Tag Archives: France

Afghan lawyers and judges in danger


Today, January 24, marks the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. As a Canadian lawyer I want to draw attention to the challenges facing some members of the legal profession in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban government assumed power in the country more than a year ago, the risk of retaliation and danger have only increased for many lawyers and judges, particularly women, advocates say.

For Nasrin (whose name has been changed to protect her identity), leaving Afghanistan was the last resort.

She had spent decades developing pioneering legislation and policies as a judge and legal advocate. When the Taliban took over in August 2021, everything changed. Facing death threats, she ultimately left. “I didn’t have any choice,” she told me. “I left my country, my house.” Now she and other legal activists are warning about the ever-increasing risks that lawyers and judges in the country still face and the need for countries like Canada to step up their efforts to help at-risk Afghans.

“If a woman wants to be a leader, like head of a court … it’s a very big position, but it is very dangerous,” Nasrin says.

Judges like Nasrin, as well as prosecutors, have been threatened with reprisals from the people they tried and the Taliban themselves. She is in contact with colleagues in the legal profession who remain in Afghanistan, and says the situation is worse than a year ago, as lawyers and judges fear for their safety.

“The first line is judges, the second line is defence lawyers and prosecutors … they are searching to find them,” she says.

The development of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) in 2008 was part of a broader effort to build a non-governmental body that would regulate the legal profession and provide resources to support lawyers and access to legal services. But in November 2021, it was dismantled by armed Taliban soldiers and the Ministry of Justice gained possession of the AIBA’s database, containing contact information of members. The organization is now relaunching itself in exile, from Brussels.




International Day Of The Endangered Lawyer: “We Strongly And Unequivocally Condemn The Repressive Tendencies Of The Taliban Government In Afghanistan Towards Lawyers”- Maikyau


https://charidy.com/AfghanWomen (PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!)









https://www.darivoa.com/amp/lawyers-in-Afghanistan-face-threats/6933046.html (DARI)

https://www.pashtovoa.com/a/us-special-envoy-for-afghan-women-says-will-stand-with-afghan-lawyers/6933080.html (PASHTO)

https://www.lextimes.fr/actualites/avocats-en-danger/treizieme-edition-consacree-lafghanistan (FRANCAIS)




Afghanistan: DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2023


The FBE supports all those in danger in Afghanistan.  Since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban in 2021, the situation of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors in Afghanistan has worsened. Many were left stranded when Government evacuation efforts ended. The international  legal community campaigns to persuade governments to rescue legal professionals at risk. However, most governments evacuated their own nationals and those who had been employed by the respective Government or related bodies. Most Afghan legal professionals did not fall into either category, even though they had served those Governments’ interests by upholding the rule of law in their country. Many were actively involved in the prosecution of members of the Taliban and  are in great danger. The international legal community must act now to persuade more assistance to evacuate lawyers, prosecutors, judges and legal professionals at risk and to offer safe havens in their respective countries.

The FBE endorses the report of the Coalition for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer and urges all to implement recommendations in particular:

  • The international community, in their diplomatic efforts toward the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, are urged to ensure the maintenance of a free and independent legal profession, in order to safeguard fundamental rights, including women’s rights, the independence and integrity of the administration of justice, and the rule of law.
  • The international community is urged to take all necessary measures to ensure that the lawyers at risk who remain in Afghanistan can safely leave the country. In particular:
  • To immediately implement evacuation and resettlement programmes for Afghan lawyers remaining in Afghanistan or located in neighboring countries.
  • To ensure respect for the principle of non-refoulement at all times.
  • To make humanitarian visas available to enable Afghan lawyers in need to access international protection legally and safely.
  • To ensure that all States suspend deportations and summary returns of Afghan nationals to Afghanistan or third states.
  •  To ensure that all States thoroughly investigate allegations of ill-treatment of Afghan nationals, especially in the States’ border regions and in removal centers in their territories.







https://2k86.mj.am/nl3/9MUI9jpjAKJgvmFwBU6sEA (FRANCAIS)

London: a Human Rights Solidarity and Arrested Lawyers Initiative action

Brussels (Facebook, CCBE – Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe )

Afghanistan: International Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023


The 24th of January has been designated as the annual International Day of the Endangered Lawyer in memory of the “Massacre of Atocha” occurred this day in 1977 when four lawyers and a co-worker were murdered and four others were heavily injured at their address at Calle Atocha 55 in Madrid.  

