Tag Archives: Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada

Vietnam: UPR of Vietnam: Advocacy Charter Lawyers for Lawyers and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada

December 22, 2018

Stakeholders’ submission

(1) In the last years, the crackdown on freedom of expression has intensified. Reports indicate that in 2017, Viet Nam authorities have detained or exiled many peaceful activists and bloggers. Human rights lawyers who work on sensitive cases frequently face reprisals either in relation to their own human rights advocacy or their legal representation of people seen as critical of the Government. They are subjected to, amongst other things, threats, harassment and intimidation. Some lawyers have been the victim of physical attacks in connection to their legitimate advocacy. See Joint submission (JI) L4L & LRWC, par.10

A number of lawyers in Viet Nam have even been subjected to arrests and prosecution in connection to their professional activities or in relation to their human rights advocacy. See JI L4L & LRWC, par.11

(2) Governments must protect lawyers from unfair or arbitrary disciplinary proceedings. Disciplinary action against lawyers must be based solely on a code of professional conduct consistent with recognized ethical and professional standards including the Basic Principles and determined by an independent tribunal after a fair hearing conducted in accordance with international due process requirements. Before the UPR review of Viet Nam in 2014, several leading human rights lawyers had been disbarred, including lawyers Le Cong Dinh, Nguyen Van Dai, and Le Quoc Quan. More recently, other lawyers have been disbarred or are facing disbarment or other disciplinary actions on improper grounds. See JI L4L & LRWC, par.12

https://www.lrwc.org/upr-of-vietnam-advocacy-charter-lawyers-for-lawyers-and-lawyers-rights-watch-canada/

http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2018/12/11/weighing-up-political-developments-in-vietnam/

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/digital-dictatorship-vietnam-seeks-silence-dissidents-181115062123198.html

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

https://www.ucanews.com/news/catholic-dissident-jailed-for-defacing-vietnam-flags/84006

https://www.dw.com/en/vietnam-expels-dissident-lawyer-to-germany/a-44121266

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nguy%E1%BB%85n_V%C4%83n_%C4%90%C3%A0i

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/06/germany-accuses-vietnam-of-abducting-businessman-from-berlin

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

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Turkey/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Trial against lawyer Can Tombul

December 13, 2018

On 12 December, Lawyers for Lawyers, Fair Trial Watch, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, the European Democratic Lawyers and the Human Rights Committee of the Norwegian Bar Association called on the authorities of Turkey to immediately release lawyer Can Tombul. 

 

Can Tombul works as a lawyer of the Law Bureau of the Oppressed (EHB). Together with his colleagues Mr. Tombul represents victims and family members of victims of the bombings / massacres in Ankara and Suruç in 2015. He has also been involved in documenting human rights violations in South-East Turkey.

Can Tombul was arrested on 31 July 2018 in Istanbul on charges of ‘membership of a terrorist organization’, and has been held in pre-trail detention ever since. The first hearing in his case was on 13 December 2018. We were informed that his case file contains information that directly relates to his work as a lawyer: regarding meetings with clients, telephone calls, twitter messages about cases and about human rights violations, demonstrations etc. Two funerals he attended in 2013 and 2015 are also cited as evidence of the charges against him.

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/trial-against-lawyer-can-tombul/

https://www.advokatforeningen.no/PageFiles/19963/Letter%20Can%20Tombul%20-%20Mr.%20Abdulhamit.pdf

https://www.lrwc.org/turkey-immediately-release-cam-tombul-and-withdraw-charges-against-lawyers-letter/

http://bianet.org/english/law/203514-lawyer-can-tombul-not-released

https://bianet.org/english/law/199744-lawyer-tombul-from-law-bureau-of-oppressed-arrested

https://www.icj.org/turkey-workshop-on-the-use-of-the-un-universal-periodic-review/

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/12/turkey-dismal-democracy-record-in-2018.html

https://www.advokatforeningen.no/aktuelt/Nyheter/2018/desember/menneskerettighetsutvalget-stotter-tyrkiske-advokater/ (NORWEGIAN)

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

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Büromuz avukatlarından Can Tombul’un tutuklu yargılandığı davanın ilk duruşması 13 Aralık Perşembe günü saat 10:30 da İstanbul(Çağlayan) 35. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görülecek. Meslektaşlarımızı ve tüm dostlarımızı dayanışmaya çağırıyoruz.

