Daily Archives: 28/09/2021

Afghan Lawyer Latifa Sharifi Selected Recipient of the 2021 UIA/LexisNexis Rule of Law Award


Ms Latifa Sharifi, an Afghan lawyer of the Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA), a historic Afghan women’s association, was designated recipient of the 2021 UIA Rule of Law Award in cooperation with LexisNexis by the UIA Governing Board.

Ms. Sharifi was among the three Finalists of the Award selected by the Nomination Committee, along with prominent human rights lawyers Mohamed El-Baqer (Egypt) and Saif Ul-Malook (Pakistan), both of whom have consistently demonstrated unrelenting dedication and commitment to upholding the Rule of Law and human rights, despite overwhelming personal and professional hardships, including great risk to their personal safety and that of their families.

As a lawyer, Ms Latifa Sharifi particularly assisted women victims of domestic violence in divorce proceedings and helped them find refuge. Because of her defense of women, Ms Sharifi has repeatedly been threatened and intimidated because of her professional activities, and she has been forced to work clandestinely.

With this Award, UIA and LexisNexis recognize Ms. Sharifi’s courageous commitment to ensuring effective access to justice to women, a commitment for which she is regrettably in imminent danger of retaliation.

Ms Sharifi was refouled at Kabul airport on Sunday, August 15, where she went with her husband and her three children, in an attempt to flee abroad. Her youngest child was injured in the process of trying to escape the airport. Ms Sharifi is currently hiding, and she and her family remain in grave danger. 



https://patrick-henry.avocats.be/?q=node/518 (FRANCAIS)





Iran’s New Government Moves to Silence Dissent by Muzzling Leading Activists


The Iranian security establishment’s attempt to imprison four prominent human rights defenders, only a few months after the inauguration of the country’s new presidential administration, signals the beginning of a new and intensified era of repression.

“This is a clear attempt to enchain the country’s top rights defenders and create a climate of fear as this illegitimate government tightens its grip on power,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

“Raisi’s government is assuming that Iran’s international negotiating partners will look the other way while it tramples human rights,” Ghaemi added. “Yet silence is complicity. Failing to condemn this outrageous behavior is a green light to the Iranian government’s most brutal actors.”

The internationally renowned human rights activist Narges Mohammadi announced this past weekend that she has received a new sentence of 80 lashes, 30 months of imprisonment, and two monetary fines—less than a year after she completed an 8.5-year sentence for engaging in peaceful activism.


Two prominent human rights lawyers, Arash Keykhosravi and Mostafa Nili, meanwhile remain detained in Evin Prison after being arrested last month with a group of lawyers and activists that included Mahmoudian as they were preparing to sue state officials over their ineffective and deadly response to the pandemic.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s ban on importing vaccines from major vaccine-producing countries including the U.S., UK and France was followed by surging infections and deaths throughout the country as the vast majority of Iranians were unable to access safe vaccines.

Khamenei lifted his ban eight months later, after hospitals and cemeteries were overflowing and more than 100,000 people had officially died from COVID-19, though the actual number is believed to be much higher.

Keykhosravi and Nili are among only a few defense attorneys willing to accept human rights cases in the country amid a state campaign to bar independent lawyers from being able to work. The charges against the two remain withheld from the public and they have been denied bail with no set trial date.

This latest campaign of repression is a harbinger of the state’s growing campaign to crush peaceful dissent, which has intensified since President Ebrahim Raisi and Judiciary Chief Mohseni Ejei—both major human rights violators—took power in Iran this past August.

“This is a test for the international community,” said Ghaemi. “To see if we will sit by silently and continue to carelessly treat Iran as only a nuclear file while this government tries to decapitate the country’s civil rights movement.”


https://ir.voanews.com/a/arash-kheikhosrawi-medi-mahmoudian-mostafa-nili-activist-lawyer-prisoner-iran-/6226427.html (FARSI)


Turkey: Ankara, lawyers on trial for criticizing the head of Religious Affairs


Ali Erbas

The Chair and Executive Board Members of the Ankara Bar Association are accused of the crime of “insult”. They risk up to two years in prison. Similar proceedings for Diyarbakır lawyers. In a Friday sermon Erdogan’s loyalist, Ali Erbaş,  had condemned LGTBI+ and HIV-positive people, calling them deviants.

Turkish authorities have indicted Chair and Executive Board Members of the Ankara Bar Association on charges of criticizing the (powerful) head of Religious Affairs Ali Erbaş, who in a sermon had condemned LGTBI+ and HIV-positive people. If found guilty for the content of the open letter, the members of the association risk a sentence of up to two years in prison. 

The affair was triggered by a sermon given during Friday prayers by Ali Erbaş, a loyalist of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has based his power on the combination of nationalism and Islam, in which he stigmatized homosexuals, trans and HIV positive people. Homosexuality and adultery, he had said, “brings diseases and degenerates the generation.”

“Hundreds of thousands of people a year are exposed to the HIV virus caused by this great haram, which passes as adultery in the Islamic Literature. Let’s come and fight together to protect people from this kind of evil”.

In response, the leaders of the association have issued a statement in which they attacked the religious leader, accusing him of discriminating against a part of the population and of having remained “behind the centuries” with words that foment “hatred” from the height of a prestigious state office. In this document, the magistrates have identified the extremes for an indictment, putting in state of charge for “insult” promoters and signatories of the initiative. 

While the first hearing of the trial will be held at the Ankara 16th Heavy Penal Court on November 11, 2021, the executives of the Ankara Bar now face 1 year to 2 years in prison for allegedly “insulting a public official due to his or her duty for expressing beliefs, thoughts and opinions.”








https://bianet.org/1/150/250946-diyanet-isleri-baskani-ni-elestiren-ankara-barosu-na-dava (TURKCE)

https://www.ouest-france.fr/monde/turquie/turquie-ali-erbas-l-imam-de-choc-du-president-erdogan-15eef00c-161e-11ec-b71b-565657b89003 (FRANCAIS)