Tag Archives: Canada

USA/Ecuador/Canada: Peter Foster: Corruption, Pink Floyd and Aboriginal rights walk into Banff’s ‘post-normal’ law conference

November 9, 2018

The conference seems to represent what might be described as ‘post-normal law.’ It is the law of taking sides

This weekend sees a conference in Banff that should be of interest to all those concerned about the rule of law, and the forces undermining it. Titled “Indigenous Solutions for Environmental Challenges,” the conference’s “context” is the US$8.6 billion (at last count) judgment in an Ecuadorean court against U.S. oil company Chevron. According to the conference’s website, the Chevron case will be used “to consider the critical role of judicial remedies for violations of the rights of indigenous and other affected peoples… both in Canada and beyond.”

With the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on judicial hold, and capital evacuating the Canadian oil patch due to legislative uncertainties, the topic is timely. But if “hard cases make bad law,” then corrupt cases threaten very bad law indeed.

Two U.S. courts have determined that the Ecuadorean decision was the result of a fraud engineered by U.S. lawyer, Steve Donziger (who will appear at the conference). Donziger claims this is all a Chevron campaign to “vilify him” for innocent “errors in judgment.” Earlier this year, Donziger’s licences to practice law in the U.S. were suspended.

Conference organizer Kathleen Mahoney, a law professor at the University of Calgary, told me this week in an email that she denies the conference is about applying “pressure to bear on Chevron to come to the table,” but those are the words used more than a year ago in her letter to Donziger proposing the conference, and suggesting he support it (the letter is reprinted below). The letter, part of a contempt motion filed by Chevron against Donziger, redacted until recently, was last month ordered fully disclosed by a New York court. The court exhibit shows Donziger passed the letter to colleagues with the comment: “Please do not send around. This is potentially breakthrough stuff…. Kathleen is (former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations) Phil Fontaine’s wife and she is a major force in Canada as a human rights lawyer and activist.”

Peter Foster: Corruption, Pink Floyd and Aboriginal rights walk into Banff’s ‘post-normal’ law conference

LILLEY: Stink of corruption hangs over environmental conference

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/chevron-case-shakedown-ecuador-roger-waters/

https://hotair.com/archives/2018/11/01/pink-floyd-connected-chevron-shakedown/

https://www.triplepundit.com/podium/chevron-facing-new-obstacles-over-12b-ecuador-pollution-liability-as-death-toll-rises-in-amazon-rainforest/

https://oaklandnewsnow.com/index.php/2018/11/13/chevron-ecuador-attorney-steven-donziger-once-the-toast-of-hollywood-is-now-simply-toast/

http://stevendonziger.com/

 

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Canada/Cameroon: Crisis in Cameroon: A Conversation with Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho

Faculty of LawBarrister Felix Agbor Anyior Nkongho.jpg

Nov 2018 16:00 to 17:30
Chancellor Day Hall NCDH 316, 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA
Price:  Free

Felix Agbor Nkongho is an Anglophone Cameroonian human rights lawyer who is the immediate past president of the Fako Lawyers Association, vice-president of the African Bar Association in charge of Central Africa, and the founder and president of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa.

Felix Agbor Nkongho is a leader in the civil society movement seeking to remedy the historic inequality, discrimination and marginalization of Anglophones in Cameroon. He has been actively involved in organising non-violent civil disobedience and protests calling for the protection of the culture and rights of Anglophone Cameroonians.

The Cameroonian government arrested Felix Agbor Nkongho in January 2017 along with other Anglophone activists and leaders in Cameroon. He was detained and faced several charges in the military court. In August 2017, those charges were dropped and he was released.

Felix holds an LLB and LLMs in both International and Comparative Law and International Human Rights Law. He has studied and holds degrees from the University of Yaoundé, the Nigerian Law School (Abuja), Vrije Universiteit (Brussels) and Notre Dame University (USA).

This talk is organized by Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.

