Tag Archives: Front Line Defenders

China: Lawyer Yu Wensheng tried in secret

May 12, 2019

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徐州市中級人民法院,沒有通知許艷關於余文生案開庭的信息;沒有在徐州市中級人民法院網站上公佈余文生案開庭信息;沒有通知我請的辯護律師常伯陽律師、謝陽律師關於 開庭信息。


許艷認為,這樣的開庭,沒有保障妻子去旁聽的權利;沒有保障我請的辯護律師為余文生律師辯護的法律權利;沒有保障大家對余文生律師案件的關注與申請旁聽的權利;無法相信 在這樣的情況下余文生律師的法律權利可以得到保障。

許艷對徐州市中級人民法院針對余文生律師案件的違法密秘審判的做法,表示強烈抗議! 表示不承認! 不認可! 不接受!




(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook, 11/05/19)

A Solemn Statement on the Secret Trial of Lawyer Yu Wensheng,
By Xu Yan, wife of Yu,

11 May 2019

It is now known that lawyer Yu Wensheng was secretly tried by the Xuzhou Intermediate People’s Court of Jiangsu province on 9 May.

The Xuzhou Intermediate People’s Court did not inform me, or publicise on its website any information, about the trial of Yu Wensheng’s case.  Lawyers Chang Boyang and Xie Yang, whom I have hired as the defence counsels, were also not notified about it.

At 9 am on 9 May, Yu was tried in a secret hearing.

A trial like this does not protect my right as a wife to attend the hearing. It does not protect Yu Wensheng’s legal right to be defended by the lawyers I have appointed for him. It does not protect the public’s rights to concern about Yu Wensheng’s case and to attend the trial.  I cannot trust that under such circumstances, the legal rights of Yu Wensheng can be protected.

I strongly protest against the Xuzhou Intermediate People’s Court. It has illegally handled lawyer Yu Wensheng’s case by launching a secret trial!  I cannot take this! I do not recognise it! I do not accept it!

I demand the judicial organs in Xuzhou and in Beijing and the judicial organs in China to abide by the law and be humane in handling Yu Wensheng’s case.

I demand the Xuzhou Intermediate People’s Court to immediately acquit lawyer Yu Wensheng.

By Xu Yan, wife of lawyer Yu Wensheng

https://hk.news.yahoo.com/%E5%85%A7%E5%9C%B0%E7%B6%AD%E6%AC%8A%E5%BE%8B%E5%B8%AB%E4%BD%99%E6%96%87%E7%94%9F%E5%A6%BB%E5%AD%90%E7%A8%B1%E7%9B%B8%E4%BF%A1%E4%B8%88%E5%A4%AB%E6%A1%88%E4%BB%B6%E5%B7%B2%E7%A7%98%E5%AF%86%E9%96%8B%E5%BA%AD%E5%AF%A9%E8%A8%8A-123509091.html (CANTONESE)



Yu Wensheng 余文生



Bangladesh: Sultana Kamal receives death threat from militant group

May 9, 2019


On 4 May 2019, Sultana Kamal filed a complaint at the Dhanmondi Police Station in Dhaka, detailing a threat on her life and requesting protection from state authorities. The death threat against her was made by the militant Islamist group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh in their online publication ‘Lone Wolf’ dated March 2019.

Sultana Kamal is a human rights defender and lawyer known for her work on civil and political as well as gender rights. She is currently the chairperson of several human rights organisations, including South Asians for Human Rights, Transparency International Bangladesh and We Can Bangladesh. Sultana Kamal is also the co-chairperson of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission. For over 15 years, she served as the Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a legal aid and human rights organisation in Bangladesh.

The death threat against Sultana Kamal was published in the March 2019 issue of ‘Lone Wolf’, a publication of the militant Islamist group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen circulated on the Telegram messaging app. Sultana Kamal’s name was mentioned in a list of “targets” identified by the group alongside suggestions of possible ways to kill them. She and a few others were also labelled as ‘murtad’ or apostates in the publication.

This is not the first time that Sultana Kamal has received threats from fundamentalist groups. On 2 June 2017, another hardline Islamist group named Hefazat-e-Islam had threatened her with arrest, exile, and violence for disagreeing with one of their representatives on a TV show.








