Monthly Archives: May 2021

India: Bombay HC orders enquiry into lawyer’s arrest, handcuffing by Navi Mumbai Police


Bombay HC orders enquiry into lawyer’s arrest, handcuffing by Navi Mumbai Police

Calling the arrest made by Kharghar Police “illegal”, the plea sought an enquiry by an “independent agency”, pleading that Jha had merely accompanied the client to different places for court hearings and that charges against him were “false”.

The Bombay High Court recently appointed a Principal District and Sessions Judge, Thane to “independently” enquire if Kharghar Police station, Navi Mumbai, “illegally detained” a lawyer, Vimal Jha, between April 3 and 5 and “illegally handcuffed” him while producing him before the Magistrate on April 5 to seek his police custody.

After one of his clients accused Jha of kidnapping him in the first week of April and demanding a ransom of Rs 3 crore, Jha was booked by the police.

A division bench of Justice S J Kathawalla and Justice S P Tavade passed an order on May 19 after hearing a writ plea filed by Vimal Jha, the accused, and a PIL by a group called Lawyers for Just Society, challenging the arrest, argued by advocates Prashant Pandey and Subhash Jha, respectively.

Calling the arrest made by Kharghar Police “illegal”, the plea sought an enquiry by an “independent agency”, pleading that Jha had merely accompanied the client to different places for court hearings and that charges against him were “false”.

In the FIR, the complainant had said the accused and his accomplices had forcibly taken him to various locations in the state, including Karjat, Murbad and Nashik.

The petitioner said he was arrested on April 3 and produced before the magistrate on April 5, beyond stipulated 24-hour limitation as per Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which was illegal.

The pleas further said Jha was handcuffed and paraded in the court in violation of norms, which stipulate that no accused shall be handcuffed unless magistrate’s order is obtained.


USA: Attacked lawyer: ‘the blows came raining down on my head’


Defense lawyer Michael Davidow remembers telling his client, who was jailed on attempted murder charges, information that he didn’t like — then getting hit by him in the middle of the conversation.

Moments later, “the blows came raining down on my head, over and over, one after the other,” Davidow said Thursday at the sentencing for his former client, Dale Holloway, who pleaded guilty to the assault and received 7 1/2 to 15 years in state prison in a plea agreement. Holloway has a criminal record that includes assault convictions and now awaits trial on charges that he shot and wounded two people at a wedding.

Davidow, who needed months to recover from that visit on Oct. 21, 2019, described what happened as a savage assault “on my head and my face, my mouth and my eyes. And incredibly, it ended when he chose to end it. The guards were never able to come and stop it.”

He remembered feeling that his life was flashing before his eyes, the first of several times that day.

“While he was attacking me, I thought my son was going to grow up without his father. I thought that my wife was going to be alone. And those were my final thoughts, as I thought I was going to die on the floor of a locked cell at Valley Street Jail.”

Davidow, who said his head “felt literally like it had been cracked open,” suffered a hemorrhage and some memory loss. He said he won’t go back to the jail and has taken on fewer felony cases as a result.

Holloway, 38, was already accused of shooting and wounding the bride and presiding bishop at a wedding in Pelham days earlier. Authorities said the groom is the father of a man who was charged with killing Holloway’s stepfather.


The Philippines: Ecija court acquits rights lawyer, wife in unjust vexation case filed by local police chief


A Nueva Vizcaya court has acquitted a human rights lawyer and his wife who were both accused of uttering unsavory words towards a local police chief while retrieving the personal effects of an assassinated National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant.

Both Atty. Edu Balgos, of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyer-Nueva Vizcaya, and wife Rina were separately charged with unjust vexation.

In the case of Rina, based on the complaint filed by Aritao police station chief Police Chief Inspector Geovanni Cejes, she allegedly uttered “bakit niyo pinapakialaman ang mga gamit ng biktima [Why are you tampering with the things of the victim]” and “alam niyo na, baka plantingan pa nino yan [Maybe you will plant evidence]” while inside the police station. She also allegedly badgered Cejes with a congressional summon.

