Tag Archives: IDHAE

Afghan lawyers and judges in danger


Today, January 24, marks the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. As a Canadian lawyer I want to draw attention to the challenges facing some members of the legal profession in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban government assumed power in the country more than a year ago, the risk of retaliation and danger have only increased for many lawyers and judges, particularly women, advocates say.

For Nasrin (whose name has been changed to protect her identity), leaving Afghanistan was the last resort.

She had spent decades developing pioneering legislation and policies as a judge and legal advocate. When the Taliban took over in August 2021, everything changed. Facing death threats, she ultimately left. “I didn’t have any choice,” she told me. “I left my country, my house.” Now she and other legal activists are warning about the ever-increasing risks that lawyers and judges in the country still face and the need for countries like Canada to step up their efforts to help at-risk Afghans.

“If a woman wants to be a leader, like head of a court … it’s a very big position, but it is very dangerous,” Nasrin says.

Judges like Nasrin, as well as prosecutors, have been threatened with reprisals from the people they tried and the Taliban themselves. She is in contact with colleagues in the legal profession who remain in Afghanistan, and says the situation is worse than a year ago, as lawyers and judges fear for their safety.

“The first line is judges, the second line is defence lawyers and prosecutors … they are searching to find them,” she says.

The development of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) in 2008 was part of a broader effort to build a non-governmental body that would regulate the legal profession and provide resources to support lawyers and access to legal services. But in November 2021, it was dismantled by armed Taliban soldiers and the Ministry of Justice gained possession of the AIBA’s database, containing contact information of members. The organization is now relaunching itself in exile, from Brussels.




International Day Of The Endangered Lawyer: “We Strongly And Unequivocally Condemn The Repressive Tendencies Of The Taliban Government In Afghanistan Towards Lawyers”- Maikyau


https://charidy.com/AfghanWomen (PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!)









https://www.darivoa.com/amp/lawyers-in-Afghanistan-face-threats/6933046.html (DARI)

https://www.pashtovoa.com/a/us-special-envoy-for-afghan-women-says-will-stand-with-afghan-lawyers/6933080.html (PASHTO)

https://www.lextimes.fr/actualites/avocats-en-danger/treizieme-edition-consacree-lafghanistan (FRANCAIS)




Jammu & Kashmir: Case vs 3 Kashmir lawyers could bring down key bastion of separatists 


Law Secretary’s Achal Sethi’s complaint to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, seeking action under the Advocates Act, 1961, against three senior Kashmiri lawyers is unprecedented and pregnant with consequences for Kashmir’s 33-year-long separatist movement. All the three, accused of ‘professional misconduct’ and anti-national motivation, have served as Presidents of Kashmir’s High Court Bar Association (HCBA).

The latest action against the three leading advocates could well end up in cancellation of their licences if the High Court’s Disciplinary Committee is not satisfied with their explanations. It can bury the separatist activism in the Bar forever.

While senior advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom has been inclined towards the separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Nazir Ahmad Ronga has lived in close proximity to Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Ghulam Nabi Thoker alias Shaheen has also been a high profile separatist.

For 10 years, from 1993 to 2003, the HCBA functioned as a constituent of the General Council of the secessionist conglomerate ‘All-party Hurriyat Conference’ (APHC). Like the APHC, which comprised 26 political, religious, social and other organisations, including a representative union of the Jammu & Kashmir Government employees, the HCBA called for “resolution of the Kashmir dispute as per the UN resolutions of 1948-49 or tripartite talks between India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris”.

Like the APHC, the HCBA too campaigned against the alleged human rights violations by the Police and security forces against the people of Kashmir, visited the residences of the militants killed in encounters with floral tributes, contested detentions of militants and separatists in different courts and left no stone unturned to paint India, its security forces and institutions black. It enjoyed unflinching support of the separatists and the militants. At least on one occasion, a Pakistan-based jihadist outfit issued a diktat, asking a particular candidate’s rivals to withdraw nominations from the Presidential election.

When a delegation of the Pakistani journalists visited the old High Court complex in Srinagar during Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s first term as Chief Minister, the slogans at the premises included “Yehan kya chalega: Nizaam-e-Mustafa”.

During his cross-examination by advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmad, in the HCBA’s contempt case against the Kot Bhalwal Jail Superintendent Mirza Saleem Beg on 7 April, 2010, Qayoom said audaciously in the court of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir that he didn’t consider himself as an Indian citizen. According to a report in a local newspaper, he also asserted that he did not believe in the Indian Constitution.

Notwithstanding hundreds of such statements and demonstrations, no government disputed Qayoom or his colleagues’ credentials as licensed legal practitioners. Until today, the government has never banned either the APHC or the HCBA. 







Mian Abdul Qayoom

Russia: Kremlin critic Navalny given new nine-year sentence, lawyers arrested


Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison after a Russian court found him guilty of large-scale fraud and contempt of court on Tuesday, and police detained both of his lawyers immediately after the hearing.

Navalny was already serving a two-and-a-half year sentence at a prison camp east of Moscow for parole violations related to charges that he says were fabricated to thwart his political ambitions. His current sentence will be incorporated in the one handed down on Tuesday, his lawyers said.

After his sentence was pronounced, Navalny reacted on Twitter: “I want to say: the best support for me and other political prisoners is not sympathy and kind words, but actions. Any activity against the deceitful and thievish Putin’s regime. Any opposition to these war criminals.”

Navalny was jailed last year when he returned to Russia after receiving medical treatment in Germany following an attack with a Soviet-era nerve toxin during a visit to Siberia in 2020. Navalny blamed President Vladimir Putin for the attack.

The Kremlin said it had seen no evidence that Navalny was poisoned and denied any Russian role if he was.




Belarus: Another Critic Detained in Belarus on Undisclosed Charges


Tatiana Kouzina at a conference in 2019.

Authorities’ Treatment of Tatiana Kouzina Highlights Efforts to Muzzle, Disempower Lawyers

On July 8, a court in Minsk ordered Tatiana Kouzina, a prominent Belarusian researcher and policy analyst, be held in pretrial custody for two months.  

Security officials detained Kuzina at the Minsk airport on June 28, as she was going through passport control for her Georgia-bound flight. Her family had no information about her whereabouts until the next morning, when a law enforcement officer called to inform them Kouzina was being held at the city’s Okrestina detention center “as a suspect in a criminal investigation.” Kouzina’s lawyer saw her there later that day but was unable to clarify the nature of the investigation. After a court approved ten days’ detention, Kouzina was moved to Minsk’s remand prison, where she has remained since.

By now, Kouzina’s lawyer knows the charges against her, but he cannot disclose them because he was required to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

This may sound absurd, but it is typical in politically motivated criminal cases in Belarus. Courts hold hearings behind closed doors and force lawyers to sign nondisclosure agreements, prohibiting them from commenting on all matters related to the case, including the actual charges.

Since mass peaceful protests began last summer, authorities have jailed hundreds on politically motivated charges, with blatant disregard for their rights to liberty, to legal counsel, and a fair trial. Law enforcement took people into custody and interrogated them for hours without letting them contact their lawyers. Belarusian lawyers also reported that authorities prevented them from speaking to their clients confidentially and filmed their meetings with clients, sharing the footage with state-sponsored media outlets.

Lawyers who work on politically motivated cases face harassment and intimidation by the authorities. They are also targeted with criminal charges and biased inspections by the Qualification Commission on Advocacy Issues. At least 17 lawyers have been disbarred since October 2020, in retaliation for speaking out against human rights abuses, joining collective letters and petitions, and refusing to sign broad and vague nondisclosure agreements. The May 2021 amendments to the Law on Bar and Advocates stripped Belarusian lawyers of the last pretense that the state would respect their independence.






https://www.defenders.by/buro_indviv (BELARUSIAN)

May be an image of 9 people, glasses and text that says "OBSAV L'ERVATOE AVOCATS Ces avocats persécutés dans le monde... BIÉLORUSSIE Radiations, arrestations, détentions, cumuls d'accusations, privations, persécution... IDHAE A IDH Le lourd tribut payé par les avocats dans la lutte pour la démocratie SPECIAL2021"
En accès libre a
www.defendre.eu (FRANCAIS)

The Philippines: Who protects the lawyers?


