Tag Archives: IBA

Azerbaijan: IBAHRI calls for Azerbaijan Bar Association to revoke suspension of human rights lawyer’s licence

March 22, 2018

In support of lawyer Fakhraddin Mehdiyev’s 16 March 2018 appeal for the decision suspending him from practise to be overturned, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) also calls on the Azerbaijan Bar Association to revoke its judgment. The ruling followed a complaint by the Deputy Prosecutor-General of Azerbaijan Rustam Usubov that Mr Mehdiyev and other colleagues were ‘politicised’.

A prominent defender of the rights of political prisoners, Mr Mehdiyev’s licence to practice law was suspended for one year on 22 January 2018 by the Azerbaijan Bar Association for allegedly disclosing prosecution material when he handed an overview of his client, Jahangir Hajiyev former Chairman of the Board of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, to media representatives. Mr Mehdiyev argues that this was legal, as the case had already been decided at the time the interview was given.

IBAHRI Director, Phillip Tahmindjis, commented: ‘The decision to suspend Mr Mehdiyev’s licence appears as part of a deliberate attempt by the Azerbaijan Bar Association to discredit lawyers who take on cases deemed politically sensitive. It is not the role of the Bar Association to pass judgement on the clients of lawyers. Rather, the Azerbaijan Bar Association should seek to protect the independence of the lawyers it seems so intent on attacking.’

Mr Mehdiyev is among a number of lawyers suspended or disbarred after representing political prisoners or government critics, including dozens of activists and journalists arbitrarily charged since President Ilham Aliyev came to power in 2003. In a move seemingly to minimise the number of opposition politicians receiving legal representation, the Code of Civil and Administrative Procedure (the ‘Code’) and the Bar Act were amended by Parliament on 31 October 2017 to allow only members of the Bar Association to represent clients in court. The amendments were signed into law on 7 November by President Aliyev and entered into force on 1 January 2018.

https://www.ibanet.org/Article/NewDetail.aspx?ArticleUid=468f15c6-f397-43ea-8796-86583b43287e

https://eurasianet.org/s/azerbaijans-rural-areas-lack-lawyers-following-new-rule

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Turkey/IBA: LexisNexis Congratulates 2017 International Bar Association Award Winners

 

Three international lawyers recognised for their outstanding contributions to the legal profession

SYDNEY, October 9, 2017: LexisNexis, a leading provider of content and technology solutions, congratulates Ramazan Demir, Malene C. Alleyne and Balasz Sahin-Toth on their accolades, for their outstanding commitment to pro bono and human rights work at the International Bar Association (IBA) Conference.

The Awards are being presented at IBA Conference in Sydney this week, which LexisNexis is a proud global event partner – of the event itself and the Awards.

Ramazan Demir is the recipient of the 2017 IBA Human Rights Award. Ramazan has acted in the interests of many marginalized groups despite facing serious personal consequences including being charged twice. He has represented members of the People’s Democratic Party over their arbitrary detention and acted as a consultant for those arrested following the Gezi Park protests in Turkey in 2013. Ramazan is also a former recipient of the Human Rights Award of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (2016).

https://www.lexisnexis.com.au/en/insights-and-analysis/media-release/2017/lexisnexis-congratulates-2017-international-bar-association-award-winners

https://www.ibanet.org/Committees/Divisions/Legal_Practice/IBA-Human-Rights-Award.aspx

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/ramazan-demir

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Turkey/Armenia: NANTERRE 17 OCTOBRE La cause arménienne en procès

le 8 octobre, 2017

Nouvelles d'Armenie

Deux procès qui mettront en cause des Arméniens se tiendront le 17 octobre. L’un à Paris, devant la 17e Chambre correctionnelle où comparaitront Ara Toranian et Sam Tilbian, l’autre à Nanterre en correctionnelle aussi. Y seront jugés deux jeunes étudiants qui avaient lancé en mars 2015 de l’eau colorée sur l’ambassadeur de Turquie venue faire une conférence dans une faculté parisienne. Nous publions ci-dessous le communiqué leur comité de soutien, signé par nombre de personnalités et d’associations. Il souligne en substance que la violence est du côté de l’État de turc dont les adversaires n’ont pas que des notes de pressing à payer pour prix de leur opposition. A.T.