On the part of her husband, Cejes alleged that Atty. Balgos yelled at him over the phone and accused him of human rights violations and also threatened him with a congressional summon.

In acquitting the two, the court said the prosecution left out crucial details such as the approximate time, place, and other circumstances where the supposed incident happened that caused distress to the police officer.

The court also pointed out that the testimony of the witness for the prosecution is consistent with the testimony of Rina.

The police officer said Rina was at the police station to witness the investigation of the case of the slain NDFP consultant when she uttered the unsavory words. But the witness said Rina’s purpose of going to the police station was to get the belongings of the NDFP consultant. Rina said when she went to the police station, she was asked to wait outside. The prosecution witness said she saw Rina sitting outside. The witness also said she did not hear Rina accuse the police of planting evidence on the clothes of the deceased NDFP consultant.


Lebanon: Les avocats de Beyrouth en grève aujourd’hui et lundi


Les avocats de Beyrouth en grève aujourd’hui et lundi

Le mouvement se fait en signe de protestation contre l’arrestation de Rami Alleik, chef de l’ONG Mouttahidoun, accusé de diffamation à l’encontre du Conseil supérieur de la magistrature.

Le conseil de l’ordre des avocats de Beyrouth présidé par Melhem Khalaf a appelé hier à une grève aujourd’hui et lundi en signe de protestation contre l’arrestation de l’avocat et activiste Rami Alleik, pour diffamation à l’encontre du Conseil supérieur de la magistrature (CSM) et humiliation de la justice. Me Alleik fait partie de l’ONG Mouttahidoun, auteure d’une plainte auprès de la procureure près la cour d’appel du Mont-Liban, Ghada Aoun, contre le gouverneur de la Banque du Liban, Riad Salamé, et le PDG de la banque SGBL, Antoun Sehnaoui. Il a été arrêté hier alors qu’il se rendait au bureau de Me Khalaf, qui l’avait convoqué pour être informé des détails de ses démêlés avec la justice pénale.

L’avocat avait auparavant refusé de se présenter devant les services de renseignements des FSI sur ordre donné par l’avocat général près la Cour de cassation, Ghassan Khoury, à la suite de la plainte déposée par le CSM auprès du procureur général près la Cour de cassation, Ghassan Oueidate. Le juge Khoury a alors donné l’ordre aux services de renseignements des FSI d’amener menotté Me Alleik.

« Au moment où Rami Alleik se dirigeait vers le bureau du bâtonnier, des individus se sont rués sur lui avec violence, avant de le conduire menotté vers une destination inconnue », a indiqué un communiqué publié par le conseil de l’ordre des avocats. En soirée, on apprenait que l’avocat est détenu dans la prison du Palais de justice. « Nous demandons la remise en liberté immédiate de notre collègue et exigeons que des comptes soient demandés à ceux qui l’ont arrêté de manière illégale et non conforme aux pactes internationaux des droits de l’homme », a ajouté le texte.


Repression Rages in Belarus, Targeting Ever More Lawyers Too


An increasing number of Belarusian attorneys have seen their law licenses removed for trying to defend opposition figures.

Sitting in her car and talking via an encrypted video link on her smartphone from Minsk, disbarred lawyer Liudmila Kazak said her life and work as a legal defender for Belarusian opposition figures is more like fiction than real life.

“The situation really is like you’re reading a book,” Kazak said, speaking in Russian through a translator, in an interview with Courthouse News. “This book is about how there is a sort of state dictatorship in this country.”

Kazak is among a growing number of lawyers who are getting barred from practicing law in Belarus. In a new report, the American Bar Association said the disbarments appear to be part of a “larger pattern of retaliation by the Belarus government against lawyers for representing political opposition members and protesters and speaking out about the rule of law and human rights in Belarus.”

The dystopian book in which Kazak has found herself is part of is the same one captivating some 10 million Belarusians as their nation becomes ever more isolated from the rest of the world under President Alexander Lukashenko.

Soviet-style leader whose office teetered on the verge of collapse eight months ago in the face of massive street protests, Lukashenko has held onto power while keeping a tight grip on politicians, journalists, students, everyday citizens, activists and lawyers.

This crackdown reached a new low on Sunday when Belarus forced a Ryanair passenger flight passing through its airspace to land in Minsk, where authorities promptly arrested Roman Protasevich, a prominent 26-year-old opposition journalist and activist aboard the plane. This incident sparked international condemnation, and the European Union blocked air travel to and from the country.


May be an image of one or more people, people standing and text that says "NO PETIÇÃO LINK BELARUS LITHUANIA BELARUS BELARUS #FREEROMAN #FREESOFIASAPEGA"
May be an image of 1 person, standing and text
Franak Viačorka (@franakviacorka) | Twitter

Pakistan: European Parliament party demands protection for endangered lawyer Saif-ul-Malook


The EPP Group in the European Parliament, the largest political party in the European Parliament, has demanded that Pakistan abolish the blasphemy laws and the death penalty and protect endangered lawyers like Saif-ul-Malook.

Belarus/Lithuania/Russia: Sofia Sapega Russian Law Student and Girlfriend of Roman Protasevich Held in Unknown Location after Arrest


Sofia Sapega

Sapega, 23, was traveling with Protasevich after vacationing in Greece and flying to Vilnius to defend her Master’s thesis, according to a European Humanities University statement

Sapega, 23, was traveling with Protasevich and flying to Vilnius to defend her Master’s thesis, according to a European Humanities University statement. Unfortunately, she too was detained and then arrested along with Protasevich on Sunday. Sapega, who is a Russian citizen, had been vacationing with Protasevich in Greece, according to a university spokesperson who confirmed the news to Reuters.

Sapega’s family also confirmed her detention on Monday, the spokesperson told the outlet. A Lithuanian passenger, who gave his name only as Mantas, said that on hearing the news that the plane was being diverted, Protasevich immediately opened an overhead locker, pulled out a laptop and a phone and gave them to a female companion. She was later identified Sapega. On landing, Protasevich was immediately separated from Sapega but alter she too was arrested.

In a statement given to Reuters, the university said: “As a result of a cover operation by the Belarusian authorities, the student was detained by the Administration of the Investigative Committee for the city of Minsk on groundless and made-up conditions.”

Arrested for No Reason

Needles to say, Sapega was unfortunate to be on the flight, which led to her arrest. Her university has condemned her arrest. “We protest against the unjustified detention of the member of EHU community”, the statement further read.

Sapega was flying to Vilnius to defend her Master’s thesis at the university to graduate from her five-year course. Sapega is a law student at the university, which was founded in Minsk in 1992 but forced by Belarusian authorities to relocate in 2004 to neighboring Lithuania.

Sapega’s university said it is providing her immediate consular assistance and has urged the international community and human rights defenders to assist in her release. “Sofia’s groupmates and faculty members tell that the student is well regarded due to her academic performance and reputation in EHU’s community,” the university statement read.

Although Sapega’s fate hangs in the balance, her university particularly is making all efforts to get her released. The Russian Embassy in Minsk told The New York Times that Belarus had notified the consul of Sapega’s detention but nothing more is known beyond that.



Turkey: Turkish Justice Ministry seeks cancelation of dismissed academic’s license to practice law


The Turkish Justice Ministry has filed a complaint against dismissed academic Cenk Yiğiter in an effort to cancel his license to practice law and prevent him from working as an attorney, the Duvar news website reported.

Yiğiter was dismissed from his position at Ankara University’s faculty of law in 2017 for signing the Academics for Peace (BAK) declaration of January 2016. He was charged with “spreading terrorist propaganda for a terrorist organization,” and his conviction is pending at an appeals court.

After his dismissal Yiğiter decided to pursue a career as a lawyer and started an internship in 2018, which is a requirement to qualify as a lawyer in Turkey. However, the ministry filed a lawsuit against Yiğiter arguing that dismissed public servants could not work as lawyers. Yiğiter lost the legal battle and was forced to leave the internship only eight days before it was scheduled to end.

The Constitutional Court ruled last year that dismissed public servants could register with bar associations and work as lawyers. Yiğiter subsequently did another internship and received his law license in April.

The Academics for Peace declaration was titled “We will not be party to this crime” and criticized the Turkish government for its violation of human rights and civil casualties among the predominantly Kurdish population of eastern Turkey. A total of 1,128 academics from various disciplines, mainly in the social sciences, signed the peace declaration, a number that more than doubled with the support of many other academics, artists and public intellectuals from around the world.

[…] (TURKCE)

Quelles sont les résolutions adoptées lors du G7 des avocats ?


Quelles sont les résolutions adoptées lors du G7 des avocats ?

Changement climatique, nouvelles technologies ou défense de la pression ont été au cœur des pourparlers ce 17 mai entre les organisations nationales de professionnels du droit.

Calquée sur le G7 des États (programmé du 11 au 13 juin à Cornwall au Royaume-Uni), la 3eédition du G7 des avocats s’est tenue ce 17 mai, en visioconférence. A cette occasion, les présidents et responsables des sept organisations représentant la profession dans les pays du G7, dont le Conseil National des Barreaux représenté par son président Jérôme Gavaudan, ont adopté deux résolutions communes. Reconnu groupe d’engagement officiel au sein du G7, ce message sera porté directement à l’oreille des chefs d’Etat et des gouvernements. 


Protéger les avocats à travers le monde

La seconde résolution porte intégralement sur la défense des avocats en danger (de nombreux praticiens sont encore assassinés ou emprisonnés de par le monde). Le G7 exhorte les gouvernements à soutenir les avocats qui exercent leur profession dans des circonstances difficiles et à promouvoir l’Etat de droit et l’indépendance de la profession, quitte à lui fournir une meilleure protection. “Les avocats de tous les pays peuvent porter la parole des libertés, souligne Jérôme Gavaudan, président du CNB. Le dépassement de la crise sanitaire passe par le droit et donc par l’avocat. Il convient de condamner toute atteinte commise contre les avocats dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions. Nous sommes des acteurs incontournables, avec les gouvernements, du retour à la normale de nos systèmes juridiques et judiciaires.»

The Philippines: IAPL: Initial Findings of Attacks on Lawyers, Law workers and Paralegals under Presidents Arroyo, Benigno Aquino and Duterte


Stop the Killings in the Philippines! | Action Solidarité Tiers Monde

Prof. Gill H. Boehringer, Co-Chair, IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Macquarie University Law School

The IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers was established in 2015. Attacks on lawyers in the Philippines had been monitored for some years previously by Prof. . Boehringer. We are now preparing an extensive report on the killings under the three Presidents.

Given the current widespread concern in the Philippines about attacks on lawyers and others that threaten the rule of law and the very basis of a democratic system of governance, we are issuing some initial findings of our longstanding research project. This is especially important because recently there has been considerable discussion in the media about the comparative records of the three recent regimes. Much of that reportage has been based on inaccuracies in monitoring the attacks.

The Rate of Killings under three Presidents

Our research shows the increasing rate of killings under the Duterte regime:

Duterte                1.09   per month  ( 63 killed in   58 months)

Aquino, B             .65   per month  ( 47    “     in    72      “     )

Arroyo                  .68   per month   (78    “     in  114     “      )

In this we are in agreement with the monitoring by FLAG, Rappler and the NUPL. While their figure for killings under the Duterte government is 61, we differ slightly. We have established that at least 62 lawyers have been killed, but 63 if one counts, as we do, an abducted attorney about whom nothing has been heard in over 2 years. Our number, 63, also includes a Shari’a lawyer that other monitors have not listed. The Supreme Court has indicated that such lawyers are to be included in their recently announced review of attacks on legal professionals.

From various sources, we have lists of 78 killed (55 attorneys, 17 judges and 6 prosecutors) under President Arroyo and 47 under President Aquino (34 attorneys, 8 judges and 5 posecutors). The numbers reported by FLAG, only 9 killed under Arroyo and only 1 under Aquino, provide a distorted account of the killings of lawyers under those regimes. Obviously, the further two claims that those killed under Duterte are more than under any previous President, and that those killed under him are “more than those under all preceding Presidents” back to Marcos, are far from the reality and therefore not conducive to seeing the historical and systemic nature of the problem.