Tag Archives: Iraq

Iraqi Kurdistan: Discriminatory policies against prisoners of conscience, their lawyers

01/06/22

The authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan have continued to use arbitrary and discriminatory practices against prisoners of conscience and their lawyers, upon their arrest, during their trials, and during their detention, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said Wednesday in a statement expressing deep concern.

The Kurdish authorities seem to ignore all calls to stop violations of individuals’ rights and improve the human rights situation in the region. They maintain their discriminatory and illegal practices, such as brutal arrests, spiteful accusations based on “information from a secret informant”, forcing individuals to confess to crimes they did not commit, and delaying their appearance before the courts for long periods.

Berivan Ayoub, 32 years old and a mother of five children, was released last May after detention of about 19 months for participating in a peaceful demonstration in October 2020. “I spent 15 days in solitary confinement. I was denied seeing my five children while in detention, and I was not brought before a judge until after one and a half years,” she said in a testimony carried to Euro-Med Monitor by a member of her defense team Bashdar Hassan.

“I suffered major health and social problems due to the arrest. My husband left me, and my health seriously deteriorated, as I went on seven hunger strikes in protest of not being brought to court,” she said.

What is more, not only activists were abused, but their lawyers as well. Activists’ lawyers were forced to go through unnecessary procedures, as they stepped in to defend activists and prisoners of conscience, apparently to obstruct and influence the defense process.

Bashdar Hassan told Euro-Med Monitor: “We are not able to obtain an agency from the activists during the investigation, unlike other defendants, except on the trial day. We are also denied visiting the detained activists and reviewing papers on their cases, which greatly hinders our work.”

He added, “The Internal Security Forces (Asayish) treat us terribly, as we try to follow up on the cases of detained activists and journalists in particular. This made lawyers reluctant to defend them. We submitted several complaints to the High Commission for Human Right against the Asayish’s behavior in undermining fair trial standards, but these complaints remained without an answer.”

[…]

https://reliefweb.int/report/iraq/iraqi-kurdistan-discriminatory-policies-against-prisoners-conscience-their-lawyers-enar

https://euromedmonitor.org/en/article/5154/Iraqi-Kurdistan:-Discriminatory-policies-against-prisoners-of-conscience,-their-lawyers

https://euromedmonitor.org/ar/article/5151/%D8%A5%D9%82%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85-%D9%83%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82..-%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AA%D9%85%D9%8A%D9%8A%D8%B2%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%B6%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%AA%D9%82%D9%84%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B1%D8%A3%D9%8A-%D9%88%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%8A%D9%87%D9%85 (ARABIC)

IBAHRI keeps spotlight on key issues raised at 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council

25/11/21

With a constantly evolving and fast-paced news agenda, human rights issues do not always make the front page. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is committed to highlighting human rights abuses across the world and holding those accountable to justice. At the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC48), the IBAHRI joined other non-governmental organisations in statements condemning international human rights violations, with a particular focus on lawyers under attack, facing arbitrary detention or suppression of their professional activities.

Afghanistan: Since the Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021, gross and systematic human rights violations continue to occur in Afghanistan, including attacks against female lawyers and judges. In partnership with a number of other NGOs, the IBAHRI released a joint open appeal to UN Member States to urge the adoption of a resolution creating a Fact-Finding Mission, or other independent investigative mechanism, for Afghanistan. The IBAHRI welcomes the new agreement of the Human Rights Council (HRC) to appoint a special rapporteur on Afghanistan to probe human rights violations by parties to the conflict, including the Taliban, as an important first step towards achieving oversight, accountability, justice and reparation for the ongoing crisis.

...

