Daily Archives: 28/11/2020

Turkey: Murdered Human Rights lawyer Tahir Elçi remembered five years on


Tahir Elçi

Lawyers from the Diyarbakır Bar Association gathered on Saturday to mark the five-year anniversary of the death of their former chairman Tahir Elçi, marching to the spot where he was killed.

Alongside Elçi’s colleagues and widow Türkan Elçi were Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chair Mithat Sancar, Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Co-chair Berdan Öztürk, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-chair Saliha Aydeniz, as well as representatives from human rights organisations, workers’ unions, and chambers of medicine and engineering from across the region.

“We have been searching for the killers of Tahir Elçi for five years as they are protected under an armour of impunity,” current Diyarbakır Bar Association Chairman Cihan Aydın said in his speech at the historic Four Pillared Minaret in Diyarbakır’s Sur district, as reported by Mezopotamya Agency.

The first hearing of Elçi’s killing “has shown that the policy of impunity present during the investigation has reflected in the court as well,” Aydın continued. “The Diyarbakır Bar Association and our colleagues in support and solidarity will fight against this effort to veil the truth.”




https://www.dw.com/tr/tahir-el%C3%A7i-cinayetinde-cevaps%C4%B1z-sorular/a-55757360 (TURKCE)







The Philippines: When numbness sets in



Amid a pandemic that has upended our lives, including a sudden loss of jobs and livelihoods, once-in-a-century typhoons, terrible floods, and the onset of political turbulence, the Filipino people are hard put to pay attention to yet another tragedy.

Does that explain the seeming public indifference to a series of killings of journalists, lawyers, judges, and a police officer over a period of a few weeks or so? Or could this silence be blamed instead on the numbness that has set in after so many other killings that have turned the streets of many of our communities into killing fields?

Whatever the explanation, justice and history demand a listing of the latest victims of violence in the country, be it state-sponsored or not.

The recent killings started this month with the fatal shooting of Judge Maria Teresa Abadilla in her own chambers last Nov. 11. Then on Nov. 14, journalist Ronnie Villamor was shot dead by soldiers in Masbate.

Three days later, on Nov. 17, the vehicle of lawyer Eric Jay Magcamit, 35, was flagged down while he was on his way from Puerto Princesa to Quezon town in Palawan, and when Magcamit stepped out, he was shot on the spot. On Nov. 21, former Jolo, Sulu, police chief Lt. Col. Walter Annayo was gunned down in Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao. Then on Nov. 23, lawyer Joey Luis Wee, 51, was targeted as he walked from his car to his office in Cebu City. Police said the shooters fled the scene on board a motorcycle.

Associations of journalists and lawyers have responded quickly in outrage and concern. 





Iran: ICHR; Government Of Iran Must Free Amirsalar Davoodi Immediately


ICHR strongly condemns the government of Iran for unlawfully imprisoning Amirsalar Davoodi under false charges, and he must be  release immediately and unconditionally.

Amirsalar Davoodi is one of the victims of the outrageous crackdown on human rights lawyers and defenders by the Islamic Republic government authorities in recent years, whom is serving his second year of unjust sentences under inhuman circumstances.

He was arrested on 20 November 2018 and charged with crimes against national security. With no access to his lawyer, no family visitation, and no access to a medical professional since his arrest.

The use of pressure, threats, torture, and fabrications against human rights lawyers and activists by the Islamic Republic are systematic tactics to increase suppression on the people of Iran to grow their criminal activities and their widespread terrorism worldwide.



http://www.avocatparis.org/le-barreau-de-paris-demande-nouveau-la-liberation-de-nos-confreres-iraniens-injustement-emprisonnes (FRANCAIS)



Sri Lanka: Deliver justice, truth and reparation to families of the disappeared



Following the announcement of the release of a list of complaints and information received by the Office on Missing Persons regarding people who were disappeared during Sri Lanka’s internal conflicts, the country’s authorities must now deliver justice, truth and reparation to the families, Amnesty International said today.

On 26 November 2020, the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) released a list of “missing persons” to its offices. The list includes those who are unaccounted for either in connection with the conflict in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, due to civil or political unrest,  have been subject to enforced disappearance, or personnel of the armed forces, or police who have been identified as Missing In Action. The OMP has a mandate to collate data related to “missing persons” obtained by various past processes and to receive any new complaints.


Threats, harassment and intimidation

In their search for justice, truth and reparation, families of the disappeared and lawyers acting on their behalf continue to face threats and harassment from the authorities and from non-state actors.

Human rights lawyer Kumaravadivel Guruparan was forced from his position as a senior lecturer and head of the University of Jaffna’s Law Department after pressure was brought to bear on the University authorities by the Sri Lankan military. The Adalaylam Centre for Policy Research, a human rights organization founded by Gurupuran, has been subject to multiple visits from officials inquiring about its staff and funding. Guruparan has been representing the families of 24 Tamil youths who have not been seen or heard from since they were taken into military custody in 1996.

Achala Senevirathna, a lawyer, who is appearing in court on behalf of the relatives of 11  youths who were allegedly forcibly disappeared by a group of officers of the Sri Lankan Navy in 2008-2009, has been subject to a torrent of threatening abuse online and offline. Among the abuse Senevirathna has been subject to, she has received threatening phone calls and text messages from the accused naval officers and people believed to be close to them, using obscene language. Her Facebook profile has been targeted by people distorting her photos, and making threats of rape and murder. She says these threats have had impacts on her personal life and her career. Despite her complaining about these threats, the authorities have taken no action so far.







Egypt: Alaa Abdel Fattah and Mohamed El-Baqer arbitrarily added to a “terrorist list”



The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Egypt.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the decision to arbitrarily add Mr. Alaa Abdel Fattah, blogger and member of the “No to Military Trials for Civilians” movement[1], and Mr. Mohamed El-Baqer, human rights lawyer and Director of Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms, to the “terrorist list” in Egypt.

According to the information received, on November 23, 2020, the Cairo Criminal Court published in the Egyptian Official Gazette the decision it made on November 19, 2020 to add Mr. Alaa Abdel Fattah and Mr. Mohamed El-Baqer, along with 27 other activists, to Egypt’s “terrorist list” for a period of five years in connection with State Security Case 1781/2019. The ruling includes restrictions such as a travel ban and a freeze on assets for three years.

The Observatory denounces the Court’s decision and condemns the Egyptian authorities’ use of the fight against terrorism to target human rights defenders. The Observatory further recalls that Egyptian authorities have increasingly employed repressive tactics such as prolonged pre-trial detention, enforced disappearance, torture, and judicial harassment to silence all critical voices, including through unfounded investigations for national security and counter-terrorism related charges.

The Observatory condemns the ongoing arbitrary detention of Messrs. Mohamed El-Baqer and Alaa Abdel Fattah, which is part of a clear human rights crackdown which Egypt has been suffering from in recent years. 






Human Rights Behind Bars in Egypt - activists at risk