Tag Archives: Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada

Turkey: Terminally-ill lawyer Mustafa Aydin released

June 27, 2018

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The IBAHRI welcomes the release of terminally-ill lawyer Mustafa Aydin and calls upon the Government of #Turkey to immediately end the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and detention of lawyers in accordance with the UN Basic Principles on the role of lawyers and international human rights law.

Southern Africa Litigation Centre Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada @Fair Trial Watch @Lawyers for Lawyers

(International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Facebook)





http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/cezaevindeki-kanser-hastasi-avukat-mustafa-aydin-icin-kaygiliyiz-h115806.html (TURKCE)


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Vietnam/EU/EP: No Free Trade With UNFree Regimes | Letter

June 10, 2018

90 NGOs including LRWC call on the EU to reject the proposed free trade agreement until Viet Nam releases all political prisoner, including Nguyen Van Dai, and ensures rights to expression and association.

June 6, 2018

  • The Council of the European Union
  • The Members of the European Parliament

We, the undersigned organizations, urge European Union member countries to reject the pending free trade agreement with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

After the European Parliament’s emergency resolution on Vietnam last December, it would be a disgrace if European countries were to ratify free trade with a country that is one of the world’s worst enemies of freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and freedom of association. Over the last year, the Vietnamese authorities have arbitrarily detained scores of peaceful activists and bloggers. Just in April 2018, the Vietnamese authorities conducted five political trials and sentenced ten courageous human rights defenders and bloggers to harsh prison sentences of up to 15 years in prison for peacefully exercising rights to freedom of expression and association. In prison, torture and mistreatment are routinely used to extract confessions and force detainees to plead guilty. It is not unusual for prison officials to deny detained activists appropriate medical treatment.

The European External Action Service condemned the 5 April 2018 conviction and sentencing of Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thu Ha, Pham Van Troi, Nguyen Trung Ton, Nguyen Bac Truyen and Truong Minh Duc, stating these individuals “have peacefully advocated the promotion and protection of human rights as guaranteed by the Vietnamese Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Their sentences are in direct breach of these international obligations, which Vietnam has itself signed up to, and which the European Union expects full respect for.”






https://www.voatiengviet.com/a/nguyen-van-dai-thu-ha-minh-khanh-duc/4433825.html (VIETNAMESE)

https://verbaende.com/news.php/Akkreditierungshinweis-fuer-Medienvertreter-Uebergabe-des-Menschenrechtspreises-des-DRB-an-Nguyen-Van-Dai-in-Berlin?m=122558 (DEUTSCH)

Saudi Arabia/Canada: Detainment of activists brings Saudi-Canadian relationship into question

June 1, 2018

Loujain Al-Hathloul, who was detained alongside several other women’s rights activists by the Saudi Arabian government, is known for posting videos of herself driving to protest the country’s ban on women drivers.

The detainment of former University of British Columbia student and women’s rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul could put a damper on Canada-Saudi Arabian relations, say legal experts.

Irwin Cotler, a human rights lawyer and former federal justice minister, says the arrest of Al-Hathloul and the current Saudi human rights record bring into question the reformist message of the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and the very basis of international trade agreements the country has with Canada.

Gail Davidson, executive director of Vancouver-based Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, described Saudi Arabia’s recent human rights message as “completely false,” and said Canada’s current trade relationship with Saudi Arabia is surprising given the circumstances. She referred to the takeover of the Canadian Wheat Board by a Saudi company, as well as the $15-billion armed vehicles purchase.

“Knowing about their human rights record, I’m surprised at the relationship that Canada has with Saudi Arabia, and the extent to which they have become powerful in Canadian affairs,” she said.








https://www.lemonde.fr/big-browser/article/2018/06/01/une-princesse-saoudienne-posant-au-volant-d-une-voiture-en-une-de-vogue-cree-la-polemique_5308430_4832693.html?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1527875752 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.nzz.ch/international/saudiarabien-nimmt-frauenrechtlerinnen-fest-und-erklaert-sie-zu-spionen-ld.1387406 (DEUTSCH)

Pakistan/LRWC: Prevent and Punish Unlawful Killings of Lawyers | Letter

April 24, 2018

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LRWC calls on the Government of Pakistan to fulfill its international law obligations to prevent and punish the unlawful killings of lawyers.  The LRWC letter refers to the unlawful killing of 61 lawyers in Pakistan that have not been remedied through investigations and trials resulting in the identification and punishment of the perpetrators. In addition Pakistan has not responded to the wave of murders with effective protection measures for lawyers. The impunity coupled with lack of preventative measures appear to contribute to the continuing wave of lethal attacks on lawyers in Pakistan.

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers and other human rights defenders who promote international human rights, the rule of law, and the integrity of legal systems through advocacy, education and legal research. LRWC is a volunteer-run NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

LRWC condemns the murder of lawyer Zainullah Khan that took place on 30 March 2018 in Swabi, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan. According to reports Zainullah Khan was shot and killed when he was returning home via Jehangira Road when unidentified attackers in a vehicle open fired at Mr. Khan killing him on the spot while the attackers escaped. Lawyers have called on the provincial government to provide safety to lawyers, Mr. Khan’s murder is one of many cases in which lawyers have been targeted and killed in the area.

LRWC is alarmed by the continued targeted assassinations of lawyers in Pakistan and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators as a result of Government inaction.

