Tag Archives: European Court of Human Rights

Portugal/ECHR: Infringement of the freedom of expression of two lawyers found liable for criticising two judges while acting in their capacity as representatives

October 8, 2019

In its Committee judgment in the case of L.P. and Carvalho v. Portugal (applications nos. 24845/13 and 49103/15) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:
a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights
The case concerned findings of liability against two lawyers for defamation (L.P.) and for attacking a person’s honour (Mr Carvalho) in respect of two judges, on account of documents drawn up by the lawyers in their capacity as representatives.
The Court found, in particular, that both applicants had been acting in the performance of their professional duties as lawyers. It further considered that the penalties had been apt to have a chilling effect on the profession of lawyer as a whole, especially with regard to lawyers’ defence of their clients’ interests. Consequently, the reasons given by the domestic courts to justify finding the applicants liable had been neither relevant nor sufficient and had not corresponded to a pressing social need. The interference had thus been disproportionate and had not been necessary in a democratic society.

https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/fre-press#%22itemid%22:%5B%22003-6528113-8623459%22%5D

https://www.lemondedudroit.fr/professions/238-avocat/66295-cedh-violation-de-la-libert%C3%A9-d-expression-de-deux-avocats.html (FRANCAIS)

Russia/ECHR: European Court of Human Rights Finds Russia Responsible for Death of Whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky

August 27, 2019

Europe's top human rights court acusses Russia of violating Sergei Magnitsky's rights

In a unanimous judgment, the European Court of Human Rights today delivered a comprehensive rebuke to Russia over the 2009 death in pretrial detention of Sergei Magnitsky, the accountant who had previously exposed a $230m tax fraud involving officials of Russia’s powerful Interior Ministry.

Responding to complaints brought by his mother and widow, the Strasbourg court ruled that Russia was responsible for Magnitsky’s death, and had subjected him to “intentional” acts of “violence…that amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment”.

This included persistently denying him medical treatment for a life-threatening illness, and a beating by guards just before he died.

The court also ruled that Russia’s investigation into Magnitsky’s death and abuse was inadequate, and that the government’s decision to put him on trial on corruption charges after his death was a manifest breach of the rule of law.

The ruling represents the first fully independent assessment of a case that has led to the imposition of sanctions by the United States and Canada against senior Russian officials accused of complicity in Mr Magnitsky’s death.

At the time of his death, Magnitsky had been held in pretrial detention for 358 days, while supposedly under investigation by the same Moscow Interior Ministry officers he had originally accused of corruption. The court ruled that the period of detention had been unreasonably extended by the Russian authorities, “on grounds which cannot be regarded as ‘sufficient’ to justify its duration”.

https://www.justiceinitiative.org/newsroom/european-court-of-human-rights-finds-russia-responsible-for-death-of-whistleblower-sergei-magnitsky

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49481471

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/europe-top-rights-court-condemns-russia-magnitsky-death-190827184340259.html

https://www.dw.com/en/european-rights-court-rules-against-russia-on-magnitsky-death/a-50178539

https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/27/europe-s-top-human-rights-court-acusses-russia-of-violating-sergei-magnitsky-s-rights

https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/27/russia-flouted-dead-lawyer-magnitskys-rights-says-european-court

https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng-press#%22itemid%22:%5B%22003-6486375-8551786%22%5D

https://echr.coe.int/Pages/home.aspx?p=home

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/08/27/why-you-should-read-european-court-ruling-magnitsky

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

https://news.ru/politics/priznan-zhertvoj-espch-vynes-reshenie-po-delu-magnitskogo/ (RUSSIAN)

http://www.rfi.fr/europe/20190827-affaire-magnitski-russie-epinglee-cour-europeenne-droits-homme-cedh (FRANCAIS)

https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng-press#{%22itemid%22:[%22003-6486376-8551787%22]} (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergue%C3%AF_Magnitski (FRANCAIS)

https://www.elindependiente.com/politica/internacional/2019/08/28/serguei-magnitsky-el-abogado-que-vencio-a-vladimir-putin-despues-de-muerto/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.ilpost.it/2019/08/27/corte-europea-dei-diritti-delluomo-sergei-magnitsky/ (ITALIANO)

https://24.sapo.pt/atualidade/artigos/russia-condenada-por-violacao-de-direitos-humanos-em-morte-de-advogado (PORTUGUES)

Azerbaijan: Lawyer disbarred for disclosing his client’s torture allegations in prison seeks justice from the European Court of Human Rights

July 18, 2019

Yalchin Imanov is the latest of at least two dozen human rights lawyers to have been disbarred, had their licences suspended, been criminally prosecuted or otherwise pressured by the authorities in Azerbaijan.

