A group of 26 female lawyers and judges, along with their families, have arrived in Greece from Afghanistan and will stay there temporarily before being resettled in other countries, the Greek Foreign Ministry said Friday
A group of 26 female lawyers and judges, along with their families, have arrived in GreecefromAfghanistan and will stay there temporarily before being resettled in other countries, the Greek Foreign Ministry said Friday.
The women and their families will stay in Greece until “the process for their transfer and settlement in other Western countries that have expressed their willingness to accept them is completed,” according to the ministry.
In both cases, the Greek Foreign Ministry has been working with the Migration and Asylum Ministry to ensure that the country welcomes a certain amount of Afghan migrants who fled their homeland in fear of the Taliban (a terrorist group, banned in Russia), as stipulated by Greece‘s international humanitarian assistance commitments.
LWB Greece expresses its urgent concern and calls for international attention on a new crackdown on lawyers defending human rights and liberties in the context of the pandemic. LWB has been informed by reliable sources about the following alleged incidents:
On 6/12/2020, in the 12th anniversary of the murder by a police bullet of the 15 year old Alexis Grigoropoulos, the chief of police issued a decision forbidding to citizens to pay a tribute to the deceased child by leaving a flower to the monument of his death respecting all social distancing measures, and thus make a point about the struggle against injustice and police brutality and impunity.
In order to avert such a tribute of by-passers and ensure respect to the Chief’s decision, thousands of policemen were sent to the vicinity of the place where Alexis was murdered; the police had an order to detain by-passers in this area, allegedly because they did not comply with the measures taken due to the pandemic.
Two high profile lawyers went on spot to defend the rights of the people who, after the intervention of the police, had now become a “spontaneous gathering” of approximately 50 people, being denied of their freedom of movement without being given any information about the ground of such restriction.
The people’s lawyers also became target of the described attack to the Rule of Law.
Lawyer Thanasis Kampagiannis, a member of the Board of the Athens Bar Association, and lawyer Costas Papadakis, also widely known for his anti-fascist defense, were arbitrarily arrested while performing their duties.
They were initially „adduced“ to the police directorate, placed in a bus together with dozens of the people who had asked for their legal support.
The lawyers were then arbitrarily detained for hours.
After a few hours in detention it became clear, though, that the citizens, as well as the lawyers, were not adduced, but arrested, on the pretext of allegedly breaching pandemic’s restriction of movement measures; clearly, the lawyers, since the onset of their encounter with the policemen, were on spot in the context of their Function: they were asked by people to defend and uphold their human rights.
Police detained a total of 374 people on Sunday in Athens, of which 135 were turned into arrests, for the violation of the Covid-19 lockdown measures during protest/rallies held on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the assassination of Alexandros Grigoropoulos.
Two lawyers, Thanasis Kampagiannis and Costas Papadakis were among those initially detained but were later released. According to SKAI TV, some of the suspects were transferred to the Attica Directorate of Foreigners. The same sources say that a total of twelve attempts at holding rallies were prevented.
The Athens Bar Association issued a press bulletin expressing its stern protestation to the Police and the Ministry of Citizen Protection over the detainment and arrest of its members, stating the act was a serious blow to the core of the rule of law and the essence of their legal practice.
An Athens court handed life terms to three Albanian convicts on Thursday after finding them guilty of the murder of Athens lawyer Michalis Zafeiropoulos in 2017.
Following a prosecutor’s proposal for an exemplary punishment, the court sentenced Ibrahim Brahimai, who shot the lawyer, to life, plus an additional 11 years.
Claudian Lekotsai, the head of a criminal gang believed to have operated in Attica’s high-security Korydallos Prison, and Olti Dulce also received life sentences after being found guilty as moral instigators of the murder.
Zafeiropoulos’ widow, Vicky Zafeiropoulou, expressed her gratitude for the verdict, noting however that nothing would change for the three convicts, who are already in prison for other crimes.
“Nothing will change for me or my children either,” she said.
Prominent criminal lawyers Alexandros Lykourezos and Theodoros Panagopoulos who were arrested last Friday over their alleged involvement in the so-called Korydallos prison “mafia,” were released on bail on Monday evening, after their marathon statements to a prosecutor and an investigative magistrate.
Lykourezos was banned from leaving the country and had to pay 50,000 euros in bail. He will also have to appear to his local police station. Panagopoulos was also slapped with a travel ban.
