Daily Archives: 19/09/2019

Australia/Timor Leste: Australia: Drop the Collaery prosecution: an interview with Greg Barnes from Australian Lawyers Alliance

September 18, 2019

Sydney Criminal Lawyers

As Australian barrister Bernard Collaery is set to stand trial in the ACT Supreme Court over charges of conspiring to communicate secret information, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has stepped forward and called for his prosecution to be dropped.

With the approval of attorney general Christian Porter, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) laid charges in May 2018 against Collaery and his client, Witness K, over revealing information regarding an ASIS operation that involved the bugging of the Timor Leste government.

Under the cover of an Australian aid refurbishment program, Witness K was charged with bugging the Timor Leste-East Timor cabinet office, so Australia could gain the upper hand in treaty negotiations over oil and gas fields in the Timor Gap.

An ever-broadening reach

As the recent Four Corners investigation explained, while Witness K has decided to plead guilty, Mr Collaery will fight the charges in a trial conducted in partial secrecy, under the provisions of the National Security Information Act 2004 (Cth) (the NSI Act).

Ostensibly designed to prevent prejudicing national security without interfering with the administration of justice, the NSI Act sits amongst a great pile of counterterrorism-national security legislation passed post-9/11, which has gradually whittled away at citizens’ rights.

The ALA has raised concerns about the scope of this legislation, which hasn’t been accompanied by any corresponding rights protections. And the alliance has long warned about the application of the NSI Act, as it leads to a lack of transparency and accountability in proceedings.

http://www.mondaq.com/australia/x/845700/Terrorism+Homeland+Security+Defence/Drop+the+Collaery+Prosecution+An+Interview+With+Australian+Lawyers+Alliances+Greg+Barnes

https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/26403-ala-says-charges-against-act-a-g-must-be-dropped-as-tensions-build

http://honesthistory.net.au/wp/willheim-ernst-the-saga-of-bernard-collaery-and-witness-k-continues/

https://monitor.civicus.org/newsfeed/2019/09/13/authorities-restrict-peaceful-protest-timor-leste/

https://www.9news.com.au/national/east-timor-bugging-cases-return-to-court/f3adad0c-5cf4-4034-8e97-abd4de474898

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

https://www.plataformamedia.com/pt-pt/noticias/politica/interior/a-pedra-no-sapato-com-a-australia-11304796.html (PORTUGUES)

http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/9/17/n11528381.htm (CHINESE)

 

Tajikistan: Jailed Tajik Lawyer Yorov Receives Human Rights Award In Warsaw

September 18, 2019

Buzurgmehr Yorov was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Tajik lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov has been awarded the Faiziniso Vohidova Human Rights Prize for his contribution to the development of democratic institutions and civil rights in Tajikistan.

The award is named after the late prominent Tajik lawyer, Faiziniso Vohidova, who for decades defended dissidents, rights activists, and opposition politicians.

The award, established by the Association of Central Asian Migrants in Europe, was handed to Yorov’s brother Jamshed Yorov in Warsaw at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, on September 18.

Speaking to RFE/RL after the ceremony, Jamshed Yorov noted the symbolism in his brother receiving the award named for Vohidova as “both had a role in protecting human rights and protecting the people.”

Yorov is among at least five human rights attorneys whom groups say have been targeted by Tajik authorities in connection with their work.

He was a lawyer for 13 jailed members and leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, which President Emomali Rahmon’s government labeled a terrorist organization and outlawed in 2015.

In October 2016, Yorov was sentenced to 23 years in prison after a court convicted him of calling for the government’s overthrow and inciting social unrest.

Later, his prison term was extended to 28 years on additional charges.

https://www.rferl.org/a/jailed-tajik-lawyer-yorov-receives-human-rights-award-in-warsaw/30171279.html

https://www.timesca.com/index.php/news/21617-tajikistan-jailed-lawyer-receives-human-rights-award-in-warsaw

https://www.rferl.org/a/faiziniso-vohidova-tajik-lawyer-who-defended-dissidents-for-decades-dies-at-55/29691242.html

Buzurgmehr Yorov

‘Europe Recognises Balkan Anti-War Activism is Important’

Nasser Zefzafi Not on the Shortlist for the 2019 Vaclav Havel Prize

https://www.rferl.org/a/finally-a-defense-of-tajikistan-s-lawyers/30185435.html

In Tajikistan lawyers have to be human rights defenders

https://eurasianet.org/tajikistans-prison-system-claims-victims-and-makes-monsters

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

South Sudan: Arbitrary Detention, Repression, and Persecution of Lawyers | Oral Statement to the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

September 17, 2019

Mr. President,

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada thanks the Commission for its oral report. We share the Commission’s concern about the securitization of the state and the absence of accountability mechanisms in South Sudan.[1]

