Tag Archives: European Union

Turkey: Turkey’s provincial bar associations wage unexpected war on Ankara

August 17, 2019

Feyzioğlu

The Turkish Bar Association, said on Saturday that its president Metin Feyzioğlu would attend a ceremony marking the beginning of the judicial year at the Turkish Presidency’s Congress and Culture Centre in Ankara despite provincial bar associations’ calls for a boycott, Artı Gerçek news site reported.

According to Birgun newspaper, so far 41 provincial bar associations, including those in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, announced that they had declined the invitation to attend the event over ethical concerns. Only three associations have accepted participating the ceremony, according to the same newspaper.

In a statement on Friday, the Istanbul Bar Association said it could not accept a choice of venue that conflicted both with the constitution’s 104th article, which deal with the president’s duties in relation to the judiciary, but also with ethical standards outlined in a legal reform package unveiled in May.

The Ankara Bar Association on Saturday said in a written statement that attending an event for the new judicial year at the presidential venue would mean reproducing the political pressure over the judiciary.

The association said the existing circumstances in Turkey had been surpassing both the rule of law and the separation of powers.

Turkish Bar Association, the umbrella organisation of provincial bodies, said in a written statement that Feyzioğlu would attend the event and deliver a speech.

“What our colleagues and nation expect is solve our problems through dialogue. We fully believe that we can solve those problems together by discussing and through dialogue,” it said.

The European Commission said in its annual report on Turkey published in May that the country had been experiencing considerable backsliding in the rule of law and the judiciary. The EU’s executive body said there were serious concerns on the independence of the judiciary, noting that some 30 percent of the judges and prosecutors were either dismissed or removed following a coup attempt in 2016.

https://ahvalnews.com/turkish-judiciary/turkeys-provincial-bar-associations-wage-unexpected-war-ankara

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-17/erdogan-faces-backlash-from-lawyers-boycotting-palace-ceremony

Bar associations refuse to attend judicial year opening at Presidential Palace

https://ahvalnews.com/turkish-judiciary/turkish-bar-associations-reject-invitation-state-ceremony-presidential-venue-over

https://ahvalnews.com/rule-law/turkey-109th-out-126-countries-rule-law-index

https://bianet.org/english/law/206052-turkey-ranks-worse-in-rule-of-law-index

https://www.dw.com/en/european-parliament-votes-to-suspend-turkeys-eu-membership-bid/a-47902275

https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-eu/eus-blind-eye-turkey-may-prove-costly

9 bar associations to boycott new judicial year opening at presidential palace

https://www.france24.com/en/20190818-turkish-lawyers-threaten-boycott-of-erdogan-s-courts-ceremony

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-bar-associations-to-boycott-judicial-year-ceremony-145859

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/turkish-bar-groups-boycott-court-ceremony-at-erdogan-s-palace-1.3990123

Turkish Bar Associations boycott new judicial year opening at presidential palace (updated)

European Court of Human Rights: ICJ and others intervene in case of former Amnesty Turkey Chair Taner Kiliç

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

http://www.tabloidgazete.com/metin-feyzioglu-saraydaki-torene-katilacak/ (TURKCE)

https://halkweb.com.tr/barolar-daveti-reddetmisti-peki-tbb-ne-yapacak/ (TURKCE)

https://www.barobirlik.org.tr/ (TURKCE)

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/les-avocats-turcs-menacent-de-boycotter-une-ceremonie-d-erdogan-20190818 (FRANCAIS)

China: “The Bravest Lawyer in China” – Gao Zhisheng

August 13, 2019

The first case was that of Cai Zhuohua, a pastor at a house church in Beijing who, together with members of his family, was arrested for operating an illegal business after printing multiple copies of the Bible. It was the first time I witnessed Gao’s grace and eloquence in court. The court disrespected the lawful right of Cai’s mother to observe the hearing, and Gao denounced the judge with fervent conviction. After that, Gao and I would often attend services at house churches in Beijing and he even got baptized later.

