Tag Archives: FIDH

Azerbaijan: Denial of the commutation of sentence for Elchin Mammad

16/12/21

[…]

The Observatory has been informed about the denial of the commutation of sentence for Mr. Elchin Mammad, human rights lawyer, who has been arbitrarily detained on false charges for over a year at the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal. Elchin Mammad is the President of the Social Union of Legal Education of Sumgait Youth (SULESY), an NGO providing free legal assistance to low-income families and non-profits, as well as the Editor-in-chief of the newspaper Yukselish Namine, which publishes articles on human rights concerns in Azerbaijan.

On December 9, 2021, the Court of Appeal of Baku rejected the appeal filed by Elchin Mammad challenging the October 9, 2021 decision of the Surakhani District Court to deny Mr. Mammad the replacement of his remaining prison term with either a suspended prison sentence or non-custodial alternatives. On November 24, 2021, Elchin Mammad was transferred from prison No. 14 of the Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice to pre-trial detention centre No. 1 in Kurdakhani, where he remained detained at the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal. The reasons for this transfer remain unknown. Elchin Mammad’s health has drastically deteriorated during his detention due to the lack of adequate medical care. Moreover, after his transfer to pre-trial detention centre No.1 in Kurdakhani, Elchin Mammad had no access to a bed for some days due to severe overcrowding in the facilities.

The Observatory recalls that on March 30, 2020, the police arrested Elchin Mammad at his home in the city of Sumgait, a few days after he had published online a critical report on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. The police claimed to have found stolen jewellery worth 7,500 manats (around 4,070 Euros) and ammunition at his office. The Sumgait City Court remanded Mr. Mammad in custody on charges of “theft causing significant damage” and “illegal purchase and possession of firearm accessories”. On October 14, 2020, the Sumgait City Court sentenced Mr. Mammad to four years in prison.

The Observatory further recalls that the circumstances in which the verdict was handed down suggest that Elchin Mammad did not benefit from a fair trial. The evidence heard at the trial was inconsistent and should not have led to Mr. Mammad’s conviction, while the investigation phase also appeared to have been marred by police tampering of evidence. Yet, on February 19, 2021, the Sumgayit Court of Appeal upheld the four-year prison sentence of Elchin Mammad and concluded that his right to a fair trial was respected during the judicial proceedings in his case. Moreover, on July 7, 2021, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan upheld Elchin Mammad’s prison sentence. His lawyers announced they will submit his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

On June 12, 2021, Elchin Mammad was transferred to the Main Medical Department of the Ministry of Justice (Central Penitentiary hospital), following an order from the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan. Six days before his transfer to the penitentiary hospital, Elchin Mammad fainted. Moreover, he has lost a significant amount of weight while in detention, has trouble walking and swollen legs. Being ill with Hepatitis C, his health condition is particularly concerning and puts him at high risk of contracting COVID-19 in view of the overcrowding and poor prison conditions in Azerbaijan.

The Observatory expresses its utmost concern over the ongoing arbitrary detention and the deteriorating health of Elchin Mammad and urges the Azerbaijani authorities to grant him access to adequate and comprehensive medical treatment, and to immediately and unconditionally release him, as his detention is arbitrary and is only putting his life at risk.

[…]

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/azerbaijan-denial-of-the-commutation-of-sentence-for-elchin-mammad

http://www.omct.org/en/resources/urgent-interventions/azerbaijan-deteriorating-health-conditions-of-elchin-mammad

Venezuela: Hostigamiento contra la abogada de derechos humanos Theresly Malavé Wadskier

10/11/21

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[…]

El Observatorio para la Protección de los Defensores de Derechos Humanos, programa conjunto de la Organización Mundial Contra la Tortura (OMCT) y la FIDH, solicita su intervención urgente ante la siguiente situación en Venezuela.

Descripción de la situación:

El Observatorio ha recibido con profunda preocupación información del Comité de Familiares de las Víctimas de los Sucesos de Febrero-Marzo de 1989 (COFAVIC) sobre el hostigamiento y la intimidación contra la Sra. Theresly Malavé Wadskier, abogada de derechos humanos y directora y miembro fundadora de Justicia y Proceso Venezuela (JUYPROVEN). Junto con el equipo de JUYPROVEN, la Sra. Malave Wadskier ha documentado, defendido y denunciando varios casos de graves violaciones de derechos humanos contra presos políticos y de conciencia, incluyendo violaciones al debido proceso, al acceso a la justicia y casos de tortura y malos tratos.

