Tag Archives: Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada

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.

https://stockholmcf.org/lrwc-urges-turkish-govt-to-immediately-release-ensure-medical-treatment-for-jailed-lawyer-mustafa-aydin/

https://www.lrwc.org/turkey-immediately-release-and-ensure-adequate-medical-treatment-for-mustafa-aydin-letter/

https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-detains-7-top-jurists-over-alleged-links-to-gulen-movement/

http://turkeypurge.com/4167-gulenists-in-110-countries-under-investigation-in-turkey-aa

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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:

https://www.lrwc.org/sudan-immediately-cease-and-remedy-arbitrary-detentions-of-mohamed-abdallah-el-doma-saleh-mahmoud-and-mohammed-al-hafiz-and-others-letter/

http://allafrica.com/stories/201802270266.html

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/arrests-human-rights-defenders-alongside-repression-killings-and-several-injuries-1

Egypt/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Canada January 24, 2018

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The Day of the Endangered Lawyer, marked on 24 January of each year, is a time to reflect on the personal and professional safety of lawyers around the world, who face mounting persecution, prosecution, arbitrary detention, threats, torture, assaults and death in reprisal for their work to protect rights and secure justice. Each year, the Day of the Endangered Lawyer focuses on the plight of lawyers in a particular country. The focus in 2018 was on Egypt. A total of thirty-three cities participated in the events this year, including Paris, Mumbai, Milan and Taipei.

LRWC co-hosted three events across Canada to discuss the issues to honour our legal colleagues in Egypt and to call on authorities to respect and protect advocacy rights and ensure freedom from “intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference”, their personal and professional safety and remedies for violations.  The first event was a panel discussion in Halifax in partnership with the CBA-NS Constitutional & Human Rights Law Section and the Dalhousie University International Law Society. A panel discussion was held at the University of Victoria’sfaculty of law, organized by LRWC, in partnership with student club LEVEL. Justice. Ragia Omran (by video from Cairo), prominent lawyer and human rights activist in Egypt, 2017 recipient of the prestigious Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, spoke about the repressive regime in Egypt, the challenges and obstacles she continues to face from the Egyptian authorities. She implored LRWC members, as her legal colleagues, to please keep the people of Egypt, especially the human rights advocates and lawyers, on our radar and in our thoughts. Dr. Martin Bunton, Professor at the University of Victoria History Faculty, spoke about the history of the 2011 Arab Uprisings with a focus on Egypt, highlighting how this has affected human rights. M.T., law graduate from Turkey and Convention refugee to Canada, spoke about his experience as a law graduate in Turkey, and about the arrests and detention of lawyers and judges in Turkey following the 2016 attempted military coup. Renée Mulligan, LRWC Director and Megan Presnail, LWRC Myanmar Monitor, moderated the panel.

In Toronto the Day of the Endangered Lawyer was marked on 31 January with a sold-out event at the Law Society of Ontario sponsored by LRWC, the Law Society of Ontario and Human Rights Watch. Farida Deif of HRW interviewed Mr. Adel, an Egyptian human rights lawyer now living in Canada who was able to share both professional and personal perspectives on the decline of the rule of law and the persecution of lawyers for political purposes under the guise of state security and anti-terrorism. Their discussion was followed by a reception where Gavin Magrath and Cindy Song represented LRWC, discussing work on behalf of human rights defenders and Ms. Song’s personal experiences as a Chinese-trained lawyer. More information on the Day of the Endangered Lawyer can be found here.

https://www.lrwc.org/lrwc-newsletter-december-2017-january-2017-edition/

Egypt/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Victoria Canada January 24, 2018

January 27,  2018

As part of the global 2018 Day of the Endangered Lawyer activities on January 24th, a panel discussion was held at the University of Victoria’s faculty of law, organized by LRWC, in partnership with student club LEVEL. Justice. Ragia Omran (by video from Cairo), prominent lawyer and human rights activist in Egypt, 2017 recipient of the prestigious Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, spoke about the repressive regime in Egypt, the challenges and obstacles she continues to face from the Egyptian authorities. She implored LRWC members, as her legal colleagues, to please keep the people of Egypt, especially the human rights advocates and lawyers, on our radar and in our thoughts. Dr. Martin Bunton, Professor at the University of Victoria History Faculty, spoke about the history of the 2011 Arab Uprisings with a focus on Egypt, highlighting how this has affected human rights. M.T., law graduate from Turkey and Convention refugee to Canada, spoke about his experience as a law graduate in Turkey, and about the arrests and detention of lawyers and judges in Turkey following the 2016 attempted military coup. Renée Mulligan, LRWC Director and Megan Presnail, LWRC Myanmar Monitor, moderated the panel.

https://www.lrwc.org/canada-egypt-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-recap-event/

http://dayoftheendangeredlawyer.eu/

Indonesia: Pursue Investigation of Maltreatment and Ensure Protection of Mr. Alldo Felix Januardy | Joint Letter

January 29, 2018

Lawyers for Lawyers and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada write to express their concern about the termination of investigation of the maltreatement of Mr. Alldo Fellix Januardy (Pretrial Case Number 04/Pid.Prap/2018/PN.JKT.SEL). Alldo Fellix Januardy is an independent public interest lawyer at the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) in Jakarta. LBH provides legal aid to the poor and marginalized people in Indonesia, including people in slum areas in Jakarta who face forced eviction by the government.