Another case we took on was the case of Shaanxi Oil. At the time, one of the lawyers on the case, Zhu Jiuhu, was arrested and imprisoned at the Shaanxi Yulin Detention Centre. We went to represent him and took pictures at the entrance before we left. Not long after, more than a dozen armed policemen rushed towards us and interrogated us for taking those pictures. They thought they could frighten us, but we were experienced in such interrogation and firmly rebutted them. After that, Gao lamented, “If this is how they treat lawyers in suits, can you imagine what they’d do to the people living around here?”

On the way back, we stopped by Gao’s home in Jiaxian and squatted in the courtyard eating noodles. I will never forget his cave home, his taciturn brother and the dry and barren land that surrounded us.

A coal miner turned lawyer

Gao Zhisheng came from humble beginnings. His father passed away when he was 11. At 16, he was admitted to a prestigious high school but had to drop out because he could not afford the tuition. Before he became a lawyer at 31, he worked a variety of jobs – he picked Chinese herbs in the mountains, worked as a coal miner, soldier and vegetable vendor, and labored in a cement factory. He experienced all kinds of hardships and had a deep understanding of inequality and injustices in China.

After becoming a lawyer, Gao set a few rules for himself. One was that a third of his cases had to be pro-bono lawsuits for low-income groups. He said: “I came from a poor family. I know how poor people feel so I know what I have to do … but helping others should not be an act of charity.”

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/08/bravest-lawyer-china-gao-zhisheng/

https://m.theepochtimes.com/an-unprecedented-evil-persecution-chapter-ten-silent-atrocities_3022485.html

https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/latest-news/news/2019/07/31/statement-by-the-spokesperson-of-the-eu-on-the-trial-of-chinese-human-rights-activist-huang-qi

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/family-08142019110446.html

https://www.theepochtimes.com/trump-will-work-to-oppose-the-forces-of-repression-for-dissedent-chinese-lawyer_3038733.html

http://www.jeromecohen.net/jerrys-blog/the-bravest-lawyer-in-china-gao-zhisheng

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

https://www.amnesty.be/infos/nos-blogs/blog-paroles-de-chercheurs-de-defenseurs-et-de-victimes/gao-zhisheng-disparition?lang=fr (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.fr/liberte-d-expression/actualites/gao-zhisheng-est-un-eminent-avocat-specialise-dans (FRANCAIS)

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

China/EU: Statement by the Spokesperson on the trial of Chinese human rights activist Huang Qi

July 30, 2019

EEAS logo

Prominent Chinese human rights activist and journalist Mr Huang Qi, founder of the website 64 Tianwang who for a number of years has monitored human rights violations in China and promoted freedom of press, was put on trial behind closed doors on 14 January 2019 at the Mianyang City Intermediate Court in Sichuan Province. He was sentenced in a non-public trial on 29 July to 12 years on charges of “illegally providing State secrets to foreign entities” and “intentionally leaking State secrets”.

In April 2018, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Mr Huang’s deprivation of liberty was arbitrary and in contravention with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The defendant’s rights under China’s Criminal Procedure Law and international law obligations to a fair trial, without undue delay, and to proper defence and access to a lawyer of his own choice, have not been respected. Neither his family nor the lawyer it had appointed were able to attend the trial.

In line with their declared aim of strengthening the rule of law, we expect the Chinese authorities to abide by China’s international law obligations, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and respect the rights of all citizens as guaranteed by China’s Constitution.