Belarus: The legal profession in Belarus is under threat, with attacks against lawyers on the rise. Most recently, Maxim Znak, lawyer for a former candidate for the Belarusian Presidency, was sentenced to a ten-year prison term following a closed-door trial. During the UN Interactive Dialogue the IBAHRI delivered an oral statement on behalf of several NGOs on the human rights situation in Belarus. The IBAHRI condemned the deterioration of the situation on the ground and stressed that the HRC must take action to prevent a further decline. The IBAHRI would welcome full support for the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus through adequate funding, as well as an examination of the situation by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

[…]

https://www.ibanet.org/IBAHRI-keeps-spotlight-on-key-issues-raised-at-48th-session-of-the-UN-Human-Rights-Council

Iraq: Rights lawyer Ali Jaseb Hattab Al Heliji disappeared since arrest in Amarah on October 8, 2019

08/10/21

On October 8, 2019, human rights lawyer Ali Jaseb Hattab Al Heliji went to the southern city of Amarah to meet one of his clients. However, shortly after arriving at the rendezvous point, he was arrested by members of the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU). As a lawyer, Al Heliji had represented several demonstrators arrested in connection with the anti-government October demonstrations. On March 10, 2021, his father was assasinated in the city of Amarah.

Ali Jaseb Hattab Al Heliji is a human rights lawyer representing demonstrators arrested in connection with the recent anti-government demonstrations. On October 1, 2019, protests started in Baghdad and southern cities calling for improved services and more action to curb corruption. The demonstrations were met by excessive and unnecessary lethal force by Iraqi security forces and have resulted in a hundred people killed and about 4000 injured.

On October 6, 2019, two armed men from the PMU came to Ali Jaseb Hattab’s home to warn him from speaking out on Facebook about the killing of protesters and to stop accusing certain factions of the PMU of being responsible for these killings. The armed men then threatened Ali Jaseb Hattab that they would kill him if he did not stop.

On October 8, 2019, Ali Jaseb Hattab received a call from one of his clients who wanted to meet. The two men were supposed to meet in the southern city of Amara in the Missan province. However, when Al Heliji arrived at the rendezvous point, armed men in two black pick-up trucks belonging to the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) dragged him away from his car, where he stood speaking to his client, and then drove him away in one of the trucks. When Ali Jaseb Hattab’s relatives reported his abduction, local security forces told them that they were not aware of his arrest. His fate and whereabouts remain unknown to date.

On March 10, 2021, Ali Jaseb Hattab’s father, Jaseb Hattab Al Heliji, was shot dead in the city of Amarah, in the Iraqi governorate of Maysan. He was a vocal advocate for his son, constantly calling for his release and for criminal sanctions against the parties responsible for his disappearance.

[…]

https://www.menarights.org/en/caseprofile/human-rights-lawyer-ali-jasib-hattab-al-heliji-disappeared-arrest-amarah-october-8-2019

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2636

https://www.amnesty.de/mitmachen/urgent-action/irak-menschenrechtsanwalt-weiterhin-verschwunden-2020-11-06 (DEUTSCH)

Lebanon/France: Khalaf aux magistrats : Unissons-nous pour faire trembler les responsables de nos malheurs

13/07/21

Khalaf aux magistrats : Unissons-nous pour faire trembler les responsables de nos malheurs

Des représentants de barreaux arabes et européens ont participé au « Jour de la solidarité » avec les avocats libanais.

« Magistrats du Liban, je vous lance un appel solennel, en prenant à témoin mes confrères du monde : assainissons nos relations, faisons trembler ceux qui sont responsables de nos malheurs. Tant que nous ne serons pas unis, ceux-là mêmes qui ont tué, pillé sans vergogne, qui se croient au-dessus des lois et pensent pouvoir échapper indéfiniment à la justice, gagneront, alors que le Liban perdra. » C’est un véritable cri d’alarme qu’a lancé hier le bâtonnier de Beyrouth, Melhem Khalaf, à une magistrature qu’il décrit « comme hautaine et soumise ».

Me Khalaf a tenu ces propos lors du Jour de solidarité internationale avec le barreau de Beyrouth, organisé par le conseil de l’ordre des avocats dans la salle des pas perdus du Palais de justice, avec la participation de Mohammad Mrad, bâtonnier de Tripoli, de 12 représentants de barreaux arabes et européens, notamment français, ainsi que de nombreux avocats. Le conseil de l’ordre croise le fer avec le corps de la magistrature depuis le 28 mai dernier. Ce jour-là, il avait décrété une grève après l’arrestation de l’avocat et activiste Rami Alleik, appréhendé avec violence en pleine rue pour avoir refusé de se présenter devant les services de renseignements des Forces de sécurité intérieure (FSI), à la suite de la plainte déposée par le Conseil supérieur de la magistrature (CSM) pour outrage à la magistrature. Malgré le mouvement de contestation qui avait suivi, Me Alleik avait été détenu pendant plusieurs jours avant d’être libéré à la condition de ne pas exercer pendant deux mois. Considérant qu’il lui revient seul de prendre de telles mesures, le conseil de l’ordre avait poursuivi sa grève, à laquelle il n’a toujours pas mis un terme, pour exprimer son « ras-le-bol contre une violation des lois et un glissement vers l’État policier ». L’événement organisé hier s’inscrit dans le cadre plus large du « grand soulèvement » lancé par le conseil de l’ordre en même temps que la grève. Parmi les responsables des ordres étrangers à avoir répondu à cet appel, Dominique Attias, présidente de la fédération des barreaux d’Europe, Hélène Fontaine, présidente de la Conférence des bâtonniers de France et d’Outre-Mer, Jérôme Gavaudan, président du Conseil national des barreaux de France, Martin Pradel, membre du Conseil national des barreaux de France, Raja Attia, président de l’Union des avocats arabes et bâtonnier du barreau égyptien, Dhiyaa al-Saadi, bâtonnier de la République d’Irak, Marie-Aimée Peyron, vice-présidente du Conseil national des barreaux et qui représentait le barreau de Paris, Serge Deygas, bâtonnier de Lyon, Nicolas Bedel de Buzarengues, bâtonnier de Montpellier, Amine Faraj, membre du conseil de l’ordre de Montpellier, Vincent Maurel, représentant du bâtonnier des Hauts-de-Seine.

[…]

https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1268292/khalaf-aux-magistrats-unissons-nous-pour-faire-trembler-les-responsables-de-nos-malheurs.html

https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/monde/liban-les-avocats-sont-les-derniers-garants-de-l-etat-de-droit-20210712

https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/consultez-le-grand-entretien-du-cnb-en-replay

Iraq: One day after the assassination of their colleague, lawyers in Basra stage a demonstration

11/07/21

A group of Basra lawyers organized a demonstration in the aftermath of the assassination of the attorney at law, Haidar Naji al-Mousawi.

Shafaq News Agency correspondent said that the lawyers demanded justice for their “Martyred colleague”, detering unrestrained arms, and prohibiting arms outside the state forces.

Financial disputes between the uncle of the victim and a group of people to whom he owes money was the motive of the crime, according to the chief of Basra’s Bar Association, Abdul Reda al-Attar.

https://shafaq.com/en/Iraq-News/One-day-after-the-assassination-of-their-colleague-lawyers-in-Basra-stage-a-demonstration

https://iraq.liveuamap.com/en/2021/10-july-lawyer-haider-alnaji-almousawi-was-assassinated-moments

https://shafaq.com/ku/All-News/In-mysterious-circumstances-lawyer-assassinated-in-Basra

Lebanon: 12 juillet 2021 Journée de solidarité avec le Barreau de Beyrouth

12/07/21

May be an image of text

https://bba24.org/events/solidarite1272021/#b3093

https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/monde/liban-les-avocats-sont-les-derniers-garants-de-l-etat-de-droit-20210712

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "#GrandEntretienDuCNB: Liban, avocats en danger "On se sent dans le collimateur de ce système policier qui au lieu que le juge gère la police judiciaire, c'est la police judiciaire qui gère les juges. On est pris entre une classe politique irresponsable, des organes sécuritaires qui ont une mainmise sur l'Etat et les institutions et veulent casser la volonté des avocats. C'est le dernier rempart pour la sauvegarde des droits de l'homme, des libertés fondamentales. Si l'avocat tombe, c'est le citoyen qui tombe." Melhem KHALAF Bâtonnier de 'Ordre des avocats de Beyrouth SAVOCATS"
BBA

Iraq: Iraqi lawyer speaks of detention for ‘insulting authorities’

24/03/21

Ibrahim al-Sumaida'i was arrested on Friday. Photo: Facebook

An Iraqi lawyer and activist has spoken of his detention on allegations of “insulting public authorities” after his release on Monday. 

Ibrahim al-Sumaida’i was taken to an unknown location and placed in solitary confinement after a raid on his house in Baghdad on Friday, he said in a statement on Tuesday. His phone was searched and he was unable to leave the room to use the bathroom, he said.

Iraqi security forces arrested Sumaida’i late on Friday, acting on an arrest warrant on the charge of “publicly insulting public authorities” issued by the Al-Karkh Investigation Court in Baghdad, after a representative from the Supreme Judicial Council filed a lawsuit against him.

The warrant was issued following “his attack on official institutions, describing them with bad words that go beyond the limits of the freedom of expression,” according to a statement from the Supreme Judicial Council on Saturday, who said he had made “indecent comments” in a WhatsApp group chat with group MPs and journalists.

“The court asked me to apologize for what I said, and I repeat my apology in this statement,” said Sumaida’i, adding that he is “astonished” that authorities have lodged lawsuits against people “for having opinions.”

He was released on bail on Monday.

His arrest was criticized by the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, which expressed “grave concern” that the arrest warrant was issued without regard for humanitarian and legal legislation. It is a “flagrant violation of human rights,” the commission said on Saturday, calling for Sumaida’i’s immediate release.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/230320213

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/200320212

https://www.saudi24news.com/2021/03/a-video-showing-the-moment-of-the-arrest-of-political-analyst-ibrahim-al-sumaidaie-from-his-home-in-baghdad.html

Iraq: Father of abducted Iraqi lawyer and activist assassinated in Amara

11/03/21

Jasb Hattab Aboud, father of the kidnapped protester Ali Jasb, cries as he holds his son's picture in his home in the town of Amara,Iraq. Aboud was shot to death Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Photo: AP)

Unknown gunmen assassinated the father of missing Iraqi activist Ali Jaseb in Maysan province in the southern city of Amara on Wednesday.

Jaseb Aboud was attacked in the Maardh area of Amara after months of campaigning for information on the fate of his son who was kidnapped in 2019 amid an outbreak of protests in Iraq. Unidentified men on a motorcycle attacked Aboud with automatic weapons, killing him on the spot, local Iraqi media outlets quoted security sources as saying.

His son Ali Jaseb Hattab, an Iraqi lawyer and activist who took part in the demonstrations, was kidnapped on Oct. 8, 2019. Surveillance camera footage has shown that the lawyer was kidnapped on an Amara street by masked men after he was lured to the area by a woman. His family had received no information on his whereabouts.

The Maysan Police Directorate said late Wednesday that they had arrested Aboud’s killer and he was now in the custody of security forces, without giving further details.

Activist Ali Agwan said the central government was “responsible for the continuation of the assassinations, which have become the biggest threat to the activists and their families,” indicating to that “the party behind the assassinations is known to us and the government, and they are the armed militia, but the government have not arrested any of them.”

Prior to his assassination Aboud publicly accused a powerful Iran-backed militia, Ansar Allah al-Awfia, of kidnapping his son and even took the dangerous step of seeking to take its commander to court.

[…]

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/24071-Father-of-abducted-Iraqi-lawyer-and-activist-assassinated-in-Amara

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/10032021

https://t4p.co/article/2021-03-10-Ali-Jaseb?lang=en

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2021/3/11/outspoken-father-of-missing-lawyer-shot-dead-in-iraq

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/resources/iraq-human-rights-lawyer-forcibly-disappeared

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde14/1581/2019/fr/ (FRANCAIS)

Iraqi lawyer and activist killed after home invasion in Nasiriyah

09/01/21

Lawyers association calls for investigation into ‘hideous’ murder of Ali al-Hamami

A senior lawyer and activist was killed in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah on Friday after unknown assailants broke into his home, according to officials and local media.

A member of the semi-official Iraq High Commission for Human Rights tweeted that Ali al-Hamami had died of “suffocation” on Friday after a group of men entered his house in the Shatra region of the city.

According to the Dhi Qar Bar Association, Hamami’s mouth had been gagged with tape and his house had been robbed.

In a statement on Friday, the organisation condemned his killing as “hideous and criminal” and called for an investigation.

