Tag Archives: Human Rights Watch

Crimea/Ukraine/Russia: Emil Kurbedinov’s Membership in the Crimean Bar Association Maintained

February 22, 2019


On 22 February 2019, the Crimean Bar Association decided to maintain the membership of the human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov, contrary to the request received from the Crimean Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.

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 defence of the Crimean Tatars, who have become one of the major targets for the authorities, as well as civil society activists and journalists. He has also drawn attention to human rights violations in Crimea using social media, international conferences and reporting before international human rights mechanisms.

On 22 February 2019, the Crimean Bar Association considered the possibility to exclude Emil Kurbedinov from the list of its founders and members. The Association decided to maintain his membership after establishing a special commission for this purpose, in accordance with Russian law.

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.






https://1k.com.ua/zaderzhanie-arhiepiskopa-ptsu-v-krymu-okkupanty-nazvali-prichinu.html (UKRANIAN)

http://ua-story.com.ua/78657-do-zatrymanogo-arhiyepyskopa-ptsu-klymenta-prybuly-advokaty-stattyu-zatrymannya-zminyly.html (UKRANIAN)

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1158924/crimee-russie-annexion-cinq-ans-anniversaire-tamara-alteresco (FRANCAIS)

South Sudan: Rights groups call to investigate disappearance of two South Sudanese activists

February 12, 2019

Dong Samuel Luak (Photo HRW)

Rights groups Monday have called on Kenya and South Sudan to investigate into the enforced disappearance of two South Sudanese activists in Nairobi more than two years ago.

Dong Samuel Luak, a prominent South Sudanese lawyer and human rights activist, and Aggrey Idri, a member of the SPLM-IO were kidnapped in the Kenyan capital on January 23 and 24, 2017, respectively.

Despite multiple reports about their arrest by the Kenyan police forces country and deportation to Juba, authorities in the two neighbouring denied any collusion in their disappearance.

On January 17, 2019, a Kenyan High Court ended its 24-month oversight of the police investigation and advised the families to pursue alternative administrative remedies such as filing a complaint with the Internal Police Oversight Authority.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on the two countries to ensure “effective, transparent, and impartial investigations” into their disappearance, stressing such a decision may lead to a denial of justice.

“The families of Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Ezbon Idri have waited patiently for the truth for two years, their lives in limbo,” said Jehanne Henry, associate Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

“But this decision which lets Kenyan police off the hook risks sending this case into oblivion and denying the families justice,” Henry further said.






https://www.amnesty.fr/actions-mobilisation/disparition-forcee-aidez-nous-a-les-retrouver (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty-ladenburg-schriesheim.de/gleich-aktiv-werden/ (DEUTSCH)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 19/03/19)

Thailand: Thai Lawyer’s ‘Disappearance’ Unsolved 15 Years On

March 11, 2019

A sketch of Somchai Neelapaijit.

Fifteen years ago this week, I received a phone call in the middle of the night with the news that Somchai Neelapaijit had gone missing. At the time, Somchai was chair of Thailand’s Muslim Lawyers Association and vice-chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Lawyers Council of Thailand.

Official investigations have at least established that Somchai was abducted on March 12, 2004 and later murdered, though his body has never been found. His alleged assailants are a group of police officers who sought retaliation for Somchai’s involvement in lawsuits alleging widespread police torture of Muslim suspects in Thailand’s insurgency-ridden southern border provinces.

But over the past decade and a half, seven prime ministers, including current Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha, have failed to bring Somchai’s killers to justice.

A key reason is that Thailand’s penal code does not recognize enforced disappearance as a criminal offense. Without the body, prosecutors could only file charges of robbery and coercion against the five police officers implicated in the case. Their trial, hampered by official cover-ups, ended in their acquittal in December 2015.

Efforts by Somchai’s family to obtain justice have been hampered by a 2015 Supreme Court ruling that the family cannot act as a co-plaintiff, because there is no concrete evidence showing he is dead or otherwise incapable of bringing the case himself. The ruling placed the impossible burden on disappeared people of proving they had been disappeared.









Iran: Shocking 33-year prison term and 148 lashes for women’s rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh

March 11, 2019

The sentencing of prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and women’s rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes in a new case against her is an outrageous injustice, said Amnesty International today.

The sentence, reported on her husband Reza Khandan’s Facebook page, brings her total sentence after two grossly unfair trials to 38 years in prison. In September 2016, she had been sentenced in her absence to five years in prison in a separate case.