The European Union expects the immediate release of Huang Qi, as well as other detained and convicted human rights defenders and lawyers including Yu Wensheng, Wang Quanzhang, Qin Yongmin, Gao Zhisheng, Ilham Tohti, Tiyip Tashpolat, Tashi Wangchuk, Li Yuhan, Wu Gan and Liu Feiyue.

https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/66021/statement-spokesperson-trial-chinese-human-rights-activist-huang-qi_en

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/detention-huang-qi

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/china-strips-rights-lawyer-li-134949385.html

https://m.theepochtimes.com/trump-will-work-to-oppose-the-forces-of-repression-for-dissedent-chinese-lawyer_3038733.html

https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/chilling-story-behind-fan-bingbings-disappearance/news-story/58fc11758fe171e8fb9c36eb54c5831d

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

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/yu-wensheng

https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/66101/node/66101_fr (FRANCAIS)

The Philippines: About time, EU says of UN reviewing PH drug killings

July 14, 2019

About time, EU says of UN reviewing PH drug killings

The European Union welcomed a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution to launch a “comprehensive” review of the human rights situation in the Philippines, particularly alleged summary killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, and commended Iceland for pushing the measure.

The 28-nation European bloc said the first-ever resolution on the Philippines by the UNHRC was a “constructive way forward” for the United Nations’ highest human rights body to know more about the brutal antinarcotics campaign.

27,000 vs 6,600 killed

Human rights groups say up to 27,000 people have been killed in the three-year-old campaign, but the Philippine National Police says the number is only 6,600.

“The European Union welcomes the fact that the Human Rights Council is able to respond to and address situations of concern raised by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Procedures of the Council,” it said in a statement on Saturday.

“We commend the main sponsor for their constructive approach toward a balanced resolution with the main aim of requesting a report by High Commissioner and an enhanced interactive dialogue in the Council, which we think is a constructive way forward for the Council to be further informed about the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines,” the European Union said.

About time, EU says of UN reviewing PH drug killings

http://www.manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/299752/un-flummoxed-by-ph-reaction.html

https://www.apnews.com/bc3c68e1d1ac4c25bc2b9d36a5182daf

http://theowp.org/un-approves-investigation-into-the-philippine-war-on-drugs/

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/sundayextra/2019-07-14/11293550

Philippine president says Iceland has no crime because they just ‘eat ice’

https://www.rappler.com/nation/235349-riding-tandem-shootings-metro-cebu-july-2019

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/death-of-girl-3-in-manila-drug-war-stings-un-to-act-cmm0987w5

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1074886

Group: No war in PH and yet attacks on civilians rising

https://www.rappler.com/nation/235326-imee-marcos-cut-diplomatic-ties-iceland-asap

Rights group to families of drug war victims: Speak up to UN

https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/07/12/19/slain-lawyers-wife-disappointed-as-generals-skip-ca-amparo-hearing

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/3012486/philippines-drug-war-whats-behind-sudden-surge-deaths-central

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/07/15/1934809/philippines-eyes-withdrawal-un-rights-body

The resolution on Philippines has been adopted – what now?

https://www.amnesty.fr/justice-internationale-et-impunite/actualites/la-guerre-contre-la-drogue-de-duterte (FRANCAIS)

China: Four Years on, China’s Crackdown Still Suppressing Human Rights Lawyers, Clients

July 9, 2019

Hunan human rights lawyer Xie Yang, who was detained in China's July 9, 2015 crackdown on rights lawyers and subjected to abuse including torture and deprivation of food and water, poses with his parents in an undated photo.

Four years after the ruling Chinese Communist Party launched anationwide crackdown on the country’s human rights lawyers, the country’s rights attorneys say they are now being prevented from practicing law at all.

Hunan lawyer Xie Yang, who was initially detained on July 11, 2015, then tortured while being held under “residential surveillance at a designated location” in a government guesthouse, said human rights are as essential to human existence as food and drink.

“Dignity and justice are what make us human,” Xie said. “[This is] not just [about] getting enough to eat.”

Xie, who was subjected to abuse including deprivation of food and water, and tortured again after being moved to the police-run Changsha No. 2 Detention Center following his formal arrest on Jan. 9, 2016, said the crackdown has largely achieved what the authorities set out to do.

“The terror campaign waged against rights lawyers was clearly prettyeffective, because now the majority of of [human rights] cases can’t find an appropriate lawyer to represent them,” he said.

“The vast majority of lawyers have been controlled via the system of annual license renewals and other methods.”

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/709-lawyers-07092019150415.html

https://www.theepochtimes.com/us-eu-urge-china-to-release-rights-lawyers-on-anniversary-of-mass-arrests_2995770.html

https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage_en/65180/Statement%20by%20the%20Spokesperson%20concerning%20human%20rights%20defenders%20and%20lawyers%20in%20China

https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1467490-20190709.htm

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news.php?id=131005&sid=4

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3742153

4th Anniversary of the ‘709 Crackdown’

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/eu-urges-china-abide-international-law-on-709-crackdown/1527224

https://www.europeaninterest.eu/article/european-union-expects-china-respect-rights-citizens/

Fourth Anniversary of the 709

https://cn.ambafrance.org/Statement-by-the-Spokesperson-concerning-human-rights

https://www.euronews.com/2019/07/10/slovakias-new-president-takes-aim-at-chinas-rights-record

https://www.chinaaid.org/2019/07/dr-bob-fu-four-years-after-709-incident.html

http://www.jeromecohen.net/jerrys-blog/how-the-chinese-government-crushed-rights-lawyer-wang-quanzhang

Situation Still Dire for Rights Lawyers Four Years On

https://www.caixinglobal.com/2019-07-25/rights-lawyer-fights-decision-to-revoke-license-101443847.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/709_crackdown

https://cn.ambafrance.org/Communique-de-l-Ambassade-de-France-en-Chine-sur-le-4eme (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20190709/463383368181/ong-pide-a-china-el-fin-del-hostigamiento-contra-abogados-de-ddhh.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.dw.com/de/alle-sind-vorsichtiger-geworden/a-49513921 (DEUTSCH)

#709lawyers

#709crackdown

#XieYang

【「709大抓捕」進展通報】
截至2019年7月8日18:00,至少321名律師、律所人員、人權捍衛者和家屬被約談、傳喚、限制出境、軟禁、監視居住、逮捕

 判決結案:4名監獄服刑:①周世鋒律師 ②胡石根 ③吳淦 ④王全璋律師;3名緩刑:①李和平律師 ②勾洪國(戈平)③翟岩民;7名刑滿釋放:①劉星(老道)②張衛紅(張皖荷)③姚建清 ④李燕軍 ⑤王芳 ⑥尹旭安 ⑦江天勇律師;1名免於刑事處罰:①謝陽律師

 取保候審解除:
12名律師:①王秋實 ②黃力群 ③隋牧青 ④謝遠東 ⑤李姝雲 ⑥王宇 ⑦包龍軍 ⑧任全牛 ⑨劉四新 ⑩李春富 ⑪謝燕益 ⑫張凱;4名律師助理:①劉鵬 ②方縣桂 ③高月 ④趙威(考拉);1名律所人員:①王芳;4名維權人士:①劉永平(老木)②林斌(望雲和尚)③唐志順 ④幸清賢;5名教會人士: ①嚴曉潔 ②黃益梓 ③張崇助 ④張制 ⑤程從平

分類統計(律師、律師助理/其他人士):
判決結案:15人(5/10)
解除取保候審:26人(16/10)
撤銷指控:1人(1/0)
限制出境 :46人(31/15)
被短暫拘留/強制約談/傳喚(已獲釋):265人(125/140)
*注:其中25人同時被歸類在兩個分類;2人同時被歸類在三個分類。

42個進入刑事訴訟程序的個案詳細資料:
https://docdro.id/m26LUT5

321名受影響人士的分類統計:
https://docdro.id/m2bUR7f

(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook, 11/07/19)

Turkey: Turkey must rebuild trust in judiciary, protect human rights – CoE commissioner

July 8, 2019

savcı

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic has called on Turkey to urgently take measures to re-establish trust in its judiciary and repair the rule of law, which was damaged during two years of emergency rule following the July 2016 coup attempt.

Constitutional changes regarding the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) made during the two-year state of emergency “are in clear contradiction with Council of Europe standards,” Mijatovic said following a five-day visit to Turkey.

“The suspension of ordinary safeguards and procedures for the dismissal, recruitment and appointment of judges and prosecutors’’ were an additional cause for concern, she said.

Turkey’s state of emergency came into effect on July 20, 2016, days after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government survived a coup attempt.

The state of emergency allowed the government to issue decree laws, bypassing legislative and judicial procedures. Over 77,000 people have been arrested and another 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been fired from the government as part of a crackdown by Ankara following the failed putsch.

https://ahvalnews.com/turkish-judiciary/turkey-must-rebuild-trust-judiciary-protect-human-rights-coe-commissioner

https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/turkey-needs-to-put-an-end-to-arbitrariness-in-the-judiciary-and-to-protect-human-rights-defenders

Threats to the rule of law in Europe

EU accuses Turkey for violating human rights by opening Gezi protests trial

9 Turkish judges, prosecutors suspended over alleged Gülen links

CoE calls on Turkey to repair damage to Turkish judiciary inflicted by state of emergency

https://www.protect-lawyers.com/fr/compte-rendu-presentation-du-rapport-de-human-rights-watch-sur-la-situation-des-avocats-en-turquie/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.union-syndicale-magistrats.org/web2/fr/soutien-collegues-turcs_news_1295 (FRANCAIS)

China: Wife of Jailed Chinese Rights Lawyer ‘Stunned’ by Video of Jailed Husband

May 20, 2019

A supporter of jailed Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang displyas his image at China's liason office in Hong Kong, July 13, 2018.

The wife of jailed human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang has set out onanother campaign to find her husband, starting on a Chinese lovers’festival, only to be shown video footage of Wang which she described as “very worrying.”

Li Wenzu met with authorities at the Linyi Prison in the eastern province of Shandong on Monday.

During the last of four conversations, she was shown a three-minute video of her husband–her first view of Wang since his detention nearly four years ago–which she said left her “stunned,” with her “heart bleeding.”

“I saw that Wang Quanzhang has obviously gotten much thinner and looksmuch older and greyer,” Li said in a statement via Twitter. “He seemed quite spaced out, and his responses were slow and hesitant.”

“When he speaks, his eyes flick from one place to another; when he finishes saying one thing, it takes him ages to stammer out the next sentences,” she said.

Li had continued to insist on a face-to-face meeting with Wang during four meetings with prison leaders, she said.

She said she had chosen the day for its significance for lovers, because “520” sounds similar to the Chinese for “I love you.”

“It’s May 20, 2019, and today is the 1,410th day that Wang Quanzhang has been missing,” Li told RFA. “It is also the first day of the second phase of our search for Wang Quanzhang.”

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/lawyer-video-05202019153807.html

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3008782/after-four-years-china-continues-deny-wife-709-human-rights

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2154761/eu-urges-china-free-activists-anniversary-709-crackdown

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-47024825

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3008336/freed-lawyer-tang-jingling-vows-continue-fight-human-rights

https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/latest-news/news/2019/05/22/statement-by-the-spokesperson-of-the-eu-on-the-trial-of-chinese-human-rights-lawyer-yu-wensheng

EU expects the immediate release of the human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng

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

https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/ch/component/k2/1458494-20190520.htm (CANTONESE)

https://www.epochtimes.fr/la-famille-dun-avocat-chinois-des-droits-humains-emprisonne-en-chine-recoit-de-ses-nouvelles-pour-la-premiere-fois-en-4-ans-855698.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/01/28/en-chine-l-avocat-wang-quanzhang-condamne-a-quatre-ans-et-demi-de-prison-pour-subversion_5415450_3210.html (FRANCAIS)