UK/Egypt: Support for lawyer at York bookshop on women’s day

March 8, 2018

Friends of Egyptian lawyer, Azza Soliman at the Books for Amnesty Shop in Goodramgate with (l-r), Patricia Bartley , Centre for Applied Human Rights University of York and Margot Brown of Books for Amnesty  Picture Frank Dwyer.

FRIENDS of an internationally-renowned human rights lawyer have paid tribute to her in York to mark International Women’s Day.

Egyptian lawyer Azza Soliman met Patricia Bartley – from the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York – and Margot Brown of Books for Amnesty, when she lived in York in 2013.

Azza now works to defend victims of torture, arbitrary detention, domestic violence and rape in Egypt, but her actions have led her to be labelled a threat to the country’s national security. Her assets have been frozen, and she is banned from travelling.

A special window display including a portrait of Azza was put up at the Books for Amnesty shop in Goodramgate for the York International Women’s Festival, where Amnesty International Newsletters were handed out containing articles about Azza, and details of a petition to request her human rights are respected.

Sue Cooke, former Sheriff of York, said: “I was inspired by my meetings with Azza, she is a brave woman doing vital work for and with her country women, she deserves our help to continue this important work.” (SIGN THE PETITION!) (FRANCAIS) (ESPANOL) (NEDERLANDS) (NEDERLANDS) (NEDERLANDS) (SWEDISH)


China: Li Yuhan on hunger strike

March 8, 2018


On 1 March 2018, detained human rights lawyer Li Yuhan (李昱函) confirmed that she had been on hunger strike for one week, in protest against her treatment by the Chinese judicial system.

Li Yuhan is a Beijing-based human rights lawyer and advocate for victims of human rights violations, known to many in China’s human rights community as “big sister”. She has represented clients in numerous sensitive cases on freedom of belief and access to government information. In 2015, Li Yuhan acted as defence counsel for fellow lawyer Wang Yu, one of the central victims of China’s “709” crackdown on human rights lawyers.

Li Yuhan was arrested on 9 October 2017 and on 31 October 2017, her family learned that she had been placed under criminal detention in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles”.

On 28 February 2017, Li Yuhan’s son informed the human rights community that he heard that his mother had initiated a hunger strike. Li Yuhan’s communication with family and legal counsel is extremely limited, and her son only received this information via the lawyer of one of Li Yuhan’s cellmates.

On 1 March 2017, Li Yuhan’s lawyer, Ma Wei, traveled to the Shenyang City detention centre where Li Yuhan is being held. In a meeting with his client, Ma Wei learned that Li Yuhan had stopped accepting food from 24 February. Li Yuhan informed her lawyer that she is protesting her prolonged detention and her detention officer’s delayed delivery of necessary medication.

Syria: Regional: On International Women’s Day, GCHR honours women’s rights defenders in the Gulf and neighbouring countries

March 8, 2018

On International Women’s Day, marked annually on 08 March, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) honours Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in the region and beyond. While remembering those who passed away, we celebrate those who continue the struggle. We stand in solidarity with their efforts while renewing our commitment to provide any possible support to WHRDs in the Gulf region and neighbouring countries to carry out their activism.

In 2018, women all over the world are still demanding their basic rights to equal participation and representation politically, socially and economically. Despite experiencing a severe backlash from state and non-state actors and other components of society, WHRDs and feminist groups and their organisations are becoming stronger. Demanding their rights, challenging stereotypes and raising awareness through physical and online campaigns.

Women continue to be at the forefront of human rights struggles in areas of conflict such as Iraq, Yemen and Syria. They are continuously being subjected to other layers of discrimination, segregation and gender-based targeting to weaken their determination, increase their vulnerability, shake their confidence and threaten their security. However, this has never succeeded in deterring them from defending their rights and the rights of others.