“It is absolutely shocking that Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing nearly four decades in jail and 148 lashes for her peaceful human rights work, including her defence of women protesting against Iran’s degrading forced hijab (veiling) laws. Nasrin Sotoudeh must be released immediately and unconditionally and this obscene sentence quashed without delay,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director.

“Nasrin Sotoudeh has dedicated her life to defending women’s rights and speaking out against the death penalty – it is utterly outrageous that Iran’s authorities are punishing her for her human rights work. Her conviction and sentence consolidate Iran’s reputation as a cruel oppressor of women’s rights.”

This is the harshest sentence Amnesty International has documented against a human rights defender in Iran in recent years, suggesting that the authorities – emboldened by pervasive impunity for human rights violations – are stepping up their repression.

Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested at her home on 13 June 2018. This week, she was informed by the office for the implementation of sentences in Tehran’s Evin prison where she is jailed that she had been convicted on seven charges and sentenced to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes. The charges, which are in response to her peaceful human rights work, include “inciting corruption and prostitution”, “openly committing a sinful act by… appearing in public without a hijab” and “disrupting public order”.








Iran cracks down on Nasrin Sotoudeh and other human rights defenders
















http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/nasrinsotoudehsentencedUK.htm (SIGN URGENT PETITION!)

https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/iran-free-nasrin-satoudeh-now/?fbclid=IwAR3pVnpNhxyW0805bi5kiAzl7NPd24lVSIohqJNTzCF75qHDoUJF8mWJijo (TAKE ACTION NOW!)

https://www.hrw.org/fa/news/2019/03/12/328066 (FARSI)

https://www.dw.com/fa-ir/iran/a-47867186?tg_rhash=eda96f36fc80e0&fbclid=IwAR07hBvjJB9494KCN9zClIoLFsmXZYsENLj10PhX60mSZCXPXoZKk-QLOyo (FARSI)

http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/83242582?fbclid=IwAR20AIEi20APjDJ06yyhhg2EYZSUUZLGwUBrbSOeMB8BWqmIWGglGj_cEaM (FARSI)

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/03/13/iran-shocking-33-year-prison-term-and-148-lashes-for-womens-rights-defender-nasrin-sotoudeh/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/120319/iran-nasrin-sotoudeh-punie-de-38-annees-de-prison?fbclid=IwAR3Fz1w_zO7fNdNj-BsXo8T5yA3B8YzIoY0C1prWl4F8wNLv2w_xjLSf-tM (FRANCAIS)

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/03/12/iran-une-militante-des-droits-des-femmes-condamnee-une-lourde-peine-de-prison?fbclid=IwAR2icwiFMpNInKMO8_Pk3doU0l6-MWNCSk4sfdZ3pHyDnFqI2b_Qz4ed95k (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rfi.fr/asie-pacifique/20190311-iran-sept-ans-prison-militante-droits-homme-nasrin-sotoudeh (FRANCAIS)

https://www.letemps.ch/monde/freenasrin-indignation-face-condamnation-lavocate-nasrin-sotoudeh (FRANCAIS)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/portrait-nasrin-sotoudeh-avocate-iranienne-condamnee-33-ans-de-prison-et-148-coups-de-fouet?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&Echobox=1552469652&fbclid=IwAR0DUPl-PKnldv1Q6E2XA2toXEwCMNsiKbh6t_nAmVrnoCo96oFCDAhdm0E (FRANCAIS)

https://www.ncr-iran.org/fr/actualites/femmes/21497-iran-la-commission-des-femmes-du-cnri-condamne-l-acharnement-des-mollahs-contre-nasrin-sotoudeh?fbclid=IwAR2JlhLRo2d7ZvQYrqhZ7a7VYG9SW89rEOm2_V4ZkGuJoye60g2EFbo5crc (FRANCAIS)

https://infolettres.cnb.avocat.fr/a/s/2094950-fd9404dc0a2e97b0a3939d8d1116abfb/294066?fbclid=IwAR26DmRsMcR15-D83tR9fBAVFzHLgK6PEnJB2NTsSTxOFCLQQDr6G88FdkY (FRANCAIS)

https://www.francetvinfo.fr/societe/prisons/iran-le-barreau-de-paris-soutient-l-avocate-nasrin-sotoudeh-et-ne-la-laissera-pas-tomber_3231549.html?fbclid=IwAR0QupYRYSnHmir8-muLmi0MoLjjMiw55TfI2ah3Rz24gEJH9UO-Ep-isRY (FRANCAIS)

