Tag Archives: Canada

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.”







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




Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling, text

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

May 11, 2019


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






More Christians awaiting death penalty in Pakistani jail


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…


Liberté pour Maître Nasrin Sotoudeh – آزادی برای وکیل نسرین ستوده



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)


Image may contain: 1 person

No photo description available.

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?



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


Asia Bibi leaves for Canada: Lessons for Pakistan








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://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.






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




3 more groups seek writs of amparo

Plotters also out to assassinate Duterte, warns supporter


In Defence of Justice: End Impunity | Event


Lawyers and lawlessness


Open season



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





Canada: Canada Border Services seizes lawyer’s phone, laptop for not sharing passwords

May 5, 2019

As more people travel with smartphones loaded with personal data, concern is mounting over Canadian border officers’ powers to search those phones — without a warrant.

“The policy’s outrageous,” said Toronto business lawyer, Nick Wright. “I think that it’s a breach of our constitutional rights.”

His thoughts follow a personal experience. After landing at Toronto’s Pearson Airport on April 10, he said the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) flagged him for an additional inspection — for no stated reason.

Wright had just returned from a four-month trip to Guatemala and Colombia where he studied Spanish and worked remotely. He took no issue when a border services officer searched his bags, but drew the line when the officer demanded his passwords to also search his phone and laptop.

Wright refused, telling the officer both devices contained confidential information protected by solicitor-client privilege.

He said the officer then confiscated his phone and laptop, and told him the items would be sent to a government lab which would try to crack his passwords and search his files.




The Liberals want to amend the CBSA Act — will the bill include promised external oversight?


Canada/Iran: Canadian Parliamentarians call on Iran to release Nasrin Sotoudeh

April 29, 2019


Human Rights Lawyer Sentenced To 148 Lashes And 38 Years In Prison In Iran

The Iranian Regime’s Crackdown on Women Activists (April 30)


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_ICJRYPe8HMdeGrWxbEX3y6bNudf4kCa/view (FRANCAIS)

https://information.tv5monde.com/terriennes/freenasrin-l-avocate-iranienne-nasrin-sotoudeh-toujours-en-prison-297390?fbclid=IwAR2ngA-Lg58Qks7cina02CBJXEQP5Fzj7ItPLFPGrhnSbJLeap1n9eTkET0 (FRANCAIS)

https://letempstg.com/2019/04/29/amnesty-international-plaide-pour-la-liberation-de-sotoudeh/ (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxi_T%C3%A9h%C3%A9ran (FRANCAIS)

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

https://www.spiegel.de/plus/sie-wollen-uns-muerbemachen-a-4c345e6f-d778-41bc-a55d-b16eda7eb8fa (DEUTSCH)

https://www.cicero.de/kultur/antifa-kopftuch-meinungsfreiheit-islam (DEUTSCH)

https://diepresse.com/home/meinung/quergeschrieben/schurian/5620186/38-Jahre-Haft-148-Peitschenhiebe_Kein-Fall-fuer-Frauensolidaritaet (DEUTSCH)

https://www.spiegel.de/plus/mann-von-nasrin-sotoudeh-sie-wollen-uns-muerbemachen-a-4c345e6f-d778-41bc-a55d-b16eda7eb8fa (DEUTSCH)

http://www.ansa.it/basilicata/notizie/2019/05/02/nastrini-rossi-per-nasrin-sotoudeh_7ac76b1f-ac5c-4e20-9514-ac524ed6c9d6.html (ITALIANO)

https://www.advocatenblad.nl/2019/04/30/bijna-3100-euro-gedoneerd-voor-iraanse-advocaat-sotoudeh/ (NEDERLAND)

https://lajk.iprima.cz/viraly/slavna-zastankyne-lidskych-prav-byla-odsouzena-k-148-ranam-bicema-38-letum-vezeni-co-provedla (CZECH)


Image may contain: Reza Khandan, text and closeup

Image may contain: Reza Khandan, text

Iran: Detained Defense Attorney to Be Tried on Four Charges for Peaceful Activities

April 22, 2019

Detained defense attorney Amirsalar Davoudi is facing four charges for running a Telegram app channel for lawyers in Iran and giving interviews to foreign news organizations, attorney Vahid Farahani told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on April 16, 2019.

Two of the charges brought by Branch 1 of the court of Evin Prison are “propaganda against the state” and “insulting officials.”

The other two, brought by Branch 2 of the prison’s court, are “collaborating with an enemy state through an interview with Voice of America’s television channel” and “forming a group to overthrow the state.”

“All the charges are based on what he wrote on Without Retouch, a Telegram channel Mr. Davoudi managed before his arrest, as well as his interviews with a television network operating outside Iran,” Farahani said.

“I have been given permission to study the file against my client and I was able to meet him [in prison] on one occasion for two hours,” he said.

The state-funded Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) had previously quoted Davoudi’s attorney stating that the case had been sent to be tried at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran presided by Judge Abolqasem Salavati, who is notorious for issuing lengthy sentences in politically sensitive cases. No date has been scheduled.

