Monthly Archives: May 2019

Turkey: Condemnation de l’avocat des droits humains et Présidente de l’Association des Droits Humains (IHD) Eren Keskin


New information

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Judicial harassment


May 28, 2019

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your intervention in the following situation in Turkey.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the sentencing of human rights lawyer and co-president of the Human Rights Association (İHD) Ms. Eren Keskin[1] and her ongoing judicial harassment. An honorary member of the Paris Bar Association, Eren Keskin is the winner of multiple international awards for her peace and human rights work, including the 2018 Helsinki Civil Society Award[2], and was the 2018 finalist of Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders[3].

According to the information received, on May 21, 2019, İstanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court convicted Ms. Eren Keskin for “propaganda on half of a terrorist organisation” – namely the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) – under Article 7(2) of the Anti-Terror Law No. 3713), and sentenced her to 3 years and 9 months of prison. Ms. Eren Keskin attended this final hearing, which was also followed by foreign diplomats. The sentence will be taken to the Regional Court of Appeal.

Since 2016, Ms. Eren Keskin and seven other defendants, columnists or rotating editors of the closed newspaper Özgür Gündem, have faced charges for “disrupting the unity of the state”, “openly inciting to commit crime”, “being a member of a terrorist group”, “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” and “publishing and spreading statements of terrorist organisations” in relation with articles published in Özgür Gündem (see background information below).

Sentencing of Eren Keskin: another blow against freedom of expression in Turkey

Eren Keskin in Turkey sentenced to prison and more to come.. (TURKCE) (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (DEUTSCH)

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China: Activists targeted in crackdown ahead of Tiananmen Square anniversary

May 28, 2019

The Chinese authorities must end a wave of persecution targeting those seeking to commemorate the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, Amnesty International said today ahead of the 30th anniversary of the bloodshed.

In recent weeks, police have detained, placed under house arrest or threatened dozens of activists and relatives of those killed seeking to mark the June 4 anniversary.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed protesters and civilians were killed when soldiers opened fire in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on 3 and 4 June 1989, as the authorities sought to crush widespread protests calling for political reform.

Censorship of Tiananmen crackdown

Any references to the Tiananmen crackdown continues to be systematically censored in China. Anyone who seeks to commemorate the victims does so at great personal risk, and is likely to be harassed or detained.

The suppression of those seeking to publicly mark the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown is the latest in a wider assault against activists in China. Under President Xi’s rule, the Chinese authorities have decimated the ranks of human rights lawyers and activists calling for political and legal reforms. The relentless crackdown has been marked by arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detentions, torture and other ill-treatment.


Egypt: تجديد حبس هيثم محمدين وآخر 15 يوماً بتهمة مشاركة جماعة إرهابية


تجديد حبس هيثم محمدين وآخر 15 يوماً بتهمة مشاركة جماعة إرهابية

جددت نيابة أمن الدولة العليا، حبس هيثم محمدين ومصطفى ماهر، 15 يوما احتياطيا علي ذمة التحقيقات التي تجرى معهما بمعرفة النيابة لاتهامهما بمشاركة جماعة إرهابية مؤسسة على خلاف أحكام القانون، واستخدام مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي لنشر أخبار كاذبة.

ووجهت النيابة للمتهمين في القضية 741 لسنة 2019 حصر أمن الدولة، ارتكاب جرائم مشاركة جماعة إرهابية في تحقيق أهدافها وتلقى تمويل بغرض إرهابى، والاشتراك في اتفاق جنائي الغرض منه ارتكاب جريمة إرهابية، وتلقى تمويل والاشتراك فى اتفاق جنائي، والتجمهر واستخدام حسابات خاصة علي شبكة المعلومات الدولية بهدف ارتكاب جريمة معاقب عليها في القانون بهدف الإخلال بالنظام العام. (ENGLISH) (ENGLISH) (ENGLISH)

N.B.: The detention of labour lawyer Haytham Mohamadeen has been renewed for yet another 15 days.




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Bangladesh: Imam held over female lawyer murder in Moulvibazar

May 27, 2019


The diseased was identified as Abida Sultana, wife of Shariful Islam, and a member of District Ainjibi Shamity

Police arrested the imam of a local mosque yesterday as a female lawyer was found dead at Madhabgul village in Barlekha upazila of the district.

The diseased was identified as Abida Sultana, wife of Shariful Islam, and a member of District Ainjibi Shamity.

Quoting family members, Yasinul Haque, officer-in-charge of Barlekha police station, said Abida used to live in the district town since her marriage and often visited her village home.

On Sunday, Abida went to her village home at Madhabgul and her phone was found switched off since 4 pm on the day.

Worried, her family members rushed to the village and found one of room of the house locked.

Sensing something wrong, they called in police who broke into the room and recovered Abida’s body around 3 am.

The body that bore several injury marks was sent to local hospital morgue for autopsy.

Meanwhile, police arrested Tanvir Ahmed, imam of the local mosque, and also a tenant of the house, from Baruna in Srimangal upazila, at noon, for his suspected involvement in the incident, said Abdu Salek, officer-in-charge of Srimangal police station.

Members of District Ainjibi Samity staged demonstrations demanding punishment of those responsible for the murder.

They also brought out a procession on the court premises to press home their demand.

Zimbabwe: Authorities escalate attack on human rights defenders

May 27, 2019

Image result for Amnesty International Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean authorities have this afternoon arrested two more human rights defenders at the Harare airport in a mounting onslaught on the rights to freedom of expression and association, Amnesty International said today.

The two, Stabile Dewah (35) and Rita Nyamupinga (61), bring to seven the number of human rights defenders arrested at Robert Mugabe International Airport in the past seven days as they returned from a capacity-building workshop on non-violent protest tactics in the Maldives.

“The first five human rights defenders arrested are facing trumped up charges for exercising their human rights. They should be released immediately and unconditionally. The charges against them fit into a much wider pattern of repression we have documented in Zimbabwe,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

The first batch of activists – George Makoni, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Gamuchirai Mukura, Nyasha Mpahlo and Farirai Gumbonzvanda – have been accused of “plotting to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government”. The two activists arrested today are also likely to be charged with subverting a constitutional government.

“Since January’s protests we have witnessed a mounting crackdown on human rights defenders and activists. Lawyers, journalists and even medical doctors have not been spared. Zimbabwe’s authorities have declared anyone who exercises their right to freedom expression and association an enemy of the state. This witch-hunt must stop,” said Muleya Mwananyanda.

Human Rights Defenders Charged with Plotting to Overthrow Mnangagwa’s Govt as Authorities Target More Citizens


Iran/France: Me Nasrin Sotoudeh membre d’honneur du barreau de Lyon

le 27 mai, 2019

Me Nasrin Sotoudeh membre d'honneur du barreau de Lyon

Les avocats de Lyon et de France se mobilisent pour l’avocate iranienne du barreau de Téhéran Me Nasrin Sotoudeh condamnée dans son pays à 33 ans d’emprisonnement et 148 coups de fouet le 8 mars dernier.

Cette jeune femme figure du combat en faveur des droits fondamentaux dans son pays, est accusée par les autorités iraniennes de s’être opposée publiquement au port obligatoire du voile et d’avoir pris la défense dans la presse de l’une de ses clientes qui avait publiquement enlevé son voile.

Le barreau de Lyon, son bâtonnier en exercice Me Farid Hamel et son bâtonnier élu Serge Deygas ont ainsi nommé Me Nasrin Sotoudeh membre d’honneur du barreau de Lyon.

Quant au conseil de l’Ordre des avocats lyonnais, il soutient à l’unanimité la motion du Conseil National des Barreaux (CNB), présidé par Me Christiane Féral-Schuhl. Motion appelant à la libération immédiate de Nasrin Sotoudeh. (FARSI) (FARSI) (ENGLISH) (ENGLISH) (ENGLISH) (ENGLISH) (ENGLISH) (ENGLISH) (ESPANOL) (ESPANOL) (ESPANOL) (ITALIANO) (ITALIANO) (ITALIANO) (NORWEGIAN)


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United Arab Emirates: Unrelenting Repression in the UAE

May 21, 2019


Wednesday, May 29 marks one year since the State Security Chamber of the Federal Appeals Court of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sentenced Ahmed Mansoor to ten years in prison and imposed a fine equivalent to more than a quarter of a million dollars. He was convicted for allegedly insulting “the status and prestige of the UAE,” including its rulers, and publishing false reports on social media intending to harm the country’s relations with neighboring countries.

Prior to his arrest in a midnight raid on his home on March 20, 2017, Ahmed Mansoor used to quip that he was “the last man talking” in the UAE, reflecting that over the previous several years the authorities had jailed almost all other Emirati rights activists and their lawyers. For more than a year, Mansoor’s whereabouts were unknown. Since the Federal Supreme Court upheld his conviction and sentencing on December 31, 2018, according to people familiar with his situation, he remains in solitary confinement in a 4-meter by 4-meter cell with no bed or water—conditions that led him to undertake a hunger strike in mid-March 2019. On May 7, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and six other UN human rights experts condemned this situation, noting that “the poor conditions of his detention in the United Arab Emirates, including prolonged solitary confinement, may constitute torture.”

Despite the harassment directed against him, Mansoor continued to speak out on social media about the intensifying rights violations in the UAE, and he was often the sole source of reliable information about arrests and trials. There was plenty to report: Starting in late March 2012, security forces arrested scores of Emiratis for their association with Islah, shorthand for the Reform and Social Guidance Association, which had been a registered NGO in the UAE since 1974. Many of those detained, including prominent human rights lawyers Mohammed al-Roken and Mohammed al-Mansoori, were held in undisclosed locations. (Al-Roken had been one of Ahmed Mansoor’s lawyers in his 2011 trial, and the presence of Islah members among those who signed the UAE 5 petition likely spurred these arrests.) Another lawyer, Salim al-Shehhi, was detained when he went to the office of the State Security Prosecutor with the intention of representing al-Roken. Authorities arrested and deported non-Emirati lawyers working for Abdulhameed al-Kumaiti, the last remaining defense lawyer willing to represent those arrested in the Islah crackdown—and who has since left the country.

The Dark Side of the UAE

Mohammed al Roken (FRANCAIS)

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الممارسات الانتقامية التي تسلّطها #الإمارات على معتقلي الرأي(من اختفاء قسري واعتقال تعسّفي وحبس انفرادي وتعذيب…)ممنهجة ومستمرة في خرق صارخ للقواعد النموذجية الدنيا لمعاملة السجناء.
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Bangladesh: Female lawyer murdered in Moulvibazar

May 27, 2019

A female lawyer was found dead at her own residence in Borolekha upazila of Moulvibazar district early today.

Abida Sultana, 35, might have been murdered sometime between afternoon and evening yesterday, said Officer-in-charge of Borolekha Police Station Yasinul Huq.

Abida was a member of the District Lawyer’s Council, our Moulvibazar correspondent reports.

Both the Police Bureau of Investigation and local police inspected the spot.

There were injury marks in the head and neck area of Abida, the OC said. (BENGALI)

France/Iran: Blois : des avocats solidaires de leur consoeur iranienne

le 27 mai, 2019

Me Fabienne Aubry et Me Anne Durand avec le portrait de Nasrin Sotoudeh persécutée à la fois en tant que femme et avocat.

Le barreau de Blois se mobilise en faveur de Nasrin Sotoudeh, une avocate iranienne condamnée pour avoir pris fait et cause pour les femmes de son pays.

Voilà bientôt un an que Nasrin Sotoudeh croupit dans sa cellule d’Evin, la pire prison d’Iran. Cette avocate de 55 ans, spécialiste de la défense des droits de l’homme, est dans le collimateur du régime des mollahs pour avoir contesté leur autorité. Le barreau de Blois a décidé de se mobiliser en sa faveur pour dénoncer l’injustice avec laquelle cette consœur a été traitée. Me Fabienne Aubry et Me Anne Durand, particulièrement émues par son sort, appellent à se joindre à la mobilisation internationale en signant la pétition en ligne qui a déjà réuni plus de 330.000 signatures.
“ Notre consœur n’a même pas pu assister à son procès ”« Nasrin Sotoudeh est emprisonnée pour être apparue en public sans porter le voile et pour avoir pris fait et cause pour des jeunes femmes qui manifestaient pacifiquement sur l’avenue Enghelab (*) pour protester contre l’obligation du port du hijab », expliquent les deux avocates. Son engagement considéré comme un défi par le régime lui valu une première condamnation à 5 ans d’emprisonnement pour « rassemblement et collusion contre le régime » et à 2 ans pour « insulte au Guide suprême ».
En mars dernier, sa situation s’est encore aggravée : le tribunal révolutionnaire lui a infligé 33 ans de prison supplémentaires et 148 coups de fouet pour sept chefs d’accusation dont « incitation à la débauche ». Pour les avocates blésoises, cette décision est une parodie de justice : « Notre consœur n’a même pas pu assister à son procès ni être assistée d’un avocat » s’insurgent-elles. Cette condamnation a soulevé une vague d’indignation et de réprobation à travers le monde notamment de la part de l’Union européenne et du gouvernement français.
Du côté des avocats, la protestation s’organise autour de la Conférence nationale des barreaux qui a lancé la pétition en faveur de Nasrin Sotoudeh au nom du droit fondamental d’exercer cette profession et d’être assisté d’un avocat. (SIGNEZ LA PETITION!) (SIGNEZ LA PETITION!) (FARSI) (FARSI) (FARSI) (SIGN THE PETITION!) (ENGLISH) (ENGLISH)


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La nostra Collega @Nasrin Sotoudeh نسرین ستوده condannata a 38 anni di reclusione e 148 frustate e detenuta nel carcere di Evin a Teheran, è stata insignita dal Consiglio dell’Ordine dell’Osella al merito professionale con la seguente motivazione: “Per il suo impegno a favore dei diritti umani – in particolare quelli delle donne e dei più deboli – ed il fatto di non aver mai ceduto alle minacce subite dimostrando un coraggio esemplare nonostante le numerose detenzioni e condanne subite. Il Consiglio dell’Ordine manifesta gratitudine e solidarietà a Nasrin Sotoudeh, esempio di avvocata disposta a sacrificare gli affetti, la libertà ed anche la vita pur di preservare la propria indipendenza e l’effettività del diritto di difesa e, con l’occasione, condanna fermamente la persecuzione in atto nei confronti suoi e di tutti i difensori e le difensore dei diritti umani in Iran, come nel mondo, deplora l’inflizione di detenzioni arbitrarie, tortura e pene corporali, ribadendo, altresì, il suo impegno per la promozione e la diffusione della cultura del rispetto dei diritti fondamentali e della difesa della difesa nella società civile”.
L’Osella e la pergamena sono state consegnate in absentia a Karim Lahidji, Presidente Onorario della FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights, venerdì scorso, 24 maggio, nell’aula delle udienze solenni della Corte di Cassazione a Bruxelles a latere della cerimonia di consegna del Premio internazionale dei diritti umani “Ludovic Trarieux” 2018, dal consigliere, avv. Federico Cappelletti, membro della giuria del Premio.

Our colleague Nasrin Sotoudeh نسرین ستوده,, sentenced to 38 years’ imprisonment and 148 lashes, and detained in Evin prison in Tehran, was awarded the medal of merit (“Osella”) by the Venice Bar Association, with the following motivation: “for her commitment to human rights – in particular those of women and the weakest – having never give in to the threats against her, with an outstanding courage despite multiple detentions and convictions. The Venice Bar Association expresses its gratitude and support, as it considers Mrs. Sotoudeh an example of a lawyer willing to sacrifice affections, freedom and even life in order to preserve her independence and the effectiveness of the right of defense. On this occasion, it strongly condemns the current persecution against her and all the human rights’ defenders in Iran, and in the world, deplores the infliction of arbitrary detention, torture and corporal punishment, and also reaffirms its commitment to promoting and spreading a culture of respect for fundamental rights and defense’s rights in civil society.”
The medal of merit and the parchment were handed over in absentia to Mr. Karim Lahidji, Honorary President of the FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights, last Friday, May 24, in the courtroom of the formal hearings of the Court of Cassation in Brussels at the end of the award ceremony of the International Human Rights Prize “Ludovic Trarieux” 2018, by Mr. Federico Cappelletti, jury member of the Prize, delegated by the Board of the Bar Association

(Ordine degli Avvocati di Venezia Facebook, 27/05/19)

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Turkey: Turkish Lawyer who represents a torture victim was also tortured and detained

May 25, 2019


Ahval reports that a Turkish lawyer whose name is Erdem Semih Yildiz was detained and tortured in Ankara Police HQ. Erdem Semih Yildiz who was a lawyer* in a case in which many defendants were tortured, was detained and also tortured. In his statement dated 12 March 2019 before the prosecutor victim lawyer said he was subjected to physical and psychological torture during police custody.

Turkish Lawyer who represents a torture victim was also tortured and detained

Update: Incarceration of Turkish Lawyers | Unjust Arrests and Convictions (2016-2019)

Factsheet: Turkey’s state of emergency dismissals (TURKCE) (TURKCE) (TURKCE)