NUPL lawyer na sinaksak sa ulo, ligtas na - YouTube

The attempt on the life of lawyer Angelo Karlo Guillen in Iloilo City on March 3 was particularly brutal: He was stabbed with a screwdriver in the head and in other parts of his body, and when paramedics brought him to the hospital (as veteran correspondent Nestor Burgos reported) the blue and yellow screwdriver was still embedded in his left temple. The human rights lawyer is now in stable condition; he is the fourth member of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers to survive an assassination attempt under the Duterte administration. But assassins on a motorcycle did reach a founding member of NUPL, Benjamin Ramos; he was shot dead in November 2018 in Kabankalan City.

Ramos was one of 56 lawyers killed since July 2016, when President Duterte took power. NUPL itself prepared a list; in July 2020, its list had 50 names on it, with Jovencio Senados, a senior city prosecutor in Manila, the latest victim entered into it. Rappler has updated the list to 56; Winston Intong of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, the 56th and latest victim, was killed in January 2021.

Some of the lawyers on this kill list were human rights lawyers (such as Ramos), environmental lawyers (like Mia Mascariñas Green, ambushed in Bohol in February 2017), public prosecutors (like Senados, or Madonna Joy Ednaco Tanyag, stabbed in Quezon City in June 2018, when she was five months pregnant), or counsel of accused drug traffickers (like Jonah John Ungab, killed in Cebu in February 2018).

Nine of the victims were judges, including two retired judges and one retired Court of Appeals justice; 11 were prosecutors or public attorneys, either still in government service or retired; six were lawyers in Cebu City (with a seventh killed in Cebu province).

I cannot remember another time when so many lawyers were killed in such a short span of time









Azerbaijan: Disbarred, suspended, or criminally prosecuted: Azerbaijani human rights lawyers (updated)

January 2021

This list has been compiled by the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) on the basis of publicly available reports from international human rights organisations and information from partner lawyers in Azerbaijan.

In the years following the 2014 crackdown on civil society in Azerbaijan and the criminal prosecution of NGO and human rights defenders, human rights lawyers who took up these and other ‘politically sensitive’ cases have been subjected to severe retaliation by the authorities, which has sometimes resulted in the suspension of their licences and even disbarment.

Disciplinary proceedings have been brought against human rights lawyers in response to their legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression: for publicising human rights violations perpetrated against their clients in detention, or for disclosing instances of the abusive administration of justice in their clients’ cases. As a result, over a dozen Azerbaijani lawyers have been deprived of the opportunity to practise their profession, and over two dozen have been targeted by the Azerbaijani authorities since 2005.

In January 2020, in its first case relating to the disbarment of a lawyer in Azerbaijan, the European Court of Human Rights (European Court) found a violation of the right to a private life (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights) in the case of Elchin Namazov, who was disbarred in the absence of adequate procedural safeguards in disciplinary proceedings brought against him. The Court found that the domestic courts had failed to assess the proportionality of the sanction.[1]

Khalid Bagirov is another prominent human rights lawyer who was first suspended in 2011 after he made comments about the suspicious death of his client in police custody. He was later permanently disbarred in 2015 for criticising Azerbaijan’s judicial system during a trial which concerned a domestic court’s failure to implement the European Court’s judgment in the case of Ilgar Mammadov, an opposition politician whose arrest was found to be politically motivated.

In June 2020, the European Court ruled that Azerbaijan’s suspension and disbarment of Bagirov was in breach of his freedom of expression (Article 10 of ECHR) and right to a private life. The Court ordered the Azerbaijani Government to ensure the “maximum possible reparation” for Khalid Bagirov, “and [that] they should put the applicant, as far as possible, in the position in which he had been before his disbarment.”[2]





https://www.iurastudent.de/blogeintrag/elsa-deutschland-ev-zum-day-endangered-lawyers (DEUTSCH)

https://www.nporadio1.nl/fris/onderwerpen/71251-2021-01-24-dag-van-de-bedreigde-advocaat-ook-in-nederland-erg-actueel (NEDERLANDS)


No description available.