(Ezilenlerin Hukuk Bürosu Facebook, 10/12/18)

https://arrestedlawyers.org/

Colombia: Joint Letter issued to the Colombian President concering threats made to the lawyer Daniel Prado

December 4, 2018

Daniel Prado: “Unfortunately in our country receiving threats goes hand in hand with a commitment to life and dignity”

The Law Society of England & Wales, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, Lawyers for Lawyers, the Bar Council of England & Wales, and the Bar Human Rights Committee express their concern about serious threats made against the lawyer Daniel Prado in Colombia

 

Mr. Prado represents victims of atrocities committed by a paramilitary group. See on the right side of this page the letter in English and Spanish.

 

http://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/international/joint-letter-issued-to-the-colombian-president-concering-threats-made-to-the-lawyer-daniel-prado/5066508.fullarticle

https://pbicolombia.org/2018/08/09/daniel-prado-unfortunately-in-our-country-receiving-threats-goes-hand-in-hand-with-a-commitment-to-life-and-dignity/#more-8506

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/joint-letter-on-behalf-of-lawyer-daniel-prado/

https://pbicolombia.org/tag/daniel-prado/

South Sudan: Two SPLM-IO detainees are seen in South Sudan’s detention facility

November 14, 2018

The National Security facility in Juba, also known as the Blue House (Radio Eye photo)

The recently freed South African military expert William Endley said he saw one of prisoners members that the main opposition group at the National Security Service Headquarters (the Blue House) in 2017.

Endley and James Gatdet Dak SPLM-IO leader’s spokesperson were released on 3 November after a presidential pardon announced during the peace celebration day on 31 October 2018.

Speaking to Voice of America’s South Sudan in Focus programme on Wednesday Endley said he saw Aggrey Idri in the National Security Service Headquarters (the Blue House), adding he and his friend Dong Samuel Luak were moved from the prison to another location.

“Aggrey and Dong were in the security house. But I did not see Dong, as he was kept downstairs. I only saw Aggrey,” he said during a seven minutes interview aired on Wednesday.

“They were taken away on the 27th of January 2017 and up to date we did not hear anything about them,” he added.

Dong, a South Sudanese human rights lawyer and activist, and Aggrey Idri, a vocal government critic and member of the SPLM-IO, disappeared off the streets of Nairobi on January 23 and 24, 2017, respectively.

Kenyan authorities denied any involvement in or knowledge of the abduction. Also, South Sudanese officials denied having them in Juba prison.

In January 2018, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said they have credible reports that “the two men had been seen in custody at the National Security Services (NSS) headquarters in Juba on January 25 and 26 2017 and were then removed from this facility on January 27”.

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66608

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66527

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/05/02/south-sudan-reveal-fate-and-whereabouts-2-men

https://www.lrwc.org/sudan-immediately-reveal-whereabouts-and-ensure-safety-of-lawyer-dong-samuel-luak-letter/

Canada/Cameroon: Crisis in Cameroon: A Conversation with Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho

Faculty of LawBarrister Felix Agbor Anyior Nkongho.jpg

Nov 2018 16:00 to 17:30
Chancellor Day Hall NCDH 316, 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA
Price:  Free

Felix Agbor Nkongho is an Anglophone Cameroonian human rights lawyer who is the immediate past president of the Fako Lawyers Association, vice-president of the African Bar Association in charge of Central Africa, and the founder and president of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa.

Felix Agbor Nkongho is a leader in the civil society movement seeking to remedy the historic inequality, discrimination and marginalization of Anglophones in Cameroon. He has been actively involved in organising non-violent civil disobedience and protests calling for the protection of the culture and rights of Anglophone Cameroonians.

The Cameroonian government arrested Felix Agbor Nkongho in January 2017 along with other Anglophone activists and leaders in Cameroon. He was detained and faced several charges in the military court. In August 2017, those charges were dropped and he was released.

Felix holds an LLB and LLMs in both International and Comparative Law and International Human Rights Law. He has studied and holds degrees from the University of Yaoundé, the Nigerian Law School (Abuja), Vrije Universiteit (Brussels) and Notre Dame University (USA).

This talk is organized by Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.

