Tag Archives: Front Line Defenders

Zimbabwe/Swaziland: Mnangagwa tried to deport Beatrice Mtetwa

January 11, 2019

President Emmerson Mnangagwa led a ZANU PF election war room team that tried to deport to prominent Human Rights Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa to her country of birth Swaziland during the height of the 2013 harmonised election campaign.

This was revealed by exiled Professor Jonathan Moyo in an expose’ on Econet Boss Strive Masiyiwa on Thursday.

Said Moyo, ” The full 2013 poll group had: Emmerson Mnangagwa (who chaired it), Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, Patrick Chinamasa (deputy chair), Nicholas Goche, Gen Constantino Chiwenga, Augustine Chihuri, Happyton Bonyongwe, Walter Tapfumaneyi, Kizito Gweshe, George Charamba  and Jonathan Moyo.

“The group’s overarching agenda was to: 1. Contain  Sadc mediation, so it does not derail 2013 elections. 2. Ensure that Parliament is dissolved by 29 June 2013  and elections are held soon thereafter. 3. Get  Econet  and diamond companies to fund elections to avoid UN funding.

“Besides the three-pronged agenda, there were other daily issues that cropped up. One was a report that lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa had blocked a police raid on Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s Bath Rd offices in Belgravia. The group decided to have Mtetwa deported but this failed.”

Beatrice, a past president of the Zimbabwean Law Society,  was arrested for “obstructing or defeating the course of justice”. She was arrested in Harare on 17 March 2013 after she asked to see the search warrant of police officers who were conducting what she called an “unlawful, unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic” search of the home of her client.










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

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prix_Ludovic-Trarieux (FRANCAIS)


Crimea/Russia/Ukraine: Risk of disbarment of human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov

January 10, 2019


On 10 January 2019, Crimean human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov received a letter from the Crimean Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation notifying him that he will be excluded from the Crimean Bar Association before 1 March 2019.

Emil Kurbedinov is an outspoken human rights lawyer in Crimea. Since the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, he has been actively involved in the defence of the rights of Crimean Tatars who became a targeted group, along with civil society activists and journalists. He provides people with legal aid, observes searches at activists’ homes and uses social media and international conferences to bring public attention to human rights violations in Crimea. Emil Kurbedinov is a recipient of the 2017 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

On 10 January 2019, Emil Kurbedinov received a letter (dated 18 December 2018) from the Crimean Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation notifying him that according to 1.2 (4) of Article 15 of the Federal Law “On non-commercial organisations”, a person that has been convicted of extremism cannot be a founder or a member of non-commercial organisation. Emil Kurbedinov is founder and member of Crimean Bar Association. The letter refers to two administrative convictions of Emil Kurbedinov for a  post that he published on two of his social media accounts.





http://old.qha.com.ua/tr/toplum/rusya-adalet-bakanligi-kirim-tatar-avukat-kurbedinov-un-barodan-cikarilmasini-istiyor/176048/ (TURKCE)

http://old.qha.com.ua/tr/siyaset/avukat-kurbedinov-kirim-tatar-aktivistler-tutukevinde-yavas-yavas-olduruluyor/176033/ (TURKCE)

https://ktat.krymr.com/a/yava%C5%9F-yava%C5%9F-%C3%B6ld%C3%BCreler-advokatlar-veciye-ka%C5%9Fka-davas%C4%B1-mab%C3%BCslerini%C3%B1-sa%C4%9Fl%C4%B1%C4%9F%C4%B1-aqq%C4%B1nda-tarif-etti/29699581.html (TURKCE)


January 8, 2019

Wang Quanzhang

On 26 December 2018, human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang underwent a four-hour trial at the No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court in Tianjin, China. Wang Quanzhang has been detained since his arrest in July 2015, completely incommunicado except for a 2015 visit with a state-appointed lawyer. The court has not yet announced a verdict.

Chinese judicial authorities frequently carry out trials and sentencing of sensitive individuals during the Christmas holiday season in attempt to limit international monitoring and coverage (see Zhen Jianghua). Authorities also took exaggerated measures to avoid local monitoring of the event, dispatching dozens of police and security personnel to prevent Wang Quanzhang’s family and supporters from attending the trial. Approximately 20 officers prevented supporters as well as foreign diplomats from accessing the courthouse on the morning of the trial, while an equal number of individuals prevented Wang Quanzhang’s wife from leaving her apartment compound.







https://www.epochtimes.com.br/12-formas-partido-comunista-chines-contradiz-si-mesmo/ (PORTUGUES)

https://sverigesradio.se/sida/gruppsida.aspx?programid=3304&grupp=6240&artikel=7126235 (SVENSKA)

Sudan: Violent repression of peaceful demonstrations and targeting of activists & HRDs in Sudan

January 4, 2019

Front Line Defenders

On 19 December 2018, peaceful demonstrations erupted on the streets of the northern Sudanese town of Atbara. The demonstrations have since spread across the country, including to the capital, Khartoum.

The demonstrators initially denounced the rising cost of living and shortages of food and fuel, but began calling for the resignation of President Omar Al Bashir following a violent response from the Sudanese authorities.

According to human rights defenders on the ground, state security responded to the peaceful protests with lethal force. On 28 December 2018, hundreds of people were targeted by tear gas in Omdurman after protests were due to take place after Friday prayers. Many of those who have been killed are understood to have been shot dead by security forces.

