Human rights lawyer Chang Weiping, known for defending the rights of people facing discrimination, was taken away by police officers in Baoji City, Shanxi Province, on 22 October 2020. He is being held incommunicado under “residential surveillance in a designated location” (RSDL) on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”. The arrest came six days after Chang posted a video on YouTube sharing details about his experience of torture during the 10 days he spent in RSDL detention in January 2020. The fact that Chang was subjected to torture before and is being denied access to his family and lawyer increases the risk that he might be subjected to torture or other ill-treatment.
On 18 November 2020, Bursa 8th Heavy Penal Court is expected to reach its verdict on the case of human rights defender and lawyer Levent Pişkin, who is on trial for “membership of a terrorist organisation” and “producing terrorist propaganda”, along with 11 other people. The case, which has been ongoing since 2016, could see the human rights defender imprisoned for up to 22.5 years.
Levent Pişkin is a lawyer, human rights defender and member of the Libertarian Lawyers Association (ÖHD). He has been actively involved in campaigns and advocacy work for LGBTI+ rights, minority rights, and the fight against impunity. As a human rights lawyer, he has represented a number of human rights defenders and political activists over the years. He was a lawyer for the People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) and represented its former co-chair Selahattin Demirtas who has since been imprisoned.
On 18 November 2020, Bursa 8th Heavy Penal Court is expected to announce its verdict in relation to charges faced by human rights defender Levent Pişkin, and 11 other individuals. The human rights defender is accused of “membership of a terrorist organisation” and “producing terrorist propaganda”. If convicted he faces between 7.5 and 22.5 years in prison
Levent Pişkin has been facing judicial harassment around these charges since 2016.
A lawyer was shot dead while on his way to a hearing in the Municipality of Quezon, Palawan on Tuesday, said the Integrated Bar of Philippines.
In a statement, the IBP condemned the killing of Eric Jay A. Magcamit, which happened in broad daylight.
A report from the Palawan Police Provincial Office said the incident happened at 6:46 a.m., as Magcamit was traveling from Puerto Princesa to Quezon. A witness said Magcamit’s Innova was flagged down by two unidentified persons who made him step out of the vehicle, and was then gunned down.
The report said Magcamit sustained two gunshot wounds in his right cheek and one in his leg, and was killed instantly.
The gunmen immediately fled the scene.
The IBP denounced the killing, saying, “It is our consistent stand that violence has no place in this civilized society, especially against those in the legal profession who are courageously helping in the administration of justice.”
The IBP added that the act was not only an attack on their group, but also on the “legal order and justice system by means of fear and violence.” The said those responsible must be brought to justice.
“We deeply mourn for the loss of a brother,” said the IBP.
CORRECTION: Contrary to the claim in the immediately previous link, the number of lawyers, judges, prosecutors and para-legals killed in The Philippines since Duterte took office in 2016 is 59, not 52. See:
Le Conseil de l’Ordre des avocats au barreau du Cameroun, au cours d’une session extraordinaire tenue le 13 novembre, constate que les rixes survenues au palais de justice à Douala le 10 novembre entre les forces de l’ordre et les avocats « portent gravement atteinte à l’image, à l’honorabilité et à la sacralité de l’institution judiciaire ». Elles entament aussi « l’intégrité de la profession d’avocat dans son cadre privilégié d’exercice professionnel ».
En guise de représailles, il « exige contre les auteurs intellectuels et opérationnels préalablement identifiés de ces actes barbares des sanctions exemplaires, sans préjudice des poursuites judiciaires que le Barreau se réserve d’engager contre ceux-ci ». A l’encontre des avocats concernés par les poursuites judiciaires à l’origine de ces incidents, le Barreau a juste décidé de l’ouverture d’une enquête déontologique.
Cette dernière résolution irrite une source judiciaire, qui la taxe de corporatisme dans la mesure où elle s’abstient de condamner les déviances des deux avocats placés sous mandat de détention provisoire à la prison centrale de Douala « pour outrage à magistrat, tentative de corruption et escroquerie ».
Toute comme celle-ci ne s’explique pas que le Barreau semble perdre de vue que c’est la mobilisation de près de 500 avocats en faveur de la libération immédiate de leurs confrères qui est à l’origine de l’intervention des gendarmes et des policiers. Car certains hommes en robe sont allés jusqu’à s’opposer à leur retour en prison, bloquant au passage les autres audiences.