January 24, 2018
The Council of The Bar of Ireland has written to the embassies of Egypt, Turkey, China and Azerbaijan to condemn the harassment, imprisonment and torture of lawyers in their respective countries.
Tom Creed SC, chairman of the Bar’s human rights committee, wrote to the embassies on the occasion of the eighth annual Day of the Endangered Lawyer.
Mr Creed said: “We urgently call upon these governments to cease their campaign of persecution against the legal profession.
“The present course can only lead to further international isolation and to further deterioration of the human rights situation for the people of these countries.”
The Bar identified the following cases as cause for concern:
- Egypt: “Ebrahim Metwally Hegazy, Azza Soliman and Mohamed Zaree. Ms Soliman and Mr Zaree have been prohibited from travelling abroad, and Mr Hegazy has been detained and tortured. They have been targeted for persecution solely on account of their tireless work in protecting the human rights of their fellow Egyptians.”
- Turkey: “The detention since September 2017 of 14 lawyers from the People’s Law Office, an organisation which represents the victims of police violence and other human rights violations carried out by state officials. It’s reported that of the lawyers, Engin Gökoğlu, was tortured by prison officers while in detention. At the time of these arrests, the number of lawyers under criminal prosecution in Turkey has reached 1,343.”