Tag Archives: Italy

Egypt: Renewed Judicial Harassment of Rights Defenders

31/07/21

Human rights activist Gamal Eid is seen at a court in Cairo, March 24, 2016.

 Egyptian authorities have summoned at least five prominent human rights defenders during July 2021 for questioning as part of a decade-old criminal investigation, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have used Case 173 of 2011 to arbitrarily prosecute leading rights defenders and organizations over allegations of receiving foreign funds.

Since 2016, authorities have summoned for interrogation dozens of members of nongovernment groups, mostly human rights organizations, and placed over 30 of them on arbitrary travel ban lists, and frozen the assets of over a dozen organizations and individuals. Three of the five people summoned in July had not been questioned previously. The case has had a chilling impact on civic space in Egypt.

“Egyptian authorities should close Case 173 once and for all, and stop harassing independent rights organizations for doing their work,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The repeated summons, on top of travel bans and asset freezes, is clearly a tactic to stifle civic space in Egypt.”

Those summoned most recently include Mozn Hassan, a women’s rights defender and director of Nazra for Feminist Studies and Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, on July 29. On July 27, the authorities summoned Gamal Eid, director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, and Negad al-Borie, director of the law firm United Group. On July 15, the authorities summoned Azza Soliman, women’s rights defender and director of the Center for Egyptian Women Legal Awareness. The authorities had not previously summoned Bahgat, Eid, or al-Borie despite banning them several years ago from leaving the country.

Based on social media posts and statements by the activists following the latest prosecution sessions, the questions by the investigative judge, Ali Mokhtar, focused on the activists groups’ funding, in some cases as far back as 2005.

Judge Mokhtar allowed them to look at the prosecution file, which consisted mainly of National Security Agency allegations against them and their organizations, such as “tarnishing the image of the government” and in some cases referencing reports these organizations published about human rights abuses. The judge did not allow any of them to take copies of the prosecution files or inform them of the actual charges they are being investigated for.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said in a statement that Eid’s interrogation lasted about three hours and that the judge ordered him to return for another session on August 1. The statement said that the prosecution file, which Human Rights Watch has not seen, included National Security Agency allegations that Eid and ANHRI had played a role in the country’s 2011 nationwide uprising, and that ANHRI had received funding from Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). CPJ has denied those allegations. Human Rights Watch is typically not a grant-making organization, Human Rights Watch said.

[…]

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/07/31/egypt-renewed-judicial-harassment-rights-defenders

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/07/egypt-crackdown-on-human-rights-defenders-continues-amid-ongoing-foreign-funding-investigation/

https://www.madamasr.com/en/2021/07/28/feature/politics/government-source-authorities-inclined-to-close-long-running-case-targeting-ngos-yet-travel-bans-may-remain/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azza_Soliman

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamal_Eid

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azza_Soliman (FRANCAIS)

https://www.giustiziainsieme.it/it/il-magistrato/1894-mahienour-el-masry-difendere-ad-ogni-costo-i-diritti-umani-in-egitto-prima-e-dopo-la-rivoluzione-del-nilo-di-federico-cappelletti (ITALIANO)

G7 bar leaders call upon governments to take action on lawyers at risk, lawtech and climate change

11/06/21

Flags of G7 countries flying against blue sky

Ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall, the presidents of the G7 bars have signed resolutions calling on their governments to tackle issues including climate change, the ethics of legal technology and undue interference with the independence of the legal profession.

Although consensus proved elusive at the G7 bars summit on 17 May, chaired by Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce, one resolution on lawyers at risk gained unanimous approval and a second resolution on guaranteeing continuity of justice in a time of crisis also gained widespread approval.

The presidents and executives of the representative bodies have committed to make efforts to urge governments to:

  • protect the rule of law and access justice
  • uphold the independence of the legal profession
  • condemn any attacks on lawyers carrying out their duties

Alongside resolutions focusing on lawyers at risk and continuity of justice, there was also progress on key areas that will impact the future of the legal profession, most prominently climate change and lawtech.

[…]

What was discussed on 17 May?

We proposed four resolutions, alongside a fifth resolution from the Conseil National des Barreux (CNB), focusing on areas that are key for both promoting the work of lawyers and assisting wider society:

  • lawyers at risk
  • lawtech and ethics
  • climate change
  • economic recovery
  • continuity of justice

These five areas reflect the concerns of the legal profession and wider agenda of the national G7 meeting, with a focus on leading the global recovery from coronavirus, tackling climate change and championing our shared values.

The strongest agreement between the bars was found on the ‘lawyers at risk’ resolution, with all of the seven bars signing the final statement and agreeing to promulgate the resolutions to their governments via the so-called national ‘Sherpas’ (civil servants and diplomats who help guide the leaders of the G7 countries in the leadup to the summit).

[…]

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/topics/international/g7-bar-leaders-call-on-governments-to-take-action-on-lawyers-at-risk-lawtech-and-climate-change

Italy: Lancio dell’iniziativa “Adopt an Endangered Lawyer/ Adotta un avvocat@ minacciat@”

10/06/21

Un progetto promosso dall’Unione delle Camere Penali Italiane grazie alla sinergia fra gli Osservatori Avvocati Minacciati ed Europa. Conferenza stampa di presentazione domani 11 giugno alle ore 14.00 in diretta sul canale YouTube dell’UCPI

Il diritto di difesa è un diritto fondamentale che gli avvocati, tramite la loro attività, promuovono insieme agli altri diritti e libertà. Pur tuttavia, non è sempre scontato, né rispettato: in troppe occasioni, infatti, nostre Colleghe e Colleghi sono ostacolati, perseguitati o minacciati, addirittura uccisi, solo perché svolgono il loro dovere.

Gli avvocati in pericolo sono spesso isolati, abbandonati. Ricevere un supporto, sia di tipo morale che materiale, da parte della società civile ed in particolare dai Colleghi, dà loro la forza di proseguire nelle loro battaglie.

L’Unione delle Camere Penali Italiane ha da sempre dimostrato una forte sensibilità e solidarietà nei confronti dei colleghi perseguitati, in particolare attraverso l’attività dell’Osservatorio Avvocati Minacciati e dell’Osservatorio Europa.

L’impegno verso gli avvocati e gli human rights defenders in pericolo si è già concretizzato in numerose iniziative, tra le quali:

l’interlocuzione col Relatore Speciale delle Nazioni Unite sulla situazione dei difensori dei diritti umani;
la partecipazione a fact finding missions e alle udienze nei confronti di Colleghe e Colleghi ingiustamente processati a causa del libero esercizio della professione;
la partecipazione ai network nazionali ed internazionali in difesa degli avvocati e degli human rights defenders in pericolo;
l’organizzazione di eventi su tutto il territorio nazionale, in particolare, in occasione della Giornata Internazionale degli Avvocati Minacciati (24 gennaio);
la stesura di comunicati in supporto di colleghi in pericolo, anche in sinergia con ordini ed associazioni forensi internazionali, ed in occasione di eventi e celebrazioni di risalto nazionale ed internazionale.

È dal desiderio di essere al fianco dei difensori in pericolo in modo ancor più fattivo, che l’Unione delle Camere Penali Italiane si fa promotrice dell’iniziativa “Adopt an Endangered Lawyer/ Adotta un avvocat@ minacciat@”, coordinata dagli Avv.ti Federico Cappelletti, Nicola Canestrini, Ezio Menzione e Giorgia Cigalla.

[…]

https://www.camerepenali.it/cat/11013/lancio_dell%E2%80%99iniziativa_%E2%80%9Cadopt_an_endangered_lawyer_adotta_un_avvocat@_minacciat@%E2%80%9D.html

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMwr3cnWbCpeMIqt_pPOvNA

https://www.facebook.com/CamerePenali/

https://www.camerepenali.it/public/file/Comunicati/Comunicati_Giunta_Caiazza/C078-2021-06-10_UCPI_Oss-Avv-Minacciati_Oss-Europa_Adotta-un-avvocato_eng.pdf (ENGLISH)

Iran: Labour lawyer Farzaneh Zilabi appears in court

14/05/21

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https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/SRHRDefenders/Pages/longterm-detention-defenders.aspx

(FARSI)

https://ir.voanews.com/latestnews/iran-lawyer-human-rights-farzaneh-zilabi

https://www.radiofarda.com/a/farzaneh-zilabi-lawyer-for-the-haft-tappeh-workers-in-iran/31256292.html

https://www.camerepenali.it/cat/10959/il_contributo_di_ucpi_al_rapporto_della_relatrice_speciale_dellonu_sulla_detenzione_a_lungo_termine_dei_difensori_dei_diritti_umani.html (ITALIANO)

https://elpais.com/internacional/2019/02/12/actualidad/1549978013_351486.html (ESPANOL)

Azerbaijan: Disbarred, suspended, or criminally prosecuted: Azerbaijani human rights lawyers (updated)

January 2021

This list has been compiled by the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) on the basis of publicly available reports from international human rights organisations and information from partner lawyers in Azerbaijan.

In the years following the 2014 crackdown on civil society in Azerbaijan and the criminal prosecution of NGO and human rights defenders, human rights lawyers who took up these and other ‘politically sensitive’ cases have been subjected to severe retaliation by the authorities, which has sometimes resulted in the suspension of their licences and even disbarment.

Disciplinary proceedings have been brought against human rights lawyers in response to their legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression: for publicising human rights violations perpetrated against their clients in detention, or for disclosing instances of the abusive administration of justice in their clients’ cases. As a result, over a dozen Azerbaijani lawyers have been deprived of the opportunity to practise their profession, and over two dozen have been targeted by the Azerbaijani authorities since 2005.

In January 2020, in its first case relating to the disbarment of a lawyer in Azerbaijan, the European Court of Human Rights (European Court) found a violation of the right to a private life (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights) in the case of Elchin Namazov, who was disbarred in the absence of adequate procedural safeguards in disciplinary proceedings brought against him. The Court found that the domestic courts had failed to assess the proportionality of the sanction.[1]

Khalid Bagirov is another prominent human rights lawyer who was first suspended in 2011 after he made comments about the suspicious death of his client in police custody. He was later permanently disbarred in 2015 for criticising Azerbaijan’s judicial system during a trial which concerned a domestic court’s failure to implement the European Court’s judgment in the case of Ilgar Mammadov, an opposition politician whose arrest was found to be politically motivated.

In June 2020, the European Court ruled that Azerbaijan’s suspension and disbarment of Bagirov was in breach of his freedom of expression (Article 10 of ECHR) and right to a private life. The Court ordered the Azerbaijani Government to ensure the “maximum possible reparation” for Khalid Bagirov, “and [that] they should put the applicant, as far as possible, in the position in which he had been before his disbarment.”[2]

[…]

https://lso.ca/gazette/news/day-of-the-endangered-lawyer

(ITALIANO)

https://www.ansa.it/emiliaromagna/notizie/2021/01/24/giornata-dellavvocato-minacciato-webinar-a-bologna_174ad9d3-6dcb-4f3e-9f7a-a004313856d9.html

https://www.iurastudent.de/blogeintrag/elsa-deutschland-ev-zum-day-endangered-lawyers (DEUTSCH)

https://www.nporadio1.nl/fris/onderwerpen/71251-2021-01-24-dag-van-de-bedreigde-advocaat-ook-in-nederland-erg-actueel (NEDERLANDS)

Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Exclusive Interview: Diego García-Sayán, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers

24/01/21

DGS2-Website-e1556922518370

On the International Day of Endangered Lawyers – 2021, we have the privilege of having an exclusive interview with Mr Diego García-Sayán, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers. We talked about a wide range of topics: from growing authoritarianism to attacks on judges and lawyers; Poland, Turkey, Hungary, Italy and others.

Q1: Mr Garcia-Sayán, first we must thank you for your incredible efforts to protect the lawyers and judges across the world in these difficult times. Could you start by talking more about your mission as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers?

In 1994, the Commission on Human Rights, in resolution 1994/41, noting both the increasing frequency of attacks on the independence of judges, lawyers and court officials and the link which exists between the weakening of safeguards for the judiciary and lawyers and the gravity and frequency of violations of human rights, decided to appoint, for a period of three years, a Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers. Like other Special Procedures, this mandate was assumed by the Human Rights Council (General Assembly resolution 60/251), and extended for one year, subject to the review to be undertaken by the Council (Human Rights Council decision 2006/102).