Farahani also told IRNA that the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security” had been dropped against Davoudi’s wife, Tannaz Kolahchian. It is not clear on what basis she was charged.

Detained Defense Attorney to Be Tried on Four Charges for Peaceful Activities  




https://www.lagazzettadilucca.it/cultura-e-spettacolo/2019/04/nasrin-sotoudeh-il-filo-rosso-degli-avvocati-passa-anche-da-lucca/ (ITALIANO)


Image may contain: 1 person, text

Le 13e avocat arrêté depuis le 1er janvier 2018

Depuis le premier janvier 2018, ce sont au moins 13 avocats, qui ont été arrêtés, dans le cadre d’une campagne de répression visant à les empêcher de défendre des personnes – et parfois leurs confrères – arrêtés pour des motifs politiques : Zeynab Taheri, Arash Keykhosravi, Ghassem Sholeh-Sadi, Masoud Javadieh, Payam Derafshan, Farokh Forouzan, Hoda Amid, Mostafa Daneshjoo puis Nasrin Sotoudeh et Mohammad Najafi, Amirsalar Davoudi, Hossein Ahmadiniaz ou encore Mostafa Tork Hamadani.
Si Masoud Javadieh et Hossein Ahmadiniaz ont été presque aussitôt relâché, si Zeynab Taheri, Payam Derafshan, Farokh Forouzan Arash Keykhosravi, Ghassem Sholeh-Sadi, ou Hoda Amid ont fini par être libérés sous caution, Mohammad Najafi n’a connu la liberté que quelques jours avant d’être arrêté de nouveau. Quant à Nasrin Sotoudeh Mostafa Daneshjoo et Amirsalar Davoudi, ils croupissent en prison. Mostafa Tork Hamadani a été placé en détention le 3 février 2019 à la prison d’Evin. Le 4 février, une vingtaine d’avocats publiés une lettre ouverte au peuple iranien déclarant que l’emprisonnement de leur confrère, Mostafa Tork Hamedani, à la prison d’Evin, à Téhéran, constituait une violation des engagements internationaux pris par l’Iran aux principes du procès équitable.
Hossein Ahmadiniaz a prononcé une déclaration publique : “La place d’un avocat n’est pas en prison, c’est dans une salle d’audience où sont défendus les droits de la population”.

Tout ceci est naturellement dans le supplément spécial Iran de l’Observatoire : 20 pages

“La situation des avocats en Iran
ce que l’on ne vous dit pas “.

(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 23/04/19)

USA/Ecuador/Canada/The Netherlands: Dutch Supreme Court Rules for Chevron in Ecuador Dispute

April 16, 2019

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has ruled in favor of Chevron Corporation, rejecting the Republic of Ecuador’s attempts to annul decisions of an international arbitral tribunal in The Hague that ordered Ecuador to take all steps necessary to prevent enforcement of a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron anywhere in the world. The Ecuadorian judgment previously was found by the international arbitral tribunal and by U.S. courts to have been obtained through fraud, bribery and corruption.

The arbitral tribunal, administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, issued interim and partial awards in favor of Chevron in 2012 and 2013 in proceedings brought by Chevron to hold the Republic of Ecuador accountable for the fraudulent and corrupt litigation against the company in that country. The arbitral awards ordered the Republic of Ecuador “to take all measures necessary to suspend or cause to be suspended the enforcement and recognition within and without Ecuador” of the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron. The decision by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands upholds the rulings of two Dutch lower courts that rejected the Republic of Ecuador’s attempts to annul those awards.

“The highest court in the Netherlands confirmed that Ecuador is required under international law to prevent enforcement of the corrupt Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron anywhere in the world,” said R. Hewitt Pate, Chevron’s vice president and general counsel. “The Dutch Supreme Court joins the courts of the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Gibraltar in rejecting the Ecuadorian fraud against Chevron. Chevron urges Ecuador to honor its obligations under international law, comply with the lawful orders of The Hague tribunal and put an end to the fraud and extortion against Chevron.”

These failed efforts to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment were led by adjudicated racketeer and suspended lawyer Steven Donziger. In 2018, Donziger was suspended from practicing law in New York State and Washington, D.C. after having been found by U.S. federal courts to have engaged in a longstanding pattern of racketeering activity in procuring the Ecuadorian judgment, including multiple acts of fraud, bribery and judicial corruption.

Dutch Supreme Court Rules for Chevron in Ecuador Dispute

Chevron Ecuador: Chevron Wins In Ecuador Fraud Case In Dutch Supreme Court


https://laopinion.com/latinowire/corte-suprema-de-holanda-falla-a-favor-de-chevron-en-disputa-con-ecuador/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.eleconomista.es/empresas-finanzas/noticias/9826255/04/19/El-Tribunal-Supremo-de-Holanda-falla-a-favor-de-Chevron-en-disputa-con-Ecuador.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.em.com.br/app/noticia/internacional/2019/04/16/interna_internacional,1046849/comunicado-do-business-wire-chevron-corporation.shtml (PORTUGUES)