Tag Archives: Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada

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/

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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

Turkey: Release 21 Arbitrarily Imprisoned Members of the Istanbul Bar Association | Letter

September 12, 2018

We are writing on behalf of Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a committee of Canadian lawyers who promote human rights and the rule of law internationally. LRWC also provides support to lawyers and other human rights defenders in danger because of their advocacy.

We have written to you in the past with respect to various Turkish lawyers who have either been detained, arrested, charged, and/or imprisoned in violation of international human rights law. Some of the lawyers with respect to whom we have written to you include Ramazan Demir, Erin Keskin, Mustafa Aydin, and others.

Many of these lawyers were found guilty of “membership in an armed terrorist organization” or “propaganda of terrorism”, charges which are ill-defined and for which the evidence against these lawyers is insufficient to justify conviction of any criminal offence. It appears that in some cases, the only evidence on which the conviction was based was that the lawyer was simply been performing his or her job by defending a politically sensitive defendant, or was found guilty “by association” because friends, colleagues or relatives had been under suspicion by the Turkish authorities.

Background

These convictions and sentences are part of an on-going campaign of widespread and systematic persecution of lawyers in Turkey. The goal of such persecution appears to prevent voices of dissent and opposition from being heard and critics from having legal representation. As of 20 August 2018, we understand that Turkey has prosecuted 1,544 lawyers on overly broad charges based on questionable accusations that preclude the right to a defence; 582 lawyers remain under arrest; and 162 lawyers have been sentenced to jail terms ranging from three to 12 years. [1] Such charges include: spreading propaganda for an armed terrorist organisation (Law on Fight against Terrorism, Article 7(2)); denigrating the Republic of Turkey, institutions and organs of the State (Criminal Code (CC), Article 301); insulting the President (CC, Article 299); membership in an armed terrorist organization (CC Article 314(2)); membership in an armed organization with the purpose of committing the offences listed parts four and five of this chapter (CC, Article314 (2)).

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

https://arrestedlawyers.org/

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

Vietnam: Failure to Comply with International Human Rights Obligations | Joint Submission

July 30, 2018

  1. Lawyers for Lawyers (“L4L”) and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (“LRWC”) jointly submit this report on the state of human rights in Viet Nam, especially in respect of the legal profession, with recommendations for the 32nd session of the UPR Working Group in the UN Human Rights Council in January-February 2019. This report was co-signed by Viet Tan.
  2. L4L is an independent and non-political Netherlands foundation, which was established in 1986 and is funded by lawyers’ donations. L4L promotes the proper functioning of the rule of law through the free and independent exercise of the legal profession around the world. L4L has special consultative status with ECOSOC since 2013.
  3. LRWC is a committee of Canadian lawyers and other human rights defenders who promote human rights and the rule of law 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.
  4. This submission highlights key concerns regarding Viet Nam’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to guarantee the right to independent counsel as set out in the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers [1] (“Basic Principles”) and other international human rights instruments, focusing the lack of effective guarantees for the functioning of lawyers, including the lack of freedom of expression and association of lawyers. Non-compliance with the Basic Principles undermines the proper functioning of the judicial system, in particular the right to fair trial and effective access to justice.

https://www.lrwc.org/viet-nam-failure-to-comply-with-international-human-rights-obligations-joint-submission/

Turkey: Terminally-ill lawyer Mustafa Aydin released

June 27, 2018

Image result for lawyer Mustafa Aydin

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)

https://www.lrwc.org/turkey-mustafa-aydin-released-news/

http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/13390/turkey-joint-statement-on-situation-of-mustafa-aydin/

https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/04/20/ccbe-urges-release-medical-treatment-of-detained-turkish-lawyer/

http://lsuc.on.ca/uploadedFiles/Equity_and_Diversity/Human_Rights_Monitoring_Group/Turkey%20-%20Mustafa%20Aydin.pdf

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

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

Image result for lawyer Mustafa Aydin