The responsibility entrusted to the Special Rapporteur s diverse and complex. His/her  mandate is broad and covers issues such as access to justice, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and the proper functioning of the justice system, the protection of the person and function of judges, lawyers, prosecutors and judicial officers, and the right to a fair trial and due process. All of these aspects are fundamental to the exercise of human rights.

[…]

https://www.euronews.com/2021/01/24/human-rights-lawyers-in-turkey-face-threats-and-detention-view

(FRANCAIS)

https://www.avocats-toulouse.com/fr/actualites-du-barreau/la-une/profession-journee-mondiale-de-lavocat-en-danger-2021

https://www.ansa.it/emiliaromagna/notizie/2021/01/24/giornata-dellavvocato-minacciato-webinar-a-bologna_174ad9d3-6dcb-4f3e-9f7a-a004313856d9.html (ITALIANO)

https://www.consiglionazionaleforense.it/web/cnf-calendario/-/748216

https://unba.org.ua/news/6235-24-sichnya-vshanovuet-sya-den-postrazhdalih-advokativ.html (UKRAINIAN)

May be an image of text that says "KEEP YOUR HANDS DAYOFTHE ENDANGERED LAWYER OFF THE LAWYERS AVVOCATI IN PERICOLO: DEMOCRAZIA IN PERICOLO. DIFENDIAMO IL DIRITTO DI DIFENDERE GICRNATA DE GGE E' UGUALE PER"
May be an image of text that says "Fewest lawyers per 100,000 inhabitants #DayoftheEndangeredLawyer"
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Australia/Azerbaijan etc: Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2021

23/01/21

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) calls on all countries, including Australia, to ensure that lawyers are able to perform their professional obligations without fear of retribution. 

On 24 January 2021, the 11th Day of the Endangered Lawyer, lawyers across the world are given a specific opportunity to reflect on the grave infringement of human rights experienced by some of our colleagues, and to advocate for systemic change in their treatment. ALHR finds it highly concerning that lawyers risk danger for upholding the human rights of others and protecting vulnerable clients. 

ALHR President Kerry Weste said “ALHR gives thought to the many human rights lawyers around the world who remain in prison or are at risk for simply doing their job and attempting to carry out their duties in line with international standards. Unfortunately, this now includes Australian lawyers facing prosecution for performing their duties.

[…]

In 2021 the global focus of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer is on the experiences of lawyers in Azerbaijan. Serious human rights violations have affected Azerbaijani lawyers who represent the victims of human rights violations and have spoken up about torture and ill-treatment in police custody. Lawyers who assisted in bringing the cases of human rights defenders to the European Court of Human Rights have been disbarred or even detained on various charges. The Azerbaijani authorities have failed to respect the rights of lawyers by not adequately enabling them to perform their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference. Furthermore, the Azerbaijani authorities have failed to take substantive steps to uphold the right to a fair trial and to guarantee that every citizen has effective access to justice and legal assistance of their choice.”

“ALHR calls on all countries to comply with the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and ensure that lawyers can act in accordance with the law and without improper interference or persecution,” Ms Weste said. 

https://lso.ca/gazette/news/day-of-the-endangered-lawyer

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2021/01/statement-of-aba-president-patricia-lee-refo-re–international-d/

(FRANCAIS)

https://www.consiglionazionaleforense.it/web/cnf-calendario/-/748260 (ITALIANO)

https://www.camerepenali.it/cat/10789/xi%C2%B0_giornata_internazionale_dellavvocato_minacciato_2021_focus_azerbaigian.html

(TURKCE)
No photo description available.
No photo description available.

Azerbaijan/France/Belgium/Germany etc: Qui pour défendre la défense ?

21/01/21

May be an image of 3 people and text that says "Journée internationale de l'avocat en danger 2021 AZERBAÄDJAN iqR ligR ème LE 25 JANVIER Venez suivre le WEBINAR sur la situation en Azerbaïdjan à 18h. CONSEILN DESBA RREAUX ESAVOCATS OBSERVATOIRE NTERNATIONA DES AVOCATS AVOCATS BARREAU FUREANLAWYER 2"

Le 24 janvier 2021, le Conseil national des barreaux s’associe à la 11e édition de la Journée internationale de l’avocat en danger, qui attirera l’attention sur la situation préoccupante des avocats azéris. Un combat qui s’inscrit dans un engagement plus large en faveur des confrères menacés à travers le monde.

