Tag Archives: Belgium

Afghan lawyers and judges in danger


Today, January 24, marks the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. As a Canadian lawyer I want to draw attention to the challenges facing some members of the legal profession in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban government assumed power in the country more than a year ago, the risk of retaliation and danger have only increased for many lawyers and judges, particularly women, advocates say.

For Nasrin (whose name has been changed to protect her identity), leaving Afghanistan was the last resort.

She had spent decades developing pioneering legislation and policies as a judge and legal advocate. When the Taliban took over in August 2021, everything changed. Facing death threats, she ultimately left. “I didn’t have any choice,” she told me. “I left my country, my house.” Now she and other legal activists are warning about the ever-increasing risks that lawyers and judges in the country still face and the need for countries like Canada to step up their efforts to help at-risk Afghans.

“If a woman wants to be a leader, like head of a court … it’s a very big position, but it is very dangerous,” Nasrin says.

Judges like Nasrin, as well as prosecutors, have been threatened with reprisals from the people they tried and the Taliban themselves. She is in contact with colleagues in the legal profession who remain in Afghanistan, and says the situation is worse than a year ago, as lawyers and judges fear for their safety.

“The first line is judges, the second line is defence lawyers and prosecutors … they are searching to find them,” she says.

The development of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) in 2008 was part of a broader effort to build a non-governmental body that would regulate the legal profession and provide resources to support lawyers and access to legal services. But in November 2021, it was dismantled by armed Taliban soldiers and the Ministry of Justice gained possession of the AIBA’s database, containing contact information of members. The organization is now relaunching itself in exile, from Brussels.




International Day Of The Endangered Lawyer: “We Strongly And Unequivocally Condemn The Repressive Tendencies Of The Taliban Government In Afghanistan Towards Lawyers”- Maikyau


https://charidy.com/AfghanWomen (PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!)









https://www.darivoa.com/amp/lawyers-in-Afghanistan-face-threats/6933046.html (DARI)

https://www.pashtovoa.com/a/us-special-envoy-for-afghan-women-says-will-stand-with-afghan-lawyers/6933080.html (PASHTO)

https://www.lextimes.fr/actualites/avocats-en-danger/treizieme-edition-consacree-lafghanistan (FRANCAIS)




Afghanistan: DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2023


The FBE supports all those in danger in Afghanistan.  Since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban in 2021, the situation of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors in Afghanistan has worsened. Many were left stranded when Government evacuation efforts ended. The international  legal community campaigns to persuade governments to rescue legal professionals at risk. However, most governments evacuated their own nationals and those who had been employed by the respective Government or related bodies. Most Afghan legal professionals did not fall into either category, even though they had served those Governments’ interests by upholding the rule of law in their country. Many were actively involved in the prosecution of members of the Taliban and  are in great danger. The international legal community must act now to persuade more assistance to evacuate lawyers, prosecutors, judges and legal professionals at risk and to offer safe havens in their respective countries.

The FBE endorses the report of the Coalition for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer and urges all to implement recommendations in particular:

  • The international community, in their diplomatic efforts toward the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, are urged to ensure the maintenance of a free and independent legal profession, in order to safeguard fundamental rights, including women’s rights, the independence and integrity of the administration of justice, and the rule of law.
  • The international community is urged to take all necessary measures to ensure that the lawyers at risk who remain in Afghanistan can safely leave the country. In particular:
  • To immediately implement evacuation and resettlement programmes for Afghan lawyers remaining in Afghanistan or located in neighboring countries.
  • To ensure respect for the principle of non-refoulement at all times.
  • To make humanitarian visas available to enable Afghan lawyers in need to access international protection legally and safely.
  • To ensure that all States suspend deportations and summary returns of Afghan nationals to Afghanistan or third states.
  •  To ensure that all States thoroughly investigate allegations of ill-treatment of Afghan nationals, especially in the States’ border regions and in removal centers in their territories.







