A court in Azerbaijan has approved the disbarment of Shahla Humbatova, one of the last remaining human rights lawyers in the country.
On Friday, the Baku Administrative Court upheld a claim by the Bar Association to terminate Humbatova’s membership.
According to Bar Association, Humbatova was dismissed for having not paid her membership fee for more than 6 months, owing ₼460 ($270) in fees.
Humbatova told OC Media that she could not attend Friday’s hearing due to ill health.
She said she planned to appeal the decision but did not expect a positive result, and that she would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.
Speaking with OC Media in early February, Humbatova insisted the accusations were politically motivated.
She confirmed that she had owed eight months of membership fees, but insisted the association did not make any effort to notify her of this. ‘I learned about this from the media the day after the Board’s decision [to take me to court]’, she said.
Humbatova said that she immediately made the payment, so when the Bar went to court with her disbarment request there was no longer any debt.
We wrote to the Ambassador of Myanmar in the United Kingdom
What’s the issue
We’re concerned about the military coup that took place in Myanmar and the violent repression of protesters, including through the firing of live ammunition which has resulted in numerous casualties.
These actions represent serious human rights abuses. We’re also alarmed by accounts of arbitrary arrests and detentions, as well as alleged enforced disappearances of lawyers.
We’re also alarmed about reports of ongoing intimidation and harassment of lawyers, as well as lawyers being prevented from providing legal assistance to detained protesters.
These actions deprive the citizens of Myanmar of their access to justice, violate international fair trial guarantees – including the right to have legal representation of one’s own choosing – and the principle of independence of the legal profession. These rights and principles are cornerstones of the rule of law and must be upheld.
We’re particularly concerned about the following cases: