Daily Archives: 28/06/2021

Azerbaijan/Belarus: HRC47: Statement on Judges and Lawyers

28/06/21

Human Rights House Foundation has raised the situation for legal professionals in Azerbijan and Belarus during the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council. The statement was released on the sidelines of the Interactive Dialogue under Item 3, and in response to the Special Rapporteur on the independence of Judges & Lawyer’s report.

We agree with the Special Rapporteur that justice systems have been affected in a number of countries, including through threats or attacks against human rights lawyers.

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, the Azerbaijani lawyer Fuad Aghayev, argued that Azerbaijan “employs several methods to pressure human rights lawyers… It has established political bias in the admission process to the Bar, and suspended or disbarred human rights lawyers”. These continue to be employed in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan has exploited the pandemic to increase pressure on human rights lawyers. It has used the pandemic to justify insufficient implementation of European Court of Human Rights judgements. In addition, human rights lawyers continue to be harassed and disbarred. In 2020, Azerbaijani Bar Association reprimanded human rights lawyer Javad Javadov for raising a legitimate concern about alleged ill-treatment of his client linked to Covid-19 measures.

In 2021 Shahla Humbatova, one of the handful offew independent human rights lawyers left in the country was disbarred and then reinstated after major international pressure.

A dozen of lawyers remain unlawfully disbarred in Azerbaijan, including human rights lawyers Alaif Hasanov and Khalid Baghirov. Moreover, just like prominent lawyers Intigam Aliyev and Annaghi Hajibeyli, several of the younger human rights lawyers are arbitrarily precluded from joining the Bar Association.

Belarus, in the midst of its own human rights crisis, has carried out numerous disbarments in recent months.

Liudmila Kazak is a prominent Belarusian lawyer with over 20 years defending human rights cases, including many cases involving human rights defenders. She was sentenced and fined for allegedly participating in peaceful protests in September 2020 and was subsequently disbarred in February this year. She is one of many such cases.

[…]

https://news.sky.com/story/meet-the-activists-keeping-the-spirit-of-resistance-alive-in-belarus-12342771

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2021/6/free/politics_news/en/5402.htm/001

https://www.euronews.com/2021/06/25/roman-protasevich-belarus-journalist-and-girlfriend-sofia-sapega-moved-from-jail-to-house-

https://www.fidh.org/en/region/europe-central-asia/belarus/mobilising-for-justice-in-belarus-fidh-launches-website-tracking

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "" The Council and Special Rapporteur must understand that such disbarments in Azerbaijan and Belarus are unacceptable, constitute violations of both countries' internationa human rights obligations, and are even more concerning having been done during times of crisis. DAVEELSEROAD Head of Advocacy, Human Rights House Foudnation"

Lebanon: Explosion à l’intérieur des locaux de Sakher al-Hashem, avocat impliqué dans plusieurs dossiers critiques

28/06/21

Une explosion aurait touché les bureaux situés Furn el Shebaak de Sakher al-Hashem, avocat en charge de la défense de Hassan Koreytem, ancien directeur du port de Beyrouth, indique-t-on de source médiatique.

Ce dernier a estimé l’explosion qui s’est déroulée comme étant importante et souhaitait qu’il ne s’agisse pas “d’un message qui lui ait destiné” dans le cadre de l’affaire portant sur l’explosion du port de Beyrouth.

Celui-ci serait également en charge du dossier de l’homme d’affaire Liban-brésilien Carlos Ghosn et avait également représenté l’ancien ministre Michel Samaha accusé de terrorisme ou encore l’ancien directeur de la Sureté Générale Jamil el Sayed et de certains établissements bancaires.

https://libnanews.com/en/explosion-a-linterieur-des-locaux-de-sakher-al-hashem-avocat-implique-dans-plusieurs-dossiers-critiques/

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/282340-blast-rocks-lawyer-s-office-in-furn-el-chebbak (ENGLISH)

India: “Total Restriction On Lawyers’ Free Speech”: Plea in Kerala High Court Challenges New Bar Council Rules Which Make Criticism Of Its Decisions Ground for Disqualification

28/06/21

Madras High Court, Specify Mechanism, Taking Action Against Advocates, Misbehave With Officials Duty, Bar Council Tamil Nadu, Justice M. Dhandapani,

A petition has been filed before the Kerala High Court by Advocate Rajesh Vijayan, a member of the Kerala Bar Council seeking a declaration that the recently inserted Sections V and V-A of Chapter II of Part VI of the Bar Council of India Rules are unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 19 (1) (a), and 21.

The Bar Council of India had recently published a notification dated 25th June 2021 adding Sections V and V-A to Chapter-II, Part VI of the Rules according to which the decision of any State Bar Council or Bar Council of India shall not be criticized or attacked by any Member/s of Bar Council in public domain. The Writ Petition was filed aggrieved by the addition of these provisions, which has the effect of, inter alia, prohibiting criticism and dissent against the Bar Council of India and other Bar Councils, and demanding unquestioning acceptance of all decisions taken by them.

[…]

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/plea-in-kerala-hc-challenges-new-bar-council-rules-critizism-decisions-ground-for-disqualification-176412

https://www.barandbench.com/news/new-bci-rules-violative-right-to-free-speech-advocates-petition-kerala-high-court

https://www.indialegallive.com/top-news-of-the-day/news/judicial-activism/

http://www.barcouncilkerala.org/

Burma: Myanmar military targets lawyers defending political prisoners

28/06/21

Lawyers in Myanmar say situation becoming ‘very VERY difficult’ as regime steps up arrests and harassment.

As Myanmar’s military struggles to consolidate its control over a country in revolt, it has increasingly targeted a different type of resistance: lawyers defending political prisoners. In the past month, at least five lawyers have been arrested across Myanmar for defending politicians and activists, an escalation of the military’s assault on the judicial system.

First, in late May, police arrested Thein Hlaing Tun, the lawyer for deposed Naypyidaw Council chairman Myo Aung, a co-defendant of Aung San Suu Kyi. The former elected leader of Myanmar was overthrown by army chief Min Aung Hlaing in a military coup on February 1 after her National League for Democracy party won November’s election in a landslide.

Since the coup, the military regime has killed some 883 civilian protesters and arrested, charged or sentenced more than 6,000 opponents according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which has been monitoring the situation.

Thein Hlaing Tun and five other lawyers were with their clients on May 24 when he was arrested and charged under section 505A, an incitement charge that carries a three-year prison sentence and has emerged as the favourite tool of the generals. Khin Maung Zaw, the head of Aung San Suu Kyi’s defence team, said Myo Aung was not informed of the arrest until he met the other lawyers on June 7.

“Then he appointed new lawyers among us,” Khin Maung Zaw said in a text message. “We’re worried about other lawyers,” he told Al Jazeera, saying the situation has become “very VERY difficult” due to the danger of “being harassed or arrested” and internal disagreements about how to proceed in a skewed legal system.

Soon after, on May 28, a lawyer from Ayeyarwady Region was arrested during a trial while defending a political dissident. According to local media, she had taken on a few high-profile clients, including the superintendent of a hospital who had gone on strike rather than work under the military regime. She too was charged under section 505A.

[…]

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/6/28/myanmar-lawyers

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/myanmar-arbitrary-detention-of-5-lawyers

(FRANCAIS)

https://curacaonieuws.nu/leger-van-myanmar-richt-zich-op-advocaten-die-politieke-gevangenen-verdedigen-militair-nieuws/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://kabartotabuan.com/tentara-myanmar-menargetkan-pengacara-yang-membela-tahanan-politik-berita-militer/ (INDONESIAN)