Monthly Archives: October 2019

China: China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group: Human rights lawyer Lu Siwei receives notification from Chengdu All China Lawyers Association’s Disciplinary Committee

October 21, 2019

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Sichuan Human rights lawyer Lu Siwei received a notification from Chengdu All China Lawyers Association’s Disciplinary Committee for allegedly violating rules while accepting to represent a defendant of a human rights case, and thus will be subjected to disciplinary punishment.

Lawyer Lu specializes in finance laws and criminal defense, and at the same time, took up human rights cases; he was notably among the lawyers who were set to represent one of the defendants in the June 4th Wine Bottle Case and the Pengxi County land seizure case. The disciplinary punishment issues by the Lawyers Association is likely to be associated with Lawyer Lu taking on the case of Lawyer Chen Jiahong, who has been suspected of committing “incitement to subvert state power.”

Lawyer Chen’s charge was probably based on his calligraphy piece against “the evil bureaucracy” and encouraging democracy which he created in April this year, leading to his detainment in Guangxi’s Yulin Detention Center, where Lawyer Lu visited him on 9th May. At the same time, a list of lawyers defending Lawyer Chen began circulating online, which triggered the Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Justice to call for Lawyer Lu to return to Chengdu as soon as possible, and to notify the staff at his law firm not to sign any contract of authorization.

The next day (10th May), the Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Justice received evidence from the Sichuan Department of Justice regarding Lawyer Lu possibly violating professional ethics and the disciplinary code, thus referring the case to the Chengdu All China Lawyers Association. On 4th June, the Lawyers Association’s Disciplinary Committee started investigating the allegations and found that Lawyer Lu violated rules when taking up a case, therefore planning on disciplinary punishment.

China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group: Human rights lawyer Lu Siwei receives notification from Chengdu All China Lawyers Association’s Disciplinary Committee





【Lawyer Lu Siwei’s Hearing】
At 2pm on Monday, Lawyer Lu Siwei attended a hearing regarding his alleged misconduct and consequent punishment by the Chengdu All China Lawyers Association at the Chengdu Legal Aid Centre.

The disciplinary punishment is likely associated with Lawyer Lu taking on the case of Lawyer Chen Jiahong, who has been suspected of committing “incitement to subvert state power.” The Lawyers Association’s Disciplinary Committee started investigating the allegations, and found that Lawyer Lu violated rules when taking up a case, therefore planning on disciplinary punishment, in addition to not allowing Lawyer Lu to pass the annual inspection for up to three months for the same reason.

Staff from the Consulate Generals of the USA, Germany, Canada, and the UK attended the hearing, but the moderator stated a fear for his own safety after their entry, saying that there were too many people in the meeting room, and requested that the members of the audience be limited to five only. A decision regarding Lawyer Lu has yet to be made, as it will be debated by the Chengdu All China Lawyers Association’s Disciplinary Committee.

#盧思位 #LuSiwei #聽證會 #人太多 #陳家鴻 #ChenJiahong #人權律師

中國維權律師即時資訊 Telegram Channel 👉🏻

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(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook, 23/10/19)


Turkey: House of Eren Keskin Raided by Police

October 23, 2019

Police raided the house of Human Rights Association (İHD) Co-Chair lawyer Eren Keskin last night. Keskin has deposed at the Anatolian Courthouse today. She is reportedly accused of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” on social media.

Police officers conducted a raid against the house of Human Rights Association (İHD) Co-Chair lawyer Eren Keskin last night (October 22).

While Keskin was not at home during the raid, police officers asked her mother where Eren Keskin was.

As reported by Mezopotamya Agency, Keskin has stated that she talked to the police after the raid. “They told me that I must go to the Anti-Terror Branch. And I told them that I would. I don’t know why they summoned me. It will get clear tomorrow”, Keskin has indicated further.

Speaking to bianet today, Zeynep Ceren Toprak, the lawyer of Keskin, has stated that her client went to the Anatolian Courthouse to depose. While Keskin has been accused of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” on social media, she will share the details about the issue on social media.

About Eren Keskin

Lawyer, the Editor-in-Chief and columnist of closed daily Özgür Gündem and founder of the Legal Aid Bureau Against Sexual Harassment and Rape in Custody. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Human Rights Association (İHD). She has been struggling for fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey for years, especially for minority rights, gender equality and rights violations. There are still several ongoing lawsuits against her.

