Tag Archives: International Commission of Jurists

Colombia/Germany: PBI-Colombia at meeting with German ambassador and threatened lawyer Germán Romero

October 17, 2019

On October 16, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project posted, “Thank you very much to [German ambassador Peter Ptassek] and [the German embassy in Colombia] for their support for the work of human rights defenders in Colombia and the work of the victims’ representatives in this difficult context.”

This followed the German ambassador’s tweet that said, “Don’t touch my friend: We act in the protection of fair cause fighters. In this case we support the great work of Germán Romero for more rule of law and defence of victims. That their protection is not symbolic against threats. Thank you [Network of Human Rights Defenders in Colombia] for your visit.”

On October 10, PBI-Colombia also tweeted, “Many thanks to the Embassy [of Norway in Colombia] for its support for human rights defenders of dhColombia with Germán Romero who receives death threats for defending victims of extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances.”

El Espectador has explained that Romero, who represents victims of state agents, received a death threat on October 3 via his landline telephone and that his computer (with sensitive information about his cases) was stolen previous to that.

The same number has called Romero’s landline twice sent then, but they are silent when the telephone is answered.

That article also notes that Romero represents those affected by the Palace of Justice case, the construction of the Hidroituango hydroelectric dam as well as journalist Claudia Julieta Duque (who is accompanied by PBI-Colombia).

You can read more in our article Colombian human rights lawyer Germán Romero Sánchez receives death threat.

PBI-Colombia at meeting with German ambassador and threatened lawyer Germán Romero

Colombian human rights lawyer Germán Romero Sánchez receives death threat

Demand Protection for Atty. Germán Romero Sánchez

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/wp-content/uploads/Provisional-list-Colombian-lawyers.pdf

https://www.icj.org/es/colombia-la-cij-expresa-su-preocupacion-por-las-recientes-amenazas-sufridas-por-el-abogado-de-derechos-humanos-german-romero-sanchez/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/judicial/no-te-voy-dejar-vivo-toda-la-vida-amenazan-abogado-de-victimas-de-agentes-estatales-articulo-884882 (ESPANOL)

https://www.justiciaypazcolombia.com/contexto-de-persecucion-y-robo-de-informacion-a-representante-de-victimas-el-abogado-german-romero-sanchez-integrante-de-dhcolombia/ (ESPANOL)

Egypt: Largest wave of mass arrests since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power

October 2, 2019

Over the past 12 days, Egyptian authorities have launched the biggest crackdown under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s rule rounding up more than 2,300 people – at least 111 of them children – said Amnesty International today. The authorities have carried out sweeping arrests of hundreds of peaceful protesters as well as carrying out more targeted arbitrary arrests of human rights lawyers, journalists, political activists and politicians.

The vast majority of those arrested are being investigated as part of one single case. If referred to trial, it would be the largest protest-related criminal case in Egypt’s history.

“President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government has orchestrated this crackdown to crush the slightest sign of dissent and silence every government critic. The wave of unprecedented mass arrests, which included many who were not even involved in the protests, sends a clear message – anyone perceived to pose a threat to Sisi’s government will be crushed,” said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director for Amnesty International.

“Participating in a peaceful protest is not a crime. The Egyptian authorities’ draconian response to the peaceful demonstrations illustrates their utter contempt for human rights and displays a flagrant disregard for the rights to peaceful protest and freedom of expression. The authorities must immediately and unconditionally release anyone detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of assembly or expression.“

In a rare challenge to President al-Sisi, and his government, small protests broke out in several cities across Egypt starting on 20 September. The Egyptian authorities sought to prevent a second round of protests on 27 September by shutting down large parts of downtown Cairo and carrying out mass arrests.

An official statement from Egypt’s Office of the Public Prosecutor on 26 September stated that “less than 1,000 people” have been interrogated in relation to their peaceful participation in protests. It confirmed that the defendants’ social media accounts had been searched for evidence of “incitement to protesting”. The statement mentioned that calls to protest posted on social media would be considered evidence of the “crime” of “unauthorized assembly”.

Human rights lawyers working with organizations including the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) and Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) have documented at least 2,300 arrests so far. According to lawyers, scores of detainees have been released without questioning, but many others continue to appear in front of prosecutors.

Lawyers, journalists and politicians rounded up

Amnesty International has documented the arrest of 10 journalists, remarkably most of them working for pro-government media outlets, primarily in Suez and Mahalla, and at least 25 politicians and academics from four different political parties. They include Khaled Dawoud, journalist and former head of liberal Dostour party, as well as political science professors Hassan Nefea and Hazem Hosny. At least ten are facing investigation on “terrorism-related” charges.

In a serious blow to defendants’ rights to provide a legal defence, lawyers have also been targeted with at least four arrested while carrying out their work and a total of 16 lawyers have been arrested.

