Daily Archives: 30/08/2019

Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Punjab lawyers on strike against murderous attacks

August 30, 2019

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The Punjab Bar Council strongly condemns the murderous attack on Mr. Nouman Qureshi Ex-Member Punjab Bar Council & his Advocate brother at his office in which he got injured. Such incidents depict the failure of the law enforcement agencies. In condemnation of the aforesaid incident the lawyers of Lahore division will observe a full day strike on 31.08.2019 and will not appear in the courts. The Punjab Bar Council also demands the immediate arrest of the culprits who flood away from the scene of occurrence. The Punjab Bar Council demands strict action to be taken against the culprits in accordance with the law.

Ch Shah Nawaz Ismail Gujjar
Vice Chairman
Punjab Bar Council

Iftkhar Ibrahim Quraishi
Chairman Executive Committee
Punjab Bar Council.

(Punjab Bar Council Facebook, 30/08/19)





Day of the Endangered Lawyer

The Philippines/USA: Letter to President Duterte Concerning Attacks on Legal Professionals

August 28, 2019

New York City Bar

Re:  Continuing Attacks on Judges, Prosecutors, Lawyers, and Other Legal Professionals

Dear Mr. President:

The New York City Bar Association writes to express its profound and ongoing concern in the wake of violent attacks on judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and other legal professionals in the Philippines.

The Association is a 148-year-old organization of more than 24,000 members in New York City, throughout the United States, and in more than fifty countries around the globe. Our members include judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, government lawyers, and public interest/non-governmental organization practitioners, as well as legal academics and attorneys representing nearly every major law firm and corporation in the United States. The Association has a long and distinguished history of promoting the rule of law and human rights (including the rights of legal professionals to fulfill their professional obligations), chiefly through the Association’s Committee on International Human Rights, together with its Committee on Asian Affairs (and its other regional committees), as well as its Task Force on the Independence of Lawyers and Judges.

Under the Duterte Administration, legal professionals—which include judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and paralegals—have been harassed, assaulted, and assassinated in connection with your war on drugs (known as Oplan Tokhang).[1] As discussed further in this letter, attacks on Philippine lawyers often correlate with, among others, their representation of clients who are charged with being members of dangerous drug cartels, attorneys’ accusations of corruption against the police and army, and for promoting due process rights.  Similarly, prosecutors and judges are attacked in connection to their decisions involving prosecutorial discretion and the exercise of due process rights, among other issues.

Your Administration’s tacit (often explicit) support for these attacks, your failure to condemn the attacks, and your failure to properly investigate the attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice have fostered a culture of impunity throughout the Philippines.[2] In short, as outlined in greater detail below, your Administration is waging not only a war on drugs, but also a war on legal professionals and human rights defenders, and a war on the justice system and the Rule of Law itself.





India: ‘Threatened For Representing Muslims In Ayodhya Case’ : Senior Adv Rajeev Dhavan Moves SC For Criminal Contempt

August 30, 2019

Alleging that he was threatened for representing Muslim parties in the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid dispute, Senior Advocate Dr Rajeev Dhavan has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking action for criminal contempt against a Chennai-based professor.



Russia: “They poured some mud on me.” Lyubov Sobol accused “Progozhin’s bastards” of attack

August 30, 2019

“They poured some mud on me.” Lyubov Sobol accused “Progozhin’s bastards” of attack

Unknown persons attacked the opposition politician and Anti-Corruption Fund lawyer Lyubov Sobol near her house in Moscow and poured mud on her. The scene was filmed, Sobol tweeted. In her opinion, the attack was organized by Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is dubbed “Putin’s cook” in the media.

“I have just been attacked near the entrance of my house, when I was getting in a taxi, they poured some mud on me, flooded the interior of the car. All this was filmed by a Progozhin’s bastard on video,” she wrote.

In March, the Anti-Corruption Fund Head Alexei Navalny stated that on the orders of Prigozhin, unknown young people followed him daily.

The day before the attack, Sobol announced a forthcoming peaceful rally against political repression to take place in Moscow on August 31. The politician said the mayor’s office has not agreed on a single rally from the opposition on this date.





https://www.novayagazeta.ru/news/2019/08/29/154774-lyubov-sobol-oblili-neizvestnoy-zhidkostyu-na-vyhode-iz-doma?print=true (RUSSIAN)

https://www.vectornews.net/news/world/135979-rosysku-opoziconerku-lyubov-sobol-oblili-u-moskv-fekalyami.html (RUSSIAN)

https://t24.com.tr/haber/rusya-da-protestolarin-lideri-kabul-edilen-muhalif-siyasetci-sobol-a-saldiri,837043 (TURKCE)

India: New law to protect lawyers from assault

August 29, 2019

Madhya Pradesh former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Madhya Pradesh has emerged as the first state in India to enact a law to protect lawyers from being assaulted. If doctors can unite to protect themselves from being assaulted in hospitals when they do not attend patients on time, there is no reason why lawyers, whose profession is as hazardous as doctors, should not be protected–like journalists who also serve society. The new law provides a jail term up to seven years for anybody obstructing a lawyer from discharging his functions, pressurizing him or threatening him to do something illegal or abstain from doing something lawful. The law is a welcome addition to the Advocates Act, 1961 which could have been amended by Parliament to protect lawyers throughout India.

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced in 2012 the Advocate Protection Bill would be introduced in the assembly during the monsoon session. Coming ahead of the assembly elections in 2018, Chouhan’s announcements were made to woo lawyers’ votes. Significantly, the Congress, the main opposition in MP had promised to implement the law within a month if the party was elected to power.

Chouhan also announced a hike—to Rs 5 lakh—in the maximum limit of funds for treatment of serious ailments afflicting advocates. In case of untimely death, Rs 4 lakh would be given to the kin of deceased advocates, which would include Rs 2 lakh from the state government and Rs 2 lakh from the state bar council. But like all politicians, Chouhan forgot his promises.

There are around 90,000 lawyers in MP alone. Bar councils and bar associations in several states, including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, have over the years vainly sought a law to protect lawyers from assault. This is why lawyers in Bhopal launched several agitations last year to demand such a law.




Advocate Protection Bill: A Sense of Security


Thailand: The Attorney General ruled not to prosecute Lawyer June for not allowing police to search her car, due to her lack of intention to comply with the order

August 30, 2019

On 27 August 2019, Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri, known as Lawyer June, went to meet the inquiry officer who was responsible for her case at Chanasongkram Police Station, Bangkok, to hear the Attorney General’s order not to prosecute her on an allegation of concealing evidence.  The order was due to the fact that there was no intention to hide any evidence since she only complied to the recommendation from military court officers to keep the belongings of the alleged fellow activists by her side. Furthermore, the police made the request to search her car during the night and without providing any reasonable legal grounds.

For the other charge of not complying with an official order without reasonable grounds or explanation, the responsible prosecutor issued an order to dismiss the case due to be barred by prescription.  As a result, the criminal proceedings against lawyer Ms. Sirikan for two such allegations have been terminated.

Today the representatives from the embassies of Canada, Sweden, Germany, the United States, the European Union, and officials from human rights organizations including Amnesty International (Regional Office) came to observe the proceedings.

Detailed accounts of the final non-prosecution order and the termination of legal proceedings

On 26 July 2019, the office of the Special Prosecutor issued notification document No. 0013.3/1076 to Chanasongkram Police Station giving a final order not to prosecute and to terminate the proceedings against lawyer Sirikan.  In summary, the document provided the following details:





https://www.tlhr2014.com/?p=13465 (THAI)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirikan_Charoensiri (FRANCAIS)

Australia/Timor Leste: Jose Ramos-Horta urges Australia to drop Witness K, whistleblower charges

August 30, 2019

Timor-Leste had moved on since the spying scandal and so should Australia by dropping charges against the whistleblowers who exposed it, says Jose Ramos Horta.

Lawyer Bernard Collaery addresses the media outside the Supreme Court in Canberra earlier this month.

Timor-Leste’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning former Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta says Australia “should get over it” and drop charges against two whistleblowers who revealed covert spying.

The criminal charges relate to whistleblowers lawyer Bernard Collaery and former spy Witness K revealing in 2013 that Australia had bugged government offices during negotiations over the sea boundary.

It was seen around the world as a rich nation stealing from an impoverished one.

Mr Ramos-Horta, who will on Friday attend Timor-Leste’s 20th-anniversary celebrations of its vote for independence, compared the Australian government’s pursuit of the pair to the novel Les Miserables and Inspector Javert’s obsessive pursuit of the convict Jean Valjean.

“I would never as leader of a country prosecute someone if we spied on some country and they came to us or the media and said I have just been asked to do something that is completely unethical and has nothing to do with the national interest,” he said.

“I would apologise to the nation if I were leader, apologise to the gentleman, the spy.”

Mr Ramos-Horta was shot at his home in Dili in an assassination attempt in 2008.

The scandal began in 2004 when the Australian Secret Intelligence Service planted covert listening devices in the Timor-Leste cabinet office to gain an upper hand in negotiations over the rich Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields.















https://mapdow.com/des-milliers-celebrer-le-20e-anniversaire-du-timor-oriental-mais-les-cicatrices-restent/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.dailyviewsonline.com/cultura/Australiano-spia-di-carica-con-intercettazioni-perdita-negato-il-patrocinio-h20452.html (ITALIANO)

China: Int’l Day of the Disappeared: China must put a halt to secret detention and all forms of enforced disappearances

August 30, 2019

televised confessions

August 30 is set aside each year as the International Day of the Disappeared to raise awareness of the victims of enforced disappearances and to end the terrifying state practice.

