Daily Archives: 26/09/2019

UK: Supreme court litigant advised to buy stab vest after death threats

September 26, 2019

Leading lawyer considers leaving UK if threats that began during court hearings escalate

Jolyon Maugham QC had to hire personal security following death threats.

A leading lawyer in the legal fight against Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament has said he may need to leave the country over death threats triggered by the supreme court case that ruled the suspension “unlawful, void and of no effect”.

Jolyon Maugham QC has revealed that his local police and crime commissioner was sufficiently concerned by recent threats against his life that he was advised to buy a stab vest, while a former counter-terrorism expert was ordered to install a panic button in Maugham’s home. High-end security equipment is also installed outside his home.

Local police have been told to frequently drive past Maugham’s house to ensure the family are safe. Dale Vince, Maugham’s co-litigant and millionaire owner of the electricity company Ecotricity, is paying for the law firm Schillings to monitor the internet and the dark web for specific threats against Maugham.

Maugham, a barrister and founder of the Good Law Project, said he had been advised by security experts to hire a bodyguard for key public events.

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/sep/26/supreme-court-litigant-advised-to-buy-stab-vest-after-death-threats

https://www.irishlegal.com/article/jolyon-maugham-qc-bought-stab-vest-after-brexit-litigation-threats

https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/james-obrien/jolyon-maugham-qc-james-obrien-death-threats/

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

India/Jammu & Kashmir: IOK Bar on strike to support anti-India protests

September 26, 2019

In occupied Kashmir, 1,050 members of lawyers aassociations have gone on strike to support the protest demonstrations against Indian government’s abrogation of Article 370 and arrest of several Bar members.

Among the first arrested after the Indian government’s lockdown in the Kashmir Valley were senior functionaries of the High Court Bar Association, including president, Mian Abdul Qayoom, former president, Nazir Ahmad Ronga, president of bar association of Baramulla district court, advocate Abdul Salam Rather and president of Bar Islamabad district, Fayaz Sodagar under the black law Public Safety Act, which the Amnesty International termed repressive and draconian to stop the voice and peaceful activities of people.

All of them are being held in prisons in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, 1,000km away from Srinagar.

Indian police arrested over 13,000 of Kashmiris including Hurriyet leaders, activists, traders and other several political party leaders in houses and in jails in and outside occupied Kashmir.

Mir Urfi, a young female lawyer, said in Srinagar the authorities and Indian government had no valid grounds to arrest Main Qayoom, president of the bar association.

“In grounds of arrest, the police wrote: ‘We apprehend that you (referring to Qayoom) will motivate people to agitate against abrogation of Article 370′,” she said.

Objecting to the arrest of their colleagues, and to support the largest protests in the region against the Indian government’s actions, the 1,050-member lawyers’ association has gone on strike since Aug 5.

https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/09/26/iok-bar-on-strike-to-support-anti-india-protests/

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/iok-lawyers-on-strike-to-support-anti-india-p-722048.html

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/two-lawyers-held-under-psa-jk-admin-cites-drastic-ideology-bar-misuse-6029488/

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/crackdown-lawyers-shrinks-road-justice-kashmir-190920073101403.html

https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/crackdown-on-lawyers-narrows-road-to-justice-in-kashmir.637097/

Crackdown on lawyers narrows road to justice in Kashmir

European Parliament to debate ‘Kashmir issue’ tomorrow, first time in 11 years

https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/opinion/meps-put-spotlight-kashmir

https://nation.com.pk/24-Sep-2019/eu-calls-for-india-pakistan-dialogue-with-involvement-of-kashmiris

Kashmir in geopolitical context

Uzbekistan/UN: Uzbekistan faces crucial challenges

September 26, 2019

Uzbekistan faces crucial challenges for judicial independence, says UN human rights expert

Image result for Diego Garcia-Sayán

Important steps have been taken in Uzbekistan to dismantle an authoritarian and centralist structure that has previously severely undermined the independence of justice, the function of lawyers and the rule of law, says visiting UN rights expert Diego Garcia-Sayán.

“I emphasise that this process is ongoing and that further improvements must be made. I have also perceived an openness to criticism and I welcome this approach,” said García-Sayán, the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, presenting a preliminary statement at the end of his visit.

“Substantial threats against judicial independence and the rule of law remain,” he said, referring to the heavy and constant presence of the security services throughout society and Uzbekistan’s institutions. He was also concerned about broad powers that prosecutors retain in criminal proceedings, which limit the independence of judges to decide cases autonomously and in accordance with his or her conscience.

“The Government must now act urgently to sustain and complete the reform process and bring to an end those practices which currently affect access to justice and threaten efforts to achieve judicial independence.”

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1909/S00187/uzbekistan-faces-crucial-challenges.htm

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25043&LangID=E

https://mfa.uz/en/press/news/2019/09/21133/?print=Y

https://kun.uz/en/news/2019/09/25/shavkat-mirziyoyev-receives-un-special-rapporteur-diego-garca-sayn

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diego_Garc%C3%ADa_Say%C3%A1n

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diego_Garc%C3%ADa-Say%C3%A1n_Larrabure (FRANCAIS)

Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Global bodies worry over Pakistani lawyers’ safety

September 25, 2019

Day of the Endangered Lawyer

The international legal fraternity has expressed serious concerns over the security of lawyers in Pakistan.

International lawyers organisations including the International Association of People’s Lawyers and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights have prepared a report highlighting the threats faced by Pakistani lawyers from fundamentalists and terrorists.

The report noted that at least 11 lawyers have been murdered in Pakistan since March 2018. Between 2004 and 2014, 310 lawyers were killed in five separate attacks.

Individuals including high-profile lawyer Saif-ul-Malook continues to face a high risk of death or physical harm.  Malook received death threats after his client was acquitted.

A less prominent case involves Shagufta Kauser and her disabled husband Shafqat Masih, who were accused of sending blasphemous text messages to a cleric. They have been imprisoned for five years now, face the death penalty and are also being represented by Malook.

Along with condemning the torture which Masih was subjected to at the hands of the police, Malook also expressed concerns that the judge who handed down the death sentence was intimidated by hard-line lawyers and religious leaders in the community.

Due to his representation of the people accused of committing blasphemy, Malook continues to receive death threats.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2065225/1-global-bodies-worry-pakistani-lawyers-safety/

https://www.dawn.com/news/1507410

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pakistani-Supreme-Court-acquits-a-man-accused-of-blasphemy-after-18-years-in-prison-48125.html

https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2019/09/eu-envoys-threat-of-trade-sanctions-played-crucial-role-in-asia-bibis-freedom/

https://vomcanada.com/pk-2019-09-26.htm

Long read: The forgotten faces and hidden history of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

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

DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2020 – PAKISTAN

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

Homepage

http://www.evangeliques.info/articles/2019/09/02/pakistan-asia-bibi-appelle-a-une-reforme-des-lois-sur-le-blaspheme-20282.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.arte.tv/fr/afp/actualites/pakistan-un-condamne-mort-pour-blaspheme-acquitte-apres-18-ans-de-prison (FRANCAIS)

http://www.tynpanama.com/opinion/Pakistan-despues-de-18-anos-en-la-carcel-el-Tribunal-supremo-absuelve-a-un-hombre-acusado-de-blasfemia-h6689.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.repubblica.it/solidarieta/diritti-umani/2019/09/27/news/pakistan_dopo_18_anni_di_carcere_la_corte_suprema_assolve_un_uomo_accusato_di_blasfemia-237107605/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.vaticannews.va/de/welt/news/2019-09/pakistan-blasphemie-gesetze-gefangnis-gerechtigkeit-justiz.html (DEUTSCH)

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

China: Human rights lawyer and Chinese citizen controlled by SWAT team members

September 25, 2019

Authorities controlled human rights lawyer Xie Yang and a Chinese citizen, Chen Yanhui, this evening when they were discussing the Sept. 23 death of Wang Meiyu, a prisoner who died in the Hengyang Detention Center.

In the middle of Xie and Chen’s conversation at the Shennong Hotel in Hengyang, Hunan, six armed SWAT team members rushed in and contained them. Plainclothes police and hotel employees watched the room’s doorway, while the SWAT team members handled the staircase.

Xie’s wife, Chen Guiqiu, noted on social media that he was still being controlled as of 1:16 a.m. on Sept. 26 Beijing time. Her attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful, leading her to believe he is still being restricted by the officials.

Xie was previously taken into police custody for his human rights work on July 11, 2015, as part of a nationwide crackdown on rights attorneys known colloquially as the “709 Incident.” During Xie’s time in prison, he revealed that he had been tortured and that the lawyers appointed by his family were prevented from meeting him numerous times. To combat these accusations, China launched a propaganda campaign, claiming the reports were false. They also forced Xie Yang to deny his torture allegations during his trial.Prior to his trial, Xie made a written declaration stating that he was not guilty of subversion, the charge which authorities used to imprison him, and said he would not plead guilty unless it was for the sake of his family or because of torture.

https://www.chinaaid.org/2019/09/human-rights-lawyer-and-chinese-citizen.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/08/china-puts-leading-human-rights-lawyer-on-trial-for-inciting-subversion

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/xie-yang

https://www.hrichina.org/en/defenders/xie-yang

https://www.voacantonese.com/a/chinese-human-rights-lawyer-xie-yang/5099363.html (CANTONESE)

N.B. UPDATE 26/09/19:

Lawyer Xie Yang and HRD Chen Yanhui were finally released at 15:00 today 26 September after 14 hours of arbitrary detention in their hotel rooms. The truth of Wang Meiyu’s death remains to be investigated.

謝陽律師和公民陳燕慧在9月26日下午3:00左右已經被釋放, 目前安全。此前他們被非法控制長達14個小時。王美余的死亡真相, 仍有待調查。

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【709人權律師謝陽 被特警通宵控制在房間內】

#UPDATE: 已經成功聯絡謝陽律師與陳燕慧,兩人已經脫離國保的控制

昨晚23:20 謝陽律師及公民陳燕慧在湖南省衡陽市神龍大酒店商量「公民王美余9月23日於衡陽看守所離奇死亡」一案, 突然被衝進來的6名荷槍特警限制在房間裡。

至現時仍然無法聯繫兩人,電話沒有人接聽。王美余家屬亦未能被聯繫上,電話均已停機。
———————————————————————————

【Chinese 709 Human Rights Lawyer Xie Yang Detained by Armed Police in Hotel Room】

#UPDATE: We have gotten in touch with Lawyer Xie and Chen, they are both now safe

At 23:20 yesterday evening, Lawyer Xie Yang and citizen Chen Yanhui were discussing the case of the sudden death of citizen Wang Meiyu at Hengyang Detention Centre, which took place on 23rd September. Six armed police officer bursted in and detained the two inside the room.

We have yet to be able to contact Xie and Chen, with calls to their phones going unanswered. We are also unable to contact the family members of Wang Meiyu, as their phones are all out of service.

(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook, 26/09/19)

Uganda: Nagirinya murder, kidnap of lawyers dominate ULS rule of law report

September 26, 2019

Maria Nagirinya

The murder of a social worker, Maria Nagirinya and the kidnap of several advocates in line of their duty, dominated the Uganda Law Society (ULS) 3rd quarterly Rule of Law report released in Kampala yesterday.

 

The report titled: ‘The State of the Rule of Law in Uganda’ highlighted the incidents that affected the rule of law in the country between July and September as well as offering recommendations.

 

“The right to life in Uganda remains constantly under threat. Despite the numerous recommendations that have been made in the previous ULS Rule of Law reports on issues threatening the right to life, there remains an increase in kidnaps, murders and robbery cases as has been reported during the review period,” the ULS report read in part.

Recommendations
The lawyers in their recommendations on this human rights concern, asked government to institute a specific inquiry into the serial killings and publish the findings and that those found culpable face the full arm of the law.
The other recommendation was that there should be a standard community policing with a proper policy and legal framework.

https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Nagirinya-murder-kidnap-of-lawyers-dominate-ULS-rule-law-report/688334-5287288-v9wtsy/index.html

https://www.newtimes.co.rw/news/ugandas-security-came-rwandans-then-lawyers

http://www.uls.or.ug/

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

Egypt: Egypt detains more than 1,000 after anti-Sisi protests: NGOs

September 25, 2019

Egyptian authorities have arrested more than 1,000 people, two rights groups said Wednesday, in the wake of rare protests last week calling for the ouster of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The Egyptian Centre for Freedoms and Rights said 1,003 had been arrested, while the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights reported the figure of 1,298 detained.

Two prominent academics were also detained on Tuesday, a lawyer and a relative said.

Hazem Hosny, a Cairo University political science professor, was arrested on Tuesday night in front of his home, his lawyer Tarek al-Awadi said on his Facebook account.

French-educated Hosny was a spokesman for former Egyptian military chief of staff Sami Anan, who was detained after he attempted to run against Sisi in presidential elections last year.

The professor has been critical of Sisi on social media in recent days.

Hassan Nafaa, another prominent intellectual who teaches political science at Cairo University, was also detained from his home late Tuesday, family sources told AFP.

The growing list of arrests includes three journalists held for their coverage of the protests and award-winning human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Massry.

Egypt has also come under fire from rights groups for disrupting internet access to the popular app Facebook messenger and news sites such as the BBC.

https://www.france24.com/en/20190925-egypt-detains-more-than-1-000-after-anti-sisi-protests-ngos

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/germany-criticizes-egypts-repression-on-civil-society/1594189

https://en.qantara.de/content/egypt-clamps-down-on-media-outlets-following-protests

https://www.albawaba.com/news/amnesty-international-urges-egypt-stop-crackdown-protesters-1310909

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/egypt-arbitrary-arrest-of-ms-mahienour-el-massry

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/25/johnson-offers-words-of-praise-to-egypts-leader-despite-repression

Egypt’s Arab Spring Isn’t Over

https://allafrica.com/stories/201909250274.html

https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/egypt/67839/eu-item-4-statement-egypt-un-human-rights-council-42nd-session_en

https://www.timesofisrael.com/egypt-ngos-say-up-to-1900-detained-after-anti-sissi-protests/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/26/over-1900-arrested-as-egypt-braces-for-more-protests

https://madamasr.com/en/2019/09/26/feature/politics/biggest-wave-of-arrests-since-sisi-took-office-1909-people-detained/

https://www.facebook.com/freemahienour/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahienour_El-Massry

https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/egypt/67840/node/67840_ar (ARABIC)

https://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/egypte-plus-de-1000-arrestations-apres-des-manifestations-anti-sissi-ong-323474 (FRANCAIS)

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

https://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20190924_04626342 (DEUTSCH)

https://dekanttekening.nl/nieuws/egypte-sluit-prominente-mensenrechtenactiviste-op/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.nettavisen.no/nyheter/utenriks/over-1000-pagrepet-i-arrestbolge-egypt/3423851661.html (NORWEGIAN)

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