Category Archives: Sem categoria

Egypt: I’ve been arrested and blackmailed for defending sexual violence survivors

December 14, 2018

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This year we celebrate 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was signed. To mark the anniversary will explore how the rights and freedoms that the document protects continue to be relevant today.

Each day this week we will publish a first person piece by someone from around the world, supported by Amnesty International, whose story relates to one of the 30 articles in the UDHR.

Their stories shed light on the everyday abuses that people continue to suffer, as well as the absolute importance of a universally upheld vision and standard for human rights in the 21st century and beyond.

Women’s rights are a burning issue. Whether we’re talking about #MeToo, reproductive rights or violence against women – both on and offline – there is no doubt that a major culture shift is taking place globally.

As a lawyer who specialises in helping women survivors of violence, witnessing this sea change brings me a great deal of hope and joy.

However, while very real progress is being made, there are places where women risk their very lives to speak up about what they have endured or witnessed.

In Egypt, where I live, women are vilified by their own government for revealing the reality of harassment – even rape – that they face each day.

One of these women is me.

I’ve been defamed all over state-affiliated media, accused of being a spy and a national security threat.

I’ve been arrested from my house, emotionally blackmailed, and traumatised. I’ve been accused of spreading false news to destroy Egypt’s reputation.

Why? Because of my work standing up for women in my country and defending women survivors of violence.

And because by claiming rape and sexual harassment exist in Egypt, the authorities think I’m a threat to the country.

I’m a target because I care.

I have been working as a lawyer for 29 years. I co-founded the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance and Lawyers for Justice and Peace and I’ve heard and seen first-hand how devastating the impact of sexual harassment, intimidation and attacks on a woman can be.

I’ve been arrested and blackmailed for defending sexual violence survivors (FRANCAIS) (ITALIANO)

Image result for azza soliman



Zimbabwe: Slain lawyer’s family, activists march for justice in Gweru as ‘killer’ held under house arrest

December 12, 2018

Musonza is reported to be currently under house arrest at his residence at the Josiah Tungamirai Airbase

The family of murdered Gweru lawyer Lucy Duve on Monday joined the Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe (WCoZ) in a march demanding justice.

The march in central Harare was part of commemorations of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.

Duve, 37, was beaten to death on November 25 allegedly by her soldier boyfriend, Tashinga Musonza, at the Josiah Tungamirai Airforce base in the Midlands city.

Musonza, 29, is said to have accused Duve of cheating on her with a fellow Airforce officer before launching a violent assault that ended with the lawyer dead.

Musonza was arrested and charged with murder, but a magistrate ruled that police had detained him beyond the constitutionally stipulated 48 hours before ordering his release.

Prosecutors can still arraign at the High Court when they are ready for trial, at which point a judge can remand him in custody.

The procession took place from the Boogey Clock near OK Supermarket where dozens of women from several civic society organisations – holding placards and Lucy’s framed pictures – marched in solidarity with the family.

Pakistan/UK: ‘Theresa May has failed Pakistan’s Christians’: An interview with Asia Bibi’s lawyer

December 15, 2018

Saif ul-Malook on fearing for his life and defending Asia Bibi from blasphemy

Asia Bibi’s daughters with a picture of their mother

Saif ul-Malook greets me in the hallway of his daughter’s home. Pakistani hospitality dictates that a guest should not go hungry, so there are plates of samosas, kebabs and biscuits. I am also of Pakistani heritage, so know that etiquette dictates that I must politely refuse a few times — or until I can no longer ignore my rumbling stomach.

Malook was flown out of Pakistan, because his life was in danger. Since leaving the country, he has kept a low profile in his daughter’s home, a modest detached house in a cul-de-sac off a busy road in a UK city. He asks for the location not to be revealed.

The reason his life is in danger is because Malook was a key figure in one of the most renowned cases in recent times. He was the lawyer who defended Asia Bibi, a poor and illiterate 47-year-old Catholic woman who faced being hanged for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed.

In 2009, Bibi was at her work on a farm when she stopped to drink some water from a well, using someone else’s cup. She was told that she could not share utensils with a Muslim because she was ‘unclean’. This led to an argument about religion, and Bibi and her family were later beaten by a mob who extracted a ‘confession’.

