Daily Archives: 16/11/2021

China: Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Circulate Open Letter to Shanghai Authorities Appealing for Citizen Journalist Zhang Zhan to Receive a Full Physical Examination and Emergency Medical Treatment


To the directors of the Shanghai Municipal Justice Bureau and Shanghai Women’s Prison:

We, as citizens, as friends of Zhang Zhan (张展), and as people who admire her sense of conscience, have been concerned about the deteriorating state of her health. We are deeply concerned to have learned that Zhang Zhan’s older brother recently filed an application for medical parole on her behalf, and that she is on the verge of death. To prevent a tragedy, we feel it necessary to write you a letter to express our collective request: that Zhang Zhan be given a comprehensive physical examination and that she receive timely emergency medical treatment.

Zhang Zhan has been on a hunger strike for months, which is not a situation that those who care about her would like to see. We have also persuaded Zhang Zhan through different channels to stop the hunger strike and protect her health. But this is a matter of her own faith and conscience. Based on information provided by Zhang’s attorneys and family members, as well as our knowledge of Zhang Zhan’s character, her object in going on hunger strike is not to obtain a lighter sentence in court nor to receive medical parole or early release following the verdict. Zhang Zhan’s hunger strike is a pure expression of rejection in the face of persecution.

If Zhang Zhan were really guilty, even if she believed she was innocent and went on a hunger strike to the point of emaciation, from the perspective of legal order, we would not propose that she be allowed medical parole or to serve her sentence outside of prison; nor would we call on you to give her a full medical checkup and emergency aid.

However, Zhang Zhan is not guilty.

Zhang Zhan is someone who went to Wuhan alone when many people fled the city from the coronavirus epidemic. This is the kind of rare courage of someone who makes sacrifices for the common good in times of national crisis or lays down their life for a righteous cause. It can be said that individuals like Zhang Zhan are a nation’s greatest spiritual treasure. While in Wuhan, she spent most of her time quietly documenting the lives of Wuhan residents during the epidemic, occasionally helping others to send out distress information, while not interfering in any way with the government’s disaster prevention and relief efforts. Her role during the epidemic was essentially that of a citizen journalist. How could such behavior be considered “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” (“寻衅滋事”)?


The letter is open to the public to co-sign. If you wish to co-sign it, please contact email: shifangzhangzhan@gmail.com with your name and occupation.

To view the letter in Chinese and the list of co-signatories, please visit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ft4lLNVe1wp7TCHwvqULnct5P7LPmBSY/edit?rtpof=true&sd=true




https://www.amnesty.fr/liberte-d-expression/actualites/zhang-zhan-vie-en-danger-chine (FRANCAIS)



https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/asien/zhang-zhan-109.html (DEUTSCH)


Appeal for legal assistance for Afghan women at risk


The International Bar Association, through its Human Rights Institute, has been assisting women at risk, and other vulnerable individuals, in Afghanistan. Through our efforts, and that of a number of other non-governmental organisations, more than 100 women judges, journalists, lawyers and other human rights defenders, plus their families, have been evacuated from Afghanistan. This effort is in addition to assisting the leadership of the now-defunct Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (which the IBA, together with Afghan lawyers, established in 2008) in leaving Kabul.

The vast majority of the evacuees are now in Greece. However, 70 of the families do not yet have final destinations. The Greek authorities have provided them with temporary visas to remain in Greece for a short period. We are currently working to ensure that these families find, and are transferred to, more permanent residences as soon as possible. This is where we need assistance. 

We are seeking lawyers who are willing to assist these families by advocating for them in securing passage to their ultimate location. We are not seeking financial assistance; we are looking for lawyers ready to give pro bono time to assist the families.

