Monthly Archives: December 2021
A group of men riding in a shaded vehicle blocked the car of Nafeesa Hajar, deputy head of the Darfur Bar Association (DBA), when she was heading home in Khartoum on Tuesday evening.
The group, whose identity was not revealed, threatened the lawyer if she and her colleagues would continue to provide legal aid to detained protesters and those who were sexually harassed and raped during the December 25 demonstrations.
The DBA said in a statement yesterday that more of its lawyers have been intimidated in the same way.
The Association stated that it will continue to do its work, which is “providing legal aid to those affected by human rights violations and championing rights and freedoms issues”.
The Darfur lawyers will submit a memorandum to the Attorney General requesting “to take these threats seriously as well as the criminal infringement that may result from them”.
A Russian court has blocked a website that connects detained protesters with lawyers who are willing to represent them, accusing it of promoting terrorism and extremism. OVD-Info was set up after mass protests 10 years ago and has provided legal support to thousands of people who were detained after attending street protests. One lawyer who works with them says this was just the beginning of a “coordinated and organized” attack on lawyers by the Russian state.
Barrister and journalist Dr Margaret Ng, a recipient of the International Bar Association’s award for outstanding contribution to human rights, is among seven people arrested today in Hong Kong’s latest clampdown on critical voices. Ng is already under a one-year suspended prison sentence passed earlier this year for her alleged role in pro-democracy protests.
According to local media, Ng was arrested at 6am as more than 200 police raided homes and the offices of Stand News, an independent news website. Stand’s former and acting editors, as well as singer Denise Ho, were among those arrested.
In an apparent nod to international criticism of Beijing’s imposition of mainland Chinese laws on the territory, a police statement said today’s arrests were made under the colonial-era Crimes Ordinance. The wide-ranging measure, last revised in 1972, creates an offence of conspiracy to print or distribute seditious materials. Ng would face up to two years in prison if convicted.
In a press conference covered by the Hong Kong Free Press, a senior police officer said that Stand News had published ’seditious materials’ following the enactment of the Beijing-imposed National Security Law last June ‘with intent to cause hatred towards the government, the judiciary and cause discontent among the public’.
The clampdown has been widely condemned. Grace Leung, a lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who specialises in media regulation and policies, told the Financial Times that it extends the ’chilling effect’ on journalism in the region.
Cambridge-educated Ng, called to the bar in 1988, is a former member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and a veteran campaigner for democracy. In 2019 she was named as joint winner of the International Bar Association’s annual award for outstanding contribution by a legal practitioner to human rights. Earlier this year she was given a suspended prison sentence after pleading not guilty to charges of organising and participating in an unauthorised assembly.
Ding Jiaxi and Xu Zhiyong have spent two years in detention amid reports that they have been tortured.
Two years after a Chinese human rights lawyer was detained on suspicion of “subversion” for taking part in a gathering in the southwestern Chinese city of Xiamen, his wife says she has growing concerns for his safety, with no trial date yet made public.
Ding Jiaxi is currently being held under incommunicado criminal detention in the Linshi Detention Center in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong following his initial detention in the wake of a December 2019 gathering of dissidents and rights activists in Xiamen.
He has been denied permission to meet with either family members or a lawyer, with detainees accused of subversion and held under “residential surveillance at a designated location” (RSDL) and criminal detention.
Ding’s wife Luo Shengchun told RFA that her husband is in poor health after two years in poor conditions.
“The food is still a steamed bun and a bowl of soup … there is still no hot water or infection control, and hygiene is very poor,” Luo said. “Ding has arthritis, diarrhea and swollen legs.”
“You can file a complaint and make freedom of information requests, but they just ignore all of it,” she said.
Ding’s detention came after he attended a dinner with prominent activists in Xiamen, including the founder of the New Citizens’ Movement, Xu Zhiyong, in early December 2019.
He and several others who had attended that dinner were arrested on Dec. 26, including Zhang Zhongshun, Dai Zhenya and Li Shuai.
“They have designated the New Citizens’ Movement … an ‘illegal organization’, and linked the charges against Xu Zhiyong and Ding to a rights website run by an overseas-based NGO,” Luo said.
She said the evidence being used against the detainees includes participating in a Telegram group chat, articles and online posts, and organizing classes in non-violent resistance.
A lawyer at the North Caucasus branch of the Russian human rights organization Committee Against Torture says 21 of his relatives have been “abducted” in Chechnya.
Over the past few days, a total of six opposition activists, who have been critical of the Chechen authorities, and human rights defenders have reported the detention or disappearance of dozens of relatives.
Abubakar Yangulbaev of the Committee Against Torture told Caucasus.Realities of RFE/RL’s Russian Service on December 25 that unidentified men wearing black uniforms took his relatives to police stations, and seized their mobile phones, passports, as well as other documents.
The raids took place on December 23-25 in the village of Goity and the regional capital, Grozny, he said.
“They have not been charged with any official indictments. According to my information, 21 people have been abducted. At the moment in Chechnya there is a mass abduction of relatives of opposition bloggers, human rights activists, in general people dissatisfied” with Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, Yangulbaev said.
The lawyer said that he and his brother are accused of moderating and administrating the opposition 1ADAT Telegram channel, which he denied.
Since December 22, it has been reported that relatives of opposition bloggers Tumso Abdurakhmanov, Khasan Khalitov, Minkail Malizayev, human rights defenders Mansur Sadulaev and Aslan Artsuev have disappeared or been detained.
The license of lawyer Lizaveta Matveyeva defended the political prisoners Henadz Mazheika, Uladzimir Matskevich, Ala Lapatka, and Iryna Slaunikava has been revoked, the HRC Viasna reports.
Also, Lizaveta was to defend Pavel Vinahradau, who was detained the other day.
Matveyeva was expelled from the Minsk City Bar for allegedly committing a disciplinary offense. She was summoned for extraordinary re-attestation, but she disagreed and appealed against the re-attestation in court. Because this decision was appealed, she did not appear for the re-certification. Her absence was considered disciplinary misconduct.
The Minister of Justice decided to punish Lizaveta Matveyeva and suspended her license. Yesterday the MSCA Board considered the disciplinary action and decided to expel Lizaveta.
The attorneys had been providing legal assistance to defendants in politically motivated cases put forward by the junta
Four lawyers from Mandalay who had been working on the defence teams for politically motivated cases put forward by the junta have been held in an unidentified location for days since their December 19 arrest by the military authorities, according to members of their legal networks.
The families of the attorneys have not been able to confirm their whereabouts since they were taken into junta custody.
They were abducted from the office of Shwe Alin Legal Services near the No. 3 police station in Chanmyathazi Township, according to a Mandalay-based lawyer who spoke to Myanmar Now on the condition of anonymity.
“They haven’t been transferred to Obo prison yet,” the lawyer said, referring to a major prison in the region. “We were told that they were still at the interrogation centre. No case has been filed against them either.”
Legal sources did not want to name three of the detained lawyers, but confirmed that one is Lwin Lwin Mar, who had been helping individuals charged with incitement since the February 1 coup. All four of the lawyers are women.
Déclaration de Me Bandu Mputu:
C’est moi maître BANDU MPUTU Platini avocat au barreau du Kongo Centrale, Je sollicite votre soutiens ( publier, informer l’opinion nationale et internationale sur les comportement de nos autorités et de leurs femmes) pour que cette histoire ne puisse plus se répéter à un de nous. Nous avons été victime de torture sur ordre de la femme du général BAMBOLE.
Un client en Europe m’a laissé la gestion de sa parcelle ici à Kinshasa. Et le petit frère de la femme du général était dedans comme locataire mais il s’est arrangé pour trouver un autre locataire, récupérer sa garantie et libérer la maison sans passé par le bailleur moins encore son représentant que nous sommes. Après nous avons constaté qu’il avait pris plus parce qu’ il devait au bailleurs et il m’a donné rendez-vous pour prendre le plus chez sa sœur la femme du général, sur place après une discussion orale, la femme du général va ordonner que nous soyons menottés, tabassés par 6 militaires armées (photos) présentement notre corps souffre énormément. Je sollicite pour soutien par tous le moyen pour que la justice soit faite…publiée, informée les autorité pour ma santé, ma vie ainsi que prévenir ce genre de comportement …l’avocat est un intermédiaire et il a rien avoir avec le fait de partie.
India: Madhya Pradesh High Court Seeks Details on Intention of State to Promulgate Advocates Protection Act
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has sought details about the present situation and the intention of the State with regard to promulgating the Advocates Protection Act.