Desde el mes de septiembre de 2021, la abogada Theresly Malavé ha sido víctima de hostigamiento e intimidación por parte de funcionarios delTribunal Especial Primero de la Primera Instancia en Funciones de Juicio con Competencia en Casos Vinculados con Delitos Asociados al Terrorismo con Competencia Nacional, en donde la abogada Malavé representa varios casos de personas detenidas arbitrariamente y presuntamente torturadas. También, la abogada Malavé ha reportado hostigamientos y persecución por parte de funcionarios de la Dirección de Contrainteligencia Militar (DGCIM), quienes, de manera continuada, han estacionado patrullas frente a su casa y han seguido a la defensora en sus paseos con su hijo. En septiembre de 2021, funcionarios del DGCIM irrumpieron en su edificio como forma de intimidación, ya que no se produjo ninguna detención ni allanamiento. Tal y como recogió el Observatorio en su informe “Enemigos internos”, publicado en marzo de 2020, el acoso y penetración en la cotidianidad y privacidad de las personas defensoras es una estrategia utilizada de manera sistemática por el Estado de Venezuela para vejar psicológicamente a quienes defienden los derechos humanos e inhibirles de seguir ejerciendo su trabajo.

El hostigamiento contra Theresly Malavé inició después de que asumiera la defensa de personas víctimas de graves torturas y tratos crueles humanos y degradantes en las instalaciones del DGCIM. Se trataría, por lo tanto, de una advertencia sobre las posibles represalias en su contra por seguir defendiendo a estas víctimas. Asimismo, en varias audiencias ante el Tribunal Especial Primero de Primera Instancia en Funciones de Juicio con Competencia en Casos Vinculados con Delitos Asociados al Terrorismo con Jurisdicción Nacional, en las que Theresly Malavé ejerce la defensa jurídica, la abogada ha recibido un trato hostil por parte del juez por solicitar el respeto de los derechos humanos de sus representados. Esta situación se agravó tras la publicación del segundo informe de la Misión Internacional Independiente de Determinación de los Hechos sobre la República Bolivariana de Venezuela de las Naciones Unidas el 16 de septiembre de 2021, que denuncia las omisiones de las autoridades judiciales ante las denuncias de actos de tortura y malos tratos ejercidos por el DGCIM y el Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (SEBIN).

El Observatorio subraya que tanto Theresly Malavé como JUYPROVEN han sido víctimas de intimidación y hostigamiento constantes por parte de los cuerpos de seguridad del Estado venezolano por su labor en defensa de los derechos humanos. En 2016, la abogada fue estigmatizada y criminalizada en el programa televisivo “Con el Mazo Dando”, emisión que transmitió una llamada profesional que mantuvo con una persona exiliada, hecho que demostró que su teléfono había sido intervenido.

[…]

https://www.fidh.org/es/temas/defensores-de-derechos-humanos/venezuela-hostigamiento-contra-la-abogada-de-derechos-humanos

https://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/un-human-rights-experts-condemn-extrajudicial-killings-by-venezuela-police-18448.asp (ENGLISH)

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/11/03/venezuela-icc-investigation-opens

Cameroon/Canada: Death threats against rights lawyer Felix Agbor Nkongho

06/11/21

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Cameroon.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed about the death threats against Felix Agbor Nkongho, aka Agbor-Balla, a human rights lawyer, Vice-President of the African Bar Association (AFBA) for Central Africa and founder of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA). Mr. Agbor Nkongho is a prominent defender of the rights of the Anglophone minority in Cameroon who advocates for a peaceful resolution to the Anglophone crisis [1] .

Between October 29, 2021 and November 1, 2021, Felix Agbor Nkongho attended a Leadership Retreat in Toronto, Canada, organised by the NGO Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations. The aim of the retreat was to discuss collaborative actions towards a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, namely by improving dialogue, protecting human rights and granting humanitarian aid, and promoting negotiation with the support of international mediation. Throughout the week, Felix Agbor Nkongho received multiple death threats on social media and by a voice message on Whatsapp calling “any separatist or ‘Ambazonian’ to kill him” should he be seen in the cities of Buea or Kumba.

