Daily Archives: 17/12/2020

Turkey: Access to Justice for human rights violations remains illusory


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The ICJ and the Human Rights Joint Platform released today a joint statement, calling attention to a variety of obstacles faced by those seeking access to justice for human rights violations in Turkey.

The statement includes 13 recommendations to the Turkish government to ensure the justice system can uphold human rights.

In Turkey, victims of human rights violations remain unable to access justice, particularly effective remedies and reparation for violations of their rights, and there is little accountability of the State or State authorities for what are often serious violations.

Access to Justice has suffered by the immense damage done to the justice system in Turkey in recent years. The systematic undermining of judicial independence, and of the work of prosecutors and lawyers, through the widespread practice of arbitrary arrest and detention, unfounded prosecutions and dismissals of legal professionals as well as other human rights defenders, have fatally undermined the capacity of the justice system to provide reliable protection for human rights.

The Joint Statement is the fruit of three years of intensive work on access to justice for human rights violations in Turkey by the ICJ and IHOP.

During the last three years, the two organizations had the opportunity to gather the views of a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society, judges, lawyers, prosecutors, government officers, international experts, international organizations, human rights defenders and victims of human rights violations. The conclusions by ICJ and IHOP are a reflection of these opinions.




Sri Lanka: Hejaaz Hizbullah granted confidential access to counsel


Hejaaz Hizbullah granted confidential access to counsel

According to information we have received, a Sri Lankan Attorney General has agreed to grant detained human rights lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah confidential access to his lawyers for the first time since his arrest on 14 April 2020.

Mr. Hizbullah was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on 14 April 2020 and placed under a detention order by the President of Sri Lanka, purportedly under Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). No reasons for the arrest were provided to Mr. Hizbullah or his family at the time of the arrest. It has been reported that the detention order says that Mr. Hizbullah is being investigated for allegedly “aiding and abetting” the Easter Sunday bombers and for engaging in activities deemed “detrimental to the religious harmony among communities”. The PTA permits the Sri Lankan government to detain a suspect without any charges for 18 months.

It has been reported that Mr. Hizbullah’s detention order was renewed on 14 October 2020 and that the listing of his case before a Magistrate on 28 October 2020 was postponed to February, reportedly due to the COVID-19 crisis.

On 10 December 2020, Mr. Hizbullah’s lawyers filed a writ petition before the Court of Appeal seeking release from detention and access to Hizbullah. The lawyers submitted and the court noted that Hizbullah did not have access to his lawyers maintaining confidentially since September. In the Petition, Mr. Hizbullah’s lawyers stated that were given access to their client on only four occassions and that the authorities were present on all occasions around the lawyers and Mr. Hizbullah. During the Appeal Court hearing on 15 December, the Attorney General agreed to grant Mr. Hizbullah confidential access to counsel.







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Nigeria: Suspected Herdsmen Slaughter Lawyer, Wife In Benue


There was confusion in the Agboughul area of Makurdi, Benue State when residents discovered the corpses of a lawyer, Barrister Udam, and his wife, Nkechi. Suspected Fulani herdsmen brutally murdered them in their apartment.

Udam, who was a Managing Partner at Orkar, Udam and Associates (Attorneys and Legal Consultants), and his wife were reportedly slaughtered on Tuesday night.

Their corpses had cuts on the head and necks.

Apart from the two, a third person identified as Elder Nyikyor Mazugu was also murdered while three people are being treated for severe injuries sustained during the attack.

The state governor, Samuel Ortom, who confirmed the incident on Wednesday, said the state under his watch would not succumb to attacks by “terrorists whether they are jihadists or militia herders whose sole target is the occupation of the state and destruction of lives and property.”

The governor made this position known while addressing journalists when he visited the scene of herders’ attack on Agboughul community. 

He stated that the pattern of the attack and killings barely four days after a similar incident at Tse-Angbande was unfortunate and bore the handwriting of mindless jihadists who had set out to overrun the state.







Gabon: OIAD condamne l’ouverture d’une procédure judiciaire contre Me Anges Kevin Nzigou


C’est par le biais d’un communiqué de presse que l’Observatoire International des Avocats (OIAD) s’est exprimé sur la procédure initiée par la Direction générale de la contre-ingérence et de la sécurité militaire, communément B2 à l’encontre de l’Avocat au Barreau du Gabon Me Anges Kevin Nzigou. Une procédure jugée par cette organisation comme étant irrégulière intentée dans le seul but de la museler dans ses activités tant judiciaires que politiques. 

« L’Observatoire International des Avocats en danger condamne fermement cette procédure contre un  avocat, dont tout laisse croire qu’il s’agit d’une intimidation, et appelle les autorités gabonaises à  abandonner toutes les poursuites contre Me Anges Kevin NZIGOU ». C’est en substance le message délivré par cet organisme chargé veiller sur la situation des avocats dans le monde qui sont sujets à des menaces diverses dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions. 

Cette sortie de l’observatoire International des Avocats en danger est consécutive à la procédure initiée par le B2 contre le jeune avocat Anges Kevin Nzigou avocat du groupe Santullo Sericom pour lequel il a été chargé par l’un de ses clients, de la vente d’un navire, dont la cession a été conclue par acte notarié. La Direction générale de la contre-ingérence et de la sécurité militaire, communément B2 reproche à Anges Kevin Nzigou d’avoir participé à cette transaction, alors que ce navire aurait été l’objet d’une procédure de saisie initiée par l’Etat gabonais. 

Pour l’observatoire, la procédure ci-dessus évoquée, « parfaitement irrégulière, a manifestement pour but de réduire Anges Kevin NZIGOU au silence et de l’empêcher de poursuivre ses missions de défense » surtout que selon la loi gabonaise, « l’avocat mis en cause ne peut être entendu que par le premier des juges d’instruction, à l’exclusion de tout autre autorité judiciaire ou de poursuite », a-t-elle indiqué.