Tag Archives: International Commission of Jurists



Executive Summary

  • Article 6(2) of the ICESCR warrants the full realisation of the right to work, which includes providing “conditions safeguarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual”
  • Concerning the right to work for foreign legal practitioners from other common-law jurisdictions, the HKSAR Government fails to provide valid reasons as to why they are welcomed to practise in the territory in other areas of law but to the exception of cases relating to the HKNSL
  • The HKSAR Government interferes with the enforcement of the norm by seeking intervention from China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, albeit the highest court in the city ruled against the HKSAR Government, as shown in the legal disputes concerning Jimmy Lai Chee-ying hiring a British barrister to represent him
  • The HKSAR fails to provide explanation on factors justifying the deviation from the norm and also deviation from the fulfilment of the right to work as stated in Article 6 of the ICESCR

With Reference to the Committee’s List of Issue (E/C.12/CHN-HKG/Q/4) and the corresponding Replies by Hong Kong, China (“HKSAR”) (E/C.12/CHN/RQ-HKG/4), this bulletin gathers and presents information regarding the restrictions on foreign lawyers to practise in cases relating to the Hong Kong National Security Law (“HKNSL”). The full realisation of lawyers’ economic right to work which is an integral part of the ICESCR as enshrined in Article 6 is concerned here.

Restricting lawyers’ economic rights to suppress their protection of the proper exercise of human rights

We strongly urge clarification from HKSAR on its compliance with its treaty obligations under the ICECSR despite the information and the established fact patterns above which suggest otherwise.






Turkey investigates chairs of 12 bar associations for insult due to statement on military operations


Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into the presidents of 12 bar associations across the country on allegations of insulting the Turkish state due to a joint statement they made against the country’s military operations in Syria and Iraq, Turkish Minute reported, citing the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA).

The investigation was launched under the controversial Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which concerns the crime of insulting the Turkish nation, state, the republic and the state organs, against the presidents of the bar associations including those of the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Van and Mardin.

The presidents of the 12 bar associations made the joint statement last November in the wake of the airstrikes conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in northern Syria and Iraq against Kurdish militants whom Turkey accuses of terrorism.

In their statement the presidents of the bar associations called for an end to Turkey’s military operations in Syria and Iraq and said they must defend peace under all circumstances.

Diyarbakır Bar Association President Nahit Eren said there was no element of a crime in their statement and that the investigation aims to intimidate them into remaining silent.

The investigation file has been sent to the Justice Ministry by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office as prosecutors need to get permission from the ministry for investigations under Article 301 of the TCK.


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)




Afghanistan: DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2023


The FBE supports all those in danger in Afghanistan.  Since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban in 2021, the situation of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors in Afghanistan has worsened. Many were left stranded when Government evacuation efforts ended. The international  legal community campaigns to persuade governments to rescue legal professionals at risk. However, most governments evacuated their own nationals and those who had been employed by the respective Government or related bodies. Most Afghan legal professionals did not fall into either category, even though they had served those Governments’ interests by upholding the rule of law in their country. Many were actively involved in the prosecution of members of the Taliban and  are in great danger. The international legal community must act now to persuade more assistance to evacuate lawyers, prosecutors, judges and legal professionals at risk and to offer safe havens in their respective countries.

The FBE endorses the report of the Coalition for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer and urges all to implement recommendations in particular:

  • The international community, in their diplomatic efforts toward the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, are urged to ensure the maintenance of a free and independent legal profession, in order to safeguard fundamental rights, including women’s rights, the independence and integrity of the administration of justice, and the rule of law.
  • The international community is urged to take all necessary measures to ensure that the lawyers at risk who remain in Afghanistan can safely leave the country. In particular:
  • To immediately implement evacuation and resettlement programmes for Afghan lawyers remaining in Afghanistan or located in neighboring countries.
  • To ensure respect for the principle of non-refoulement at all times.
  • To make humanitarian visas available to enable Afghan lawyers in need to access international protection legally and safely.
  • To ensure that all States suspend deportations and summary returns of Afghan nationals to Afghanistan or third states.
  •  To ensure that all States thoroughly investigate allegations of ill-treatment of Afghan nationals, especially in the States’ border regions and in removal centers in their territories.







https://2k86.mj.am/nl3/9MUI9jpjAKJgvmFwBU6sEA (FRANCAIS)

London: a Human Rights Solidarity and Arrested Lawyers Initiative action

Brussels (Facebook, CCBE – Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe )

eSwatini/Swaziland: Human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko shot dead


Human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko,the Chairperson of the MultiStakeholder Forum(MSF) has been shot dead.

The death of the prominent lawyer was confirmed by his wife Tanele Maseko on Saturday evening, he was gunned down at his home, Luyengo.

