Daily Archives: 15/11/2020

Tanzania/Belgium: Tanzania challenger vows return from Belgian exile

15/11/20

Credible death threats forced Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu to flee to Belgium after last month.s presidential election

Last month, Tundu Lissu was campaigning for the presidency of Tanzania.

Today, he is back in a simple ground floor flat in the small Belgian town where he recovered from multiple gunshot wounds the last time he was forced to flee his homeland.

It is dangerous to be the opposition flag-bearer in Tanzania, where President John Magufuli was returned to office on October 28 with an improbable 84 percent of the vote.

But 52-year-old Lissu, a veteran of the East African state’s brutal politics, knew the risks — and bears the physical and mental scars to prove it.

In September 2017 gunmen opened fire on him outside his home in a protected government compound, after apparently tailing the then opposition MP from parliament.

Lissu was left with 16 bullet wounds but survived and was flown out, first to Nairobi and then on to Belgium, where his life was saved with several rounds of surgery.

He returned to Tanzania in July after being chosen to lead the opposition challenge to Magufuli’s re-election.

The campaign went well despite the oppressive government tactics, he said, but the president’s crushing victory came as no surprise.

Lissu, who met AFP at his apartment in exile in the nondescript town of Tienen in the Flemish Brabant, had been warned the election would be rigged.

Before the vote, he said, a person who identified himself as senior military official contacted him.

“This army general told me: ‘Magufuli is going to get 12 million votes, you will get three million. This is what they have decided’,” Lissu said.

“And you know what? That’s exactly what Magufuli got — 12.5 something million. I didn’t get three million. I got 1.9,” he said.

– Rigged ballot –

The US State Department has expressed concern over reports of “significant and widespread voting irregularities, internet interruption, arrests and violence by security forces.”

The UK Foreign Office also complained of allegations of “pre-filled ballot boxes and party agents being denied entry to polling stations.”

What happened next was also not unexpected, but was nonetheless terrifying, especially for the survivor of a previous assassination bid.

“Immediately after the election was called, or what passes for an election, the security detail that was given to me during the campaign was removed,” he said.

“And the very next day, I started receiving death threats,” said Lissu, who still walks with a limp.

The caller did not identify himself by name, but it seemed clear that he represented the security or intelligence services.

Lissu fled his home.

[…]

https://www.rfi.fr/en/wires/20201115-tanzania-challenger-vows-return-belgian-exile

https://www.voanews.com/africa/amnesty-international-opposition-politicians-fleeing-tanzania

https://www.africanews.com/2020/11/15/tanzanian-opposition-leader-tundu-lissu-back-in-exile-in-belgium/

https://www.dw.com/en/opposition-leader-tundu-lissu-leaves-tanzania/a-55559133

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

(FRANCAIS)

https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2020/11/15/tanzanie-lopposant-lissu-determine-a-poursuivre-son-combat-pour-la-democratie

https://www.bbc.com/swahili/habari-54914756 (SWAHILI)

https://www.bbc.com/swahili/habari-54883496

https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2020-11/tundu-lissu-opposition-tansania-praesidentschaftswahl-john-magufuli (DEUTSCH)

https://www.dw.com/pt-002/candidato-da-oposi%C3%A7%C3%A3o-tundu-lissu-deixa-a-tanz%C3%A2nia-rumo-%C3%A0-b%C3%A9lgica/a-55560050 (PORTUGUES)

Nigeria: How soldiers tortured me, dragged me on the ground till I could hardly breathe – Oyo-based lawyer

15/11/20

How I was brutalized by soldiers in Ibadan - Lawyer - Naija News And Events

Adewale Salawu, a legal practitioner based in Oyo State, tells WALE OYEWALE about the recent assault he allegedly experienced in the hands of soldiers and in the detention of the Nigerian Army in Ibadan, Oyo State

Can you narrate your experience on October 29, when you were said to have been assaulted by soldiers?

On that day, I was invited by the organisers of the Yoruba coalition group in Ibadan for a meeting which was supposed to be held at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State Secretariat, Ibadan at 11am. I was about 15 minutes late. When I got to the secretariat, there was a heavy presence of security operatives. I saw the police, Operation Burst team, personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and many others in front of the secretariat. There was pandemonium. I was shocked but I thought the meeting I was there for didn’t have anything to do with that. As I approached the gate, I discovered it had been locked so I parked my car at a safe distance. I had to call some of the Yoruba leaders at the venue to let them know that I was around but unable to gain access into the secretariat. One of the people I called, Prof. Ogundoro, said I should wait at the gate. He said some of the leaders would come and speak with the security agents. One of the officers asked what was happening and I tried to explain that a meeting of some Yoruba leaders was going on at the House of Chiefs.

Then my attention was drawn to something going on nearby and I was told that a soldier assaulting a man was the Commander of Operation Burst – the Commander of Operation Burst was pushing a man at that time. I was told that a soldier was pushed to the ground during the pandemonium but I was not there so I don’t really know what happened. The man that was being harassed was Mr Kunle Adelakun (Jagunmolu Agbekoya of Yorubaland). He was pinned down by the Commander of Operation Burst. He was saying that he didn’t know the person who had pushed one of the soldiers, and that it happened before he got there. So, I repeated what the man said to the officer that he said he didn’t know about it. Then the soldier said that must mean that I knew the person who did it. I asked what he meant by that and introduced myself as a lawyer.

[…]

Bolivia: They arrested in Bolivia one of the lawyers who denounced fraud and requested that the elections be audited

14/11/20

The legal advisor to the Pro Santa Cruz Committee who denounced fraud in the last presidential elections in Bolivia, in which the candidate of Evo Morales Luis Arce prevailed, was arrested today in a process full of irregularities. Valda, in fact, was one of the lawyers who most actively supported the complaint against the results of the elections of October 18, 2020, so his arrest fuels suspicions of persecution.

According to Martín Camacho, the detainee’s lawyer, Valda was at a precautionary hearing for a traffic event, and inexplicably policemen arrived from La Paz and detained him after the hearing, then took him to the Viru viru airport.

Valda’s irregular transfer

To counteract this arrest warrant, the defense filed a release action to prevent the transfer to La Paz, but although the appeal was admitted and the hearing was set for tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the Second Sentencing Court of Santa Cruz, the prosecutors prevailed and transferred him to La Paz anyway.

The arrest warrant against VAlda

The arrest warrant against VAlda

In a statement released today after the arrest, the Committee He denounced that the Government of the Movement for Socialism began a “judicial persecution against the civic, who have been defending democracy and the rule of law in the country.” “The Committee for Santa Cruz rejects the persecution against all citizens who have been working for the sake of building a better Bolivia, with democracy and freedom,” they emphasize in the statement.

After the October 18 elections, citizen organizations and civic groups in cities such as Santa Cruz, the largest in the country, La Paz, the seat of Government and Parliament, and Cochabamba carry out protests, vigils, and civic strikes.

[…]

https://www.paginasiete.bo/nacional/2020/11/14/aprehenden-jorge-valda-abogado-del-comite-pro-santa-cruz-274925.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.erbol.com.bo/nacional/fijan-audiencia-de-acci%C3%B3n-de-libertad-para-jorge-valda-abogado-del-comit%C3%A9-c%C3%ADvico-cruce%C3%B1o

https://unitel.bo/ciudades/jorge-valda-abogado-del-comite-cruceno-fue-llevado-a-la-paz-acusado-de-legitimacion-de-ganancias-ili_137385

LAWYERS IN DANGER: THREATS TO ADVOCATES WORLDWIDE

10/11/20

Lawyers in Danger: Threats to Advocates Worldwide | The Advocate, November 2020

The independence and safety of lawyers are increasingly threatened around the world. Lawyers in too many countries are vilified, criminalized, imprisoned, threatened, attacked, or murdered simply for doing their lawful work of upholding their clients’ rights. In 2020, volunteers from Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) are monitoring the situations of lawyers and other human rights defenders (defenders) in dozens of countries.

Countries of major concern to LRWC in 2020 are China, Turkey, the Philippines, Colombia, and Saudi Arabia. This year, LRWC volunteers have raised concerns about lawyers and defenders in these and other countries, including at the UN Human Rights Council.[2] LRWC is also monitoring situations of lawyers in many other countries, including challenges to international human rights in North America.

LRWC increasingly engages with the UN human rights system through its UN consultative status received in 2005. LRWC also publishes numerous reports and manuals,[3] including a 2020 book, Attacking Defenders: The Criminalization of Human Rights Advocacy.[4] LRWC, a volunteer-run organization, is launching a drive for memberships of Canadian lawyers to secure independent financial support for LRWC’s work to meet the growing demand for LRWC experience developed over two decades.

INDEPENDENCE AND SAFETY OF LAWYERS UNDER THREAT: EXAMPLES

China: Lawyers and defenders arrested, disappeared, and tortured

China claims to uphold the “rule of law,” but its aggressive promotion of “human rights with Chinese characteristics” fails to conceal egregious and systematic human rights abuses, including surveillance, harassment, criminalization, enforced disappearance, unlawful detention, and torture of dissidents, ethnic and religious minorities, activists, and lawyers.[5] The litany of violations includes disturbing allegations of mass atrocities.

[…]

Day of the Endangered Lawyer – January 24th

https://the-advocate.ca/emag/issues/2020/november/page_68.html