Tag Archives: Lawyers for Lawyers

The Netherlands: Killing of crown witness’s lawyer Derk Wiersum shocks Amsterdam

September 18, 2019

Derk Wiersum was the lawyer for Nabil Bakkali, a crown witness in a case against 16 men accused of five murders.

The killing of Wiersum sent shockwaves in the Netherlands [Michel van Bergen/EPA-EFE]

 

A Dutch lawyer in a high-profile case against a group of men charged with a series of drug-related killings was shot dead in Amsterdam on Wednesday morning, police said.

The victim was identified as 44-year-old Derk Wiersum, a defence lawyer for Nabil Bakkali, a crown witness in the case against 16 men accused of five murders and one attempted murder in the Netherlands between 2015 and 2017.

The killing of Wiersum, a father and long-time criminal lawyer in Amsterdam, has sent shockwaves through the city and its justice system.

Police said they were searching for a youth aged between 16 and 20, who ran away after the shooting, which took place shortly after 7:30am local time (05:30 GMT).

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/killing-crown-witness-lawyer-derk-wiersum-shocks-amsterdam-190918093833974.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49740366

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/18/of-lawyer-in-gangster-case-shocks-the-netherlands

https://www.dw.com/en/dutch-lawyer-involved-in-drug-gang-case-slain-in-amsterdam/a-50474745

https://nltimes.nl/2019/09/18/mps-lawyers-shocked-assassination-key-witness-lawyer

Defence lawyer in major gangland killing case is shot dead

https://nltimes.nl/2019/09/18/slain-attorney-father-two-killed-next-wife

https://www.tellerreport.com/news/2019-09-18—nctv-sets-up-security-team-after-death-of-lawyer-derk-wiersum-.Syl8JaywH.html

https://www.tellerreport.com/news/2019-09-18—nctv-will-investigate-the-murder-of-lawyer-derk-wiersum-.HykQ7s1PH.html

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/rule-of-law-under-attack-as-dutch-lawyer-murdered/

https://www.geenstijl.nl/5149628/advocaat-kroongetuige-nabil-b-doodgeschoten/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.nu.nl/binnenland/5994681/nctv-richt-team-op-voor-beveiliging-na-dood-advocaat-derk-wiersum.html?redirect=1 (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.linda.nl/nieuws/advocaat-derk-wiersum-liquidatie-nabil-b-kroongetuige/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/l4l-geschokt-door-de-liquidatie-advocaat/ (NEDERLANDS)

http://r.email3.wikafi.be/mk/mr/di8WpH3glwNErgw4KDWFcJztAlLf-DO-j9xlkGFSoGar40JE_gYf0c7nrDLP4ZhqMijKvGzBIaFfptLpfeqr8sglV2gwcpVxutJL7g (FRANCAIS & ENGLISH)

http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/pays-bas-un-avocat-abattu-en-pleine-rue-a-amsterdam-18-09-2019-8154477.php (FRANCAIS)

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DECLARATION

The Board and the Coordinator of the Foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer are deeply shocked by the horrifying murder attack this morning in Amsterdam on the human rights lawyer Derk Wiersum, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Our thoughts are with his family members and friends.

Our Foundation notes that this murder is also an attack on the State of Law and the Rule of Law. We wonder how the protection or the safety of this very fine colleague was taken care of by the State, especially because he had been threatened recently as a lawyer in the ‘crown witness case’.

We wonder how it is possible that the fact that our wonderful colleague gave legal aid can lead to this murder attack?

The United Nations principles on the role of lawyers not only strongly condemn all attacks on lawyers who perform their professional duty, but also urge states to guarantee the safety of lawyers and take all necessary measures to reach that goal. Furthermore, we see the attack on our colleague as very inhumane and urge the Dutch government to start a thorough investigation to those who ordered and committed this murder.

On behalf of the Foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer and the other international lawyer organizations mentioned,

Hans Gaasbeek and Symone Gaasbeek-Wielinga

Gaasbeek en Gaasbeek Advocaten

🏴 Le Barreau de Marseille est indigné ! 🏴

L’avocat pénaliste Derk Wiersum, âgé de 44 ans, a été assassiné hier en pleine rue à Amsterdam.

Il défendait un témoin clé dans le procès de deux personnes accusées de meurtre et trafic de drogue.

Cela est intolérable.

Nous tenons à exprimer notre solidarité envers nos confrères Hollandais, ainsi que nos sincères condoléances à la famille et aux proches de Derk Wiersum.