https://lso.ca/news-events/news/latest-news-2019/le-barreau-tres-preoccupe-par-les-violations-des-d?lang=fr-ca (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lesinrocks.com/2019/03/13/actualite/qui-est-nasrin-sotoudeh-la-militante-des-droits-humains-emprisonnee-en-iran-111173219/?fbclid=IwAR0X6AKCSJgOk4J-LFa4Nr55H1HgeFjq_vRI1LGwn4BezVVSm0VVa1vcIHc (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/nasrinsotoudehsentencedFR.htm (SIGNEZ LA PETITION!)

https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/demandez-la-liberation-de-nasrin-satoudeh-signez-la-petition?fbclid=IwAR2zF3bbCdtEXAazPByQAuobM8_1BNNVZvCMtcSFB2KPubYiAKpmZ9dKD3M (SIGNEZ LA PETITION!)

https://www.change.org/p/cnb-lib%C3%A9rez-l-avocate-iranienne-nasrin-sotoudeh?fbclid=IwAR2CRo2oMhKhNW_JhMTZLLW8OvoQWBcLNdaPEhPUdND-DoOC2hyUJLoLzk4 (SIGNEZ LA PETITION!)

#Iran : Mme Nasrin Sotoudeh, avocate iranienne condamnée à 33 ans d’emprisonnement et 148 coups de fouet est élue, à l’unanimité, membre d’honneur du barreau de Paris. #FreeNasrin #NasrinSotoudeh

(Barreau de Paris / Ordre des avocats de Paris Facebook, 12/03/19)

Le Prix International des Droits de l’Homme “Ludovic-Trarieux” 2018
“L’hommage des avocats à un avocat ”
Sera remis officiellement à
Nasrin Sotoudeh
à Bruxelles
vendredi 24 mai 2019

Nasrin Sotoudeh avocate des journalistes de nombreux militants des droits des femmes et des prisonniers politiques en Iran, actuellement détenu à la prison d’EVIN au nord de Téhéran

Les 25 avocats européens membres du Jury, représentant les barreaux de Amsterdam, Barcelone, Berlin Bordeaux, Bruxelles, Genève, Luxembourg, Paris,Venise, Rome, Porto l’Institut des Droits de l’Homme des Avocats européens (IDHAE) et l’Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) ont lancé un appel aux autorités pour qu’elles libèrent immédiatement et sans condition

Le « Prix International des Droits de l’Homme – Ludovic-Trarieux « est attribué à « un avocat sans distinction de nationalité ou de barreau, qui aura illustré par son œuvre, son activité ou ses souffrances, la défense du respect des droits de l’Homme, des droits de la défense, la suprématie du droit, la lutte contre les racismes et l’intolérance sous toutes leurs formes «.

Le Prix est décerné chaque année conjointement par l’Institut des Droits de l’Homme du Barreau de Bordeaux, l’Institut de Formation en Droits de l’Homme du Barreau de Paris, l’Institut des Droits de l’Homme du Barreau de Bruxelles, l’Unione forense per la tutela dei diritti dell’uomo (Rome) la Rechtsanwaltskammer de Berlin, le barreau de Luxembourg, le barreau de Genève, le barreau d’Amsterdam ainsi que l’Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) et l’Institut des Droits de l’Homme des Avocats Européens (IDHAE), qui contribuent à la dotation du prix (20 000 €).
Il est la plus ancienne et la plus prestigieuse des récompenses réservées à un avocat puisqu’il trouve sa source dans le message de Ludovic Trarieux (1840-1904), fondateur, en 1898, au moment de l’Affaire Dreyfus, de la « Ligue des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen .

Le Prix avait été attribué, en 1985, à Nelson Mandela alors qu’il était en emprisonné en Afrique du Sud.