Six lawyers killed in Pakistan in the past 11 months:



Cameroon/LRWC: Immediately End Judicial Harassment and Guarantee Protection of Jan Capelle, Elvis Brown and other OFFGO members | Letter

April 26, 2018

In Cameroon, Jan Cappelle, founder of OFFGO, an organization opposing land grabbing and promoting perservationi of farm land and gorilla habitat, and OFFGO’s lawyer Elvis Brown face death threats for pursuing a complaint with the National Commission On Human Rights and Freedoms. State authorities have subjected Jan Chapelle and other OFFGO members to detention, interrogation and threatened prosecution for their peaceful advocacy. LRWC calls on Cameroon to protect the lives of Chapelle and Brown, to prevent future and punish past death threats, and stop the harassment.

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers and other human rights defenders who promote international human rights, the rule of law, and the integrity of legal systems through advocacy, education and legal research. LRWC is a volunteer-run NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

LRWC is concerned by reports of death threats against Mr. Jan Cappelle, founder of OFFGO and lawyer Elvis Brown and persistent judicial harassment of OFFGO members. LRWC repeats calls by the Observatory for remedial action and also requests immediate action by the Government of Cameroon to protect the lives of Jan Cappelle and Elvis Brown and their families and to prevent and punish the death threats made against them.

Reports of death threats and judicial harassment

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and has also requested your urgent intervention in the following situation in Cameroon.

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing judicial harassment and death threats targeting several members of the OFFGO, a group of farmers founded in September 2015 to promote organic farming and environmental protection, and to oppose land grabbing and work for the protection of the cross-river gorilla in Mbengwi, in the North-West Region of Cameroon.

According to the information received, on April 13, 2018, a man who allegedly worked with billionaire businessman Mr. Baba Ahmadou Danpullo called and threatened to kill OFFGO’s lawyer Mr. Elvis Brown and his family if they did not “drop the file”, referring to OFFGO’s complaints before the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms (NCHRF). The caller knew details of the presence of Mr. Brown and his family in Bamenda, including related to their home and the children’s school. He also threatened to kill Mr. Jan Cappelle, founder of OFFGO.

A complaint was filed before the Police National Security Department in Mbengwi, who latter summoned the caller to present himself by April 18, 2018. The caller, who received the summons on April 16, 2018, did not present himself.

On April 18, 2018, the same person called Mr. Elvis Brown again and told him to “prepare very well”. On April 19, 2018, Mr. Elvis Brown received another text message reading “watch and see how I make your team suffer”, “you should be sorry for your friends back here. I am merciless”, “I am heartless I have no feelings” and “I will teach your team a bitter lesson. You will all suffer for destabilising Cameroon”.




Turkey: LRWC urges Turkish gov’t to immediately release, ensure medical treatment for jailed lawyer Mustafa Aydın

April 19, 2018

The Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a committee of Canadian lawyers who promote human rights and the rule of law by providing support internationally to human rights defenders in danger, on Tuesday sent a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül demanding the immediate release of jailed lawyer Mustafa Aydın and the provision of adequate medical treatment for him.

Underlining its grave concerns for the health, liberty and safety of Aydın, LRWC stated that “It is our understanding that Mr. Aydın is suffering from prostate cancer and a hernia, and requires immediate expert medical treatment and ongoing care to address his medical conditions and extend his life. LRWC urges the Government of Turkey to immediately release Mr. Aydin so that he can obtain the medical treatment and care he urgently requires.”

Aydın has been detained since August 16, 2016, and over a year later was charged under Article 314/2 of the Turkish Penal Code. LRWC also said that Aydın has not only been denied medical attention, he has also been denied the presumption of innocence, the right to pretrial release and the right to be brought before a competent court to determine the legality of his detention.

The Turkish government has prosecuted 1,539 lawyers, arrested 580 and sentenced 103 lawyers to long prison terms since a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to a report released by The Arrested Lawyers Initiative late March 2018.













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Sudan: Immediately Cease and Remedy Arbitrary Detentions of Mohamed Abdallah El Doma, Saleh Mahmoud, and Mohammed Al-Hafiz and Others | Letter

February 15, 2018

(Lawyer Mohamed Abdallah El Doma)

Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers, students and academics who campaign internationally for advocacy rights, advocates in danger, and on rule of law issues. We also engage in legal research and education about international human rights law. I am a lawyer and a partner of a law firm in Canada, Cohen Highley LLP, and I am writing to you to ask that you intervene with respect to proceedings involving the above named individuals.

On January 17, 2018, Mohamed Abdallah El Doma, the co-vice-president of the National Umma Party (NUP) and the chairman of the Darfur Bar Association, was arrested in Omdurman.

On February 1, 2018. Saleh Mahmoud, a lawyer and human rights defender as well as a member of the Central Committee of the Sudanese Communist Party, was arrested from his office in Khartoum.

Mohammed Al-Hafiz, a lawyer, was arrested in Khartoum at approximately 9:30 PM when security forces raided a meeting of opposition leaders.

The whereabouts of these men, along with roughly 40 others, is unknown. They have no access to counsel or family. They have not been formally charged with anything. They have been held incommunicado; denied access to medicine; subjected to torture, harsh conditions, verbal abuse and physical abuse.

We are concerned about the prolonged detention, in most cases incommunicado, of individuals under NISS custody feared to have been abused or at risk of abuse as well as those of advanced age with serious health conditions. The lack of access to lawyers and family members for the detainees, together with the well-documented use by the NISS of torture and other forms of ill- treatment against detainees, particularly whilst held in unknown locations, gives rise to serious concerns for their safety.

LRWC urges the authorities of South Sudan to do the following: