Daily Archives: 23/06/2019

The Philippines: Mindoro prosecutor wounded in gun attack

June 11, 2019

Image may contain: 10 people, people standing

The provincial prosecutor of Oriental Mindoro was wounded in a gun attack yesterday.

Josephine Olivar was about to enter her home in Barangay Bayanan I, Calapan City when a lone gunman arrived at around 9:30 a.m. and shot her several times.

Olivar suffered two gunshot wounds in the head and three in other parts of the body.

“The victim was rushed to a hospital while the suspect fled,” Lt. Col. Socrates Faltado, spokesman for the Mimaropa police, said.

A statement from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Oriental Mindoro chapter said Olivar is now in stable condition.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a probe and run after the perpetrators.

https://www.philstar.com/nation/2019/06/11/1925377/mindoro-prosecutor-wounded-gun-attack

Attacks on Philippines Lawyers 10 June 2019

66 killed under Duterte, advocates call for defense of human rights in Negros

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/statement-report/philippines-conduct-investigation-killings-activists-and-take-genuine-steps-towards

IBP slams shooting of Oriental Mindoro prosecutor

Provincial prosecutor survives shooting in Oriental Mindoro

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24679&LangID=E

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/06/07/1924491/un-experts-seek-probe-deteriorating-human-rights-situation-philippines

Rare joint statement of UN rapporteurs calls for probe of PH killings

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-rights-un/philippines-slams-unpardonable-intrusions-by-u-n-rights-experts-idUSKCN1T908K

https://www.philstar.com/nation/2019/06/10/1925304/nbi-probe-shooting-mindoro-oriental-prosecutor

https://www.karapatan.org/Karapatan+challenges+the+Duterte+gov%E2%80%99t+to+allow+UN+independent+investigation+on+rights+violations

Military officers snub CA hearing on NUPL’s harassment complaint

https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/06/07/19/ph-intl-lawyers-hit-threats-red-tagging-of-filipino-human-rights-lawyers-group

Right to be forgotten

Stop killings, Negros human rights group asks gov’t

Cebu’s murder statistics

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/05/30/1922178/morales-camp-claims-cyber-attacks-after-icc-submission

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/06/24/un-needs-act-now-end-philippines-killings

ICJ urges human rights approach to foreign fighters, solidarity with migrants, action on the Philippines

https://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/06/17/19/2-suspek-sa-pananambang-ng-piskal-patay-sa-engkuwentro-sa (TAGALOG)

PRESS STATEMENT
11 June 2019

On the Frustrated Murder of
Mindoro Prosecutor Olivar:

YET ANOTHER ONE

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) joins the calls for a thorough investigation on the brazen shooting of a provincial prosecutor in Oriental Mindoro yesterday.

Reports disclose that Prosecutor Josephine Carranzo Olivar was shot several times in front of her very home in Calapan. She sustained wounds in the head and body but fortunately is now in stable condition.

We are immensely concerned about this seemingly unending and lamentably unresolved attacks on members of our profession.

Olivar is the seventh prosecutor attacked under the Duterte administration. A total of at least 39 lawyers, judges and prosecutors have been killed apparently in relation to their work since 2016, three of which just happened in the last month.

This is on top of many others who have been attacked in other forms like labelling, threats, harassment, intimidation, surveillance, false charges, and even arrests.

Even the policemen who have been identified to have been involved in the heinous murder of Quezon City Prosecutor Rogelio Velasco are now off the hook.

We condemn this attack on Olivar and we call out once again the Philippine government to abide by its responsibility under the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers which clearly mandates that:

16. Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference xxx;

17. Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities; and

18. Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions.

