Tag Archives: International Criminal Court

The Philippines: Murder attempt against Filipina human rights lawyer

October 5, 2019

Human Rights Group decries murder attempt against Filipina human rights lawyer


The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) decries the ambush on Atty. Criselda Heredia while she was with her daughter and client last September 23, 2019. Fortunately, the three were physically uninjured as shots were fired into Heredia’s car by unidentified gunman on board a motorcycle. The incident happened in the municipality of Panit-an on the island of Panay, Central Philippines, around 11:30 am.

Heredia is a human rights lawyer and active in anti-mining campaigns on the island. As a member of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) she handles pro bono cases for farmers, human rights defenders and political prisoners.

According to NUPL, before the shooting, Heredia was red-tagged in posters and had been receiving death threats from unidentified men visiting her office. Human rights lawyer Atty. Benjamin Ramos was murdered on the nearby island of Negros last November 7, 2018. Before Ramos’ death, he was also red-tagged with name and face included in posters rolled out across the island.

“ICHRP condemns this outright attack against Filipino human rights lawyers. There is a clear pattern of vilification and harassments which then lead to political killings,” said Mr. Peter Murphy, chair of ICHRP’s Global Council. “This only shows the continuing climate of impunity and the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines under President Duterte”.

The attack on Atty Heredia brings to total for attacks on lawyers since President Duterte came to office in July 2016 to 61, with 49 killed and 12 survivors.


Roxas-based rights lawyer survives slay try


Human right group files motion at ICC



Drug-war victims’ kin file 2nd ICC pleading




Filipino human rights lawyer uninjured after gunmen ambush car

Filipino lawyers attacksed Sept 2019 (IAPL MONITORING COMMITTEE REPORT)

https://www.abogacia.es/2019/09/18/filipinas-aumentan-los-ataques-contra-los-abogados/ (ESPANOL)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 05/10/19)

Uganda: Lawyer Ayena Odongo Released

July 19, 2019

Krispus Ayena Odongo, the former Oyam North County Member of Parliament has been released.

Ayena who was jailed last week at Lira Central Government was released on Friday by the Lira High Court Assistant Registrar, Genevieve Natukunda.

Ayena’s lawyer, Alex Adupa presented proof of payment of 73 million shillings to Col.Charles Okello Engola, the State Minister for Defense.

He says that money was paid to Engola on Thursday.

Trouble for Ayena started when the High Court in 2016 nullified Engola’s election as the Oyam North MP on grounds that there was variation in the academic papers presented in court by Col Engola and the one he presented to the Electoral Commission for his nomination.

Engola appealed against the decision of the High Court. However, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the High Court hence upholding the election of Engola as the Oyam MP and ordered Ayena to pay 73 million shillings.



Detention of Ongwen lead lawyer will not affect trial-ICC



The Philippines: Filipino lawyers at risk by state tagging

July 10, 2019

Filipino lawyers at risk by state tagging

Lawyers for Lawyers is deeply concerned over the ‘red-tagging’ of lawyers and lawyers’ groups in the Philippines as it puts lawyers’ safety and independence at risk. On 11 July, a court hearing takes place where members of the military must comment on a human rights lawyers’ request for protection.


The practise of labelling or “red-tagging”

In the Philippines, human rights lawyers are often criminalised and tagged as “communists” or “terrorists” because they are identified with their clients or their clients’ causes. Especially lawyers representing people who are accused of terrorist or drugs related crimes, or who have been critical to the government’s policies or behavior, such as journalists, political opposition leaders, and human rights defenders, are targeted.

This ‘red-tagging’ of lawyers and other individuals or groups is seen as a strategy used by State agents, particularly law enforcement agencies and the military,to encourage counterinsurgency programs and violent attacks against those perceived to be ‘threats’ or ‘enemies of the State.

Lawyers for Lawyers fears that the ‘red-tagging’ of lawyers put them in danger for simply doing their job.

Filipino lawyers at risk by state tagging

Stand for Human Rights, Support Call for UN probe in Philippines

Relentless red-tagging in Cagayan de Oro ‘scary and dangerous’




Rights group lauds Iceland’s resolution on PH rights situation



The Philippines/ICC: Bad omen against Duterte

July 9, 2019

Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio. Photo: Reuters

JUST 10 months from Duterte’s presidency, I personally filed that first communication with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in April 2017.  At that time, he just had a fresh popular mandate. But we were undeterred.

Likewise, in February 2018, the ICC launched a preliminary examination in just four months before the end of Duterte’s second year. He retained then his mass appeal.

Mr. Duterte cannot take comfort in his latest Senate sweep. Even if politics is in his favor, the ICC case is not for politics, but for justice. As shown previously, the ICC will act for justice, notwithstanding  Duterte’s popularity which is irrelevant to justice.

In fact, again despite such popularity, the latest international call for a United Nation’s probe into Duterte’s war on drugs is becoming stronger. More than two dozen countries are now supporting a resolution calling for such probe.

While the resolution is aimed at the UN, especially the UN Human Rights Council, to do a probe, there has been, since February 2018, a preliminary examination in the ICC which is a prelude to a further investigation.

Expectedly, the resolution is not aimed at the ICC, presumably because as a court, the ICC is independent and should be free from political pressures.  A resolution, if aimed at the ICC, could end up as a weapon for critics falsely claiming that ICC is a tool of western powers.

However, it is unrealistic to completely divorce such call from the ongoing ICC preliminary examination. While the call is aimed at the UN, it indirectly sends a very strong signal to the ICC that a full-blown probe enjoys international backing.

Bad omen against Duterte






The Philippines: CA junks arrest warrant in Cavite case vs. lawyer who sued Duterte before ICC

April 13, 2019

The Court of Appeals (CA) has junked the arrest warrant issued against Jude Sabio, the lawyer who filed a communication with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

In a 15-page decision dated March 29, a copy of which ABS-CBN News obtained Saturday, the CA 9th Division ruled that there was no basis for a Trece Martires City, Cavite judge to order Sabio’s arrest over his non-compliance with the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) program for lawyers.

All Philippine lawyers are required to take MCLE classes every 3 years.

CA Associate Justice Emily Aliño-Geluz, as then Trece Martires City Regional Trial Court Branch 23 Judge, had issued an arrest warrant against Sabio on March 7, 2018 after Sabio failed to pay the P2,000 fine which the judge imposed as his MCLE compliance certificate had expired.

Sabio asked the judge to reconsider her order but she ignored the motion and instead issued another warrant of arrest in place of the previous unserved one in April 2018.

The President appointed her as CA associate justice on April 30, 2018 shortly after she issued the arrest warrants against Sabio.

In its ruling, the appellate court said Geluz gravely abused her discretion when she imposed the penalty of a fine with imprisonment and later on issued the warrants of arrest against Sabio.




CA junks arrest warrant in Cavite case vs. lawyer who sued Duterte before ICC


The Philippines: Duterte critic appeals tag as nuisance Senate bet

November 13, 2018

Lawyer Jude Sabio tells the Comelec it won’t look good if ‘a legal archenemy of President Duterte’ is declared a nuisance senatorial candidate

COMPLAINT VS DUTERTE. Jude Sabio is the lawyer who filed a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court. File photo courtesy of Jude Sabio

Senatorial hopeful Jude Josue Sabio, the lawyer who filed a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC), appealed the petition of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) law department to declare him a nuisance candidate.

“It will not look good in the eyes of the nation and the world that I, as the first Filipino lawyer internationally and nationally known to have lodged the first historic complaint in the ICC against President Duterte and his allies, is being treated as a nuisance,” Sabio said in an 18-page comment obtained by Rappler.

“It certainly will not sit well with the country and the world that a legal archenemy of President Duterte is unceremoniously being deprived of meaningful participation in the electoral process,” he added.

Sabio sent this comment to the Comelec via courier late Tuesday afternoon, November 13, and he expects this to reach the poll body on Wednesday, November 14.

Sabio is among 95 personalities – including former Consultative Committee spokesperson Conrado “Ding” Generoso and pro-life advocate Rizalito David – whom the Comelec law department wants the poll body to classify as nuisance senatorial bets. Comelec commissioners will have the final say after subjecting them to hearings and evaluating their cases.

Sabio on April 24 filed a complaint against Duterte before the ICC for alleged “mass murder” in the Philippines. He cited the murder of at least 1,400 people by the alleged Davao Death Squad when Duterte was Davao City mayor, and the killing of thousands more during Duterte’s presidency.









The Philippines: No winner in ICC-Duterte tussle

June 29, 2018

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced in February the start of a preliminary investigation into a complaint by a Filipino lawyer and two lawmakers which accuse President…

Following the withdrawal, Mr Duterte threatened to arrest the prosecutor if she conducts an investigation in his country arguing that the Philippines is no longer an ICC member, and therefore, the court…








https://philippinenmagazin.de/2018/06/26/serie-wie-duterte-supporter-die-oeffentlichkeit-mit-falschen-nachrichten-manipulieren-der-internationale-strafgerichtshof/ (DEUTSCH)

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Colombia/UK: Colombian human rights lawyer Luis Guillermo Perez visits the UK

May 27, 2018

Peter Roth y Luis Guillermo

In April 2018 Colombian human rights lawyer Luis Guillermo Pérez visited Europe in order to submit evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the killings on human rights defenders in Colombia. 2017, the first full year since the signing of the peace agreement in Colombia, was the deadliest on record for human rights defenders, with 121 killed, compared with 60 killings in 2016. The communication argues that the ICC should open an investigation because the Colombian government is failing to investigate the crimes properly and constitute a crime against humanity. In London Luis Guillermo was able to present the ICC communication to different sectors (including members of the Alliance for lawyers at Risk, FCO officials and parliamentarians) and to raise awareness of the situation for human rights defenders in Colombia.

“Colombia is one of the most dangerous countries for human rights defenders. Violent repression of trade unionists, land rights and environmental activists, community leaders,  lawyers, LGBTI activists, journalists and others who stand up for rights is widespread and systematic.” – ICC Dossier from CAJAR and The ECCHR.

Luis Guillermo Pérez Casas is a lawyer with the Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (CAJAR), based in Bogotá. For over 30 years, the work of CAJAR’s lawyers has resulted in landmark decisions that have improved access to justice for many victims of the country’s long-running conflict. They have faced many serious threats for this work, including the assassination of their founder Eduardo Umaña Mendoza and being publically identified as “military targets” by death squads. PBI has accompanied the collective since 1995; monitoring the security situation of the lawyers and thanks to PBI’s international networks, members of CCAJAR have been able to raise their security concerns in front of a wide range of stakeholders.






https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/judicial/piden-la-cpi-investigar-crimenes-de-defensores-de-derechos-humanos-articulo-754791 (ESPANOL)

https://www.colectivodeabogados.org/ (ESPANOL)

The Philippines: Lawyer behind ICC communication: I fear I’ll be killed anytime

May 7, 2018

Image result for jude sabio

The lawyer who sent an information to the International Criminal Court regarding the Philippines’ bloody war on drugs said that he does not go out often because of his constant fear for his life.

Jude Sabio said he has received numerous death threats since ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced in February that her office has started a preliminary examination into President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-narcotics campaign based on the communications he had filed in April 2017.

“Nowadays I do not go out so much in public places. Specifically, I’m afraid that I’ll be killed at any time. Somebody will be just coming and pump a bullet into my head,” Sabio said in an interview with the National Public Radio, a Washington, DC-based media organization, posted May 5.

Sabio, who is also the legal counsel of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, said he has been living in Manila for more than a year because he would feel more vulnerable should he return to his home in Mindanao.

He noted that he is now being viewed as the “foremost villain in the country” for accusing Duterte and other senior government officials of crimes against humanity but the 51-year-old lawyer has no regrets.

“I’m doing this because this is the right thing to do. And the only way that we can achieve justice against the president is to bring this to the ICC because there is no way that this can be done in the country right now,” Sabio told NPR.



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The Philippines/ICC: Philippine Lawyer Faces Death Threats After Filing Case At The Hague Against Duterte

May 5, 2018

Philippine lawyer Jude Sabio doesn’t get out much these days — not after he accused his country’s enormously popular president, Rodrigo Duterte, of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

“Nowadays I do not go out so much in public places,” Sabio says. “Specifically, I’m afraid that I’ll be killed at any time. Somebody will be just coming and pump a bullet into my head.”

The stocky Sabio, 51, says he’s received numerous death threats since he filed a complaint against Duterte with the ICC in April 2017. Individuals are able to bring crimes to the attention of the ICC’s prosecutor, who can then choose to investigate.

Even more threats have come since ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced in February that her office had started a “preliminary examination” based on Sabio’s complaint.

“I would say that I am being viewed now as the foremost villain in the country because I had the guts and the courage to file a case against the president in the ICC,” Sabio says.

Sabio is living in Manila and has for more than a year. He can’t go back to his home in Mindanao, he says, because he’s afraid he’ll be more vulnerable there.









https://philippinenmagazin.de/2018/04/13/duterte-droht-ermittlern-des-internationalen-strafgerichtshofs/ (DEUTSCH)