Tag Archives: Canada

India/Canada: Gurpreet Singh: Indian lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat presented with medal of courage in Surrey

May 19, 2019

Indians Abroad for Pluralist India members Rakesh Kumar and Parshotam Dosanjh were among many who were present to hear Deepika Singh Rajawat (right) speak at the Surrey City Centre Library.

A visiting human rights lawyer from India who fought for justice to the family of an eight-year-old victim of rape and murder was honoured at a well-attended public event in Surrey on Saturday (May 18).

Deepika Singh Rajawat stepped forward at personal risk to defend the family of Asifa Bano—a Muslim nomad girl who was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and killed by Hindu fundamentalists in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in January 2018.

Those involved in the conspiracy wanted to terrorize and humiliate Muslims in the area by and using rape as a weapon.

Rajawat faced threats and intimidation in the deeply polarized society of India. The accused continue to enjoy the patronage of the ruling right-wing Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), which holds power in India.

Rajawat was presented with the Radical Desi medal of courage at the Surrey City Centre Library by members of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI).

IAPI president Parshotam Dosanjh presented her with the medal amid huge applause.

Radical Desi is an online publication that covers alternative politics and last year it declared Rajawat as its Person of the Year. IAPI and Radical Desi have partnered on number of initiatives.

https://www.straight.com/news/1242651/gurpreet-singh-indian-lawyer-deepika-singh-rajawat-presented-medal-courage-surrey

https://www.straight.com/news/1242336/gurpreet-singh-visiting-human-rights-defender-india-introduced-bc-mlas

Human rights defender from India, Deepika Singh Rajawat, introduced to BC Legislature

https://www.straight.com/news/1096511/gurpreet-singh-surrey-based-trinjan-celebrates-advocate-family-asifa-bano

https://www.news18.com/news/india/they-may-kill-me-but-i-wont-back-out-how-kathua-rape-victims-lawyer-dodges-death-every-day-1927503.html

I Don’t Know Till When I Will Be Alive Says Kathua Rape Case Lawyer

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/no-house-for-deepika-singh-rajawat-lawyer-who-fought-for-family-of-8-year-old-kathua-girl-who-was-raped-and-murdered/cid/1678388

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/-all-power-to-deepika-singh-rajawat-tweets-emma-watson-on-kathua-rape-murder-victim-s-lawyer-1226324-2018-05-04

https://m.punjabitribuneonline.com/article/%E0%A8%AE%E0%A8%A8%E0%A9%81%E0%A9%B1%E0%A8%96%E0%A9%80-%E0%A8%85%E0%A8%A7%E0%A8%BF%E0%A8%95%E0%A8%BE%E0%A8%B0-%E0%A8%95%E0%A8%BE%E0%A8%B0%E0%A8%95%E0%A9%81%E0%A8%A8-%E0%A8%A6%E0%A8%BE-%E0%A8%AC/1551607 (HINDI)

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Pakistan/UK: Lawyer who defended Asia Bibi named Secularist of the Year

May 18, 2019

Lawyer who defended Asia Bibi named Secularist of the Year

A lawyer who defended a Christian woman who spent eight years on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan has been named as the Secularist of the Year for 2019.

Saif ul Malook, who defended Asia Bibi, was awarded the National Secular Society’s annual prize at its Secularism 2019 conference on Saturday 18 May.

The award presented by the human rights barrister and NSS honorary associate Geoffrey Robertson QC.

Asia Bibi was sentenced to death by hanging for allegedly insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad in November 2010. Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered her to be freed in October 2018. It upheld her acquittal in the face of a petition urging its quashing in January.

Malook represented Asia Bibi from 2014 until the end of the process. He has faced death threats from Islamists in response, as have the judges who ordered her to be freed.

He is now handling another blasphemy case involving Shaghufta Kausar, who faces a possible death sentence in Pakistan over a text message that allegedly insulted Muhammad.

Saif ul Malook said:

“Thanks to the National Secular Society for recognising my efforts to secure the acquittal of Asia Bibi.

“To fight blasphemy cases in Pakistan is putting one’s own and families’ lives at risk. The moral support from organisations such as the NSS has given me the courage to take the case of Shaghufta Kausar – another Christian woman on death row on blasphemy charges.

“I assure you that I plan to continue my mission in providing legal aid to all blasphemy victims even in future regardless to the threat to my life.”

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/05/lawyer-who-defended-asia-bibi-named-secularist-of-the-year

https://www.trendsmap.com/twitter/tweet/1129774573740843008

https://www.premier.org.uk/News/World/Asia-Bibi-s-lawyer-named-Secularist-of-the-Year

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/head-line-news-details/7108

https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2019/may/asia-bibi-survived-violent-islamic-mobs-in-pakistan-now-a-muslim-man-wants-to-slay-the-blasphemer-in-canada

https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/asia-bibi-free-but-another-christian-in-her-cell/

Pakistani mother cleared of blasphemy charges, joins her daughters in Canada

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/opinion-details/3331

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

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Pakistan: Aasia Bibi’s lawyer will now plead the case of a Christian couple on death-row

May 11, 2019

saif-ul-malook

Saiful Malook, the lawyer who pleaded the case of Aasia Bibi is all set to fight the case of a Christian couple who are now on death row for committing blasphemy.

The couple was directed to pay Rs100,000 fine each and in case of default, they would further undergo six months’ imprisonment.

Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Masih were given death sentence under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) read with Section 34 of the PPC by the additional sessions judge of Toba Tek Singh on April 4, 2014.

Saiful Malook advocate confirmed to a private source that he had submitted his Vakalatnama in the LHC to plead their case, saying that he had already met with Kausar in Multan jail.

Malook – who was offered citizenship by EU countries but returned to Pakistan to play his role in human rights matters – said Kausar is lodged in the same death cell, where Bibi was imprisoned before her acquittal in the blasphemy case by the Supreme Court late last year.

The couple’s appeal is pending in the Lahore High Court (LHC) and a hearing is likely to be fixed soon.

Aasia Bibi’s lawyer will now plead the case of a Christian couple on death-row

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/may/asia-bibi-lawyer-malook-shagufta-shafqat-blasphemy-pakistan.html

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1970606/1-aasias-lawyer-will-now-defend-death-row-couple/

https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/aasia-bibi-s-lawyer-to-defend-christian-couple-on-death-row-over-blasphemy-119051100741_1.html

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/05/08/christian-woman-acquitted-of-blasphemy-in-pakistan-arrives-in-canada-says-lawyer.html

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/uk-did-nothing-for-asia-bibi-pakistani-christian-jailed-for-blasphemy-tqhxrzfz9

More Christians awaiting death penalty in Pakistani jail

https://www.wionews.com/south-asia/asia-bibis-lawyer-to-defend-christian-couple-on-death-row-over-blasphemy-217937

https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2019/05/pakistan-government-of-pakistan-must-repeal-its-blasphemy-laws/ (FRANCAIS)

France/Iran: Douai Un soutien à l’avocate iranienne Nasrin Sotoudeh

le 10 mai, 2019

Nasrin Sotoudeh, une avocate iranienne, défend les droits de l’homme dans un pays où, c’est peu de le dire, cet engagement est risqué. Prix Sakharov pour la liberté de l’esprit en 2012 (un prix décerné par le Parlement européen), Me  Sotoudeh s’est signalée dernièrement en défendant les femmes qui ont enlevé leur voile en public, revendiquant le droit de sortir tête nue. La provocation de trop pour la justice iranienne qui l’a condamné à cinq ans…

https://www.lavoixdunord.fr/581241/article/2019-05-10/un-soutien-l-avocate-iranienne-nasrin-sotoudeh

Liberté pour Maître Nasrin Sotoudeh – آزادی برای وکیل نسرین ستوده

http://varmatin.com/vie-locale/le-barreau-de-draguignan-soutient-l-avocate-iranienne-emprisonnee-381803

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasrin_Sotoudeh

https://www.dw.com/fa-ir/interview/a-48685775?fbclid=IwAR0Eee7Ph6X9NflZeD6yNX9hNAn-xnRBA8J3-Hwj6quumNCKhLXYlKx-Nz4 (FARSI)

https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2019/05/proposal-aims-to-allow-authorities-to-hold-detainees-for-at-least-20-days-without-counsel/ (ENGLISH)

https://observatoryihr.org/news_item/canada-challenges-iranian-culture-of-impunity-at-ottawa-conference/ (ENGLISH)

https://www.voanews.com/a/iranian-students-protest-mandatory-headscarf-rule/4915075.html (ENGLISH)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasrin_Sotoudeh (ENGLISH)

https://www.amnotizie.it/2019/05/10/nasrin-sotoudeh-socia-della-camera-penale-di-patti/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.emiliaromagnanews24.it/lunedi-13-maggio-riunione-del-consiglio-comunale-di-bologna-106532.html (ITALIANO)

https://palermo-24h.com/patti-nasrin-sotoudeh-socia-onoraria-della-camera-penale/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.jagran.com/world/middle-east-iranian-human-rights-lawyer-nasrin-sotoudeh-sentenced-to-38-years-in-prison-and-148-lashes-jagran-special-19218344.html (HINDI)

#FreeNasrin

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Pakistan: Why Pakistan’s blasphemy law must be abolished

May 10, 2019

Asia Bibi is now safely in Canada. Picture: AFP.

