Daily Archives: 25/06/2019

South Sudan/Kenya: COMMENT: Disappearance and extrajudicial killing

May 30, 2019

It’s time for Kenya, South Sudan to account for the enforced disappearance of Samuel Dong and Aggrey Idri

 As news of the death of Samuel Dong Luak and Aggrey Ezboni Idri circulated recently, I felt extremely saddened and concerned about the region we live in. The enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killing of two outspoken critics of the South Sudanese government, by South Sudanese security services allegedly with the acquiescence of Kenyan authorities, and both states’ continuous denial of responsibilities, signals a worrying trend of disrespect for human life and insecurity for those who dare to speak up and challenge power.

Samuel Dong Luak was a prominent human rights lawyer, Secretary General of the South Sudan Law Society for over ten years, as well as a member of the South Sudan Constitutional Review Commission. Aggrey Ezboni Idri was an opposition leader, and member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO). In 2013, after receiving death threats for providing legal assistance to the former Secretary General of South Sudan’s governing party, Pagan Amum, who had been accused of “treason” by President Salva Kiir, Dong fled South Sudan and sought refuge in Kenya, where he was granted refugee status. The same year, Aggrey also relocated to Kenya after South Sudan descended into conflict.

The deceased lived with their families in the capital, Nairobi, until they were disappeared on 23 and 24 January 2017, respectively. Amnesty International, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, and other human rights groups called on the governments of Kenya and South Sudan to reveal the fate or whereabouts of the two men, suspected to be held by Kenyan authorities before deportation. The families of the disappeared also mobilised; petitioning Kenya’s High Court to produce the two men in court, but the petition was dismissed as Kenya denied having them in its custody. The family later asked the police to conduct a thorough investigation, but a final judgment in January 2019 confirmed the dismissal of their petition and ended judicial oversight into police action with regard to the case. Yet, the Court had noted that the police investigation fell short of seeking information from South Sudanese authorities and potential key witnesses.

COMMENT: Disappearance and extrajudicial killing

The Death Squads in South Sudan

https://www.voanews.com/africa/un-renews-south-sudan-arms-embargo

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/we-must-not-let-down-the-people-of-south-sudan

Cuba/USA: A Lawyer Who Does Her Profession Proud

June 7, 2019

Laritza Diversent is a Cuban lawyer, now living in the United States, because she was forced to flee her country. She has a beautiful name, doesn’t she? The last name is of French-Haitian origin.

I met her at the Oslo Freedom Forum. She told me her story, in brief outline, and I will relate it to you.

Her father “worked in the fields,” as she puts it. He had fought in the Sierra Maestra with Fidel Castro. He was always loyal to the regime — right to the end. (He passed away some years ago.) Laritza’s mother is still living, and is in Cuba. She has a handicap (unspecified, and I don’t feel like pressing).

Was Laritza political, when she was a girl? No. She was indifferent to politics. She never wanted to be involved in the Communist Youth League or anything like that. Her parents told her to study as much as she could, to maximize her opportunities in the future. That’s what she did.

Like a great many dissidents, Laritza Diversent is Afro-Cuban. Did she ever suffer racial discrimination? Of course, she says — from schooldays onward. Black women, in particular, have a hard time of it, she says. Cuban men say that black women smell like monkeys and sweat too much and so on.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/lartiza-diversent-cuban-lawyer/

https://oslofreedomforum.com/speakers/laritza-diversent

https://www.radiotelevisionmarti.com/a/cubanos-participan-en-el-oslo-freedom-forum-2019/239802.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1561386276_47107.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.paginasiete.bo/ideas/2019/6/23/feminicidios-los-crimenes-que-oculta-el-socialismo-221672.html (ESPANOL)

Kenya: ‘Those who killed Willie Kimani…’ widow sends message to killers

June 24, 2019

Murdered lawyer Willie Kimani’s wife has had to explain to her two sons where their father is and what happened to him, keeping the wounds of his death fresh.

Speaking on Saturday during the third memorial service at Kimani’s home in Kikuyu, Kiambu, Hannah said when her husband died in 2016 her two sons were too small to understand what happened but as they grow up they are asking unending questions.

