Daily Archives: 23/05/2021

South Africa: 5 legal representatives shot, 5 high profile cases


Lieutenant-Colonel Koliswa Vani, 50, was shot dead while at a car wash on Sunday afternoon where Magistrate AC Mashala was also wounded. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Are members of the legal fraternity well protected when it comes to covering high-profile cases?

According to the Department of Justice, extra safety protocols are in place to protect legal counsels. However, on Sunday, May 16, the Magistrate who was overseeing the case involving alleged crime boss Nafiz Modack was shot in the buttocks while waiting at a carwash in Mfuleni.

It is alleged Magistrate Abram Mashala was in Taurmaline Street in the Bardale Informal Settlement when assailants opened fire, killing a female police officer and wounding her three-year-old grandson in the process.

According to IOL, for the past five years, five legal officers have either been wounded or killed, in Cape Town. Mashala is not the first presiding officer overseeing a high-profile case that has been shot.

High-profile criminal lawyer, Noorudien Hassan, who represented the likes of alleged 28 gang boss, Ralph Stanfield, was shot and killed in front of his home in Lansdowne in November 2016.

Another incident that rocked the legal fraternity was that of Advocate Pete Mihalik, who was and killed in October 2018.

Mihalik was dropping off his children at a school in Green Point. His alleged attackers are currently carrying out pre-trial conditions at the Cape High Court.

Advocate Vernon Jantjies who presided as a magistrate at the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court was killed outside a garage in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain in December 2019. His murder was never solved.

Well, known advocate William Booth survived an assassination attempt in April 2020, when gunmen opened fire on him outside his house.







China: Announcing the 5th China Human Rights Lawyers Day; Calling for One-Person-One-Photo Messages


The fifth China Human Rights Lawyers Day will be held virtually on July 9, 2021.

The China Human Rights Lawyers Day was created on July 9, 2017 in acknowledgement of the tireless efforts of Chinese human rights lawyers in their struggle for justice and the rule of law. It commemorates the mass arrest of lawyers that occured on July 9, 2015, and celebrates the ideals, courage, and tenacity of human rights lawyers in China.

Most human rights lawyers are not famous, nor are they wealthy, but they have irrefutably stood out in the Chinese legal community, elevating the profession to a worthier height. Over the past two decades, they have represented clients in all aspects of human rights and public interest, including but not limited to freedom of speech, freedom of belief, political dissent, property rights, women’s rights, labor rights, minority rights, anti-discrimination, food safety, and redress of wrongful convictions and other grievances. Their clients are from all walks of Chinese society, including political dissidents, religious believers, human rights defenders, civil society activists, farmers who lost land to illegal appropriation, factory workers, NGO practitioners, private entrepreneurs, writers, journalists, ordinary netizens, street vendors, victims of miscarriage of justice, and even Chinese Communist Party officials who have become prisoners in the so-called anti-corruption campaign. Their clients are often either opponents of the authoritarian regime or those whose rights and dignity are trampled.

Human rights lawyers have performed their duties in the process of defending their clients under the law, but precisely because they take both the law and their duties seriously, they have been subject to increasingly strong hostility from the authorities. Since the emergence of the legal rights defense movement in the early 2000s, these lawyers have only faced worse repercussions for their work; many have been arrested and tortured, suspended and disbarred. But the mass arrests on July 9, 2015, marked the beginning of a broader persecution of human rights lawyers by the Chinese authorities. Dozens of human rights lawyers and their assistants were suddenly arrested and hundreds of lawyers were threatened across the country. The jailed lawyers were subjected to harrowing physical and mental abuse. They were deprived of legal representation, forcibly injected with unknown drugs, forced to make confessions. Over the past two decades, more than 70 human rights lawyers have been disbarred, and about 40 of them have had their licenses revoked or cancelled in the past five years. At least 50 human rights lawyers have been illegally barred from leaving the country.

Even though most of the 709 detainees have been released, imprisonment of human rights lawyers has not ceased. Today, 13 human rights lawyers remain in prison in China, and one has been missing for more than three years.





Cameroon: Me Alice Nkom et Maximilienne Ngo Mbe subissent des menaces de mort pour avoir défendu « Shakiro »


Dans un communiqué publié ce samedi, le Réseau des défenseurs des Droits Humains en Afrique Centrale demande à l’ONU d’encourager le gouvernement camerounais à  assurer la protection physique des deux femmes.

Pour avoir défendu les deux transgenres « Shakiro » et « Patricia », condamnés à 5 ans de prison, Me Alice Nkom et Maximilienne Ngo Mbe ont reçu plusieurs menaces de mort ces derniers jours. C’est du moins ce que ces deux défenseures des homosexuels disent.

Elles ont signalé les menaces qu’elles reçoivent au niveau des autorités et des organismes de défense des droits de l’Homme. Dans un communiqué publié ce samedi, le Réseau des défenseurs des Droits Humains en Afrique Centrale (REDHAC) appelle les Nations unies au secours.

Le Redhac demande à l’ONU d’encourager le gouvernement camerounais à « assurer la protection physique et l’intégrité morale des avocats et les 2 femmes défenseures (Me Alice Nkom et Maximilienne Ngo Mbe) qui subissent les menaces de mort, les insultes, les intimidations, mettre tout en œuvre pour la protection légale des Défenseur(e)s en adoptant la loi portant « Promotion et Protection des Défenseur(e)s» écrit le Redhac dans son communiqué.

Shakiro et Patricia ont été transférées à la prison centrale surpeuplée de Douala. Là-bas, elles auraient été battues et insultées par des gardiens et d’autres détenus. Les procureurs les ont accusées de tentative de conduite homosexuelle, d’outrage public aux mœurs, et de non-possession de leur carte d’identité nationale.








https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-57085664 (ENGLISH)