LRWC deplores the enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of lawyer and human rights activist Dong Samuel Luak and political opposition member Aggrey Idri, who were abducted from the streets of Nairobi in January 2017.[2] Both men were vocal critics of the South Sudanese government. In April 2019, the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan reported that it has corroborated evidence strongly suggesting that these men were kidnapped by the National Security Service (NSS), transported from Kenya to Juba, and executed at an NSS detention facility in Luri on January 30, 2017.[3]

We are alarmed by the apparent cooperation of Kenya in the enforced disappearances of Mr. Dong and Mr. Aggrey, and by the failure of Kenya and South Sudan to impartially and thoroughly investigate these cases. Those responsible have not been held accountable and the families of the victims continue to be denied access to adequate remedies for the losses they suffered.

We call upon the Council to urge the Governments of Kenya and South Sudan to:

South Sudan: Arbitrary Detention, Repression, and Persecution of Lawyers | Oral Statement to the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

https://www.miragenews.com/human-rights-council-42-interactive-dialogue-on-south-sudan/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/04/south-sudan-investigate-apparent-2017-killing-of-activists/

https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/ea/South-Sudan-denies-execution-of-prominent-activists/4552908-5097446-uoxweo/index.html

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1556906/world

https://www.voanews.com/africa/demands-sanctions-global-links-south-sudan-war-exposed

Cameroon: Cameroonian Lawyers Say ‘Enough is Enough’

September 18, 2019

Douala Court of Justice, Cameroon.

Cameroonian lawyers are on strike this week, protesting law enforcement agencies’ interference in their work and violations of defendants’ rights.

In a communique issued on August 31, the Cameroon Bar Council explained that the lawyers decided to stage the five-day strike because of what they describe as systematic denial of access to their clients in detention facilities across the country, including the State Defense Secretariat (SED) detention facility in Yaoundé. The lawyers are also protesting authorities’ alleged refusal to acknowledge or respond to their various written requests, the prolonged and unlawful detention of their clients, and the extraction of confessions under torture. The lawyers further claim in the letter that they are “continuously being threatened, arrested and detained” while trying to do their work.

Human Rights Watch has extensively documented the widespread use of incommunicado detention and torture at SED, as well other violations of due process rights. A military court recently handed down a life sentence to the leaders of a separatist group following a trial in which the defendants were not able to exercise their right to effectively defend themselves.

The strike occurs about a month after inmates in Yaoundé’s Central Prison rioted in protest against abysmal living conditions and trial delays. Following the riot, Cameroonian authorities held over 100 detainees incommunicado for almost 2 weeks at SED. Many of them were tortured.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/18/cameroonian-lawyers-say-enough-enough

https://www.voanews.com/africa/cameroon-courts-paralyzed-lawyers-strike-over-human-rights-violations

Lawyers in Cameroon begin nationwide strike for better working conditions

https://observer.ug/news/headlines/62038-cameroon-courts-paralyzed-as-lawyers-strike-over-torture

https://allafrica.com/stories/201909190120.html

Droit de l’homme : Lawyers Rights Watch Canada vole au secours de Me Ndoki

Arbitrary Detention of Lawyers and Defenders in China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Cameroon | Oral Statement to the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2019/09/20/au-cameroun-vaste-mouvement-de-greve-des-avocats_6012402_3212.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/09/18/au-cameroun-les-avocats-disent-ca-suffit (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20190918-cameroun-justice-greve-avocat-barreau?ref=wa_i (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lebledparle.com/societe/1109363-barreau-du-cameroun-cabral-libii-propose-des-solutions-aux-multiples-revendications (FRANCAIS)

https://cameroun24.net/actualite-cameroun-info-Greve_des_avocats___cours_dappel_et_tribunaux_sans-51835.html (FRANCAIS)

https://aip.ci/cote-divoire-inter-aip-les-avocats-camerounais-en-greve-pour-protester-contre-les-entraves-a-leur-metier/ (FRANCAIS)

https://actucameroun.com/2019/09/17/greve-des-avocats-un-soutien-aux-leaders-du-mrc-detenus/ (FRANCAIS)

https://actucameroun.com/2019/09/17/greve-des-avocats-vers-une-desolidarisation/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.avocatparis.org/mon-metier-davocat/publications-du-conseil/soutien-du-conseil-de-lordre-au-barreau-du-cameroun-dans (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lebledparle.com/actu/politique/1109373-greve-des-avocats-jean-de-dieu-momo-accuse-ouvertement-le-mrc-de-manipulation (FRANCAIS)

https://www.bbc.com/pidgin/tori-49773682 (PIDGIN)