Kimani, aged 32 at the time of his murder, worked with the International Justice Mission, a global rights lobby. He documented police brutality, including extrajudicial killings. He was killed alongside his client Josphat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri in June 2016.

‘I was going to end my life in Mombasa!’ Janet Mbugua’s brother reveals

They went missing for about a week before their bodies wrapped in a sack were found in Ol Donyo Sabuk river on July 1.

The widow said life has never been the same again since then and they live a day at a time.

‘Those who killed Willie Kimani…’ widow sends message to killers

https://vidokezo.com/v/beb31ff8c56333e5091c03e6df428ea0

COMMENT: Disappearance and extrajudicial killing

Willy Kimani murder case postponed again after lawyer Ombeta fails to show up

https://hivisasa.com/posts/57335428-i-dont-want-a-female-lawyer-murder-suspect

Macau: Trial against assailants of lawyer Jorge Menezes held today

June 3, 2019

Image result for lawyer Jorge Menezes

On Monday, the Court of First Instance (TJB) held the first session of the trial against two Chinese men accused of attacking lawyer Jorge Menezes, six years after the attack took place.

According to court documents to which MNA had access, charges for assault with intent to cause serious injury were put forward against two Chinese nationals, a 29-year-old man, surnamed Feng and a 45-year-old, surnamed Yan.

None of the defendants was present in court today, and both did not present any written statements to be read in the session, with Mr. Menezes expressing after the session that he believed the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) did not make the necessary effort to assure the men could be present, or to assess who was behind the attack.

A daylight attack

According to case documents, the assault took place at 9:00am on May 16, 2013, when Mr. Menezes left his residence in Avenida do Infante D. Henrique to take his son – at the time five years of age – to the Jose Costa Nunes kindergarten.

Mr. Menezes stated that in Praca da Amizade, near the Macau Portuguese School (EPM), the defendant surnamed Yan attacked him from the back with a violent hit to the back of his head.

The man was said to have tied a 23.5 cm long brick in his fist ‘like a boxing glove’ with the purpose to inflict more damage, with the force of the blow said to have been such that it broke the brick in two pieces, one having fallen on the sidewalk and the other still remaining in the assailant’s hand.

The lawyer stated that he almost fell on the ground after the hit, with his head, face and chest becoming covered in blood. When he turned to the assailant, he was attacked two to three more times, managing to fend off the attacks with his right arm.

https://www.macaubusiness.com/trial-against-assailants-of-lawyer-jorge-menezes-held-today/

https://macaudailytimes.com.mo/lawyers-assailants-to-stand-trial-after-years-of-legal-wrangling.html

Kazakhstan: Kazakh Human Rights Lawyer Suspects Her Dog Was Poisoned

June 5, 2019

 Aiman Omarova (left) believes her dog was killed as a warning. (file photo)

A prominent Kazakh human rights lawyer who aided a woman who helped expose “reeducation camps” for Muslims in neighboring China says she believes her dog was poisoned in a fatal attack meant to frighten her.

Aiman Omarova, who also represents victims of sexual abuse and was a recipient of the U.S. State Department’s International Women of Courage Award for 2018, said that she found her dog dead in the backyard of her home in Almaty early on June 5.

The dog was 5 years old and had been in good health, Omaraova said, adding that he was a friendly pet and that she had never had any trouble with neighbors over him.

“Most likely, my dog was poisoned. And I am confident that it is because of my professional activities,” said Omarova, who filed a complaint with the police.

She said that earlier this year somebody had hung a dead cat on the gate of her home in what she believes was meant as a warning.

Omarova specializes in seeking justice for victims of sexual abuse, mainly women and children, and also represents people who believe they are being prosecuted for political reasons or to stifle dissent in tightly controlled Kazakhstan.

https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakh-human-rights-lawyer-suspects-her-dog-was-poisoned/29983013.html

https://www.rferl.org/a/group-defending-rights-of-ethnic-kazakhs-in-china-to-sue-kazakh-justice-ministry/30012768.html

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx