Daily Archives: 03/11/2021

Turkey: 9 lawyers who protested trustees put on trial upon police officers’ complaint


Upon police officers’ criminal complaint, a lawsuit has been filed against nine lawyers who made a press statement in İstanbul in protest against the dismissal of the HDP’s elected metropolitan co-mayors of Diyarbakır, Van and Mardin in 2019.

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has indicted nine lawyers who made a press statement in front of the İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan in protest against the appointment of trustees to the Metropolitan Municipalities of Diyarbakır, Van and Mardin on August 19, 2019.

A lawsuit has been filed against lawyers Eren Keskin, Akçay Taşçı, Avni Güçlü Sevimli, Gökmen Yeşil, Gülhan Kaya, Hüseyin Boğatekin, Kemal Aytaç, Sinan Zincir and Yaprak Türkmen on charge of “violating the Law no. 2911 on Meetings and Demonstrations.”

As reported by Mezopotamya Agency (MA), the indictment has recalled that the banner of “People’s will has been seized” was opened during the press statement and in her speech, Eren Keskin said, “We are once again here to protest the Eastern Edict of Reform put into force in Kurdistan. We are here against the policy of violence pursued in Kurdistan since the Republic.”

‘They prevented citizens from entering courthouse’

In its indictment against the lawyers, the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has argued that police officers urged lawyers to disperse after the press statement, but lawyers chanted slogans of “Shoulder to shoulder against fascism” and “Everywhere Amed, everywhere resistance”, thereby preventing the citizens from entering the courthouse.

The indictment has further claimed that lawyers were planning to read out the statement for the press inside the courthouse, but the police intervened against the group on the grounds that such a statement inside public institutions is “against the law on meetings and demonstrations”.



https://bianet.org/1/17/252688-polislerin-sikayetiyle-kayyimlari-protesto-eden-9-avukata-dava (TURKCE)



https://bianet.org/kurdi/mafen-mirovan/252698-ji-ber-kayum-protesto-kirine-doz-li-9-parezan-vebuye (KURDISH)

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Belarus: Viasna activists Leanid Sudalenka and Tatsiana Lasitsa sentenced to 3 and 2 ½ years in prison


The head of Viasna’s Homieĺ office Leanid Sudalenka and Viasna’s volunteer Tatsiana Lasitsa.

The Centraĺny District Court of Homieĺ announced today a verdict in the criminal trial of Viasna human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka and volunteer Tatsiana Lasitsa.

Judge Siarhei Salouski found Sudalenka and Lasitsa guilty of “organizing and preparing actions that grossly violated public order” (Part 1, Article 342 of the Criminal Code), and “training and preparing persons to participate in such actions, as well as their financing or other material support” (Part 2, Article 342 of the Criminal Code). Leanid Sudalenka was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony, and Tatsiana Lasitsa to two and a half years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.

On October 13, the prosecutors, Yauhen Fartushniak and Kiryl Vyshniakou, requested three years’ sentences for both activists. Another Viasna volunteer, Maryia Tarasenka, who was on trial in the same criminal case but remain free, was expected to be sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Tarasenka was eventually forced to leave Belarus.

The trial over human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka and Viasna volunteers Tatsiana Lasitsa and Maryia Tarasenka started on September 3 and was held behind closed doors. Sudalenka and Lasitsa have been in custody since January 18 and 21, respectively.

As Sudalenka told in his letters, he was accused of:

  • paying for firewood for the children from a large family, whose father was later convicted of “rioting”;
  • appearing in a video on YouTube to explain to blogger Andrei Pavuk what a people’s protest is;
  • a call on social media to meet Maryia Tulzhankova after serving 15 days of administrative imprisonment;
  • arranging a seminar on digital security for human rights defenders;
  • payment of fines, court fees and lawyers’ services.

Both Leanid Sudalenka and Tatsiana Lasitsa were called political prisoners by the country’s human rights community.







Iran: Joint letter on the reported torture of Payam Derafshan


Joint letter on the reported torture of Payam Derafshan

In a joint letter Lawyers for Lawyers and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) express concern over the reported acts of torture against Iranian human rights lawyer Payam Derafshan.

Payam Derafshan is a well-known human rights lawyer who has worked on various high profile cases in which he represented individuals facing politically motivated charges.

According to the information received, human rights lawyer Payam Derafshan, who was arrested in June 2020 and sentenced to 2,5 years in prison, was kept in solitary confinement, during which the lights in his cell were always kept on. It is reported that he was then injected with unknown substances in Evin prison, which resulted in physical and psychological damages. Indeed, it is reported that after these substances were injected, he experienced serious convulsions, lost consciousness and bit off part of his tongue. It is reported that after he experienced further side effects and convulsions, he was forcibly transferred to a psychiatric hospital where he was subjected to a shock therapy which resulted in damages to his brain. It is reported that lawyer Payam Derafshan has now been released on parole and receives medical treatment.

In the letter, Lawyers for Lawyers and the CCBE condemn these reported acts of torture against lawyer Payam Derafshan. Lawyers for Lawyers and the CCBE therefore respectfully urge the Iranian authorities to ensure that a full and impartial investigation into these reported acts of torture is being carried out, with a view to bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards. Lawyers for Lawyers and the CCBE wish to recall that all lawyers in Iran should be able to carry out their professional duties without fear of reprisal, hindrance, intimidation or harassment in order to preserve the independence and integrity of the administration of justice and the rule of law.

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UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers: CALL FOR INPUT: Protection of lawyers



Questionnaire for civil society and bar associations

  1. Taking into consideration the guarantees for the functioning of lawyers, contained in principles 16-22 of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, please describe the constitutional, legal, administrative and policy measures adopted in your country to enable lawyers to exercise their professional activities in favour of their clients in a free and independent manner
  1. What entities and/or mechanisms are in place to prevent and/or punish interferences with the free and independent exercise of the legal profession? Please briefly describe them and specify whether they are independent bodies or if they belong to the administrative structure of the State.
  1. Please indicate if there are any legislative, administrative, or institutional barriers that have hindered the work of lawyers and the exercise of the legal profession in your country, and describe them.
  1. Please describe the role of the national bar association(s) in protecting lawyers and the free exercise of the legal profession. Is the bar association de jure and de facto independent from the State?