The purpose of this International Day is to draw the attention of government officials, international institutions, civil society, the media and the general public to the plight of lawyers in a particular focus country, to raise awareness about the threats the lawyers in that country face in the exercise of their profession. 

This year, the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer focuses on Afghanistan. 

The Coalition for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer has prepared a report about the justice system in Afghanistan, describing the extremely dire situation confronting Afghan lawyers today. 

The European Young Bar Associations, as part of the Coalition, strongly supports the recommendations provided in the Report addressed to the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, the international community, the European Union and its Member States, in order to improve the situation of Afghan lawyers in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. 

In addition to the limitations on fundamental human rights and reprisals against lawyers, judges and prosecutors that should be condemned, as an association representing young lawyers, the EYBA express its concern especially for the limitations to education and access to the legal profession imposed by the Taliban’s Ministry of Justice which affect the new generations, more than others. 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (M.L.K).

Click here to download the full report:

Final version of the Report -Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023- 2 (1)

Click to access 202301-stm-sr-ijl-sr-afghanistan-day-endangered-lawyer.pdf





https://www.bbc.com/persian/live/afghanistan-64329705 (DARI)

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/01/international-day-endangered-lawyer-24-january-2023 (FRANCAIS)





https://www.abogacia.es/fr/actualidad/noticias/el-abogado-afgano-hossain-haydari-llega-a-espana-gracias-al-apoyo-de-la-fundacion-abogacia/ (ESPANOL)


Afghanistan: Male judges and prosecutors left behind in ‘forgotten crisis’


The Taliban’s increasingly draconian policies in Afghanistan, the return to Sharia law and attacks on women’s rights have rightly drawn the world’s attention. However, almost 18 months after the Taliban seized power, there are growing calls to ensure that Afghan men, including those working in the legal profession, are also safe from harm.

Imogen Canavan, a Legal Consultant at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law, has worked closely with the IBA and the International Association of Women Judges to evacuate vulnerable Afghans since August 2021. As part of these efforts, hundreds of female judges deemed to be at risk were evacuated alongside their families and have since been resettled in Canada, Australia, Germany, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Iceland.

While Canavan says these efforts are to be hugely commended, she’s increasingly concerned for the safety of male judges in Afghanistan who are now being forced to impose Sharia Law. ‘One of the focuses for me as a consequence of this work has been the male judges, because I feel like they’re a much bigger group,’ she says. ‘There are about 200 female judges, but there are about 2,000 male judges. What we see in terms of security risks for them is mostly kidnappings of the eldest son. They usually want the judge to present themselves to the Taliban in exchange for the son. Then often we anticipate that this would be likely to result in killing or certainly torture. There’s extortion as well.’

Safiya was an Afghan national working in the UK last August when the Taliban seized Kabul. Though she had no previous links to the legal profession, she, like Canavan, found herself fully immersed in the evacuation efforts. Safiya has watched in horror at how women have been steadily removed from nearly all areas of public life in Afghanistan, but says many male judges could be even more at risk than their female counterparts. ‘A lot of very well-known male judges were left behind,’ she says. ‘That’s the thing that upset me the most because all these men at the top of their field were getting in touch with me, but there was no evacuation mechanism for them. They’re the ones that are most in need now.’

Canavan says it was also a mistake that prosecutors weren’t deemed at risk enough to be evacuated by governments and humanitarian organisations in the wake of the Taliban takeover. ‘They are being attacked with knives and guns and their homes are being burnt down,’ she says. ‘Like legal academics, this group has not been prioritised, has been left behind and nobody’s thinking about them.’



Click to access ILAC_Afghanistan_Report_2023-2.pdf




https://news.un.org/fr/story/2023/01/1131517 (FRANCAIS)


Iran: Security forces arrest lawyer Behzad Hakimizadeh at his home in Saqqez


According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, on January 9, 2023, lawyer Behzad Hakimizadeh was arrested in Saqqez.

The reason for his arrest and the allegations against him are still unknown.

Since the outbreak of nationwide protests, about 19400 people, including journalists, lawyers, teachers, students and civil rights activists, have been arrested. For more details and statistics on the nationwide protest across Iran, read HRANA’s comprehensive report here.

https://www.hra-news.org/2023/hranews/a-39046/ (FARSI)

https://www.tf1.fr/tmc/quotidien-avec-yann-barthes/videos/iran-le-danger-sans-fin-des-avocats-91670065.html (FRANCAIS)

Russian Invasion Upends Life for Ukrainian Lawyers, a Year Later


Adam Mycyk was asleep in his home in Kyiv, Ukraine in late February 2022 when the blare of missile strikes shook him awake.

His mind raced. Where’s the nearest bomb shelter? What if the electric grid is hit?

The Dentons partner then spent the first day of Russia’s invasion scrambling to organize coverage for companies he advises.

“I was in the middle of two deals at that point—maybe three—that were mostly Ukraine-related, but cross-border in nature,” said Mycyk, 56, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer, in an interview. “These things still had to move forward.”

The Russian invasion has upended the lives of lawyers in Ukraine, forcing them to confront safety, psychological and logistical challenges as they work from a country under siege. Nearly a year after the siege began, the lawyers who fled are carrying on as refugees in foreign countries, wondering when they’ll be able to return.

For those who remain in Ukraine, any sense of normalcy is interrupted by hours of air raid sirens day and night.

“You could have a court hearing, and then the sirens would go off and the court had to adjourn the hearing,” said Roman Hryshyn-Hryshchuk, a CMS Legal Services litigation associate. “Sometimes you had to conduct them while literally hiding in the shelter.”

Hryshyn-Hryshchuk has been in the small, western town of Vyzhnytsia since February, when he left Kyiv to stay with his parents. He is banned from leaving the country and said he’s hesitant to travel between regions as suspicions about runaways or saboteurs escalate among authorities and defense volunteers.






Protests in Tunisia against persecution of political activist lawyer Ayachi Hammami


The protests were organized by political groups in the country in collaboration with lawyers and judges who have also opposed the dismissal of 57 judges by President Kais Saied last year

Hundreds of people participated in a protest in front of the Tunis Court of First Instance on Tuesday, January 10, against the continued persecution and harassment of Ayachi Hammami, coordinator of the Committee for the Defense of Dismissed Judges. The government under President Kais Saied had dismissed 57 judges through a decree in June last year.   

The protesters denounced the state intimidation and harassment of political dissidents under Saied’s rule, and demanded the restoration of the 57 judges who were dismissed.   

Hammami was summoned to the court after he was accused last week of “spreading rumors with the aim of undermining the rights of others and harming public security” and “spreading misinformation,” according to TAP.  

TAP reported that a case was filed against Hammami after his appearance in a radio show where he claimed that the judges dismissed last year were “wronged” by the government. He also alleged that the Ministry of Justice had “committed an offense” by not following court decisions.  

President Saied had dismissed the 57 judges after alleging that they were indulging in corruption and sheltering people involved in terrorist activities. Saied claimed that the dismissal of the judges was part of his larger project of “political reform” to rid the country of corruption and inefficiency. Days before he sacked the judges, he had appointed himself as the head of a new watchdog with powers of appointing and dismissing judges without any opposition.  

Speaking in the court, Hammami claimed that the case against him was “politically motivated” and revealed the state of freedom of expression and right to dissent in the country. He also accused President Saied of trying to take control over the Tunisian judiciary and reduce its powers, TAP reported.  



https://www.avocatparis.org/actualites/tunisie-mobilisation-et-actions-du-barreau-de-paris (FRANCAIS)







Afghanistan: Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2023


Every year on the 24th of January, the International Day of the Lawyer in Danger mobilises the international community on the difficulties and threats to the practice of law. The situation of lawyers in Afghanistan was chosen for the year 2023. Lawyers have been targeted since the Taliban government took power on 15th of August 2021.

The impossibility or even the prohibition for women to practice their profession and the obligation for men to obtain a new licence under the control of the terrible Taliban Ministry of Justice, undermine the free exercise of lawyers’ profession. Not to mention the dramatic deterioration of the rule of law, jeopardising the lives of thousands of Afghans, including many lawyers, forced to flee or hide in the country.

On the occasion of this international day, the OIAD is organising a conference on the 20th of January 2023 in Lyon entitled “The defence of defence in times of crisis”, which will provide an opportunity to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, but also in Ukraine and Iran.


Join us, in person or online, for this mobilisation day. The debates will be fully translated into English, French, Spanish and Italian.

We also invite you to participate in the OIAD’s workshops.

Consult the agenda for the 20th of January 2023 HERE.