On 8 August 2017 Yalchin visited his client, Abbas Huseynov, in the high security Gobustan prison and saw bruises all over his body. Mr Huseynov told him that he had been severely tortured by prison officials, including being beaten with batons, dragged on the floor, tied to a metal pole in the yard and held in a solitary confinement with his hands and legs cuffed, over several days. Upon leaving the prison, he was contacted by several media outlets for information about the worrying situation of his client and he described to the media the treatment his client had been subjected to and the bruises he had seen on him.

The next day, Yalchin requested both the Prison Service and the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate Mr Huseynov’s torture allegations but no investigation has been conducted to date. In response to his complaint the Prison Service requested the Azerbaijan Bar Association (ABA) to take disciplinary measures against Yalchin for allegedly aiming `to cast shadow over the work and reputation of the state structures` and `to cause disorder` and `tension among some groups of the society`. His licence was suspended by the ABA on 20 November 2017, pending decision of the domestic court on his disbarment.

Yalchin was indefinitely disbarred by the Ganja Administrative Economic Court on 22 February 2019 on the basis of the request from the ABA who claimed that he had damaged `the honour, dignity and business reputation` of the Prison Service by providing information to the media about the torture allegations of his client, convicted in the Nardaran case.

Lawyer disbarred for disclosing his client’s torture allegations in prison seeks justice from the European Court of Human Rights

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/yalchin-imanov-suspended-practising-pending-trial

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2019/2/free/Social/en/79059.htm

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2019/6/free/Social/en/81410.htm

https://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/44798/

https://rm.coe.int/statistics-for-eng/168078f2f8

Turkey/UK: Society joins plea to UN over Turkey’s ‘chilling roll call of injustice’

July 18, 2019

Image result for law society of england and wales

Turkish citizens are resorting in vain to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in ever greater numbers, as trust in their domestic courts erodes, the Law Society of England and Wales said today in a joint submission to the UN Human Rights Council’s universal periodic review of Turkey on behalf of an international coalition of legal organisations.

’Judges’ and prosecutors’ independence has been systematically undermined in Turkey since the failed coup in 2016,’ Law Society president Simon Davis said. ’Hundreds of judges, prosecutors and lawyers have been arrested, detained and convicted on charges of terrorism without credible evidence.

’Lawyers have been identified with and punished for their clients’ causes. More than 1,500 lawyers have been prosecuted, hundreds of them in mass trials,’ he said. Lawyers who can still practise report intimidation and threats.’

Davis said that this menacing environment undermines the right of every citizen to legal representation and a fair trial, which may explain why Turkish citizens submitted more than 57,000 petitions to the European Court of Human Rights in 2017.

According to the submission, Turkey’s chilling roll call of injustice includes:

  • 57,039 petitions to the ECtHR in 2017 from Turkish citizens, 25,000 of which rejected for failure to exhaust domestic remedies
  • 4,260 judges and prosecutors dismissed
  • 634 judges and prosecutors convicted on terrorism charges
  • 1,546 lawyers prosecuted, 311 sentenced to a total of 1,967 years in prison
  • 599 lawyers arrested and detained

’Turkey must protect the independence of lawyers, judges and prosecutors – in legislation and in practice – so that they can perform their professional duties without intimidation and improper interference,’ Davis said. ’The rule of law and the independence of the legal profession are essential foundations for political, social and economic stability.’

He said that the Law Society and the international legal profession will continue to support colleagues working in difficult conditions and do whatever it can to help restore meaningful access to justice in Turkey.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/international/society-joins-plea-to-un-over-turkeys-chilling-roll-call-of-injustice/5071046.article

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/18/un-urged-to-act-over-purge-of-turkeys-lawyers-by-erdogan

https://www.australasianlawyer.com.au/news/legal-coalition-urges-un-to-act-on-persecution-of-lawyers-and-judges-in-turkey-264636.aspx

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/european-court-cannot-help-thousands-of-persecuted-lawyers-in-turkey-5fm5hw2wp

Joint UPR submission Turkey

http://www.barhumanrights.org.uk/bhrc-joins-international-coalition-of-legal-organisations-raising-concern-for-turkeys-lawyers-and-judges/

Int’l lawyers say Turkey’s justice system being undermined by post-coup purge

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/

UPR Turkey Combined

http://bianet.org/english/human-rights/210569-33-years-of-the-ihd-15-directors-and-members-of-which-killed-from-vedat-aydin-to-tahir-elci

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/07/turkey-outlandish-charges-against-osman-kavala-and-15-others-must-be-dropped/

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/ten-year-backlog-of-10000-cases-dogs-european-court-of-human-rights/

https://tr.euronews.com/2019/07/18/avrupa-hukuk-orgutleri-bm-ye-turkiye-raporu-insan-haklari-aihm-15-temmuz-mahkum-cezaevi (TURKCE)

Turkey: Chief of Turkish National Police admits that 540,000 detentions have been made without legal ground

July 15, 2019

On the third anniversary of 2016’s coup attempt, Celal Uzunkaya who is general director of the Turkey’s General Directorate of Security (National Police) admits that 540,000 individuals have been detained on grounds of their alleged cohesion or connection with the Gulen Movement / Structure which is outlawed by the Turkish Government after the coup attempt.

In a special interviews with CNN Turk, Mr Uzunkaya said:

Since 15thJuly (2016), 540.000 proceedings have been carried out, in connection with FETO. Is it over? It is not. Was it (FETO) cleaned?, should you ask; it has certainly not been dealt with completely.

Across Turkey, initially, every week in average 1500 – 1700, even 2000 detentions were being made. Nowadays, (thanks to) more qualified (meritable) identifications, we carry out proceeding about around 500-600 people per week who have coherence or connection with FETO.

Until this statement, Turkish government claimed that the criterion which were expressed in the Emergency Decrees, namely ‘coherence, connection, affiliation, relation, link [with or to Gulen Movement / Structure]’ are applied only for administrative measures, not in criminal proceedings. So indeed, Turkey defended itself in the ECHR and the UN Human Rights Mechanism in this manner. For the first time, chief of the Turkish National Police admits ‘coherence or connection’ which are not crime and do not have any legal ground are applied to criminal proceedings as well.

Mr. Uzunkaya also admits that their identification is more qualified than those made after the coup attempt. He says initially, every week in average 1500 – 1700, even 2000 detentions were being made in connection with Gulen Structure, nowadays (with) more qualified (meritable) identifications, around 500-600 people individuals are being detained per week.

Chief of Turkish National Police admits that 540,000 detentions have been made without legal ground

https://ahvalnews.com/echr-turkey/turkey-comes-second-echr-violations

Justice Ministry says Turkey building 137 new prisons

Turkey: Istanbul lawyer detained, beaten by Erdoğan’s guards for questioning blocked traffic

April 16, 2019

Turkish lawyer beaten by President Erdoğan’s bodyguards in İstanbul: report

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security guards detained and beat an Istanbul lawyer for insulting the president after questioning blocked traffic at the site of a wedding ceremony attended by Erdoğan, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The incident took place when lawyer Sertuğ Sürenoğlu asked police why traffic was blocked around the city’s Çırağan Palace, where Erdoğan was in attendance for a high profile wedding on Sunday, the newspaper said.

Erdoğan’s security handcuffed Sürenoğlu and placed him in a vehicle where he was beaten for two hours, it said, adding that the security guards then forced Sürenoğlu to sign a police report stating that he had insulted Erdoğan.

The lawyer was then handed over to police who took him into a station, Cumhuriyet said.

After being questioned for insulting the president, Sürenoğlu was released on house arrest.

“I didn’t even know that President Erdoğan was going to be there. I only asked why the road was blocked off. I absolutely did not insult the president. I was tortured by the president’s guards and forced me to sign a report saying I had insulted the president,” Cumhuriyet quoted Sürenoğlu as saying in his statement while in police custody.

Insulting the president carries a sentence between one and four years, according to the Turkish Penal Code.

https://ahvalnews.com/assault/istanbul-lawyer-detained-beaten-erdogans-guards-questioning-blocked-traffic?fbclid=IwAR2h0ID525-vtHZ4GQHTget24Vf0W65gNyQmqAK2PKrBwRdabYYBEjCjpx4

President Erdogan’s security details tortured a Turkish lawyer

Turkish lawyer beaten by President Erdoğan’s bodyguards in İstanbul: report

Erdogan's bodyguards, beaten the lawyer, he had the record signed!

https://ahvalnews.com/echr-turkey/turkeys-detention-highest-court-judge-unlawful-echr

European court rules Turkey violated top judge’s rights of liberty

https://gozlemgazetesi.com/HaberDetay/252/1112437/korumalar-tarafindan-darp-edildigi-iddia-edilen-avukat-sertug-surenoglu.html (TURKCE)

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/372222/kozagaclinin-babasinin-cenazesine-kelepceli-goturulmesine-tepki (TURKCE)

http://www.armenews.com/spip.php?page=article&id_article=11587 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.challenges.fr/monde/un-juge-constitutionnel-turc-fait-condamner-ankara-a-strasbourg_653541 (FRANCAIS)

Germany/Turkey/Greece: Critical of German justice, lawyer to take NSU case to European court

January 18, 2019

NSU avukatlarından Daimagüler: 1600 kez tehdit edildim

Mehmet Daimagüler, one of the lawyers for the families of victims in Germany’s notorious National Socialist Underground (NSU) case, says he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Addressing a conference on the NSU and racism in Germany at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul yesterday, Daimagüler said he did not trust German courts and did not expect much from the legal process in Germany regarding the neo-Nazi gang.

The NSU, composed of three members, were behind the murders of eight Turkish and one Greek immigrant and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007. Two members killed themselves when the police closed in on them, while the sole surviving member, Beate Zschaepe, was sentenced to life in a trial that concluded last year.

“I don’t trust German courts and that’s why we filed a compensation lawsuit [for the victims]. If the German government, state administrations did their jobs properly, if police did not look into the murders through a racist angle, people would not get killed,” the lawyer said.

The lawyer said he was certain cases against the NSU would be “lost,” referring to appeals to the sentence for Zschaepe and the gang’s accomplices who got away with lenient sentences. “But we will take these cases to the European Court of Human Rights afterwards,” he said.

Daimagüler also spoke about threats the lawyers of victims faced. “I’ve received about 1,600 threats so far but I didn’t take them seriously. Barking dogs seldom bite,” he added. However, he expressed concern about threats to fellow lawyer Seda Başay Yıldız. “It was discovered that threats were linked to a police station and had everything from the address of her residences to the address of her parents. It is also a big scandal that police told Yıldız that they can’t protect her properly and suggested she buy a gun to defend herself,” he said.

https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2019/01/18/critical-of-german-justice-lawyer-to-take-nsu-case-to-european-court

http://www.migazin.de/amp/2019/01/15/frankfurter-anwaeltin-erhaelt-erneut-drohbrief/ (DEUTSCH)

https://www.landeszeitung.de/blog/nachrichten/politik/2243282-zweiter-drohbrief-des-nsu2-0-so-gehen-die-ermittler-vor (DEUTSCH)

http://juedischerundschau.de/den-bock-zum-gaertner-135911284/ (DEUTSCH)

http://medyaberlin.com/de/post/interview-mit-nsu-opfer-anwalt-mehmet-daimaguler (DEUTSCH)

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehmet_Daimag%C3%BCler (DEUTSCH)

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/avrupa/nsu-avukatlarindan-daimaguler-1600-kez-tehdit-edildim-41086283 (TURKCE)

https://www.star.com.tr/yerel-haberler/avukat-mehmet-daimaguler-3713766/ (TURKCE)

https://www.star.com.tr/guncel/nsu-davasini-aihme-tasiyacagiz-haber-1427028/ (TURKCE)

http://enpolitik.com/haber/266631/eger-alman-hukumeti-isleri-duzgun-bir-sekilde-yapsaydi-bu-insanlar-olmezdi.html (TURKCE)

https://perspektif.eu/2019/01/17/nsu-davasini-avrupa-insan-haklari-mahkemesine-tasiyacagiz/ (TURKCE)

https://www.trthaber.com/haber/dunya/nsu-davasini-avrupa-insan-haklari-mahkemesine-tasiyacagiz-401607.html (TURKCE)