In Syria, and precisely from Eastern Ghouta, Razan Zaitouneh, the head of the Violations Documentation Centre in Syria (VDC), winner of the 2011 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and the 2011 Anna Politkovskaya Award of RAW in WAR (Reach All Women In War), remains enforceably disappeared for the fourth year, along with her three colleagues from VDC, including WHRD Samira Al-Khalil. (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (ESPANOL)

Algeria: 6 Face Trial for Peaceful Protest

March 7, 2018

Human Rights Watch

Six human rights and political activists face prison terms for a peaceful protest in support of a human rights lawyer on trial, Human Rights Watch said today. Algerian authorities should drop all charges against the six before their new trial session, scheduled for March 20, 2018.

Authorities arrested the six on July 13, 2016, as they prepared to protest at the Ghardaia courthouse, where the lawyer, Salah Dabouz, had a court hearing. They were released the same day but were summoned in October 2017 for a hearing and charged with “incitement to a gathering of an unarmed nature,” insulting a public official, and refusing to abide by a law or decree. They are free pending trial.

“Prosecuting people who hold up banners calling for justice and respect for human rights before a courthouse is a telling illustration of Algeria’s intolerance of any public display of dissent,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch.

The proceedings against Dabouz started shortly after he denounced the prison conditions for Kameleddine Fekhar, former president of the Ghardaia section of the LADDH, and his co-defendants, who were on trial for their alleged role in the deadly ethnic clashes that erupted in the Mzab region between 2013 and 2015.

An investigating judge summoned Dabouz on June 13, 2016, to answer accusations that he had insulted state institutions and smuggled a computer with a camera into Ghardaia prison. The court had kept him under judicial supervision from July 2016 until March 2017. Dabouz has not subsequently been brought to trial on these accusations. (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS)

The Philippines: Filipino chief justice asks people to fight authoritarianism

March 7, 2018

Supporters of Philippine Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno sing the national anthem during a rally outside the House of Representatives in metropolitan Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. A spokesman for the chief justice on the Philippine

The Philippines‘ embattled Supreme Court chief justice urged Filipinos on Wednesday to stand up against authoritarianism and threats to human rights, in an indirect criticism of the country’s volatile leader, who has long called for her removal.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is facing two ouster attempts, including by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, whose legal counsel asked the Supreme Court to expel her for allegedly not declaring her assets in the past, making her ineligible to be the country’s judicial leader.

The justice committee of the House of Representatives, which is dominated by Duterte’s allies, is expected to vote Thursday to uphold an impeachment case against Sereno, who has gone on indefinite leave. Thirteen justices of the 15-member court have backed Sereno’s leave amid the strife lashing the judiciary.

“The current state of the nation is one where perceived enemies of the dominant order are considered fair game for harassment, intimidation and persecution, where shortcuts are preferred over adherence to constitutional guarantees of human rights,” Sereno said in a speech at a Manila college. (TAGALOG)



March 7, 2018

Image may contain: Shahanur Saikot

BANGLADESH: Continuous legal harassment against Bangladeshi lawyer, human rights defender and blogger Mr. Shahanur Islam

Dear Friends,

Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights urges your prompt and urgent intervention on the continuous legal harassment against Bangladeshi lawyer, human rights defender and blogger Mr. Shahanur Islam, who is implicated with a false and fabricated criminal charge due to his constant battle against gross human rights violations as well as fighting to ensure constitutional recognition of LGBT rights in Bangladesh.


Name & Identity of the Victim : Mr. Shahanur Islam @ Saikot @ Dulal, Secretary General and Honorary Executive Director of Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR). He is an enrolled as an Advocate under the Bangladesh Bar Council as well as is a member of district Bar Association Naogaon and Dhaka. He is also an International Member of Amnesty International and administrator of the online LGBT Bengali portal বৈচিত্র্য.বাংলা

In the course of his professional duties, he deals with many legal cases against perpetrators at court. He has also conducted many fact-finding missions on human rights violations as well as issued local and international urgent appeals requesting attention to concerned authorities. Due to his vital role for the protection and promotion of human rights and criminal justice in Bangladesh, he was the recipient of the Asia JusticeMakers Fellowship-2010, awarded by International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), Switzerland

Name & Identity of the Perpetrators  : i) Md. Jahurul Islam, Member, District Council, Naogaon, President, Jubodal (youth wing of Bangladesh Nationalish Party (BNP), Biashbari Union Council Branch, Badalgachhi Upazila, Naogaon;

  1. ii) SM Jobayer Hossain, Sub-Inspector of Police, Badalgachhi Police Station, Naogaon;

iii) Md. Mahbubur Rahman, Assistnt Sub-Inspector of Police, Badalgachhi Police Station, Naogaon;

  1. iv) Jalal Uddin, Officer in Charge, Badalgachhi Police Station, Naogaon.