The Observatory strongly condemns the above-mentioned death threats against Felix Agbor Nkongho and recalls that this is not the first time he faces attacks and acts of harassment. On May 6, 2020, he was dismissed from his job as a lecturer in the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the State-owned University of Buea after he asked his students to critically engage with and discuss the Anglophone crisis in an exam. Moreover, on January 10, 2017, following his participation in a peaceful protest, Felix Agbor Nkongho was arbitrarily arrested and detained on charges of “terrorism”, “treason”, “civil unrest” and “jeopardising the peace and unity of the Republic of Cameroon” by the Military Tribunal of Yaoundé under the 2014 Anti-Terrorism Law, which contravenes the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) principles on the right to a fair trial and allows for Cameroonian citizens to be charged in military courts. Mr. Agbor Nkongho was finally released on August 31, 2017 through Presidential Decree and all charges against him were then dropped.

The Observatory further condemns the increase in recent years of intimidation and attacks against human rights defenders in Cameroon, particularly since the beginning of the socio-political crisis in the Anglophone regions at the end of 2016, and recalls that several defenders of the rights of the Anglophone minority have been subjected to attacks, harassment and arbitrary detention under the Anti-Terrorism Law, or enforced disappearance, including Messrs. Mancho Bibixy TseFranklin Mowha and Samuel Ajiekah Abuwe, who died in military custody in August 2019.

[…]

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/cameroon-death-threats-against-human-rights-lawyer-felix-agbor

https://allafrica.com/stories/202110140575.html

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

(FRANCAIS)

https://www.camerounweb.com/CameroonHomePage/features/NOSO-sortie-fracassante-d-un-anglophone-en-exil-sur-Agbor-Balla-sur-la-r-union-de-Canada-626329

Belarus: Viasna activists Leanid Sudalenka and Tatsiana Lasitsa sentenced to 3 and 2 ½ years in prison

03/11/21

The head of Viasna’s Homieĺ office Leanid Sudalenka and Viasna’s volunteer Tatsiana Lasitsa.

The Centraĺny District Court of Homieĺ announced today a verdict in the criminal trial of Viasna human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka and volunteer Tatsiana Lasitsa.

Judge Siarhei Salouski found Sudalenka and Lasitsa guilty of “organizing and preparing actions that grossly violated public order” (Part 1, Article 342 of the Criminal Code), and “training and preparing persons to participate in such actions, as well as their financing or other material support” (Part 2, Article 342 of the Criminal Code). Leanid Sudalenka was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony, and Tatsiana Lasitsa to two and a half years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.

On October 13, the prosecutors, Yauhen Fartushniak and Kiryl Vyshniakou, requested three years’ sentences for both activists. Another Viasna volunteer, Maryia Tarasenka, who was on trial in the same criminal case but remain free, was expected to be sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Tarasenka was eventually forced to leave Belarus.

The trial over human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka and Viasna volunteers Tatsiana Lasitsa and Maryia Tarasenka started on September 3 and was held behind closed doors. Sudalenka and Lasitsa have been in custody since January 18 and 21, respectively.

As Sudalenka told in his letters, he was accused of:

  • paying for firewood for the children from a large family, whose father was later convicted of “rioting”;
  • appearing in a video on YouTube to explain to blogger Andrei Pavuk what a people’s protest is;
  • a call on social media to meet Maryia Tulzhankova after serving 15 days of administrative imprisonment;
  • arranging a seminar on digital security for human rights defenders;
  • payment of fines, court fees and lawyers’ services.

Both Leanid Sudalenka and Tatsiana Lasitsa were called political prisoners by the country’s human rights community.

https://spring96.org/en/news/105553

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/belarus-sentencing-of-viasna-members-leanid-sudalenka-and-tatsiana

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/11/03/joint-statement-sentencing-two-members-human-rights-group-viasna-belarus

https://www.rferl.org/a/belarus-lawyer-sudalenka-jailed/31544089.html

https://prisoners.spring96.org/en/person/leanid-sudalenka

(ITALIANO)

Urgent appeal: Rights organizations call on Lebanese authorities to cease the intimidation of human rights lawyer Mohammed Sablouh

12/10/21

Human rights organizations are gravely concerned by the Lebanese authorities’ recent attempts to silence and discredit Mohammed Sablouh, a human rights lawyer defending victims of torture and Syrian refugees facing deportation. The actions of the Lebanese authorities represent an unacceptable infringement on the work of lawyers and other human rights defenders, in light of Lebanon’s ongoing failure to meet its legal obligations to prevent and punish the use of torture and to abide by the principle of non-refoulement.

Mohammed Sablouh is a Lebanese lawyer and the director of the Prisoners’ Rights Center at the Tripoli Bar Association. For nearly 15 years, he has been documenting cases of torture and other ill-treatment in Lebanese detention facilities and advocating on behalf of victims both at the domestic and international levels. Recently, Sablouh’s work exposing the torture and other ill-treatment of prisoners in the Military Police prison in Beirut, at the Fakhr El-Din barrack (Ramla al-Bayda), and his advocacy against the forcible deportation of Syrian refugees garnered significant media coverage in the Lebanese press. As a result, he has been subjected to abusive legal challenges and other forms of intimidation, particularly from the General Security Directorate and the Military Prosecution.

On 23 September 2021, the Government’s Commissioner to the Military Court, Judge Fadi Akiki and the Military Police, pressured one of Sablouh’s clients, a detainee in the Fakhr El-Din facility, to testify that Sablouh’s allegations of torture were fabricated, according to family members. On 28 September, the Military Prosecution sent a letter to the Tripoli Bar Association requesting the authorization to prosecute Sablouh under article 403 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which penalizes false accusations. This request indicates that the Lebanese authorities are initiating retaliatory legal proceedings against Sablouh in an attempt to discredit his legally sanctioned work documenting instances of torture.

By obstructing the work of lawyers, Lebanon is violating its own laws and criminal procedures as well as its international human rights obligations. The UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers requires governments to ensure that lawyers “are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference” and that they “shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics.” On 8 October, Sablouh’s case was submitted to the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on the independence of judges and lawyers and on human rights defenders.

Call to action

We, the undersigned national and international human rights organizations, call on Lebanon to respect the work of lawyers and others advocating on behalf of victims of torture and to  adhere to its legal obligations to prevent and punish the use of torture.

We call on the Lebanese authorities, and particularly the Military Prosecution and the General Security Directorate, to:

[…]

https://menarights.org/en/articles/coalition-human-rights-organizations-call-lebanese-authorities-cease-intimidation-human

https://www.fidh.org/en/region/north-africa-middle-east/lebanon/lebanon-cease-the-intimidation-of-human-rights-lawyer-mohammed

China: Acts of torture against detained rights lawyer Chang Weiping

17/09/21

China Change » An Open Letter to the People's Republic of China Ministry of  Public Security and Minister Zhao Kezhi

[…]

The Observatory has been informed by the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) about the acts of torture and ill-treatment perpetrated against Chang Weiping, a prominent human rights lawyer known for taking on sensitive human rights cases and filling lawsuits against companies for discrimination in the workplace against women, LGBTQ+ persons, and individuals affected by HIV/AIDs.

On September 14, 2021, Chang Weiping was allowed to meet his lawyer for the first time since his arbitrary arrest on October 22, 2020. During the meeting, which took place at the Feng County Detention Centre, in the area of Baoji City, Shaanxi Province, Chang Weiping reported having been subjected to numerous forms of physical and psychological torture in the six-month period he spent under “residential surveillance in a designated location” (RSDL), a form of enforced disappearance [1] , from October 2020 to April 2021. Chang Weiping was subjected to the “tiger chair” [2] for six consecutive days, subjected to sleep deprivation, placed under 24 hours video surveillance, denied food and allowed to shower only five times during the six-month period. At the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal, Chang Weiping remained detained at the Feng County Detention Centre, at high risk of renewed acts of torture.

The Observatory recalls that Chang Weiping was arrested on October 22, 2020 at his home in Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province, by police officers from Baoji City. Later the same day, Chang Weiping’s wife received a phone call from a police officer who informed her that her husband had been placed under RSDL. Following his detention, the Baoji City Public Security Bureau denied two separate requests presented by Chang Weiping’s lawyers to meet with their client. Furthermore, one of the lawyers was informed that Chang Weiping was suspected of “subversion of State power” and that the case involved “State secrets”.

Six days before his arrest, on October 16, 2020, Chang Weiping had published a video statement on social media denouncing the physical and psychological torture he had been subjected to while in detention under RSDL from January 12 to 21, 2020, including being tied to a “tiger chair”. Arrested on charges of “subversion of State power” (Article 105(1) of China’s Criminal Law), Chang Weiping was released on bail pending trial on January 21, 2020. Nonetheless, he was requested to leave his city of residence and was confined to his family home in Baoji, where he remained under strict police scrutiny, including daily phone calls and weekly meetings with the police. Furthermore, he was prevented from being reunited with his family.