Link to register for the conference: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5s45W-_oQtaFBkzQkAR9vg


2023: Afghanistan






https://protect-lawyers.org/2022-afghanistan/ (FRANCAIS)








https://protect-lawyers.org/it/2022-afghanistan-3/ (ITALIANO)

https://protect-lawyers.org/de/2022-afghanistan-4/ (DEUTSCH)



Iran Protests: At Least 44 Defense Attorneys Arrested Since September


Crackdown Aimed at Destroying Any Chance of Fair Trials for Protesters

Detainees Forced to Use Court-Appointed Lawyers

While the Islamic Republic has been gunning down and executing street protesters, it has also been arresting defense attorneys—at least 44 since September—to block their ability to seek justice for arbitrarily arrested activists and street protesters, according to research by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

Meanwhile, detainees continue to be forced to use lawyers from a list approved by Judiciary Chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, a known human rights violator. This list only includes court-approved lawyers who either collaborate with the state security establishment or who do not have the resources to defend their clients.

“Due process in line with internationally recognized standards hasn’t existed in the Islamic Republic for decades,” said Ghaemi. “Yet there are still lawyers in the country who try to squeeze out any form of defense they can for their clients, or advocate for them publicly, which is why the Islamic Republic is jailing them.”

“The Islamic Republic is trying to silence dissent from every angle, including by killing or jailing those who raise their voices and completely eliminating defendants’ right to a fair trial,” he added.

“Human rights lawyers have been a lifeline and voice for activists seeking basic rights, so the authorities are trying to eliminate the last few lawyers in Iran still able and willing to take on these cases,” he said.

CHRI urges bar associations around the world to highlight individual cases of detained rights lawyers and strongly condemn their persecution, especially in international forums such as legal conferences, and to call attention to the systematic denial of due process in the Islamic Republic—including in death penalty cases where lives are at stake.

Already four young men have been hanged in brief, closed trials where independent counsel was denied, 20 are on death row, and at least 42 are facing charges that can carry the death penalty, according to research by CHRI.

Independent Lawyers Blocked from Defending Detainees, Persecuted for Advocating their Cases

“There are several groups of lawyers in Iran,” explained a lawyer in Iran who spoke to CHRI on condition of anonymity for security reasons. “First, there are independent human rights lawyers who will take cases regarding prisoners whose rights are being denied; these lawyers will speak to the media to generate public support for their clients and will refuse to cooperate with the security agencies.”

“The second kind are public defenders who represent people who cannot afford legal counsel. Some of them do their job responsibly, but others do not,” added the lawyer. “There’s a third group of so-called ‘telephone lawyers’ who have the approval of the judiciary and then there are some lawyers who closely cooperate with security officials.”

In other words, without independent counsel, itself an obligatory due process right, a fair trial is rendered impossible; public defenders either lack the experience in the defense of human rights (especially in cases of this magnitude), or are themselves in cahoots with Iran’s security agencies, and the state-appointed attorneys in Iran designated for so-called “national security” cases uniformly do the bidding of the security agencies.







https://news.un.org/fr/story/2023/01/1131202 (FRANCAIS)



Iranian Lawyer Charged After Reporting Client Was Tortured


An Iranian lawyer who reported on the torture of his client by security agents has been charged for saying so publicly.

The activist HRANA news agency reported on January 8 that Ali Sharifzadeh Ardakani was released on bail after being summoned to a court in Karaj to hear the charges against him.

HRANA quoted an informed source as saying the Karaj prosecutor’s complaint against the lawyer is because he said his client, Mohammad Hosseini, was tortured until he confessed to playing a part in the murder of a security officer.

Mohammad Hosseini was arrested for his part in nationwide protests triggered by the death while in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Hosseini was hanged in prison on January 7 on charges of “waging war against God.”

Ardakani said in a tweet on December 18 that during a meeting Mohammad Hosseini told him he had been tied up and tortured by agents to secure a confession that he played a role in the killing of Ruhollah Ajamian, who was part of the Basij, a volunteer militia under the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

“He was tortured with his eyes closed and his hands and feet tied. They kicked his head until he was unconscious and they injured different parts of his body with an iron rod and an electroshock weapon,” Ardakani said.








https://www.institutkurde.org/info/depeches/iran-liberation-de-l-avocat-des-journalistes-ayant-couvert-la-mort-de-mahsa-15262/ (FRANCAIS)