Date & time of the Incident                         : December 21, 2017 around at 6:00 am

Number and date of General Diary             : Badalgachhi Police Station GD # 886, December 23, 2017

Number and date of the case                      :Badalgachhi Police Station Non-Government Register Prosecution # 1, January 29, 2018

Section                                                         : 427 & 506 under Penal Code of Bangladesh

Date of Issue Warrant of Arrest by Court            : February 14, 2018


On December 23, 2018, Md. Jahurul Islam, Member of District Council, Naogaon as well as President of Jubodal (youth wing of Bangladesh Nationalish Party (BNP), Biashbari Union Branch, Badalgachhi Upazila, Naogaon intentionally made a false and fabricated allegation against Mr. Shahanur Islam @ Saikot @ Md. Dulal Hossain and others two member of his family. In his allegation Md. Jahurul Islam stated that on December 21, 2017 around at 6:00am Mr. Shahanur Islam and his other two family members intimidated him with death threats using deadly weapon after committing mischief and thereby causing damage to his crops, for an amount of 5000.00 taka.

After receiving the allegation, Badalgachhi Police Station, Naogaon registered a General Diary being Badalgachhi Police Station GD number 886, dated on December 23, 2017 against Mr. Shahanur Islam @ Saikot @ Md. Dulal Hossain and others two members of his family with a charge of mischief causing damage and criminal intimation to Md. Jahurul Islam.

Then on January 2, 2018, SM Jobayer Hossain, Sub-Inspector of Police, Badalgachhi Police Station, Naogaon prayed to the concern Senior Judicial Magistrate to investigate the issue. After obtaining permission, Mr. Hossain submitted the prosecution report being Non -Government Registered Prosecution Number 1/2018 against Mr. Shahanur Islam and his other two family members under section 427 & 506 of the Penal Code to the concerned court on January 29, 2018 through interconnecting and conspiracy with each of the perpetrators.

Then on February 4, 2018 the concerned court took the allegation in cognizance and issued the summons against Mr. Shahanur Islam and his two family members to present before the court on February 14, 2018 and asked the Badalgachhi Police Station to ensure the execution of Summon to Mr. Shahanur Islam and his others two family members.

Then on February 12, 2018, Md. Mahbubur Rahman, Assistnt Sub-Inspector of Police, Badalgachhi Police Station, Naogaon executed the summons forging the signature of Mr. Shahanur Islam and his other two family members through interconnecting and conspiracy with each of the perpetrators and submitted the report of Summons execution to the concerned court.

Then on February 13, 2018, the concerned court issued the Warrant of Arrest against Mr. Shahanur Islam and his other two family members. Then on February 22, 2018 Mr. Shahnur Islam voluntarily surrendered before the concerned court and the learned court granted him bail.

It is to be noted that Mr. Shahanur Islam was flying back from Dubai to Dhaka by Emirates Airlines Flight number EK 0582 at the date and time of the alleged offence.


This is not an isolated instance of such kind of legal harassment on lawyers, human rights defenders and bloggers in Bangladesh. It is a very common phenomenon for professionals like lawyers, human rights defenders and bloggers of Bangladesh to face attacks, harassment, ill treatment, death threats from members of political parties, terrorist threats and attacks from law-enforcement agencies and security forces. It is well known that Bangladesh has cultivated one of the leading cultures of impunity to alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses. Instead of improving the country’s human rights record the government of Bangladesh has paved the way to attack the rights of  citizens through various means of violations.


  1. BIHR strongly urges the authorities to take the issue of legal harassment made against Mr Islam seriously and to fully and immediately investigate this recent incident of legal harassment made against Mr. Shahanur Islam, the result of which must be made public, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the penal sanctions provided by the law;
  2. Take all necessary measures to guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity, safety and well-being of Mr. Shahanur Islam;
  3. Put an end to all acts of harassment against Mr. Shahanur Islam as well as against all human rights defenders in Bangladesh;
  4. Guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments ratified by Bangladesh.


