Tag Archives: European Union

Turkey/EU: Former top judiciary official arrested

February 8, 2018

Turkey: Former top judiciary official arrested

The former secretary general of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) was arrested Thursday in western Turkey over alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

According to information obtained by Anadolu Agency, Mehmet Kaya, who was a fugitive, was arrested in Canakkale, a northwestern province of Turkey where he was hiding, as part of an investigation into FETO.

The arrest came during a police operation targeting 10 separate locations in Canakkale following a decision from the provincial chief prosecutor’s office.

During the same operation, dubbed “absence houses”, a name given to hideouts of secret FETO members, 20 others were also detained.

Separately, 11 employees of Ankara-based Gazi University, including those who had been dismissed, were held over suspected links to FETO following arrest

warrants issued for 17 university personnel early Thursday.

http://aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkey-former-top-judiciary-official-arrested/1057339

https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2018/02/09/top-jurist-linked-to-feto-captured-in-groups-safe-house

https://euobserver.com/justice/140924

https://www.thenation.com/article/turkeys-new-constitutional-crisis-could-end-the-rule-of-law/

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/290637/World/Region/Turkey%E2%80%99s-justice-in-crisis.aspx

https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/09/report-shows-number-of-rights-violations-increased-during-ohal-in-turkey/

Report| Extradition to Turkey: One-way Ticket to Torture and Unfair Trial

https://ahvalnews.com/human-rights/turkey-uphill-battle-human-rights-organisations

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Poland/EU: Joint statement of the current situation in Poland on behalf of UCPI, IAPL, IDHAE and Dutch League for Human Rights

December 22, 2017

PolandUCPIetc22.12.17logo

L’Unione delle Camere Penali Italiane, con l’Institut des Droits de l’Homme des Avocats Européens, l’International Association of People’s Lawyers e la Liga vor de Rechten van
de Mens esprime la propria preoccupazione per l’attacco allo Stato di diritto in atto in Polonia.

In tal senso accoglie con favore l’avvio da parte della Commissione europea della complessa procedura di cui all’art. 7 del Trattato sull’Unione europea.

Quello della Commissione è solo il primo passo di un lungo iter che dovrà coinvolgere tutte le istituzioni dell’Unione; si tratta, però, di una presa di posizioni senza precedenti che testimonia la forte attenzione verso il rispetto dei valori dello Stato di diritto.

The Union of Italian Criminal Chambers, with the Institut des Droits de l’Homme des Avocats Européens, the International Association of People’s Lawyers and the Dutch League for Human Rights express their concern over the attack on the rule of law in Poland.

In this sense, it welcomes the launch by the European Commission of the complex procedure referred to as article  7 of the Treaty of the European Union.

This action by the Commission is only the first step in a long process that must involve all the institutions of the Union; however, it is a question of taking unprecedented positions that bears witness to the strong focus on respect for the values ​​of the rule of law.

L’Unione delle Camere Penali Italiane, conjointement avec l’Institut des droits de l’homme des avocats européens, l’Association internationale des avocats du peuple et la Ligue néerlandaise pour les droits de l’homme exprime leur profonde préoccupation  face à l’atteinte à l’état de droit en Pologne.
En ce sens, il se félicite du lancement par la Commission européenne de la procédure complexe visée à l’art. 7 du Traité sur l’Union européenne.
L’action de la Commission n’est que la première étape d’un long processus qui doit impliquer toutes les institutions de l’Union; Cependant, il s’agit d’adopter des mesures sans précédent qui témoignent du fort accent mis sur le respect des valeurs de la primauté du droit.

http://www.camerepenali.it/public/file/Comunicati/C-216—Comunicato-congiunto_situazione-Polonia.pdf (ITALIANO/ENGLISH/FRANCAIS)

