Monthly Archives: February 2021

India: Advocate murdered on court premises in Hosapete


Tarihalli Venkatesh. Credit: Special arrangement.

An advocate who was associated with the Congress was murdered in a broad daylight on the JMFC court premises in Hosapete, Vijayanagara district, on Saturday. He was identified as Tarihalli Venkatesh (48).

As per the accounts of the people in the court, the advocate was doing some work sitting in a chair when he was attacked by his relative, Manoj, with a sword. He collapsed and died on the spot after he bled heavily.

The incident created panic among the people in the court and a large number of people gathered within a few minutes. The police took the accused into custody and, after dispersing the crowd, sent the body for post-mortem. Family dispute was said to be the reason behind the attack.

Tunisia: L’avocat arrêté pour suspicion de liens avec le terrorisme maintenu en détention


Makhlouf prend la défense de l'avocat placé en détention pour suspicion de  lien avec le terrorisme - Kapitalis

Tunis : L’avocat arrêté pour suspicion de liens avec le terrorisme maintenu en détention

Makhlouf prend la défense de l’avocat placé en détention pour suspicion de lien avec le terrorisme

Belarus: Defense Lawyer Of Belarusian Political Prisoners: If Not Me Then Who?



Uladzimir Sozonchuk was disbarred, but he remained a person of principles.

The Disciplinary Commission of Minsk City Bar Association decided to deprive Uladzimir Sozonchuk, the lawyer who had taken up the defence of Belsat journalist Katsyaryna Andreyeva, blogger Dzmitry Kazlou (Grey Cat) and one of the leaders of the Belarusian opposition Mikalai Statkevich, of his license.

In an interview with Charter97, Uladzimir Sozonchuk says he does not regret his decision to defend political prisoners:

– As they say: who else if not me? It sounds a little pompous, but I can say it. On the other hand, I defended presidential candidate Dzmitry Uss in 2010. He was tried together with Statkevich. For some reason, they did not disbar me then.


– How dangerous is it for a lawyer to work with cases of political prisoners?

– Several days ago, I asked my colleague, Lyudmila Siarheeuna Kazak, “Could you imagine when you agreed to defend Maryia Kalesnikava that it would be disbarred in the end?” Lyudmila is a smart, beautiful woman. She has three children. I’m fine and have little time left before retirement. She did not answer my question specifically.

In Belarus, a lawyer who takes on the responsibility of defending political prisoners risks to be disbarred. I still have my license, but there is no piece of hope to keep it after the appeal.

There is little threat of it if one keeps silent, agree, and at the end of the investigation write some complaints, which aren’t satisfied. If one tries to seek justice, cooperate with the media to inform people, it is clear how it ends.

– In particular, you have taken up the cases of Katsyaryna Andreyeva, Dzmitry Kazlou and Mikalai Statkevich. What could you say about these people?

– Yesterday, I said to the second lawyer [Siarhei Zikratski – ed.] of Katya: “Seryozha, send my greetings and support. Tell her that I am proud to meet such a smart, beautiful, nice girl, a worthy citizen of the Republic of Belarus”. I can say the same about my other clients, Mikalai Statkevich and Dzmitry Kazlou.

– Why do the authorities fight with lawyers?

– The authorities are fighting with everyone. Lawyers are as decent specialists as medical professionals, journalists, and two Katsyaryna. The authorities do their best to muzzle the voice of those who try to educate people and fight against the system.


Algeria: Oran : le récit glaçant de l’arrestation violente de notre collègue et d’un avocat


Oran : le récit glaçant de l’arrestation violente de notre collègue et d’un avocat

L’avocat originaire d’Oran, Omar Boussag en compagnie de notre collègue graphiste, Seddik Tououala, ont fait l’objet d’une violent interpellation ce vendredi, au niveau de la place d’Armes, à Oran, lors de la manifestation du Hirak, qui a eu lieu dans la même ville.

Dans un témoignage à Radio M, l’avocat en question nous révélé avoir subi toutes sortes de violences verbales et physiques, à la suite d’une première interpellation visant un journaliste au quotidien « El Wasat », du nom de Noureddine Guellid. Ce dernier n’a toujours pas été libéré. « Nous nous trouvions au milieu de la foule lorsque des policiers ont surgi pour arrêter un journaliste. » A-t-il confié. Et d’ajouter : « Suite à cela, des policiers nous ont violemment appréhendés, mon ami et moi (en l’occurrence notre collègue Seddik Touaoula. Ndlr), bien que j’ai décliné mon identité en ayant précisé que j’étais avocat. »

« L’intervention des forces de l’ordre, qui fût d’une violence inouïe, se caractérise par son aspect humiliant. Nous avons été insultés et traités de tous les noms. » A regretté l’avocat.

Les deux manifestants ont été conduits à un commissariat du centre ville, ou ils ont été immobilisés pendant près de 4 heures. Ils ont été conduits à un dispensaire, où ils ont établis des certificats médiaux. Notre collègue souffrant d’une lombalgie. Ils ont été relâchés vers les coups de 18H.


Belarus: Four Belarusian lawyers stand to lose licenses


Belarusian Lawyers Describe Living in a Soviet-Era Nightmare – Courthouse  News Service

Qualification Commission at the Ministry of Justice has terminated the licenses of lawyers Kanstantsin Mikhel, Mikhail Kiryliuk, Maksim Konan and Liudmila Kazak, Mediazona reports.

The reasoning behind this decision is unknown. The basis for the review of Kanstantsin Mikhel‘s license was his administrative arrest (14 days) under Article 23.34 in November 2020. Maksim Konan is in the same situation: he served 12 days in October. In the case of Liudmila Kazak, lawyer of Maryia Kalesnikava, the formal cause was an administrative case under Article 23.4 (“Disobedience to the lawful demand of an official”).

Mikhail Kiryliuk, a member of the Coordination Council, is not in Belarus at the moment – his interests were represented at the commission by Siarhei Zikratski. His license was terminated because of “inappropriate expressions towards representatives of the state bodies”.

The final decision will be made by the board of the Ministry of Justice at the beginning of next week. For now, the lawyers are still entitled to engage in their activities.

Click to access EN_HRL_20210226_Belarus_Judicial-harassment-and-detention-of-lawyer-Aleh-Hrableuski.pdf (FRANCAIS)

No photo description available.
No photo description available.

Iran/Kurdistan: Marivan: IRGC intelligence arrested a lawyer


Marivan: IRGC intelligence arrested a lawyer

Gulaleh Watandoust, a lawyer in the city of Marivan, was arrested by the IRGC.

“The Kurdish woman lawyer has been detained by Marivan security forces in recent days, and several days after her arrest, no information is available on the charges against her or where she is being held,” Asonews reported.

In the past, Galaleh Watandoust had been repeatedly summoned, threatened, intimidated, and detained by the IRGC’s intelligence service.

Mexico: “Lawyers who defend companies against electricity reform commit treason against their country.” – AMLO


In its usual morning conference from the National Palace, Lopez Obrador stated that the natural gas crisis in Texas, United States, only reaffirms his work plan that the Mexican State should be the one to guarantee the energy supply. 

“It is a shame that Mexican lawyers are employed by foreign companies that want to continue plundering Mexico; of course, they are free, but hopefully they will internalize that this is treason,” (SIC) criticized AMLO. 

He remarked that the population’s welfare could not be left in private companies’ hands because it is a fallacy that the free market will solve all problems. He also made it clear that the State cannot fail to fulfill its social responsibility or suffocate private initiative. For this reason, he celebrated the fact that Mexico was able to solve the electric energy crisis in five days because the plants of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) that work with coal, fuel oil, and the hydroelectric plants of the Grijalva River were at the disposal of the State. T

According to the President, previous governments wanted to turn the CFE facilities into scrap to keep the electricity market. However, thanks to the fact that his government rescued them, it was possible to face the crisis caused by natural gas. 

Since the beginning of AMLO’s Fourth-Transformation or “4T”, the legal profession has not been spared from the attacks and accusations of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Yesterday we saw it again.

For the President of the Republic, the legal profession’s free exercise ends when his “interests are violated.” In his eyes, the litigants turn against the country and “its people.”

Since the beginning of the government, many litigators have been threatened, harassed, and persecuted by AMLO’s government —most of them in the fiscal and criminal areas.

Multiple firms such as Javier Coello Trejo’s, José Luis Nassar Daw, Diego Ruiz, Ángel Junquera, and Fernando Ruiz were harassed and pressured to drop high-impact cases and defenses.

The hostilities have already been the object of denunciations abroad before instances such as the International Bar Association and the U.S. Department of Justice itself.

The issue will continue to grow because as long as López Obrador radicalizes his absolutist positions, such as the preferential initiative being voted today for the Electricity Industry Law, resistance will increase.

The chambers and business associations are entrenching themselves in the National Council of Strategic Litigation, a body of lawyers who work pro bono and seek to curtail the authoritarianism and unreasonableness of the 4T.


Kenya: Law Society of Kenya wants investigations into the disappearance of lawyer expedited


The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) is calling upon the Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai and the Director, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), George Kinoti to expedite the investigations into the disappearance of a High Court Advocate.

They are also demanding his production within the next 72 hours, failure to which the Society will take the necessary legal action.

In a statement Wednesday, LSK CEO Mercy Wambua says Mr. Benson Njau Kayai, an Advocate of the High Court and trading in the name and style of Njau Kayai & Company Advocates, was reported missing on 7th February 2021 at around 5:30pm and there has been delays in concluding the investigation into his disappearance.

“As the professional body tasked with ensuring the welfare of our members, we note with grave concern the extensive delay in the conclusion of investigation into the disappearance of our member. It has clocked 16 days from the day of reporting, without any valuable progress in investigations by the Police. This has caused great anxiety, while triggering speculation and suspicion, to both the family members and the membership of the Law Society of Kenya, as to the cause of the delay.” She said

According, to LSK, they took note of a missing person’s report circulating online and immediately reached out to the family and the Police for more information.


The Philippines: Philippine critics in firing line of anti-communist misinformation war


"Red-tagging is like an order to kill," says Philippine lawmaker Sarah Elago

Philippine lawmaker Sarah Elago faces a daily barrage of Facebook posts linking her to communist rebels trying to overthrow the government. She says the claims are false, but they could get her killed anyway.

A torrent of misinformation on the social media platform has put activists, journalists, politicians and lawyers in the firing line as President Rodrigo Duterte’s government and military out alleged supporters of a decades-old Maoist insurgency.

Facebook’s reach into the smartphones used by millions of Filipinos has made it a powerful weapon in amplifying the accusations — known locally as “red-tagging” — which critics say are part of a broader effort to silence dissent.

“Red-tagging is like an order to kill,” said Elago, an outspoken Duterte critic who watches her back in public for fear of being physically attacked.

In the past year her name has appeared in more than 14,000 public posts on Facebook that also mention the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the communist party, according to data from social media monitoring platform CrowdTangle.

AFP’s Fact Check team has debunked many of them, including one post on a pro-government page called “Duterte Fact News”, which has more than 34,000 followers.

The post shows Elago in a police mugshot holding a charge card that accuses her of recruiting rebel fighters. AFP found the photo had been manipulated.

It was shared hundreds of times and drew comments calling for Elago to be killed or raped.

The most viral posts targeting Elago, generating tens of thousands of shares, were on the official page of Duterte’s National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Hundreds of others have been posted on Facebook pages claiming to be the official accounts of police stations across the country.

Red-tagging is not new in the Philippines. But rights groups say it has intensified under Duterte, whose brutal drug war and controversial anti-terrorism law have sown fear.

Hundreds of activists, journalists and lawyers have been killed since he was swept to power in 2016. Many died after being red-tagged, rights groups say.

“It is pretty much open season for anybody who criticises the government, the military or the policies,” said Carlos Conde of Human Rights Watch.


Philippines: UN experts urge release of Senator Leila De Lima after four years in pre-trial detentionon Febbraio 24, 2021 at 12:00 am on Febbraio 24, 2021 at 12:00 am on Febbraio 24, 2021 at 12:00 am RSS ALL News

International Association of People's Lawyers | IAPL Monitoring Committee  on Attacks on Lawyers

Iran: la France très «préoccupée» pour Nasrin Sotoudeh, demande la libération de Fariba Adelkhah


Le ministre français des Affaires étrangères Jean-Yves Le Drian s’est dit mercredi 24 février très «préoccupé» par le sort de l’avocate iranienne Nasrin Sotoudeh, de nouveau incarcérée en Iran, et a réclamé la libération de la chercheuse franco-iranienne Fariba Adelkhah devant le Conseil des droits de l’Homme de l’ONU.

«Je tiens à redire aujourd’hui notre très vive préoccupation quant à la situation de Nasrin Sotoudeh, en Iran», a-t-il dit lors d’une intervention par visioconférence, demandant aussi «la libération définitive» de Fariba Adelkhah, assignée à résidence à Téhéran depuis le 3 octobre 2020 après 16 mois de détention. «Certains pays, à commencer par l’Iran, considèrent que les libertés académiques, la liberté de chercher, d’enseigner, de publier, doivent être subordonnées à des approches qui relèvent clairement de la prise d’otage», a-t-il souligné.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, avocate et défenseur des droits humains, condamnée à 12 ans de prison en 2019, a été réincarcérée le 20 janvier après deux permissions de sortie temporaire pour raisons médicales. Elle a été testée positive au Covid-19 lors de sa première permission de sortie, du 7 novembre au 2 décembre, puis libérée du 8 au 20 janvier pour des examens cardiologiques à la suite d’une crise cardiaque. Elle avait été détenue en 2018 après avoir défendu une femme arrêtée pour avoir manifesté contre l’obligation faite aux Iraniennes de porter le voile. Selon ses avocats, on lui avait alors signifié une condamnation à cinq ans de prison par contumace pour espionnage. En 2019, elle a été de nouveau condamnée à 12 ans de prison, «pour avoir encouragé la corruption et la débauche».