Alldo Fellix Januardy was maltreated by members of the Civil Service Police Unit during a forced eviction in Bukit Duri, Tebet, South Jakarta on 12 January 2016, following his effort to negotiate a suspension of the plan to forcefully evict his clients. The Administrative District Court was still to issue a ruling on the legality of the eviction. Furthermore, the people of Bukit Duri were still awaiting the outcome of an audience with the Municipal Council. Alldo Fellix Januardy requested the members of the Civil Service Police Unit and the Sub-District Head of Tebet to await the outcome of the legal process before taking any actions. Instead of accepting this legitimate request, members of the Civil Service Police Unit and the Sub-District Head of Tebet attacked Alldo Fellix Januardy, resulting in wounds on his eyebrow and chin, and damage to his goods.

https://www.lrwc.org/indonesia-pursue-investigation-of-maltreatment-and-ensure-protection-of-mr-alldo-felix-januardy-joint-letter/

http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/13171/indonesia-investigation-of-attack-on-lawyer-alldo-felix-januardy/

https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2018/01/29/057915253/Pretrial-of-LBH-Lawyer-Persecution-Case-to-be-Held-Today

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/01/04/lbh-jakarta-files-petition-over-2016-bukit-duri-assault.html

https://tirto.id/lbh-jakarta-ajukan-praperadilan-atas-sp3-penganiayaan-anggotanya-cDYJ (INDONESIAN)

https://alldofj.com/ (INDONESIAN)

South Sudan: LRWC Renews Calls to Disclose Information About and Conduct Investigation Into Disappearance of Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri | Letter

January 24, 2018

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 June 1, 2017 we wrote to you about Dong Samuel Luak who went missing in January of 2017. Mr. Aggrey Idri also went missing on or about January 24, 2017. Both men were taken to a facility at the National Security Service (NSS) in Juba, South Sudan on January 25, 2017. The whereabouts of both men and their fate remain unknown a year later.

Consistent with our previous correspondence, we urge the authorities of South Sudan to do the following:

  1. immediately disclose the fate and whereabouts of Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri;
  2. make public the reasons for their continued detention if they are in custody and, unless a legal basis for continued detention can be demonstrated, release them without delay;
  3. ensure that Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri are not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while in detention;
  4. grant Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri access to adequate medical care, access to lawyers of their own choosing, and allow visits from their family members; and,

https://www.lrwc.org/sudan-lrwc-renews-calls-to-disclose-information-about-and-conduct-investigation-into-disappearance-of-dong-samuel-luak-and-aggrey-idri-letter/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr65/7744/2018/en/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/01/23/south-sudan-year-two-mens-whereabouts-unknown

https://www.iol.co.za/pretoria-news/two-south-sudanese-activists-still-missing-12932245

https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2018/01/south-sudan-a-year-on-two-mens-whereabouts-unknown/ (FRANCAIS)

South Sudan: Immediately Reveal Whereabouts and Guarantee Safety of Lawyer Dong Samuel Luak | Letter

December 12, 2017

Dong Samuel Luak, a prominent South Sudanese lawyer and human rights activist was arrested by Kenya authorities on January 23, 2017. He has fled from South Sudan to Kenya in August 2013 after receiving death threats for his work as a lawyer and was a registered refugee with the UN Human Rights Commission for Refugees. An investigation into his whereabouts ordered by the Kenyan High Court on 27 January 2017 confirmed that Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri, a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Operation were in prison in Juba South Sudan had been forcibly returned to South Sudan in violation of the Convention against Torture and non-refoulement principles.

 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 individual.

On June 1, 2017 we wrote to you about Dong Samuel Luak who went missing in January of 2017.  After being forcibly removed from Nairobi and detained at the NSS headquarters prison facility in Juba, South Sudan, he was transferred and his whereabouts and fate are still unknown.

In our previous correspondence, we urged the authorities of South Sudan and Kenya to do the following:

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

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/01/south-sudan-a-year-on-two-mens-whereabouts-unknown/

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article64215

http://www.gurtong.net/ECM/Editorial/tabid/124/ctl/ArticleView/mid/519/articleId/21128/Isaiah-Abrahams-5th-Anniversary.aspx

https://suddinstitute.org/who-we-are/team/member/15

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/01/23/south-sudan-year-two-mens-whereabouts-unknown

https://www.voaafrique.com/a/un-opposant-sud-soudanais-risque-d-etre-expluse-du-kenya/3691378.html (FRANCAIS)