Tag Archives: Canada

China/Canada/HRW: Prime Minister Trudeau Shouldn’t Ignore China’s Jailed Activists

November 30, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) gestures to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China August 31, 2016.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to China this weekend, arriving amidst a flurry of negative human rights developments.

This week a Chinese court handed down a harsh five-year sentence on Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-Che merely for discussing democracy in social media groups in China. Last week it was a two-year sentence against human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong; authorities chose to conflate his peaceful legal activism with anti-state activity. Liu Xia—the widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner and dissident Liu Xiaobo—has been forcibly disappeared since her husband’s death in July.  And for the past decade Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil, an ethnic Uyghur, has been languishing in a Chinese prison without access to Canadian diplomats.

There’s scant detail about what rights-related recommendations the prime minister plans to put to President Xi Jinping—who has presided over the worst erosion of human rights in China since the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. Announcing the start of talks on a free trade agreement appear to top Trudeau’s agenda. But any such agreement can’t ignore the rule of lawfreedom of expressionreligious freedom, and respect for ethnic minorities – issues that Canada has long been committed to and that Xi has shown profound hostility.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/11/30/prime-minister-trudeau-shouldnt-ignore-chinas-jailed-activists

http://www.thewesternstar.com/news/rights-groups-call-on-trudeau-to-raise-plight-of-prisoners-held-in-china-on-trip-166295/

https://ipolitics.ca/2017/11/30/open-letter-urges-trudeau-raise-human-rights-issues-china-visit/

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/11/30/justin-trudeau-faces-classic-profit-versus-human-rights-conundrum-on-trip-to-china.html

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/12/02/trade-not-human-rights-is-top-of-mind-as-trudeau-visits-china.html

Terry Glavin: The Liberals are dangerously wrong on China. They always have been

Trudeau, returning from China, faces pressure to fight for political prisoners with links to Canada

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Venezuela/Canada: Phone-tapping, fear and threats: Why an ex-Venezuelan judge is seeking refuge in Canada

November 16, 2017

The Globe and Mail

A former Venezuelan judge who says she was forced under threat to sign arrest warrants for President Nicolas Maduro’s political opponents is seeking refugee protection in Canada.

In an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail, Ralenis Tovar said she and her family fled Venezuela on July 28, claiming refugee status when they landed at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

After more than three years of what she described as threats, stalking and a kidnapping attempt by members of the Maduro regime, Ms. Tovar said her fear peaked in June when another judge involved in the sentencing of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was murdered. Ms. Tovar, who claims she was once forced to sign an arrest warrant for Mr. Lopez, knew it was time to leave.

“Nelson Moncada was found murdered and [he] was involved in Leopoldo Lopez’s case too. I felt that it might be the government who, in one way or another, was trying to get rid of people who were involved in that case,” Ms. Tovar said in Spanish through her counsel Victor Korsun, who translated for her.

Ms. Tovar, 47, fled with her 13-year-old daughter and husband. They are currently living in a Toronto hotel until they can move into an apartment in December. In the meantime, they are awaiting a hearing with the Immigration and Refugee Board.

The Caracas-born lawyer left behind friends, family and a 17-year career as a judge in the Venezuelan capital. She says she started to notice the judiciary losing its independence in 2009, but things intensified in 2013 when Mr. Maduro became President.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/phone-tapping-fear-and-threats-why-an-ex-venezuelan-judge-is-seeking-refuge-in-canada/article37000457/

https://www.voanews.com/a/five-venzuelan-judges-given-refuge-in-chile/4078694.html

http://nationalpost.com/g00/pmn/news-pmn/chile-welcomes-venezuelan-judges-after-granting-them-asylum?i10c.encReferrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8%3D

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-chile/exiled-venezuelan-opposition-magistrates-resurface-in-chile-idUSKBN1CO2XA

http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2444969&CategoryId=10717

Canada: Toronto lawyer offering $50,000 reward to help find gunman who shot him

September 20, 2017

Randall Barrs

A Toronto lawyer shot outside his Yorkville office a year ago is offering a $50,000 reward to help police nab the man who ordered the gunman to open fire on him.