On 29 September, human rights lawyer and director of the Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms Mohamed el-Baqer entered the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) building to represent detained activist Alaa Abdelfattah only to be arrested on the same unfounded charges as his client. These include “membership in a banned group” and “spreading false information”. The prosecutor questioned him about his organization’s work and did not present any evidence against him except a National Security Agency investigation report, which neither he nor his lawyer have been allowed to examine.

Amnesty International considers Mohammed el-Baqer a prisoner of conscience who is detained solely for his work defending victims of human rights violations. The organization is calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

“The vast scale and arbitrary nature of the arrests is clear indicator of how unnerved the Egyptian authorities are feeling about the prospect of further protests,” said Najia Bounaim.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/10/egypt-largest-wave-of-mass-arrests-since-president-abdel-fattah-al-sisi-came-to-power/

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/egypts-human-rights-lawyers-come-under-states-fire

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/egypt-thousands-arrested-biggest-crackdown-el-sisi-191002174627211.html

https://www.cfjustice.org/portal/2019/10/01/egypt-all-are-vulnerable-as-government-plunges-into-frenzied-quest-to-eliminate-opposition/

https://www.newsweek.com/3000-arrested-egypt-latest-uprising-president-abdel-fattah-sisi-biggest-crackdown-yet-1463023

https://www.dw.com/en/egyptian-protest-anger-justified-rights-activist-says/a-50668351

https://madamasr.com/en/2019/10/01/feature/politics/despite-release-of-at-least-96-detainees-calls-for-more-open-political-process-tense-security-situation-highlighted-by-arrest-of-lawyers-persists/

https://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/egypt/2019/09/d25523/

https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/amid-crackdown-leading-egyptian-rights-activist-arrested

Protests rattle Egypt, Bahraini women political prisoners expose abuse, and journalist jailed over abortion

https://www.york.ac.uk/cahr/news/2019/mohamedel-baqerarrest/

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/arrest-mohamed-el-baqer

Egypt: amidst the crackdown, lawyers are also a target

Letter on arrest Mahienour El-Massry

https://www.movedemocracy.org/alert-egypt-targets-lawyers

Rampant media campaign against human rights organizations: Are the Egyptian authorities paving the way for escalating their oppression of human rights defenders?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahienour_El-Massry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Egyptian_protests

https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2019/10/2/%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%87%D9%8A%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1%D9%8A-%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%AB%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%B3%D8%AC%D9%86%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%83%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%86%D8%B8%D9%85%D8%A9 (ARABIC)

https://arabic.euronews.com/2019/09/22/egyptian-human-rights-lawyer-mahinour-el-masri-arrested?fbclid=IwAR0r_Z3IXMk2Up_p0SEe6Z8O9VIWgCpxp8qaA8EhLhKzT_PnCTVjlAzbfoM (ARABIC)

https://egyptianfront.org/ar/2019/10/new-case-against-hrd/ (ARABIC)

https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2019/10/egypt-largest-wave-of-mass-arrests-since-president-abdel-fattah-al-sisi-came-to-power/ (FRANCAIS)

https://ifex.org/fr/legypte-submergee-par-les-bruits-des-manifestants-des-prisonnieres-politiques-bahreiniennes-denoncent-des-abus-et-une-journaliste-jetee-en-prison-pour-avortement/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.protect-lawyers.com/en/lawyer/6389/ (FRANCAIS)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 01/10/19)

 

 

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Russia: The Russian Federation: the ICJ calls for an end to intimidation and prosecution of lawyers

September 24, 2019

Scandal evolves as lawyer suggests legalizing Sharia courts in Russia

The ICJ today called for an end to criminal proceedings against Dagir Hasavov, a prominent Russian lawyer facing prosecution on allegations of obstruction of justice.

On 17 September, less than a week after lawyer Dmitriy Sotnikov was physically attacked in court, Dagir Hasavov was detained by police in the Lefortovo court building in Moscow. He was charged with “obstruction of justice” and “bribery or coercion to testify or evasion of giving evidence” (articles 294.1 and 309.4 of the Russian Criminal Code).  On 18 September, Moscow Basmanny court authorised the detention of Hasavov until 16 November.

“There are strong indications that these charges are spurious and that the arrest of Dagir Hasavov is an attempt to obstruct him in carrying out his professional duties, and to prevent his clients from having a fair trial. The proceedings should be discontinued and he should be immediately released.” said Róisín Pillay, ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.  “Such arrests also send a clear message of intimidation to other lawyers. Without urgent measures to end harassment of lawyers, the ability of the legal profession to protect human rights will be increasingly jeopardized”.

Dagir Khasavov represented the former Dagestan Prime Minister Abdusamad Hamidov, who was detained together with his deputy Rayudin Yusufov by the FSB in February 2018 as part of a special anti-corruption operation and was charged with multiple criminal offences, including embezzlement.

