Daily Archives: 05/10/2019

Cameroon: Cameroun : l’opposant Maurice Kamto a été libéré après d’intenses négociations avec le régime de Paul Biya

le 5 octobre, 2019

Maurice Kamto a été remis en liberté ce samedi 5 octobre après huit mois de détention, Paul Biya ayant annoncé avoir « décidé de l’arrêt des poursuites judiciaires » à son encontre. 90 autres personnes, arrêtées pour avoir contesté les résultats de la présidentielle de 2018, doivent également recouvrer la liberté.

Maurice Kamto est libre. La présidente du tribunal militaire de Yaoundé a prononcé ce samedi 5 octobre l’abandon des charges retenues contre le leader du Mouvement pour la renaissance du Cameroun (MRC), ses alliés politiques ainsi que ses militants, incarcérés pour avoir participé aux marches blanches contestant le résultat de la présidentielle de 2018, à l’issue de laquelle Paul Biya a été réélu pour un septième mandat.

La décision de Paul Biya

Au total, 90 personnes ont été relaxées ce samedi. « J’ai décidé de l’arrêt des poursuites judiciaires contre certains responsables et militants de partis politiques, notamment du MRC, arrêtés et détenus pour des faits commis dans le cadre de la contestation des résultats de la récente élection présidentielle », avait écrit la veille le chef de l’État camerounais, dans un court communiqué.

Parmi les prisonniers qui ont recouvré la liberté, Michèle Ndoki, Alain Fogué, Christian Penda Ekoka, Paul Eric Kingue ou encore Albert Dzongang, des cadres du MRC proches de Maurice Kamto. Ils ont été accueillis par une foule impressionnante, massée à l’entrée du tribunal militaire de Yaoundé depuis le début de matinée.

https://www.jeuneafrique.com/838966/politique/cameroun-lopposant-maurice-kamto-a-ete-libere-apres-dintenses-negociations-avec-le-regime-de-paul-biya/

https://www.camerounweb.com/CameroonHomePage/NewsArchive/Lib-ration-des-d-tenus-MRC-Mich-le-Ndoki-fix-e-sur-son-sort-473352?video=1

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-05/cameroon-s-president-orders-release-of-jailed-opposition-leader

https://www.camerounweb.com/CameroonHomePage/NewsArchive/Lib-ration-des-d-tenus-MRC-Mich-le-Ndoki-fix-e-sur-son-sort-473352

https://237actu.com/pid/8793

https://www.atlantico.fr/node/3580408

https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2019/10/05/cameroun-le-tribunal-militaire-ordonne-la-remise-en-liberte-du-principal-opposant-maurice-kamto_6014368_3212.html

https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2019/10/cameroon-release-of-maurice-kamto-and-several-detainees/

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Kamto

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Ndoki

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-05/cameroon-s-president-orders-release-of-jailed-opposition-leader (ENGLISH)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Kamto (ENGLISH)

https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20191005/47808604803/presidente-de-camerun-ordena-liberar-a-lider-de-la-oposicion-y-102-militantes.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.efe.com/efe/espana/mundo/el-presidente-de-camerun-ordena-liberar-a-lider-la-oposicion-y-102-militantes/10001-4079919 (ESPANOL)

Indonesia/Australia: One of Indonesia’s most wanted people says she won’t be silenced, despite daily death threats

October 4, 2019

Veronica Koman in Sydney.

EXCLUSIVE: As violence in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia reaches its “darkest” point in 20 years, Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronica Koman says she will continue to speak out despite daily death threats.

A pro-Papuan lawyer who has been threatened with an Interpol Red Notice says she receives daily rape and death threats as the uprising in the Indonesian provinces ramp up.

Veronica Koman, a respected Indonesian human rights lawyer, now lives in Australia but continues to be pursued by the Indonesian government for allegedly disseminating evidence of security forces carrying out violence in Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua.

“I started to receive death threats two years ago and it’s almost like a daily experience now to receive death and rape threats online,” the 31-year-old told SBS News in an exclusive interview.

“They’re trying to kill the messenger. They cannot refute my data, all the footage they cannot refute that so they’re trying to destroy my credibility.”

 

Ms Koman became involved in the West Papuan struggle for independence in 2014 after five protesters were allegedly killed and another 17 injured by the Indonesian military in an event known as the Paniai killings.

“I thought at the time … ‘wow, why is there no outrage? School children are killed by security forces,'” she said.

“It has become my personal mission to expose what’s happening in West Papua.”

Last week, the provinces – which share a border with Papua New Guinea – suffered one of their bloodiest days in 20 years, with at least 33 people killed in the central town of Wamena.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/one-of-indonesia-s-most-wanted-people-says-she-won-t-be-silenced-despite-daily-death-threats

https://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/the-world/2019-10-03/this-is-bigger-than-us-:-activist-vows-to-keep/11572810

https://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=298535

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/threats-against-and-judicial-harassment-human-rights-lawyer-veronica-koman

https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4733800/veronica-koman-buka-suara-di-media-australia-kemlu-anggap-tak-pantas (INDONESIAN)

https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4734501/tampil-di-media-veronica-koman-diingatkan-soal-beasiswa (INDONESIAN)

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20191004085943-20-436653/buka-suara-veronica-koman-sebut-terima-ancaman-pembunuhan (INDONESIAN)

https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_Koman (INDONESIAN)

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/profile/veronica-koman (FRANCAIS)

Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Alleged police highhandedness: KP lawyers observe strike

October 1, 2019

Lawyers continue strike, demand suspension of SDPO

The legal fraternity on Monday observed a strike across the province to protest the police officer’s highhandedness with a lawyer in Chitral district.

Like other parts of the province, the lawyers observed a strike in the provincial capital and sought action against a police officer in Booni Police, Rajab Ali. The lawyers observed the strike on the call of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council to condemn and protest the police officer’s alleged inhuman attitude to a senior lawyer.

In a statement, the KP Bar Council alleged that the police officer had illegally taken senior lawyer Syed Burhan Shah Advocate to his office, confined him illegally and tortured him physically and mentally. The bar council recalled that the same police officer had recently misbehaved with Saghir Khan Advocate, a former president, Swabi Bar Association.

In the statement, the bar council demanded a departmental inquiry against the police officers and sought punishment to him under the law. The bar council condemned, what it said was, brutal action of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police against the peaceful protesting doctors in Peshawar.

 

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/534455-alleged-police-highhandedness-kp-lawyers-observe-strike

Lawyers continue strike, demand suspension of SDPO

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/535999-lawyers-in-chitral-protest-torture-of-colleague

https://www.dawn.com/news/1508257

Strike held in KP against police manhandling of Chitrali lawyer

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/10/06/pakistan-end-ordeal-blasphemy-defendants

https://www.dw.com/en/junaid-hafeez-why-is-pakistani-scholars-blasphemy-case-receiving-scant-attention/a-50722310

http://www.kpbarcouncil.com/

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

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/

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#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

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#Strike….

The Punjab Bar Council strongly condemns the untoward incident that took place in Distt Hospital Toba Tek Singh, on the instigation of Medical Superintendent DHQ T T Singh, in which the officials of the DHQ illegally & immorally detained the President & lawyers of Bar Association T T Singh. In condemnation of the aforesaid act and showing solidarity with the aggrieved lawyers of Toba Tek Singh the lawyers of Faisalabad division will observe a full day strike on 03-10-2019.

Ch Shah Nawaz Ismail Gujjar
Vice Chairman
Punjab Bar Council

Iftikhar Ibrahim Qureshi
Chairman Executive Committee
Punjab Bar Council.

(Punjab Bar Council Facebook, 02/10/19)

The Punjab Bar Council strongly condemns the untoward incident that took place in Distt Hospital Toba Tek Singh, on the instigation of Medical Superintendent DHQ T T Singh, in which the officials of the DHQ illegally & immorally detained the President Bar Association T T Singh.
The Punjab Bar Council also condemns the illegal, immoral & disgraceful act of the M S DHQ which warrants a criminal as well as a departmental inquiry against the culprits.

Ch Shah Nawaz Ismail Gujjar
Vice Chairman
Punjab Bar Council

Iftikhar Ibrahim Qureshi
Chairman Executive Committee
Punjab Bar Council.

(Punjab Bar Council Facebook, 01/10/19)

 

Day of the Endangered Lawyer

Australia/Timor Leste: Australia’s quest for national security is undermining the courts and could lead to secretive trials

October 2, 2019

Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery. Picture: Jamila Toderas

This is part of a new series looking at the national security challenges facing Australia, how our leaders are responding to them through legislation and how these measures are impacting society. Read other stories in the series here.


In August, the intelligence officer known as Witness K indicated he would plead guilty to a conspiracy charge under section 39 of the Intelligence Services Act. That section prohibits the disclosure of information acquired or prepared by the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).

His lawyer, Bernard Collaery, will contest the same charge in the ACT Supreme Court.

Concerns have been raised about the use of the National Security Information Act (NSIA) in the Collaery trial. Anthony Whealy, a former judge who presided over several of Australia’s recent terrorism trials, said

This could be one of the most secretive trials in Australian history.

Both cases will be back in court this month. A hearing is also scheduled to consider how national security information will be dealt with in the Collaery trial.

There has been significant media discussion around the ASIS bugging that Witness K and Bernard Collaery exposed, but less about the NSIA.

So what is the National Security Information Act? Why was it introduced and how could it lead to secretive trials?

https://theconversation.com/australias-quest-for-national-security-is-undermining-the-courts-and-could-lead-to-secretive-trials-122638

https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6418831/unattractive-orders-on-bugging-case/

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/oct/02/judge-handling-witness-k-case-risks-10-years-jail-if-he-breaches-secrecy-provisions

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6418503/judge-raises-concerns-about-ags-proposed-orders-in-east-timor-spying-case/?cs=14264

https://www.hrlc.org.au/news/2019/10/6/witness-k-case-in-court-tomorrow

https://7news.com.au/politics/timor-spying-case-returns-to-act-court-c-492142

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6443314/private-citizens-bid-to-be-heard-in-east-timor-bugging-case-shut-down/

https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6443452/court-stops-amicus-bid-in-bugging-case/

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

USA: Senator Grassley Sends Letter to Harvard Citing Concerns About Sullivan Dismissal

October 2, 2019

Khurana in Winthrop

United States Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to University President Lawrence S. Bacow last week requesting that he explain the College’s decision not to renew former Winthrop Faculty Dean Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr.

Grassley asked Bacow to provide responses to a series of questions about how administrators decided to remove Sullivan, and about the state of academic freedom at the University more broadly. Grassley asked Harvard to send its reply to the Senate Finance Committee before Oct. 25.

“To be clear, it is generally Harvard College’s business as to what faculty members it employs and how it employs them,” Grassley wrote. “But this episode raises significant concerns that have implications for the state of tax-exempt higher education in the United States and how it is preparing the next generation of our Nation’s leaders.”

The College’s decision not to renew Sullivan followed a months-long controversy over his decision to represent Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who currently faces criminal charges including rape and sexual assault.

Harvard spokesperson Rachael Dane wrote in an email that the University has received Grassley’s letter. She reiterated previous statements noting that the decision not to renew Sullivan and co-Faculty Dean Stephanie R. Robinson was not directly related to the Weinstein case.

https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2019/10/2/grassley-sullivan-letter/

Sen. Chuck Grassley presses universities about commitment to academic freedom

https://www.rcreader.com/news-releases/sen-charles-chuck-grassley-presses-influential-universities-freedom-speech-concerns

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_S._Sullivan_Jr.

USA/Cameroon: City Bar Calls for the Immediate and Unconditional Release of Professor Maurice Kamto

October 4, 2019

New York City Bar

The New York City Bar Association condemns the arrest of Professor Maurice Kamto, and urges the government of Cameroon to honor its international law commitments, and to immediately and unconditionally release Professor Kamto.

Professor Kamto is a distinguished and globally respected jurist; former member, Chair and Special Rapporteur of the International Law Commission of the United Nations from 1999 to 2016; and former Dean of the faculty of judicial and political sciences at University of Yaoundé II. In 2002, he successfully led a team that resolved the dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon over the territory of Bakassi Peninsula before the International Court of Justice so as to allow Cameroon to control that territory. Professor Kamto was appointed Deputy Minister for Justice of Cameroon from 2004 to 2011. After he resigned from the government of Cameroon, Professor Kamto created his political party, Cameroon Renaissance Movement (“MRC”) in 2012.

On January 28, 2019, Cameroonian authorities arrested Professor Kamto, along with over 200 members of his political party, who had organized peaceful protests called “White March.”[1] The aims of White March[2] were to protest against: i) official results of the 2018 presidential elections proclaimed by the Constitutional Council, which MRC claims were marred by irregularities[3], ii) the ongoing war in the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions,[4] and iii) widespread corruption that resulted in stripping Cameroon of its role in hosting AFCON 2019.[5]

During the White March, security forces used excessive force against peaceful unarmed civilians and fired live bullets at some, including prominent lawyers and supporters of Professor Kamto. The government argued that the crackdown on protesters was justified because the demonstrations were not authorized. The government also accused Professor Kamto of inciting activists to ransack Cameroonian embassies in Paris and Berlin, which MRC denied.[6]

After Professor Kamto was arrested in the city of Douala, security forces transferred him to the town of Yaoundé. For two weeks Professor Kamto was placed under “administrative custody” by special units at the Special Operations Group (GSO). These units usually deal with terrorism or organized crimes.[7]

https://www.nycbar.org/media-listing/media/detail/city-bar-calls-for-the-immediate-and-unconditional-release-of-professor-maurice-kamto

New York City Bar Association calls for immediate and unconditional release of Cameroon opposition leader Maurice Kamto

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/cameroon-president-says-dropping-prosecution-against-some-political-rivals/1634299

https://www.nycbar.org/

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

https://www.lebledparle.com/actu/politique/1109569-maximillienne-ngo-mbe-a-paul-biya-il-y-a-au-moins-encore-2000-personnes-a-liberer (FRANCAIS)

https://www.journalducameroun.com/cameroun-vers-la-liberation-de-maurice-kamto-cameroun/ (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.africanews.com/2019/10/04/cameroun-biya-ordonne-la-liberation-de-certains-militants-et-responsables-du/ (FRANCAIS)

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

https://www.dw.com/de/kameruns-pr%C3%A4sident-begnadigt-333-gefangene/a-50698794 (DEUTSCHE)

http://www.nuovomille.it/ultime-di-cronaca/camerun-yaounde-inizia-dialogo-nazionale-senza-ribelli (ITALIANO)

The Philippines: Murder attempt against Filipina human rights lawyer

October 5, 2019

Human Rights Group decries murder attempt against Filipina human rights lawyer

ICHRP OFFICIAL STATEMENT

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) decries the ambush on Atty. Criselda Heredia while she was with her daughter and client last September 23, 2019. Fortunately, the three were physically uninjured as shots were fired into Heredia’s car by unidentified gunman on board a motorcycle. The incident happened in the municipality of Panit-an on the island of Panay, Central Philippines, around 11:30 am.

Heredia is a human rights lawyer and active in anti-mining campaigns on the island. As a member of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) she handles pro bono cases for farmers, human rights defenders and political prisoners.

According to NUPL, before the shooting, Heredia was red-tagged in posters and had been receiving death threats from unidentified men visiting her office. Human rights lawyer Atty. Benjamin Ramos was murdered on the nearby island of Negros last November 7, 2018. Before Ramos’ death, he was also red-tagged with name and face included in posters rolled out across the island.

“ICHRP condemns this outright attack against Filipino human rights lawyers. There is a clear pattern of vilification and harassments which then lead to political killings,” said Mr. Peter Murphy, chair of ICHRP’s Global Council. “This only shows the continuing climate of impunity and the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines under President Duterte”.

The attack on Atty Heredia brings to total for attacks on lawyers since President Duterte came to office in July 2016 to 61, with 49 killed and 12 survivors.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1910/S00032/murder-attempt-against-filipina-human-rights-lawyer.htm

Roxas-based rights lawyer survives slay try

https://www.rappler.com/nation/241737-human-rights-group-urges-international-criminal-court-open-investigation-drug-war

Human right group files motion at ICC

https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/10/04/19/joint-un-international-court-probe-on-slays-under-duterte-administration-sought

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/710477/victims-kin-file-additional-evidence-on-duterte-s-drug-war-at-icc/story/

Drug-war victims’ kin file 2nd ICC pleading

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/30/filming-philippines-war-drugs

THE PHILIPPINES: ATTACKS AGAINST LAWYERS ESCALATING

https://lesad.be/the-philippines-attacks-against-lawyers-escalating/

Filipino human rights lawyer uninjured after gunmen ambush car

Filipino lawyers attacksed Sept 2019 (IAPL MONITORING COMMITTEE REPORT)

https://www.abogacia.es/2019/09/18/filipinas-aumentan-los-ataques-contra-los-abogados/ (ESPANOL)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 05/10/19)