(Barreau de Marseille Facebook, 19/09/19)

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Turkey: Report: There still 143 lawyers in Turkish prisons

September 17, 2019

In response to a parliamentary question of Mr Sezgin Tanrikulu, the Turkish Ministry of Justice announced the number of lawyers held in prison by years. According to the Ministry of Justice the number of lawyers remanded in pretrial detention by years as following: 354, 487, 169 and 143, respectively in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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Since 2016’s coup attempt, there has been a relentless campaign of arrests which has targeted lawyers across Turkey. In 77 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, lawyers have beendetained, prosecuted and convicted due to alleged terror-linked offenses. As of today, more than 1500 lawyers have been prosecuted and 599 lawyers arrested. So far, 321 lawyers have been sentenced to 2022 years in prison on the grounds of membership of an armed terrorism organization or of spreading terrorist propaganda.

Lawyers who were released after a certain time of pretrial detention will return to prison if their pending appeals dismissed.

Report: There still 143 lawyers in Turkish prisons

https://ahvalnews.com/arrested-lawyers/turkey-has-sentenced-321-lawyers-2000-years-jail-2016-report

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/10/turkey-mass-prosecution-lawyers

18 Lawyers sentenced to long prison terms

https://ahvalnews.com/selahattin-demirtas/selahattin-demirtas-release-order-upon-release-order-still-jail

https://www.euronews.com/2019/09/11/lawyers-seek-kurdish-politician-demirtas-release-from-turkish-prison-source

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkeyex-top-judiciary-official-gets-15-year-jail-term/1586483

Arbitrary Detention of Lawyers and Defenders in China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Cameroon | Oral Statement to the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

LATEST REPORT | MASS PROSECUTION OF LAWYERS IN TURKEY

The Philippines: Joint call by international legal community: Protect Filipino lawyers!

September 17, 2019

Joint call by international legal community: Protect Filipino lawyers!

Today, Lawyers for Lawyers together with 151 international and domestic bar associations, other lawyers’ organizations and legal professionals from 49 countries around the world called on the Government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to stop the attacks against and extrajudicial killings of lawyers and to end the culture of impunity in which these attacks occur.

The petition initiated by Lawyers for Lawyers and co-signed by bar associations, other lawyers organizations and legal professionals from 49 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America expressed deep concern over the increasing attacks against lawyers in the Philippines and the oppressive working environment they face since the start of President Duterte’s administration.

Extrajudicial killings and attacks against lawyers escalating 

Since President Duterte took office on June 30, 2016, the number and intensity of attacks against lawyers have increased significantly. At least 41 lawyers and prosecutors were killed between July 2016 and 5 September 2019, including 24 practicing lawyers. In addition, at least five judges and retired judges have been murdered since July 2016, bringing the total number of jurists extrajudicially killed in the Philippines to at least 46 in the same period. Eight jurists survived attacks on their life.

Lawyers are also harassed and intimidated. They are subjected to (death) threats, surveillance, labelling, and other forms of attacks. Most killings and attacks of lawyers took place as a result of discharging professional duties or are believed to be work-related.

Joint call by international legal community: Protect Filipino lawyers!

The Philippines: Attacks Again Lawyers Escalating | Joint statement by 151 lawyers’ organizations and lawyers

https://www.uianet.org/en/news/joint-statement-situation-lawyers-philippines

Philippines: attacks against lawyers escalating

Philippines: Stop the Attacks and Extrajudicial Killings of Lawyers | Oral Statement to the 42nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Lawyers’ groups from 49 countries urge PH gov’t to stop attacks on Filipino colleagues

Int’l lawyers’ groups, legal professionals ask Duterte: Protect Filipino lawyers

Maguindanao massacre: Still awaiting justice

https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/18/19/lawyers-worldwide-urge-duterte-admin-to-protect-filipino-lawyers

Filipino lawyers attacksed Sept 2019 (IAPL MONITORING COMMITTEE REPORT)

Turkey: Veysel Ok given a 5-months suspended sentence

September 16, 2019

Veysel Ok given a 5-months suspended sentence

On 12 September 2019 lawyer Veysel Ok, co-founder of the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) and one of the lawyers shortlisted for the 2019 L4L-award, was given a 5-months suspended sentence by the Istanbul 2nd Penal Court for insulting the Turkish judiciary in a newspaper article in 2015. Journalist Cihan Acar, who wrote and published the interview, received the same sentence.

 

In the interview mr Ok criticized the Turkish judiciary and explained that judges and the judiciary were no longer impartial and independent. Although this statement is factually correct (see https://www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/-/turkey-needs-to-put-an-end-to-arbitrariness-in-the-judiciary-and-to-protect-human-rights-defenders) and shared by many, this did not prevent the prosecutors’ office to start a case against mr Ok for violating article 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code.

During the court hearing on 12 September 2019 mr Ok said he still holds the same opinion and was only using his right as a lawyer to criticize the judiciary. Article 23 of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers specifically stipulates that lawyers, like other citizens, are entitled to freedom of expression and have the right to take part in public discussion of matters concerning the law, the administration of justice and the promotion and protection of human rights.