Dozens of human rights defenders, including grassroots activists, journalists and lawyers, are among those who have been arrested and detained. On 3 January 2018, Hasan Abd Al Ati of the National Civil Forum, which works on development issues and human rights, was arrested along with two of his colleagues at their office in Khartoum. On the same day, Faisal Mohamed Saleh was arrested from his office at Teebaa Press, an NGO that organises training for local journalists.








https://fr.euronews.com/2019/01/07/soudan-plus-de-800-arrestations-depuis-le-debut-des-manifestations?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1546877812 (FRANCAIS)

https://blogs.mediapart.fr/les-invites-de-mediapart/blog/050119/appel-la-mobilisation-en-soutien-au-peuple-soudanais-contre-la-dictature-et-la-repress (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20190104-soudan-opposition-reclame-toujours-le-depart-president-bechir?fbclid=IwAR0eOPmxHNObhVf2BpUpa-im6O-tedD5dW_uzr81yWEnusMpp0HGCJubWTc&ref=fb_i (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20190105-soudan-manifestations-anti-regime-repression-journaliste-mohamed-naji?fbclid=IwAR3SuUdG7XB52Dli_uTZvUdSBy-pNc3BJ1Ty8he0taCzjCJXrDm69V5XST4 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.journalducameroun.com/manifestations-au-soudan-la-plus-grande-menace-pour-le-regime-en-30-ans/ (FRANCAIS)

https://afriqueactudaily.com/index.php/2019/01/08/soudan-plus-de-800-personnes-arretees-depuis-le-debut-des-manifestations/ (FRANCAIS)

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/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

Egypt: authorities must end the arbitrary detention of human rights lawyer Mohamed Ramadan

December 14, 2018

Image result for lawyer mohamed ramadan

The Egyptian authorities should immediately and unconditionally release human rights lawyer Mohamed Ramadan and drop the charges against him or otherwise charge him with a recognizable crime consistent with international law, said the ICJ today.

Mohamed Ramadan was arrested, by plainclothes security officers on 10 December 2018, after attending proceedings concerning the renewal of a detention order against one of his clients. The client, Ayman Mahmoud, himself had been evidently detained for political reasons, and charged with joining and promoting an “illegal group” and “spreading false news on Facebook and Twitter to harm State interests.”

Following his arrest, Mohamed Ramadan was detained overnight in the National Security Agency Office. Ramadan’s family and lawyers did not know of his whereabouts until he was brought before the Alexandria Prosecutor on 11 December 2018.

According to information available to the ICJ, the Prosecutor charged Ramadan with joining a terrorist group, promoting its ideology including through social media and possession of publications supporting the group’s purpose (Case No. 16576/2018 Montaza), and ordered that he be detained for 15 days.

The charges appear to be to intended to prevent Ramadan’s exercise of freedom of expression and work as a lawyer. One of the lawyers who attended Ramadan’s interrogation on 11 December 2018 informed the ICJ that Ramadan had been informed by the Prosecutor to stop representing political detainees.












Turkey/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Trial of lawyers from People’s Law Office to continue between 3 and 7 December

November 27, 2018


The trial of lawyers from People’s Law Office will continue between 3 and 7 December 2018 at 10 a.m. at Silivri Prison. Seventeen lawyers are accused of “being members of a terrorist organisation”, while three of them are charged with “being managers of a terrorist organisation”. Six lawyers from People’s Law Office remain in detention.

People ‘s Law Office is a public interest law firm known for its work on high profile cases such as that of 15- year old Berkin Elvan, who died during the Gezi Park protests after being hit on the head by a tear-gas canister fired by a police officer, and Dilek Doğan, a young woman who was shot and killed by a police officer during an anti-terror raid on her house on 18 October 2015. The Office also represented Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, two educators dismissed from their positions following the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016. One of the organisation’s lawyers, Selçuk Kozağaçlı, worked on the “Soma Mine” disaster, the worst mine disaster in Turkey’s history, in which 301 miners were killed.

On 14 September, after a full week of hearings, Istanbul’s 37th High Criminal Court ordered the release of all 17 detained lawyers from People’s Law Office, who had been in pre-trial detention since 2017. They were released the following morning. The Court then ordered the re-arrest of 12 lawyers less than 24 hours after its previous decision, after the prosecutor had contested the court’s decision. To date, six lawyers from the People’s Law Office, namely Selçuk Kozağaçlı, Engin Gökoğlu, Aycan Çiçek, Aytaç Ünsal, Behiç Aşçı and Ahmet Mandacı have been re-arrested, and the re-arrest orders for six other lawyers are still pending. While the Court confirmed the release of the remaining five lawyers, namely Yaprak Türkmen, Yağmur Ereren Evin, Didem Baydar Ünsal, Ayşegül Çağatay and Zehra Özdemir, the criminal proceeding against all 20 lawyers charged remains ongoing.


https://www.demokrathaber.org/guncel/chd-li-avukatlara-ilk-durusmada-beraat-h110334.html (TURKCE)

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/361562/avukat-selcuk-kozagacli-yeniden-tutuklandi-avukatlari-darbedildi (TURKCE)

http://cagdashukukcular.org/ (TURKCE)