Read the briefing notes released by LRWC on this topic:

https://www.lrwc.org/cameroon-anglophones-face-severe-humanitarian-crisis-briefing-note/

 

https://www.mcgill.ca/law/channels/event/crisis-cameroon-conversation-barrister-felix-agbor-nkongho-291067?fbclid=IwAR2rn1i5XFeqETitqROaGLQJQAetfWWHNBLXyHB262clZjgQUqf0uKepHKc

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1356193347625

https://cdp-hrc.uottawa.ca/en/october-30-human-rights-and-humanitarian-situation-anglophone-cameroon-how-can-canada-help

https://www.aljazeera.com/profile/nkongho-felix-agbor-balla.html

https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/agbor-balla-tasks-constitutional-council-to-give-justice-to-cameroonians/

http://mimimefoinfos.com/2018/11/01/rights-activist-barrister-agbor-balla-reignites-anglophone-plights-in-canadian-parliament/

https://www.lrwc.org/crisis-in-cameroon-conversation-with-felix-agbor-nkongho-video/

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

http://www.icicemac.com/2018/10/25/lun-des-leaders-du-consortium-du-cameroun-barrister-agbor-balla-en-visite-dexplication-au-canada/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.cameroonvoice.com/news/article-news-36008.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.camerounweb.com/CameroonHomePage/NewsArchive/Crise-anglophone-l-mouvant-plaidoyer-de-Agbor-Balla-au-Canada-449772 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.camerounweb.com/CameroonHomePage/NewsArchive/Crise-anglophone-l-mouvant-plaidoyer-de-Agbor-Balla-au-Canada-449772?video=1 (FRANCAIS)

USA/Ecuador: Chevron Intimidation Led Boston Mother to Sign False Affidavit Attacking Landmark Ecuador Pollution Judgment

October 25, 2018

Chevron Feeling “Heat” From Asset Seizure Action In Canada As Company Lawyers Try to Pressure Witnesses Based On False Evidence

In a stunning confession, a Boston-area financial manager and mother of four who raised funds for Amazon Indigenous peoples has admitted under oath that Chevron lawyers successfully intimidated her to sign an affidavit with false statements designed by the oil giant to undermine its $9.5 billion Ecuador pollution liability.

Chevron’s pressure tactics were directed against Katie Sullivan, a business owner who had spent months successfully assisting Ecuadorian Indigenous and farmer villagers raise funds to challenge the oil giant. They also come at a time when the company is under enormous pressure in Canada as the Ecuadorian villagers try to seize critical company assets, an effort backed by the nation’s largest Indigenous federation (Assembly of First Nations) which represents 653 tribes. In addition, 36 institutional Chevron shareholders in the U.S. recently challenged CEO Michael Wirth over his mishandling of the Ecuador litigation.

Sullivan, whose owns a company called Streamline Family Office that manages assets for wealthy families, testified in a sworn deposition on September 28 that she lived in “fear” from Chevron before signing an affidavit written entirely by company lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm who have been directed by Wirth to retaliate against the Ecuadorians and their legal advisors, primarily Harvard Law graduate and New York human rights advocate Steven R. Donziger. Chevron has used false testimony, witness bribery, and fraudulent evidence to try to taint Donziger and other lawyers for the Ecuadorians, according to evidence summarized in a criminal referral letter against the company submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Donziger said Chevron subpoenaed Sullivan last March for documents as part of its long-running campaign to seek “dirt” on him and supporters for the Indigenous peoples. Chevron then forced Sullivan to sit for two sworn depositions. It was during the second of these that she admitted under questioning from Donziger that Chevron lawyers pressured her to sign off on several false statements, all an apparent violation of ethics rules governing attorney conduct.

In her sworn testimony on Sept. 28, Sullivan made the following admissions under oath:

**That Chevron lawyers Robert Blume and Anne Champion were part of a team from the Gibson Dunn law firm that wrote the entirety of her 23-page affidavit.

**That Chevron lawyers failed to incorporate several of her requested changes to the affidavit before she signed it under pressure just minutes before the start of her second deposition while “praying” the company’s litigation against her would end.

**That her affidavit contained multiple misleading or false statements written by Chevron lawyers intended to taint Donziger for which she possessed no knowledge, and which were demonstrably false.