https://2k86.mj.am/nl3/9MUI9jpjAKJgvmFwBU6sEA (FRANCAIS)

London: a Human Rights Solidarity and Arrested Lawyers Initiative action

Brussels (Facebook, CCBE – Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe )

Day of the Endangered Lawyer 24th January 2023 13th edition – AFGHANISTAN


The 24th of January marks the annual International Day of the Endangered Lawyer. On 24 January 1977, 4 lawyers and a co-worker were murdered in Madrid. Since 2010, this date is remembered as The Day of the Endangered Lawyer with the purpose of increasing awareness about lawyers across the globe who are being harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted and tortured because of their profession.

The 2023 edition aims to shed some light on the challenges faced by lawyers in Afghanistan.

The fall of the Taliban regime in November 2001 prompted the reconstruction, reform and modernisation of the war-torn Afghan judicial system and the legal profession. In 2008, the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (“AIBA”) was established. The AIBA administered the licensing and regulation of lawyers, promoted excellence and equal opportunity in the legal profession, trained future lawyers, and advanced the rule of law and social justice.

When the Afghan government fell in August 2021, two decades of progress were erased and the country’s judicial system collapsed. In November 2021, the Taliban’s Ministry of Justice issued a decree depriving the AIBA of its independence and its authority to grant licences to lawyers. Taliban forces started targeting lawyers who had previously worked on “sensitive” cases (e.g., cases involving the defence of human rights, including women’s rights, and other similar matters).

According to the AIBA, 7 lawyers have been killed since the dissolution of AIBA and 146 lawyers have been arrested or investigated.









https://www.camerepenali.it/cat/11783/giornata_internazionale_dellavvocato_minacciato_2023_24012023_-_focus_sull_afghanistan.html (ITALIANO)

https://www.cba.org/News-Media/Press-Releases/2023/Statement-from-the-CBA-President-Steeves-Bujold-on (FRANCAIS)

Afghanistan: International Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023


The 24th of January has been designated as the annual International Day of the Endangered Lawyer in memory of the “Massacre of Atocha” occurred this day in 1977 when four lawyers and a co-worker were murdered and four others were heavily injured at their address at Calle Atocha 55 in Madrid.  

The purpose of this International Day is to draw the attention of government officials, international institutions, civil society, the media and the general public to the plight of lawyers in a particular focus country, to raise awareness about the threats the lawyers in that country face in the exercise of their profession. 

This year, the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer focuses on Afghanistan. 

The Coalition for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer has prepared a report about the justice system in Afghanistan, describing the extremely dire situation confronting Afghan lawyers today. 

The European Young Bar Associations, as part of the Coalition, strongly supports the recommendations provided in the Report addressed to the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, the international community, the European Union and its Member States, in order to improve the situation of Afghan lawyers in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. 

In addition to the limitations on fundamental human rights and reprisals against lawyers, judges and prosecutors that should be condemned, as an association representing young lawyers, the EYBA express its concern especially for the limitations to education and access to the legal profession imposed by the Taliban’s Ministry of Justice which affect the new generations, more than others. 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (M.L.K).

Click here to download the full report:

Final version of the Report -Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023- 2 (1)

Click to access 202301-stm-sr-ijl-sr-afghanistan-day-endangered-lawyer.pdf





https://www.bbc.com/persian/live/afghanistan-64329705 (DARI)

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/01/international-day-endangered-lawyer-24-january-2023 (FRANCAIS)





https://www.abogacia.es/fr/actualidad/noticias/el-abogado-afgano-hossain-haydari-llega-a-espana-gracias-al-apoyo-de-la-fundacion-abogacia/ (ESPANOL)


Afghanistan: Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023


Every year on the 24th of January, the International Day of the Lawyer in Danger mobilises the international community on the difficulties and threats to the practice of law. The situation of lawyers in Afghanistan was chosen for the year 2023. Lawyers have been targeted since the Taliban government took power on 15th of August 2021.