L’impunité étant mère du crime et de nouvelles impunités, celle de l’Etat turc pour ses crimes passés encourage ses exactions présentes. En Turquie, aujourd’hui plus de 200 écrivains sont en prison et des centaines d’étudiants ont subi le même sort ; nous ne les oublions pas. Hrant Dink journaliste turc d’origine arménienne a été assassiné il y a 10 ans, victime du nationalisme turc, pour avoir milité pour la reconnaissance du génocide des Arméniens. Selahattin Demirtaş, coprésident du Parti Démocratique des Peuples, HDP, troisième parti au sein de l’Assemblée nationale turque, est placé depuis le mois de novembre en détention préventive : il représentait la voix du seul contre pouvoir ayant la capacité de s’opposer au président Erdogan et à la menace qu’il représente pour les droits des peuples vivant en Turquie. Ayse Acinikli et Ramazan Demir, avocats et défenseurs des libertés, ont été emprisonnés pour avoir exercé leur profession, ce qui leur a valu la qualification de « terroriste ». Comme d’autres magistrats, avocats, syndicalistes, journalistes, académiciens de Turquie, victimes d’une instrumentalisation de la justice de leur pays, ils sont encore poursuivis aujourd’hui. Garo Paylan député du HDP, s’est vu exclure du Parlement pour avoir « osé » prononcer le mot « génocide » concernant les Arméniens.

http://armenews.com/article.php3?id_article=147511

https://www.ibanet.org/Committees/Divisions/Legal_Practice/IBA-Human-Rights-Award.aspx (ENGLISH – The Award will be given October 13, 2017 in Sydney)

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/ramazan-demir (ENGLISH)

Turkey: Lawyer Ramazan Demir IBA 2017 Human Rights Award

October 9, 2017

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(Facebook)

https://www.ibanet.org/Committees/Divisions/Legal_Practice/IBA-Human-Rights-Award.aspx

International Bar Association/China/Turkey/Burma: Human Rights Award 2017 Shortlisted Candidates

Ramazan Demir

Ramazan Demir is a Turkish human rights lawyer, who has in his young career he has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion, protection and advancement of the human rights of all, and of the Kurdish people in Turkey in particular. Since 2009, Ramazan has continued to represent victims, journalists, and lawyers in the Kurdish areas of Turkey. Unfortunately, due to his valuable human rights work, Ramazan has faced serious personal consequences as criminal charges have been brought against him twice. The second time, in April 2016, Ramazan has been charged with terrorist related activities, because of his work for TUAD (an association for relatives of prisoners in Southeast Turkey). Furthermore, the case-file against him clearly shows that his activities as a human rights lawyer and his relationship with the international human rights community were used as grounds for the accusations against him. Despite the fact that the trial is still on-going, Ramazan took up his work for victims of human rights violations again and continues working for them up until today. The next hearing will be on 13 September 2017. Members of the judging panel noted that in terms of Ramazan’s efforts in the protection and advancement of Human Rights, he has made “significant personal endeavours” and in terms of the international impact and sustainability, Ramazan has made “a high impact on defence work in extremely challenging and threatening circumstances”. Lawyers for Lawyers, the organisation that nominated Ramazan, because they believe he is “a prominent and fearless defender of the rule of law and human rights.”


U Ko Ni

U Ko Ni was an activist, lawyer, author and academic. He worked tirelessly against the military dominance in Myanmar, contributing to the repeal of certain controversial laws and vigorously advocating for the amending of the military drafted 2008 Constitution. The 2008 Constitution reserves 25 percent of parliamentary seats for the military, empowers the military to appoint the ministers of defense, home affairs, and border affairs, and allows the military to dissolve the government during a national emergency. In private conversations, U Ko Ni was frank about the need to reform the 2008 Constitution in order to tackle Myanmar’s most serious problems and to strengthen the rule of law. U Ko Ni also became increasingly concerned about the myriad of ways in which Muslims are marginalised and discriminated in Myanmar and was eager to find ways to make a difference, notably through discussing hate speech and hate crimes in Myanmar and potential solutions. Members of the judging panel noted that he was a “significant advocate for protection of minorities in Myanmar” and had an “outstanding track record.” U Ko Ni was assassinated on 29 January 2017, several INGOs and others condemned the assassination. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), along with the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada in their joint statement described U Ko Ni as somebody “who strongly advocated against religious discrimination and for inter-communal peace”, and called for “a prompt, impartial and effective investigation capable of identifying all those responsible and holding them accountable in a fair trial.”


Xie Yang

After an attempt to visit Chen Guangcheng, a laywer who was put under house arrest in Shandong province, which ended in a shocking and violent interception, Xie Yang, at the age of 38, made the decision to become a human rights lawyer. From then on, until his arrest in July 2015, Xie Yang represented dozens of human rights cases, confronted China’s human rights abuses and dictatorial ills, and spoke out fearlessly on China’s social media for his belief in democracy and universal human rights. Xie Yang was arrested during China’s ongoing crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists in July 2015, and then was subjected to 6 months of secret detention during which time he was cruelly tortured. Last November, 17 months after his arrest, Xie Yang was finally allowed to see his own lawyers where he requested that a thorough description of the torture he had suffered should be published to expose the widespread use of torture in China. The torture revelations marked a turning point, as the international outcry against torture made it impossible for China to continue its planned trials and sentences. The government signalled that it would release Xie Yang in “due time,” while since late February, Xie Yang’s lawyers have been prevented from meeting him. On May 8, Xie Yang was tried, and in the court and on camera he admitted guilty and denied torture. He was released on that day, but except for a couple of appearances in the company of police, he has been disappeared and his wife and relatives have not been able to contact him. Members of the judging panel noted Xie Yang had given an “outstanding personal sacrifice and commitment to the causes of human rights.”

https://www.ibanet.org/Committees/Divisions/Legal_Practice/IBA-Human-Rights-Award.aspx

China: Approaching the ‘International Day in Support of Victims of Torture,’ a Request to OHCHR and IBA to Address the Torture of Chinese Human Rights Lawyers in the 709 Crackdown

June 23, 2017

This year, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is partnering with the International Bar Association (IBA) to mark the annual International Day in Support of Victims of Torture” on June 26. Through storytelling, social media campaigns, and a panel discussion, they hope to advance their “shared ambition for the absolute prohibition of torture.” This year and the year before, we have begun to learn, with horror, about the torture of Chinese human rights lawyers during the 709 Crackdown. Below is a letter from theChina Human Rights Lawyers Group addressed and delivered to OHCHR and IBA. — The Editors

To the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the International Bar Association:

In the early morning of July 9, 2015, Chinese police began a campaign of mass arrests, interrogations, and warnings against human rights lawyers and rights defenders. Dozens of rights lawyers and other activists were detained; hundreds of lawyers, scholars, and citizens were called in for “chats” and warnings by the police; dozens of lawyers and citizens were prevented from leaving the country.

Whether they were charged with the crime of “subversion of state power,” “inciting subversion of state power,” or the more pedestrian “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” all were subjected to the coercive criminal penal measure known as “residential surveillance at a designated place,” based on the claim that they were a threat to national security.

Residential surveillance at a designated place is a compulsory criminal procedure that was specified, codified, and integrated into China’s “Criminal Procedure Law,” modified in 2012 and implemented in 2013. In the implementation of this procedure, Chinese police have been abusing the relevant clauses, using it to put subjects under completely secret control, torturing them, and acting without accountability and restraint.

The torture that 709 lawyers have been subjected to during residential surveillance at a designated place has been made clear in the transcripts of interviews of lawyer Xie Yang provided by his defense counsel Chen Jiangang.

Approaching the ‘International Day in Support of Victims of Torture,’ a Request to OHCHR and IBA to Address the Torture of Chinese Human Rights Lawyers in the 709 Crackdown

IBA: IBA Human Rights Award

April 13, 2017

Each year, the IBA present an award to an outstanding lawyer in the world of human rights law.

Established in 1947, the International Bar Association (IBA) is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. The IBA influences the development of international law and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world. It has a membership of over 55,000 individual lawyers and 195 bar associations and law societies spanning all continents. Grouped into two divisions – the Legal Practice Division (LPD) and the Public and Professional Interest Division (PPID) – the IBA covers all practice areas and professional interests, providing members with access to leading experts and up-to-date information.

The IBA has always been dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights and the independence of the legal profession under a just rule of law. The IBA’s Human Rights Institute was established in 1995 under the honorary presidency of Nelson Mandela. The IBAHRI is an independent entity within the Public and Professional Interest Division (PPID) of the IBA. The Section on Public and Professional Interest (SPPI) sits within the PPID and within that entity, there is also a Human Rights Committee.

The award will be made to a legal practitioner (whether in private practice, public interest, employment as a legal adviser, academia, bar leadership or other regulation of the profession) who, through personal endeavour in the course of such practice, is deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion, protection and advancement of the human rights of all, or any group of, people, particularly with respect to their right to live in a fair and just society under the rule of law.

http://www.ibanet.org/Committees/Divisions/Legal_Practice/IBA-Human-Rights-Award.aspx