Asia Bibi‘s long and highly publicized ordeal is finally over – she has been allowed to leave Pakistan. Bibi, a Christian, was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death. However, she was acquitted by the Supreme court in October last year after the prosecution failed to submit valid evidence against her.

Bibi’s acquittal sparked protests by religious fundamentalists across the country, and despite being acquited by the highest court in the country, Bibi was not allowed to leave Pakistan. The review petition against Bibi was also dismissed by the Supreme Court, but she was forced to remain in Pakistan until she quietly left for Canada on Wednesday. Such is the sensitivity of the matter that the government is tight-lipped about Bibi’s departure and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to confirm she was in Canada for security reasons.

Bibi is one of the more fortunate victims of Article 295-C of the constitution: unlike many others accused of blasphemy, after spending eight years in prison, she was able to flee the country. There are still dozens of people accused of blasphemy languishing behind bars in until their cases can be heard. The lower courts do not like to go against public sentiment and in most cases, despite the evidence against them being weak, the accused are given death sentences. The case of Professor Junaid Hafeez is a classic example. Hafeez, a lecturer at a government university in Punjab, was charged with blasphemy because of a Facebook post he made in 2013, and since then his case has been pending in the lower courts and the judge presiding over the case has been replaced six times. His lawyer, Rashid Rehman, was murdered in broad daylight after he refused to abandon the case.

Despite the prevalence of people being wrongly accused of blasphemy, Pakistan is still not ready to embrace reform. Hafeez is in solitary confinement and his misery is likely to continue indefinitely. The unsung hero of the Bibi case, the lawyer Saif ul Malook, who courageously fought for her acquittal, told this correspondent that in future he may take up the case of Hafeez. Malook is considered the best lawyer to defend people accused of blasphemy. He is immensely courageous and his knowledge of the law and the prosecution system is unrivaled. But what about the other people who are still waiting for justice to be served and why are their cases not getting media attention?

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/05/opinion/why-pakistans-blasphemy-law-must-be-abolished/

http://newsweekpakistan.com/trudeau-declines-to-confirm-if-aasia-bibi-in-canada/

Asia Bibi happy to be in Canada but ‘very tired’ after blasphemy ordeal, says friend

https://www.firstpost.com/world/asia-bibi-is-now-free-us-welcomes-pakistani-christians-arrival-in-canada-says-blasphemy-laws-jeopardise-fundamental-freedom-6598691.html

Asia Bibi leaves for Canada: Lessons for Pakistan

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/the-times/crushing-dissent-is-a-clear-sign-of-weakness/news-story/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canada-has-helped-muslims-thrive-and-we-must-extend-the-same-welcome/

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/pakistan-s-muted-response-as-asia-bibi-flees-to-canada-11518350

https://onenewsnow.com/persecution/2019/05/09/bibi-escaped-but-many-others-still-behind-bars-in-pakistan

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/may/asia-bibi-lawyer-malook-shagufta-shafqat-blasphemy-pakistan.html

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pakistani-christian-asia-bibi-finds-refuge-in-canada-but-faces-muslim-retribution

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

https://www.asiabibi.com/ (FRANCAIS)

Pakistan/Canada/The Netherlands: Asia Bibi: Christian leaves Pakistan after blasphemy acquittal

May 8, 2019

Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who spent years on death row after being convicted of blasphemy, has left the country, officials have confirmed.

Her conviction was overturned last year by the Supreme Court.

She was originally convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with her neighbours.

Asia Bibi has always maintained her innocence in a case that has polarised Pakistan.

Pakistani government officials did not reveal her destination, or say when she left.

But her lawyer Saif Ul Malook told CNN she had already arrived in Canada. Some of her family are reported to be in Canada.

Asia Noreen – commonly known as Asia Bibi – was kept at a secret location while arrangements were made for her to leave the country.

The Supreme Court’s quashing of her sentence last October led to violent protests by religious hardliners who support strong blasphemy laws, while more liberal sections of society urged her release.

Since 1990, at least 65 people have reportedly been killed in Pakistan over claims of blasphemy.

Asia Bibi, who was born in 1971 and has four children, was the first woman to be sentenced to death under the blasphemy laws.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48198340

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/08/asia-bibi-arrives-in-canada-after-leaving-pakistan

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/08/asia/asia-bibi-canada-intl/index.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7003763/Christian-mother-53-jailed-blasphemy-Pakistan-returning-home.html

http://www.arabnews.pk/node/1494276/pakistan#.XNKCGk0s9ZE.twitter

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2019/05/08/pakistan-christian-asia-bibi-canada-saifi-lkl-vpx.cnn

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

https://jang.com.pk/news/637364-asia-bibi-leaves-pakistan (URDU)

https://www.lepoint.fr/monde/la-chretienne-asia-bibi-a-quitte-le-pakistan-08-05-2019-2311315_24.php (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/la-chretienne-asia-bibi-a-quitte-le-pakistan-20190508 (FRANCAIS)

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

https://www.nzz.ch/international/asia-bibi-aus-pakistan-ausgereist-ld.1480237 (DEUTSCH)

https://www.actuall.com/persecucion/asia-bibi-abandona-pakistan-seis-meses-despues-ser-absuelta-de-la-condena-a-muerte-por-blasfemia/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2019/05/08/news/asia_bibi_lascia_il_pakistan_l_accogliera_il_canada-225739746/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.ad.nl/buitenland/asia-bibi-is-onderweg-naar-canada~a4b9b763/ (NEDERLAND)

https://www.stichtinghvc.nl/nieuws/nieuwsoverzicht/blog-rechtszaak-asia-bibi-update/?fbclid=IwAR2E7cYQC4HagpKL-W0gxcXUrpwLEXZru_gqI9pPNdLpuBN6mXV4pHkBTPY (NEDERLAND)

The Philippines: NUPL to pursue legal action over inclusion in supposed ouster ‘matrix’

May 7, 2019

(In this photo, presidential spokesperon Salvador Panelo holds up supposed proof of journalists and pro bono lawyers conspiring against President Rodrigo Duterte.)

The National Union of People’s Lawyers, whose members were included in a diagram of journalists and lawyers allegedly involved in a plot to oust the president, will file charges over the allegation.

Speaking at a forum at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, NUPL secretary general Ephraim Cortez said the group will not file libel cases because these curtail the freedom of expression, but that charges “will definitely” be filed against government officials involved. He said complaints will also be filed over a newspaper report “exposing” the supposed plot.

Cortez raised that the Philippine National Police had announced an investigation into the supposed plot even before checking whether the “matrix” had basis.

“If evidence so warrants there can always be cases filed against them,” Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde, PNP chief, said on April 23 as he announced the national police would conduct the investigation on its own initiative.

NUPL had previously raised the “matrix” issue before the Supreme Court, saying it bolstered its petition for a protection order against alleged government harassment.

“These malicious statements and dangerous claims, as well as the contrived ‘matrix’ above, baseless and reckless as they are, compel the Petitioners to again seek at this time for the Honorable Court’s protection and reiterate their prayer for a temporary protection order,” it said in its manifestation on April 25.

The Supreme Court announced last Friday that it had issued a writ of amparo and habeas data in favor of NUPL.

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/05/07/1915891/nupl-pursue-legal-action-over-inclusion-supposed-ouster-matrix?fbclid=IwAR3quNjzUbV3E1NDD54RyQXmvLhlRGb9nCaWjfYeK6TjMGMI-nvy2O8o8A8

http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/5/7/NUPL-eyes-charges-Oust-Duterte-matrix-.html?fbclid=IwAR2_3iMxzy_kcVwLPwRsmuUOpzmtxizH4X4JyDXcMk5W2b5cE9i1ufawyu0#.XNJuTZ-gAkk.facebook

https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/229980-groups-hit-pattern-attacks-against-democratic-institutions-this-is-the-matrix-forum

https://www.ucanews.com/news/religious-rights-groups-fight-red-tagging-in-philippines/85131

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1804663/Manila/Local-News/Expanded-matrix-links-LP-Magdalo-to-Bikoy?rss=1

Journalists linked to ‘Oust Duterte’ matrix vow to ‘never go down’ 

https://www.rappler.com/nation/229986-malacanang-releases-new-diagrams-conspiracy-discredit-duterte-may-8-2019

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/693723/palace-claims-plot-by-lp-magdalo-media-outlets-to-discredit-duterte/story/

https://www.rappler.com/nation/229733-duterte-explain-supreme-court-writ-amparo-kalikasan?fbclid=IwAR0xD8tQMFb1fZ2i1uNwJHC3UECpCTo-y0pfQtNWpGmKX8Fzg01EyfsHzFQ

3 more groups seek writs of amparo

Plotters also out to assassinate Duterte, warns supporter

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1069180

In Defence of Justice: End Impunity | Event

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/statement-report/joint-statement-stop-attacks-against-human-rights-defenders-and-protect-civic-space?fbclid=IwAR0UcQnu_B6b6lYLzJnXmuZT-DWGHhRjx2nyjTuYQ2YoNBa9cF_IQYEYZVg

Lawyers and lawlessness

https://www.rappler.com/nation/230065-duterte-government-says-human-rights-lawyers-do-not-need-sc-protection-order

Open season

https://www.philstar.com/nation/2019/05/10/1916547/zamboanga-norte-judge-killed

https://nupl.net/

https://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/05/08/19/mga-naglabas-ng-oust-duterte-matrix-balak-kasuhan (TAGALOG)