The impossibility or even the prohibition for women to practice their profession and the obligation for men to obtain a new licence under the control of the terrible Taliban Ministry of Justice, undermine the free exercise of lawyers’ profession. Not to mention the dramatic deterioration of the rule of law, jeopardising the lives of thousands of Afghans, including many lawyers, forced to flee or hide in the country.

On the occasion of this international day, the OIAD is organising a conference on the 20th of January 2023 in Lyon entitled “The defence of defence in times of crisis”, which will provide an opportunity to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, but also in Ukraine and Iran.


Join us, in person or online, for this mobilisation day. The debates will be fully translated into English, French, Spanish and Italian.

We also invite you to participate in the OIAD’s workshops.

Consult the agenda for the 20th of January 2023 HERE.

Link to register for the conference: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5s45W-_oQtaFBkzQkAR9vg


2023: Afghanistan






https://protect-lawyers.org/2022-afghanistan/ (FRANCAIS)








https://protect-lawyers.org/it/2022-afghanistan-3/ (ITALIANO)

https://protect-lawyers.org/de/2022-afghanistan-4/ (DEUTSCH)



Iran/Afghanistan: Des avocats belges se réunissent pour dénoncer la situation de l’accueil des réfugiés en Belgique


Les barreaux de Bruxelles, Charleroi, Dinant, Liège-Huy, Luxembourg, Mons, Namur, Tournai et Verviers ont manifesté devant le palais de justice de Bruxelles, lundi, dans le cadre de la journée des droits humains du 10 décembre.

Les avocats ont décidé de se rassembler pour soutenir les avocats iraniens et afghans ainsi que pour dénoncer la situation de l’accueil des réfugiés en Belgique, en particulier ceux originaires de ces deux pays.

Nous sommes face à une situation complètement inédite en droit belge. Nous avons des milliers de personnes qui viennent demander une protection internationale. Nous avons l’obligation de les accueillir et nous ne le faisons pas.” a affirmé le président de l’ONG Avocats sans frontières, Me Patrick Henry.


Les avocats se sont d’abord rassemblés à 12h00 à l’entrée du palais de justice de Bruxelles, où le bâtonnier de l’Ordre français du barreau de Bruxelles, Me Emmanuel Plasschaert et la bâtonnière du barreau de Charleroi, Me Nathalie Monforti se sont exprimés devant un rassemblement d’une centaine de personnes. L’accent était porté sur la situation des avocats, persécutés par les pouvoirs en place en Afghanistan et en Iran.

Les différents barreaux présents à la manifestation ont fait le choix de soutenir les ressortissants afghans, dont ils estiment que la situation ne fait que s’aggraver notamment depuis que les talibans ont repris le pouvoir en août 2021. Et également les ressortissants iraniens, dont ils estiment que les droits humains et libertés fondamentales sont bafoués. “Nous ne l’accepterons jamais et serons toujours du côté des oppressés” a affirmé Me Emmanuel Palschaaerts.

37 avocats emprisonnés en Iran

Me Nathalie Monforti a par la suite mentionné les noms de 37 avocats emprisonnés en Iran “simplement pour avoir exercé leur métier“.










https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/12/13/iran-death-sentences-against-protesters (ENGLISH)










https://iranhr.net/fa/articles/5631/ (FARSI)


Iran/Afghanistan/Belgium: Les barreaux dénoncent la manière dont les réfugiés sont accueillis en Belgique


Plusieurs barreaux de Belgique se sont mis d’accord pour organiser une manifestation à Bruxelles le lundi 12 décembre afin de dénoncer la manière dont les réfugiés sont accueillis.

Les barreaux de Bruxelles, Charleroi, Dinant, Liège-Huy, Luxembourg, Mons, Namur, Tournai et Verviers organiseront une manifestation à Bruxelles le lundi 12 décembre afin de dénoncer la manière dont les réfugiés – et en particulier les Afghans et les Iraniens – sont accueillis en Belgique, annoncent-ils jeudi.

