Tag Archives: Germany

Thailand: June, defending her right to stand up for others in Thailand

The story of Sirikan “June” Charoensiri, human rights lawyer from Thailand

She never asked for any of it. Not the awards. Not the grave charges filed against her. All she ever wanted was to defend others in the courtroom, but she ended up having to defend herself.

Despite circumstances conspiring against her, the 33-year-old Thai human rights lawyer manages to draw strength from her predicaments.

Sirikan “June” Charoensiri (@JCharoensiri) carries the burden of responsibility with astonishing grit and perseverance. She is always humble but with a laser sharp focus on what needs to be achieved.

 

Self-granted special powers

On the day of the interview, June’s colleagues submitted a petition to amend or revoke at least thirty-five orders issued by the junta since the 2014 coup d’état in Thailand. Hundreds of pieces of law were passed in the past five years by the junta leadership, better known as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). The NCPO exercised its sweeping powers granted by the 2014 interim Constitution — and by and large confirmed by the 2017 Constitution — to issue judicial, legislative, and executive orders that can’t be challenged in the court.

Only a new parliament can roll back what June calls a “dictatorial legacy.” Prayuth Chan-ocha, former army chief and leader of the pro-junta Palang Pracharat Party, has already been reappointed as Prime Minister following the general election in March 2019. A new Cabinet is also in place, and several military orders and decrees have been lifted. But June remains concerned. “Many Thai people think the junta-era restrictions are over, but military authorities can still detain civilians up to seven days without judicial oversight. Also, offenses under NCPO decrees remain in place. So far, only 70 of the 557 decrees issues by the NCPO are being repealed (for more details read this analysis piece written by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights).”

‘Fast horse lawyers’

Before the 2014 coup happened, June was working in the southern region bordering Malaysia — an area under protracted violence for a long time. When martial law, in the wake of Thailand’s twelfth coup d’état, was implemented, she knew what would come. She met late one night with a few fellow lawyers. The small group decided to form a task force made up of lawyers, social activists, and volunteers, focused on preventing the abuse of power they all expected to occur.

June

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

Colombia/Germany: PBI-Colombia at meeting with German ambassador and threatened lawyer Germán Romero

October 17, 2019

On October 16, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project posted, “Thank you very much to [German ambassador Peter Ptassek] and [the German embassy in Colombia] for their support for the work of human rights defenders in Colombia and the work of the victims’ representatives in this difficult context.”

This followed the German ambassador’s tweet that said, “Don’t touch my friend: We act in the protection of fair cause fighters. In this case we support the great work of Germán Romero for more rule of law and defence of victims. That their protection is not symbolic against threats. Thank you [Network of Human Rights Defenders in Colombia] for your visit.”

On October 10, PBI-Colombia also tweeted, “Many thanks to the Embassy [of Norway in Colombia] for its support for human rights defenders of dhColombia with Germán Romero who receives death threats for defending victims of extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances.”

El Espectador has explained that Romero, who represents victims of state agents, received a death threat on October 3 via his landline telephone and that his computer (with sensitive information about his cases) was stolen previous to that.

The same number has called Romero’s landline twice sent then, but they are silent when the telephone is answered.

That article also notes that Romero represents those affected by the Palace of Justice case, the construction of the Hidroituango hydroelectric dam as well as journalist Claudia Julieta Duque (who is accompanied by PBI-Colombia).

You can read more in our article Colombian human rights lawyer Germán Romero Sánchez receives death threat.

PBI-Colombia at meeting with German ambassador and threatened lawyer Germán Romero

Colombian human rights lawyer Germán Romero Sánchez receives death threat

Demand Protection for Atty. Germán Romero Sánchez

Click to access Provisional-list-Colombian-lawyers.pdf

https://www.icj.org/es/colombia-la-cij-expresa-su-preocupacion-por-las-recientes-amenazas-sufridas-por-el-abogado-de-derechos-humanos-german-romero-sanchez/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/judicial/no-te-voy-dejar-vivo-toda-la-vida-amenazan-abogado-de-victimas-de-agentes-estatales-articulo-884882 (ESPANOL)

https://www.justiciaypazcolombia.com/contexto-de-persecucion-y-robo-de-informacion-a-representante-de-victimas-el-abogado-german-romero-sanchez-integrante-de-dhcolombia/ (ESPANOL)

Turkey: Judicial farce must end with acquittal of human rights defenders

October 8, 2019

More than two years after they were first detained, the honorary chair and the former Director of Amnesty International Turkey and nine other human rights defenders must be acquitted of the absurd charges they still face, said Amnesty International ahead of their trial which resumes tomorrow in Istanbul.

Taner Kılıç, Amnesty Turkey’s Honorary Chair, and İdil Eser, the organization’s former Turkey Director, are being tried alongside nine others on baseless allegations of “membership of a terrorist organisation”.

“After more than two years and without a shred of credible evidence presented to substantiate the absurd charges made against them, it is now time to end this judicial farce and acquit Taner and the Istanbul 10,” said Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“Over the course of eight hearings, the prosecuting authorities have failed to present any credible evidence of any criminal wrongdoing, yet the threat of conviction has hung over these 11 human rights defenders but also as a warning to anyone else standing up for human rights in Turkey.”

Taner Kılıç spent more than 14 months in prison before his release on bail in August 2018. Eight of the Istanbul 10 spent almost four months each behind bars before they were bailed in October 2017.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/10/turkey-judicial-farce-must-end-with-acquittal-of-human-rights-defenders/

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/turkey-trial-amnesty-chair-and-ex-director-resumes-two-years-first-detained

http://bianet.org/english/law/214173-11-human-rights-defenders-must-be-acquitted

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

https://www.amnesty.be/infos/actualites/article/turquie-kilic-eser-liberes (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taner_Kili%C3%A7 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.es.amnesty.org/en-que-estamos/noticias/noticia/articulo/turquia-farsa-judicial-que-debe-concluir-con-la-absolucion-de-defensores-y-defensoras-de-los-derecho/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.amnesty.it/processo-turchia-difensori-diritti-umani/ (ITALIANO)

https://t24.com.tr/haber/11-insan-haklari-savunucusunun-yargilandigi-buyukada-davasi-yarin-gorulecek,842908 (TURKCE)

https://www.birgun.net/haber/buyukada-davasi-27-kasim-a-ertelendi-271875 (TURKCE)

Germany: Lawyer pursing neo-Nazis got death threats

September 16, 2019

Germany: Lawyer pursing neo-Nazis got death threats

One of the lawyers working to hold the German neo-Nazi group NSU responsible for a string of murders has received several death threats, local media reported on Monday.

Hessische Rundfunk reported that Turkish-German lawyer Seda Basay Yildiz most recently got a fax with a death threat just three days after the murder of German politician Walter Lubcke.

Lubcke, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the city of Kassel, was murdered by a single gunshot wound to the head in his garden this June.

Lubcke was known for supporting Merkel’s open-door policy for refugees.

“We killed Walter Lubcke. Now it’s your turn,” the fax sent to Yildiz reportedly said, signed by “NSU 2.0” and “Prinz Eugen Ssostubaf.”

The “Prinz Eugen Ssostubaf” moniker is thought to be related to a Nazi military unit responsible for massacres in then-Yugoslavia.

From 2000 to 2007, the neo-Nazi terror group National Socialist Underground (NSU) killed eight Turkish immigrants, a Greek citizen, and a German police officer, though the murders long remained unsolved.

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/germany-lawyer-pursing-neo-nazis-got-death-threats/1585835

https://www.thelocal.de/20190919/neo-nazi-suspect-in-german-officials-murder-linked-to-stabbing-of-iraqi-man

https://www.swr.de/swr2/leben-und-gesellschaft/Gespraech-NSU-2,av-o1153771-100.html (DEUTSCHE)

https://taz.de/Drohung-gegen-Anwaeltin-Baay-Yldz/!5626256/ (DEUTSCHE)

https://www.fr.de/rhein-main/beuth-nach-drohfax-unter-druck-zr-13008461.html (DEUTSCHE)

https://dosja.al/avokatja-turke-ne-gjermani-kercenohet-me-vdekje-nga-ekstremistet-e-djathte/ (ALBANIAN)

China/Germany: Wife of Lawyer Under House Arrest Pens Appeal to Merkel Ahead of China Trip

September 5, 2019

Human rights lawyer Xie Yang (right) visits fellow lawyer Jiang Tianyong (second from right) and his parents and the Jiang family home in Henan, where Jiang is under house arrest, June 25, 2019.

The wife of prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong has called on the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to put pressure on Beijing to allow him to leave China during her trip there this week.

Jiang’s U.S.-based wife Jin Bianling has repeatedly expressed concern for her husband’s health after he was tortured by cellmates during his time in detention.

Jiang, 48, was “released” in February at the end of a two-year jail term for “incitement to subvert state power,” a charge often used to imprison peaceful critics of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

He was allowed to return to his parents’ home, but remains under close surveillance by police.

Merkel heads to China on Thursday at the start of a three-day trip that will include breakfast with Premier Li Keqiang on Friday morning, and a meeting with President Xi Jinping.

In a letter to Merkel dated Sept. 5, Jin called on Merkel to raise her husband’s case with the authorities in Beijing.

“Jiang was released on Feb. 28 this year and has been out of prison for more than six months,” Jin wrote. “However, he is being held under house arrest by the Chinese state security police at his parents’ home in Luoshan county, Henan province.”

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/jiang-tianyong-09052019145211.html

Human Rights Defenders issues at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council

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

Council of Europe/CCBE: European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer: Update

September 2, 2019

https://www.ccbe.eu/actions/european-convention-on-the-profession-of-lawyer/

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/Top-Stories/attacks-on-lawyers-are-intensifying-eu-hearing-told/

http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/News/News-View-EN.asp?newsid=6944&lang=2

The case for drafting a European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer

[OPINION] Turkey tries to undermine the Council of Europe

Click to access coe-case-for-convention-on-lawyer-profession-recommendation-2121.pdf

https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/the-value-of-strong-and-independent-legal-profession

https://www.ccbe.eu/fr/actions/convention-europeenne-sur-la-profession-davocat/ (FRANCAIS)

Thailand: The Attorney General ruled not to prosecute Lawyer June for not allowing police to search her car, due to her lack of intention to comply with the order

August 30, 2019

On 27 August 2019, Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri, known as Lawyer June, went to meet the inquiry officer who was responsible for her case at Chanasongkram Police Station, Bangkok, to hear the Attorney General’s order not to prosecute her on an allegation of concealing evidence.  The order was due to the fact that there was no intention to hide any evidence since she only complied to the recommendation from military court officers to keep the belongings of the alleged fellow activists by her side. Furthermore, the police made the request to search her car during the night and without providing any reasonable legal grounds.

For the other charge of not complying with an official order without reasonable grounds or explanation, the responsible prosecutor issued an order to dismiss the case due to be barred by prescription.  As a result, the criminal proceedings against lawyer Ms. Sirikan for two such allegations have been terminated.

Today the representatives from the embassies of Canada, Sweden, Germany, the United States, the European Union, and officials from human rights organizations including Amnesty International (Regional Office) came to observe the proceedings.

Detailed accounts of the final non-prosecution order and the termination of legal proceedings

On 26 July 2019, the office of the Special Prosecutor issued notification document No. 0013.3/1076 to Chanasongkram Police Station giving a final order not to prosecute and to terminate the proceedings against lawyer Sirikan.  In summary, the document provided the following details:

https://www.tlhr2014.com/?p=13569&fbclid=IwAR2axLGo0dJ6hVoAKljha8PXyM4dPEaDt6hge-6MF5rfK9pHF3a8XtcK4ao&lang=en

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/judicial-harassment-against-sirikan-charoensiri

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

https://www.facebook.com/tlhr2014/

https://www.tlhr2014.com/?p=13465 (THAI)

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

Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2020 – PAKISTAN

Preparations are now well underway for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer (DOTEL) on Pakistan for January 24, 2020. At a preparatory meeting about 16 to 20 participants representing the Foundation of the Endangered Lawyers Day, AED, International Association of Peoples Lawyers, ELDH, CCBE, CBE, Institut des Droit de l’Homme, several Bar Associations, Avocats sans frontiers, Law Society, CNB have decided to dedicate the Day of the Endangered Lawyer to the solidarity with endangered lawyers in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, since our Brussels meeting our Pakistani colleagues continue to face chronic danger and a risk of serious harm.  They continue to be subjected to acts of violence, and very recently a lawyer was seriously assaulted by a judge during a trial, which led to a local strike („Black Day“) of lawyers lasting at least a week: https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-lawyers-strike-continues-for-sixth-consecutive-day/   At the national level there have been a number of strikes by lawyers, especially in solidarity with two judges who have been under attack by Pakistan President Arif Alvi.  The latest national strike organized by the Pakistan Bar Council was held on July 13th:   https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-pbc-gives-call-for-countrywide-strike-on-july-13/  Invidual lawyers, like high-profile lawyer Saif-ul-Malook who represented Asia Bibi (the famous woman who was on death row for blasphemy), continue to face a high risk of death or physical harm: https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/06/23/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-the-pakistani-lawyer-putting-his-life-on-the-line/.

