Tag Archives: CCBE

The Philippines: Murder attempt against Filipina human rights lawyer

October 5, 2019

Human Rights Group decries murder attempt against Filipina human rights lawyer

ICHRP OFFICIAL STATEMENT

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) decries the ambush on Atty. Criselda Heredia while she was with her daughter and client last September 23, 2019. Fortunately, the three were physically uninjured as shots were fired into Heredia’s car by unidentified gunman on board a motorcycle. The incident happened in the municipality of Panit-an on the island of Panay, Central Philippines, around 11:30 am.

Heredia is a human rights lawyer and active in anti-mining campaigns on the island. As a member of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) she handles pro bono cases for farmers, human rights defenders and political prisoners.

According to NUPL, before the shooting, Heredia was red-tagged in posters and had been receiving death threats from unidentified men visiting her office. Human rights lawyer Atty. Benjamin Ramos was murdered on the nearby island of Negros last November 7, 2018. Before Ramos’ death, he was also red-tagged with name and face included in posters rolled out across the island.

“ICHRP condemns this outright attack against Filipino human rights lawyers. There is a clear pattern of vilification and harassments which then lead to political killings,” said Mr. Peter Murphy, chair of ICHRP’s Global Council. “This only shows the continuing climate of impunity and the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines under President Duterte”.

The attack on Atty Heredia brings to total for attacks on lawyers since President Duterte came to office in July 2016 to 61, with 49 killed and 12 survivors.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1910/S00032/murder-attempt-against-filipina-human-rights-lawyer.htm

Roxas-based rights lawyer survives slay try

https://www.rappler.com/nation/241737-human-rights-group-urges-international-criminal-court-open-investigation-drug-war

Human right group files motion at ICC

https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/10/04/19/joint-un-international-court-probe-on-slays-under-duterte-administration-sought

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/710477/victims-kin-file-additional-evidence-on-duterte-s-drug-war-at-icc/story/

Drug-war victims’ kin file 2nd ICC pleading

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/30/filming-philippines-war-drugs

THE PHILIPPINES: ATTACKS AGAINST LAWYERS ESCALATING

https://lesad.be/the-philippines-attacks-against-lawyers-escalating/

Filipino human rights lawyer uninjured after gunmen ambush car

Filipino lawyers attacksed Sept 2019 (IAPL MONITORING COMMITTEE REPORT)

https://www.abogacia.es/2019/09/18/filipinas-aumentan-los-ataques-contra-los-abogados/ (ESPANOL)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 05/10/19)

Egypt: Largest wave of mass arrests since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power

October 2, 2019

Over the past 12 days, Egyptian authorities have launched the biggest crackdown under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s rule rounding up more than 2,300 people – at least 111 of them children – said Amnesty International today. The authorities have carried out sweeping arrests of hundreds of peaceful protesters as well as carrying out more targeted arbitrary arrests of human rights lawyers, journalists, political activists and politicians.

The vast majority of those arrested are being investigated as part of one single case. If referred to trial, it would be the largest protest-related criminal case in Egypt’s history.

“President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government has orchestrated this crackdown to crush the slightest sign of dissent and silence every government critic. The wave of unprecedented mass arrests, which included many who were not even involved in the protests, sends a clear message – anyone perceived to pose a threat to Sisi’s government will be crushed,” said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director for Amnesty International.

“Participating in a peaceful protest is not a crime. The Egyptian authorities’ draconian response to the peaceful demonstrations illustrates their utter contempt for human rights and displays a flagrant disregard for the rights to peaceful protest and freedom of expression. The authorities must immediately and unconditionally release anyone detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of assembly or expression.“

In a rare challenge to President al-Sisi, and his government, small protests broke out in several cities across Egypt starting on 20 September. The Egyptian authorities sought to prevent a second round of protests on 27 September by shutting down large parts of downtown Cairo and carrying out mass arrests.

An official statement from Egypt’s Office of the Public Prosecutor on 26 September stated that “less than 1,000 people” have been interrogated in relation to their peaceful participation in protests. It confirmed that the defendants’ social media accounts had been searched for evidence of “incitement to protesting”. The statement mentioned that calls to protest posted on social media would be considered evidence of the “crime” of “unauthorized assembly”.

Human rights lawyers working with organizations including the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) and Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) have documented at least 2,300 arrests so far. According to lawyers, scores of detainees have been released without questioning, but many others continue to appear in front of prosecutors.

Lawyers, journalists and politicians rounded up

Amnesty International has documented the arrest of 10 journalists, remarkably most of them working for pro-government media outlets, primarily in Suez and Mahalla, and at least 25 politicians and academics from four different political parties. They include Khaled Dawoud, journalist and former head of liberal Dostour party, as well as political science professors Hassan Nefea and Hazem Hosny. At least ten are facing investigation on “terrorism-related” charges.

