Le bureau est encerclé par les forces de l’ordre dans le but de l’appréhender, pour son implication dans “l’affaire de l’aéroport”, selon une publication partagée sur la page officielle du chef du Bloc al-Karama, Seifeddine Makhlouf
L’avocat Mehdi Zagrouba effectue un sit-in au bureau de l’Ordre des avocats, qui se trouve au Tribunal de première instance de Tunis, sur fond de son implication dans l’affaire de l’aéroport de Tunis-Carthage survenue le 15 mars 2021.
C’est ce qui ressort d’une publication partagée lundi sur Facebook, par le président de la Coalition al-Karama, Seifeddine Makhlouf.
Makhlouf a fait savoir que Mehdi Zagrouba était actuellement au bureau du bâtonnier et que plusieurs policiers encerclaient les lieux dans le but de l’arrêter.
Et d’ajouter : “Nous ne reconnaîtrons pas les procès des civils devant les tribunaux militaires. Nous avons défendu le droit d’une femme tunisienne à la libre circulation en l’absence de toute interdiction judiciaire”. Poursuivant : “Nous ne sommes pas des criminels et nous ne répondrons à aucune question. Exécutez-nous mais vous ne nous verrez pas humiliés.”
Le 15 mars, les députés de la Coalition Al-Karama, menés par Seifeddine Makhlouf, avaient semé le chaos à l’aéroport Tunis-Carthage quand une femme tunisienne avait été interdite d’embarquer, en vertu de la procédure S17.
On 28 July 2021, the head of the bar association issued a decision to form a committee headed by the undersecretary/deputy head of the bar. Its membership includes 13 lawyers, some of whom occupy syndicate positions, whether in the structural hierarchy of the bar council (board) or subsidiary heads.
The substantial content of the resolution is to censor, monitor and evaluate what lawyers publish on the Internet, especially on social media.
The resolution starts with an angry introductory note and ends with an explicit threat to exercise oversight and censorship through a mechanism that lacks independence and that violates the law in terms of jurisdiction and evidence.
The following points highlight the most important features of this committee, how it works and how it poses a danger to freedom of expression, as well as its usurpation of the powers/roles of oversight bodies entrusted with the investigation of crimes.
An angry prelude leads to encroachment on the law and the rules of justice:
As a justification for an exceptional decision whose prelude is also exceptional, it carries a measure of anger and lacks the necessary amount of respect for the law; such as, but not limited to, the following phrase: “because it has failed all the efforts that I personally made for a year and a half to put an end to such offences, verbal insults, lies, and obscenities and bring them back the right way…. but these attempts failed….and this encouraged others not to implement prompt justice…which is what can no longer be continued nor tolerated….”
The resolution’s prelude refers to a certain incident where the head of the bar association failed to hold those responsible accountable in accordance with the law; a complaint/report, a technical investigation, filing or shelving a criminal case, a direct prosecution, a criminal judgment/ruling, or referral to a disciplinary body. Such a failed course in a specific case- or cases- leads to the violation of the law!
The danger here lies in the idea of inclining to seek or take revenge instead of implementing justice, from an institution that showed honorable stances in defending the law, its sovereignty and the values of justice.
Objective, mechanism, proof and punishment:
The decision set a goal for the aforementioned committee: “to monitor the insults, slander, libel and defamation subjected by any lawyer (male or female) or any individual, and that are published on the Internet and social media websites alongside newspapers or any audio publications.”
According to the resolution, the committee’s role is represented in “submitting a printed copy of a certain incident monitored on social media or a newspaper, or any audio or visual publication to the bar association’s disciplinary department, which, in turn, receives complaints from lawyers or individual people and submits a note to the head of the bar”.
The penalties stipulated in the resolution:
The resolution said that that the applicable article here is Paragraph 5 of Article 13 of the Advocates Law (Lawyers’ Law), which states “He should be of good conduct, good reputation, worthy of the due respect for the profession, and that no disciplinary judgments are issued against him or that his relationship with his job, profession is cut off for reasons related to his suitability for the job he was occupying.” The decision interpreted this article as follows: “According to what was stated in the last paragraph of the same article, not meeting any of the aforementioned conditions or the eight items mentioned in the abovementioned article…” the lawyer’s membership in the bar association will be cancelled by force of law from the date of not meeting of any of these conditions” ….. Hence the penalty will be the most severe- cancelling his membership”!
Together with more than 50 lawyers’ organizations, bar associations, civil society organisations and individual lawyers, Lawyers for Lawyers co-signed a joint statement on the mounting repression against Belarusian lawyers and the disbarment of Dmitriy Laevski.
Since peaceful protests in Belarus erupted in 2020, following the presidential election condemned by the international community, the law in Belarus has been turned into a tool of oppression, and lawyers – into victims of political persecution. Lawyers, who express views contrary to those of the government or represent peaceful protestors or opposition leaders in courts, face constant pressure. Repressions against law practitioners take multiple forms – including criminal persecution, administrative arrests, punitive disciplinary proceedings. In a span of ten months, more than twenty Belarusian lawyers, who took an active political and civic stance, have been deprived of the right to practice their profession.
Lawyer Dmitriy Laevski was disbarred by the decision of the Minsk City Bar Association on 9 July 2021. The decision on disbarment was taken by the disciplinary commission of the bar association on 8 July 2021. The decision on expelling Dmitriy Laevski was urgently taken within one day and only two days after a verdict was announced in the high-profile case of one of his clients Viktar Babaryka – ex-presidential candidate, key political opponent of Alexander Lukashenko and now a political prisoner.
On 8 July 2021, Dmitriy Laevski participated in two disciplinary proceedings. The first concerned the judicial appeal to the previously made decision of the disciplinary commission of the Minsk City Bar Association on reprimanding Dmitriy for his Facebook post, commenting about the recent amendments to the Law on Legal Practice. The second one – as a result of which Dmitriy was eventually disbarred – concerned the statement made during Viktar Babaryka’s hearing, which hinted at the innocence of Babaryka’s co-defendants, who pleaded guilty during the trial. It is precisely Dmitriy’s procedural position and the realization of his legal defense mission that became the ground for his disbarment. On 17 July 2021, Laevski appealed the decision of the disciplinary commission and published the full text of his appeal.
Being deprived of his license, Dmitriy Laevski cannot proceed to represent the interests of another high-profile political prisoner and lawyer Maksim Znak, whose trial is about to commence. Due to the disbarment, the defendant in one of the most resonant political cases has been deprived of his main defender.