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22564&LangID=E

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-poland-un/u-n-judicial-rights-expert-decries-polands-political-legal-reforms-idUSKBN1EG1GS

https://www.politico.eu/article/frans-timmermans-brussels-puts-warsaw-on-path-to-sanctions-over-rule-of-law/

http://www.dw.com/en/hungary-will-block-punitive-eu-action-on-poland/a-41903647

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-5367_en.htm

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42464007

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/26/polish-judges-urged-fight-independence-supreme-court

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma%C5%82gorzata_Gersdorf

http://www.camerepenali.it/cat/8956/polonia_ed_unione_europea_cos%C3%AC_vicine,_cos%C3%AC_lontane.html (ITALIANO)

http://www.huffingtonpost.it/2017/12/20/strappo-storico-fra-ue-e-polonia-attivato-per-la-prima-volta-larticolo-7-dei-trattati_a_23312966/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_etat-de-droit-en-pologne-la-presidente-de-la-cour-supreme-denonce-un-coup-de-force-des-conservateurs?id=9796473 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/monde/2017/12/21/31002-20171221ARTFIG00266-l-injustice-faite-a-la-pologne-un-deni-de-democratie.php (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2017/12/21/en-pologne-la-justice-s-exerce-sous-controle-politique_5232859_3214.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.swissinfo.ch/fre/le-parti-au-pouvoir-en-pologne-accus%C3%A9-de-mener–un-coup-de-force-/43776778 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_etat-de-droit-en-pologne-la-presidente-de-la-cour-supreme-denonce-un-coup-de-force-des-conservateurs?id=9796473 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.radiomaryja.pl/informacje/malgorzata-gersdorf-odpowiada-podpisanie-ustaw-ws-reformy-sadownictwa-prezydenta-rp/ (POLSKI)

http://wiadomosci.onet.pl/kraj/malgorzata-gersdorf-dla-burzycieli-panstwa-prawnego-nie-ma-zadnego-usprawiedliwienia/5pb3fc3 (POLSKI)

https://www.elespanol.com/mundo/europa/20171222/polonia-oveja-negra-union-europea/271223686_0.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.mediafax.ro/externe/presedintele-curtii-supreme-din-polonia-acuza-guvernul-de-la-varsovia-ca-pune-la-cale-o-lovitura-de-stat-16896261 (ROMANESC)

https://www.realitatea.net/haos-in-polonia-efa-cur-ii-supreme-denun-a-o-lovitura-de-for-a_2129081.html (ROMANESC)

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Turkey/EU: PACE Report: Situation Of Lawyers In Turkey Causes Grave Concerns

December 14, 2017

“The situation of lawyers in Turkey following the failed coup d’état of July 2016 and that of lawyers representing Kurdish clients, or otherwise associated with the Kurdish cause, have both given rise to grave concerns,” said Sabien Lahaye-Battheu, a reporter appointed by Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) for “The case for drafting a European Convention on the profession of lawyer.

Laheye-Battheu, who is a member of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) at European Parliament from Belgium, has also stated in her report’s provisional version that “the decree laws introduced under Turkey’s state of emergency reduced the rights of the defence” in the country.

The report’s parts related to the situation of defence and lawyers in Turkey as follow:

“According to the CCBE, by September 13, 2017, 1343 lawyers were subject to criminal prosecution and 524 had been arrested since the coup. These included 18 lawyers who had been representing the university lecturer and teacher dismissed under the emergency decree-laws.

“Further mass arrests of lawyers accused of links with the Gülen movement include those of 19 lawyers in Kahramanmaraş province, 11 lawyers in Denizli province, arrest warrants for 62 members of the İstanbul Bar Association, 22 lawyers in İzmir (including Taner Kılıç, chair of Amnesty International Turkey), 4 lawyers and members of the Human Rights Association (IHD) in Mardin province; 22 lawyers in Antalya and 50 lawyers in İstanbul.

“On May 9, 2017, Mustafa Özben, a lawyer and academic at a university shut down by the Turkish government on account of alleged links to the Gülen movement, was abducted in Ankara, following which his wife filed a complaint with the Turkish Constitutional Court alleging that he was kidnapped by the Turkish intelligence services.