Lawyers‘ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) reports that they will  invite the Canadian Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg to host and finance an event on January 24th and to bring one or two lawyers from Pakistan. LRWC has started a paper on Pakistan focused on two needs: to effectively prevent and punish the murder of lawyers through protective measure and proper investigations, prosecutions and trials and second to develop pan Pakistan education to promote religious diversity and tolerance. They will also invite the Law Society of Ontario to hold an event.  As well, at the beginning of July the G7 Bars Meeting was held in France, with representatives of the Bars of France, Canada, Germany, USA, Japan, England & Wales and Italy, representing 1.8 million lawyers.  They adopted 20 proposals to G7 governments, including one: „Commit to support actions marking the Day of the Endangered Lawyer and to encourage other countries to do likewise.“  The New Zealand Law Society has the honour of publishing the first article about DOTEL 2020, which they did in mid-July: https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/07/18/pakistan-new-zealand-pakistan-the-focus-of-2020-day-of-endangered-lawyer/

DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2020 – PAKISTAN

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-january-24-2020-pakistan/

Homepage

Groups Urge Human Rights Focus During Pakistan PM Visit

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/photography/pakistan-hazara-ethnic-minority-community-quetta-a8995466.html

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

Day of the Endangered Lawyer

USA/Germany: Brandeis lecture recalls defiance of Jewish lawyers under Nazi rule

July 22, 2019

Dozens of Queens legal professionals and community members attended the lecture organized by the Brandeis Association at Queens Supreme Court.  Eagle  photos by Walter Karling.

Distinguished lecturer Douglas Morris, PhD, JD visited the Queens Supreme Courthouse on Wednesday to deliver an important lecture on the experience of Jewish attorneys in Germany under Nazi rule.

The Brandeis Association hosted the event in conjunction with the Gender Fairness Committee for the Queens Supreme and Criminal Courts, which featured a discussion of Morris’ recent article “The Law in Nazi Germany: Ideology, Opportunism and the Perversion of Justice.”

“Discrimination, degradation, defiance of Jewish lawyers under Nazism” was the unofficial title of Dr. Douglas Morris’ unofficial title for the lecture which told the  story of the deliberate dismantling of the German legal system and focused on the lives and struggles of Jewish legal officers whose practices and accomplishments were systematically undermined.

“I think that, today, lawyers in certain positions should be thinking about how they are conforming to larger demands,” Morris said. “Any [one] step isn’t disastrous, but step by step many who conform are in a position where that contributes to the breakdown of the rule of law.”

Administrative Judge Jeremy Weinstein delivered the opening remarks, before Morris began his talk with an anecdote about an acclaimed German-Jewish lawyer who committed suicide upon the dissolution of a successful partnership during the Nazi era. The attorney had a mental breakdown with his career, life and identity under assault.

Morris went on to explain the comprehensive attack on democracy by Adolf Hitler and his supporters. He highlighted how the Nazi party incited violence and instilled legal doctrine that conformed with their fascist, racist and anti-semitic ideology.

“The story is about the fragility of democracy,” Morris said. “Of the collapse of democracy and rise in tyranny and the importance in upholding equality before the law.”

Jewish lawyers accounted for almost 30 percent of all German attorneys and their removal and persecution opened the door for the installation of unqualified Nazi officials.

The event coincided with the recent introduction of the exhibit “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich” to the Queens Supreme Courthouse on Sutphin Boulevard. The exhibit will be on display through late-August.

https://queenseagle.com/all/brandeis-lecture-recalls-defiance-of-jewish-lawyers-under-nazi-rule

https://holocaustcentermilwaukee.org/events/lawyers-without-rights-opening-event/

https://www.c-span.org/video/?457440-1/jewish-lawyers-nazi-germany

https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-the-nazis-used-the-rule-of-law-against-jewish-lawyers

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/book_about_jewish_lawyers_targeted_in_nazi_germany_resonates_today

Homepage

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2018/11/new-aba-book-on-purge-jewish-lawyers/

https://lawyerswithoutrights.com/

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

Turkey: Trial of lawyer & Amnesty International Honorary Chair Taner Kiliç et al today

July 16, 2019

 

https://www.msn.com/tr-tr/haber/gundem/avukat-ok-aym-karar%C4%B1ndan-sonra-bu-dava-%C3%A7%C3%B6km%C3%BC%C5%9Ft%C3%BCr/ar-AAEmL2a (TURKCE)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taner_K%C4%B1l%C4%B1%C3%A7 (ENGLISH)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taner_Kili%C3%A7 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/heute/die-faelle-yuecel-und-steudtner-prozesse-in-tuerkei-gehen-weiter-100.html (DEUTSCH)

https://www.dw.com/tr/avukat-ok-aym-karar%C4%B1ndan-sonra-bu-dava-%C3%A7%C3%B6km%C3%BC%C5%9Ft%C3%BCr/a-49601754-0 (DEUTSCH)

https://www.cducsu.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/tuerkei-muss-zum-rechtsstaatsprinzip-zurueckkehren (DEUTSCH)

#TanerKiliç

#HakSavunucularınaÖzgürlük

#FreeRightsDefenders