[…]

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/china-acts-of-torture-against-detained-hrd-chang-weiping

https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/43060

https://www.facebook.com/Free-Chang-Weiping-%E5%B8%B8%E7%8E%AE%E5%B9%B3-107416584492421/

https://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news/section/11/234188/Albert-Ho-lets-go-of-alliances

https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1610339-20210913.htm

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One Of Russia’s Top Human Rights Lawyers Flees To Georgia

07/09/21

"The bans were not related to one thing only -- the possibility to leave the country," lawyer Ivan Safronov said.

One of Russia’s top human rights lawyers, who is representing jailed journalist Ivan Safronov, has left the country after the authorities opened a case against him for allegedly disclosing classified information about his client’s case.

Ivan Pavlov wrote on Telegram on September 7 that he was in Georgia as “restrictions imposed on me over the probe have gradually made my work impossible.”

“I was barred from using communication tools and the Internet, talk to my clients and some of my colleagues. In general, I was forbidden from doing the things that a lawyer needs to do to be effective. The bans were not related to one thing only — the possibility to leave the country. That was a sign showing the way out,” Pavlov wrote, adding that he plans to return to Russia in the future.

Pavlov became a suspect in a criminal case on the disclosure of data with regard to Safronov’s case in April. He has rejected the accusation, calling it politically motivated.

Safronov, a former adviser to the head of Russia’s space agency Roskosmos and a one-time journalist, was arrested and charged with high treason in July 2020 on allegations that he had passed secret information to the Czech Republic in 2017 about Russian arms sales in the Middle East.

Safronov has rejected the accusations against him and many of his supporters have held pickets demanding his release, saying that all case materials have been deemed classified as part of the cover-up.

Russian authorities have launched a massive crackdown on dissent in recent months, jailing dozens of opposition members, activists, and regular citizens under the guise of charges widely considered to be falsified.

[…]

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-safronov-lawyer-flees/31448054.html

https://www.reuters.com/world/top-human-rights-lawyer-leaves-russia-citing-criminal-case-against-him-2021-09-07/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/russia-judicial-harassment-of-human-rights-lawyer-ivan-pavlov

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Pavlov_(lawyer)

Belarus: Trial of Viasna’s Homieĺ members set for September 3

23/08/21

Leanid Sudalenka, Tatsiana Lasitsa and Maryia Tarasenka

Human rights defender of Viasna Leanid Sudalenka and volunteer Tatsiana Lasitsa have been detained in remand prison No. 3 in Homieĺ for seven months. They are accused of organizing and financing actions that grossly violated public order (Parts 1 and 2 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code). Volunteer Maryia Tarasenka, who is free but under travel restrictions, is another defendant in the trial, which is expected to start on September 3 at the Centraĺny District Court of Homieĺ. The criminal charges against the three activists will be heard by judge Siarhei Salouski.

What are the charges?

The key charge Sudalenka is facing is reimbursing the fines imposed on peaceful protesters after the rigged election of August 2020. He and the two Viasna volunteers also helped numerous people find lawyers to defend them in protest-related trials. Among other things, Leanid Sudalenka is accused of purchasing firewood to help a family, whose father was later convicted of “rioting” and appearing in a YouTube video to explain what a people’s protest is.

The human rights activist has been in the pre-trial detention center since January 18. Tatsiana Lasitsa has been in custody since January 21. Maryia Tarasenko was briefly detained, but soon released. The charges against her, however, remained in place.

More than 200 witnesses were interviewed in the case. The case file contains 77 volumes.

Judge Siarhei Salouski is known for being the top-convicting judge in the post-election administrative trials. Salouski ordered a total of over three months in prison.

In 2020, Salouski twice fined journalist Larysa Shchyrakova for reporting for Belsat TV.

Last July, Leanid Sudalenka helped Valery Smiayan, a man fined by Salouski for staging a peaceful protest to support arrested activist Siarhei Tsikhanouski, to submit a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee. It is obvious that the judge is not impartial towards Sudalenka.

Why is the case against Viasna’s activists in Homieĺ politically motivated?

Leanid Sudalenka is a well-known human rights activist, who has been defending human rights for twenty years. He provided free legal assistance, including the preparation of individual complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee to challenge violations by the Belarusian authorities. For his human rights activities, Sudalenka received the French award “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”. In 2019, he was awarded the National Human Rights Prize in the nomination “Human Rights Defender of the Year”.

The Belarusian authorities have regularly persecuted Leanid Sudalenka for his active human rights work. They staged unsuccessful provocations to prosecute him, searched him at the state border, and tried to discredit him through publications in state-controlled media.

[…]

https://spring96.org/en/news/104744

https://www.fidh.org/en/region/europe-central-asia/belarus/belarus-months-after-arbitrary-detention-viasna-s-members-must-be

https://www.omct.org/en/resources/urgent-interventions/belarus-upcoming-trial-of-leanid-sudalenka-tatsiana-lasitsa-and-maria-tarasenka

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/belarus-arbitrary-detention-of-viasna-members-leanid-sudalenka-and-26489

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/leonid-sudalenko

https://www.fidh.org/fr/regions/europe-asie-centrale/belarus/resolution-de-l-onu-sur-le-belarus-valiantsin-stefanovic-viasna-27131 (FRANCAIS)

Belarus tightens grip on lawyers

23/08/21

Belarusian lawyer Mikhail Kirilyuk sits during an interview with Reuters in Warsaw, Poland June 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kuba Stezycki

Belarusian lawyer Mikhail Kirilyuk says he received an unsettling text message in October from an acquaintance linked to the country’s security services.

The acquaintance urged Kirilyuk, who had defended anti-government protesters and publicly criticised President Alexander Lukashenko’s rule, to leave the country. According to Kirilyuk, who said the text was sent via an encrypted messaging app and described its content to Reuters, the message also contained a warning: The attorney faced arrest and revocation of his license to practice law.

Kirilyuk left that month with his parents and young children for Poland, which has long been critical of Lukashenko. In February, the justice ministry revoked Kirilyuk’s license, according to an April Minsk court document relating to his unsuccessful appeal. The ministry said in a February press release that Kirilyuk had made “unacceptable” public statements that contained “rude” and “tactless” comments about state representatives, without identifying them.

Speaking with Reuters from Warsaw, 38-year-old Kirilyuk said he believed the action against him was politically motivated because of who he had represented and his public critical comments. He said he left because he “didn’t want to get arrested” and that he won’t return home until Lukashenko is out of office.

Kirilyuk’s account fits with what more than half a dozen Belarusian lawyers as well as international organizations representing the profession and human-rights groups say is a pattern of intimidation and suppression of attorneys by Belarusian authorities. Those actions include criminal and disciplinary proceedings against lawyers and disbarment, they say.

Seven lawyers interviewed by Reuters say their licenses were removed after defending protesters, speaking out against authorities or resisting what they said was pressure on their profession. Several of them allege that authorities monitored confidential client meetings or obstructed their work. Reuters was unable to independently corroborate their assertions or the text message described by Kirilyuk.

[…]

https://www.nippon.com/en/news/reu20210823KBN2FO0RY/belarus-tightens-grip-on-lawyers.html

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/belarus-tightens-grip-lawyers-2021-08-23/

https://www.fidh.org/en/region/europe-central-asia/belarus/belarus-months-after-arbitrary-detention-viasna-s-members-must-be

Afghanistan/Germany: Lawyers and rights activists at risk in Afghanistan

16/08/21

Germany may need to evacuate as many as 10,000 people from Afghanistan, Chancellor Angela Merkel told party colleagues on Monday, according to party sources.

That includes 2,500 Afghan support staff as well as human rights activists, lawyers and others whom the government sees being at risk if they remain in the country after the Taliban seized Kabul.

[…]

https://thepostman24.com/worldwide_Germany_Markel_afghanistan

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/126084845/amnesty-international-urges-government-to-do-all-it-can-to-help-those-caught-in-afghanistan

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/save-our-afghan-colleagues-urges-united-profession/5109538.article

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/fears-for-female-judges-in-afghanistan/5109533.article

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/afghanistan-foreign-affairs-ministers-must-protect-human-rights

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/germany-must-evacuate-10000-people-afghanistan-merkel-tells-party-2021-08-16/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/08/13/afghanistan-risk-civilians-need-evacuation-protection

https://texasnewstoday.com/the-taliban-are-poised-to-impose-sharia-law-in-afghanistan-threatening-bidens-professed-fighters/415252/

https://www.foreignbrief.com/daily-news/taliban-to-declare-islamic-emirate-of-afghanistan/

https://www.abogacia.es/actualidad/noticias/la-abogacia-espanola-extremadamente-preocupada-por-la-situacion-en-afganistan/ (ESPANOL)

#saveafghanistan

#sosafghanistan

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