Daily Archives: 10/09/2021

10 rights groups stand in solidarity with members of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms referred to Emergency Court

09/09/21

Ten human rights organizations today said they stood in full solidarity with leaders and members of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, whose trial begins this Saturday, 11 September, before an Emergency State Security Criminal Court, over charges relating solely to their peaceful work in defense of victims of torture, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances and the arbitrary deprivation of the right to life.

The case (no. 1552/2018) includes 31 defendants, 14 of whom are currently in custody. While the Supreme State Security Prosecution have accused all defendants of leadership, membership or support of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, the prosecution singled out four individuals for the charge of documenting and exposing rights violations via the social media accounts of the Coordination. The four include lawyer  and former member of the State-affilaited National Council for Human Rights Hoda Abdel-Moneim; lawyer and executive director of the Coordination Ezzat Ghoneim; and lawyer Mohamed Abu-Horaira and his wife Aisha Al-Shatir. 

According to the indictment order, issued on 23 August, the four members of the Coordination are charged with “using websites to promote ideas incting the commission of terror acts, by using Facebook, Twitter and Youtube under the name of the Egyptian Coordination for Human Rights to spread alleged notions of: the involvment of the police in illegal detentions, killings, torture and the use of force; the deilberate withholding of medical care for prisoners; the complicity of judicial authorities with regard to complaints submitted about these violatons and holding their perpetrator accountable; the issuing of death sentences without evidence; and the lack of fairness guarantees in criminal trials; all with the intent of advocating the use of force and violence against state institutions in orer to disturb public order, undermine society’s safety and security, and harm national unity and social peace.”

Moreover, the four have been indicted for “publicly broadcasting, domestically and abroad, false news and statements about the internal affairs of the country, via the official accounts of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms on Facebook and Twitter, and video clips on a channel using the same name on YouTube…which had the effect of weakening the resolve of the state, disturbing public security, causing terror among people, and harming public and national interests.”  

The 10 undersigned human rights organizations consider both charges levelled against colleagues at the Coordination to be at the heart of legitimate defense of human rights, both a right and a duty, and fall under the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression guaranteed under the Egyptian Constitution as well as international law. 

[…]

https://www.eipr.org/en/press/2021/09/10-rights-groups-stand-solidarity-members-egyptian-coordination-rights-and-freedoms

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/referral-ezzat-ghoneim-emergency-state-security-court

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/news/rights-groups-share-solidarity-trialled-egyptians

Russia ramps up repression of lawyers before the elections

09/09/21

Lawyers (from left) Evgeny Smirnov,  Ilya Novikov, Ivan Pavlov, Valeria Vetoshkina speak to journalists near  the Moscow City court

The treatment of Ivan Pavlov and Team 29 exemplifies the risks human rights defenders are taking

Lawyers who act for those the state deems its enemies cannot expect a comfortable life in any country, but in Russia their persecution has reached a pitch that demands international attention. The FSB — the state security apparatus — is engaging in forms of harassment that prevent them from defending clients charged, often on dubious evidence with “subversive” activities. In an attempt to chill political protest in the lead-up to elections later this month, the FSB has used powers of arrest and prosecution to stop lawyers from doing their duty to defend politically-motivated prosecutions.

Take the attack on the distinguished human rights advocate, Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov led “Team 29” — an informal association of lawyers that took its name, ironically, from Article 29 of the Russian Constitution, which purports to guarantee free speech. Team 29’s latest offence has been to represent Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation in its appeal against its designation as an “extremist” organisation, which in effect closed it down. This summer, Team 29 was forced to disband, after a government accusation that it was associated with an “undesirable foreign organisation” — an accusation that allowed the state to block its website and, potentially, to move against individual team members, clients or supporters.

In April, the authorities moved to prosecute Pavlov himself, having raided his home and office and seized his files and electronic devices. His alleged “crime” had been to release to the media the charge sheet against one of his clients, Ivan Safronov, a former journalist accused of treason for supposedly passing on government information. Pavlov was accused of publishing “confidential information” and his bail conditions prevent him from communicating with anyone by telephone, internet or mail. He has now fled to Georgia.

A number of Russian human rights lawyers courageously joined a protest against the prosecution of Pavlov, describing it as an attempt at “intimidating the legal community and turning it into an obedient and state-controlled organisation.” The forced disbandment of Team 29 emphasises the threat now facing all lawyers in Russia who act for organisations that seek justice for human rights violations and have connections with foreign groups.

Where can they look for support? Not to the Kremlin-controlled parliament, which churns out a web of laws against peaceful oppositionists, and not to the office of President Putin who may, by a recent constitutional amendment, stay in power until 2036. The judges should be their protectors, but Russian judges convict more than 99 per cent of defendants. Law enforcement and security agencies, including the FSB, can punish an acquittal with an investigation and a request to strip the judge of their status. Such requests are almost always granted, by other members of the judiciary. 

[…]

https://www.ft.com/content/d56cefa7-89dc-4b31-ae93-dfbdaddbe71c

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/top-rights-lawyer-who-fled-russia-decries-political-purge-2021-09-09/

https://meduza.io/en/feature/2021/09/09/they-followed-me-all-the-way-to-the-airstairs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Pavlov_(lawyer)

USA: Suspect in lawyer’s killing believed Memorial Park used in satanic abortions

09/09/21

Georgette Garcia-Kaufmann, an assistant attorney general, was killed in a shooting in her home in the Manhattan Heights neighborhood in Central El Paso on Nov. 14, 2020.

The man accused of fatally shooting an El Paso lawyer and wounding her husband has “extremist religious beliefs” and believed Memorial Park was used as a “ritualistic satanic ground to conduct abortions by manner of magic,” according to court documents.

Joseph Angel Alvarez, 38,  was arrested Wednesday in connection with the shooting of lawyers Georgette G. Kaufmann, 50, and Daniel L. Kaufmann, 47, at their home in the 3000 block of Copper Avenue in the historic Manhattan Heights neighborhood, El Paso Police Department officials said.

The shootings happened about 7:35 p.m. Nov. 14.

Alvarez said he was “executing and exterminating the pro-choice Jewish Satan worshippers” when he chose the Kaufmanns’ home to commit the fatal shooting, believing that four houses on the corners of Raynor Street and Copper Avenue were part of “satanic activities,” according to a complaint affidavit.

Alvarez targeted the four corner houses because they are near the park and he therefore believed they were part of a satanic cult, the affidavit states.

[…]

https://eu.elpasotimes.com/story/news/crime/2021/09/09/el-paso-police-arrest-joseph-alvarez-murder-georgette-kaufmann/8261841002/

Hong Kong national security law: leaders of Tiananmen vigil group remanded in custody after being charged with inciting subversion

10/09/21

Chow Hang-tung, vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China. Photo: Handout
  • Barrister Chow Hang-tung fails with bail application, while jailed pair Lee Cheuk-yan and lawyer Albert Ho opt against applying for temporary release
  • Trio are all members of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China

Three leaders of the group behind Hong Kong’s annual Tiananmen Square vigil have been remanded in custody, after being charged with inciting subversion against state power under the national security law on Friday.

Chow Hang-tung, a barrister and vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, failed to secure bail in West Kowloon Court, while chairman Lee Cheuk-yan and vice-chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, who are both already in jail in separate cases, did not apply for temporary release.

The alliance and its three leaders have been accused of inciting others to “organise, plan, commit or participate in acts by unlawful means with a view to subverting the state power”.

A charge sheet said the defendants had advocated “overthrowing or undermining the basic system of the People’s Republic of China” established by the constitution, or “overthrowing the body of central power of the People’s Republic of China”.

Prosecutor Anthony Chau Tin-hang applied for an eight-week adjournment to allow time for police to investigate, including examining computers and electronic devices seized on Thursday from the group’s June 4 museum.

When asked by the court clerk whether she understood the charge, Chow said: “I understand that it is a very ridiculous allegation.”

[…]

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3148236/hong-kong-national-security-law-leaders-tiananmen-vigil

https://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news/section/4/180115/Tiananmen-vigil-group-leaders-remanded-over-subversion-case

https://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news/section/4/180096/June-4-vigil-never-threatened-public-safety:-Albert-Ho

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3148114/national-security-law-hong-kong-police-search-june-4

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58483848

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/woman-human-rights-defender-chow-hang-tung-arrested-after-refusing-comply-police-data-request

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/08/hong-kong-police-arrest-leader-of-democracy-group-alliance

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chow_Hang-tung

https://www.lepoint.fr/monde/hong-kong-la-police-a-perquisitionne-le-musee-dedie-a-tiananmen-09-09-2021-2442411_24.php (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lematin.ch/story/trois-militants-pro-democratie-hongkongais-poursuivis-285304951339

(ITALIANO)

https://www.diepresse.com/6031543/polizei-in-hongkong-durchsucht-tiananmen-museum-und-entfernt-exponate (DEUTSCH)

May be an illustration of 1 person and text that says "S FORE HANG TUNG CHO"
May be an image of 4 people and text that says "CHOW Hang Tung LEE Cheuk Yan Albert Ho"