Read the briefing notes released by LRWC on this topic:

https://www.lrwc.org/cameroon-anglophones-face-severe-humanitarian-crisis-briefing-note/

 

https://www.mcgill.ca/law/channels/event/crisis-cameroon-conversation-barrister-felix-agbor-nkongho-291067?fbclid=IwAR2rn1i5XFeqETitqROaGLQJQAetfWWHNBLXyHB262clZjgQUqf0uKepHKc

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1356193347625

https://cdp-hrc.uottawa.ca/en/october-30-human-rights-and-humanitarian-situation-anglophone-cameroon-how-can-canada-help

https://www.aljazeera.com/profile/nkongho-felix-agbor-balla.html

https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/agbor-balla-tasks-constitutional-council-to-give-justice-to-cameroonians/

http://mimimefoinfos.com/2018/11/01/rights-activist-barrister-agbor-balla-reignites-anglophone-plights-in-canadian-parliament/

https://www.lrwc.org/crisis-in-cameroon-conversation-with-felix-agbor-nkongho-video/

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

http://www.icicemac.com/2018/10/25/lun-des-leaders-du-consortium-du-cameroun-barrister-agbor-balla-en-visite-dexplication-au-canada/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.cameroonvoice.com/news/article-news-36008.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.camerounweb.com/CameroonHomePage/NewsArchive/Crise-anglophone-l-mouvant-plaidoyer-de-Agbor-Balla-au-Canada-449772 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.camerounweb.com/CameroonHomePage/NewsArchive/Crise-anglophone-l-mouvant-plaidoyer-de-Agbor-Balla-au-Canada-449772?video=1 (FRANCAIS)

Colombia: Protection of Human Rights Lawyers and Defenders | Oral Statement to the 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

September 20, 2018

Organization: Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
Date: 20/21 September 2018
HRC section: 39th Session (Agenda Item 6)
Speaker: Mr. Paul Scambler

Oral Statement to the 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council Regular Session – Oral Statement Item 6: UPR Outcomes: Colombia

Mr. President,

Lawyers for Lawyers [1] and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada [2] welcome the decision of Colombia to support [3] many recommendations made during its 3rd UPR relating to the protection of human rights lawyers and defenders and the investigation of attacks and threats against them. We welcome Colombia’s voluntary commitment to continue adopting measures required for the protection of human rights lawyers and defenders [4]. We call on Colombia to effectively implement these recommendations [5] without delay.

Despite the November 2016 Peace Agreement,  there has been an increase in threats and attacks against human rights lawyers and defenders in Colombia. Since November 2016, hundreds of defenders have been killed and Colombian’s Ombudsman has stated that a human rights defender is killed every three days [6].

Lawyers who are defending vulnerable communities are the subject of threats, harassment and attacks, and are not always given sufficient protection measures to ensure they can perform their professional activities effectively and safely.

https://www.lrwc.org/columbia-protection-of-human-rights-lawyers-and-defenders-oral-statement-to-the-39th-session-of-the-un-human-rights-council/

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/human-rights-council-holds-general-debate-human-rights-situations-require-councils-0

https://www.ishr.ch/news/hrc39-l-states-largely-decline-cite-specific-cases-during-councils-first-discussion-reprisals

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/joint-oral-statement-on-upr-outcome/

Turkey: Int’l bar associations urge Turkish gov’t to release all legal professionals and journalists

September 14, 2018

Several international bar associations have urged the Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to unconditionally release and drop charges against all legal professionals, defenders and journalists who have been arbitrarily arrested, charged or sentenced without credible evidence and in violation of fair trial guarantees.

The Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L), The Law Society (TLS) and nongovernmental organizations in special consultative status said in a statement to the 39th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council that the situation of judges, lawyers, journalists and human rights defenders in Turkey deteriorated dramatically after a coup attempt by a section of Turkey’s military on July 15, 2016,

“On 20 July 2016, President Erdogan imposed a State of Emergency decree that resulted in widespread, systematic violations of non-derogable rights, including arbitrary deprivation of liberty, torture, and enforced disappearances,” the international lawyers’ associations said, adding, “While the State of Emergency was lifted on 18 July 2018, Turkey passed legislation on 25 July 2018, codifying emergency decree laws for a further three years, that facilitates the arbitrary dismissal of judges and officials, detention without charge for up to 12 days without adequate court oversight, and imposes restrictions on assembly.”

The statement continues as follows:

https://stockholmcf.org/intl-bar-associations-urge-turkish-govt-to-release-all-legal-professionals-and-journalists/

https://www.lrwc.org/turkey-release-21-arbitrarily-imprisoned-members-of-the-istanbul-bar-association-letter/

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer