Category Archives: Sem categoria

Jammu & Kashmir/India: Activist Talib Hussain granted bail in rape case

October 13, 2018

Hussain was arrested from Kashmir’s Tral area on July 31, less than two hours after a relative of his estranged wife had accused him of rape.

More than two months after he was arrested on rape charges, activist Talib Hussain, who led a campaign seeking justice for an eight-year-old girl who was gang raped and murdered in Kathua district in January, was granted interim bail by a Samba court Friday. Hussain was arrested from Kashmir’s Tral area on July 31, less than two hours after a relative of his estranged wife had accused him of rape. In her complaint, the victim alleged that she was raped by the activist a month-and-a-half ago in Chadwa forest.

Earlier, Hussain’s wife had filed a complaint on charges of domestic violence and attempt to murder against him. However, a high court bench in Srinagar had stayed proceedings in the FIR.

According to official sources, a police team from Samba had visited Tral police station on July 31 and sought assistance to apprehend Hussain in connection with the FIR on domestic violence charges. The police team at that time did not possess a copy of the FIR on rape charges against the activist, they said. The sources said the Samba police deposited a copy of the FIR charging Hussain of domestic violence, though it had already been stayed by the HC.

Samba District and Sessions court granted the bail subject to furnishing a surety bond and personal bond of Rs 5 lakh each.

J&K: Activist Talib Hussain granted bail in rape case



October 12, 2018

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The Myanmar authorities must immediately and unconditionally release human rights lawyer Khin Khin Kyaw, who has been convicted of “contempt of court” and sentenced to six months in prison in connection with her role as a defense lawyer, said Amnesty International today. The conviction and imprisonment mark yet another blow for rule of law in Myanmar and sends a worrying message to human rights defenders across the country.

View report in English

Turkey: Turkish government’s witch hunt targets military personnel, jurists over alleged Gülen links

October 11, 2018

The Turkish government on Thursday detained 15 military personnel and eight civilians, including six lawyers, across Turkey as part of its massive post-coup witch hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement.

Police detained 15 military officers, including six on active duty, in seven Turkish provinces on Thursday following the issuance of detention warrants by the Manisa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for the 15 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. The officers were detained in Manisa, İstanbul, İzmir, Bursa, Kocaeli, Balıkesir and Çanakkale provinces.

Meanwhile, the Tokat Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for eight people, including a dismissed judge, a dismissed judge candidate and six lawyers on Thursday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

According to Turkey’s Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) 572 lawyers have been put behind bars since a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The majority of the lawyers were arrested on charges of “terrorism” due to their alleged links with the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has prosecuted 1,546 lawyers on overbroad charges based on questionable accusations that preclude the right to a defense; 590 lawyers remain under arrest, and 181 lawyers have been sentenced to jail terms ranging from three to 12 years, according to data compiled by the Arrested Lawyers Initiative.


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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 13/10/18)

South Africa: Human rights lawyer charged with assault for pointing his finger at a police officer

October 12, 2018

‘The accused … did unlawfully and intentionally assault Andries Petrus Swart by pointing him with a finger [sic]’

Attorney Richard Spoor. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

South African human rights attorney Richard Spoor is well-known for his sharp mind and forthright tongue‚ but now he has run into deep trouble because of his finger — or‚ to be more exact‚ for assaulting a police officer “by pointing him with a finger”.

Two weeks ago‚ the Nelspruit-based attorney was involved in a heated verbal encounter with mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe and senior Eastern Cape police commissioner Maj-Gen Andre Swart on the Wild Coast‚ which ended with Spoor being taken off to the local police station and charged with assault.

Spoor‚ who represents members of the Amadiba Crisis Committee who are opposed to an Australian-led mineral sands mining project near the village of Xolobeni‚ had complained that anti-mining residents were being marginalised from Mantashe’s public meeting.

He later appeared in the Mzamba Magistrate’s Court‚ where the case was remanded to October 25.

But now Spoor is back in the news after posting a copy of his charge sheet on Facebook on Friday. The charge sheet reads: “The accused is guilty of the crime of assault in that on or about September 23 2018 … the accused did unlawfully and intentionally assault Andries Petrus Swart by pointing him with a finger [sic].”

Saudi Arabia/Turkey/OHCHR: Saudi Arabia must immediately release all women’s rights defenders, say UN experts

October 12, 2018

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UN human rights experts* are urging Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally release all women human rights defenders, including six defenders who remain in jail on charges relating to their peaceful defence of human rights.

Ms. Israa Al-Ghomgham was detained in 2015 for her involvement in peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011. Ms. Samar Badawi, Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah, Ms. Nouf Abdulaziz, Ms. Mayya Al-Zahrani, and Ms. Hatoon Al-Fassi – who had been particularly active in campaigning for women’s rights, including the right to vote and to drive – have been in pre-trial detention for the past four months.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the actions of the Saudi authorities against these women human rights defenders and we call on them, as a matter of urgency, to immediately release and drop the charges against all of them,” the experts said.

Ms. Samar Badawi, Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah, Ms. Nouf Abdulaziz, Ms. Mayya Al-Zahrani, and Ms. Hatoon Al-Fassi are all being held in incommunicado detention. “We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately make the whereabouts of these five human rights defenders known and to grant them access to their families and lawyers,” the experts said.

The experts expressed acute concern for Ms. Israa Al-Ghomgham, who is being tried in Riyadh’s Specialised Criminal Court – set up to handle terrorism-related cases, for charges that appear to lack legal bases. She has had no legal representation during her trial. (FRANCAIS) (DEUTSCH) (PORTUGUES) (CHINESE)

USA/Ecuador: Major Environmental Groups Back Steven Donziger in Battle With Chevron Over Historic Ecuador Pollution Judgment

October 9, 2018

With Canada’s Supreme Court backing Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples against Chevron, some of the world’s leading environmental groups have thrown their support behind leading U.S. human rights attorney Steven Donziger as the oil giant continues its unprecedented retaliation campaign targeting those who held it accountable for the dumping of billions of gallons of toxic oil waste in the Amazon.

Donziger is widely considered the target of the most well-financed and vicious corporate retaliation campaign in history, with Chevron spending at least $2 billion on 60 law firms to try to undermine him with an avowed “demonization” campaign after he helped Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples and farmer communities win a $9.5 billion pollution judgment in Ecuador. To retaliate, Chevron used fraudulent evidence from a paid witness to obtain a non-monetary “fraud” judgment from a sole U.S. trial judge against Donziger.

That decision, from Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, has been rejected or ignored by 17 appellate judges in Ecuador and 12 in Canada, including by the entire Supreme Courts of both countries. Chevron had fought to have the environmental case heard in Ecuador, where the company was convicted in 2011 of dumping billions of gallons of cancer-causing oil waste that poisoned huge areas of the Amazon and decimated Indigenous groups and farmer communities with a public health catastrophe. (Here is a summary of the evidence against Chevron.)

In the last two weeks, London-based Global Witness put out an alert in support of Donziger, as did U.S.-based Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network.

Nigeria/Saudi Arabia: Chimamanda Adichie wins 2018 PEN Pinter prize for ‘outstanding’ literary work

October 11, 2018

Chimamanda Adichie has been endowed with the 2018 PEN Pinter prize for her outstanding work of literary merit that has defined the truth in human lives and societies.

The critically acclaimed author was given the coveted prize at an award-giving ceremony, which took place at the British Library in the United Kingdom, on Tuesday.

Adichie was selected by this year’s judges, Inua Ellams, Philippe Sands, Antonia Fraser and Chair of English PEN and Chair of Judges, Maureen Freely.

She is the first African to have clinched the award which is focused on defending and promoting freedom of expression, while removing barriers to literature.

At the ceremony, Adichie named Waleed Abulkhair, a lawyer and human rights activist, as the 2018 International Writer of Courage, a title awarded by the PEN Pinter winner each year.

Congratulating the Saudi Arabian lawyer and activist, she said: I am proud to share this year’s PEN Pinter Prize with activist, lawyer and writer Waleed Abulkhair.

“Waleed has dedicated his life to holding the Saudi authorities accountable for human rights abuses. He has dedicated his life to speaking out, to supporting the victims of those abuses.

“Waleed, like Harold Pinter, has shown a lucid dedication to telling his truth. But rather than being lauded for this dedication, Waleed has paid a heavy price – 15 years behind bars.

“I am deeply proud to share this prize with Waleed and I hope that this small act of solidarity will bring him some comfort, and will remind him that his struggle has not been forgotten, nor will it be in vain. (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS)

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