Le rassemblement aura lieu à 12h place Poelaert, devant le Palais de Justice, dans le cadre de la journée dédiée aux droits humains le 10 décembre. Les avocats se rassembleront pour évoquer et dénoncer la situation des peuples afghan et iranien, et tout particulièrement des avocats persécutés par les pouvoirs en place. Deux bâtonniers prendront la parole avant que les manifestants ne rejoignent à pied les bureaux du Commissariat général aux réfugiés et apatrides.

La Convention de Genève

Une prise de parole sera organisée à 13h place Victor Horta, en face du CGRA, afin de rappeler la nécessité de protéger les demandeurs de protection internationale et de respecter la Convention de Genève relative au statut des réfugiés.

Les barreaux disent avoir conscience que ce combat pour les droits humains n’est pas le seul et que de nombreuses personnes sont discriminées et persécutées dans le monde. Ils expliquent cependant avoir fait le choix de soutenir particulièrement les ressortissants afghans, dont la situation ne cesse de s’aggraver depuis la prise de pouvoir des talibans en août 2021, et les ressortissants iraniens, dont les droits humains et les libertés fondamentales sont bafoués.

Une traduction résumée en farsi et dari sera d’ailleurs assurée sur les deux lieux de rassemblement.











On the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, The 29 Principles, Lawyers for Lawyers, the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), the International Bar Association’s Human Rights’ Institute (IBAHRI), the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), Front Line Defenders, the Law Society of England and Wales, the Institute for the Rule of Law of the International Association of Lawyers (UIA-IROL), the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, the American Association of the International Commission of Jurists, the Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, Avocats sans Frontières, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, The Rights Practice, Ordre des Barreaux Francophones et Germanophones de Belgique express their concern about the ongoing detention of Chinese human rights lawyers Li Yuhan. Li Yuhan has been detained in Shenyang City, the capital of the Northeastern province of Liaoning since October 2017. She was charged with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. Although her case was tried last year, there is still no verdict and her release date remains unknown.

Li Yuhan is a veteran lawyer who started practising in the 1990s, taking on numerous human rights cases such as Falon Gong and Christian underground churches. She also represented Wang Yu, one of the most prominent lawyers arrested in the “709 crackdown” – a mass arrest of human rights lawyers and other activists in 2015. The arrest of Li was regarded as retaliation for her involvement in Wang Yu’s case and other sensitive cases.

It is reported that she has been subjected to torture and ill-treatment while in detention, including insufficient food and being denied to receive adequate and appropriate medical treatment. Also, the authorities tried to force her to plead guilty and postponed her trial a few times until October 2021.  

Having been detained for more than five years, her health deteriorated rapidly and she suffers from arrhythmia, fluttering in chest and tremors, coronary heart disease, unstable angina, hyperthyroidism, acute erosive gastritis, cerebral concussion, and cerebral ischemia.





https://29principles.uk/zh-hant/contents/%E5%90%84%E5%9C%B0%E4%BA%BA%E6%AC%8A%E7%B5%84%E7%B9%94%E6%96%BC%E3%80%8C%E5%9C%8B%E9%9A%9B%E5%A5%B3%E6%80%A7%E4%BA%BA%E6%AC%8A%E6%8D%8D%E8%A1%9B%E8%80%85%E6%97%A5%E3%80%8D%E8%81%AF%E5%90%88%E5%91%BC%E7%B1%B2%E8%A6%81%E6%B1%82%E7%AB%8B%E5%8D%B3%E9%87%8B%E6%94%BE%E6%9D%8E%E6%98%B1%E5%87%BD%E5%BE%8B%E5%B8%AB%EF%BC%88%E5%8F%AA%E6%9C%89%E8%8B%B1%E6%96%87%E7%89%88%EF%BC%89 (CHINESE)

Afghanistan: Taliban’s ‘Injustice’; Women Lawyers and Judges Forced to Beg for Food


The US official wrote in a string of tweets on Wednesday, November 23, that “One year ago today, the Taliban dissolved the Afghan Independent Bar [Association] which was a model of gender inclusion.”

“Now women are sidelined from practicing law & many women judges & lawyers are forced to beg for food for their children rather than use their skills,” Rina Amiri slammed the Taliban saying “Such injustice.”

After the Taliban took control of the country last year, the group’s leadership dissolved the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association on the 23rd of November.

The Afghan Independent Bar Association sought to advance and defend social justice, the rule of law, and the application of Islamic law in Afghanistan and was founded to foster new generations of legal professionals, improve access to fair trials, and fight against administrative corruption.

The Bar Association of Afghanistan had over 6,000 members, with women making up almost a quarter of the members, according to one of the members.

Many defense attorneys said that the current administration had revoked their licenses and stressed that they are not permitted to work on legal or criminal cases until they receive a new license from the Taliban Ministry of Justice.







https://www.sudouest.fr/gironde/bordeaux/solidarite-en-gironde-il-faut-aider-raana-et-muhammad-habibi-12996526.php (FRANCAIS)




https://www.ildubbio.news/2022/11/23/procuratrice-afghana/ (ITALIANO)

As the World celebrates the beginning of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this weekend, we call for the release of imprisoned Qatari lawyers


FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar in 2010 regardless of the poor human rights conditions in the country. Besides migrant workers, women, people from the LGBTI+ community and journalists, lawyers are also subject of human rights violations in the country. As the international community gets ready to celebrate the world’s biggest sporting event in Qatar, Qatari lawyers Hazza bin Ali Abu Shurayda al-Marri and Rashed bin Ali Abu Shurayda al-Marri remain in prison, serving a life-sentence since 10 May 2022.

In 2021, lawyer Hazza bin Ali Abu Shurayda al-Marri took part in the widescale peaceful protests against a controversial election law, which excluded among others, al-Murra tribe members from the Shura Council, Qatar’s legislative body.  As a result of taking part in the protests and his prominent role in sharing his opinions on the state of affairs in Qatar on his Twitter account, Mr. al-Marri was arrested in August 2021 at his home by the Criminal Investigation Department.

Subsequently, Hazza bin Ali Abu Shurayda al-Marri’s brother, Rashed bin Ali Abu Shurayda al-Marri visited the Public Prosecution offices to enquire about the reasons for this arrest and to request access to act as his brother’s legal representative. He too was detained immediately.

Not only the right to freedom of expression as stipulated in article 23 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers has been repeatedly violated, also the right to fair trial has not been upheld in Qatar. Both lawyers stood trial for the first time on 26 January 2022, in which a number of minimum fair trial guarantees and legal procedures were violated: the judge appointed a defence lawyer for the defendants, leaving them without the opportunity to appoint a lawyer of their own choosing, and their first two hearings took place behind closed doors.

On 10 May 2022, the Second Circuit Criminal issued a life sentence against both lawyers. 


https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-actions/two-qatari-lawyers-arbitrarily-detained (TAKE ACTION!)







https://latribune.avocats.be/fr/hazza-et-rashed-bin-ali-abu-shurayda-al-marri (FRANCAIS)


https://www.amnistia.org/ve/noticias/2022/10/22134/golfo-persico-los-estados-del-gcc-siguen-siendo-tan-represivos-como-siempre (ESPANOL)



https://www.agoravox.it/I-regni-del-silenzio-come-gli.html (ITALIANO)

https://www.advocatenblad.nl/2022/07/06/qatar-levenslang-voor-kritische-tweets/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.amnestypress.se/fattapennan/2022/2/livstid-advokater/ (SVENSKA/ENGLISH)