Daily Archives: 18/07/2019

Cameroon: Lawyer defending detained Ambazonia leaders kidnapped

July 17, 2019

One of the lawyers defending the ten detained Ambazonia separatist leaders has been reportedly kidnapped, sources have said.

Barrister Sang George Nang was kidnapped in the early hours of Wednesday July 17 in Bamenda by unidentified men and taken away.

His whereabouts remain unknown and no group has so far claimed responsibility for the act as family members continue to expect positive news.

Barrister Sang George who is also the Secretary General of the North West Lawyers Association is expected to be in court next week in Yaounde where his clients return at the Military tribunal for their case.

Cameroon: Lawyer defending detained Ambazonia leaders kidnapped

Cameroon: Kidnapped lawyer defending detained Ambazonia leaders released

Turkey/UK: Society joins plea to UN over Turkey’s ‘chilling roll call of injustice’

July 18, 2019

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Turkish citizens are resorting in vain to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in ever greater numbers, as trust in their domestic courts erodes, the Law Society of England and Wales said today in a joint submission to the UN Human Rights Council’s universal periodic review of Turkey on behalf of an international coalition of legal organisations.

’Judges’ and prosecutors’ independence has been systematically undermined in Turkey since the failed coup in 2016,’ Law Society president Simon Davis said. ’Hundreds of judges, prosecutors and lawyers have been arrested, detained and convicted on charges of terrorism without credible evidence.

’Lawyers have been identified with and punished for their clients’ causes. More than 1,500 lawyers have been prosecuted, hundreds of them in mass trials,’ he said. Lawyers who can still practise report intimidation and threats.’

Davis said that this menacing environment undermines the right of every citizen to legal representation and a fair trial, which may explain why Turkish citizens submitted more than 57,000 petitions to the European Court of Human Rights in 2017.

According to the submission, Turkey’s chilling roll call of injustice includes:

  • 57,039 petitions to the ECtHR in 2017 from Turkish citizens, 25,000 of which rejected for failure to exhaust domestic remedies
  • 4,260 judges and prosecutors dismissed
  • 634 judges and prosecutors convicted on terrorism charges
  • 1,546 lawyers prosecuted, 311 sentenced to a total of 1,967 years in prison
  • 599 lawyers arrested and detained

’Turkey must protect the independence of lawyers, judges and prosecutors – in legislation and in practice – so that they can perform their professional duties without intimidation and improper interference,’ Davis said. ’The rule of law and the independence of the legal profession are essential foundations for political, social and economic stability.’

He said that the Law Society and the international legal profession will continue to support colleagues working in difficult conditions and do whatever it can to help restore meaningful access to justice in Turkey.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/international/society-joins-plea-to-un-over-turkeys-chilling-roll-call-of-injustice/5071046.article

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/18/un-urged-to-act-over-purge-of-turkeys-lawyers-by-erdogan

https://www.australasianlawyer.com.au/news/legal-coalition-urges-un-to-act-on-persecution-of-lawyers-and-judges-in-turkey-264636.aspx

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/european-court-cannot-help-thousands-of-persecuted-lawyers-in-turkey-5fm5hw2wp

Joint UPR submission Turkey

http://www.barhumanrights.org.uk/bhrc-joins-international-coalition-of-legal-organisations-raising-concern-for-turkeys-lawyers-and-judges/

Int’l lawyers say Turkey’s justice system being undermined by post-coup purge

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

UPR Turkey Combined

http://bianet.org/english/human-rights/210569-33-years-of-the-ihd-15-directors-and-members-of-which-killed-from-vedat-aydin-to-tahir-elci

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/07/turkey-outlandish-charges-against-osman-kavala-and-15-others-must-be-dropped/

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/ten-year-backlog-of-10000-cases-dogs-european-court-of-human-rights/

https://tr.euronews.com/2019/07/18/avrupa-hukuk-orgutleri-bm-ye-turkiye-raporu-insan-haklari-aihm-15-temmuz-mahkum-cezaevi (TURKCE)

USA/Ecuador: Lawyer beat oil giant in court, but now faces jail and millions in fines

July 17, 2019

Image result for steven donziger

From 1964 to 1990, Texaco (later absorbed by Chevron) dumped 16 billion gallons of toxic waste in Ecuador’s Amazon. The CIA played a key role in bringing to power the dictatorship that first allowed Texaco to work in Ecuador. Philip Agee, the great whistleblower of that era, described CIA tactics in Ecuador in his 1975 book Inside the Company: CIA Diary.

