Daily Archives: 15/10/2019

Egypt: Egyptian Activist Mahienour el-Massry: The Cost of Persistence

October 15, 2019

Mahienour el-Massry

Human rights lawyer and activist Mahienour el-Massry, 33, was arrested on 22 September 2019 in Cairo, two days after rare protests erupted against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s regime, and amid an unprecedented wave of arrests of potential or presumed protesters and opposition members.

El-Massry is being held in pre-trial detention on charges of aiding a terrorist organization and spreading false news – common charges in politically motivated arrests – in a revived case related to protests over the deadly train accident in February 2019 in Cairo’s central station.

It is not the first time el-Massry has been imprisoned. She was first held in 2008 in a police station in her hometown Alexandria. She became politically engaged at a young age, participating in student protests at school and university in Alexandria before joining the Kefaya movement against former President Hosni Mubarak in 2005.

In May 2014, she was handed a two-year sentence for organizing an unauthorized protest during the retrial against the police officers responsible for the death of inmate Khaled Said. Her sentence was later reduced to six months and suspended in September that year, after which she was released.

During her detention, she wrote an open letter titled ‘We shall continue’, vowing to keep on fighting until the controversial Protest Law issued in November 2013 – which effectively annihilated the right to protest – was abolished. She also pointed to class differences that determine one’s treatment even in prison, ending her letter with the call: ‘Down with this classist society’.

She was awarded the Ludovic Trarieux Human Rights Prize in 2014, while still in prison.

https://fanack.com/egypt/faces/mahienour-el-massry/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/10/egypt-steps-up-brutality-with-abduction-and-torture-of-human-rights-defender/

Egypt: Israa Abdelfattah strangled in custody

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

https://www.amnesty.org/ar/latest/news/2019/10/egypt-steps-up-brutality-with-abduction-and-torture-of-human-rights-defender/ (ARABIC)

https://patrick-henry.avocats.be/?q=node/412 (FRANCAIS)

https://israelnoticias.com/i/medio-oriente/activista-egipto-torturada-arresto/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.pressenza.com/it/2019/10/egitto-amnesty-international-denuncia-laumento-della-brutalita-verso-i-difensori-dei-diritti-umani/ (ITALIANO)

#FreeMahienour

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“أمن الدولة” تخلي سبيل المحامي إبراهيم متولي بعد عامين من الحبس الاحتياطي

قال محامون، إن نيابة أمن الدولة العليا، قررت أمس الاثنين، إخلاء سبيل المحامي البارز إبراهيم متولي، مؤسس رابطة أسر المختفين قسريا.
ويأتي قرار إخلاء سبيل المحامي متولي بعد مرور آكثر من عامين على حبسه احتياطيا، وتجاوزه المدة المقررة في القانون ٢٤ شهرا.
وكانت متولي قد واجه اتهامات بتأسيس جماعة على خلاف أحكام القانون، ونشر أخبار كاذبة، بعد القبض عليه من مطار القاهرة منذ أكثر من عامين.

#دفتر_أحوال_المحاكم_والنيابات
#المفوضية_المصرية_للحقوق_والحريات
#إبراهيم_متولي

(المفوضية المصرية للحقوق والحريات Facebook, 15/10/19)

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Nigeria: Senior lawyers accuse FG of ‘terrorising’ judiciary

October 14, 2019

Senior lawyers accuse FG of ‘terrorising’ judiciary

The body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) has accused the Federal government of carrying out attacks on the independence of the judiciary and of the legal profession in a contrived plan to intimidate Judges and cow lawyers particularly with a pseudo fight against so-called corruption.

The body further accused government of using the very court system originally designed for justice, to terrorise members of the legal profession by as ascribing and arraignment for phantom charges.

Speaking on Monday for the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), lamented that lawyers are now plying their trade under heavy cloud of fear.

The event was to mark the new legal year of the FCT High Court.

He noted the emerging and revealing phenomenon is that these erosions of the rule of law are occurring in countries with elected governments, not military regimes.

“In other words, merely enthroning a civilian government is not a guarantee for democracy and the rule of law.

The strategy is to “weaponise of the law”, that is, to use the law as a weapon, by using the very court system originally designed for justice, to terrorise members of the legal profession by ascribing and arraignment for phantom charges. To this is added the strategy of public vilification/media trials of lawyers and the judiciary.

“Now lawyers are plying their trade under a heavy cloud of fear, particularly those who have briefs to defend clients who may not be in good standing with the Government of the day. These attacks always represent the initial symptoms of descent to authoritarianism as the fabrics of democracy and freedom are gradually weakened and destroyed when the independence of the judiciary and the independence of the legal profession are attacked and eroded.”

The senior lawyer added that “since it is the Bar that will fight for the independence of the Judiciary, an emasculation of the Bar through attacks on the independence of the legal profession will result in the direct erosion of the independence of the Judiciary.

Senior lawyers accuse FG of ‘terrorising’ judiciary

https://www.newtelegraphng.com/2019/10/sans-task-judges-lawyers-on-rule-of-law/

35 Abuja judges to hear 16,000 cases

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

Belgium: Le célèbre pénaliste Olivier Martins dans de sales draps : la justice veut son renvoi devant le tribunal !

le 15 octobre, 2019

Le réquisitoire du parquet de Bruxelles est fini et les chefs d’inculpation réclamés à l’encontre du pénaliste bruxellois sont solides !

La rumeur courait depuis plusieurs jours déjà dans les couloirs du palais de justice de Bruxelles. La DH en sait désormais plus : l’avocat Olivier Martins se trouve dans de sales draps. Selon nos informations, le parquet demande son renvoi devant le tribunal correctionnel pour plusieurs motifs. Toujours selon nos infos, le réquisitoire comporte trois chefs d’inculpation à l’encontre du célèbre pénaliste, déjà inculpé en 2017 comme membre d’une organisation criminelle. Trois nouveaux chefs d’inculpation sont désormais réclamés à son encontre. Selon nos infos, le parquet demande son renvoi au tribunal comme 1. Co-auteur de prise d’otage. 2. Membre d’une organisation criminelle en qualité de preneur de décision. 3. Co-auteur de tentative d’évasion qualifiée.

Le tout dans le cadre de la tentative d’évasion du baron franco-marocain de la drogue, Mohammed Benabdelhak, depuis la prison de Saint-Gilles. C’était le 13 avril 2014. Ce jour-là, une avocate française a rendez-vous avec le détenu surnommé Le Bombé dans le milieu criminel. Mais c’est un commando lourdement armé composé de quatre personnes qui débarque dans la prison bruxelloise, n’hésitant pas à ouvrir le feu, avant de prendre la fuite, ne parvenant pas à la cible. On parle alors d’une récompense de deux millions d’euros offerte à ceux qui parviendraient à faire évader le baron de la drogue.

En 2017, le pénaliste Olivier Martins est arrêté et inculpé comme membre d’une organisation criminelle dans ce dossier géré par le juge d’instruction Michel Claise. L’avocat passe alors une semaine en prison avant d’être remis en liberté sous conditions. L’enquête se poursuit et le rôle du célèbre pénaliste bruxellois se précise, avec la suite que l’on connaît désormais : trois chefs d’inculpation sont retenus à son encontre dans le réquisitoire du parquet de Bruxelles qui demande donc son renvoi au tribunal. Reste à la chambre du conseil de poursuivre ou non la demande du parquet de Bruxelles.

https://www.dhnet.be/actu/faits/le-celebre-penaliste-olivier-martins-dans-de-sales-draps-la-justice-veut-son-renvoi-devant-le-tribunal-5da57442f20d5a264d069c15

Le célèbre pénaliste Olivier Martins renvoyé devant le tribunal correctionnel

https://www.lalibre.be/belgique/judiciaire/le-celebre-penaliste-olivier-martins-dans-de-sales-draps-la-justice-veut-son-renvoi-devant-le-tribunal-5da58c62f20d5a264d069c63

https://www.bruzz.be/justitie/brusselse-parket-wil-strafpleiter-olivier-martins-vervolgen-2019-10-15 (VLAAMS)

https://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20191015_04664596 (VLAAMS)

https://www.news1.news/2019/10/the-famous-criminal-olivier-martins-in-dirty-clothes-the-justice-wants-his-return-to-the-court.html (ENGLISH)

The Philippines: Czarina Musni struggles for justice in the Philippines

October 14, 2019

Czarina Musni struggles for justice in the Philippines

The UN Human Rights Council recently adopted a resolution which expresses great concern on the human rights situation in the Philippines. In particular with regard to the reported extrajudicial killings and violations targeting critics and human rights defenders, including lawyers. ,,Today, being a lawyer for the defenseless makes you a target”, responded Edre U. Olalia, president of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers of the Philippines.

One of his brave fellow fighters is Czarina Musni, also a member of the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM): ,,We welcome the UN resolution to investigate the rampant and numerous killings in the Philippines, as well as the incidents of extra-judicial killings of activists, peasant and indigenous peoples leaders and human rights defenders”, she says in an online interview with Lawyers for Lawyers. ,,This would show the world how the regime uses brute force, power and influence to silence his critics.”

We shall not falter

She outlines the current deterrent situation: ,,As lawyers we face constant threats and vilification for the human right cases we handle. Because of their demands, our clients are tagged as ‘terrorists’, as ‘communists’, or as ‘enemies of the state’.  And so are we, their lawyers. But we take these branding as our badges of valor, as we stand with and for the Filipino masses who call for justice and equality.”

And she continues without self-censorship: ,,We shall not be intimidated. We shall not falter. We shall go forth and defend our clients. Even if we have to do so to the death.”

The resolution requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to provide a detailed report on the situation of human rights in the Philippines. What should be in that report?

Czarina Musni struggles for justice in the Philippines

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/10/article/one-foot-in-the-grave-for-philippine-activists/

https://nupl.net/

Attacks on Filipino Lawyers and law workers 23 Sept 19 (IAPL MONITORING COMMITTEE REPORT)

India: Bhima Koregaon case: Bombay HC denies bail to Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves

October 15, 2019

THE Bombay High Court on Tuesday dismissed bail applications filed by rights activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves in Bhima Koregoan case.

All three activists are currently lodged at Yerwada Central Jail over 14 months now.

A single judge bench of Justice Sarang VKotwal after hearing pleas of the three civil liberties activists for almost two months reserved the order on October 7.

The court rejected all three applications filed by activists who were implicated for alleged links with banned Maoist group and for provoking violence at the Koregaon Bhima after an Elgar Parishad meeting held on December 31, 2017.

In October 2018, a special judge in Pune had rejected the bail application filed by the three activists after which they moved to the Bombay High Court.

Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and provisions of Indian Penal Code by the Pune police.

Earlier, on September 13 the Bombay High court had turned down Gautam Navlakha plea seeking to quash the FIR filed against him by the Pune Police in the Bhima Koregoan case. However, on October 4 the Supreme Court had extended the interim protection granted to Navlakha in the Bhima Koregona case till October 15.

Bhima Koregaon case: Bombay HC denies bail to Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves

https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/breaking-bombay-hc-denies-bail-to-sudha-bharadwaj-arun-ferreira-vernon-gonsalves-148936

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/high-court-rejects-bail-to-sudha-bharadwaj-vernon-gonsalves-arun-ferreira/story-TfdnMavqumlxSmVkLiZvKL.html

https://scroll.in/latest/940567/bhima-koregaon-bombay-hc-rejects-bail-pleas-of-vernon-gonsalves-sudha-bharadwaj-arun-ferreira

Bhima Koregaon: Bombay High Court rejects bail plea of Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Arun Ferreira

https://www.aninews.in/news/national/general-news/bhima-koregaon-case-sudha-bharadwaj-arun-ferreira-vernon-gonsalves-denied-bail20191015135540/

https://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/elgar-parishad-case-bombay-hc-turns-down-bail-plea-of-three-activists-arrested-for-alleged-maoist-links/1736048/

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/bhima-koregaon-violence-bail-plea-of-3-activists-rejected/article29688696.ece

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

https://www.amarujala.com/india-news/bhima-koregaon-bombay-hc-denies-bail-to-activists-sudha-bharadwaj-arun-ferreira-vernon-gonsalves (HINDI)

https://bengali.indianexpress.com/general-news/elgaar-parishad-cpi-maoist-sudha-bhardwaj-arun-ferreira-vernon-gonsalves-bail-application-rejected-bombay-high-court-150320/ (BANGLA)

Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Days After Chanting Anti-army Slogans, Senior Pakistani Lawyer ‘Kidnapped’ in Lahore

October 14, 2019

Kashif Ali Chaudhry was in a market at Thokar Niaz Baig area to purchase cable wire when unidentified persons on two vehicles overpowered Chaudhry, bundled him into a vehicle and fled away.

A senior lawyer of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party was allegedly “kidnapped” by some unidentified persons, according to a police complaint lodged by his brother, days after he led a group of advocates in chanting anti-army slogans during a court hearing of jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a corruption case in Lahore.

PML-N Pakistan Lawyers Wing vice president Kashif Ali Chaudhry was visiting a market at Thokar Niaz Baig area to purchase cable wire when unidentified persons on two vehicles came there and stopped him, according to the complaint lodged by his brother Nazim Hussain at the Hanjarwal police station.

“The suspects overpowered Chaudhry and bundled him into a vehicle and fled away,” the complainant said.

A CCTV footage circulating on social media showed that masked men in civvies were holding Chaudhry and later shifted him to a vehicle.

Last week the PML-N leader had led a group of lawyers in chanting slogans against army generals during a hearing of three-time prime minister Sharif in the accountability court.

The video of the protest had gone viral.

Sources believe that action against Chaudhry has been taken in the light of the protest.

Sharif is serving a seven-year imprisonment in Al-Azizia corruption case. At present, he is in the custody of National Accountability Bureau in Lahore in the money laundering investigation.

https://www.news18.com/news/world/days-after-chanting-anti-army-slogans-senior-pakistani-lawyer-kidnapped-in-lahore-2345123.html

https://www.dawn.com/news/1510861/kidnapped-pml-n-lawyer-returns

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/world/senior-pakistan-lawyer-of-pml-n-kidnapped–watch-video/847080.html

https://www.dawn.com/news/1510782/pml-n-lawyers-wing-vp-kidnapped

PML-N lawyer’ wing VP abducted in Lahore

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/pakistan-10th-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-2020-24-01-2020-with-the-focus-on-pakistan-a-struggle-to-protect-pakistani-lawyers-especially-against-islamic-fundamentalism-and-terrorism-basic-repo/

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/09/26/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-global-bodies-worry-over-pakistani-lawyers-safety/

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

DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2020 – PAKISTAN

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#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

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(Sindh Bar Council Facebook, 15/10/19)