Randall Barrs said he is putting up the reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man who compelled the alleged gunman to stalk and shoot him outside his office.

“I’m doing this for all participants in the adversarial criminal justice system we have — criminal defence lawyers, Crowns, judges and police officers,” said Barrs, who was shot twice in the leg by a suspect.

“There’s someone out there who probably thinks he’s gotten away with this a year later. I’m hoping this reward money kick-starts this investigation,” said Barrs.

Career criminal Grayson Delong, 51, was under surveillance by undercover Halton officers on Sept. 20, 2016 from the time he made a 9 a.m. court appearance in Brampton on burglary charges until he drove to downtown Toronto that afternoon.

Delong allegedly ran up behind Barrs and opened fire shortly after 3 p.m. Seconds later, Delong was shot and wounded by a Halton officer while attempting to flee, the SIU alleged.

Delong had stolen licence plates on his vehicle and was wearing a disguise — a blonde wig and a construction worker’s outfit, according to Barrs.

Delong faces charges of aggravated assault and other offences.

http://www.torontosun.com/2017/09/20/toronto-lawyer-offering-50000-reward-to-help-find-gunman-who-shot-him

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/randall-barrs-reward-1.4300803

http://randallbarrs.com/about.html

Egypt/Brazil/Canada: The Allard Prize and The Case for Public Integrity

September 6, 2017

Peter Allard is heir to a fortune in Canada.

But instead of stashing in a bank or a hedge fund, Allard has decided to give much of it away.

Including $32 million to fund the law school at the University of British Columbia and to fund an $80,000 prize for international integrity.

The prize is awarded every two years — so far in 2013, 2015 and 2017.

This year’s prize winner will be announced September 28 in Vancouver.

Pulitzer prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald will give the keynote address.

So far, the prize has a bias in favor of anti-corruption fighters in the Third World.

In 2013, the finalists were Global Witness, which focuses on corruption in the Third World, an Afghan human rights activist, and the winner was an anti-corruption activist from India.

In 2015, the finalists were Indonesia Corruption Watch, a Russian anti-corruption activist, and the winners were two African anti-corruption investigative journalists.

This year, the finalists are the Brazilian Car Wash prosecution team, an Azerbaijani journalist and an Egyptian human rights worker.

https://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/news/200/peter-allard-prize-case-public-integrity/

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

Lawyer and Women’s Rights Defender Azza Soliman is a finalist for the 2017 Allard Prize for International Integrity.

Soliman is a co-founder of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance and has dedicated her life to fighting corruption and injustice faced by Egyptian women in both the private sphere and the judicial system.

She has worked to support women’s access to justice by using progressive interpretations of religion to influence legislation and combat the monopoly and corruption of religious institutions.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, text

On September 28th the dream team bringing down corruption in Brazil will be in Vancouver as finalists for the Allard Prize for International Integrity.

This Brazilian anti-corruption prosecution task force has worked to prosecute some of the most powerful Brazilian political leaders, including the popular former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was convicted of corruption and money laundering.

(Allard Prize For International Integrity Facebook)

http://www.allardprize.org/

 

DR Congo: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the arrest and detention of lawyer Sylva Mbikayi in the Democratic Republic of Congo

August 29, 2017

The Law Society of Upper Canadaexpresses grave concern about the arrest and detention of lawyer Sylva Mbikayi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Law Society received reports that on July 13, 2017, Sylva Mbikayi, a lawyer in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was arrested in the capital city of Kinshasa and detained at the Military Intelligence Headquarters (DEMIAP) in Bumba.

Sylva Mbikayi was arrested without a warrant and without being informed of the reasons for his arrest when he went to DEMIAP to consult his client and friend, activist and lawyer-in-training Jean-Marie Kalonji, who was being detained there.

Jean-Marie Kalonji was arrested a few hours earlier at an exit check-point of a military camp. He had his bag searched by soldiers after he explained “he could not show his passport because it was with an embassy where he had applied for a visa.”1 The soldiers who stopped him questioned his nationality and found in his bag “flyers for a Lumumba scholarship programme set up by the youth movement Quatrième Voie/ il est temps (the fourth way/ it is time).”2Jean-Marie Kalonji was then arrested.

Sylva Mbikayi was immediately notified of Jean-Marie Kalonji’s arrest, and when he went to visit Jean-Marie Kalonji at DEMIAP, Sylva Mbikayi was arrested as well.

Both men have been detained at DEMIAP since their arrest, without being allowed contact with their family members or access to lawyer.

http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/The-Law-Society-of-Upper-Canada-expresses-grave-concern-about-the-arrest-and-detention-of-lawyer-Sylva-Mbikayi-in-the-Democratic-Republic-of-Congo-456437

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147504070

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147504070&langtype=1036 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.newswire.ca/fr/news-releases/le-barreau-du-haut-canada-preoccupe-par-larrestation-et-la-detention-de-lavocat-sylva-mbikayi-en-republique-democratique-du-congo-642132063.html (FRANCAIS)

Egypt/Canada: Egyptian human rights lawyer shortlisted for Canadian human rights award

August 21, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

Lawyer and Women’s Rights Defender Azza Soliman is a finalist for the 2017 Allard Prize for International Integrity.

Soliman is a co-founder of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance and has dedicated her life to fighting corruption and injustice faced by Egyptian women in both the private sphere and the judicial system.

She has worked to support women’s access to justice by using progressive interpretations of religion to influence legislation and combat the monopoly and corruption of religious institutions.

(Allard Prize For International Integrity Facebook)

http://www.allardprize.org/news/2017-finalists-announced-c100000-allard-prize-international-integrity

https://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/news/200/allard-prize-international-integrity-named-september-28-vancouver/

http://www.allardprize.org/

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/arrest-azza-soliman

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2017/08/21/egypt-imprisoned-me-for-defending-human-rights-but-i-havent-lost-hope/?tid=ss_fb-bottom&utm_term=.6b31efc24293

http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/27086/new-texts-out-now_tamir-moustafa-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B5%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%B7%D8%A9

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azza_Soliman (FRANCAIS)

http://www.valor.com.br/valor-investe/casa-das-caldeiras/5084514/lava-jato-e-finalista-no-premio-allard-para-integridade-int (PORTUGUES)

Egypt/Canada: Allard Prize Award Ceremony

The 2017 Allard Prize for International Integrity will be awarded at a ceremony to be held in Vancouver, Canada on September 28th, 2017. The $100,000 CAD Prize was established in 2012 and is one of the largest anti-corruption prizes in the world.

The finalists for this year’s prize are Azza Soliman (Egypt), Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan), and Car Wash Task Force (Brazil). The keynote speaker at this year’s ceremony will be internationally renowned journalist Glenn Greenwald.

ABOUT THE FINALISTS:

Azza Soliman – A renowned women’s rights lawyer, Azza Soliman is the co-founder of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA). She has dedicated her life to fighting corruption and injustice faced by Egyptian women in both the private sphere and the judicial system. She started her activism in 1995 when she was arrested after exposing the torture imposed on female members of the Islamic Group. Soliman has worked to support women’s access to justice by using progressive interpretations of religion to influence legislation and combat the monopoly and corruption of religious institutions. In 2015, Soliman was unjustly charged with unauthorized protest and public order violations after testifying against a policeman who she witnessed killing a female human rights defender during a protest. In response, she founded the “Protecting Witnesses and Whistleblowers Coalition” to help enhance the Rule of Law. Currently, the Egyptian government has curtailed Soliman’s freedom by freezing her law firm’s and her own private assets and banning her from traveling outside Egypt.

http://www.allardprize.org/news/allard-prize-award-ceremony

http://www.allardprize.org/

http://www.voiceonline.com/international-prosecution-azerbaijani/