Azerbaijan: Day of the Endangered Lawyer WEBINAR January 25th



The International Observatory of Lawyers in Danger (IOLD) together with the UIA-Irol and the AEDH convene you to its webinar for the International Day of Lawyers in Danger 2021.

Please register at the link below : https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Gz3kqPrwRAibF_Hcddp_kg

The webinar will be translated in English, French, Italian and Spanish.

This year’s International Day of Lawyers in danger focuses on Azerbaijan, where multiple cases of harassment of lawyers in violation of international law and international standards on the independence of the profession have been documented.

About the International Day of Lawyers in Danger:

Since 2009, the European Democratic Lawyers’ Association has been organizing, in collaboration with the “Day of the Endangered Lawyer” Foundation and other lawyers’ and bar associations, each year, the Day of the Endangered Lawyer in as many cities, countries and continents as possible.

The purpose of this international day is to focus the attention of civil society and public authorities on the situation of lawyers in a particular country in order to raise awareness of the threats faced by lawyers in the exercise of their profession. After the situation of lawyers in Iran, Turkey, the Philippines, the Basque Country, Honduras, China and Egypt, the Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2021 will be dedicated to the situation of lawyers in Azerbaijan.

Observatoire international des avocats en danger – OIAD Facebook, 18/01/21

http://www.defendre.eu/azerbaidjan2021.htm (FRANCAIS)

Belgium/Azerbaijan: Journée de l’avocat en danger : appel à manifester ce 22 janvier 2021


Day of the Endangered Lawyer

La situation des avocats en Azerbaïdjan

L’Association des Avocats Européens Démocrates (AED, dont est membre le SAD), coorganisatrice de la Journée de l’Avocat en Danger, lance un appel à manifester ce 22 janvier 2021 à 13h devant l’ambassade de l’Azerbaïdjan (avenue de Tervueren 282 à 1150 WOLUWE-SAINT-PIERRE) pour la défense de la défense. Le port de la toge est conseillé, celui du masque est obligatoire et les mesures de distanciation sociale seront respectées.

Le 24 janvier de chaque année, depuis 2009, les avocats se réunissent pour attirer l’attention sur la situation de leurs confrères menacés, persécutés, mis sous pression, réduits au silence et emprisonnés. Les années précédentes, la Journée s’est intéressée aux pays suivants : Chine, Colombie, Egypte, Honduras, Iran, Philippines, Espagne (Pays Basque), Turquie et Pakistan. L’édition 2021 se concentre sur la situation des avocats en Azerbaïdjan.

Le 24 janvier tombant un dimanche, la journée est organisée cette année le vendredi 22 janvier 2021.

Dans les années qui ont suivi son indépendance en 1991, l’Azerbaïdjan a ratifié les traités internationaux et européens les plus importants en matière de droits de l’homme. Néanmoins, des violations continues des droits de l’homme ont été relevées par les comités de l’ONU, le Conseil de l’Europe et des organisations non gouvernementales.  Les avocats azerbaïdjanais qui représentaient les victimes de ces violations des droits humains et se sont exprimés sur la torture et les mauvais traitements en garde à vue ont également subi de graves atteintes à leurs droits fondamentaux.




USA: Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Spotlight on Azerbaijan Wednesday, January 13, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.


New York City Bar

Program Fee:
Free for Members | $15 for Non-Members 

Please Note: All attendees will receive an email confirmation including a zoom invite two hours prior to the program with details of how to access the webinar.

In recent years, there has been a crackdown on attorneys in Azerbaijan. Human rights lawyers and lawyers who are seen as opposing the current administration in Azerbaijan have been persecuted. Attorneys have been prevented from practicing and, in some instances, have been incarcerated or forced to leave the country. Our panel of distinguished speakers will discuss the current situation in Azerbaijan and the actions taken by lawyers and activists in response. 

Panelists:Dr. Leila Alieva, Russian and East European Studies affiliate, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies
Leyla Madatli, Legal Consultant, International Commission of Jurists
Dr. Farhad Mehdiyev, Director at Impulse Survey Center and Partner and Legal Consultant at Arbitrage Consulting


Day of the Endangered Lawyer