(Ludovic Trarieux Facebook 19/02/19)

http://ordineavvocati.padova.it/comunicato-sulla-condanna-dellavvocato-iraniano-nasrin-sotoudeh/?fbclid=IwAR2GxyuLel8BU0S1bDRPU7Sq-Ly91YJwRuQqQEL_hd1opvWLWTl2R4YcUnA (ITALIANO)

https://www.ilpost.it/2019/03/11/nasrin-sotoudeh-iran-carcere/?fbclid=IwAR3Kxa1AxsMI8wL_YHdSFijcJzaReLjQvzlQF5SKv18lH5g_EDYqMHClQyU (ITALIANO)

https://www.articolo21.org/2019/03/in-difesa-di-nasrin-e-dei-difensori-dei-diritti-umani-perseguitati/?fbclid=IwAR21ww-02vducuTtQhFShNkIQbyGw6eY-WiK7GUv5HEAwG1rG7XCU_-2oDQ (ITALIANO)

https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-47564364?SThisFB&fbclid=IwAR3plCGkcuU6fu8pDSuH9l7xZOxkKCNFHJ96RNe6orTpI05_CBGNyqDdeeY (ESPANOL)

https://deutsch.rt.com/international/85625-urteil-ohne-gnade-iranische-menschenrechtsanwaltin/ (DEUTSCH)

https://www.telegraaf.nl/nieuws/3278576/eu-wil-herziening-straf-iraanse-advocate (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.maxima.pt/culturas/detalhe/ativista-iraniana-nasrin-sotoudeh-condenada-a-38-anos-de-prisao-e-148-chicotadas (PORTUGUES)

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Image may contain: 1 person, meme, text that says 'Nasrin Sotoudeh 38 years in prison and 148 lashes because she had only one passion in life To defend'

(Ludovic Trarieux Facebook 13/03/19)

Sudan: Lawyer Salahdeen Adam Alnour arrested

February 1, 2019

The National Intelligence and Secretary Service (NISS) has arrested Salahdeen Adam Alnour a lawyer in Nyala, South Darfur State. The arrest came after a sit-in organized by lawyers in Nyala on January 9 in response to the ongoing protests and state repression in Sudan.  Since that time the NISS was looking for him until they arrested him on January 28.

(Facebook, 01/02//19)

Lawyer Wagdi Salih, in detention since December 2018

The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested Taha Osman Ishaq, a Sudanese  lawyer in Khartoum, after his participation in sit-in organized by Alliance of Democratic Lawyers( independent lawyers group) before the Supreme Court to hand over a memorandum to the Justice in Chief regarding the grave violations against demonstrators, arbitrary arrest, torture and extrajudicial killings , on Tuesday, February 5 .

(Abdelrahman Gasim , External Relations Secretary, Darfur Bar Association)







https://www.journaldutchad.com/soudan-un-militant-dun-parti-au-gouvernement-mort-en-detention-famille/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.actualite-news.com/fr/international/afrique/8561-soudan-nouvelles-manifestations-a-khartoum-et-omdurman (FRANCAIS)


Cameroon: Opposition Leaders Arrested

January 30, 2019

Cameroonian opposition leader Maurice Kamto was arrested in Douala on January 28, 2019 for what appears to be politically motivated reasons.

Cameroonian authorities have arrested political opponents and violently broken up peaceful protests since January 26, 2019. The country’s opposition leader, Maurice Kamto, was arrested in Douala on January 28 for what appears to be politically motivated reasons and remains in detention.

The crackdown appears to be coordinated, as opposition figures allied with Kamto – Albert Dzongang, Christian Penda Ekoka, Alain Fogue, and Célestin Djamen – were also arrested on January 28. Djamen was arrested and taken from a hospital where he was receiving treatment for injuries suffered on January 26 while protesting.

“The Cameroonian government’s crackdown shows that it is unwilling to accept a role for opposition parties, sending a chilling message to those who would dare challenge the status quo,” said Ida Sawyer, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The latest crackdown was consistent with the methods of a government whose security forces have committed grave abuses against civilians and dissenting voices in recent years.”

The government should free all those arrested or charge them with a crime, permit protests to go forward, and investigate and punish police violence, Human Rights Watch said.

The whereabouts of Kamto and his colleagues are currently unknown. Human Rights Watch spoke with Emmanuel Simh, a lawyer for Kamto and the others detained, who confirmed that he filed a request to the General Prosecutor in the capital, Yaoundé, seeking access to his clients. He has yet to be provided access. Under Cameroonian law, the police must present any person accused of a crime before a judge within 48 hours, which can be renewed twice.

The arrests follow a violent crackdown on protesters by Biya’s government against Kamto’s supporters who were gathered across Douala on January 26. The protesters called for a recount of the vote, amongst other demands. Witness accounts, medical records, video clips, and images obtained by Human Rights Watch show the heavy-handed and targeted reaction of the Cameroonian state security agents toward the protesters.

