Daily Archives: 10/04/2021

China: When suppression takes various forms

09/04/21

Our flame will live on': Albert Ho tells democracy fighters | Apple Daily

China always arbitrarily detains human rights lawyers, in extreme cases even holding them incommunicado, should the regime find that these lawyers interfered with the regime’s vested interests. This was shown in the notorious ‘709 Crackdown’ in 2015, during which several hundred human rights lawyers and defenders were detained or harassed and some of them reported being tortured or ill-treated during detention.

What appears to be the recent practice to repress human rights lawyers, however, is the extensive use of review, revocation or suspension of legal practice licenses against these lawyers so as to paralyse their rights to practise, and thus directly smashing their rice bowls. Such ‘strategy’ could be dissected in a threefold manner as follows.

Reviewing – gauging Annual Review System

Unlike most of the jurisdictions in the world, pursuant to Articles 58 and 59 of the ‘Administrative Measures for Law Firms’ issued by the PRC Ministry of Justice, lawyers and law firms in the mainland China have to undergo an Annual Review System administered by the Justice Bureau and the All China Lawyers Association (‘ACLA’), an association officially operated to manage lawyers in China. In essence, both legal practitioners and law firms’ licenses are subject to renewal every year by government authorities who frequently exercise power to withhold renewal of human rights lawyers’ license without spelling out legitimately valid reasons. When being the target of suppression, these lawyers raise fears of not being able to practice in their entire career.

The suspension of practice is used as a façade to stifle lawyers’ right to work as it embodies an excessively stringent standard. For the lawyers who have not been retained by a law firm for over six months consecutively would have their licenses suspended pursuant to Article 23 Section 4 of the ‘Administrative Measures for Lawyers Practice’.

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https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/commentary-and-opinion/when-suppression-takes-various-forms/5108096.article

https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/press-release/baldwin-award-winner-and-human-rights-lawyer-albert-ho-facing-jail-hong-kong

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Ho

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Ho (FRANCAIS)

Morocco: L’Ordre des avocats de Rabat dénonce l’agression de Me Abderrahmane Benameur

08/04/21

L’Ordre des avocats de Rabat a dénoncé mercredi, la violence dont a fait l’objet l’avocat et ancien bâtonnier Abderrahmane Benameur. Dans un communiqué, le bâtonnier du barreau de Rabat a dénoncé l’intervention de «certains membres de la force publique» contre «le doyen des avocates et avocats au Maroc», et l’atteinte à «sa liberté», après l’avoir «soumis à une violence sans raison, en violation flagrante de son droit constitutionnel à sa libre circulation dans l’espace public». 

«Nous rappelons aux responsables de l’application de la loi au sein des forces publiques, qui ont menacé et violenté (Abderrahmane Benameur), qu’ils sont obligés dans leur conduite et dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions de respecter et protéger la dignité des personnes et assurer et consolider les droits de l’Homme», fustige le communiqué.

«L’Ordre des avocats de Rabat dénonce ce qui a été pratiqué contre (…) Maître Abderrahmane Benameur et considère cela comme un abus de pouvoir (…), une violation du droit national et international et un crime puni par la loi.»

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https://www.yabiladi.com/articles/details/108300/l-ordre-avocats-rabat-denonce-l-agression.html

Belarus: Judicial harassment of six human rights defenders

09/04/21

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The Observatory has been informed about the judicial harassment against Enira Branitskaya, lawyer and human rights expert, having cooperated with Human Constanta [1], as well as of the arbitrary detention of Natallia TreninaTatsiana Hatsura-YavorskayaYuliya Semenchanka and Hanna Sakalouskaya, and the arbitrary detention and subsequent release of Volha Shapakouskaya, five members of the Belarusian public association ‘Zvyano’ (“Chain” in English) [2] , amid the ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders and organisations in Belarus.

On April 6, 2021, law enforcement officers searched the apartment of Enira Branitskaya and confiscated her digital equipment and money. Earlier, searches took place in her parents’ flat. On April 7, 2021, Ms. Branitskaya was summoned to the Investigative Committee of Belarus for interrogation. According to Ms. Branitskaya, these searches and interrogation would be part of a criminal case investigation on the activities of the International Committee for Investigation of Torture in Belarus, in which Enira Branitskaya is considered as a witness.

The Observatory recalls that Enira Branitskaya was the first woman recognised as a political prisoner in Belarus in 2006, when she was criminally charged for participating in an activity of an unregistered organisation (Article 193-1 [3] of the Criminal Code of Belarus) and spent half a year in prison.

On April 5, 2021, Natallia Trenina, Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorskaya, Yuliya Semenchanka, Hanna Sakalouskaya and Volha Shapakouskaya were arbitrarily detained in Minsk following their organisation of the “Machine breathes but I don’t” exhibition, which shed the light on the struggles of the medical personnel amid the COVID-19 crisis and the politicisation of healthcare in Belarus.

[…]

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/belarus-judicial-harassment-of-six-human-rights-defenders

http://spring96.org/en/news/102816

http://spring96.org/en/news/102887