Daily Archives: 02/03/2021

Egypt: Letter on the enforced disappearance of Islam Salama



In a letter to the Egyptian authorities, Lawyers for Lawyers expressed concern about the enforced disappearance of attorney at law Islam Salama. Mr. Salama disappeared after a Court ordered his release on bail on 16 January 2021. To date, his whereabouts are unknown.

On 25 May 2020, Mr. Salama was arrested by Egyptian security forces who reportedly refused to present a warrant. After his arrest, Mr. Salama was detained in an undisclosed location for ten days until he was brought before the Supreme State Security Prosecution on 6 June 2020 on the charge of “joining a terrorist group”. On 14 October 2020, Mr Salama was ordered to be released on parole. Yet, after the parole proceedings he disappeared for 45 days. On 30 November 2020, Mr. Salama appeared again when he was brought before a court on the basis of new charges.

Consequently, the Malhalla Criminal Court ordered Mr. Salama’s release on bail on 16 January 2021. However, after the bail was posted and all other (legal) proceedings were completed, Mr. Salama disappeared again, for the third time, while being in custody of the Egyptian authorities. To date, Mr. Salama’s family and his legal counsel do not know where Mr. Salama is held and are not able to contact him.

Lawyers for Lawyers expresses deep concern at the enforced disappearance of Islam Salama and urges the government of Egypt to release Islam Salama and to end all acts of harassment against him.

Click to access EN_HRL_20210222_Egypt_Enforced-disappearance-of-lawyer-Islam-Salama.pdf


Turkey: Urgent action letter to the UN Special Rapporteurs on the failure of Turkey to carry out a genuine investigation into the killing of Tahir Elçi


The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (“BHRC”) joins 47 international organisations in a letter to several UN Special Rapporteurs requesting urgent action ahead of the next hearing in the criminal trial of those accused of killing lawyer Tahir Elçi in 2015.

Tahir Elçi was a prominent figure within the international and domestic lawyers’ community. He had practiced law for around 25 years. At the time of his death, he was the President of the Diyarbakir Bar Association. He was well known for having acted for victims in a number of leading cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights concerning the forced evictions of Kurdish villages, enforced disappearances, summary executions, and torture and ill-treatment by the security and/or state-affiliated forces.

As a part of these activities, as the president of Diyarbakir Bar Association, he helped to organise a press conference to draw attention to the damage inflicted on the cultural and historic heritage in the region during the armed clashes. The press conference took place in front of a historic minaret damaged by security operations on the morning of 28 November 2015. During this conference, an armed clash took place between two armed PKK militia members and the police, during which Tahir Elçi was shot dead.

The letter requests the Special Rapporteurs call on the Turkish authorities to ensure:

i. The case is heard by an independent, impartial, and competent court that is capable of establishing the facts and truth around the killing of Mr. Elçi;
ii. All future hearings comply with international standards regarding the right to a fair trial, in which the victims’ rights are also recognised;
iii. The hostile attitude from the court towards the Elçi family and their lawyers and the court’s persistent refusal to follow the rules of procedure and principles of both domestic and international law are not repeated in future hearings;
iv. The lawyers for the Elçi family are given reasonable opportunities to be heard and to make their applications in relation to the procedure and the evidence;


Joint action letter to UN Special Rapporteurs: Tahir Elçi


India: Hyderabad: Advocates concerned over rise in attacks


The protectors of Indian constitution are in for a risk if the physical attacks on them continue to rise. The recent arrest of four persons in connection with an attempt to murder on a city-based advocate highlights the plight of clients at the same time it also showcases the pressure under which an advocate functions.

Since the advocate couple were murdered in Peddapalli, lawyers are in a grip of panic and worry that the clients may take it out on them if cases are lost in courts.

A city-based advocate Karthik pointed out that within a span of 15 days there were three attacks on advocates starting from Vaman Rao, his wife Nagamani, an advocate at Criminal court was attacked and Siddharth Singh was attempted to murder.He noted, “The modus operandi of the attackers who attempted to murder Siddharth Singh proves that the client was harassed by the advocate.

Whether it is completely correct or not will be proved later, but such attacks will pave the way for clients to be more aggressive towards advocates if their cases are not resolved on time and people will start losing faith in judiciary.