Several high-profile lawyers in Greece have recently been arrested and detained. Colleagues criticize this as arbitrary “procedural extremism” by the judiciary, and there has been a failure of the Athens Bar Association to effectively respond to these attacks. The Minister of Justice has engaged in extensive wiretapping and surveillance of lawyer-client communications, reported assassination or death contracts and reprisals against lawyers for taking on sensitive cases, leakage of files and lawyers’ communications to the press, all of which put lawyers in acute danger. Recently, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights published a report about the situation of human rights defenders that mentioned Greece among the CoE’s countries (Azerbaijan, Russia, Poland) where defenders are most harmed.
The lawyers involved are:
Alexandros Lykourezos, 85 years old, is probably the most famous Greek lawyer, his law office is one of the oldest and goes back more than 120 years. The prosecutor, instead of calling him to apologize, issued an arrest warrant as if he was a fugitive, and he had to spend the night in the police cell of the anti-terrorist unit. He is still held on the 12th floor of the General Athens Police Directorate. His lawyer says that issuing an arrest warrant against an 85 year old respected lawyer is not only illegal and breaching the presumption of innocence, but is “not sober”. Other high profile lawyers characterized it as “a crime against justice” http://lykourezoslawoffices.gr/?fbclid=IwAR0mUDsZNqBkt1dmdORp_U6TeolkHQW08CSTby_HmOjjWRu9d_uWiHy45yM
Με αφορμή την Παγκόσμια Ημέρα του δικηγόρου σε Κίνδυνο (Day of the Endangered Lawyer), το ελληνικό τμήμα της ΑED (AVOCATS EUROPEEN DEMOCRATES) διοργανώνει την πρώτη του παρέμβαση με μία εκδήλωση αφιερωμένη στις διώξεις δικηγόρων και δικαστών στην Τουρκία.
Στην εκδήλωση θα μιλήσουν ο Κ.Ε. (δικαστής από την Τουρκία), ο Cengiz Aktar (καθηγητής Πολιτικών Επιστημών στο ΕΚΠΑ), η Γιώτα Μασουρίδου (μέλος της Ένωσης Δικηγόρων για την Υπεράσπιση των Θεμελιωδών Δικαιωμάτων) και ο Βασίλης Παπαστεργίου (μέλος του Δ.Σ. του ΔΣΑ).
Επίσης, μέσω Skype θα παρέμβει η δικηγόρος Elvan Olkun από την Τουρκία, ενώ χαιρετισμό θα απευθύνει ο πόεδρος του ΔΣΑ, Δημήτρης Βερβεσός.
Η εκδήλωση θα πραγματοποιηθεί αύριο (Πέμπτη 24 Ιανουαρίου) στις 3.00 το μεσημέρι στον ΔΣΑ (Ακαδημίας 60), στην αίθουσα «Μιχάλη Επ. Ζαφειρόπουλου».
Mehmet Daimagüler, one of the lawyers for the families of victims in Germany’s notorious National Socialist Underground (NSU) case, says he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Addressing a conference on the NSU and racism in Germany at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul yesterday, Daimagüler said he did not trust German courts and did not expect much from the legal process in Germany regarding the neo-Nazi gang.
The NSU, composed of three members, were behind the murders of eight Turkish and one Greek immigrant and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007. Two members killed themselves when the police closed in on them, while the sole surviving member, Beate Zschaepe, was sentenced to life in a trial that concluded last year.
“I don’t trust German courts and that’s why we filed a compensation lawsuit [for the victims]. If the German government, state administrations did their jobs properly, if police did not look into the murders through a racist angle, people would not get killed,” the lawyer said.
The lawyer said he was certain cases against the NSU would be “lost,” referring to appeals to the sentence for Zschaepe and the gang’s accomplices who got away with lenient sentences. “But we will take these cases to the European Court of Human Rights afterwards,” he said.
Daimagüler also spoke about threats the lawyers of victims faced. “I’ve received about 1,600 threats so far but I didn’t take them seriously. Barking dogs seldom bite,” he added. However, he expressed concern about threats to fellow lawyer Seda Başay Yıldız. “It was discovered that threats were linked to a police station and had everything from the address of her residences to the address of her parents. It is also a big scandal that police told Yıldız that they can’t protect her properly and suggested she buy a gun to defend herself,” he said.