Daily Archives: 25/12/2020

The Philippines: [OPINION] Police, victims, and a call for change

25/12/20

Every life and family impacted is precious. But this high number of killings is, in itself, a broader, institutional concern.

The killing of two unarmed civilians, Sonya and Frank Gregorio, that happened last December 20, has rightly met with widespread condemnation and ignited the debate about the need for police reform in the Philippines.  

There are different views emerging in this public debate. Some see the killings as an isolated incident by a “bad cop” who needs to be prosecuted and removed from the police force. (READ: Timeline of Tarlac shooting: What we know so far)

Others point to lawlessness and lack of respect for the police, contributing to an “us versus them” mentality. Yet others emphasize a policing culture of addressing crime by resorting to violence and abuse of power. 

[…]

In recent weeks, a number of killings – by unknown assailants, of individuals playing a role in protecting their communities – has been reported. The killing of two human rights activists in August, of a journalist in November, of two lawyers in Cebu in November and December, and of a doctor and her husband last December 16, are among the most recent such cases.

This impacts negatively on security and development.  

[…]

The Human Rights Council resolution adopted by consensus on October 7 of this year, with the support of the Government of the Philippines and a large number of member states, has provided a basis for such cooperation.  

Since the adoption of the Human Rights Council Resolution, the UN has actively engaged with civil society organizations, the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, and a range of different government actors to set the basis of an ambitious program.

However, we should agree that the success of technical cooperation greatly relies on the existence of an enabling environment, with strong commitment to change.  

The killing of Sonya and Frank Gregorio impacts on all of us. Preventing such killings and ensuring accountability must be our foremost priority. 

https://www.rappler.com/voices/thought-leaders/opinion-human-rights-police-victims-call-for-change

https://www.rappler.com/moveph/stop-killings-bumpy-road-upholding-rule-law-philippines

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/12/21/2065453/missing-ex-court-appeals-justice-found-dead-tarlac

https://www.rappler.com/nation/court-of-appeals-justice-normandie-pizarro-found-dead-december-2020

Pakistan: Lawyers Observe Strike Against Killing Of Advocate

23/12/20

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The Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) on Wednesday observed strike in a protest to condemn the murder of senior member Shah Alam Baber.

The lawyers didn’t appear before the courts whole day due to which most of the cases were adjourned without further proceedings.

IBA’s Secretary Nabeel Tahir Mirza said that this incident had exposed the weaknesses in security arrangements in Federal capital. He demanded the law enforcement agencies to early arrest the accused involved in killing of bar’s senior member and brought him into justice. He said that the whole legal fraternity was standing with the victim family at this crucial time. The lawyers would hold protests if the accused would not be arrested soon, he concluded.

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/lawyers-observe-strike-against-killing-of-adv-1122341.html

https://www.dawn.com/news/1597313/lawyer-shot-dead

https://nation.com.pk/23-Dec-2020/lawyer-murdered-in-islamabad

http://www.defendre.eu/observatoire-pakistan201222.htm (FRANCAIS)

No photo description available.

India: Mehmood Pracha, lawyer for Delhi riots accused, raided in case of forgery, criminal conspiracy

24/12/20

Raids at the office of advocate Mehmood Pracha | ThePrint screenshot

Delhi Police special cell raids Pracha’s office in search of incriminating documents. Advocate says seizure of his computer violates attorney-client privilege, which is protected by law.

The Delhi Police Thursday raided the office of advocate Mehmood Pracha, the defense counsel for multiple accused in the northeast Delhi riots cases, in connection with a case of forgery and criminal conspiracy filed against him in August this year. 



The raid began at 12:40 pm and was continuing until the publishing of this article. 

Pracha represents several of the accused in the Delhi riots cases, including student-activist Gulfisha Fatima who has been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). 

According to a senior police officer, Pracha, while filing a bail petition, had filed an affidavit in the court that was allegedly notarised by a lawyer who had died in 2017. The police claim that since it was notarised by a lawyer who died two-and-a-half years ago, it was a false affidavit and the signatures in it were forged.

The Delhi Police also alleged that Pracha had instigated a man, Irshad Ali, to depose falsely in a northeast Delhi riots case.

[…]

https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/delhi-police-raid-office-of-mehmood-pracha-lawyer-of-several-accused-in-riots-conspiracy-cases-167631

https://www.ndtv.com/delhi-news/office-of-mehmood-pracha-lawyer-of-delhi-riots-accused-raided-lawyers-condemn-move-2343474

https://thewire.in/government/delhi-police-raids-mehmood-prachas-office-seizes-computer-documents-with-client-info

https://www.jagran.com/delhi/new-delhi-city-ncr-police-raids-at-lawyer-mehmood-pracha-office-in-delhi-riots-case-21200150.html (HINDI)

Uganda: Police release Nicholas Opiyo’s co-accused on bond

24/12/20

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Police have released on bond, the four people who were arrested alongside human rights lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo.

Opiyo was on Tuesday afternoon picked up from Lamaro restaurant located in Kamwokya together with other lawyers including Herbert Dakasi, Anthony Odur and Esomu Obure and Hamid Tenywa before being handcuffed and detained at the Special Investigations Division in Kireka.

However, on Thursday afternoon, the four co-accused were released on police bond and asked to report back to the Special Investigations Division in Kireka on December, 29, 2020.

The development came a few minutes after Nicholas Opiyo was arraigned before the Chief magistrates court in Nakawa and charged with money laundering contrary to sections 3 ( c ), 116 and 136 of the Anti -Money Laundering Act.

The prosecutor told court that the human rights lawyer received $340,000 through an Absa bank account belonging to Chapter Four Uganda, an organization he heads, knowing that at the time of receipt, the funds were proceeds of crime.

He was later remanded to Kitalya government prison until December,28.

Opiyo is the lawyer representing two NGOs including the Uganda National NGO Forum and the Uganda Women’s Network whose accounts were recently frozen by the Financial Intelligence Authority over alleged involvement in moving money to finance terrorism activities.

https://www.dw.com/en/nicholas-opiyo-ugandas-rebellious-rights-lawyer/a-56047233

https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/nicholas-opiyo-charged-remanded–3238432

https://observer.ug/news/headlines/67901-lawyer-nicholas-opiyo-remanded-over-shs-1-2bn-cash-deposit

https://chapterfouruganda.org/articles/2020/12/24/statement-frivolous-charges-against-nicholas-opiyo

https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/national/1383228-uganda-presidential-candidate-bobi-wine-shares-hearty-note-for-nicholas-opiyo

https://www.blackstarnews.com/global-politics/africa/uganda-dictator-museveni-will-keep-bobi-wine-lawyer-detained

Nicholas Opiyo‘s arrest: The panicky regime & the ailing leader surrounded by sycophants

Uganda: Arrest of Nicholas Opiyo is an attack on human rights defenders

https://cddrl.fsi.stanford.edu/news/open-letter-support-nicholas-opiyo-and-ugandan-human-rights-defenders

https://www.ntv.co.ug/ug/news/akawungeezi/nicholas-opiyo-asimbiddwa-mu-kkooti-bamusindise-kitalya–3238840 (SWAHILI)

https://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20201224-ouganda-les-ong-inqui%C3%A8tes-apr%C3%A8s-l-arrestation-d-un-militant-des-droits-humains-et-d-avocats (FRANCAIS)

https://www.msn.com/fr-fr/actualite/monde/ouganda-les-ong-inqui%C3%A8tes-apr%C3%A8s-larrestation-dun-militant-des-droits-humains-et-davocats/ar-BB1cc963

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Nicholas Opiyo appears in court { Lawyer Nicholas Opiyo remanded till 28th  Dec. 2020.#FreeOpiyoNicho - YouTube