“It’s true,Thulani has been killed, bashaye waphola Nkhosi. Ubobuye ushaye kwanyalo kusenemaphoyisa,” said the wife to the late MSF Chairperson.

The death of the human rights lawyer comes a few hours after King Mswati warned those calling for democracy that his mercenaries would deal with them.

Eswatini is in the midst of a political unrest, Mswati has intensified the killing of political activists and human rights defenders.






Tunisia: President of Bar denounces setback in democratic process, as lawyers rally against Finance Law


Tunisia is experiencing a setback in the rule of law, democracy, rights and freedoms and the judiciary, said president of the Bar Association Hatem Meziou.

“Lawyers cannot turn a blind eye or remain idle, particularly in light of the set of decrees issued recently and the return to mass trials, he added at a lawyers’ rally Thursday in Tunis.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the Bar to stand against “the various forms of tyranny” and to stand by the people to build a democratic civil state based on the values of social justice, rights and freedoms and alternation in power.

Decree No. 54, which jeopardises rights and freedoms, cannot be tolerated or accepted, he added, condemning mass trials of lawyers, political and human rights activists and journalists.

“Lawyers are not afraid to take to the streets or to return to the struggle to defend a civil and democratic state where the law prevails, within the framework of a fair justice.»

The president of the lawyers’ association noted that courts still await a judiciary reshuffle. Many courthouses lack officials or public prosecutors, including the court of Tunis and the court of appeal, which remains without first president.






https://www.aa.com.tr/fr/afrique/tunisie-b%C3%A2tonnier-des-avocats-nous-continuerons-%C3%A0-lutter-contre-l%C3%A9rosion-d%C3%A9mocratique-/2780562 (FRANCAIS)














http://www.radionationale.tn/%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%8A%D9%86-%D9%87%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%83-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%B9%D9%86-%D8%AF/ (ARABIC)


Tunisia: La “répression” à l’encontre de l’opposition s’accentue, avertissent des partis politiques


Des partis politiques ont dénoncé les poursuites judiciaires engagées à l’encontre des opposants politiques et des défenseurs de droits de l’homme, suite au renvoi du Coordonnateur du Comité de défense des magistrats révoqués, Ayachi Hamami, devant l’instruction au sens du décret-loi n° 54.

Plusieurs dirigeants du Front de salut national devraient également comparaitre devant la justice sur fond de plainte déposée par la cheffe du Parti destourien libre Abir Moussi.

Ayachi Hammami avait annoncé avoir été informé de sa citation devant l’instruction, au sens du décret-loi n°54 sur fond d’accusations de ” diffusion de fausses rumeurs dans le but de porter atteinte aux droits d’autrui et de porter préjudice à la sureté publique ” et ” d’attribution de données infondées visant à diffamer les autres “.

L’article 24 dudit décret-loi prévoit une peine de cinq ans d’emprisonnement assortie d’une amende de 50 000 dinars, portée au double si la personne visée est un agent public ou assimilé.


De son côté, le mouvement Ennahdha a dénoncé la convocation devant l’instruction de plusieurs dirigeants du Front de salut national ainsi que des hommes politiques qui s’opposent au président Kais Saied, dont l’ancien président Moncef Marzouki, Jawhar Ben M’barak, Shaima Issa, le Coordonnateur du Comité de défense des magistrats révoqués, Ayachi Hamami, Abederrazek Kilani, Lazhar Akremi et des journalistes et de blogueurs.







Tunisian prosecutors will try 13 judges on “terrorism” charges. MIGMG News


Azerbaijan: Ongoing pre-trial detention of Mr. Elchin Sadigov


In a joint letter to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Lawyers for Lawyers and the International Observatory for Lawyers have expressed their concern about the pre-trial detention and house arrest of lawyer Elchin Sadigov.

On 10 September 2022, Mr. Sadigov was arrested together with the journalist Mr. Avaz Zeynalli and charged with “complicity in bribe taking”. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Sadigov represented Rasim Mammadov, a prominent businessman in Azerbaijan accused of embezzlement. Mr. Sadigov is suspected of being involved as an intermediary. Since Mr. Sadigov is currently under house arrest and could be sentenced to 12 years in jail, he is restricted in his ability to practice law.

Furthermore, we are concerned that Mr. Sadigov’s right on a fair trial is violated. On the day of his arrest, the Prosecutor’s General’s Office searched his home and office, where they confiscated documents and his mobile phone. International human rights law protects the confidentiality of lawyers-client communications as well as the privacy of attorneys’ records as an element of the right to a fair trial.

In the joint letter, we call upon the authorities of Azerbaijan to drop all charges against Mr. Sadigov unless credible evidence is presented in proceedings that respect fair trial guarantees and put an end to all acts of harassment against Elchin Sadigov, including at the judicial level.
We further urge that all lawyers in Azerbaijan must be able to carry out their legitimate professional activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.






On the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, The 29 Principles, Lawyers for Lawyers, the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), the International Bar Association’s Human Rights’ Institute (IBAHRI), the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), Front Line Defenders, the Law Society of England and Wales, the Institute for the Rule of Law of the International Association of Lawyers (UIA-IROL), the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, the American Association of the International Commission of Jurists, the Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, Avocats sans Frontières, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, The Rights Practice, Ordre des Barreaux Francophones et Germanophones de Belgique express their concern about the ongoing detention of Chinese human rights lawyers Li Yuhan. Li Yuhan has been detained in Shenyang City, the capital of the Northeastern province of Liaoning since October 2017. She was charged with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. Although her case was tried last year, there is still no verdict and her release date remains unknown.

Li Yuhan is a veteran lawyer who started practising in the 1990s, taking on numerous human rights cases such as Falon Gong and Christian underground churches. She also represented Wang Yu, one of the most prominent lawyers arrested in the “709 crackdown” – a mass arrest of human rights lawyers and other activists in 2015. The arrest of Li was regarded as retaliation for her involvement in Wang Yu’s case and other sensitive cases.

It is reported that she has been subjected to torture and ill-treatment while in detention, including insufficient food and being denied to receive adequate and appropriate medical treatment. Also, the authorities tried to force her to plead guilty and postponed her trial a few times until October 2021.  

Having been detained for more than five years, her health deteriorated rapidly and she suffers from arrhythmia, fluttering in chest and tremors, coronary heart disease, unstable angina, hyperthyroidism, acute erosive gastritis, cerebral concussion, and cerebral ischemia.





https://29principles.uk/zh-hant/contents/%E5%90%84%E5%9C%B0%E4%BA%BA%E6%AC%8A%E7%B5%84%E7%B9%94%E6%96%BC%E3%80%8C%E5%9C%8B%E9%9A%9B%E5%A5%B3%E6%80%A7%E4%BA%BA%E6%AC%8A%E6%8D%8D%E8%A1%9B%E8%80%85%E6%97%A5%E3%80%8D%E8%81%AF%E5%90%88%E5%91%BC%E7%B1%B2%E8%A6%81%E6%B1%82%E7%AB%8B%E5%8D%B3%E9%87%8B%E6%94%BE%E6%9D%8E%E6%98%B1%E5%87%BD%E5%BE%8B%E5%B8%AB%EF%BC%88%E5%8F%AA%E6%9C%89%E8%8B%B1%E6%96%87%E7%89%88%EF%BC%89 (CHINESE)



The Crimean Solidarity movement was set up by lawyers, journalists, and relatives of those arrested following the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014.

The organization has persisted through many years of struggle, and still exists despite constant threats and attacks. Many in the movement are citizen journalists regularly targeted this year by Russian authorities in Crimea. Their homes are routinely raided, and they are often jailed.

Now, three lawyers who represent those targeted have themselves been attacked. The three – Lilia Hemedzhy, Rustem Kyamilev, and Nazim Sheikhmambetov – are advocates representing many of those in the estimated 200 cases brought against members of the Crimea Solidarity movement.

“They are under constant surveillance, and now the authorities have taken away their permission to practice as lawyers. It was done on a technicality,” Demir Minadirov of Crimea Solidarity told me when we met in Kyiv last week. In July the three were stripped of their lawyers’ licenses, effectively preventing them from representing their clients in court in criminal cases.

He says since 2017, pressure on the movement has intensified and around 50 members have been jailed, with many detained on the word of secret witnesses.

“We’re trying to make these cases as well-known as possible, to draw attention to what’s happening in Crimea. We’re asking for international solidarity from lawyers and lawyers’ associations. We want them to contact the authorities and say they know about what’s happened to Lilia Hemedzhy, Rustem Kyamilev, and Nazim Sheikhmambetov,” he said.

Human Rights First knows the power of international solidarity with human rights lawyers. HRF’s roots are in the legal human rights community, and we were founded in 1978 as the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights.

Since then, we’ve worked with human right lawyers all over the world. In the last decade we’ve supported and worked alongside human rights defenders who are lawyers in places including BahrainEgyptHong KongHungaryKenyaNorthern IrelandPolandSaudi ArabiaThe PhilippinesThe United Arab Emirates, and of course Ukraine.

Some of the lawyers whose work we’ve highlighted are in prison, others risk their lives to carry out their legal work in defense of the rights of others, and most are under some sort of harassment or pressure. We know from decades of experience that public solidarity with lawyers at risk in other parts of the world can be a powerful support.




https://unba.org.ua/news/7739-naau-podyakuvala-za-pidtrimku-evropejs-kim-kolegam-z-federacii-advokatur-evropi.html (UKRAINIAN)