Algeria: Administrative observation of Salah Dabouz extended

May 2, 2019

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On 30 April 2019, the accusation chamber of the Court of First Instance of Ghardaia confirmed the decision made by an investigative judge to keep human rights defender Salah Dabouz under “administrative observation”. The measure was extended by an additional day and now Salah Dabouz is obliged to appear at the police station in Ghardaia every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.

On 8 April 2019, Salah Dabouz was arrested by security forces during a meeting in a restaurant in Algiers. The human rights defender was taken to the city of Ghardaia where he was questioned about his posts on Facebook criticising the judiciary. He was released the next day but was issued with a travel ban and kept under “administrative observation”. As part of this procedure, he was summoned to appear at the police station in Ghardaia every Wednesday and Sunday. The city is located around 600 km from Algiers, where the human rights defender lives and works. This procedure is a clear attempt to stop Salah Dabouz from participating in the protests in the capital.


https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/case/intimidation-harassment-human-rights-defender-salah-dabouz-amid-uprising (FRANCAIS)

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Hong Kong: Rival alumni groups in fight over whether jailed Occupy co-founder Benny Tai should be sacked from post at University of Hong Kong

May 1, 2019

Benny Tai has been jailed for 16 months on public nuisance offences. Photo: Robert Ng

A row over whether jailed Occupy co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting should be immediately dismissed from his teaching job has escalated with rival alumni groups issuing petitions to the University of Hong Kong.

Students, meanwhile, spoke highly of Tai’s contribution to democracy and the university’s law school, and also launched their own petition.

The HKU associate law professor, who was among four Occupy leaders jailed
last week for public nuisance charges over the 2014 protests, was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment.

In a petition to the university’s vice chancellor Zhang Xiang and governing council chairman Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, a group of 29 alumni asked HKU to immediately launch a disciplinary inquiry against Tai, 54, for advocating civil disobedience “in the disguise of an academic”.








https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfdLpkaRE14dYga0lTVJ_6hhmdi8ub5G1uoUSA-EgQtt9Q_dw/viewform?fbclid=IwAR1xJwnXgQg71VUDuu0ggG-85ZwkZCjOMBmQRl-wI7CCcCblSMKAbOgWY4o (SIGN THE PETITION!)


https://www.hkcnews.com/article/20210/%E6%88%B4%E8%80%80%E5%BB%B7-%E4%BD%94%E4%B8%AD%E4%B9%9D%E5%AD%90-%E7%9B%A3%E7%8D%84-20210/%E6%B8%AF%E5%A4%A7%E6%A0%A1%E5%8F%8B%E9%97%9C%E6%B3%A8%E7%B5%84%E5%B0%B1%E6%B3%95%E5%BE%8B%E7%B3%BB%E5%89%AF%E6%95%99%E6%8E%88%E6%88%B4%E8%80%80%E5%BB%B7%E7%9A%84%E5%88%A4%E5%88%91%E7%99%BC%E8%B5%B7%E8%81%AF%E7%BD%B2%E8%81%B2%E6%98%8E (CANTONESE)

https://www.amnesty.tw/petition/3075?fbclid=IwAR1ufICElBIDz5n_6x4lE8mYdwpLsBSqZe3GjkytxPCD4_iFu97HztHcj4Y (MANDARIN)

https://fr.kongotimes.info/2019/05/01/hong-kong-emprisonnement-des-prodemocraties/ (FRANCAIS)

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

Egypt: Egypt’s open-air prison

April 27, 2019

Egyptian authorities have arrested thousands in a crackdown on dissent, even its most benign forms. And some former prisoners are finding that they are not really free despite having been released.

Amal Fathy and Mohamed Lofty (privat photo)

Just before dawn on May 11 last year, Amal Fathy and her husband Mohammed Lotfy’s lives changed forever. As Amal was trying to get their young son to sleep, Lotfy heard a knock at the door. On the other side, a plainclothes security officer stood alongside a group of masked and heavily armed special forces. Lotfy let them in and invited them to sit down.

“The plainclothes security official pulled up a chair at the dining table. He said to me, ‘You must know why we are here,'” recalled Lotfy.

While Lotfy was working documenting human rights abuses with his organization, the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, it had been Amal that was in danger, despite her having done no more than upload a video to social media complaining about sexual harassment she’d suffered during a visit to the bank. The video had gone viral, and smears about Amal, a former actress and activist, began to appear in the pro-government local media.