“A cowardly crime requires the security services to take all measures in order to expedite the disclosure of its circumstances and details,” read the statement, according to Nas News.

“In this regard, the [Bar Association] will follow up the matter immediately, in order to reach the causes of the assassination and prosecute the accused, and cooperate with the security and investigation authorities so that the criminals obtain their fair penalty.”

Lawyers have been a particular target of violence in Iraq in recent years.

The Iraqi Bar Association website lists the names of 194 lawyers who have been killed in Iraq since 2003, when the US-led coalition overthrew former ruler Saddam Hussein.

[…]

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/Iraqi-lawyer-and-activist-killed

https://www.eg24.news/2021/01/iraq-gunmen-assassinate-a-lawyer-in-dhi-qar-governorate-erm-news.html

France: Un avocat parisien, défenseur de djihadistes, mis en examen pour “financement du terrorisme”

le 18 janvier, 2019

Un avocat parisien, défenseur notamment de djihadistes français partis rejoindre le groupe État islamique (EI) en Irak et en Syrie, a été mis en examen jeudi à Paris notamment pour “financement du terrorisme” et remis en liberté sous contrôle judiciaire, a-t-on appris de source proche du dossier. Cet avocat, Bruno Vinay, qui vient de passer 48 heures en garde à vue à la Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure (DGSI) est soupçonné d’avoir versé de l’argent à un intermédiaire censé exfiltrer d’Irak Maximilien Thibaut, un djihadiste originaire de la région parisienne.

Présenté à un juge d’instruction, il a été mis en examen pour “financement d’une entreprise terroriste” et “transfert non autorisé d’une somme supérieure à 10 000 euros“, selon cette source. Il est soumis à un contrôle judiciaire qui lui interdit de rencontrer ce djihadiste, porté disparu, et son épouse Mélina Boughedir, ainsi que deux journalistes. En septembre, l’une d’elles, une journaliste spécialiste des affaires de djihadisme avait été placée en garde à vue à la DGSI dans ce dossier avant d’être remise en liberté sans être poursuivie.

En outre, le juge d’instruction va saisir, sur réquisition du parquet de Paris, le conseil de l’ordre des avocats en vue d’une éventuelle suspension de l’exercice de sa profession d’avocat. La décision, susceptible d’appel appartient à l’instance disciplinaire qui peut prononcer une suspension de 4 mois, plusieurs fois renouvelables.

Selon la source proche du dossier, le versement litigieux porte sur une somme de 20 000 euros collectés auprès de l’entourage du jihadiste et qui devait permettre de faciliter sa reddition auprès des autorités irakiennes, mais celle-ci n’est finalement pas intervenue.

https://www.laprovence.com/actu/en-direct/5328097/un-avocat-parisien-defenseur-de-djihadistes-mis-en-examen-pour-financement-du-terrorisme.html

https://fr.reuters.com/article/topNews/idFRKCN1PC1MO-OFRTP

http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2019/01/18/01016-20190118ARTFIG00063-un-avocat-de-djihadistes-mis-en-examen-pour-financement-du-terrorisme.php

https://www.europe1.fr/societe/un-avocat-de-djihadistes-mis-en-examen-pour-financement-du-terrorisme-3840845

https://www.leprogres.fr/loire-42/2019/01/17/un-avocat-qui-a-defendu-une-saint-chamonaise-partie-en-syrie-place-en-garde-a-vue

https://www.ledauphine.com/france-monde/2019/01/18/un-avocat-de-djihadistes-mis-en-examen-pour-financement-du-terrorisme

https://www.infoencontinu.com/article/?article=L%27avocat%20soup%C3%A7onn%C3%A9%20de%20financement%20terroriste%20voulait%20sauver%20des%20%22bombes%22%20ses%20clients

https://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/proche-orient/offensive-jihadiste-en-irak/l-avocat-soupconne-de-financement-terroriste-voulait-sauver-des-bombes-ses-clients_3151719.html

https://canadafreepress.com/article/jihadi-defence-lawyer-arrested-for-financing-terrorism (ENGLISH)

https://888.hu/article-lebukott-a-francia-dzsihadistak-vedougyvedje-terroristakat-finanszirozott (HUNGARIAN)