Tag Archives: FIDH

Zimbabwe: Acts of intimidation against Mr. Okay Machisa, Ms. Beatrice Mtetwa and Pastor Evan Magwarire | Letter

February 1, 2019

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a committee of lawyers and other human rights defenders, that promotes compliance with international human rights, the integrity of legal systems and the rule of law through advocacy, legal research and education. LRWC has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

LRWC objects to Zimbabwe’s failure to respect and protect its citizens’ rights as exemplified by the increasing number of citizens who have been arrested and are facing prosecution for participating in peaceful protests. Also of concern are the numbers of lawyers and human rights defenders who have been threatened, arbitrarily detained and arrested in apparent retaliation for exercising their constitutional rights.

The right to freedom of assembly is a fundamental human right and is guaranteed in section 58 of Zimbabwe’s constitution. Furthermore, section 67 guarantees every citizen the right to political participation to engage in peaceful activities to influence, challenge or support the policies of the government. LRWC encourages you to respect these same rights as a signatory to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Recent incidents include the acts of intimidation against Mr. Okay Machisa, National Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) along with his family, and many other ZimRights lawyers. Also of concern is the recent arbitrary arrest and detention of Pastor Evan Magwarire on 16 January 2019, who is facing charges of “subverting a constitutional government” and is scheduled for a bail hearing on 29 January 2019. LRWC is also gravely concerned by the recently revealed attempted deportation of Beatrice Mtetwa, a prominent human rights lawyer, to her country of birth Swaziland during the 2013 harmonized election campaign, reports of rapes of women by Zimbawean security forces, the arrests and arbitrary detention of many Zimbabwe citizens and children as young as eleven years old, and the surveillance and intimidation of human rights defenders both within and outside Zimbabwe on their alleged involvement in the protest.

https://www.lrwc.org/zimbabwe-acts-of-intimidation-against-mr-okay-machisa-ms-beatrice-mtetwa-and-pastor-evan-magwarire-letter/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/zimbabwe-intimidation-of-okay-machisa-and-other-members-of-zimrights

https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-153364.html

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/zimbabwe/2019/02/d25225/

https://citizen.co.za/news/news-africa/2074878/us-lawyers-concerned-over-zim-legal-system/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/lawyers-march-in-zimbabwe-capital-alleging-denial-of-justice/2019/01/29/68d33b7c-23cb-11e9-b5b4-1d18dfb7b084_story.html?utm_term=.3943eccafbda

https://mg.co.za/article/2019-01-23-systematic-torture-killings-abductions-assaults-zim-rights-commission-speaks-out

https://www.newsday.co.zw/2019/02/un-condemns-zim-rights-abuses/

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/uk-index.htm

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

https://www.voaafrique.com/a/les-avocats-du-zimbabwe-reclament-justice-pour-les-manifestants-emprisonn%C3%A9s/4763583.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.fidh.org/fr/regions/afrique/zimbabwe/zimbabwe-la-repression-des-manifestations-pacifiques-doit-cesser-les (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

Iran: Iranian Lawyers Demand Release Of Jailed Colleagues

January 25, 2019

Five Iranian lawyers who are under judicial pressure in Iran; (LTR) Mohammad Najafi, Arash Keykhosravi, Amirsalar Davoudi, Ghasem Sholeh Sadi, and Nasrin Sotoodeh.

(Five Iranian lawyers who are under judicial pressure in Iran; (LTR) Mohammad Najafi, Arash Keykhosravi, Amirsalar Davoudi, Ghasem Sholeh Sadi, and Nasrin Sotoodeh.)

In an open letter addressed to the head of Islamic Republic’s judiciary, dozens of prominent Iranian attorneys have called for the immediate release of their colleagues, jailed on trumped up charges related to their defense of civil rights.

Referring to the pressures imposed on lawyers by the judicial and intelligence authorities, 49 signatories to the letter have insisted, “Any sort of discrimination, restrictions, and threats against legal counsels is illegal and leads to partial, unfair, and unjust trials.”