Veysel Ok given a 5-months suspended sentence

http://bianet.org/english/law/212967-lawyer-veysel-ok-and-journalist-cihan-acar-sentenced-to-5-months-in-prison

https://www.article19.org/resources/turkey-article-19-condemns-sentencing-of-lawyer-veysel-ok-for-criticising-independence-of-judiciary/

https://cpj.org/2019/09/turkish-courts-open-new-judicial-year-with-jail-fi.php

The Philippines: Extrajudicial killing of jurists as part of a pattern of widespread and systematic violations of human rights | Joint Written Statement to the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

September 9, 2019

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Joint written statement* submitted by Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, Lawyers for Lawyers, and International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL),non-governmental organizations in special consultative status, and Asian Legal Resource Centre,  non-governmental organization in general consultative status.

The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), and the Philippines National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), NGO(s) without consultative status, also share the views expressed in this statement.

Philippines: Extrajudicial killing of jurists as part of a pattern of widespread and systematic violations of human rights 

1.     Introduction

Since 30 June 2016, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (the Philippines) has engaged in a campaign of extrajudicial killing in violation of the Philippines’ international law obligations. Since President Rodrigo Duterte (President Duterte) took office on 30 June 2016, up to 27,000[1] persons have been extrajudicially killed with impunity, as part of a “war on drugs.” The Philippines’ official number is 5,526.[2] The victims include 45 lawyers, prosecutors and judges (jurists) assassinated between August 2016 and July 2019, and 134 human rights defenders (defenders).[3] This pattern of gross and systematic violations contravenes the Philippines’ obligation to prevent and remedy violations of the right to life. The widespread murders of jurists also cause violations of the rights to legal representation and fair trials.

In few cases are suspects in custody or charges pending against suspects. In the majority of cases there has been no effective investigation or minimal progress on investigations. In addition to 45 jurists murdered, eight lawyers have survived murderous attacks, and one has been abducted and disappeared. A court worker and two paralegals are also among the additional victims. The online Appendix to this report lists the jurists with dates of death and status of investigations.[4]

Philippines: Extrajudicial killing of jurists as part of a pattern of widespread and systematic violations of human rights  | Joint Written Statement to the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G19/248/09/PDF/G1924809.pdf?OpenElement

Thousands of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines: “A pattern of gross and systematic violations of human rights,” say seven legal organisations to the UN | Press release

Colmenares: There’s proof that EJKs are state-sponsored

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/09/09/1950349/trillanes-denies-lawyer-jude-sabios-allegations-his-ties-bikoy

Prosecutor in bulletproof vehicle shakes off gunmen

DOJ rejects 3 OSG witnesses in sedition raps vs Robredo, 32 others

Ex-Daraga mayor tagged in Batocabe slay freed after posting bail

https://www.philstar.com/nation/2019/09/10/1950467/ex-daraga-mayor-batocabe-murder-released-jail

Oro church leaders, journos, lawyers ready for march vs red-tagging

Filipino lawyers attacksed Sept 2019 (IAPL MONITORING COMMITTEE REPORT)

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PHILIPPINES – 6 septembre 2019
Dix avocats abattus depuis le 1er janvier 2019 – 1 survivant

Le 6 septembre 2019, Datu Khadaffy Dilangalen Blao, 30 ans, a été tué par balles dans une mosquée de Barangay Olandang.

Le 5 septembre 2019, Irineo Cabugoy, 73 ans, a été abattu alors qu’il déjeunait avec sa famille dans un McDonald’s à Antipolo, dans l’État de Rizal.
Le 2 septembre 2019 : Inocencio dela Cerna a été touché par des tirs de deux hommes armés en tandem devant l’immeuble Quimonda, à Cebu.
Il a survécu parce qu’il a pu conduire son véhicule jusqu’à un poste de police situé à proximité. Il avait récemment défendu Niño Rey Boniel, membre du conseil d’administration de la province de Bohol, dans l’affaire d’enlèvement et de détention illégale de sa femme, ancien maire de la ville de Bien Unido.
Auparavant, 7 avocats avaient été assassinés aux Philippines au cours de l’année :
En 2018, 16 avocats ont été victimes d’attaques de tueurs à gages, aux Philippines. 4 ont miraculeusement survécu aux balles, 12 sont morts. Voir : Ces avocats en danger dans le monde, Edition 2019, pp. 52 à 57).
( Photos : Anthony Trinidad et Inocencio dela Cerna).