Chevron demands Ecuadorian jurisdiction, gets it

In 1993, US lawyer Steven Donziger filed a lawsuit against Texaco in New York on behalf of the Ecuadorian victims of the dumped toxic waste. These were thousands of very poor people who lived in the affected area. The oil giant spent nine years fighting to have the case moved back to Ecuador. In 2002, Chevron prevailed. US courts ruled that the case belonged in Ecuador. But the battle soon took an unexpected turn.

Under the government of Rafael Correa, who was first elected in 2006, Ecuador’s judiciary changed. It was no longer one that would easily defer to wishes of a huge US-based company. Chevron was found guilty in a provincial court. The case held up on appeals all the way to Ecuador’s Supreme Court in 2013. The victims were awarded $9bn in damages. Chevron’s revenues have ranged from $100bn to $200bn per year depending on oil prices.

Chevron loses, demands US jurisdiction, and gets it

Chevron ran back to US courts to attack Donziger. A New York judge, Lewis A Kaplan, brushed aside Chevron’s promise to abide by Ecuadorian jurisdiction. He ruled that the lower court victory in Ecuador was won by Donziger using corrupt means. What about the appeals in Ecuador’s higher courts? Kaplan simply declared that Ecuador’s judiciary could not handle a case like this fairly. Did Kaplan say the company had not contaminated the Amazon? No. He simply said it was irrelevant to Chevron’s allegations against Donziger. Why didn’t a jury rule on this case? Chevron manoeuvred around facing a jury by not seeking monetary damages from Donziger.

Lawyer beat oil giant in court, but now faces jail and millions in fines

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkrauss/2019/07/17/suspended-ex-attorney-steven-donziger-condemned-to-pay-chevron-3-4-million/#fbc89b332cd3

Chevron Ecuador Fraud Case: Steven Donziger Loses Again in Court

https://amazonwatch.org/news/2019/0612-statement-on-excessive-judicial-order-demanding-that-steven-donziger-surrender-his-passport

Donziger Chevron Ecuador Lawsuit Dismissed In Canadian Court

https://www.donzigerlaw.com/

https://www.urgente24.com/zona/negocios/desisten-de-un-juicio-contra-chevron (ESPANOL)

Iran/The Philippines/China/Nigeria: LSO expresses concern over global human rights violations

July 16, 2019

Organization has issued statements condemning violations of legal professionals’ human rights

LSO expresses concern over global human rights violations

The Law Society of Ontario has expressed “grave concerns” regarding human rights violations against members of the legal profession across the globe.

“Lawyers should be able to exercise their legitimate duties without fear for their lives, for their liberty or for their security. The Law Society of Ontario urges all governments to comply with international human rights laws, including the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers,” the society said in a statement.

The law society’s Human Rights Monitoring Group have issued public statements regarding the following lawyers:

  • Jiang Tianyong in China, who is being subjected to surveillance and restrictions on freedom of movement after his release from prison for “incitement to subvert state power.”
  • Nasrin Sotoudeh in Iran, who was convicted on seven charges, and sentenced to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes. According to credible reports, the charges stem solely from her human rights work and for having spoken out against the death penalty in Iran.

https://www.lawtimesnews.com/practice-areas/human-rights/lso-expresses-concern-over-global-human-rights-violations/277066#.XS8Kl4Ty_4Y.twitter

https://lso.ca/news-events/news/latest-news-2019/law-society-expresses-grave-concerns-regarding-(1)

https://lso.ca/

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

https://lso.ca/nouvelles-et-evenements/nouvelles/2019/le-barreau-est-tres-preoccupe-par-les-violations-des-droits-de-la-personne-a-l%E2%80%99encontre-de-membres-d (FRANCAIS)

#FreeNasrin

#JiangTianyong

#AmirDavoudi

Algeria: Entretien avec Salah Dabouz, avocat en grève de la faim illimitée

le 18 juillet, 2019

Salah Dabouz lors d'une manifestation des avocats

Salah Dabouz, avocat et militant politique nous livre dans cet entretien les raisons pour lesquelles il a entamé une grève de la faim illimitée depuis 10 jours. Il évoque la situation que vivent les militants politiques dans la vallée du M’zab et dénonce les pressions de la justice contre ces activistes. A noter que cet entretien a été réalisé une semaine après l’entame de cette action par l’avocat.

