Tag Archives: OHCHR

Saudi Arabia/Turkey/OHCHR: Saudi Arabia must immediately release all women’s rights defenders, say UN experts

October 12, 2018

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UN human rights experts* are urging Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally release all women human rights defenders, including six defenders who remain in jail on charges relating to their peaceful defence of human rights.

Ms. Israa Al-Ghomgham was detained in 2015 for her involvement in peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011. Ms. Samar Badawi, Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah, Ms. Nouf Abdulaziz, Ms. Mayya Al-Zahrani, and Ms. Hatoon Al-Fassi – who had been particularly active in campaigning for women’s rights, including the right to vote and to drive – have been in pre-trial detention for the past four months.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the actions of the Saudi authorities against these women human rights defenders and we call on them, as a matter of urgency, to immediately release and drop the charges against all of them,” the experts said.

Ms. Samar Badawi, Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah, Ms. Nouf Abdulaziz, Ms. Mayya Al-Zahrani, and Ms. Hatoon Al-Fassi are all being held in incommunicado detention. “We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately make the whereabouts of these five human rights defenders known and to grant them access to their families and lawyers,” the experts said.

The experts expressed acute concern for Ms. Israa Al-Ghomgham, who is being tried in Riyadh’s Specialised Criminal Court – set up to handle terrorism-related cases, for charges that appear to lack legal bases. She has had no legal representation during her trial.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23719&LangID=E

https://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/8959651-dissenting-voices-silenced-as-saudi-reform-agenda-goes-awry/

https://www.france24.com/en/20181009-saudis-crown-prince-reformism-authoritarianism

https://www.thedailybeast.com/khashoggi-disappearance-is-part-of-a-ruthless-saudi-campaign-to-crush-dissent

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/khashoggi-case-chilling-message-dissidents-worldwide-181011151615981.html

https://www.rte.ie/news/world/2018/1010/1002345-saudi/

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1975

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

https://www.boursorama.com/actualite-economique/actualites/mohammed-ben-salmane-entre-reformisme-et-autoritarisme-7df2d6da9e1b32b9a83f9a21fc56a485 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.nzz.ch/international/fall-khashoggi-usa-fordern-gruendliche-untersuchung-ld.1426731 (DEUTSCH)

https://blogs.oglobo.globo.com/guga-chacra/post/ao-mesmo-tempo-que-selecao-jogar-em-riad.html (PORTUGUES)

http://www.mingpaocanada.com/tor/htm/News/20181008/ttaa2_r.htm (CHINESE)

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OHCHR: Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers

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Adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, Cuba
27 August to 7 September 1990

Whereas in the Charter of the United Nations the peoples of the world affirm, inter alia , their determination to establish conditions under which justice can be maintained, and proclaim as one of their purposes the achievement of international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

Whereas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines the principles of equality before the law, the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, and all the guarantees necessary for the defence of everyone charged with a penal offence,

Whereas the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights proclaims, in addition, the right to be tried without undue delay and the right to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law,

Whereas the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recalls the obligation of States under the Charter to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms,

Whereas the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment provides that a detained person shall be entitled to have the assistance of, and to communicate and consult with, legal counsel,

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/RoleOfLawyers.aspx

https://www.ohchr.org/FR/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/RoleOfLawyers.aspx (FRANCAIS)

http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/spanish/si3bprl.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.un.org/ru/documents/decl_conv/conventions/role_lawyers.shtml (RUSSIAN)

https://www.ohchr.org/CH/Issues/Documents/other_instruments/52.PDF (CHINESE)

http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/arab/b044.html (ARABIC)

OHCHR: 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders

June 1, 2018

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Civil society constitutes a fundamental pillar of the international human rights system. It contributes to promoting and respecting human rights, sustainable development, maintaining peace and security, and acts in line with UN Charter goals.

Civil society assesses and reports on whether State parties are fulfilling their treaty obligations by translating the provisions of the relevant United Nations human rights treaties (the Treaties) into action at the grassroots level. Accordingly, civil society significantly assists Treaty Bodies in monitoring and evaluating State parties’ compliance with the Treaties. In view of this vital role, the human rights Treaty Bodies request civil society organizations to cooperate with them by submitting information on issues related to the enjoyment of rights in a given country.

The active involvement and participation of civil society in the work of the Treaty Bodies is crucial for the wide dissemination, at the international, national and local levels, of information about the Treaties and the Treaty Bodies’ work. In many cases, the concluding observations or views on individual communications adopted by Treaty Bodies receive greater attention and enforcement owing to the intervention and activities of civil society.

Treaty Bodies have consistently encouraged State parties to publicly and specifically recognize the role played by civil society, including human rights defenders, and to engage with them in all relevant processes, including reporting.

The Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders has underscored how the Treaty Bodies benefit from the information provided to them by human rights defenders. This information is essential to monitoring implementation of the treaties and is a valuable early warning system to alert the international community to real, potential or imminent threats to peace, freedom, and security.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23154&LangID=E

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1806/S00006/un-experts-urge-states-to-boost-protection.htm

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Pages/Home.aspx

ICJ: The role of judges, lawyers and prosecuters in preventing human rights abuses

February 27, 2018

ICJ

The head of the ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Matt Pollard, highlighted the role of judges, lawyers and prosecutors in preventing human rights abuses, at a UN expert workshop in Geneva.The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) organised the expert workshop, 21 to 22 February 2018, to discuss the role and contribution of civil society organizations, academia, national human rights institutions and other relevant stakeholders in the prevention of human rights abuses, drawing on the conclusions and recommendations of OHCHR’s study on the prevention of human rights violations.

The workshop, mandated by the Human Rights Council resolution 33/6, covered topics such as: a framework approach to prevention; human rights education; abuses by private actors, national and regional practices, planning and monitoring tools; human rights impact assessments; and the role of UN institutions.

The presentation on the role of judges and lawyers can be downloaded in PDF format here: UN-ExpertMeeting-JudgesLawyersPrevention-2018

More information about the expert workshop is available by clicking here.

https://www.icj.org/the-role-of-judges-lawyers-and-prosecuters-in-preventing-human-rights-abuses/

https://www.icj.org/themes/centre-for-the-independence-of-judges-and-lawyers/

https://www.icj.org/

Maldives: UN rights experts denounce detention of judges as ‘direct attack’ on Supreme Court

February 12, 2018

“It is clear that the rule of law in the Maldives is now under siege,” said the experts in a news release issued Monday by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

“We call on the Government to refrain from any threats or interference that may hamper the court’s independence as the supreme guardian of the country’s constitution and legislation,” they added.

In the release, José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez, the current Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; and Diego García-Sayán, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and magistrates, also stressed that judicial independence, enshrined in the national constitution and in international human rights treaties, had to be guaranteed by the State.

Mr. García-Sayán also raised concern over the timing of the arrests, five days after the Supreme Court had ordered the release and retrial of nine opposition leaders, including former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Following the arrest of Chief Justice H.E. Abdulla Saeed and Ali Hameed Mohamed – shortly after the Government declared a state of emergency – the three remaining Supreme Court judges overturned the order to free the nine leaders.

It is clear that the rule of law in the Maldives is now under siege — UN rights experts

“[This] is at best suspicious,” said Mr. García-Sayán, adding that the acts constitutes “an intolerable act of intimidation” against the highest judicial authority in the country.

https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/02/1002541

http://www.nycbar.org/media-listing/media/detail/new-york-city-bar-association-issues-statement-on-the-state-of-emergency-in-the-maldives-including-the-arrest-of-two-supreme-court-justices

http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2018/feb/13/to-ease-global-pressure-maldives-honouring-supreme-court-order-seeking-to-reinstate-defectors-1772517.html

https://avas.mv/en/44683

https://avas.mv/en/44693

https://avas.mv/en/44702

https://avas.mv/en/44714

http://www.dw.com/en/maldives-political-crisis-worst-in-its-modern-history/a-42561399

http://www.catchnews.com/international-news/maldives-crisis-a-bitter-religious-divide-comes-to-the-fore-99116.html

https://www.rt.com/news/418663-china-india-troops-maldives/

https://avas.mv/en/44734

http://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/02/14/maldives-un-rights-experts-denounce-detention-judges-direct-attack-supreme-court/

https://www.aninews.in/news/world/asia/maldives-crises-military-throws-mps-out-of-parliament201802141707490002/

https://avas.mv/en/44788

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-maldives-crisis-we-have-a-thug-not-president-mps-alleges-abdulla-yameen-of-inciting-violence-2584900

https://raajje.mv/en/news/26962

https://raajje.mv/en/news/26985

http://www.europe1.fr/emissions/l-edito-international/maldives-entre-etat-durgence-et-islamisation-3573977 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lejdd.fr/international/asie/pas-de-saint-valentin-aux-maldives-3573755 (FRANCAIS)

Maldives: UN rights expert urges Maldives reforms after mass suspension of lawyers

November 9, 2017

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The UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán, has urged the Maldives to introduce urgent reforms and rectifications after the indefinite suspension of 54 lawyers.

“I call on the authorities to create an independent bar association to oversee lawyers’ affairs,” said the Special Rapporteur. “Its priorities should include protecting lawyers’ independence, defending their interests and enforcing disciplinary measures. It should be self-regulating as well as independent.”

The suspended lawyers had signed a petition raising serious concerns about the independence and functioning of the country’s justice system. Some of them had assembled outside the Supreme Court on 30 August trying to submit the petition and calling for judicial reforms. Their suspension was announced by the Department of Judicial Administration less than two weeks later, on 10 September.

“Just like everyone else, lawyers are entitled to freedom of opinion, expression, association and peaceful assembly,” said the Special Rapporteur. “In particular, they have the right to take part in public discussions on matters concerning the law, the administration of justice and the protection of human rights.

“This alarming mass suspension clearly did not abide by international standards regulating disciplinary proceedings against lawyers and protecting their independence, and I strongly condemn it. Not only are the grounds for suspension dubious, but the lawyers have so far not been granted a fair hearing and they have no avenue for appeal.”

The Special Rapporteur noted that the suspended lawyers could represent one third of the lawyers in private practice in the Maldives, and more than half the lawyers licensed to practise before the Criminal Court.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22211&LangID=E

https://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/8F9AF28237B45D6EC12581B4002E5B14?OpenDocument

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1710/S00109/un-urges-maldives-reforms-after-mass-suspension-of-lawyers.htm

http://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/HUMAN_RIGHTS_LETTERS/Maldives_-_Maldives/2017/EN_HRL_20171031_Maldives_Concerns-regarding-the-suspension-of-56-Maldivians-lawyers.pdf

China/OHCHR: UN experts urge China to release lawyer Jiang Tianyong currently on trial for subversion

September 6, 2017

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A group of United Nations human rights experts has called on the Government of China to immediately release the prominent lawyer and human rights defender Jiang Tianyong, who is on trial for inciting subversion of the State’s power.

The experts’ appeal comes as Mr. Jiang awaits the Court’s verdict after his televised “confession” on 22 August, to seeking to overthrow China’s political system, which the experts described as “a worrying sign of China’s disregard for due process and the rule of law”.

“We urge the Chinese authorities to uphold the rule of law by respecting Mr. Jiang’s rights to a fair trial and to carry out his work as a professional lawyer and human rights defender,” they said.

Mr. Jiang, who was allegedly disappeared on 21 November 2016, has been detained and under surveillance at an unknown location for more than nine months, without access to his family or a lawyer of his own choosing. There are concerns that he, along with other lawyers and human rights defenders in detention, may have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment.

“Given the reported conditions of his detention and earlier cases of a similar nature highlighting an ongoing worrying trend, we are gravely concerned that his confession may have been coerced by the use of torture, in contravention of the Chinese Criminal Procedures Law and international human rights standards, as reiterated by the Committee Against Torture in 2015,” the experts noted.

They also stressed the fact that the proceedings were not freely open to all interested members of the public to attend, while Mr. Jiang’s “confession” was broadcast on television and the Court’s social media; and that Mr. Jiang’s lawyer was dismissed by the authorities and had no access to him since his disappearance. “These factors clearly point to the serious shortcomings in guaranteeing a fair and impartial trial in accordance with international standards,” they said.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22028&LangID=E

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1709/S00023/un-experts-urge-china-to-release-lawyer-jiang-tianyong.htm

http://thediplomat.com/2017/09/chinas-quiet-drive-to-normalize-repression/

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【709快訊│維權律師家人被株連│江天勇妹妹被傳喚】

江天勇的妹妹江金萍昨天收到羅山縣公安局的傳喚通知,指她涉嫌故意損毀財物。於2017年8月18日,江天勇案開庭前夕,當地國保把江妹手機搶走並要強行把江天勇妹妹及孩子帶到派出所,江妹反抗,憤怒之下拿起一根棍子敲了國保的車。

Jiang Tianyong’s sister, Jiang Jinping received a summon notice by the PSB in Luoshan County for the alleged crime of purposeful destruction of property yesterday. On 18 August 2017, before the trial of the case of Jiang, the local state security officers attempted to forcibly take his sister and sister’s child to the local police station and to confiscate her mobile phone. His sister resisted, took up a stick and knocked on their car.

(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook)