Daily Archives: 11/10/2021

Nicaragua: Nicaraguan lawyer José Arnulfo López Cruz is forced into exile to avoid arrest for his legal defence of political prisoners

11/10/21

José Arnulfo López Cruz

The high-risk situation suffered by Nicaraguan lawyer José Arnulfo López Cruz has forced him to take refuge in Spain with his family, to avoid arrest for his work as a lawyer defending political prisoners in Nicaragua.

José Arnulfo López Cruz is a lawyer and human rights defender. He belongs to the organisation Unidad de Defensa Jurídica (UDJ), which specialises in the legal defence of political prisoners in the socio-political context of Nicaragua. José Arnulfo resigned from his position as a prosecutor in the Public Prosecutor’s Office and, from 2018 until today, has dedicated himself to the practice of law as a defender of political prisoners.

The Nicaraguan lawyer has worked for the Nicaraguan Permanent Commission on Human Rights (CPDH) and has defended high-profile cases during his career, which has [1]led to his continued harassment by police and vigilante groups.

These persistent attacks have included threats by paramilitaries during court appearances in the cases he has defended, as well as continuous police surveillance and monitoring of his workplace and home. The risk to the lawyer extends to his family members, who are also victims of this repression. In this regard, in May 2021, lawyer José Arnulfo was arbitrarily detained with his son by police officers who beat him and illegally stole their documents and money.

This harassment has become more frequent since the Nicaraguan lawyer took over the defence of pre-presidential candidate Félix Alejandro Maradiaga, who was arrested on 9 June 2021[2] . This has also affected the work of his wife, Arlen Cristina Muñoz, who was detained and questioned in defence of Félix Maradiaga by police officers on 18 June 2021.

The situation of José Arnulfo and his family became untenable after he received a call warning of his imminent arrest, which precipitated his departure from the country on 3 October 2021 and his exile to Spain, where he will seek political asylum.

[…]

(ESPANOL)

https://www.abogacia.es/actualidad/noticias/el-abogado-nicaraguense-jose-arnulfo-lopez-cruz-se-exilia-en-espana-con-su-familia/

(FRANCAIS)

Iran: Imprisoned Lawyers: Why We Planned to Sue the Supreme Leader

11/10/21

A group of detained Iranian lawyers have published an open letter declaring their intent to sue Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, former president Hassan Rouhani and ex-health minister Saeed Namaki, as well as all members of the National Coronavirus Taskforce and the Prosecutor-General.

Mustafa Nili, Arash Kaykhosravi and Mehdi Mahmoudian were among six people detained in mid-August as they prepared to file a lawsuit against the Supreme Leader for gross mishandling of Covid-19 in Iran.

The news website Emtedad published their letter on Sunday, quoting it as follows: “As a group of Iranian citizens, we wanted to speak out about the unprofessional speeches, the simplifications, the carelessness and arrogance of the country’s officials during the coronavirus pandemic.

“From preventing the timely purchase of a coronavirus vaccine to delaying its import due to political motives; from the extrajudicial establishment of the National Coronavirus Taskforce to the deposit of billions of dollars in non-specialist corporations and selected institutions, instead of reputable ones; from the murder and painful deaths of tens of thousands of our compatriots, to the deaths of hundreds of health workers.”

Nili, Kaykhosravi and Mahmoudian wrote that they had decided to file the complaint against those officials who had “sent millions of our compatriots into mourning” by “recklessness, bigotry, inaction and prioritizing factional, political and economic interests over the health of the people. We file charges against them for involuntary manslaughter, amongst other things.”

Before they had a chance to file it, however, the three said 15 agents of the judiciary had raided their offices in Tehran “violently and without authorization… after three hours of useless quarrelling, they detained us to prevent us from filing a complaint.”

Since then, they said, they had been held in Ward 241 of Evin Prison, blocked from having visits or phone calls, and subjected to 23 days of solitary confinement. This, they said, would be added to their complaint as a “clear example of torture” and a violation of Iran’s own Constitution.

[…]

https://iranwire.com/en/features/10526

https://www.iranintl.com/en/20211010973842

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/mustafa-nili

(FRANCAIS)

Advocacy charter Hungary

07/10/21

Advocacy charter Hungary

Lawyers for Lawyers, together with the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), submitted an advocacy charter to several country delegations to draw attention to the situation of lawyers in Hungary with regard to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Hungary. In March 2021, Lawyers for Lawyers and the IBAHRI submitted a report for the UPR of Hungary.

In the report, Lawyers for Lawyers and the IBAHRI have expressed their concern about the independence of the legal profession, legislative initiatives by the Hungarian government, and the public rhetoric against lawyers and judges.

Lawyers for Lawyers and the IBAHRI have expressed their concern about the independence of the legal profession, legislation and legislative initiatives impacting the judicial independence, and the public rhetoric against lawyers and judges. With adoption of the so-called “Stop Soros” legislation of 2018, the Hungarian government has restricted the rights of lawyers to carry out their professional duties independently and curtained their freedom of association by criminalizing the legal assistance provided by the immigration lawyers and legal NGOs to undocumented migrants.

Moreover, the Hungarian government adopted a new law in 2019 that targets the independence of the judicial system by granting the possibility to public authorities to file a constitutional complaint with the Constitutional Court instead of passing through the ordinary court system. As the independence of the Constitutional Court has been seriously undermined by the governing majority, the Court has been reluctant to hold authorities accountable for their wrongful acts. Moreover, through this new law Constitutional Court judges after their retirement could almost automatically become judges of the Hungarian Supreme Court. This would allow the ruling majority, which currently needs two-third majority in Parliament to elect Constitutional Court justices, to indirectly select and have so-called ‘loyal judges’ at the Supreme Court as well. This might have a direct effect on further eroding impartiality principle.

Lastly, according to our information, media sources have been widely used in Hungary to target, discredit, and demonize lawyers and judges that criticize the government, and uphold human rights. Herewith, the public rhetoric portrays lawyers as the enemies of the Hungarian state as well as defenders of terrorists and criminals.

https://www.upr-info.org/en/review/Hungary