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41480-Chevron-Intimidation-Led-Boston-Mother-to-Sign-False-Affidavit-Attacking-Landmark-Ecuador-Pollution-Judgment

https://www.law360.com/articles/1095664/donziger-is-thumbing-his-nose-at-injunction-chevron-says

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41487-Global-Conference-on-Indigenous-Rights-and-Environment-Set-to-Launch-Nov-10-in-Canadian-Rockies

https://legalnewsline.com/stories/511612297-more-info-on-donziger-released-lawyer-gained-multibillion-dollar-verdict-against-chevron-through-fraud-judge-has-ruled

http://stevendonziger.com/

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

October 12, 2018

Image result for ohchr

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.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23719&LangID=E

https://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/8959651-dissenting-voices-silenced-as-saudi-reform-agenda-goes-awry/

https://www.france24.com/en/20181009-saudis-crown-prince-reformism-authoritarianism

https://www.thedailybeast.com/khashoggi-disappearance-is-part-of-a-ruthless-saudi-campaign-to-crush-dissent

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/khashoggi-case-chilling-message-dissidents-worldwide-181011151615981.html

https://www.rte.ie/news/world/2018/1010/1002345-saudi/

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1975

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

https://www.boursorama.com/actualite-economique/actualites/mohammed-ben-salmane-entre-reformisme-et-autoritarisme-7df2d6da9e1b32b9a83f9a21fc56a485 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.nzz.ch/international/fall-khashoggi-usa-fordern-gruendliche-untersuchung-ld.1426731 (DEUTSCH)

https://blogs.oglobo.globo.com/guga-chacra/post/ao-mesmo-tempo-que-selecao-jogar-em-riad.html (PORTUGUES)

http://www.mingpaocanada.com/tor/htm/News/20181008/ttaa2_r.htm (CHINESE)

Saudi Arabia: Number of prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia increases to 2,613

September 17, 2018

The number of prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia has increased to 2,613 detainees, according to Saudi human rights sources.

The Twitter account of Prisoners of Conscience concerned with the detainees in Saudi Arabia stated in a tweet that: “the number of prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia has increased to 2,613 detainees.”

The Twitter account added that “prominent lawyers, judges, academics, Muslim scholars, and media professionals” were among the detainees.

It is noteworthy that there are detainees in the Kingdom who have been imprisoned for more than 10 years either under sentences approved by the court against them or without charges and judicial rulings.

Since September 10, 2017, there have been hundreds of arrests in Saudi Arabia, despite human rights activists’ denunciation, and calls from international organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to immediately release detainees, and precedent calls to immediately disclose their whereabouts and allow them to communicate with their families and lawyers.

In May, the arrests reached human rights activists and feminist activists. They were accused by authorities of having connections with foreign parties as a result of their activity on women’s rights.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180917-number-of-prisoners-of-conscience-in-saudi-arabia-increases-to-2613/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/09/11/saudi-arabia-free-right-drive-activists

https://www.eurasiareview.com/12092018-saudi-arabia-should-free-right-to-drive-activists-says-hrw/

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/saudi-arabia-women-drivers-protest-friend-in-jail-op-ed

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/39th-session-human-rights-council-opening-statement-un-high-commissioner-human-rights

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/09/16/574312/Over-2500-antiregime-activists-being-held-in-Saudi-detention-centers-Group

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

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2018/09/11/arabie-saoudite-liberer-les-militantes-des-droits-des-femmes-detenues (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1134624/lautre-justin-trudeau.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.marianne.net/monde/raif-et-samar-badawi-lutter-contre-le-pere-avant-de-lutter-pour-les-droits-des-saoudiens (FRANCAIS)

http://www.elmundo.es/opinion/2018/09/17/5b9e54bb22601d75658b45d4.html (ESPANOL)

Kenya/Canada: Why Miguna Miguna has sued government

September 5, 2018

Article Image

Former Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant Miguna Miguna at a past event. He has sued the government. (Photo/nation.co.ke)

Former Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant Miguna Miguna has sued the government for compensation over the damage police allegedly did to his property in Nairobi’s Runda estate during his arrest in February.

 

Miguna wants the government to foot the bills he used to repair his Runda house in Nairobi after it was allegedly destroyed by police.

According to Miguna, police officers destroyed his property during his arrest in February over his role in the swearing in of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as the People’s President.

Through his lawyer Waikwa Wanyoike, Miguna claims that he used Sh250,000 to repair his house and wants immediate compensation.

The controversial lawyer now wants the government to pay him Sh274,000.

“We have filed the case in court and we will push the government to foot the costs my client used to repair his damaged house,” the lawyer told journalists at Milimani Law courts on Tuesday.

The lawyer said that the case is just among the many that he (Miguna) has filed against the Jubilee government.

Miguna was violently deported to Canada in April for the second time in a row over his role in Raila’s swearing in.

The controversial lawyer has however announced that he will be returning home after September 4.

https://hivisasa.com/posts/883-why-miguna-miguna-has-sued-government

https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2018/09/04/miguna-wants-state-to-pay-for-repairs-of-his-damaged-house_c1812701

http://www.africanews.com/2018/08/24/miguna-miguna-set-to-return-to-kenya-after-september-4//

https://www.tuko.co.ke/286620-miguna-miguna-postpones-return-december.html#286620

https://www.tuko.co.ke/283576-miguna-miguna-latest-news-biography-facts-2018.html#283576

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

#BringMigunaBack

Kenya/Canada: I’ll Be Back To Kenya After September 4, Miguna Miguna

August 23, 2018

Controversial lawyer turned politician Miguna Miguna has announced that he’ll be back in the country after September 4 after spending three months in Canada.

In a tweet, Miguna attributed his troubles to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga.

“For the cowards with low self-esteem celebrating the fact that  and destroyed my valid Kenyan passport and my house, abducted, detained and tortured me before forcefully removing me, mark this in permanent ink: I am coming back after September 4th,” tweeted Miguna.

Miguna’s troubles began when he controversially swore in Raila Odinga on January 31 after a hotly contested Presidential election which was nullified by the Supreme Court. Later, a repeat election was held in which the NASA coalition bolted out citing plot by Jubilee and IEBC to rig the polls.

Things turned from bad to worse when Uhuru and Raila reconciled in the famous handshake deal, seemingly leaving Miguna to his own. He was left with a choice to either follow the new unity pact or continue championing the Nasa dream. Miguna chose the latter, which saw him thrown out of the country twice on grounds that he was not a bona fide Kenyan citizen.

Miguna was deported to Canada on May 29 despite a court order directing the government to release him from detention at Jomo Kenyatta airport in Nairobi.

Miguna was taken out of Kenya via a Dubai-bound EK722 flight. Before being deported, Miguna said that he was harassed, drugged and dragged to a Dubai-bound flight. He was later on arrival at Dubai admitted in a Dubai hospital after travelling in an unconscious state to Dubai.

https://www.kahawatungu.com/2018/08/23/miguna-come-back-september/

https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2018/08/23/ill-be-back-after-september-4-says-miguna_c1807203

https://www.kenyans.co.ke/news/32795-miguna-miguna-fly-back-home

https://www.pulselive.co.ke/news/miguna-miguna-announces-when-he-is-coming-back-to-kenya-id8759158.html

https://hivisasa.com/posts/1140-miguna-announces-new-return-date-to-kenya

https://nairobinews.nation.co.ke/news/miguna-sets-date-attempt-re-enter-kenya/

https://citizentv.co.ke/news/i-am-coming-back-deported-miguna-announces-return-to-kenya-210386/

https://allafrica.com/stories/201808230685.html

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

On September 3 and 4, 2018 from 9am, my advocates, led by Dr. Khaminwa and @waikwawanyoike will be seeking JUSTICE on my behalf and FINAL ORDERS against the Despots at the High Court, Milimani. You are free to attend. Re-Tweet, share and shame tyranny. #BringMigunaBack

(Dr. Miguna Miguna Facebook, 25/8/18)