As the protest started, police officers, including elements of the Équipes spéciales d’intervention rapide, a special police unit, used teargas and rubber bullets from close range to disperse the crowd, including demonstrators. Witnesses reported chaotic scenes as people fled.

Among those injured was Michelle Ndoki, a well-known lawyer close to Kamto, and Célestin Djamen, both shot in the leg at close range with rubber bullets. Other protesters were treated in several hospitals in Douala for minor injuries after police beat them.












https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/01/30/cameroun-des-leaders-de-lopposition-arretes (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20190130-cameroun-maurice-kamto-interroge-detention-police-judiciaire (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20190130-cameroun-opposition-decolere-pas-apres-arrestation-maurice-kamto (FRANCAIS)

https://www.jeuneafrique.com/727972/politique/cameroun-maurice-kamto-na-toujours-pas-ete-notifie-des-motifs-de-son-arrestation/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2019/01/30/au-cameroun-la-colere-des-partisans-de-maurice-kamto-le-premier-opposant-du-pays-arrete_5416839_3212.html (FRANCAIS)

https://actucameroun.com/2019/01/28/manifestations-du-mrc-le-barreau-du-cameroun-condamne-tout-usage-disproportionne-de-la-force-publique/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.camer.be/72856/6:1/belgium-belgique-des-associations-camerounaises-demandent-la-liberation-immediate-de-maurice-kamto.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.africa1.com/news/cameroun-huit-chefs-d-accusation-dont-celui-de-rebellion-contre-l-opposant-kamto-145049 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.journalducameroun.com/depuis-les-geoles-ou-il-se-trouve-maurice-kamto-entame-une-greve-de-la-faim/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.camernews.com/cameroun-repression-le-redhac-exige-la-liberation-sans-conditions-de-lopposant-maurice-kamto/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lebledparle.com/les-chroniques-du-bled/1106480-tribune-l-avocat-qui-ment-viole-son-serment-s-expose-a-la-radiation-jean-de-dieu-momo (FRANCAIS)

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

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Arrestation du Professeur Maurice KAMTO
Déclaration de la Société française pour le Droit international

Lors de sa réunion du 2 février 2019, le Conseil de la Société a adopté la présente déclaration :

Nous avons appris avec consternation l’arrestation du Professeur Maurice Kamto, membre éminent de la Société française pour le Droit international depuis de nombreuses années. Nous n’entendons pas nous ingérer dans les affaires intérieures de la République du Cameroun mais nous souhaitons attirer l’attention sur les principes fondamentaux du droit international, que notre Société a vocation à défendre et à promouvoir. Nous rappelons que la souveraineté, si elle confère des droits aux États, leur impose aussi des devoirs, y compris à l’égard de leurs propres ressortissants.

La République du Cameroun a souvent dans le passé manifesté son attachement au droit international, notamment devant la Cour internationale de Justice devant laquelle elle a été représentée par le Professeur Kamto. Nous l’appelons solennellement à respecter strictement les principes qui figurent dans la Charte africaine des droits de l’homme et des peuples et dans le Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques l’une et l’autre ratifiés par le Cameroun.

Nous assurons Maurice Kamto et ses proches de tout notre soutien et de notre sympathie.

(Facebook, 03/02/19)


South Sudan: Disappearances of South Sudanese Critics Demand a Response

January 23, 2019


(Aggrey Ezbon Idri (L) and Dong Samuel Luak. © Private/Human Rights Watch)

Two years ago, South Sudanese lawyer Dong Samuel Luak disappeared off the streets of Nairobi, Kenya. I recently sat with Kur Lual, Dong’s law partner, in South Sudan’s capital, Juba. Holding his head in his hands, he asked me, “How does someone like Dong disappear just like that?” It’s a question many others inside and outside of South Sudan are still asking themselves.

Dong fled South Sudan in August 2013, but continued to denounce human rights abuses and corruption there from his new home in Nairobi. Just one day after his disappearance on January 23, 2017, a South Sudanese government critic and political opposition member, Aggrey Ezbon Idri, also went missing in Nairobi.

The Kenyan government denied having both Dong and Aggrey in custody despite reports from their families that they were being held by the police and awaiting deportation. Meanwhile, other reports indicate that by January 25, the two were already being held by South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS), forces known to commit abuses including unlawful detentions and torture. A Kenyan court ordered the police to investigate the disappearance of the two, but questions about how they disappeared, who was responsible for their abduction, and how they got into South Sudan remain unanswered.