Still, said Lotfy, “I didn’t expect her to be arrested.” When the officers demanded that the couple come to the local police station, they found another dozen masked and armed special forces waiting outside their building who looked as though they were prepared to arrest hardened criminals.





https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/case/case-history-mohamed-lotfy (FRANCAIS)

http://kapitalis.com/tunisie/2019/04/26/tunis-evenement-de-soutien-aux-artistes-reprimes-par-letat-egyptien/ (FRANCAIS)

The Netherlands/Turkey: Invitation Lawyers for Lawyers Award Ceremony 2019

April 24, 2019

Presenting the 2019 Laureate of the Lawyers for Lawyers Award:

Selçuk Kozağaçlı
Human rights lawyer from Turkey


The Award Ceremony will take place on 23 May 2019 in Amsterdam. Register now to attend!

The seminar will be organized in collaboration with the Amsterdam Bar Association and the Justitia Commission of the Young Lawyers Association Amsterdam. The main topic of the seminar will concern the developments surrounding the proposed European Convention on the Profession of Lawyers. Two panel discussions will be organized around this topic.

14.00 – 17.00 | Seminar on the proposed European Convention to Protect Lawyers. Speakers include, amongst others, François Moyse (Vice-Chair of the CCBE European Convention Working Group), Mikolaj Pietrzak (president of the Warsaw Bar Association), Hanne Juncher (Head of Department, Justice and Legal Co-operation, Council of Europe), Prof. Egbert Myjer (Commissioner International Commission of Jurists and former judge at ECHR) and former Award winners and lawyers Sirikan ‘June’ Charoensiri (Thailand) and Alec Muchadehama (Zimbabwe)

Invitation Lawyers for Lawyers Award Ceremony 2019







http://bianet.org/bianet/insan-haklari/207843-selcuk-kozagacli-11-yil-3-ay-hapse-itiraz-etti (TURKCE)

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/378142/kozagacli-kendisine-verilen-cezaya-itiraz-etti-on-birinci-gerekce (TURKCE)

https://www.independentturkish.com/node/25166/haber/tutuklu-%C3%A7hd-genel-ba%C5%9Fkan%C4%B1-sel%C3%A7uk-koza%C4%9Fa%C3%A7l%C4%B1-istinaf-mahkemesi%E2%80%99ne-ba%C5%9Fvurdu#.XMGVGPNkdI4.twitter (TURKCE)

https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/gundem/2019/04/24/dosyama-baktirmadiniz-gerekcelerimi-siz-bulun/ (TURKCE)

Image result for selçuk kozağaçlı


Turkey: Eighteen Lawyers from People’s Law Office sentenced to between three and 18 years in prison

April 16, 2019


On 18, 19 and 20 March 2019, three hearings were held in the Istanbul 37th High Criminal Court in the case of 20 lawyers from the People’s Law Office, six of them currently in detention. Eighteen human rights lawyers were prosecuted on terrorism-related charges and sentenced to between three and 18 years in prison. The cases of the remaining two human rights lawyers, Oya Aslan and Günay Dağ, remain open due to their absence from all three hearings.

On 18 March 2019, the Chief Justice opened the hearing by stating that the judges would hear the final statements of the defendants and announce the final verdict thereafter. The defence of the human rights lawyers objected by arguing that the case had not yet arrived at the defence phase. The defence further argued that according to the interim decision made by the court on 7 December 2018, the defendants had been given time until the hearing which was scheduled for 18 March 2019 to submit their demands regarding an extension to the scope of the prosecution as well as their responses to the statements made by the witnesses. The court initially rejected these objections, stating that they constituted an attempt at prolonging the legal proceedings. However, the defence lawyers insisted that they had the right to raise all issues related to the accusations during the hearings as well as to discuss their requests submitted to the court between the two hearings. Further, they argued that the court was obliged to at least hear all their requests and statements before pronouncing the final judgement. In reaction to the insistence of the lawyers, the court allowed them to respond to the statements made by the witnesses, and then changed its decision again in the middle of the hearing to only allow for a discussion on the requests regarding the extension of the prosecution. While the defence lawyers drew attention to the irregularities in the legal proceedings and the importance of impartiality and fair trial standards, they received warnings from the court for “objecting to court decisions”, “using accusatory language towards the judges” and “speaking without permission”. The court closed the hearing by announcing that there was nothing left to discuss regarding the accusations, and asked the defendants to prepare their defence for the next day.