Daily Archives: 08/01/2021

India: Delhi riots victims, lawyers allege police pressure to drop cases

08/01/21

Lawyer Mehmood Pracha outside India's Supreme Court in this February 26, 2020 photo [File: Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images]

Lawyers, activists and victims of last year’s anti-Muslim violence in the Indian capital have accused the authorities and police of sabotaging the investigation and pressuring them to withdraw the cases.

The office of a prominent lawyer fighting the cases of some victims of the February 2020 violence was raided in New Delhi last month, with legal experts calling it an attack on client-lawyer privilege.

Mehmood Pracha, 56, says he was targeted because he is working on cases that might link Home Minister Amit Shah, the closest aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to the worst violence the Indian capital had witnessed in nearly 40 years.

In February last year, more than 50 people – mostly Muslims – were killed and hundreds of others injured when violence broke out in the city after supporters of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attacked a sit-in against a controversial citizenship law.

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) fast-tracks Indian citizenship for non-Muslim minorities from three neighbouring countries, but blocks naturalisation for Muslims – a provision that critics say violates India’s secular constitution.

Pracha claims the Delhi police – controlled by Shah’s office – raided his office at the minister’s behest.

“The raid was solely for the purpose of destroying these materials so that I cannot expose the role of the home ministry, the Delhi police, and RSS and BJP cadres,” he told Al Jazeera, referring to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological mentor.

“My assassination is also a part of their design,” he said.

[…]

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/8/delhi-violence-lawyers-victims-allege-police-pressure

https://www.freepressjournal.in/india/cops-raid-delhi-riots-lawyer-mehmood-prachas-office-supreme-court-bar-association-condemns-assault

https://thewire.in/law/mehmood-pracha-lawyer-muslims-india-delhi-riots

https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/mehmood-parcha-delhi-riots-delhi-police-raid-at-advocates-office-lawyers-protest-167676

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/delhi-bar-council-letter-home-ministry-advocate-mehmood-pracha-raid-office-delhi-police-1753611-2020-12-27

https://scroll.in/article/982397/police-raid-on-delhi-riots-lawyer-mehmood-pracha-may-violate-protections-against-self-incrimination

Pakistan: Lawyer kidnapped from Pakistan residence by men posing as CTD officials

06/01/21

Pakistan Bar Council - Wikiwand

Unknown people, who were posing as Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officials, kidnapped a lawyer from his residence in Pakistan’s Islamabad city recently, media reports said.

Tarnol police have registered a case (FIR No. 04/2021) under Section 365 of PPC against unknown people and are investigating, reports The News International.

Mohammad Safian Saeed Dar lodged a written complaint stating that he lived in G/16-3 with his son Hamad Saeed Dar, reported the newspaper. 

“I asked the person about his identity through the intercom. He identified himself as DSP Tariq of CDT and told me that he wanted to meet my son. I opened the door after getting consent from my son. When I opened the door, ten people were standing with that person who introduced himself as DSP Tariq. However, three people accompanying the DSP entered the house and sat in the living room to wait for my son,” Dar told the newspaper.

Tarnol police have registered a case under Section 365 of PPC, reported the newspaper.

Police have started investigating the case.

https://www.indiablooms.com/world-details/SA/27483/lawyer-kidnapped-from-pakistan-residence-by-men-posing-as-ctd-officials.html

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/769022-islamabad-lawyer-kidnapped-from-home

https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/267435083/islamabad-lawyer-kidnapped-from-his-residence

China: Chinese lawyer suspended after posting videos of alleged police torture

07/01/21

The Chaoyang district justice bureau in Beijing suspended Zhou Ze for breaking a government regulation on lawyers’ conduct. Photo: Handout

A Chinese lawyer has been suspended for a year after he posted videos on social media that allegedly showed police using torture to extract confessions from witnesses and a defendant he was representing.

The justice bureau in Beijing’s Chaoyang district on Thursday handed down the suspension to Zhou Ze, 51, for breaking a government regulation on lawyers’ conduct.

Zhou, who has been practising law since 2003, said he would appeal the ruling.

It comes as scores of lawyers in mainland China – some of whom have taken on politically sensitive cases – face pressure from the authorities to drop cases or risk losing their licences.Earlier this week, Lu Siwei and Ren Quanniu were told by their justice bureaus that their lawyer licences would be revoked. The two lawyers had been appointed by families of some of the 12 Hong Kong fugitives who were jailed in Shenzhen last week for illegally crossing the border, but their appointments were rejected by the authorities.

[…]

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3116847/chinese-lawyer-suspended-after-posting-videos-allegedly-showing

Belarus: Judicial harassment of Leanid Sudalenka

07/01/21

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

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Human Rights Center “Viasna” about the judicial harassment of Leanid Sudalenka, lawyer of the Homieĺ (Gomel) branch of the HRC “Viasna”. Mr. Sudalenka works on documenting human rights violations and has helped Belarusian citizens to prepare over 84 individual complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee. Leanid Sudalenka is a laureate of the 2018 “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

On January 5, 2021, officers of the Main Department for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus searched Leanid Sudalenka’s office, located in the Public Political Center “Polesskaya, 52”. The officers had a warrant, and the search was connected to a criminal case opened earlier in December 2020 against a Homieĺ opposition activist Mr. Uladzimir Nepomniashchykh [1], where Leanid Sudalenka is figuring as a witness.

The search lasted for about 10 hours, and the officials confiscated 304 items, including Leanid Sudalenka’s laptop and bank cards. The officers also seized documents related to administrative cases and complaints of protesters and white-red-white flags. The same evening, another search was conducted in his apartment.

After the search in the office, Leanid Sudalenka was taken to the Office for Combating Organized Crime for an interrogation as a witness in the above-mentioned criminal case. However, Leanid Sudalenka notes that during the interrogation he was asked about his legal and other assistance to people who had been detained, fined and arrested during the post-electoral protests in Homieĺ. In addition, during the search, the officials predominantly inquired about information, data carriers and bank cards.

The Observatory expresses its utmost concern over the searches and the interrogation of Mr. Sudalenka, which seem to be connected to his legitimate activities as a human rights lawyer.

[…]

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/belarus-judicial-harassment-of-leanid-sudalenka

https://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/belarus/2021/01/d26266/

https://charter97.org/en/news/2021/1/6/406604/

https://spring96.org/en/news/101166

https://euroradio.fm/gomelski-pravaabaronca-leanid-sudalenka-u-yakoga-prayshou-peratrus-na-voli (BELARUSIAN)