(L’Observatoire des Avocats 08/09/19)

Indonesia/Australia: Indonesia: Support Letter Ms. Veronica Koman | Joint Letter

September 13, 2019

LRWC and L4L sent a joint letter calling on Indonesian authorities to withdraw criminal charges against human rights lawyer Veronica Koman, charged for disseminating information about police violence against Papuan students peacefully protesting for Papuan self-determination. The letter was sent to the Ministers of Political, Legal and Security Affairs, of Law and Human Rights and of Immigration along with the President and the Police Chief for the East Java region.


The President of the Republic of Indonesia
His Excellency Mr. Ir. Joko Widodo
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA

Amsterdam, 12 September 2019

Subject: Support Letter Ms. Veronica Koman

Your Excellency,

Lawyers for Lawyers (“L4L”) is an independent and non-political Dutch foundation that seeks to promote the proper functioning of the rule of law by pursuing freedom and independence of the legal profession. Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (“LRWC”) is a committee of lawyers and others who promote international human rights through advocacy, legal research and education.

L4L and LRWC write to express their concern about the police charges against Ms. Veronica Koman.

Veronica Koman is a prominent, independent human rights lawyer who previously worked as a public interest lawyer at the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) in Jakarta. LBH provides legal aid to the poor and marginalized people in Indonesia. Specifically, Veronica Koman has specialized in defending the rights of international refugees, women & LGBTIQs and West Papuans.

In previous years, Veronica Koman received multiple (death and rape) threats for defending the rights of accused persons in high-profile political cases, among which three legal cases involving Papuan indigenous people who were accused of separatism.

Indonesia: Support Letter Ms. Veronica Koman | Joint Letter

Letter on behalf of Veronica Koman

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24990&LangID=E

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/urges-indonesia-protect-rights-west-papua-activists-190916081502990.html

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/492129

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/threats-against-and-judicial-harassment-human-rights-lawyer-veronica-koman

https://en.tempo.co/read/1246104/police-issue-second-summons-letter-for-veronica-koman

https://en.tempo.co/read/1247511/police-trace-suspicious-transactions-in-veronica-komans-accounts

https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/398897/increase-noted-in-intimidation-of-legal-advocates-for-papuans

https://regional.kompas.com/read/2019/09/15/13392941/fakta-baru-kasus-veronica-koman-polisi-temukan-6-rekening-hingga-bantah?page=all (INDONESIAN)

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20190914105624-20-430447/lsm-asing-surati-jokowi-setop-kasus-veronica-koman (INDONESIAN)

Thailand: Ensure truth, justice, and reparations for victims of enforced disappearance | Written Statement to the UN Human Rights Council

August 29, 2019

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Joint written statement* submitted by Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, non-governmental organization in special consultative status, and Asian Legal Resource Centre, non-government organization in general consultative status

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), NGO without consultative status, also shares the views expressed in this statement.

Unforgotten in Thailand: Ensure truth, justice, and reparations for victims of enforced disappearance

  1. Introduction: Persistent impunity for enforced disappearances

 A pattern of impunity for enforced disappearances[1] persists in Thailand despite years of promises to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (UNCED)[2] and to pass legislation making enforced disappearance a crime.[3] The United Nations (UN) Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) reports 82 unresolved cases of enforced disappearances since 1980.[4] This number represents a fraction of Thailand’s enforced disappearances since the 1950s,[5] as families and witnesses remain silent for fear of reprisals.[6] Those most vulnerable to enforced disappearances belong to minorities or indigenous peoples. Also at risk are human rights defenders (defenders) or peaceful government critics.[7]Thailand’s current laws foster impunity for enforced disappearance; when a body is not found, murder charges are not laid.[8] No public officials have ever been held accountable for suspected involvement in enforced disappearances. The persistent pattern of impunity for enforced disappearances constitutes a grave violation of Thailand’s obligations under customary international law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Thailand acceded in 1996.[9]

The risk of enforced disappearances is heightened by the practice of incommunicado detention of political opponents, suspects in national security cases, and suspected insurgents in southern provinces.[10]

Thailand: Ensure truth, justice, and reparations for victims of enforced disappearance | Written Statement to the UN Human Rights Council

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/11/thai-lawyers-disappearance-unsolved-15-years

15 years since disappearance Somchai Neelapaijit

Thailand: at event marking 15th anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Somchai Neelapaijit, ICJ calls for effective measures to tackle the crime

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/03/11/14-years-disappearance-thai-rights-lawyer

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

https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/sgsm19716.doc.htm

https://www.un.org/en/events/disappearancesday/

https://international.thenewslens.com/article/124112

https://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/enforced-disappearance-in-bangladesh-thousand-days-wait-1792822

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/syria-new-testimonies-families-disappeared-mark-day-disappeared

https://iran-hrm.com/index.php/2019/08/29/enforced-disappearances-in-iran-and-the-1988-massacre/

https://www.un.org/fr/events/disappearancesday/ (FRANCAIS)

enforced disappearances

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