“In July 2017, 3 lawyers were imprisoned for up to 12 years on charges relating to links to the Gülen movement.

“The CCBE has referred to a statement by the Adana Bar Association expressing its members ‘fear’ and ‘concern’ about possible reprisals against lawyers…, the decision made by some not to provide legal assistance to people detained in relation to the failed coup, and the negative treatment they faced from the police and prosecutors if they represented the detainees.

https://stockholmcf.org/pace-report-situation-of-lawyers-in-turkey-causes-grave-concerns/

http://website-pace.net/documents/19838/3254453/201712112-convention-avocats-EN.pdf/3b3cd985-6329-4fc1-a914-994254777714

Venezuela/EU/Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought: Call for EU sanctions ahead of human rights award

December 12, 2017

2017 Sakharov Prize laureate Democratic opposition in Venezuela

The EU’s top human rights award will be officially presented to Venezuela’s opposition and political prisoners on Wednesday.

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought comes after deadly anti-government demos in the country earlier this year.

Last month, Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, an opponent of President Nicolas Maduro, escaped house arrest and made it to Spain.

Speaking to Euronews, he says the EU needs to hit Venezuela with sanctions.

“Canada and the US have made sanctions against individuals, and not against the whole country. They’re meant to hit people in connection with drug trafficking, corruption and human rights violations. The EU too should follow this path,” Ledezma stressed.

“But there has been a step forward with the EU’s embargo on arms being used by the government of Nicolas Maduro to commit crimes against human rights.”

Venezuela is in crisis, with deep splits between supporters of Maduro’s socialist government and the opposition. The government rejects global criticism.

The Sakaharov prize – named after a Soviet scientist and dissident – is awarded annually. Last year, it was went to two Yazidi women who escaped the so-called Islamic State in Iraq.

Wednesday’s ceremony will be held in Strasbourg.

http://www.euronews.com/2017/12/12/venezuela-call-for-eu-sanctions-ahead-of-human-rights-award

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/12/11/venezuelas-maduro-bans-opposition-parties-2018-election/

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sakharovprize/en/home/the-prize.html

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2017-12-13/local-news/Sakharov-Prize-Venezuelan-winners-call-on-EU-for-urgent-humanitarian-intervention-6736182576

https://www.euractiv.com/section/languages-culture/news/sakharov-prize-opposition-leader-lashes-out-against-dictatorship-in-venezuela/

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/world/article/Venezuela-s-opposition-prisoners-win-EU-human-12426806.php

http://www.euronews.com/2017/12/08/voices-of-opposition-in-venezuela

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-14/exiled-venezuela-prosecutor-says-maduro-war-on-graft-is-a-farce

https://www.amazon.com/Gonzalo-Himiob-Santom%C3%A9/e/B004AOMGD6

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

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sakharovprize/fr/home/the-prize.html (FRANCAIS)

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

https://www.cncd.be/Le-vampire-de-Caracas-recompense (FRANCAIS)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/entretien-antonio-ledezma-opposant-venezuelien-nous-sommes-un-peuple-sequestre (FRANCAIS)

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sakharovprize/es/home/the-prize.html (ESPANOL)

https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foro_Penal_Venezolano (ESPANOL)

Democratically elected mayor of Caracas, leader of the Venezuelan opposition, and political prisoner from 2015 until his escape last month – Antonio Ledezma works ceaselessly to fight for the freedom of his people.

Just yesterday, Ledezma and Julio Borges received the Sakharov Prize awarded by the European Parliament to the Democratic Opposition in Venezuela.

We are honoured to have Antonio Ledezma speaking at the upcoming Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy 2018. #GS18

(Geneva Summit Facebook)

China/EU: EU ‘Deeply Troubled’ by China’s Human Rights Record

December 10, 2017

The  delegation to China issued a statement on Friday ahead of International Human Rights Day expressing deep concerns regarding the outlook for human rights in the country. From AFP:

The  noted “significant improvements in the Chinese people’s standard of living and in access to social services such as health and education,” according to a statement on its website.