The practice involves authorities taking someone using agents of the state, or those acting on their behalf, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that person’s fate or whereabouts. For those who are taken, the risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment is high.

In a report presented at the September session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances highlighted that from February to May alone, it had responded to 20 new cases of enforced disappearances in China. Recently, the group had had sent other forms of communications to the Chinese government, including a joint letter last August on the use of Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location (RSDL), following a submission from Safeguard Defenders, which I am a co-founder of, along with the International Service for Human RightsNetwork for Chinese Human Rights Defenders, and the Rights Practice.

RSDL empowers police to take and hold someone in secret for up to six months. But seldom are they released after six months. Although the law ostensibly provides for the right to legal counsel or the notification of family members, exceptions in the law that have become the rule permit for the denial of procedural safeguards, important for preventing enforced disappearances and torture. Safeguard Defenders and others have extensively documented cases of abuse in RSDL.

Responding to the Working Group three months later, China claimed that disappearances under RSDL do not exist, which is an abject falsehood. This echoed China’s denial of extrajudicial “black jails” following the UN’s 2009 Universal Periodic Review before the Human Rights Council. Although a few years later, China acknowledged the existence of “black jails” and claimed that they were abolished. This happened conspicuously around the time that RSDL came into law.

China continues to mask its human rights abuses behind the rhetoric of the rule of law.

Land of disappearances

As I argued in The People’s Republic of the Disappeared, China has institutionalised arbitrary and secret detention, from extrajudicial to formalised criminal procedures.

China must abolish those sections of domestic law that permit secret detention. It must pass new legislation that defines and criminalizes enforced disappearances, and ensures the effective right to prompt access to legal counsel, requires all detainees’ real names be recorded in registers that include the date, time, location and all interrogation records, and other measures in line with international norms to end enforced disappearances. It must also protect the rights of victims and family members to seek remedy and know the truth.

Int’l Day of the Disappeared: China must put a halt to secret detention and all forms of enforced disappearances









https://www.un.org/zh/events/disappearancesday/ (CHINESE)

https://www.un.org/fr/events/disappearancesday/ (FRANCAIS)


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– 2002年開始執業成為律師,專責人權案,尤其有關宗教自由、刑事辯護、土地權、訪民案件、行政和民事訴訟
– 曾代表已經被拘禁三年的709律師王全璋
– 律師執照於2018年被註銷
– 於2018年1月18日曾經發表公開信呼籲修憲,翌日就被刑事拘留,同年4月19日被正式拘捕
– 自此被失蹤,失去自由外,亦失去了見代表律師以及家人的權利
– 今年5月11日被秘密審訊
– Began legal career in 2002, specializing in human rights cases regarding freedom of religion, criminal defense, land rights, petitioners’ rights, administrative and civil litigation
– Represented 709 lawyer Wang Quanzhang who has been detained for three years
– License invalidated in 2018
– Published open letter recommending amendments to the Chinese constitution on 18 January 2018, taken away the next day by the police, and formally arrested on 19 April 2018
– Has been a victim of enforced disappearance since, having been denied his right to meet with his defense lawyers and his family
– Put on a trial in secret on 9 May

(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook, 30/08/19)



(Human Rights in China Facebook, 30/08/19)

Thailand: Ensure truth, justice, and reparations for victims of enforced disappearance | Written Statement to the UN Human Rights Council

August 29, 2019

Image result for lawyers rights watch canada

Joint written statement* submitted by Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, non-governmental organization in special consultative status, and Asian Legal Resource Centre, non-government organization in general consultative status

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), NGO without consultative status, also shares the views expressed in this statement.

Unforgotten in Thailand: Ensure truth, justice, and reparations for victims of enforced disappearance

  1. Introduction: Persistent impunity for enforced disappearances

 A pattern of impunity for enforced disappearances[1] persists in Thailand despite years of promises to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (UNCED)[2] and to pass legislation making enforced disappearance a crime.[3] The United Nations (UN) Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) reports 82 unresolved cases of enforced disappearances since 1980.[4] This number represents a fraction of Thailand’s enforced disappearances since the 1950s,[5] as families and witnesses remain silent for fear of reprisals.[6] Those most vulnerable to enforced disappearances belong to minorities or indigenous peoples. Also at risk are human rights defenders (defenders) or peaceful government critics.[7]Thailand’s current laws foster impunity for enforced disappearance; when a body is not found, murder charges are not laid.[8] No public officials have ever been held accountable for suspected involvement in enforced disappearances. The persistent pattern of impunity for enforced disappearances constitutes a grave violation of Thailand’s obligations under customary international law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Thailand acceded in 1996.[9]