While several Iranian lawyers are currently behind bars, many more of them are free on huge bails, lined up for their trials.

Meanwhile, the signatories to the letter have asserted that a note added to the Article 48 of the Islamic Penal code is a source of discrimination against most lawyers.

The note limits the job of defending suspects in primary legal stages of national security-related cases to only twenty vetted lawyers, endorsed by the head of Islamic Republic’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani.

https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iranian-lawyers-demand-release-of-jailed-colleagues/29730100.html

https://middle-east-online.com/en/iran%E2%80%99s-hijab-protesters-not-cowed-crackdown

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/iran-sentencing-and-ongoing-arbitrary-detention-of-mr-farhad-mayssami

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/iran/2019/01/d25212/

https://www.newsghana.com.gh/iran-immediately-and-unconditionally-release-mr-farhad-mayssami/

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2019/01/25/Activists-in-Iran-will-continue-protests-despite-crackdown.html

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/iran/2019/01/d25213/

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

https://www.fidh.org/fa/%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B6%D9%88%D8%B9%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7/%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%B1/%D8%A8%D8%B1%DA%AF%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF-iran-sentencing-of-mr-reza-khandan?fbclid=IwAR1fWnHEUQGaSCQ3z2pPyKlfkMs-qklWQYFr5Fg9w_9wDMBhbq-7E4l7KqM (FARSI)

http://resistancerepublicaine.eu/2019/01/26/jeannette-bougrab-les-musulmanes-persecutees-pour-leur-refus-du-voile-ninteressent-pas-les-feministes/ (FRANCAIS)

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The Philippines: Crackdown Against Critics Intensifies

January 17, 2019

Activists hold a candle light vigil for victims of the extra judicial killings in the drug war of the government in front of a church in Manila on September 16, 2016

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration heightened its repression in 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019.

The government’s murderous “war on drugs” expanded to cities outside Manila. Attacks escalated against activists, journalists, and critics of the government. Donor governments should intensify pressure on Duterte to end targeted killings and to drop politically motivated criminal cases.

“President Duterte has used the killing of thousands of largely poor drug suspects as a tool to bolster his popularity,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “He’s also targeting anyone who might undermine that popularity, from outspoken senators to journalists documenting his abuses.”

In the 674-page World Report 2019, its 29thedition, Human Rights Watch reviewed human rights practices in more than 100 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth says that the populists spreading hatred and intolerance in many countries are spawning a resistance. New alliances of rights-respecting governments, often prompted and joined by civic groups and the public, are raising the cost of autocratic excess. Their successes illustrate the possibility of defending human rights – indeed, the responsibility to do so – even in darker times.

The government vilified activist groups, calling them communists, and terrorists. In March, the foreign affairs secretary accused human rights groups of being “unwitting tools” of drug syndicates. In November, gunmen killed a rights lawyer, Benjamin Ramos, in Negros Occidental. Ramos represented the families of victims of a recent massacre of peasants in the province. There were violent attacks against human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, environmentalists, indigenous group members, peasants, and farmers.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/philippines-crackdown-against-critics-intensifies

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/philippines-killing-of-human-rights-lawyer-benjamin-ramos

http://bulatlat.com/main/2018/12/30/resistance-unity-and-hope-a-look-back-at-the-year-2018/

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/01/18/1886167/hrw-drug-war-attacks-vs-critics-deepened-rights-crisis-philippines

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1074803/us-ngo-finds-ph-a-war-zone-in-disguise-hogwash-says-palace

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/01/17/rapport-mondial-2019-resistance-aux-attaques-des-autocrates-contre-les-droits (FRANCAIS)

Crimea/Russia/Ukraine: Russian Authorities Increase Pressure on Crimean Human Rights Lawyer

January 14, 2019

Justice Ministry Calls for Emil Kurbedinov’s Expulsion from Bar Association

 

Few human rights lawyers are brave enough to work in Crimea these days. A recent letter from Russia’s Ministry of Justice to Crimean defense lawyer Emil Kurbedinov threatening his profession is yet another stark reminder that Russian authorities intend to keep it that way.

Last month, Kurbedinov was arrested on charges of “public distribution of extremist materials” and sentenced to five days in jail for a 2013 social media post about a meeting in Crimea of supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist political movement opposed to violence. Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in Russia as a terrorist organization but operates legally in Ukraine. Kurbedinov had previously spent ten days in jail in 2017 after the court sentenced him on the same charges and for the very same post, but made on a different social media site.

Shortly after his release on December 25, Russia’s Justice Ministry sent Kurbedinov and the Crimean Bar Association letters requesting that Kurbedinov be expelled from the bar association by March 1 because of alleged involvement in “extremist activities.”

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/14/russian-authorities-increase-pressure-crimean-human-rights-lawyer

https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/halya-coynash-russia-launches-dangerous-attack-on-lawyers-in-crimea.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/112-ua-russia-search-houses-of-crimean-tatars-on-occupied-peninsula.html

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyer-s-expulsion-from-bar-association/29708692.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/rfe-rl-russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyers-expulsion-from-bar-association.html

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/russia/2019/01/d25201/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/russia-imminent-disbarment-of-emil-kurbedinov?fbclid=IwAR0GtoVbcF0bzXljxjv5u3GLFPSAuicOsUTVZEmYC7AKNNNRixgf6wklCYs

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/russia-bleak-year-human-rights

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/ukraine-human-rights-backsliding-election-looms

https://lso.ca/news-events/news/latest-news-2019/law-society-expresses-grave-concerns-regarding-hum

http://old.qha.com.ua/tr/toplum/hak-savunuculardan-uluslararasi-topluma-kurbedinov-cagrisi/176069/ (TURKCE)

Egypt: Imprisoned rights lawyer Mohamed Ramadan reports deteriorating health, poor detention conditions

December 25, 2018

An Alexandria prosecutor’s office renewed on Tuesday the detention of Alexandrian rights lawyer Mohamed Ramadan for 15 days as he continues to suffer from a series of health complications and a lack of proper medical care in custody, according to lawyer Mahienour al-Massry.

Ramadan — who is being held in solitary confinement at the Alexandria Security Directorate in a cell with no bed — was ordered detained pending further investigations into accusations of “joining a terrorist group and promoting its ideas, spreading false news, possessing pamphlets and yellow vests to call for protests against the government, similar to the ‘Yellow Vest’ protests in France, and using social media to promote a terrorist group,” Massry said.

He was arrested on December 10 by plainclothes security personnel as he returned home after attending an interrogation session with one of his clients. He was taken to a National Security Agency (NSA) office, where he was held overnight. His whereabouts remained unknown to his family and lawyers until he appeared before the prosecution the next day, when he was ordered to be held in remand detention for 15 days.

https://madamirror7.appspot.com/www.madamasr.com/en/2018/12/25/news/u/imprisoned-rights-lawyer-mohamed-ramadan-reports-deteriorating-health-poor-detention-conditions/

https://afteegypt.org/en/breaking_news-2/2018/12/25/16810-afteegypt.html?fbclid=IwAR11YMnpuukz6xWXKdZKSWy6Ua4qGpb0n9WOcCAVg8tr_ClqOabBX0BqlH4

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/12/gilets-jaunes-france-egyptian-protests-media-security.html

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/arrest-and-detention-human-rights-defender-and-lawyer-mohamed-ramadan

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/egypt-human-rights-lawyer-mohamed-ramadan-detained-for-a-yellow-vest

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-investigates-disappeared-citizens-in-egypt/a-46989169

https://madamirror7.appspot.com/madamasr.com/ar/2018/12/25/news/u/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%8A-%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF-%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%B6%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%8A%D8%B4%D9%83%D9%88-%D9%84%D9%84%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A9-%D8%A3%D9%88%D8%B6%D8%A7%D8%B9/ (ARABIC)

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/ar/contents/articles/originals/2018/12/gilets-jaunes-france-egyptian-protests-media-security.html?fbclid=IwAR35NryupNyLdDhvE4bwiaaWfAqwKnKLEATv0WQ7rc8l_db3pt3nmGXV1iQ (ARABIC)

Image result for lawyer Mohamed Ramadan

Iran: Lawyer & Law Professor Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi released from Evin Prison

December 5, 2018

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

IRAN – 4 novembre 2018 Ghassem Sholeh-Sadi remis en liberté sous caution. Il était détenu depuis le 18 août pour avoir manifesté pacifiquement devant le Parlement en faveur d’un vote libre, équitable et transparent.

(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 04/12/18)

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/iran/2018/11/d25142/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/iran-judicial-harassment-and-arbitrary-arrest-of-several-human-rights

https://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-detains-outspoken-lawyer-who-called-for-free-elections/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghasem_Sholeh-Saadi

Venezuela/AI: Stand with Geraldine Chacón (Petition)

Image result for geraldine chacón

Geraldine started her peaceful campaigning when she was just 14 as a youth leader in Caracas.

Since then her activism has only grown – she started an Amnesty youth network and supported individuals who were at risk of imprisonment and persecution, and later joined the NGO Community Ambassadors Foundation running outreach programs with impoverished young people in Venezuela.

Now, Geraldine finds herself in need of the same help she has given many others. This year the Venezuelan authorities arrested her, and she spent four months in prison with limited access to sunlight, food and water.

Geraldine was released conditionally which means she cannot leave the country, and she risks being sent back to prison at any moment.

Sign this petition and demand the Venezuelan authorities drop the case against Geraldine. 

With enough global pressure, we could get the Venezuelan authorities to drop the charges – add your voice now.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/venezuela-geraldine-chacon/

http://writeathon.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Venezuela.pdf (TAKE ACTION! AMNESTY WRITEEATHON)

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/05/22/venezuela-2-activists-held-despite-court-order

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/11/amnesty-international-launches-worlds-biggest-human-rights-campaign/

https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/amnesty-international-usa-in-partnership-with-sofar-sounds-host-write-for-rights-concert-and-letter-writing-event-on-12-8-with-special-performance-from-singer-songwriter-lauren-jauregui/

https://www.marieclaire.com/politics/g25398606/amnesty-international-write-for-rights/?fbclid=IwAR1B_bjNapVpkmwoLgi9Pyum2YryTT8eypWZYKX0_CFzG1dVbs4VM-mxc5k&slide=8

NEW: Rule of law and human rights in Cuba and Venezuela and EU engagement

https://nowtoronto.com/news/amnesty-international-write-for-rights/

https://www.amnesty.org/es/latest/news/2018/11/amnesty-international-launches-worlds-biggest-human-rights-campaign/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.fidh.org/es/region/americas/venezuela/venezuela-liberacion-y-continuacion-de-la-criminalizacion-en-contra (ESPANOL)

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geraldine_Chac%C3%B3n (ESPANOL)

https://www.amnesty.fr/liberte-d-expression/petitions/geraldine-chacon?fbclid=IwAR36BtoZtxwZocM8kX5mr3inRUrmmYWzIDlFziuGadF1T7i34RcCBfiZgVI (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/campagne-mondiale-10-jours-pour-signer-2018-i-amnesty (FRANCAIS)

https://www.ruhrnachrichten.de/Nachrichten/Schwerte/Schwerter-Amnesty-Gruppe-ruft-zur-Unterstuetzung-von-Menschenrechts-Aktivistinnen-auf-1351233.html (DEUTSCH)

https://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_20181129_OTS0026/briefmarathon-2018-seite-an-seite-mit-starken-frauen (DEUTSCH)

https://www.teckbote.de/startseite_artikel,-briefe-schreiben-fuer-die-freiheit-_arid,223387.html (DEUTSCH)

https://destadamersfoort.nl/deel-je-nieuws-artikel/amnesty-amersfoort-organiseert-write-rights-schrijfactie-520347 (NEDERLANDS)

http://www.committee.co.kr/38577 (KOREAN)

Image result for geraldine chacón