In a serious blow to defendants’ rights to provide a legal defence, lawyers have also been targeted with at least four arrested while carrying out their work and a total of 16 lawyers have been arrested.

On 29 September, human rights lawyer and director of the Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms Mohamed el-Baqer entered the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) building to represent detained activist Alaa Abdelfattah only to be arrested on the same unfounded charges as his client. These include “membership in a banned group” and “spreading false information”. The prosecutor questioned him about his organization’s work and did not present any evidence against him except a National Security Agency investigation report, which neither he nor his lawyer have been allowed to examine.

Amnesty International considers Mohammed el-Baqer a prisoner of conscience who is detained solely for his work defending victims of human rights violations. The organization is calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

“The vast scale and arbitrary nature of the arrests is clear indicator of how unnerved the Egyptian authorities are feeling about the prospect of further protests,” said Najia Bounaim.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/10/egypt-largest-wave-of-mass-arrests-since-president-abdel-fattah-al-sisi-came-to-power/

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/egypts-human-rights-lawyers-come-under-states-fire

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/egypt-thousands-arrested-biggest-crackdown-el-sisi-191002174627211.html

https://www.cfjustice.org/portal/2019/10/01/egypt-all-are-vulnerable-as-government-plunges-into-frenzied-quest-to-eliminate-opposition/

https://www.newsweek.com/3000-arrested-egypt-latest-uprising-president-abdel-fattah-sisi-biggest-crackdown-yet-1463023

https://www.dw.com/en/egyptian-protest-anger-justified-rights-activist-says/a-50668351

https://madamasr.com/en/2019/10/01/feature/politics/despite-release-of-at-least-96-detainees-calls-for-more-open-political-process-tense-security-situation-highlighted-by-arrest-of-lawyers-persists/

https://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/egypt/2019/09/d25523/

https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/amid-crackdown-leading-egyptian-rights-activist-arrested

Protests rattle Egypt, Bahraini women political prisoners expose abuse, and journalist jailed over abortion

https://www.york.ac.uk/cahr/news/2019/mohamedel-baqerarrest/

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/arrest-mohamed-el-baqer

Egypt: amidst the crackdown, lawyers are also a target

Letter on arrest Mahienour El-Massry

https://www.movedemocracy.org/alert-egypt-targets-lawyers

Rampant media campaign against human rights organizations: Are the Egyptian authorities paving the way for escalating their oppression of human rights defenders?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahienour_El-Massry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Egyptian_protests

https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2019/10/2/%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%87%D9%8A%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1%D9%8A-%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%AB%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%B3%D8%AC%D9%86%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%83%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%86%D8%B8%D9%85%D8%A9 (ARABIC)

https://arabic.euronews.com/2019/09/22/egyptian-human-rights-lawyer-mahinour-el-masri-arrested?fbclid=IwAR0r_Z3IXMk2Up_p0SEe6Z8O9VIWgCpxp8qaA8EhLhKzT_PnCTVjlAzbfoM (ARABIC)

https://egyptianfront.org/ar/2019/10/new-case-against-hrd/ (ARABIC)

https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2019/10/egypt-largest-wave-of-mass-arrests-since-president-abdel-fattah-al-sisi-came-to-power/ (FRANCAIS)

https://ifex.org/fr/legypte-submergee-par-les-bruits-des-manifestants-des-prisonnieres-politiques-bahreiniennes-denoncent-des-abus-et-une-journaliste-jetee-en-prison-pour-avortement/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.protect-lawyers.com/en/lawyer/6389/ (FRANCAIS)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 01/10/19)

 

 

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International Bar Association: IBA 2019: ‘Enthusiastic amateurs’ wanted to protect lawyers at risk

September 27, 2019

Simon Davis IBA

Commercial lawyers can do their bit as ‘enthusiastic amateurs’ to help protect colleagues at risk and the rule of law in general around the world, the president of the Law Society told the global legal profession today.

‘We need to ensure we are capturing the imagination and influence of the enthusiastic amateur,’ Davis told a packed closing session of the International Bar Association’s annual conference discussing ways to address the persecution of lawyers and judges.

By uniting in solidarity the profession can show that human rights lawyers are not just some isolated group to be picked off by hostile authorities, Davis said.

‘You can be a human rights lawyer in any organisation – we are all human rights lawyers,’ the Clifford Chance partner said.

The conference heard accounts of lawyers being threatened, imprisoned and murdered in countries as diverse as Turkey, Thailand and Venezuela. In the Philippines alone, 44 lawyers have been killed over the past three years, Erik Hammerstein, a commercial litigator who sites on the board of Netherlands group Lawyers for Lawyers said.

Noting this year’s furore over the granting of legal aid to a solicitor acting for a fugitive from justice, Davis said that the battle to protect the independence of the legal profession also had to be fought at home.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/iba-2019-enthusiastic-amateurs-wanted-to-protect-lawyers-at-risk/5101596.article

https://www.ibanet.org/Conferences/Seoul-2019.aspx

https://www.ibanet.org/

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/iba-2019-lawyers-must-stand-against-populism/5101575.article

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OSCE/Poland: Lawyers Under Threat in OSCE Region: Identifying Trends and Finding Solutions

No photo description available.

Side event: Lawyers Under Threat in OSCE Region. Tomorrow 25 September from 18.15-19.45 at the Warsaw National Stadium in the Plenary Hall.

(Lawyers for Lawyers Facebook, 24/09/19)

Side event: Lawyers Under Threat in OSCE Region

 

 

China: Harassment of human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong must stop, say UN experts

September 24, 2019

Image result for Jiang Tianyong

UN human rights experts* have called upon China to immediately end harassment and surveillance of prominent human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong.

Mr. Jiang was initially forcibly disappeared for a period and then sentenced in November 2017 to two years in prison for inciting subversion of State power. He was released in February this year.

“Despite his release, Mr. Jiang is not a free man. He remains under constant surveillance by the authorities and his movement is severely restricted. He continues to be punished, along with his family and friends, with harassment and intimidation by the authorities,” said the experts. They noted that while this is being done on the ground that he has been deprived of his political rights for three years, such treatment is both gratuitously punitive and legally unjustified.

The experts also expressed concern about Mr. Jiang’s lack of access to appropriate medical care, especially in view of his deteriorating health. “As a result of ill-treatment in prison, he reportedly suffers from high blood pressure, memory loss, poor vision, and swollen legs and feet which hinder his mobility. However, he has not been allowed to see a doctor of his own choice to seek appropriate medical care,” said the experts.

UN human rights experts had previously condemned Mr. Jiang’s conviction and expressed concern that his confession may have been coerced by the use of torture. They also raised concern that his enforced disappearance and conviction may have occurred, at least in part, in reprisal for his cooperation with the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, during his visit to China in August 2016. The Secretary-General has also noted allegations of continued reprisals against Mr. Jiang, in his latest report on reprisals against those who cooperate with the United Nations.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25046&LangID=E

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/jiang-tianyong-09052019145211.html

https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/global-affairs/news/inside-the-unexpected-unstoppable-hong-kong-1789921

http://www.ishr.ch/news/hrc42-l-china-must-end-all-forms-enforced-disappearance

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

https://www.ohchr.org/CH/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25046&LangID=C (CHINESE)

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

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The Netherlands: ‘We live in a narco-state’: murder of Dutch lawyer prompts fear and fury

September 19, 2019

Lawyers in gangland cases given emergency protection after unprecedented killing

Lawyers and prosecutors in major gangland drugs cases in the Netherlands have been given emergency protection after the unprecedented murder of a top defence lawyer prompted police and the media to claim that government naivety was turning the country into a narco-state.

Derk Wiersum was gunned down in the street as he left his home in the Amsterdam suburb of Buitenveldert on Wednesday morning. Police are searching for a 16- to 20-year old man in a black hooded top who fled the scene on foot.

Wiersum, 44, was acting for Nabil Bakkali, a crown witness in a case against 16 men accused of five murders between 2015 and 2017, whose brother was also shot dead last year shortly after authorities named Bakkali as a witness.

Dutch media compared Wiersum’s killing to the targeted Mafia assassinations of investigating magistrates in Italy in the 1990s or the lawless Colombia under the drugs baron Pablo Escobar.

Flags were at half-mast outside courtrooms across the Netherlands on Thursday and lawyers were to hold a minute’s silence as the justice minister, Ferd Grapperhaus, met officials from the public prosecutors’ office and representatives of Dutch lawyers’ associations to discuss the heightened security arrangements.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/19/netherlands-narco-state-dutch-lawyer-murder-fear-fury

https://www.france24.com/en/20190919-trudeau-brownface-netherland-lawyer-killed-narcoterrorism-oxford-sexism-china

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2019/09/20/2003722626

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/prosecution-witness-lawyers-assassination-shocks-netherlands/5101495.article

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/dutch-lawyer-murder-halts-prosecution-20101932

Netherlands: ICJ extremely concerned at killing of lawyer

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/10710-lawyer-in-major-dutch-organized-crime-case-shot-death

https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/91059-flags-flying-at-half-mast-in-memory-of-slain-lawyer

L4L shocked by liquidation of lawyer

Derk Wiersum

Home

https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2019/09/18/derk-zag-in-nabil-iemand-die-zijn-hulp-nodig-had-a3973880 (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/heeft-het-om-de-dreiging-voor-advocaat-derk-wiersum-onderschat~b1a928cb/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/une/justice-emoi-aux-pays-bas-apres-lassassinat-dun-avocat-en-pleine-rue (FRANCAIS)

https://www.rtbf.be/info/societe/detail_les-avocats-belges-sont-ils-inquiets-pour-leur-securite-apres-le-meurtre-de-leur-confrere-neerlandais?id=10319646 (FRANCAIS)

The Netherlands: Killing of crown witness’s lawyer Derk Wiersum shocks Amsterdam

September 18, 2019

Derk Wiersum was the lawyer for Nabil Bakkali, a crown witness in a case against 16 men accused of five murders.

The killing of Wiersum sent shockwaves in the Netherlands [Michel van Bergen/EPA-EFE]

 

A Dutch lawyer in a high-profile case against a group of men charged with a series of drug-related killings was shot dead in Amsterdam on Wednesday morning, police said.

The victim was identified as 44-year-old Derk Wiersum, a defence lawyer for Nabil Bakkali, a crown witness in the case against 16 men accused of five murders and one attempted murder in the Netherlands between 2015 and 2017.

The killing of Wiersum, a father and long-time criminal lawyer in Amsterdam, has sent shockwaves through the city and its justice system.

Police said they were searching for a youth aged between 16 and 20, who ran away after the shooting, which took place shortly after 7:30am local time (05:30 GMT).

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/killing-crown-witness-lawyer-derk-wiersum-shocks-amsterdam-190918093833974.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49740366

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/18/of-lawyer-in-gangster-case-shocks-the-netherlands

https://www.dw.com/en/dutch-lawyer-involved-in-drug-gang-case-slain-in-amsterdam/a-50474745

https://nltimes.nl/2019/09/18/mps-lawyers-shocked-assassination-key-witness-lawyer

Defence lawyer in major gangland killing case is shot dead

https://nltimes.nl/2019/09/18/slain-attorney-father-two-killed-next-wife

https://www.tellerreport.com/news/2019-09-18—nctv-sets-up-security-team-after-death-of-lawyer-derk-wiersum-.Syl8JaywH.html

https://www.tellerreport.com/news/2019-09-18—nctv-will-investigate-the-murder-of-lawyer-derk-wiersum-.HykQ7s1PH.html

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/rule-of-law-under-attack-as-dutch-lawyer-murdered/

https://www.geenstijl.nl/5149628/advocaat-kroongetuige-nabil-b-doodgeschoten/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.nu.nl/binnenland/5994681/nctv-richt-team-op-voor-beveiliging-na-dood-advocaat-derk-wiersum.html?redirect=1 (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.linda.nl/nieuws/advocaat-derk-wiersum-liquidatie-nabil-b-kroongetuige/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/l4l-geschokt-door-de-liquidatie-advocaat/ (NEDERLANDS)

http://r.email3.wikafi.be/mk/mr/di8WpH3glwNErgw4KDWFcJztAlLf-DO-j9xlkGFSoGar40JE_gYf0c7nrDLP4ZhqMijKvGzBIaFfptLpfeqr8sglV2gwcpVxutJL7g (FRANCAIS & ENGLISH)

http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/pays-bas-un-avocat-abattu-en-pleine-rue-a-amsterdam-18-09-2019-8154477.php (FRANCAIS)

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DECLARATION

The Board and the Coordinator of the Foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer are deeply shocked by the horrifying murder attack this morning in Amsterdam on the human rights lawyer Derk Wiersum, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Our thoughts are with his family members and friends.

Our Foundation notes that this murder is also an attack on the State of Law and the Rule of Law. We wonder how the protection or the safety of this very fine colleague was taken care of by the State, especially because he had been threatened recently as a lawyer in the ‘crown witness case’.

We wonder how it is possible that the fact that our wonderful colleague gave legal aid can lead to this murder attack?

The United Nations principles on the role of lawyers not only strongly condemn all attacks on lawyers who perform their professional duty, but also urge states to guarantee the safety of lawyers and take all necessary measures to reach that goal. Furthermore, we see the attack on our colleague as very inhumane and urge the Dutch government to start a thorough investigation to those who ordered and committed this murder.

On behalf of the Foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer and the other international lawyer organizations mentioned,

Hans Gaasbeek and Symone Gaasbeek-Wielinga

Gaasbeek en Gaasbeek Advocaten

🏴 Le Barreau de Marseille est indigné ! 🏴

L’avocat pénaliste Derk Wiersum, âgé de 44 ans, a été assassiné hier en pleine rue à Amsterdam.

Il défendait un témoin clé dans le procès de deux personnes accusées de meurtre et trafic de drogue.

Cela est intolérable.

Nous tenons à exprimer notre solidarité envers nos confrères Hollandais, ainsi que nos sincères condoléances à la famille et aux proches de Derk Wiersum.

(Barreau de Marseille Facebook, 19/09/19)

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