She was then arrested and imprisoned for more than a year before being formally charged. She was the first woman in Pakistan to be sentenced to death for blasphemy, and would have been the first to be executed for blasphemy under the current law. Her case sparked international outrage. Her family visited the UK to appeal for help, and even met the Pope.

When Malook became involved in 2014, the Supreme Court granted leave to file for an appeal, and the death penalty was temporarily suspended in 2015. Then in October this year, Malook received a call from the Supreme Court telling him that the three-judge bench would be hearing the final legal appeal. He had just two days to prepare, but he had been ready for this case for four years. (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS)


Burma: In a Muslim lawyer’s murder, Myanmar’s shattered dream

December 13, 2018

Ko Ni, a prominent member of Myanmar's Muslim minority and legal adviser for Myanmar's ruling National League for Democracy, is seen during an interview in Yangon January 13, 2016. Picture taken January 13, 2016. Ko Ni was shot dead outside the Yangon International Airport on January 29, 2017. Reuters

Hong Kong/China: ‘I will never give up’: Law professor Benny Tai takes the stand in trial of 2014 pro-democracy activists

December 12, 2018

umbrella movement occupy trial

(Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man. Photo:

Occupy Central co-founder and law professor Benny Tai made an emotional paean to civil disobedience and democracy on Wednesday as the trial of nine pro-democracy activists approaches an end.

Tai told the court that the intent of the 2014 occupy movement was to arouse public concern for Hong Kong’s democratic deficit, not to cause unreasonable obstruction.

“If we were to be guilty, we will be guilty for daring to share hope at this difficult time in Hong Kong,” he said.

“I am not afraid or ashamed of going to prison. If this is the cup I must take, I will drink with no regret.”

Tai was among the nine politicians and activists who face charges over the 79-day pro-democracy occupation movement in 2014. The defendants face various public nuisance and incitement charges, which carry a maximum jail sentence of seven years. All have pleaded not guilty.

On Wednesday, Tai said he used many years of his life to defend the city’s rule of law, adding: “I will also never give up on striving for Hong Kong’s democracy.” (FRANCAIS)

Iran: Escalating Crackdown on Lawyers

December 13, 2018

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and Farhad Meysami, a human rights defender, protest the suspension of  Sotoudeh's law license in front of the Tehran bar association in Tehran, February 2015.

Iranian authorities have escalated their crackdown on lawyers, Human Rights Watch said today. Over the past month, revolutionary courts have sentenced at least three lawyers to long prison terms for their human rights activism and security forces have arrested another one.

On December 10, 2018, the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) reported that a revolutionary court had sentenced Qasem Sholehsadi and Arash Keykhosravi, human rights lawyers arrested during a gathering in front of parliament on August 18, to six years in prison. Mohammad Najafi, a human rights lawyer who is serving a three-year sentence for exposing torture in prison, has been sentenced to an additional 13 years for two other sets of charges, his lawyer, Payam Derafshan told Human Rights Watch. Authorities have detained Amir Salar Davoudi, another human rights lawyer, since November 20.

“Now Iran is not only arresting dissidents, human rights defenders, and labor leaders, but their lawyers as well, criminalizing their fundamental freedoms,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Lawyers should be the cornerstone of protecting the rights of the accused, but in Iran, they are just another enemy of repressive authorities.”

This UN Human Rights Day, speak out for this courageous woman (SWEDISH)

Image may contain: Reza Khandan, text

The Philippines: Cainta ‘shootout’ fatality is lawyer’s security aide

December 12, 2018

A man who was killed along with a female companion in an alleged shootout with police officers in Cainta, Rizal on Monday turned out to be a security aide of lawyer and senatorial candidate Glenn Chong.

Chong yesterday lambasted the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and demanded justice for the death of Richard Santillan.

Santillan and his companion were killed in an alleged encounter in Barangay San Andres at around 1 a.m.

The fatalities, along with two other men, were in a Toyota Fortuner (NOF 845) when the HPG officers spotted them along the Eastbank Road in Cambridge Village.

Reports said the vehicle did not have validation sticker and verification showed it was last registered in 2015.

The officers flagged down the Fortuner, but Santillan reportedly stepped on the gas, triggering a chase.

A brief exchange of gunfire ensued and resulted in the death of Santillan and the woman, whose name was not immediately available.