This latest attack comes on the heels of the unrelenting vicious attacks on NUPL as a whole. It also highlights the imperative for an independent investigation on the other “staggering” killings as urged by several UN officials including the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

With a surfeit of lawyers in all branches, levels and interstices of government, it must be a no-brainer that these attacks must be addressed, resolved and prevented with utmost dispatch and urgency. We must go beyond bombastic rhetoric, formulaic task forces and trite palliatives lest we learn of another one of our own biting the dust. #

Reference:

Edre U. Olalia
NUPL President
+63 9175113373

Ephraim B. Cortez
NUPL Secretary General
+63 917546 5798

Josalee S. Deinla
NUPL Spokesperson
+63 917431 6396

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 14/06/19)

 

Israel: Israel Seeks 12-year Jail Term for Blogger Accused of Slandering Public Officials

June 10, 2019

The exceptional indictment contains 120 accusations against Lori Shem-Tov and others; the prosecutors apparently see this as a test case for online shaming

Supporters of Lori Shem-Tov demonstrate for her release, 2018.

Israel’s state prosecutor is seeking a 12-year prison sentence for blogger Lori Shem-Tov, who is accused of crimes including invasion of privacy and insulting civil servants, among them judges, in online publications.

At one meeting that Shem-Tov’s attorney held to discuss a plea bargain with Tel Aviv District Attorney officials, prosecutors reportedly insisted that she serve at least 10 years in prison. The district attorney’s office denied that report.

The indictment filed in April 2017 against Shem-Tov, along with fellow blogger Moti Leybel and attorney Zvi Zer, is unusual in scope. Covering 231 pages, it includes 120 accusations concerning internet activity. The three are accused of serious offenses of conspiracy to commit various crimes against social welfare, law enforcement and judicial officials; invasion of privacy; sexual harassment; insulting a civil servant; contempt of court; and violating gag orders relating to publicizing the names and images of minors.

Shem-Tov and Leybel are also accused of blackmailing a private lawyer to cut a deal with them, and threatened her that they would continue defaming her if she wouldn’t oblige them.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-seeks-12-year-jail-term-for-blogger-accused-of-slandering-public-officials-1.7353653

https://www.timesofisrael.com/state-said-seeking-12-year-sentence-against-blogger-for-harassing-judges/

Israeli human rights lawyer Zvi Zer

China: Lawyer of Dissident Jailed For Supporting Hong Kong Democracy Movement Beaten

June 11, 2019

Activist Wang Mo, who was redetained after finishing his prison sentence, in an undated photo.

A top Chinese human rights lawyer has been attacked and threatenedimmediately after meeting with his client, the dissident Wang Mo, at adetention center in the eastern province of Jiangsu, RFA has learned.

Shanghai-based rights lawyer Peng Yonghe was beaten and threatened by a group of unidentified people at the gate of the Huai’an Detention Center in Jiangsu on Monday, after he went there to visit his client.

“I met with my client Wang Mo at the Huai’an District Detention Center in Huai’an city today,” Peng told RFA. “But the [detention center staff] forced me to terminate the meeting when it was only halfway through.”

Shortly afterwards, at around 11.00 a.m., Peng was surrounded by a group of men at the detention center gate.

“They threatened me, to make me withdraw from Wang’s case,” Peng said.”They asked to see my mobile phone. I told them I had shot video on myphone, and they stole it from me, and also beat me in the process.”

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/lawyer-beating-06112019135814.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/05/29/chinese-lawyer-remains-isolated-prison-we-must-join-his-wife-demanding-justice/

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/lawyer-family-06242019104418.html

https://www.wfae.org/post/human-rights-lawyer-fled-china-still-feels-its-influence#stream/0

https://www.euronews.com/2019/05/31/un-rights-body-calls-for-release-of-chinese-lawyer

https://news.yahoo.com/cries-freedom-still-rattle-china-161022278–politics.html

Lawyer Jiang Tianyong Freed From Prison but Not Free, Health Deteriorating

Joint oral statement to Human Rights Council

Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: The Pakistani lawyer putting his life on the line

(June 12, 2019

Despite mass protests against his work and credible threats to his life, Saif ul-Malook keeps going. He speaks to Subi Shah about why.

‘In Pakistan, blasphemy is a crime punishable by death. To defend anyone accused of it – especially if they are part of the very poor Christian minority – is to risk a death sentence of one’s own, by mob rule,’ says Saif ul-Malook, the human rights lawyer who represented Asia Bibi – a Christian labourer who stood accused of blasphemy – in the country’s supreme court.

