Daily Archives: 20/09/2019

Egypt: Beaten and Threatened for Defending Women’s Rights

September 18, 2019

Women’s Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness head Reda Eldanbouki (Courtesy photo)

Reda Eldanbouki is a lawyer and the head of the Women’s center for Guidance and Legal Awareness in Egypt. He leads the battle for human and women’s rights and fights FGM in Egypt. He’s also a dear and close friend of Clarion.

A few days ago, Eldanbouki was brutally attacked while trying to save a young woman from being abused by her family.

The incident happened in the city of Mansoura, located northeast of Cairo. Eldanbouki got a phone call from a 25-year-old student who said, “Please, I need help! My parents won’t let me to go to my university! They won’t even let me leave the house. I’m a student in the faculty of sciences. They say it’s because I’ll have relations with a guy and I’ll bring them shame.”

Right after Eldanbouki took down her name and address, he heard screaming. The phone suddenly went dead.

Eldanbouki later found out that besides the fact that this young woman was dating a man who she had chosen (not her family), the girl was enmeshed in a battle with her family from whom she was demanding her inheritance rights.

Egyptian law allows women rights of inheritance. But not only are these laws not implemented, most men block female family members from receiving any of their rightful inheritance.

Without hesitation, Eldanbouki jumped in his car and sped to the young woman’s house. He knew calling the police would be worthless as they wouldn’t help in a situation like this. The young woman’s family also must have figured this out, because when he arrived, four male family members were waiting for him.

They grabbed him and dragged him to the fourth floor of the house where they tied his hands behind his back and bound his legs.

Beaten and Threatened for Defending Women’s Rights

Algeria: L’avocat Abdelhak Mellah arrêté à Alger

le 20 septembre, 2019

L’avocat Abdelhak Mellah arrêté à Alger

L’avocat Abdelhak Mellah du barreau de Boumerdès a été arrêté par des policiers à Alger. Engagé au sein du mouvement de soulèvement, Abdelhak Mellah s’est illustré, notamment, par ses prises de positions courageuses au sein de la corporation des avocats. Il est l’un des artisans du refus des avocats de Boumerdès de refuser l’encadrement des élections présidentielles.

L’avocat Abdelhak Mellah arrêté à Alger

L’avocat Abdelhak Mellah arrêté à Alger

https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/algrie-il-faut-mettre-un-terme-la-vague-darrestati

L’avocat Abdelhak Mellah libéré

L’avocat Abdelhak Mellah arrêté à Alger

Indonesia/UN/Australia: Indonesia Condemns Statement by UN Experts on Papua Unrest

September 20, 2019

Indonesia has condemned a press statement issued by five independent United Nations Human Rights Council special rapporteurs in which they expressed serious concern over recent development in Papua.

The five rapporteurs also urged the Indonesian government on Tuesday to drop all charges against human rights lawyer Veronika Koman, whom they said had been “subjected to harassment and abuse online for her work on alleged human rights violations in Papua.”

Police have declared Veronika a suspect, accusing her of spreading false information and provoking unrest in Papua and West Papua by publishing reports on the protests and attacks against Papuan students in East Java.

Sporadic unrest in broke out in several cities in Indonesia’s two easternmost provinces after racial animosity by hardline Muslims and members of the police and military against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, in August.

The government said false information and provocative content spread on social media, including by Veronika, had contributed to the unrest.

https://jakartaglobe.id/context/indonesia-condemns-statement-by-un-experts-on-papua-unrest

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/18/un-calls-indonesia-protect-veronica-koman.html

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-18/veronica-koman-pro-papua-lawyer-may-be-hiding-australia/11516246

https://en.tempo.co/read/1250173/veronica-koman-fugitive-police-issue-red-notice-for-interpol?TerkiniUtama&campaign=TerkiniUtama_Click_1

https://regional.kompas.com/read/2019/09/20/16510971/fakta-terkini-kasus-veronica-koman-resmi-masuk-dpo-hingga-polisi-minta (INDONESIAN)

https://surabaya.kompas.com/read/2019/09/20/12190111/polda-jatim-tetapkan-veronica-koman-sebagai-buronan?page=all (INDONESIAN)

Uzbekistan: ICJ welcomes the first visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers to Uzbekistan

September 20, 2019

The ICJ welcomes this week’s visit to Uzbekistan of the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayan, during which he will assess reforms of the judicial system, the independence of the judiciary and the independence and role of lawyers.

“The visit of the Special Rapporteur to Uzbekistan, at the invitation of the government, is an indication that the Uzbekistan authorities are serious about the ongoing reforms of the justice system. This visit is only a starting point for the deep reforms needed to establish an independent and fair justice system in Uzbekistan. Realising these reforms will require sustained commitment of all institutions of government, lawyers and civil society,” said Temur Shakirov, Senior Legal Adviser of the ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme.

The ICJ, along with other NGOs and IGOs, met with the Special Rapporteur in Tashkent yesterday on the first day of his visit, and drew his attention to the independence of judges and lawyers in Uzbekistan.

“The visit will be followed by the report of the Special Rapporteur containing findings and recommendations. These recommendations should be effectively implemented and the ICJ is committed to provide expert and other support in the Uzbekistan’s effort to bring its justice system in line with the recommendations,” Shakirov added.

ICJ welcomes the first visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers to Uzbekistan

https://tashkenttimes.uz/national/4352-foreign-minister-hosts-the-un-special-rapporteur-on-the-independence-of-judges-and-lawyers

http://www.uzdaily.com/en/post/51921

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Judiciary/Pages/IDPIndex.aspx

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Judiciary/Pages/DiegoGarciaSayan.aspx

Russia: The Russian Federation: use of physical force against lawyer must be investigated

September 20, 2019

The ICJ has called on the Russian authorities to institute a thorough and independent investigation into the use of physical force against lawyer Dmitry Sotnikov by court officials and subsequently by the police on 12 September in two separate but linked incidents, and to hold accountable those responsible for the attacks.

The authorities should take effective measures to prevent such attacks in the future, and to ensure that lawyers are not prevented from representing their clients in accordance with law, the ICJ said.

“This use of physical force used against a lawyer solely because he tried to zealously defend his client is contrary to international human rights law and standards, including on the role of lawyers,” Temur Shakirov, Senior Legal Adviser of the ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme said today.

“It is also of concern that Dmitry Sotnikov was not allowed to represent his client despite clear legal provisions under the law guaranteeing the right to independent legal advice and representation,” he added.

The Russian Federation: use of physical force against lawyer must be investigated

https://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/news/plight-jailed-russian-activists-forgotten-1797013

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/russia-forgotten-plight-jailed-grassroots-activists-031544460.html

The Netherlands: ‘We live in a narco-state’: murder of Dutch lawyer prompts fear and fury

September 19, 2019

Lawyers in gangland cases given emergency protection after unprecedented killing

Lawyers and prosecutors in major gangland drugs cases in the Netherlands have been given emergency protection after the unprecedented murder of a top defence lawyer prompted police and the media to claim that government naivety was turning the country into a narco-state.

Derk Wiersum was gunned down in the street as he left his home in the Amsterdam suburb of Buitenveldert on Wednesday morning. Police are searching for a 16- to 20-year old man in a black hooded top who fled the scene on foot.

Wiersum, 44, was acting for Nabil Bakkali, a crown witness in a case against 16 men accused of five murders between 2015 and 2017, whose brother was also shot dead last year shortly after authorities named Bakkali as a witness.

Dutch media compared Wiersum’s killing to the targeted Mafia assassinations of investigating magistrates in Italy in the 1990s or the lawless Colombia under the drugs baron Pablo Escobar.

Flags were at half-mast outside courtrooms across the Netherlands on Thursday and lawyers were to hold a minute’s silence as the justice minister, Ferd Grapperhaus, met officials from the public prosecutors’ office and representatives of Dutch lawyers’ associations to discuss the heightened security arrangements.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/19/netherlands-narco-state-dutch-lawyer-murder-fear-fury

https://www.france24.com/en/20190919-trudeau-brownface-netherland-lawyer-killed-narcoterrorism-oxford-sexism-china

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2019/09/20/2003722626

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/prosecution-witness-lawyers-assassination-shocks-netherlands/5101495.article

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/dutch-lawyer-murder-halts-prosecution-20101932

Netherlands: ICJ extremely concerned at killing of lawyer

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/10710-lawyer-in-major-dutch-organized-crime-case-shot-death

https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/91059-flags-flying-at-half-mast-in-memory-of-slain-lawyer

L4L shocked by liquidation of lawyer

Derk Wiersum

Home

https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2019/09/18/derk-zag-in-nabil-iemand-die-zijn-hulp-nodig-had-a3973880 (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/heeft-het-om-de-dreiging-voor-advocaat-derk-wiersum-onderschat~b1a928cb/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/une/justice-emoi-aux-pays-bas-apres-lassassinat-dun-avocat-en-pleine-rue (FRANCAIS)

https://www.rtbf.be/info/societe/detail_les-avocats-belges-sont-ils-inquiets-pour-leur-securite-apres-le-meurtre-de-leur-confrere-neerlandais?id=10319646 (FRANCAIS)

India/Jammu & Kashmir: Even as thousands are detained in Kashmir, courts and legal system remain frozen

September 20, 2019

Even as thousands are detained in Kashmir, courts and legal system remain frozen

On September 12, Lateef Dar, a bank employee in North Kashmir’s Sopore area, made his way to the high court in Srinagar. He had not been able to contact his lawyer, Wajid Haseeb, on the phone since mobile and internet connections in Kashmir had been blocked since August 5. But he knew exactly where to go.

For the past five weeks, Haseeb has sat on the same bench, facing the entrance to the court, so that his clients know where to find him. Most are relatives of men detained by the security forces since August 5, when the Centre revoked the special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and split the state into two Union Territories. As the announcement was made, Kashmir went under lockdown and thousands were detained across the Valley.

Hundreds have been held under the Public Safety Act, a stringent preventive detention law – estimates handed out by government officials of the numbers taken into custody range from 290 to 4,000. Many booked under the law have reportedly been sent to jails outside the Valley.

At a time when they are needed most, lawyers have been in short supply. Angry notices posted by the High Court Bar Association of Kashmir at the high court in Srinagar to explain why. Among the first arrests was Mian Abdul Qayoom, president of the Bar Association of Kashmir, now being held in a prison in Agra, and Nazir Ahmad Ronga, former president of the High Court bar, who was taken to Moradaba prison.

Since then, the police have booked Fayad Sodagar, president of Anantnag District Bar Association, and Abdul Salam Rather, president of the Baramulla District Bar Association, under the Public Safety Act. Lawyers based in Srinagar said Sodagar was on the run and Rather was imprisoned in Uttar Pradesh.

At the Shopian district court, lawyers said the police have detained advocate Zubair Ahmad Bhat, and his father, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, a senior advocate and a member of the legislative assembly from the People’s Democratic Party.

https://scroll.in/article/937856/even-as-thousands-are-detained-in-kashmir-courts-and-legal-system-remain-frozen

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/un-calls-for-fully-respecting-human-rights-in-kashmir/1588402

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/16/india-free-kashmiris-arbitrarily-detained

Modi govt doesn’t want lawyer son-in-law of J&K ‘separatist’ elevated to HC, SC to decide

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/a-month-on-4-kashmiri-detainees-allowed-to-meet-relatives/articleshow/71102728.cms

https://thewire.in/rights/nazir-ahmed-ronga-lawyer-detained-kashmir-crackdown

https://caravanmagazine.in/conflict/modi-war-dispatches-from-seething-kashmir