Daily Archives: 16/02/2021

Egypt: Enforced disappearance of lawyer Islam Salama condemned by rights organizations amid calls on the Ministry of Interior to implement his release

16/02/21

The undersigned human rights organizations are deeply concerned by the Egyptian government’s constant abuse of lawyer Islam Salama, who has been forcibly disappeared for the third consecutive time, following earlier verdicts by criminal courts in Cairo and Mahalla ordering his release. The organizations hold the Egyptian government authorities responsible for his health and life.

On May 25, 2020 security forces arrested Islam Salama from his home in the town of Zefta in the Gharbia Governorate. Salama was arbitrarily detained without legal basis in an undisclosed location for ten days before he was brought before the Supreme State Security Prosecution on June 6, 2020. The prosecution ordered his imprisonment pending case no. 1375 of 2018 State Security, over charges of joining a terrorist group. On October 14, he was ordered to be released on parole by Cairo’s Fifth Circuit Terrorism Court . Yet after Salama’s transfer to the police station on October 19 to complete the parole proceedings, neither his family nor his lawyers were able to contact him. Instead of being released, Salama was forcibly disappeared a second time.

Islam Salama’s whereabouts remained unknown by his lawyers and family for 45 days until he reappeared before the prosecution on November 30, 2020, pending a new case, no. 7869 of 2020, leading to his remand in custody. On January 16, 2021, the Mahalla Criminal Court ordered his release on bail of 2,000 EGP. Salama’s family was shocked to learn that despite the bail being paid and the procedures completed, he was forcibly disappeared yet again, for a third time. The authorities continue to deny knowledge of his whereabouts.

[..]

(ARABIC)

May be an image of 1 person and text

Turkey: Open Letter to President Erdogan in Solidarity with Human Rights Activist and MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu

15/02/21

The International Observatory of Human Rights was joined by scores of leading human rights organizations and esteemed members of civil society groups from across the world who have written this letter to express concerns about the current sheer human rights violations committed by Turkey against many individuals such as Mr. Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu. He is an honorable Turkish citizen who has been involved in tireless efforts to champion human rights in Turkey and continues to work with many institutions that share the same values and who are struggling to this end.

Gergerlioğlu, a human rights activist and an MP, was first threatened recently by Uşak Police Chief who accused him of involvement in “terrorism.” AKP Group Chairman Özlem Zengin and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu echoed the same baseless accusations—finger-pointing Mr. Gergelioglu denies categorically.

The fact remains that 23 female students who study at Uşak University had been subjected to strip searches on two separate incidents over a duration of five days during their detention starting from on August 31, 2020. This sheer violation of human rights drew strong condemnation on social media outlets once the strip searching of the ladies was revealed.

Mr. Gergerlioğlu relayed this news in the Turkish Parliament and called for an end to the unlawful practice of strip searches.

Two of the five women who were subjected to the strip searches revealed over social media the details of the atrocity they endured.

Countless human rights activists and appalled private citizens supported the victims and categorically denounced this unlawfulness which is no way is compatible with human dignity.

The strip searches conducted were supposedly conducted for “security reasons” by the Uşak Police.

We the signatories demand an effective investigation into this inhumane act.

[…]

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/425786/hdp-milletvekili-omer-faruk-gergerlioglu-tmk-degisikligi-icin-kanun-teklifi-verdi (TURKCE)

https://t24.com.tr/haber/avrupali-parlamenterlerden-erdogan-a-gergerlioglu-mektubu-akp-li-ozlem-zengin-hedef-gosterdi-suleyman-soylu-tehdit-etti,932249

https://t24.com.tr/video/gara-paylasimlari-nedeniyle-hakkinda-sorusturma-baslatilan-gergerlioglu-dan-aciklama-kral-ciplak-dedigimiz-icin,36396

Burma: Over 40 Mandalay lawyers face prosecutions for joining Myanmar protests

16/02/21

Lawsuits are reportedly underway against about 40 lawyers who staged an anti-coup protest in Mandalay city under Section 505 (b) of the penal code of Myanmar, according to sources from the legal community.

Complaints are being filed at courts to charge the lawyers with sedition for their participation in the protests against the military coup on Feb 1.

“We heard that complaints have been lodged to Chanayethazan Township Court to sue the 40 lawyers under Section 505 (b) of the penal code. I don’t know if I am included or not, ” said a local advocate in Mandalay.

Sources from the judicial circle also say that other township courts are receiving complaints to sue the lawyers who joined the ongoing protests under section 505 (b) and Section 188, which is related to violating Section 144. –

[…]

https://www.thestar.com.my/aseanplus/aseanplus-news/2021/02/16/over-40-mandalay-lawyers-face-lawsuits-for-joining-myanmar-protests

https://news.yahoo.com/myanmar-coup-protesters-face-20-084534909.html

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2021/02/16/645391/Myanmar-military-denies-coup,-files-extra-charge-against-Suu-Kyi

https://www.dw.com/en/myanmar-coup-aung-san-suu-kyi-faces-new-charge/a-56583238

Turkey: ‘Detaining lawyers in Turkey has become routine practice’ — Amnesty International

16/02/21

koşulsuz adalet hareketi

Every Friday since November, a group of activists founded by Turkish lawyers in Europe have gathered before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as part of the ‘Movement for Unconditional Justice’. Their goal: bring Turkey’s judicial plight and rights violations to the attention of Europe’s top human rights court.

“Detaining lawyers has become routine practice in Turkey, deepening the climate of fear and repression across the country. Lawyers are also coming under physical, sometimes fatal, attack,” warns Stefan Simanowitz of Amnesty International

Turkish lawyers have been among the primary victims of an ongoing government crackdown implemented in the aftermath of the failed military coup back in 2016, in which 250 people were killed. The Turkish government accuse them of representing clients who had links to the network behind the coup, with President Tayyip Erdogan speaking last September of the need to ‘cut the road from lawyer to terrorist’. Straight after his speech, 115 lawyers from different groups were detained. Over the last decade, Turkish courts have handed down 2,728 years of prison sentences to 441 attorneys.

Roisin Pillay, Director of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said that ‘lawyers should never be arrested or sanctioned for representing their clients, or identified with their clients’ causes.’

The detentions are just one facet of an ever-escalating series of hurdles placed before the country’s lawyers.

[…]

https://cyprus-mail.com/2021/02/16/detaining-lawyers-in-turkey-amnesty-international/

https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-judiciary/european-lawyers-start-movement-carry-plight-colleagues-turkey-echr

China: ‘He Committed Ideological Crimes’: Wife Recounts How Chinese Police Suppress the Family, Preventing Them From Speaking Out and Threatening Her Job After Human Rights Lawyer Chang Weiping’s Detention

15/02/21

My husband Chang Weiping (常玮平) is a Chinese human rights lawyer, who has represented clients in cases related to religious freedom, forced demolition and discrimination (HIV, gender and LGBT issues). In January 2020, he was placed under Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location (RSDL) by Shaanxi police for 10 days for attending the Xiamen Meeting, [an informal gathering of some twenty activists and lawyers in early December 2019]. He was subjected to severe torture before being released on bail. On October 22, 2020, he was again detained in RSDL for ‘allegedly inciting subversion of state power’.

The Spring Festival of 2021 is fast approaching. Chang Weiping has been held in RSDL for 112 days this second time around. The Shaanxi police has been investigating his case for one year and 20 days.

I think it is necessary to make a record of everything he and his family have been through in the past year. Although our lives are as insignificant as ants, we will NOT stop exposing the truth.

I. Disaster strikes after a meeting

It was around December 27, 2019, when Weiping called me out of the blue. He said anxiously that some of his friends had been arrested for attending a meeting in Xiamen and that he, who also attended the meeting, had to go into hiding. He said he had sent me all his bank cards. He told me to take care of myself and our family and hung up after saying “love you.” After about ten days of hiding, he called me saying that it seemed to be safe and since he had not done anything, perhaps he should come out from hiding. I told him to wait a little longer. Little did I know that just two days later, on January 12, 2020, he would be also taken into custody. The nightmare began.  

On the morning of January 14, 2020, someone from Gaoxin Branch of Baoji Public Security Bureau (陕西省宝鸡市公安局高新分局) called me and informed me that Chang Weiping had been placed under RSDL on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.”

[…]

https://www.csw.org.uk/2021/02/08/press/4974/article.htm

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/lawyers-licenses-02152021101423.html

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/trend-lines/29366/amid-a-crackdown-on-human-rights-china-increasingly-targets-lawyers

https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/voa-news-china/family-detained-chinese-rights-lawyer-silenced-threats-sources-say

https://www.chinaaid.org/2021/01/xie-yang-and-chen-keyun-human-rights.html

https://www.maravipost.com/chinese-govts-crackdown-against-human-rights-lawyers/

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/chang-weiping#:~:text=Chang%20Weiping%20(%E5%B8%B8%E7%8E%AE%E5%B9%B3)%20is%20a%20human%20rights%20lawyer,gender%20identity%20and%20sexual%20orientation.