Daily Archives: 24/03/2021

Iraq: Iraqi lawyer speaks of detention for ‘insulting authorities’


Ibrahim al-Sumaida'i was arrested on Friday. Photo: Facebook

An Iraqi lawyer and activist has spoken of his detention on allegations of “insulting public authorities” after his release on Monday. 

Ibrahim al-Sumaida’i was taken to an unknown location and placed in solitary confinement after a raid on his house in Baghdad on Friday, he said in a statement on Tuesday. His phone was searched and he was unable to leave the room to use the bathroom, he said.

Iraqi security forces arrested Sumaida’i late on Friday, acting on an arrest warrant on the charge of “publicly insulting public authorities” issued by the Al-Karkh Investigation Court in Baghdad, after a representative from the Supreme Judicial Council filed a lawsuit against him.

The warrant was issued following “his attack on official institutions, describing them with bad words that go beyond the limits of the freedom of expression,” according to a statement from the Supreme Judicial Council on Saturday, who said he had made “indecent comments” in a WhatsApp group chat with group MPs and journalists.

“The court asked me to apologize for what I said, and I repeat my apology in this statement,” said Sumaida’i, adding that he is “astonished” that authorities have lodged lawsuits against people “for having opinions.”

He was released on bail on Monday.

His arrest was criticized by the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, which expressed “grave concern” that the arrest warrant was issued without regard for humanitarian and legal legislation. It is a “flagrant violation of human rights,” the commission said on Saturday, calling for Sumaida’i’s immediate release.




Nigeria: Kidnappers Kill Abducted Onitsha Nigerian Bar Association Chairman


Kidnappers have killed the Chairman of the Onitsha Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Francis Onwuachi.

Onwuachi, President General of Omor, a community in Ayamelum Local Government Area, was kidnapped a week ago on his way to his town by persons suspected to be herdsmen.

Following the deteriorating state of insecurity in Anambra State, the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has read the riot act to criminals due to the recent attacks on police and naval personnel in the state.

A source said attempts to rescue the NBA chairman proved abortive, until he was found dead on Friday night.

Efforts to get the Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra State, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, to react to the news were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, the Committee of Chairmen and Secretaries of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) branches in Anambra State has bemoaned what it described as the worsening security situation in the state.

The group called on the federal and Anambra State governments as well as heads of security agencies to wake up to their responsibility of protecting the citizens.

In a in a statement signed by all the chairmen and secretaries of the various branches, the association said there was tension in the whole state.

The statement read: “The Committee notes that the security situation in Anambra State is highly tensed up and frightening, to say the least.

“Just last week Friday, 12/3/2021, a lawyer, Mr. Frank Onwuachi, who is also the President General of Omor in Ayamelum LGA of Anambra State, was kidnapped along Ezu River/Anaku road and gruesomely murdered the following day by his captors.