Tag Archives: IDHAE

Belarus: Another Critic Detained in Belarus on Undisclosed Charges

08/07/21

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.hrw.org/news/2021/07/08/another-critic-detained-belarus-undisclosed-charges

https://cnnphilippines.com/world/2021/7/6/American-lawyer-lunch-date-Moscow-jail-cell-Belarus-.html

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/07/06/top-belarus-opposition-figure-babaryko-jailed-for-14-years-a74435

https://www.dw.com/en/lithuania-starts-building-belarus-border-anti-migrant-fence/a-58219572

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?

09/03/21

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

[…]

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/03/08/2082887/flag-renews-call-sc-protect-lawyers-halt-anti-terrorism-law-enforcement

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/03/08/2082882/sc-urged-be-proactive-provide-safeguards-vs-templated-warrants

https://news.abs-cbn.com/spotlight/03/09/21/weaponized-search-warrants-in-bloody-sunday-killings-put-pressure-on-supreme-court-to-act-to-prevent-bloodshed

https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/philippine/deadly-police-raids-03082021132829.html

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/03/07/2082658/bloodbath-day-deaths-arrests-reported-police-raids-calabarzon

https://www.philstar.com/nation/2021/03/08/2082755/uk-parliamentarians-join-call-de-limas-release

(TAGALOG)

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://lso.ca/gazette/news/day-of-the-endangered-lawyer

(ITALIANO)

https://www.ansa.it/emiliaromagna/notizie/2021/01/24/giornata-dellavvocato-minacciato-webinar-a-bologna_174ad9d3-6dcb-4f3e-9f7a-a004313856d9.html

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)

Azerbaijan/Italy: GIORNATA DELL’AVVOCATO MINACCIATO 24 GENNAIO BOLOGNA

No description available.
(ENGLISH)

Azerbaijan: Day of the Endangered Lawyer WEBINAR January 25th

18/01/21

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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

06/01/21

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.

[…]

https://patrick-henry.avocats.be/?q=node/485

(ENGLISH)

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

06/01/21

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.

Description:
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

Azerbaijan: DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER 2021 – AZERBAIJAN

21/12/20

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The DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER 2021 focusses of Azerbaijan. Protests and seminars will be organised in solidarity with human rights lawyers in Azerbaijan.

The DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER is commemorated each year on 24 January.

On that Day, 24 January 1977 four trade union lawyers and an employee were murdered in their office in Madrid, Spain, simply for doing their job. One of the killers, who was associated with extreme right-wing parties and organizations, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, another fled to Brazil and the third one ended up in jail in Bolivia for drug smuggling.

This year, on January 24, 2021, we will commemorate the 11th anniversary of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer.

In past years, the Day has focused on the following countries: China, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, Iran, Pakistan, The Philippines, Spain/Basque Country, Turkey, Pakistan.

On this special day, the organizers ask their international colleagues to
1) raise awareness about the number of lawyers who are being harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted, and in some countries tortured and murdered for their work as lawyers; and
2) initiate, or further develop a national discussion about ways to protect lawyers.

Invitation to an online Seminar – Day of the Endangered Lawyer (Azerbaijan) –
Thursday, 21 January 2021, 15h00 to 16h30 CET (2.00-3.30pm (UK time))

[…]

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2020/9/free/Social/en/127975.htm

https://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/azerbaijan/2020/05/d25859/

http://defendre.eu/observatoire-azerbaidjan2021.htm (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.fr/pays/azerbaidjan

LAWYERS IN DANGER: THREATS TO ADVOCATES WORLDWIDE

10/11/20

Lawyers in Danger: Threats to Advocates Worldwide | The Advocate, November 2020

The independence and safety of lawyers are increasingly threatened around the world. Lawyers in too many countries are vilified, criminalized, imprisoned, threatened, attacked, or murdered simply for doing their lawful work of upholding their clients’ rights. In 2020, volunteers from Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) are monitoring the situations of lawyers and other human rights defenders (defenders) in dozens of countries.

Countries of major concern to LRWC in 2020 are China, Turkey, the Philippines, Colombia, and Saudi Arabia. This year, LRWC volunteers have raised concerns about lawyers and defenders in these and other countries, including at the UN Human Rights Council.[2] LRWC is also monitoring situations of lawyers in many other countries, including challenges to international human rights in North America.

LRWC increasingly engages with the UN human rights system through its UN consultative status received in 2005. LRWC also publishes numerous reports and manuals,[3] including a 2020 book, Attacking Defenders: The Criminalization of Human Rights Advocacy.[4] LRWC, a volunteer-run organization, is launching a drive for memberships of Canadian lawyers to secure independent financial support for LRWC’s work to meet the growing demand for LRWC experience developed over two decades.

INDEPENDENCE AND SAFETY OF LAWYERS UNDER THREAT: EXAMPLES

China: Lawyers and defenders arrested, disappeared, and tortured

China claims to uphold the “rule of law,” but its aggressive promotion of “human rights with Chinese characteristics” fails to conceal egregious and systematic human rights abuses, including surveillance, harassment, criminalization, enforced disappearance, unlawful detention, and torture of dissidents, ethnic and religious minorities, activists, and lawyers.[5] The litany of violations includes disturbing allegations of mass atrocities.

[…]

Day of the Endangered Lawyer – January 24th

https://the-advocate.ca/emag/issues/2020/november/page_68.html

Indonesia/Australia: Indonesian human rights lawyer Koman refuses to be cowed on Papua

October 22, 2019

Veronica Koman meets with Australian MPs about Papua

Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer sought by Indonesian police over Twitter posts authorities blame for fanning unrest in the Papua region, has a tattoo on each wrist.

The first, inked when she was in her late teens and a fervent nationalist, reads simply “Indonesia” and, she says, meant that “Indonesia is running through my veins”.

The second, which she got a few years later after becoming “exposed to social justice”, has become a defiant riposte to the vitriol she has received for defending activists and advocating self-determination for Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost provinces.

The tattoo reads “DILLIGAF”, an abbreviation for a crude saying which roughly stands for “Do I look like I give a damn?”

“I’ve actually been experiencing this weird systematic attack, if you like, online since I think it was almost two years ago,” Koman said in an interview in Australia, where she is now living.

The threats can come in slickly produced video posted on YouTube or comments from anonymous social media accounts.

The abuse includes death threats, incitements to sexual assault and racist slurs, online material reviewed by Reuters showed. It also includes the publication of personal information about her and her family.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-papua-lawyer/indonesian-human-rights-lawyer-koman-refuses-to-be-cowed-on-papua-idUSKBN1X10WH

https://acfid.asn.au/media-releases/veronica-koman-receives-sir-ronald-wilson-human-rights-award

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/10/24/veronica-koman-wins-australian-human-rights-award-for-papua-activism.html

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/10/17/veronica-koman-meets-with-australian-mps-about-papua.html

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-24/veronica-koman-west-papua-human-rights-lawyer-activist-awards/11633222

https://www.miragenews.com/veronica-koman-receives-sir-ronald-wilson-human-rights-award/

https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/401682/indonesian-human-rights-lawyer-wins-prize-for-west-papua-work

Indonesian human rights defender Veronica Koman receives Sir Ronald Wilson Human Rights Award

https://law.anu.edu.au/news-and-events/news/veronica-koman-opens-about-her-west-papua-advocacy

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/internasional/20191017072645-113-440201/veronica-koman-temui-parlemen-australia-bahas-persoalan-papua (INDONESIAN)

https://kastara.id/18/10/2019/soal-veronica-koman-dilema-australia-antara-kedaulatan-indonesia-dan-ham-papua/ (INDONESIAN)

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(Veronica Koman Facebook, 23/10/19)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 23/10/19)

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