The risk of enforced disappearances is heightened by the practice of incommunicado detention of political opponents, suspects in national security cases, and suspected insurgents in southern provinces.[10]

Thailand: Ensure truth, justice, and reparations for victims of enforced disappearance | Written Statement to the UN Human Rights Council


15 years since disappearance Somchai Neelapaijit

Thailand: at event marking 15th anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Somchai Neelapaijit, ICJ calls for effective measures to tackle the crime









https://www.un.org/fr/events/disappearancesday/ (FRANCAIS)

enforced disappearances

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Iran: Iran Decides To Revise Controversial Rule Restricting Freedom To Choose Lawyer

August 30, 2019

Family members of detained labor activists outside Tehran's notorious Evin prison where most protesters and dissidents are kept. Undated.

Under a barrage of criticism from attorneys and legal experts, the Islamic Republic’s judiciary is set to review a controversial rule that does not allow people accused of “political and intelligence crimes” to choose their own lawyers.

The rule forces the accused to select their defense attorney from a limited list of lawyers already approved by the head of the country’s conservative Judiciary.

Describing the rule as a “mistake” and “disgraceful,” the deputy Chief-Justice in legal affairs, said on Thursday, August 29 that he had been ordered by his boss to revise the rule as quickly as possible.

According to Article 48 of the Islamic Republic Criminal Procedures Regulations, people have the right to pick a lawyer and have a meeting with him/her as soon as they are detained.

Nevertheless, the “Note to Article 48” stipulates, “In cases of crimes against internal or external security—during the investigation stage, the parties to the dispute are to select their attorneys from a list approved by the head of the judiciary.”

The note is a blatant violation of the country’s Constitution that sets no limits or conditions on the right to legal counsel.

Prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh told the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) last year that a list of handpicked lawyers by the head of the Judiciary “violates suspects’ rights because they strip them of their right to choose their own lawyer.”

Ms. Sotoudeh, who is presently behind bars for security-related charges, also noted at the time, “It’s like telling someone you can get an operation from only three surgeons selected by us, not any of the thousands of other doctors in the city.”

The regulation is an ill-conceived action and sets a dangerous precedent, Sotoudeh argued, adding, “In a big province such as West Azerbaijan, where there are more than 3,000 lawyers, only 32 have been put on the approved list.”

Echoing Sotoudeh’s remarks, the deputy head of the judiciary, mid-ranking cleric, Mohammad Mossaddeq (Mossadegh) reiterated that the legal note was a “mistake”, and paved the way for the handpicked lawyers to use it as a “rent” in their own favor.

Earlier, Tehran’s outspoken representative to Majles (Islamic Consultative Assembly), Ali Motahari had disclosed that the controversial note added to Article 48 had been implemented by Amoli Larijani without passing through the required legal channels.


Iranian Lawyers: Judiciary’s Mandatory List of Approved Counsel Sets “Dangerous Precedent”

Journalist Sentenced to 10.5 Years Imprisonment for Covering Labor Day Rally

Iran: Three Rights Lawyers Sentenced to Lengthy Jail Terms in Less Than a Year

At Least 13 Signers of Open Letters Urging Khamenei’s Resignation Are Arrested





https://www.letelegramme.fr/finistere/brest/brest-le-barreau-soutient-aux-avocats-iraniens-condamnes-10-09-2019-12379566.php (FRANCAIS)

https://www.leprogres.fr/rhone-69-edition-lyon-metropole/2019/09/13/les-elus-du-1er-reclament-la-liberte-de-l-avocate-iranienne-nasrin-sotoudeh (FRANCAIS)

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/RC-9-2019-0089_FR.html (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasrin_Sotoudeh (FRANCAIS)

https://www.nordbayern.de/kultur/from-evin-with-love-ausstellung-in-nurnberg-1.9330496 (DEUTSCH)

https://www.articolo21.org/2019/08/nasce-in-italia-la-prima-campagna-per-le-donne-in-iran/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.controradio.it/firenze-mozione-per-onoreficenza-a-nasrin-sotudeh/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.ecodisicilia.com/2019/09/03/palermo-campagna-per-la-giustizia-e-la-liberta-delle-donne-iraniane/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.publico.es/sociedad/fuera-velos-someten.html (ESPANOL)

https://nos.nl/artikel/2299573-iran-straft-steeds-harder-activiste-krijgt-24-jaar-voor-afdoen-hoofddoek.html (NEDERLANDS)