Daily Archives: 27/08/2021

Hong Kong Law Society election underscores tensions over China, legal system

24/08/21

Selma Masood, a candidate for the Hong Kong Law Society's election to select new council members, hands out pamphlets outside the city's district court ahead of the election in Hong Kong, China August 12, 2021. REUTERS/James Pomfret

Hong Kong’s Law Society votes for new governing council members on Tuesday, an annual event made fraught this year by the city’s national security law, with pro-Beijing media accusing some candidates of political bias.

The 12,000 member professional and regulatory body for the Hong Kong legal sector has a watchdog role over legal changes, and a say in the appointments of judges and lawyers who sit on various government advisory bodies. The election on Tuesday is for five of its governing council’s 20 seats.

Some of the city’s leading lawyers, both locals and expatriates, streamed into a large hall in a waterfront convention centre to cast their ballots.

One, who declined to be named, said she was concerned about the highly charged atmosphere of these elections but that it was important to “vote according to my conscience” for candidates who would stand up for the rule of law.

The election has spawned lurid but non-specific accusations against some candidates in pro-Beijing newspapers. One, Ta Kung Pao, describes a “liberal” faction that will carry out “ulterior political goals” if it wins a majority of seats.

Another such newspaper, Wen Wei Po, called four of the candidates “independence advocates” – a claim punishable under the national security law.

Other major professional bodies have come under pressure recently too, including Hong Kong’s largest teachers union, which disbanded this month after being attacked in pro-Beijing media as a “poisonous tumour”.

Critics, including rights groups and the U.S. government, say the legal system in the global financial hub is straining as Beijing tightens control. The sweeping national security law introduced a year ago outlaws foreign collusion, terrorism, secession and subversion with possible life imprisonment.

[…]

https://www.saltwire.com/atlantic-canada/news/law-society-election-in-hong-kong-spotlights-tensions-over-china-legal-system-100626655/

https://www.reuters.com/world/china/hong-kong-law-society-election-underscores-tensions-over-china-legal-system-2021-08-24/

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/alarm-08252021115455.html

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/agents-08252021152605.html

https://bdnews24.com/coronavirus-pandemic/2021/08/26/chinese-citizen-who-documented-wuhan-outbreak-falls-ill-in-prison-hunger-strike

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3146188/picking-quarrels-and-provoking-trouble-how-chinas-catch-all

https://www.hklawsoc.org.hk/

Judges, lawyers, human rights defenders seen as under threat in Afghanistan

26/08/21

Judges, lawyers, human rights defenders seen as under threat in Afghanistan

Legal organizations around the world, including bar associations, condemn Taliban takeover

Legal organizations around the world, including bar and judicial associations, are condemning the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the reports of human rights violations that have already taken place there.

The Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association (CSCJA), which represents nearly all of the federally appointed judges in Canada, was one of many associations releasing statements in the past week expressing concern and support for the people of Afghanistan.

“We note with particular concern the media reports about the safety and security of Afghan judges, particularly female judges,” the CSCJA said in its statement. For the past 20 years, it noted, Afghan judges’ focus as an independent judiciary was to render judgments based on the law, respect for human rights, and free of political influence or favour.

“While all judges are now in danger, female judges are particularly at risk because the Taliban has traditionally considered it unacceptable for Afghan women to sit in judgment of men,” the statement read. “Additionally, Afghan women in general now appear more vulnerable because of their apparent inability to move freely within or between cities.”

[…]

https://www.canadianlawyermag.com/news/general/judges-lawyers-human-rights-defenders-seen-as-under-threat-in-afghanistan/359278

https://www.lrwc.org/afghanistan-statement-to-the-un-human-rights-council-seeks-fact-finding-mechanism-joint-statement/

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/afghan-judges-can-relocate-to-the-uk-buckland-confirms/5109608.article

https://www.lawcareers.net/Explore/News/The-Law-Society-comments-on-the-Afghanistan-crisis-26082021

https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/europe/european-union-urges-member-states-to-offer-safe-pathways-out-of-afghan-for-at-risk-people.html

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/08/26/attack-kabul-airport-ends-civilian-evacuation

https://www.reuters.com/world/islamic-state-claims-responsibility-kabul-airport-attack-2021-08-26/

https://www.fnuja.com/Communique-sur-la-situation-en-Afghanistan_a2483.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.liberation.fr/international/asie-pacifique/une-explosion-a-proximite-de-laeroport-de-kaboul-20210826_NUA3TP7MUFH7NJFMKWPEB4P7DQ/

No photo description available.

Iran: Detained Rights Lawyers’ Homes Raided Without Warrant

26/08/21

Agents Confiscate Personal Security Cameras to Hide Evidence of Unlawful Raid

State security agents carried out search operations in the homes of two detained human rights lawyersArash Keykhosravi and Mohammad Reza Faghihi, in Tehran eleven days after the lawyers were unlawfully arrested along with colleagues and activists.

Keykhosravi and Faghihi along with Mehdi Mahmoudian (civil activist), Mostafa Nili (lawyer), Leila Heydari (lawyer), and Maryam Afrafaraz (civil activist) were arrested in Tehran on August 14, 2021, and their phones and other personal belongings were confiscated without a warrant. Heydari was released the following day.

Prior to being arrested, they were planning to file a lawsuit against Iranian authorities in accordance with Article 34 of the Constitution, accusing the government of “negligence in carrying out their duties and causing the deaths of thousands of Iranians” by failing to properly manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attorney Saeed Khalili tweeted on August 25, 2021: “This morning I went to the Evin [Prison] magistrate to declare my representation of my dear colleague Mr. Faghihi upon his family’s request and at the front gate I was told that no lawyers would be accepted and no one would be released on bail. On my way back I was informed that agents had raided his home and were carrying out a search.”

On the same day, human rights lawyer Saeid Dehghan tweeted: “Security agents raided the paternal home of Arash Keykhosravi today. They (went inside) his room, closed the door and didn’t allow his relatives inside for several minutes. It was a setup to ‘gain reason’ (for the raid) by planting evidence! They first detain you and then search for a reason! They also took away the closed-circuit cameras so that there would be no evidence of the raid.”

The agents’ confiscations of the detainees’ personal electronic devices, and the raids against their homes, indicate that the authorities were trying to collect or plant evidence to build a case against t.

[…]

The Philippines: Cebu lawyer killed

26/08/21

A veteran lawyer, who recently held a “hunger strike” after the management of the condominium he was living in cut his water supply, was shot dead by a still unknown assailant along R. Duterte Street in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on Thursday, August 26.

Lawyer Rex Jose Mario Fernandez, 62, was on board his car when he was shot by the gunman who waited for him in a corner at around 4:10 p.m., according to Police Major Jonathan Dela Cerna, chief of the Guadalupe Police Station.

Fernandez’s driver, who police investigators have not yet identified, sustained gunshot wounds to his body and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

A woman in the back seat of the car survived although investigators have yet to determine her identity.

A closed-circuit television (CCTV) in the area showed that the lone gunman, who wore a red jacket, immediately boarded a getaway motorcycle driven by another person.

At least six empty shells of a .45 caliber pistol were recovered at the crime scene.

[…]

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1905296/Cebu/Local-News/Lawyer-on-hunger-strike-ambushed

https://www.philstar.com/nation/2021/08/27/2122933/cebu-lawyer-killed-gun-attack

https://www.philstar.com/nation/2021/08/26/2122838/lawyer-killed-broad-daylight-cebu-city-street

https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/8/26/Cebu-City-lawyer-ambush.html?_=1630026422298

https://boholislandnews.com/2021/08/26/lawyer-killed-in-cebu-helped-bohol-farmers/

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/08/27/2123018/chr-conduct-independent-probe-cebu-lawyer-slay

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1905375/Manila/Local-News/Supreme-Court-seeks-reports-on-Fernandez-killing

https://www.rappler.com/nation/nupl-ibp-groups-mourn-death-cebuano-human-rights-lawyer

(TAGALOG)

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/balitambayan/promdi/800977/abogado-patay-sa-pamamaril-habang-nasa-kaniyang-kotse-sa-cebu/story/

CORRECTION:

That makes 67 lawyers killed under Duterte. according to the International Association of People’s Lawyers who have been monitoring killing of lawyers around the globe for years. The rate at 1.08 per month is higher than the rates under his predecessors.