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 So far, only 70 of the 557 decrees issues by the NCPO are being repealed (for more details read this analysis piece written by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights).”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

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/wp-content/uploads/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

http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/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)