Please write letters to the relevant authorities to investigate this alleged incident of violence ensuring the security of the Mr. Shahanur Islam and his family. We trust that you will take immediate action regarding this serious matter and look forward to your favorable response.


  1. Mr. Md. Abdul Hamid
    President of People’s Republic of Bangladesh
    President’s Office
    Bangabhaban, Dhaka
    Tel: +880 2 9568041-50
    Fax: +88-02-9585502 (Secretary)
  2. Mrs. Sheikh Hasina
    Prime Minister
    Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
    Office of the Prime Minister

Tejgaon, Dhaka
Fax: +880 2 811 3244 / 3243 / 1015 / 1490
Tel: +880 2 882 816 079 / 988 8677
E-mail: or or

  1. Mr.Justice Mahmud Hossain

Chief Justice of Bangladesh
Supreme Court of Bangladesh
Dhaka 1000
Fax: +880 2 956 5058 /+880 2 7161344
Tel: +880 2 956 2792
E-mail: or

4. Mr. Anisul Huq

Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs
Bangladesh Secretariat ,Dhaka-1000
Tel: +880 2 7160627 (O)

Fax: +880 2 7168557 (O)

5. Mr. Asaduzzaman Khan
Ministry of Home Affairs
Bangladesh Secretariat,Dhaka-1000
Tel: +880 2 7169069 (O)

Fax: +880 2 7160405, 880 2 7164788 (O)

6. Kazi Reazul Hoque
National Human Rights Commission
10th Floor, Gulfeshan Plaza
BTMC Bhaban (8th Floor)
7-9 Kazi Nazrul Islam Ave, Kawran Bazar,
Phone PABX # 88-02-55013726-28

FAX # 88-02-55013725;


7. Dr. Mohammad Javed Patwary
Inspector General of Police (IGP)
Bangladesh Police
Police Headquarters

6,Phoenix Road,

Fulbaria, Dhaka-1000
Fax: +880 2 956 3362 / 956 3363
Tel: +880 2 956 2054 / +880 2 717 6451 / +880 2 717 6677

We trust that you will take immediate action regarding this serious matter.

Thank You

Urgent Appeal Desk

Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)

27, Bijoy Nagar, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh

Cell: +88 017 20308080, email:


Argentina/Israel/Iran: Argentina ex-leader Kirchner to be tried over AMIA bombing cover-up

March 6, 2018

Former president and 11 others face charges they helped Iranians hide role in 1994 terror attack on Jewish center that killed 85


Former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will face trial on charges she covered up the role of Iranians in a 1994 terrorist bombing at a Jewish center in Argentina’s capital, judicial authorities announced Monday.

Eleven other former officials and people close to Kirchner’s government will also be tried on charges of cover-up and abuse of power, Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio said in a ruling released by Argentina’s official CIJ Judicial Information Center.

The trial date has not been set.

So far, four of the accused have been detained. In December, Bonadio asked lawmakers to remove Kirchner’s immunity from prosecution, which she gained last year when she was sworn in as a senator. Legislators have not acted on the request. The immunity protects her from being arrested, but she can still be tried.

Kirchner, who was president in 2007-2015, denies any wrongdoing or involvement in any cover-up involving Argentina’s worst terror attack. The 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association center in Buenos Aires in Buenos Aires killed 85 people and wounded hundreds. Iran denies any involvement.

The judge backed an assertion against Kirchner made on January 14, 2015, by Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor who was investigating the case. Nisman said the 2013 agreement that Kirchner’s government made with Iran in exchange for favorable deals on oil and other goods ensured that Iranian officials involved in the attack would escape prosecution.

Nisman was found dead in his apartment with a bullet wound in his right temple four days later. His case remains unsolved. But last year, an investigation by Argentina’s border police agency concluded that Nisman was murdered, contradicting earlier official findings that Nisman likely killed himself. (ESPANOL) (ESPANOL) (ESPANOL) (DEUTSCH) (PORTUGUES)