Daily Archives: 24/11/2021

UK: Home Office urged to help ‘abandoned’ Afghan judges and lawyers

23/11/21

he Law Society says it is continuing to receive ‘desperate messages’ from judges and lawyers in Afghanistan and is urging the Home Office to open a new resettlement scheme immediately.

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: ‘We have received scores of desperate messages from people who dedicated their lives to building Afghanistan’s justice system and upholding the rule of law and are now in hiding with their families.

‘Judges, lawyers, prosecutors and others who worked in the justice system tell us they are receiving death threats from the Taliban and prisoners they helped convict – many of them terrorists – who are now roaming the country seeking revenge on those who brought them to justice.

‘Our Afghan colleagues are terrified, without work or money, and moving with their families from hiding place to hiding place in fear for their lives. These champions of justice tell us they feel abandoned by the international community, including the UK, with which they worked with so closely to establish law and order in pre-Taliban Afghanistan.’

The Society has been working closely with the government and international partners to assist in evacuating lawyers at risk. However, Boyce said it was unacceptable that the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme was still not open more than three months after Kabul fell.

‘Judges, lawyers, and prosecutors must be eligible for resettlement under this scheme and considered within the first 5,000 to be granted indefinite leave to remain under it,’ she added.

A government spokesperson said: ‘We undertook the UK’s biggest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, helping over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan who we are continuing to support. The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme is one of the most generous schemes in our country’s history and will give up to 20,000 further people at risk a new life in the UK. We continue to work at pace to open the scheme amid a complex and changing picture, working across government and with partners such as UNHCR to design the scheme.’

The Gazette understands that the scheme will not have an application process. Instead, like the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, eligible people will be prioritised and referred for resettlement to the UK.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/home-office-urged-to-help-abandoned-afghan-judges-and-lawyers/5110663.article

https://www.devex.com/news/fcdo-faces-legal-challenges-over-visa-denials-to-afghan-judges-102139

https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/afghan-professor-criticism-taliban/31573700.html

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/contact-or-visit-us/press-office/press-releases/uk-must-urgently-open-afghan-resettlement-scheme

https://www.lawsociety.ie/Solicitors/Representation/afghan-assistance

Greece Becomes Safe Haven for Dissident Afghan Women

https://www.indianarrative.com/latest-news/afghan-media-outlets-shut-since-taliban-takeover-130386.html

https://www.gisti.org/spip.php?article6645 (FRANCAIS)

Tajikistan: Abdulmajid Rizoev to spend six months in solitary confinement

24/11/21

crop_abdulmajid_rizoev.jpg

In November 2021, the family and lawyers of human rights defender Abdulmajid Rizoev were informed that he is being held in solitary confinement in Khujand in northern Tajikistan. On 11 August 2021, Dushanbe City Court rejected the cassation appeal to review the case of Abdulmajid Rizoev, and he was then transferred to the high-security prison in Khujand and placed in solitary confinement, where he is expected to serve the sentence handed down to him on 14 June 2021 in relation to posts he published on his Facebook page. According to Abdulmajid Rizoev’s lawyers, the human rights defender will remain in solitary confinement until at least until March.

On 11 August 2021, the Dushanbe City Court rejected the cassation appeal to review Abdulmajid Rizoev’s case, which the human rights defender’s lawyer applied for on 16 July 2021. On 14 June 2021, human rights defender Abdulmajid Rizoev was sentenced to 5 years and 6 months’ imprisonment for “public calls for performance of an extremist activity made using the mass media or the Internet” under Part 2, Article 307.1 of the Criminal Code of Tajikistan. The human rights defender has been detained in centre No.1 in Dushanbe since his arrest on 18 November 2020.

Abdulmajid Rizoev is a human rights defender and a lawyer, and was formerly a member of the Association of Young Lawyers “Amparo”, which was forcibly dissolved in 2012. As part of his human rights work, Abdulmajid Rizoev has been monitoring human rights violations occurring within the Tajikistan military during conscription and military service, and providing legal consultation to conscripts and soldiers, including those who have been subjected to physical and psychological abuse as new recruits in the army. In recent years, he has also been actively involved in defending the rights of residents in Dushanbe whose homes are to be demolished due to new construction projects underway. The defender provides the residents with legal representation, lodges complaints on their behalf and informs them of their rights to compensation and resettlement.

[…]

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/abdulmajid-rizoev-spend-six-months-solitary-confinement

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/10/27/universal-periodic-review-update-tajikistan

(ESPANOL)