Tag Archives: Canada

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)

300 female judges in Afghanistan prior to Taliban capture, none now


Taliban rule in Afghanistan is brutally crushing women’s rights in the country. In August last year, right after capturing Afghanistan, the Talban had imposed restrictions on women’s education, employment, and travel, and had started changing the laws to imprison women inside their homes. To show the world, they took the support of clerics to implement their laws, and then imposed a ban on the women’s government and private sector jobs. To stop the women, the Taliban security forces intimidated women, arrested them, and even kidnapped them.

Khadija Ahmadi, Afghanistan’s women rights worker, said that the Taliban has stopped women from practicing as judges and lawyers in the courts. Prior to the Taliban’s capture of the country, there were around 300 women judges in Afghanistan, and due to the Taliban government, these women had to flee the country.

As per Khadija, the Taliban’s ways are serious as far as women’s social condition and psychological wellbeing is concerned, and the regime wants to establish women as second-class citizens in the country. Particularly, it wants young men and boys to become supremacists and women as objects of use for them and their homes. Because of the restrictions, thousands of families have fled to neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey, along with their women.

Pakistan is at the top of the list of countries where a large number of Afghan refugees reached during the last months. Many Afghan students are now studying in Pakistan.



















https://www.lalibre.be/international/asie/2022/12/21/bientot-les-talibans-diront-aux-femmes-quil-est-interdit-de-respirer-S7TA6KCYO5HW5FKTULHEZZDQOY/ (FRANCAIS)

Ukrainian lawyer with procurement expertise gets new start on life and career in Canada


Last February, Mykyta Zhukov was enjoying a holiday in the Dominican Republic with his wife, celebrating their birthdays with “blue ocean, white beach, palm trees and waterfalls.”

But that idyllic vacation was shattered on Feb. 24 when the Ukrainian lawyer specializing in public procurement and litigation started getting emails from friends and relatives saying that Russia had invaded Ukraine. “The first notification from our parents and friends shocked us. We were scared.”

Zhukov, who, in addition to running his law firm, is head of the Ukrainian Bar Association’s committee on constitutional law, administrative law, and human rights, realized that the invasion would forever change his life and career.

And so began an odyssey that took Zhukov and his spouse to Poland, Ireland, and now Canada.


His Ukrainian Bar Association committee work also led to the association signing a memorandum of cooperation with Irish Rule of Law International (IRLI), an organization founded by the Law Society of Ireland, the Bar of Ireland, the Law Society of Northern Ireland, and the Bar of Northern Ireland. The purpose of the memorandum agreement is to promote the rule of law and harness the skills of lawyers in tackling global injustice, inequality, corruption, and conflict. Zhukov also was involved in founding the Association of Ukrainian Lawyers in Ireland.


Given the ease of doing legal work remotely, Zhukov is still fulfilling his duties with the Ukrainian Bar Association while working on building his business in Ukraine and outside. He also realizes he is facing a new challenge in applying his professional skills in a new country. While he would have to take the relevant courses and exams to become a lawyer in Canada, he feels there are still many ways he could apply his professional skills and abilities, along with his interest in legal technology.

He also wants to be an unofficial “ambassador” for Ukraine, providing information about the country and its people. “I am happy to share my experience in finding new contacts, finding clients, as well as potential forms of cooperation with foreign companies,” he says, adding that his experience could be useful for lawyers of Ukrainian heritage worldwide.






https://unba.org.ua/news/7792-advokati-hersonshini-muzhn-o-vistoyali-period-okupacii.html (UKRAINIAN)

Canada: ‘Do you want to grow old? Then stop suing my friend’: Toronto man gets 12 years in intimidation case


That no one was injured or killed in a string of attacks on Carr Law “was a matter of pure luck,” Justice Michelle Fuerst wrote.

A Toronto man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for carrying out two gun attacks against a Vaughan lawyer hired to pursue legal action against GTA tow truck operators and auto repair shops.

Civil litigation lawyer Lisa Carr was the victim of “targeted crimes of violence, committed in order to intimidate Carr to abandon her work as a lawyer on behalf of clients who were exercising their legal rights to sue others civilly,” Superior Court Justice Michelle Fuerst wrote in her ruling released last week.

“That no one was injured or killed was a matter of pure luck,” she wrote.

Carr and her firm were the targets of repeated acts of violence starting in late 2018; Qalid Abderezak, 27, pleaded guilty to a string of charges related to two 2019 incidents.

In the first, on Aug. 29, 2019, he robbed a lawyer who worked for Carr and physically resembled her while she was sitting in a car outside the Carr Law office. “You are suing the wrong people,” he told the associate at gunpoint, according to Feurst’s ruling, before adding: “Do you want to have kids? Do you want to grow old? Then stop suing my friend.”

In the second, on Sept. 6, Abderezak sprayed seven gunshots into the firm’s front door and window while employees were inside.

Both incidents were caught on security camera video and Abderezak was arrested the day after he fired at the law office. His cell phone contained thumbnail photos of both Carr and the office’s exterior, as well as text messages with Zakariye Yousuf, who allegedly ordered the attacks.

“Next big job but we have to go spry up the place cuz we din’t get the right one,” Yousuf allegedly texted Abderezak before the second attack. “Delete this msg after you read it upti plz.”

Abderezak was on bail and subject to a weapons restriction at the time of the attacks, the judge noted.

Yousuf was separately arrested on charges of attempted murder, extortion and assault with a weapon. He is next due in court on Dec. 14.

“Acts of violence perpetrated against lawyers to intimidate them from representing their clients diligently and with commitment to the client’s cause have no place in our civilized society,” she wrote. “Such acts are serious crimes. When proven, they warrant exemplary sentences.”







Iran: Mahsa Amini: Intelligence ministry threatens family lawyers


The judicial authorities dealing with the murder case of Zhina Mahsa Amini have not taken any action regarding the requests of the lawyers of the Amini family.

An informed source told the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) that despite the lawyers’ objection to the forensic report and the request for the formation of a forensic medical board in which a number of trusted doctors introduced by the family would be present, so far the judicial authority has not taken any action to accept this legal request.

The source added that the Ministry of Intelligence had summoned and threatened the lawyers, banning them from interviews with the media and spreading information about the case.

Meanwhile, the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran have also tried to dissuade Amini’s family from further pursuing the case by threats or bribery attempts.

Reportedly, Ebrahim Raisi, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during his recent trip to Kurdistan, requested to visit Mahsa Amini’s house and meet with her family. However, Amjad Amini, Mahsa’s father, rejected the request and refused to meet with the president.







https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/12/06/iran-arrestations-en-serie-et-nouvelles-condamnations-a-mort_6153185_3210.html (FRANCAIS)





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)

American Bar Association helps find permanent homes for Afghan evacuees stuck in Abu Dhabi, other parts of the world


Following the one-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban on Aug. 15, the ABA Journal is highlighting the ABA’s efforts to help judges, lawyers and others from Afghanistan resettle, obtain immigration benefits and secure jobs using their legal skills. This is part three in our series.

For about eight years, Qari Abeera Ziayi lived in Herat, Afghanistan, and worked on hundreds of cases involving violence against women and children, criminal and civil issues and divorces.

Along with being a lawyer, she advocated for human rights and taught as a university professor. She also volunteered to help children with disabilities in school and underprivileged women with hand embroidery art.

“Since my childhood, I wanted to serve the society and people honestly, and I found lawyering to be a field that could connect me to my dreams,” Ziayi says. “So I chose the field of law and for a long time, I served people a lot through law.”

Because of her work, Ziayi became a target of the Taliban even before the fall of Kabul in August 2021. Members of the group threatened her and attacked her and her family several times. They threw grenades and bombs at their home. They broke windows in both their home and their car. They also beat her elderly father.

When the Taliban took over Afghanistan, Ziayi felt she had no choice but to flee.

“I was hiding in dark rooms, away from sunlight, in Kabul city for three months, and the terrorists searched a lot to find me and kill me,” she says. “They called me several times and were trying to trace me, but I changed my place of residence several times. The Taliban were looking for me everywhere.”

Ziayi left her country in October 2021, and through a foreign organization that assisted female lawyers facing danger in Afghanistan, she was brought to Emirates Humanitarian City. Managed by the United Arab Emirates government, the temporary camp housed thousands of Afghan evacuees.

That’s where Ziayi eventually met Jordan Jones, a volunteer attorney who is working with the ABA’s Afghanistan Response Project to help Afghan judges, prosecutors and other rule of law professionals move from the Emirates Humanitarian City and into welcoming jurisdictions. Jones is the director of legal affairs at the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Project in Washington, D.C.







https://www.sudinfo.be/id563032/article/2022-10-24/des-avocats-vervietois-manifestent-contre-les-violences-faites-aux-femmes-en (FRANCAIS)