  • Plusieurs jours de grève de la faim, comment vous vous sentez vous ?

Je tiens le coup pour le moment, je dors beaucoup, je ne bouge pas trop, je bois beaucoup d’eau, je me suie fait examiner par un médecin, tout vas bien pour le moment, à part quelques maux de tête qui celons les anciens grévistes de la faim est normale surtout les premiers jours, rien de grave, donc je continue mon action.

  • Vous êtes en grève de la faim illimitée. Vous dénoncez l’appareil judiciaire contre les activistes mozabites. quel genre d’acharnement?

La justice à Ghardaïa fonctionne d’une façon très particulière, car si dans le reste de l’Algérie elle n’est pas indépendante, et elle obéit aux ordres, à Ghardaïa c’est encore pire, car s’ajoute à tout cela un abus d’autorité de certains juges, et une grande liberté qu’ils se donnent pour attaquer des citoyens qui dénoncent toutes les irrégularités qu’ils subissent. Le syndicaliste et enseignant de physique au lycée Aouf Brahim, avait dénoncé des irrégularités dans l’attribution de postes, des détournements de budget de l’éducation, des fraudes dans les examens en saisissant d’abord le directeur de l’éducation de Ghardaïa, puis le wali, et le ministre de l’Education, ils l’on alors menacé de poursuite judiciaire s’il continuait à écrire, ensuite ils ont engagé des poursuites et ils l’ont incarcéré avec Fekhar et ils allaient m’arrêter avec eux aussi. Attention, je ne parle pas d’affaires qui datent d’après le 22 févriers 2019 mais d’affaires qui remontent aux années 2014 et 2015 et plus. Cet abus d’autorité a couté la vie déjà à Fekhar Kameleddine, et a causé de gros problèmes de santé à Aouf Hadj Brahim, et a hypothéqué son poste de travail, et m’a mis moi en chômage technique depuis 3 mois avec une obligation d’être présent à Ghardaïa trois fois par semaine assortie d’une menace de liquidation physique à Ghardaïa même et devant le tribunal, sachant que j’habite à Alger et je travaille à Boumerdes.

https://www.djazairess.com/fr/lqo/5279132

https://www.elwatan.com/edition/actualite/alger-22e-vendredi-la-revolution-pacifique-supplante-tout-19-07-2019

https://www.huffpostmaghreb.com/entry/avant-le-chaudron-du-cairo-stadium-le-chaudron-audin-grande-poste_mg_5d31c9e1e4b020cd994293cc

https://www.maghrebvoices.com/a/504926.html (ARABIC)

#SalahDabouz

#Salah_Dabouz

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Pakistan/New Zealand: Pakistan the focus of 2020 Day of Endangered Lawyer

July 17, 2019

Image result for new zealand law society

The tenth annual Day of the Endangered Lawyer will focus on Pakistan, on 24 January 2020.

The Day of the Endangered Lawyer foundation is based in the Netherlands. It has developed a wide range of activities around the world on 24 January to raise awareness of lawyers who are being harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted, tortured and murdered for their work as lawyers.

The day is commemorated on 24 January because on 24 January 1977 four lawyers and a coworker were murdered at their place of work in Madrid, Spain.

Of the perpetrators, who were affiliated with extreme right-wing parties and organizations, one was sentenced to 15 years in prison, another fled to Brazil and the third ended up in jail in Bolivia for drug smuggling.

The focus in 2019 has been on Turkey, with Egypt chosen for 2018.

Information released by the organisers says that over the past several years lawyers in Pakistan have been subjected to acts of mass terrorism, murder, attempted murder, assaults, (death) threats, contempt proceedings, harassment and intimidation in the execution of their professional duties.

https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/news-and-communications/latest-news/news/pakistan-the-focus-of-2020-day-of-endangered-lawyer

https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/

Click to access proposals_to_the_g7_governments.pdf

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/international_law/publications/around_the_section/aroundthesection201906/

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

Homepage

https://www.lesechos.fr/monde/enjeux-internationaux/premiere-reunion-des-avocats-du-g7-1038488 (FRANCAIS)

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer