Daily Archives: 10/05/2022

Cambodian dissident dresses up as ‘Lady Justice’ for trial

03/05/22

An outspoken critic of Cambodia’s government dressed up as “Lady Justice,” complete with scale and blindfold, to bring attention to her case as lawyers in her trial for treason presented their final arguments Tuesday.

Theary Seng, a Cambodian American lawyer, is charged with conspiracy to commit treason and incitement to commit a felony, which together carry a maximum jail sentence of 12 years. The charges arose from a failed attempt by leading opposition figure Sam Rainsy to return to Cambodia in November 2019, after a period of self-exile. Cambodian authorities, who opposed his return, alleged Theary Seng was involved in organizing the trip, which she denies.

Four other defendants being tried on the same charges are former members and activists of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, of which Sam Rainsy was co-founder. Theary Seng denies belonging to the party.

“I am not afraid of prison. I am ready. I am prepared to go to prison if this dictatorial, autocratic regime continues with its injustice against justice itself. So I am not afraid of prison,” Theary Seng told journalists outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Cambodia’s Supreme Court in 2017 ordered the Cambodia National Rescue Party to be dissolved for allegedly plotting to seize power, but it is widely believed the action was taken to help ensure that Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party would win the 2018 general election. His ruling party made a clean sweep of the National Assembly seats.

Opponents of Hun Sen, who has been in power for 37 years, criticize him for acting in an autocratic manner and keeping the opposition on a tight leash. He has said he intends to stay in office until 2028 and has endorsed one of his sons to be his successor.

To publicize her case, Theary Seng dressed on Tuesday as Lady Justice, a symbol of law who is traditionally depicted as a Roman goddess bearing a sword and a balancing scale and wearing a blindfold and flowers in her hair. On previous trial days, she had dressed up in a prison-style orange outfit with ankle shackles and as a classical Cambodian Apsara dancer, telling reporters she was expressing her belief that the trial was “political theater.”

[…]

https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-election-2020-cambodia-phnom-penh-sam-rainsy-29caf41e807e622bbcc937d154478b5b

https://www.ucanews.com/news/eu-condemns-political-persecution-in-cambodia/97205

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theary_Seng

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theary_Seng (FRANCAIS)

Tunisia: Letter on the arrest, detention and prosecution of Abderrazak Kilani

10/05/22

In a joint letter Lawyers for Lawyers, the Law Society of England and Wales, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada express grave concern  about the arrest, detention and prosecution before a military tribunal of Abderrazak Kilani, a lawyer and former President of The Law Society of Tunisia from 2010 until 2012, as well as a former ambassador of Tunisia to the UN in Geneva.

On 2 January 2022, Mr. Kilani was contacted by the spouse of Mr. Noureddine Bhiri, asking for legal representation by Mr. Kilani for her husband. Mr. Bhiri is a lawyer, former Minister of Justice, and opposition politician. She told Mr. Kilani that her husband had been abducted by plainclothes police officers in front of their house on 31 December 2021. He had been held at an undisclosed location for two days and was subsequently admitted to Habib Bougatfa hospital in Bizerte with a deteriorated health condition. We were informed that, only at that stage, was he issued with an order for “house arrest”, without having been charged with any offence.

Mr. Bhiri’s spouse asked Mr. Kilani to accompany her to the hospital. Mr. Kilani asked police officers guarding Mr. Bhiri to meet with his client. That request was conveyed by the police to the Minister of the Interior, who denied it. Only Mr. Bhiri’s wife and the President of the Bar Council were permitted to meet with Mr. Bhiri. Mr. Kilani then told the security officers at the hospital that the Tunisian Constitution establishes that security forces should be neutral and serve the republic rather than any particular interest.

On 3 January 2022, the Minister of the Interior held a press conference where he said that “a respectable person had [incited the police and the public]” referring to a recording of Mr. Kilani’s encounter with the police at the hospital that was shared on social media. Mr. Kilani was subsequently investigated on charges of incitement to disobedience, as well as “belonging to a group likely to disturb public order”, “insulting public officials”, and “inciting [police officials] by violence, assault, threats, or fraudulent practices to cease performing their individual or collective duties”.

On 2 March 2022, a hearing took place before the military tribunal of Tunis during which Mr. Kilani’s pre-trial detention was ordered. He was sent to Mornaguia prison in Tunis where he remained in detention for approximately three weeks. On 21 March 2022, the investigating judge of the military tribunal of Tunis issued an order for his release and established the date of the next hearing before the military tribunal, which will take place on 12 May 2022. During this hearing, the merits of the charges against Mr. Kilani will be addressed.

[…]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abderrazak_Kilani

(FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.be/veux-agir/agir-individus/reseau-actions-urgentes/article/avocat-poursuivi-tribunal-militaire

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abderrazak_Kilani

Stop harassing rights lawyer, Singapore govt told

05/05/22

The Singaporean government must stop intimidating and harassing Singapore human rights lawyer M Ravi, a rights group said.

Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) chief coordinator Zaid Malek said Singaporean authorities had responded to Ravi’s outspokenness on human rights with disciplinary, police and contempt proceedings against him.

In a statement, Zaid said the action was being taken against Ravi for his staunch defence of the human rights of drug mules on death row, including many Malaysian citizens.

He said Ravi had for decades provided pro bono service to countless persons and spoken out on human rights in Singapore as well as the rights of Malaysians deprived of fair trial in Singapore.

According to LFL, Ravi faces seven professional disciplinary inquiries which could result in him being fined, suspended or disbarred, and three ongoing contempt of court proceedings, as well as separate police investigations.

“The number of pending cases launched by the government, the attorney-general and the courts is immeasurable,” Zaid said.

The proceedings include action taken against Ravi for his vigorous defence of mentally disabled Malaysian Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, who was executed amid international outcry last week, Zaid said.

[…]

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/05/05/stop-harassing-rights-lawyer-singapore-govt-told/

https://www.lawyersforliberty.org/2022/05/05/lfl-singapore-government-must-stop-the-intimidation-harassment-of-human-rights-lawyer-m-ravi-over-his-outspoken-defence-of-malaysian-death-row-prisoners-in-singapore/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M_Ravi