In June 2009, Asia, a mother of five, headed towards the fields surrounding her village of Ittanwala, around 40 miles south-east of Lahore. There, along with several other village women, she would work all day under the blistering sun, gathering fruit to sell at the market.

It was thirsty work. After several hours, they stopped for a break and Asia was told by her Muslim co-workers to go and fetch water. Returning from the well, Asia took a sip from the water pot she was carrying before handing it to the other women.

A fight broke out, with the Muslim women refusing to drink from the same pot as Asia, who, as a Christian, was considered to be impure and inferior.

Later that week, an angry mob – including members of the police force and the local Imam – broke into Asia’s house, dragged her into the street and violently assaulted her.

She was arrested and charged with blasphemy for defaming the Prophet Muhammad. With no legal representation, Asia would spend the next nine years on death row, in solitary confinement.

Asia’s case came to the world’s attention in 2010, when a prominent politician, Salman Taseer, appealed to the government for her release and vowed to reform the blasphemy law. A few weeks later, he was murdered by his own security guard, who shot him 27 times at point blank range in the middle of a busy market square.

Soon after, in 2011, Pakistan’s Minorities Minister Shabaz Bhatti, a fellow Christian, spoke out in defense of Asia. He was assassinated en route to work, hit by a hail if bullets as he sat in his car.

When Lahore-based lawyer Saif-ul-Malook, heard of Bibi’s plight, he took on her case. The furore this caused caught the attention of global media and, suddenly, he was thrust into the limelight.

Asia’s acquittal in 2018 caused rioting and mass protests across the country, and both she and Malook were subject to countless credible death threats.

For three days and nights, protesters rioted in an attempt to get the Supreme Court and government to reconsider.

https://newint.org/features/2019/06/12/pakistani-lawyer-putting-his-life-line

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Court-sets-hearing-date-for-Christian-couple-sentenced-to-death-on-blasphemy-charges-five-years-ago-47283.html

https://www.opendoors.org.za/still-many-asia-bibis-out-there/

https://www.villamedia.nl/artikel/celebrating-dissent-interview-marathon

https://www.dawn.com/news/1485249/lawyers-boycott-courts-in-quetta

https://www.secularism.org.uk/uploads/nss-bulletin-72-web-version.pdf (page 5)

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-january-24-2020-pakistan/

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

Egypt: Egyptian lawyer Amr Nohan arrested while providing legal aid

June 13, 2019

A human rights lawyer has been arrested and detained pending investigations over alleged links to a terror group, after he visited a police station in northern Egypt to provide legal assistance to a female detainee, according to a local NGO.

Amr Nohan was in the Qarmuz police station in the port city of Alexandria to “carry out his humanitarian duty” of handing out a monthly payment to a client of one of his colleagues who was not able to go that day, human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Massry said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

However, he was arrested and his whereabouts were unknown for two days until he appeared in a prosecutor’s office in Cairo on Thursday.

“On 13 June, the supreme state security prosecution decided to detain lawyer Amr Nohan for 15 days pending investigations, in the case (no.741 year 2019), on charges of joining a terrorist group. He was arrested on 10 June while doing his job at the Qarmuz police headquarters,” the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, a local NGO, said in a statement.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/egyptian-lawyer-amr-nohan-forcibly-disappeared-alexandria-say-activists

https://www.smh.com.au/world/student-amr-nohan-jailed-for-three-years-over-mickey-mouse-meme-of-egypt-president-abdel-fattah-alsisi-20151221-glsa6o.html

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/06/egypt-chilling-wave-of-arbitrary-arrests-as-authorities-intensify-crackdown-on-critics-and-opponents/

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/egypt-rounds-prominent-leftist-activists-journalists

https://madamirror15.appspot.com/madamasr.com/en/2019/06/25/feature/politics/arrests-target-political-figures-involved-in-new-coalition-to-run-in-2020-parliamentary-elections/

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/190625164139901.html

Innocents from the charge of “hope”

https://daamdth.org/archives/5380 (ARABIC)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/190625164139901.html (DEUTSCH)

#WhereIsAmrNohan