Please let us know if you can assist by contacting us at Afghan.Appeal@int-bar.org. We will then contact you directly as to the next steps of engagement. Thank you in advance for your support!






https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2021/11/15/refugies-afghans-face-a-l-horreur-face-a-l-urgence-un-changement-de-politique-s-impose_6102076_3232.html (FRANCAIS)

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Registrations can be made here: https://linktr.ee/ourrace

Kenya/Canada: Miguna Blocked From Boarding Flight to Nairobi


An undated image of exiled lawyer Miguna Miguna during a past interview.
Exiled lawyer Miguna Miguna’s quest to return to Kenya has met yet another stumbling block after Air France declined to allow him into a flight bound for Nairobi.

In a statement published on Monday, November 15, Miguna revealed that  they French carrier refused to fly him to Kenya on account of orders made by the Kenyan government through red alerts. 

Miguna, who had checked into Berlin, indicated that he had booked a plane ticket to Nairobi two weeks ago – on October 29. 

“This is to inform Kenyans and the world that Air France officials at the check-in counter at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport have just informed me that the Government of Kenya sent them a “Red Alert” this morning that they cannot fly me to Nairobi, ” the statement read in part.

He, however, indicated that the airline had refused to give me a copy of the “Red Alert” or anything else they can give me proving the directive they were acting on.

In a statement  seen by Kenyans.co.ke,  the airline issued the lawyer with a denied boarding certificate. However, it only identified the cause  as “other reason” which was added to a list of four using a pen.

The other reasons for being denied a entry to a flight indicated in the form and had been crossed out include the unavailability of seats, presentation of a passenger after the flight check in time limit and presentation after the the flight boarding closing time.

Miguna Miguna had initially stated that the government had planned to stop his return through issuing red alerts against him. In this regard, he filed a petition in court to have the government compelled to lift the red alerts.

However, the High Court in Nairobi dismissed his application, ruling that there was no sufficient evidence showing that he had been stopped from returning to the country. 

The lawyer, who is now based in Canada, was kicked out of the country on grounds that he had renounced his Kenyan citizenship.

The government, through the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, asked him to regularise his papers to be allowed into the country.

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and the President of the Law Society of Kenya, Nelson Havi, had stated that they would be travelling to ensure that they bring back Miguna to Kenya.







Turkey: Progressive Lawyers’ Association case: Prosecutor seeks prison sentences for all lawyers


The prosecutor has submitted their opinion as to the accusations to the İstanbul 18th Heavy Penal Court in the case of lawyers from the Progressive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD) and the People’s Law Bureau (HHB).

The next hearing will be held tomorrow (November 17). The court previously ruled that the case should be heard at the Silivri Prisons Campus. It was previously heard at the İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan.

Prosecutor Haluk Tunç demanded that all lawyers tried in two separate cases that are now merged be sentenced for “managing an illegal organization”, “membership in an illegal organization” or “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.”

CLICK – 159-year prison sentence for lawyers was based on ‘non-existent’ evidence 

The prosecutor also requested an arrest warrant for lawyer Taylan Tanay because “of the nature of the crime,” “the charged offense is included in the crimes listed in article 100/3 of the Code of Criminal procedure” and “judicial control measures would be insufficient considering the upper and lower limits of the demanded sentences.”

The arrests of lawyers Barkın Timtik and Selçuk Kozağaçlı should continue, the prosecutor stated.



https://lesad.be/rassemblement-ce-16-novembre-2021-12-h-30-en-soutien-aux-avocats-menaces-en-turquie/ (FRANCAIS)


https://bianet.org/1/13/253389-chd-davasinda-mutalaa-tum-avukatlara-ceza-istendi (TURKCE)

France: Installation de Rémy Heitz : les relations entre avocats et magistrats en passe de se réchauffer ?


Installation de Rémy Heitz : les relations entre avocats et magistrats en passe de se réchauffer ?

Rémy Heitz a été installé dans ses fonctions de nouveau procureur général près la Cour d’appel de Paris ce lundi 27 septembre, en présence notamment du garde des sceaux Eric Dupond-Moretti et de l’ancienne ministre Nicole Belloubet.

Etrange ambiance au palais de la Cité, ce lundi 27 septembre. Alors que le procès des attentats du 13 novembre 2015 fait relâche le lundi, la cour d’appel a profité d’un allègement tout relatif de l’activité et du dispositif de sécurité pour organiser l’installation de Rémy Heitz à son nouveau poste de procureur général. Il occupait jusque-là les fonctions de procureur de Paris, poste où il avait succédé en novembre 2018 à François Molins. Dans ce palais à demi condamné et quasiment désert, les invités se pressaient dans la première chambre comme avant la crise sanitaire. Une ambiance nettement plus chaleureuse qu’à la dernière rentrée solennelle où quelques chaises éparses et placées à bonne distance les unes des autres accueillaient à peine 10% du public habituel.

« Entretenir l’esprit des états généraux de novembre 2019 »

On dit de Rémy Heitz qu’il mène sa carrière la vitesse de l’éclair. Cette nomination confirme un parcours qualifié par ses pairs d’exceptionnel

On dit aussi que c’est un homme doux et courtois. En cela, il tranche avec celle qui l’a précédé, Catherine Champrenault, dont la rigidité en particulier avec les avocats fut à l’origine des tensions autour de l’affaire Nioré, mais aussi des dissensions avec l’ancienne patronne du Parquet national financier Eliane Houlette qui ont éclaté au grand jour à l’occasion des auditions devant l’assemblée nationale menées par le député Ugo Bernalicis. Avant son départ le 30 juin dernier, Catherine Champrenault a fait appel de la décision de l’ordre de Paris blanchissant l’ancien délégué aux perquisitions des accusations qu’elle portait contre lui. Vincent Nioré  demeure à ce jour convoqué le 18 novembre prochain devant la cour.

Alors que la tension entre avocats et magistrats est encore montée d’un cran à la suite de l’affaire Sollacaro, le renoncement du nouveau Procureur général  aux poursuites contre celui qui sera le vice-bâtonnier de Paris à compter du 1erjanvier prochain constituerait un geste d’apaisement. Il serait d’autant plus bienvenu que le gouvernement a pour sa part renoncé aux poursuites contre le magistrat d’Aix-en-Provence qui avait expulsé Me Sollacaro manu militari de la salle d’audience puis jugé les prévenus sans leurs avocats. Quitte à effacer une ardoise, autant les effacer toutes. Le bâtonnier de Paris Olivier Cousi était présent à la cérémonie, de même que la future bâtonnière Julie Couturier, et les anciens bâtonniers de Paris Marie-Aimée Peyron et Pierre-Olivier Sur. Mais pas Vincent Nioré, dont on murmure qu’il n’aurait pas été invité.  Un regrettable oubli certainement. Rémy Heitz n’a abordé le sujet des tensions entre avocats et magistrats lors de son discours qu’indirectement en soulignant que tout le monde était en  quête « de sérénité, d’équilibre et de mesure ». Il a invité les professionnels de justice à se concentrer sur ce qui les rassemble, l’éthique et la déontologie, et à « entretenir l’esprit des états généraux de novembre 2019 ».  Ces derniers avaient été réunis à la suite de l’expulsion brutale par les forces de l’ordre d’une avocate hors du bureau d’une magistrate….Depuis lors, la situation ne s’est pas réellement améliorée.











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Ghana: Rights Lawyer Xavier-Sosu to face Court today


Xavier-Sosu to face Court tomorrow

Mr Francis Xavier Sosu, Member of Parliament for Madina, will on Tuesday, November 16, appear before a Kaneshie District Court to answer charges of causing damage to public property and obstructing traffic on a highway.

Last week, the legislator was billed to appear before the Court, but he absented himself because he was on Parliamentary duties outside the country.

The matter was therefore adjourned to November 16.

Soon after the Court adjourned, it came to light that the Police had received a letter from the Speaker of Parliament indicating that the MP was on parliamentary duties outside Ghana.

Sosu’s charge stem from a demonstration he led in his constituency on October 25, this year over bad roads in his area.

The protest was to compel stakeholders to repair the deplorable roads in the Madina Constituency.