Daily Archives: 25/07/2019

The Philippines: Groups condemn killing of red-tagged human rights lawyer

July 25, 2019

The killing of another lawyer in Negros island—whose name was said to be on a “hit list”—highlights the dire consequences of red-tagging on the lives and security of human rights defenders.

Groups Karapatan and National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers stressed this Thursday as they condemned the killing of human rights lawyer Anthony Trinidad.

The 53-year-old lawyer and his wife were inside their vehicle when two motorcycle-riding assailants shot them in Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental Wednesday afternoon. Trinidad was killed, while his wife remained confined due to serious injuries.

Both groups noted that Trinidad was red-tagged prior to his killing. His name was included in a flyer bearing the names of alleged supporters of communist rebels.

Cristina Palabay said the killing of Trinidad exposes that “hit lists” often translate to killings.

“This only proves as well that the perceived dangers of being arbitrarily, maliciously and baselessly red-tagged are neither imaginary nor contrived, but constitute real threats to life, liberty and security,” Edre Olalia, NUPL secretary general, said.

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/07/25/1937762/groups-condemn-killing-red-tagged-human-rights-lawyer

NUPL: Lawyer’s death shows hazard of being ‘baselessly’ linked to NPA

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1815799/Cebu/Opinion/Tell-it-to-SunStar-Condemn-lawyers-killing

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/regions/702276/kin-of-slain-lawyer-in-negros-oriental-demand-justice/story/

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/regions/702302/3-killed-in-separate-shooting-incidents-in-guihulngan-city-negros-oriental/story/

Family of slain Negros Oriental lawyer appeals for justice: ‘Stop the killings’

https://www.karapatan.org/Red-tagging+a+pretext+to+the+killings+of+activists+and+defenders+-Karapatan

http://tempo.com.ph/2019/07/25/village-chief-2-others-gunned-down-in-negros-oriental/

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1815911

Lawyer included in ‘hit list’ killed

Stop the killings!

Sen. Leila M. De Lima’s Statement On The Killing Of Another HRD, Atty. Anthony Trinidad

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1076137

PRO-7 chief: Killings in Negros Or. are not a cause for alarm

PRO-7 chief: Killings in Negros Or. are not a cause for alarm

https://www.philstar.com/opinion/2019/07/27/1938164/spotlight-once-more-extrajudicial-killings

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1076112

Attacks on Filipino lawyers and law workers 23 7 19 (MONITORING COMMITTEE REPORT)

#StopTheAttacks

#StopTheKillings

#DefendTheDefenders

USA/Ecuador: Suspended lawyer ordered to pay $3.4M in attorney fees to Chevron as contempt sanction

July 24, 2019

Chevron

A suspended lawyer who was found in contempt of court for stonewalling Chevron’s efforts to collect a money judgment against him has been ordered to pay $3.4 million in attorney fees to the oil company.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered New York lawyer Steven Donziger to pay the attorney fees for “intransigence” that blocked Chevron’s “considerable efforts” to get at the facts. Forbes covered Kaplan’s July 16 order.

Donziger told the ABA Journal that $3.4 million is the highest sanction in the history of New York courts. And it’s not his total liability—court fees, attorney fees and fines add up to about $10 million.

“I’m supposed to pay Chevron all of this money, and I work out of a two-bedroom apartment,” Donziger says. “It is a corporate and judicial scandal, and I am appealing it and I don’t believe it will stand.”

Donziger’s troubles began when Chevron filed a RICO suit against Donziger and his law firm in an attempt to block collection of a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian civil judgment against the company. Donziger had represented the Ecuadorian plaintiffs in their suit over alleged environmental damage by Chevron predecessor Texaco during oil exploration activities.

In a 2014 decision, Kaplan blocked enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron after finding that it was the product of bribery and fraud. A federal appeals court upheld the decision in 2016.

Kaplan’s 2014 decision also awarded Chevron an $800,000 judgment against Donziger on the RICO claim. Kaplan barred Donziger from monetizing or selling shares in the Ecuador judgment and required him to assign any rights in contingent fees to Chevron.

Chevron then sought to locate assets to satisfy the judgment. “Donziger largely has stonewalled Chevron’s efforts,” Kaplan wrote when he found Donziger in contempt in a May 23 decision that was also covered by Forbes.

Donziger also “engaged in persistent efforts to raise money by selling interests in the Ecuador judgment which, in an effort to avoid contempt liability, he characterizes as assisting his clients to sell their interests in it,” Kaplan said in the May 23 decision.

Donziger raised at least $2.3 million selling interests in the judgment, of which $1.5 million went directly or indirectly to Donziger or related bank accounts, Kaplan said. Donziger personally profited from at least $666,000 in the deposited funds, according to Kaplan, who entered judgment for Chevron for an additional $666,000.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/suspended-lawyer-is-ordered-to-pay-3.4m-in-attorney-fees-to-chevron

http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/cases/show.php?db=special&id=379

https://www.juiciocrudo.com/articulo/exabogado-suspendido-steven-donziger-es-condenado-a-pagar-a-chevron-3-4-millones-de-dolares/12248 (ESPANOL)

Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: The next Asia Bibi – Shagufta Kauser faces execution

July 23, 2019

PETITION from Caroline Farrow, CitizenGo:

Asia Bibi may have been released but did you know that her old prison cell is being occupied by another persecuted Christian woman, who like Asia has been injustly imprisoned for 5 years on fake blasphemy charges and who also faces the death penalty?!

The woman’s name is Shagufta Kauser and she and her disabled husband Shafqat Masih are accused of sending blasphemous text messages to a Muslim cleric despite the fact that both of them are illiterate. Not only that, but the text messages were written in English – a language that neither or them speak and nor do they have any knowledge of alphanumeric symbols!

Like so many Christians in Pakistan, the family come from a poor background which makes them an easy target – prior to her arrest Shagufta worked as a cleaner at the church compound where she lived with her husband and 4 young children. She was the only breadwinner as her husband was paralysed from the waist down following an accident in 2004. 

Sign here

The prosecutors have been unable to provide any evidence pointing to this couple’s guilt. A sim card produced at the trial was found to be bogus and there is no mobile phone which would link the couple to the messages. 

The treatment of Shagufta’s husband has been particularly inhumane. He was tortured at the local police station in order to exact a confession which he has now retracted, claiming that he only made it to save his wife from being subjected to the same treatment. His jailers seem unwilling or unable to cater for his disability, he is confined to a prison bed unable to move and according to a recent doctor’s report, his back is covered with bed sores leaving him at serious risk of a fatal infection. 

This is in clear breach of his human rights. 

Sign here: http://www.citizengo.org/en/node/172194

Both Shagufta and Shafqat are suffering from depression having been separated from each other and their children for 6 years.

The couple are being represented by the same brave lawyer who defended Asia Bibi, Saif-ul Malook. Along with condemning the torture which Mr Masih was subjected to, Mr Malook has also expressed concerns that the judge who pronounced the death sentence was intimidated by hardline lawyers and religious leaders in the community. 

The next Asia Bibi – Shagufta Kauser faces execution

https://www.premier.org.uk/News/World/Is-Shagufta-Kauser-the-next-Asia-Bibi

https://www.foxnews.com/world/second-christian-woman-asia-bibi-blasphemy-pakistan

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

https://www.citizengo.org/en-gb/pc/172194-save-shagufta-and-shafqat-persecuted-pakistani-christians

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26901433

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

Homepage

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

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

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Pakistani lawyer’s post on Facebook praying to god to destroy those who helped Asia Bibi to be released from jail 24/07/19

Day of the Endangered Lawyer