Eren Keskin has been granted several awards: Aachen Peace Prize (2004), Theodor Haecker Prize for Political Courage and Sincerity (2005), symbol figure for struggle against impunity on the International Freedom of Expression Network (IFEX) International Day to End Impunity (2013). (TURKCE) (TURKCE),23763 (TURKCE)

Thailand: June, defending her right to stand up for others in Thailand

The story of Sirikan “June” Charoensiri, human rights lawyer from Thailand

She never asked for any of it. Not the awards. Not the grave charges filed against her. All she ever wanted was to defend others in the courtroom, but she ended up having to defend herself.

Despite circumstances conspiring against her, the 33-year-old Thai human rights lawyer manages to draw strength from her predicaments.

Sirikan “June” Charoensiri (@JCharoensiri) carries the burden of responsibility with astonishing grit and perseverance. She is always humble but with a laser sharp focus on what needs to be achieved.


Self-granted special powers

On the day of the interview, June’s colleagues submitted a petition to amend or revoke at least thirty-five orders issued by the junta since the 2014 coup d’état in Thailand. Hundreds of pieces of law were passed in the past five years by the junta leadership, better known as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). The NCPO exercised its sweeping powers granted by the 2014 interim Constitution — and by and large confirmed by the 2017 Constitution — to issue judicial, legislative, and executive orders that can’t be challenged in the court.

Only a new parliament can roll back what June calls a “dictatorial legacy.” Prayuth Chan-ocha, former army chief and leader of the pro-junta Palang Pracharat Party, has already been reappointed as Prime Minister following the general election in March 2019. A new Cabinet is also in place, and several military orders and decrees have been lifted. But June remains concerned. “Many Thai people think the junta-era restrictions are over, but military authorities can still detain civilians up to seven days without judicial oversight. Also, offenses under NCPO decrees remain in place. So far, only 70 of the 557 decrees issues by the NCPO are being repealed (for more details read this analysis piece written by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights).”

‘Fast horse lawyers’

Before the 2014 coup happened, June was working in the southern region bordering Malaysia — an area under protracted violence for a long time. When martial law, in the wake of Thailand’s twelfth coup d’état, was implemented, she knew what would come. She met late one night with a few fellow lawyers. The small group decided to form a task force made up of lawyers, social activists, and volunteers, focused on preventing the abuse of power they all expected to occur.


Indonesia/Australia: Indonesian human rights lawyer Koman refuses to be cowed on Papua

October 22, 2019

Veronica Koman meets with Australian MPs about Papua

Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer sought by Indonesian police over Twitter posts authorities blame for fanning unrest in the Papua region, has a tattoo on each wrist.

The first, inked when she was in her late teens and a fervent nationalist, reads simply “Indonesia” and, she says, meant that “Indonesia is running through my veins”.

The second, which she got a few years later after becoming “exposed to social justice”, has become a defiant riposte to the vitriol she has received for defending activists and advocating self-determination for Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost provinces.

The tattoo reads “DILLIGAF”, an abbreviation for a crude saying which roughly stands for “Do I look like I give a damn?”

“I’ve actually been experiencing this weird systematic attack, if you like, online since I think it was almost two years ago,” Koman said in an interview in Australia, where she is now living.

The threats can come in slickly produced video posted on YouTube or comments from anonymous social media accounts.

The abuse includes death threats, incitements to sexual assault and racist slurs, online material reviewed by Reuters showed. It also includes the publication of personal information about her and her family.

Indonesian human rights defender Veronica Koman receives Sir Ronald Wilson Human Rights Award (INDONESIAN) (INDONESIAN)

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(Veronica Koman Facebook, 23/10/19)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 23/10/19)

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Egypt: Mohammed Al-Baqir: The imprisoned lawyer who turned into a symbol of justice

October 22, 2019

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While the prominent human rights lawyer Mohammad Al-Baqir was attending investigations atthe supreme state security prosecution with the political activist Alaa Abd al-Fattah at the end of September, he was surprised that the prosecution ordered that he be detained and informed him that he is wanted under the same case.

The prosecution accused Al-Baqir of “belonging to a terrorist group, financing terrorism, spreading false news that undermines national security,” and then ordered his preventive detention. After that, he wastransferred blindfolded to al-Aqrab Prison, the prison with the worst reputation in Egypt.

Al-Baqir was physically and verbally abused, hisbasic rights were violated from the moment he entered prison. He was forced to walk while bending his back, showered by insults and abuse. He was stripped of all his belongings, even his personal hygiene items. They put on his prison clothes while he was blindfolded and he was driven to a cell while not being allowed to shower or change his underclothes for nine days. The prison administration also refused al-Baqir’s request to see the prison doctor and prevented him from buying clean food or water, his wife said.

The prosecution delayed the decision on a request made by Al-Baqir’s lawyer to enable him to visit his ill father, who was in intensive care. He died before seeing his son, but al-Baqir was allowed to attend the funeral.

Why al-Baqir?

Egyptian authorities are currently carrying out a systematic campaign targeting human rights lawyers who took on the mission of defending those arrested after the demonstrations of September 20, that demanded the toppling of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s regime and accused it of corruption. Among the most prominent that have been arrested along with al-Baqir are Mahienour el-Massry, and Amr Imam.

Mohammed Al-Baqir: The imprisoned lawyer who turned into a symbol of justice

IFEX strongly condemns violent crackdown against Egyptian rights defenders (ARABIC) (ARABIC) (ARABIC) (FRANCAIS) (ESPANOL)



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تجديد حبس المحامي الحقوقي محمد الباقر ١٥ يوما في اتهامه بنشر أخبار كاذبة

قررت نيابة أمن الدولة العليا، اليوم الأربعاء، تجديد حبس المحامي الحقوقي البارز، محمد الباقر، ١٥ يوما آخرى.
حلء ذلك على ذمة اتهامه في القضية رقم ١٣٥٦ لسنة ٢٠١٩ حصر أمن دولة، والمتهم فيها بنشر أخبار كاذبة ومشاركة جماعة إرهابية.#دفتر_أحوال_المحاكم_والنيابات
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Russia: Sakharov Prize 2019: the nominees

September 19, 2019

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Find out about this year’s nominees for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.


The Parliament awards the Sakharov Prize every year to honour exceptional individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. In 2018 the prize was awarded to Oleg Sentsov.
Nominations for the Sakharov Prize can be made by political groups and/or groups of at least 40 MEPs.
The nominations for the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought are:

Name Nominated by
Alexei Navalny EPP
Marielle Franco; Claudelice Silva dos Santos; Chief Raoni S&D and GUE
Ilham Tohti Renew Europe. Supported by Phillip Bennion, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Reinhard Bütikofer and 58 other MEPs
Jean Wyllys; Marielle Franco Greens/EFA. This nomination has also been supported by Terry Reintke, Tanja Fajon and 43 other MEPs
The Restorers ECR

Alexei Navalny, a Russian lawyer and political activist. In 2011, he was arrested for the first time for his role in a rally outside the State Duma. He finished second in the 2013 Moscow mayoral election. In 2017, he published a report attacking political corruption and criticising Vladimir Putin and his political allies. This sparked anti-corruption rallies in many Russian cities, which led to the arrest of more than 1,000 demonstrators, including Navalny’s. The authorities prevented him from running in the 2018 presidential elections. Navalny was jailed three times in 2018 and 2019 for violating Russia’s strict protest laws. (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (ESPANOL)

Spain: Spanish court accuses Puigdemont’s lawyer Boye of money laundering

October 21, 2019

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Spain’s National Audience has started an investigation against Gonzalo Boye, a lawyer known for his work defending Carles Puigdemont and Quim Torra. According to court sources, instructing judge María Tardón has charged him with alleged money laundering and summonsed him to testify this Wednesday, 23rd October, at 12pm local time, alongside two other people. Firstly, Spanish police searched his residence in Villaviciosa de Odón, near Madrid. Then they went to search his office in the Spanish capital itself.

The case is apparently unrelated to another search by Spanish police today, of the Catalan Association of Municipalities in Barcelona.

Spanish police started their search of Boye’s house first thing this Monday. At the same time, they searched two further property in the region, belonging to two alleged front men, as part of an investigation over money laundering linked to drug trafficking, according to police sources. Boye previously represented Sito Miñanco, an important Galician drug trafficker.

According to the police sources, Boye was present during the search. The two alleged front men were also in attendance at the other searches. Details of the case are currently under seal.

Agents of the UDEF (Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit) led the operation. The investigation is apparently entirely unrelated to Boye’s work defending Catalan president in exile Carles Puigdemont. The searches come eight days before Puigdemont is to appear before a Belgian court for the first hearing on the new European Arrest Warrant he faces.

Spanish police search house of Puigdemont's lawyer (ESPANOL) (ESPANOL) (ESPANOL) (ESPANOL) (FIRMA LA PETICION!)