The Russian Federation: the ICJ calls for an end to intimidation and prosecution of lawyers

https://en.sledcom.ru/news/item/1390851/

The Russian Federation: use of physical force against lawyer must be investigated

Azerbaijan: Afgan Mukhtarli goes on hunger strike over ‘mistreatment’ of his lawyer

September 23, 2019

Imprisoned journalist Afgan Mukhtarli has gone on hunger strike in Azerbaijan and stopped taking his medication in protest against his the ‘mistreatment’ of his lawyer at the hands of prison officials.

Mukhtarli, who is serving six years in prison on charges rights groups insist are trumped-up, began his hunger strike on Sunday in protest against the alleged mistreatment of his lawyer, Nemat Karimli, by the deputy chief of the prison.

According to his wife, Mukhtarli has type 2 diabetes and has refused to take his medication, increasing the risk of falling into a diabetic coma.

The news was spread on Facebook by social activist Samad Asadli, who also shared a statement from Mukhtarli.

‘I started my hunger strike to protest the arbitrariness and violence committed towards my lawyer on 20 September. The deputy chief [of the prison] Emin Eminaliyev is characterised by his cruelty towards political prisoners. Before that, he used violence against political prisoner Mammad Ibrahim. He is ruthless and cruel towards prisoners’, the statement read.

‘The complaints against him are not being investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office. I ask [President of Azerbaijan] Ilham Aliyev to objectively investigate what has happened’, he wrote.

‘Emin Eminaliyev and other [prison] officials using violence should be punished. The actions against lawyers are aimed at violating my rights, earlier, Nemet Karimli was suspended from legal services for one year. The present attacks took place after a meeting with European MPs Sunna Thorhildur and D Myatovich’, the statement concluded.

Afgan Mukhtarli goes on hunger strike over ‘mistreatment’ of his lawyer

Azerbaijani prisoner of conscience Afghan Mukhtarly goes on hunger strike

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/10720-imprisoned-azeri-journalist-enters-hunger-strike

https://freedomhouse.org/article/azerbaijan-freedom-house-condemns-physical-assault-lawyer-defending-journalist-prison

Azerbaijan: Human Rights lawyers Asabali Mustafayev and Nemat Karimli must be allowed to practice their profession

OSCE/Poland: Lawyers Under Threat in OSCE Region: Identifying Trends and Finding Solutions

No photo description available.

Side event: Lawyers Under Threat in OSCE Region. Tomorrow 25 September from 18.15-19.45 at the Warsaw National Stadium in the Plenary Hall.

(Lawyers for Lawyers Facebook, 24/09/19)

Side event: Lawyers Under Threat in OSCE Region

 

 

Uzbekistan: ICJ welcomes the first visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers to Uzbekistan

September 20, 2019

The ICJ welcomes this week’s visit to Uzbekistan of the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayan, during which he will assess reforms of the judicial system, the independence of the judiciary and the independence and role of lawyers.

“The visit of the Special Rapporteur to Uzbekistan, at the invitation of the government, is an indication that the Uzbekistan authorities are serious about the ongoing reforms of the justice system. This visit is only a starting point for the deep reforms needed to establish an independent and fair justice system in Uzbekistan. Realising these reforms will require sustained commitment of all institutions of government, lawyers and civil society,” said Temur Shakirov, Senior Legal Adviser of the ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme.

The ICJ, along with other NGOs and IGOs, met with the Special Rapporteur in Tashkent yesterday on the first day of his visit, and drew his attention to the independence of judges and lawyers in Uzbekistan.

“The visit will be followed by the report of the Special Rapporteur containing findings and recommendations. These recommendations should be effectively implemented and the ICJ is committed to provide expert and other support in the Uzbekistan’s effort to bring its justice system in line with the recommendations,” Shakirov added.

ICJ welcomes the first visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers to Uzbekistan

https://tashkenttimes.uz/national/4352-foreign-minister-hosts-the-un-special-rapporteur-on-the-independence-of-judges-and-lawyers

http://www.uzdaily.com/en/post/51921

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Judiciary/Pages/IDPIndex.aspx

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Judiciary/Pages/DiegoGarciaSayan.aspx

Russia: The Russian Federation: use of physical force against lawyer must be investigated

September 20, 2019

The ICJ has called on the Russian authorities to institute a thorough and independent investigation into the use of physical force against lawyer Dmitry Sotnikov by court officials and subsequently by the police on 12 September in two separate but linked incidents, and to hold accountable those responsible for the attacks.

The authorities should take effective measures to prevent such attacks in the future, and to ensure that lawyers are not prevented from representing their clients in accordance with law, the ICJ said.

“This use of physical force used against a lawyer solely because he tried to zealously defend his client is contrary to international human rights law and standards, including on the role of lawyers,” Temur Shakirov, Senior Legal Adviser of the ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme said today.

“It is also of concern that Dmitry Sotnikov was not allowed to represent his client despite clear legal provisions under the law guaranteeing the right to independent legal advice and representation,” he added.

The Russian Federation: use of physical force against lawyer must be investigated

https://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/news/plight-jailed-russian-activists-forgotten-1797013

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/russia-forgotten-plight-jailed-grassroots-activists-031544460.html