dont la seule énonciation des « charges » (“trouble à l’ordre public, hostilité contre la patrie, rébellion de groupe, insurrection, incitation à la révolte, perturbation de la circulation des personnes et des biens”, etc.) suffit à les envoyer à la potence, et qui ne demandent eux-mêmes qu’à être jugés publiquement, contradictoirement et équitablement devant le peuple au nom duquel la justice est rendue. Ce peuple qu’ils sont censés avoir outragé.

http://www.cameroonvoice.com/news/article-news-37648.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=cameroonvoice

https://www.lebledparle.com/actu/politique/1107302-cameroun-le-proces-de-kamto-renvoye-a-la-fin-du-mois-d-avril

https://www.237actu.com/pid/9473

http://www.cameroon-info.net/article/cameroun-desir-de-changement-human-right-watch-amnesty-international-et-le-mrc-font-trembler-338397.html

http://afrique.le360.ma/autres-pays/politique/2019/04/09/25885-cameroun-le-gouvernement-interdit-des-marches-du-mrc-de-maurice-kamto-25885

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/04/08/au-cameroun-letau-se-resserre-autour-de-lopposition

https://agencecamerounpresse.com/politique/r%C3%A9pression-tous-les-meetings-cens%C3%A9s-se-tenir-le-13-avril-prochain-ont-%C3%A9t%C3%A9-interdits.html

https://www.jeuneafrique.com/760894/societe/cameroun-17-militants-du-mrc-interpelles-en-marge-du-proces-en-appel-de-maurice-kamto/

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Kamto

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

https://www.agenzianova.com/a/0/2392885/2019-04-09/camerun-nuove-proteste-per-chiedere-rilascio-oppositore-kamto-2 (ITALIANO)

Image result for liberez maurice kamto

Hong Kong: 9 Hong Kong Democracy Advocates Convicted for Role in 2014 Protests

April 9, 2019

Nine democracy activists on Tuesday were convicted by a Hong Kong court on public nuisance charges for their roles in the protest movement that led to the monthslong occupation of major intersections in the city five years ago.

The activists face prison terms of up to seven years.

The protests, which became known as the Umbrella Movement, galvanized the city and sought to force Hong Kong’s top official to step down and the government to accept more democratic means to elect future leaders.

While the protests had no formal leaders, three of the people on trial — Chu Yiu-ming, a retired pastor, and two professors, Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man — were founders of Occupy Central With Love and Peace, one of the main groups advocating civil disobedience to demand changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system.

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/04/09/breaking-hong-kong-umbrella-movement-activists-handed-verdicts-public-nuisance-trial/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-47863061

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/hong-kong-occupy-protest-leaders-guilty-190409030057063.html

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3005312/occupy-leaders-found-guilty-over-role-hong-kongs-2014

https://www.ft.com/content/c2c8c3d4-5a69-11e9-9dde-7aedca0a081a

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/09/hong-kong-umbrella-movement-protesters-guilty-over-pro-democracy-rallies-jail

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/08/asia/hong-kong-occupy-umbrella-protests-trial-intl/index.html

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/04/09/hong-kongs-last-colonial-leader-calls-umbrella-movement-verdicts-appallingly-divisive-intl-ngos-decry-charges/?fbclid=IwAR3tFNFYQWGD5ThtWKAbzMvoXB5gL7g8ATkFtHJaVWFZlePrMyoK9Dp-8BY

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3005331/who-are-nine-key-leaders-hong-kongs-occupy-movement-and

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/04/12/interview-labelled-threat-china-hong-kong-law-scholar-benny-tai-says-beijing-trying-brainwash-hongkongers/?fbclid=IwAR26DHv4IK2nWiFU5x8kz4L5qygUojcypxwnOLs1K0lK-xMPUMgtEPjhbcM

https://www.todayonline.com/world/hong-kong-protest-leaders-vow-continue-democracy-fight-ahead-verdict

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/04/ong-kong-guilty-verdicts-pro-democracy-leaders-crushing-blow/?fbclid=IwAR1sHQk42YcJ99CVN54QOHrLWRBkZhyK-gCrhkW-SrbvwBdl34QgYC4MERo

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/04/09/altruistic-selfless-motivation-hong-kong-court-hears-sentencing-arguments-umbrella-movement-9/

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20190409162709735

BennyTai9.4.19.verdict

https://tw.appledaily.com/new/realtime/20190409/1547396/ (CHINESE)

https://news.now.com/home/local/player?newsId=343404&fbclid=IwAR170VQwyeaIffJ_8hELCwKUC2zx6C_OKkqZRaL-Mso1i7NEM0V0AWIp0dU (CHINESE)

https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/04/09/hongkong-les-dirigeants-du-mouvement-occupy-reconnus-coupables_5447668_3210.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.liberation.fr/direct/element/hong-kong-des-figures-de-la-revolte-des-parapluies-reconnus-coupables_96135/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lalibre.be/dernieres-depeches/afp/parapluies-de-hong-kong-des-figures-de-la-democratie-reconnus-coupables-5cac1cb27b50a60b45a03412 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.boursorama.com/bourse/actualites/hong-kong-les-dirigeants-du-mouvement-occupy-reconnus-coupables-58ccd562d5f79e001582f26f6175ccaf (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20190409/461556558277/declaran-culpables-a-nueve-lideres-de-la-revolucion-de-los-paraguas.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.kleinezeitung.at/service/newsticker/5609515/Hongkong_Schuldsprueche-fuer-RegenschirmBewegungAnfuehrer (DEUTSCH)

http://www.youfocus.tv/nove-attivisti-pro-democrazia-di-hong-kong-sono-stati-riconosciuti-colpevoli-per-le-proteste-del-2014/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.nd.nl/nieuws/actueel/buitenland/leiders-protesten-hongkong-in-2014-schuldig.3339424.lynkx (NEDERLAND)