Une journée internationale pour dénoncer la situation en Azerbaïdjan

Coalisant les principales organisations représentatives de la profession, la Journée internationale de l’avocat en danger a pour objectif de sensibiliser la société civile et les pouvoirs publics sur les dangers qui pèsent sur des milliers d’avocats partout dans le monde.

Après que de multiples cas de harcèlement des avocats, en violation du droit international et des normes internationales sur l’indépendance de la profession y aient été documentés, l’Observatoire International des Avocats en Danger (OIAD) attire l’attention sur l’Azerbaïdjan. À travers cette journée, c’est un barreau sous l’influence de l’exécutif et le harcèlement dont sont victimes certains avocats qui est dénoncé.

Dans le cadre de cette journée, les organisations représentatives de la profession d’avocat organisent une manifestation devant l’Ambassade d’Azerbaïdjan. Elle se tiendra à Paris, le lundi 25 janvier 2021, à 11h.

Rendez-vous sur le terre-plein rue Auguste Vacquerie angle rue Jean Giraudoux, à proximité immédiate de l’Ambassade d’Azerbaïdjan à Paris.

[…]

https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/qui-pour-defendre-la-defense

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/contact-or-visit-us/press-office/press-releases/fighting-for-justice-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-2021 (ENGLISH)

http://www.publicnow.com/view/2B5ECF71B1D290A05B4CA264C4C716DC8D403B01

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2021/01/statement-of-aba-president-patricia-lee-refo-re–international-d/

https://en.armradio.am/2021/01/22/european-lawyers-rally-in-front-of-azerbaijani-embassy-in-brussels-denounce-aggression-against-artsakh/

https://www.ordineavvocatimilano.it/it/news/giornata-internazionale-dell-avvocato-in-pericolo-2021-eventi/p100-n878 (ITALIANO)

https://www.camerepenali.it/cat/10789/xi%C2%B0_giornata_internazionale_dellavvocato_minacciato_2021_focus_azerbaigian.html

https://oirp.olsztyn.pl/24-stycznia-obchodzony-bedzie-miedzynarodowy-dzien-zagrozonego-prawnika/ (POLSKI)

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Ireland/Switzerland/Taiwan etc: Day of Endangered Lawyer focuses on Azerbaijan

21/01/21

Image

The 11th Day of the Endangered Lawyer which will be marked tomorrow, (22 January) focuses on Azerbaijan this year.

Protests and seminars will be organised in solidarity with human rights lawyers in Azerbaijan. 

The Day of the Endangered lawyer is normally commemorated each year on 24 January, which falls on Sunday this year.

[…]

Protests

Protests organised by local lawyer associations are planned worldwide outside embassies and consulates of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in compliance with public health guidelines.

petition supported by international, European and national lawyers‘ organizations will be presented to the respective embassies and sent to the Azerbaijan government.

Protests outside Azerbaijani embassies will be organised in Berlin and Rome and in Ankara and other Turkish cities. 

seminar  at 2pm today, organised by the Law Society of England and Wales, will be supported by Lawyers for Lawyers, DAV DeutscherAnwaltVerein, ELDH – the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights.

[…]

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-focuses-on-azerbaijan/

https://www.uianet.org/en/news/invitation-webinar-day-endangered-lawyer

(FRANCAIS)

https://www.ordineavvocatitorino.it/node/143355 (ITALIANO)

May be an image of text that says "Día Idioma 米 Inglés Francés Italiano Español de la abogacía en riesgo 2021 AZERBAIYÁN 11° WEBINAR Lunes 25 de enero Co-organizado con: 18:00 19:30 ceT OBSERVATORIO INTERNACIONAL DE ABOGADOS protect-lawyers.com @ProtectLawyers @ProtectLawyers"

Azerbaijan/Italy: GIORNATA DELL’AVVOCATO MINACCIATO 24 GENNAIO BOLOGNA

No description available.
(ENGLISH)