“However … during the past year, we have been deeply troubled by the deterioration of the situation with respect to freedom of information and freedom of expression and association, including with respect to online activity,” it said.

[…] The EU delegation also said it regrets the death in detention in July of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, and called for the release of imprisoned human rights defenders, including lawyer Jiang Tianyong and Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti.

[…] The delegation’s statement was not formally endorsed by all 28 EU member states, and there was no immediate response from Beijing. [Source]

The Chinese government has intensified its crackdown on civil society under President Xi Jinping. Hundreds of human rights lawyers and activists were targeted in 2015 in one of the most extensive assaults on rights advocates that the country has seen in recent years. In Hong Kong, the forced disappearance of five staff members of Causeway Bay Books in late 2015 shocked the city and raised fears of eroding  in the former British colony. Repression in Xinjiang and Tibet continues as Chinese authorities ramp up efforts to curtail political activity and suppress all expressions of ethnic and religious identity.

https://chinadigitaltimes.net/2017/12/eu-deeply-troubled-chinas-human-rights-record/

https://www.news24.com/World/News/eu-deeply-troubled-by-chinas-human-rights-record-20171208

http://www.laht.com/article.asp?CategoryId=12395&ArticleId=2447419

Turkey/EU: Turkey to cut European rights funding to protest award for jailed judge

November 21, 2017

Image result for judge Murat Arslan

Turkey said on Thursday it would cut back its funding to the Council of Europe human rights body, in protest at an award given to a Turkish judge held in detention for alleged links to last year’s coup attempt.

The council last month awarded Murat Arslan with the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize. Ankara says Arslan, who is awaiting trial, has links to the network of the U.S.-based cleric accused of orchestrating the abortive 2016 putsch.

The award was “the last straw” for the Turkish government, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during ministerial budget discussions in Ankara.

“I cannot give my people’s money to an institution who awards a ByLock user. This is the government’s decision, if there is a price to pay we will do so,” he said.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-turkey-judge/turkey-to-cut-european-rights-funding-to-protest-award-for-jailed-judge-idUKKBN1DG2TL

http://cyprus-mail.com/2017/11/16/turkey-cut-european-rights-funding-protest-award-jailed-judge/

https://turkeypurge.com/award-winning-judge-murat-arslan-remain-behind-bars-following-court-decision

https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/2017/11/12/turkish-judge-stabbed-dismissed-after-affair-with-woman-in-process-of-divorce

https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2017/10/21/police-detain-2-feto-linked-judges-trying-to-flee-in-turkeys-edirne

https://lepetitjournal.com/istanbul/droit-une-grande-ecole-francaise-rend-hommage-aux-magistrats-turcs-160332 (FRANCAIS)

Tajikistan: How EU Should Tackle Tajikistan Crackdown

October 10, 2017

2015-9-eca-tajikistan-IRPT

Last time the European Union and Tajikistan held high-level talks on human rights in summer 2016, Tajik authorities were in the midst of the worst crackdown in the country’s recent history. Six days before talks took place, the country’s supreme court had sentenced the leaders of Tajikistan’s leading opposition party, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan to cruelly long prison sentences. The trials were politically motivated, and the defendants tortured. There was no evidence of the activists’ involvement in non-peaceful activities.

This Thursday, the human rights dialogue will once again take place in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe. But this year, things are even worse.

More than 150 political activists, including at least three human rights lawyers – Shuhrat Kudratov, Buzurgmehr Yorov, and Nuriddin Makhkamov – remain unjustly jailed. Kudratov, who’s already served three years, was to have been released last year but authorities kept him behind bars.  And just last week information surfaced that Yorov – who along with Makhkamov is serving 25 years – has been brutally beaten by prison guards recently and thrown into solitary.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/10/10/how-eu-should-tackle-tajikistan-crackdown

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/10/12/greece-tajik-activist-faces-extradition

https://www.rferl.org/a/eu-accused-of-weak-statement-after-human-rights-visit-tajikistan/28794296.html