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and crowd

Hong Kong/China: Verdict Is Expected in Case Against Leaders of 2014 Hong Kong Protests

April 8, 2019

 

A Hong Kong court is expected to issue a verdict Tuesday in the case of nine activists facing public nuisance chargesover pro-democracy protests in 2014 that occupied major Hong Kong roadways for months.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

The protests, which became known as the Umbrella Movement, sought to force Hong Kong’s top official to step down and the government to accept more democratic means to elect future leaders.

While the protests had no formal leaders, three of the people on trial — Chu Yiu-ming, a retired pastor, and two professors, Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man — were founders of Occupy Central With Love and Peace, one of the main groups advocating civil disobedience to demand changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/hong-kong-democracy-leaders-await-umbrella-movement-verdict-11424424?fbclid=IwAR1KMnrb5Yzjz2j5Qc38nvDD8at3uh3MqulT37nl2GpLs3Ic4pmXSfylDrA

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/04/09/breaking-hong-kong-umbrella-movement-activists-handed-verdicts-public-nuisance-trial/

As Hong Kong legal system faces pressure from Beijing, Canada’s ex-top judge prepares to wade in

https://www.france24.com/en/20190408-hong-kong-democracy-leaders-await-umbrella-movement-verdict

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

https://www.liberation.fr/depeches/2019/04/08/parapluies-de-hong-kong-les-veterans-de-la-democratie-attendent-leur-jugement_1720193?fbclid=IwAR3oU-9SHUeOZ01MPxvXaAkqnO6hZj0P8TH1VlJ4BPD62x81eJSYh8XKAK0 (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai (FRANCAIS)

 

 

 

China: Chinese Regime Tightens Control on Lawyers

April 8, 2019

Police stand guard outside the No. 2 Intermediate People's Court where human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang was being sentenced in Beijing on December 22, 2015. (GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s Ministry of Justice recently announced an updated evaluating system for lawyers, mandating that all who practice law must support the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) socialist rule.

The Ministry of Justice notified all of its provincial branches on how to evaluate a lawyer’s professionalism, which would be the standard used to determine whether to grant a lawyer his or her practicing license.

According to the notice released on March 27, the first criterion is that a lawyer “must support the leadership of the CCP, defend the rule of law under socialism, abide by the Constitution and laws, and adhere to the professional ethics and discipline of lawyers.”

Secondly, all lawyers “must not have been subject to disciplinary action, administrative punishment, industry penalty, nor credit penalty during the past five years of practice.”

This represents an escalation of the Party’s efforts to solidify its control of lawyers, having previously required them to support the Chinese constitution.

The latest rules may also put many human rights lawyers’ practice licenses at risk, because they are frequently detained because of their work.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/chinese-regime-tightens-control-on-lawyers_2870637.html

https://www.chinaaid.org/2019/04/chinese-human-rights-lawyer-to-stand.html

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3005281/latest-crackdown-chinese-social-media-sees-dozens-high-profile

https://www.europeaninterest.eu/article/beijings-interests-threaten-eu-china-summit/

Cameroon: Cameroon Tightens Screws on Opposition

April 8, 2019

Cameroonian opposition leader Maurice Kamto was arrested in Douala on January 28, 2019 for what appears to be politically motivated reasons.

In a crackdown on both the opposition and the right to assemble, Cameroonian authorities have banned a week of demonstrations planned by the opposition Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC) party.

On April 5, the Ministry of the Territorial Administration issued a press release banning the demonstrations between April 6 and 13, accusing the MRC of destabilising the country. The minister, Atanga Nji, also accused the MRC of an act of provocation, having chosen to organise demonstrations on April 6, a date which marks the anniversary of a 1984 coup attempt to oust President Biya.

This move is part of a growing trend in Cameroon. Since late 2016, the government has repeatedly blocked peaceful anti-government protests with force, arbitrary arrest, and detention of protesters. In January 2017, the Minister of Territorial Administration banned the activities of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC), a leading civil society organization working in the volatile anglophone regions.

The ban on MRC demonstrations comes as the party’s leader, Maurice Kamto, prepares to go to court tomorrow alongside six other MRC members and supporters to hear the verdict on a habeas corpus request. Kamto and the six others were among 200 people arrested on January 26 following pro-MRC demonstrations across Cameroon.

The Yaoundé Appeal Court is expected to confirm the decision of a lower court to keep Kamto in prison awaiting trial. On April 2, his defense lawyers walked out of the court room in protest of the decision to hold the proceedings behind closed doors.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/08/cameroon-tightens-screws-opposition

https://allafrica.com/stories/201904080219.html

https://www.africanews.com/2019/04/09/cameroon-mastering-the-art-of-muzzling-opposition-hrw-worried/

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

https://www.camer.be/74152/6:1/cameroun-malgre-linterdiction-pour-les-pro-kamto-la-marche-du-13-est-maintenue-cameroon.html (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Kamto (FRANCAIS)