Tag Archives: OMCT

Belarus: Trial of Viasna’s Homieĺ members set for September 3


Leanid Sudalenka, Tatsiana Lasitsa and Maryia Tarasenka

Human rights defender of Viasna Leanid Sudalenka and volunteer Tatsiana Lasitsa have been detained in remand prison No. 3 in Homieĺ for seven months. They are accused of organizing and financing actions that grossly violated public order (Parts 1 and 2 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code). Volunteer Maryia Tarasenka, who is free but under travel restrictions, is another defendant in the trial, which is expected to start on September 3 at the Centraĺny District Court of Homieĺ. The criminal charges against the three activists will be heard by judge Siarhei Salouski.

What are the charges?

The key charge Sudalenka is facing is reimbursing the fines imposed on peaceful protesters after the rigged election of August 2020. He and the two Viasna volunteers also helped numerous people find lawyers to defend them in protest-related trials. Among other things, Leanid Sudalenka is accused of purchasing firewood to help a family, whose father was later convicted of “rioting” and appearing in a YouTube video to explain what a people’s protest is.

The human rights activist has been in the pre-trial detention center since January 18. Tatsiana Lasitsa has been in custody since January 21. Maryia Tarasenko was briefly detained, but soon released. The charges against her, however, remained in place.

More than 200 witnesses were interviewed in the case. The case file contains 77 volumes.

Judge Siarhei Salouski is known for being the top-convicting judge in the post-election administrative trials. Salouski ordered a total of over three months in prison.

In 2020, Salouski twice fined journalist Larysa Shchyrakova for reporting for Belsat TV.

Last July, Leanid Sudalenka helped Valery Smiayan, a man fined by Salouski for staging a peaceful protest to support arrested activist Siarhei Tsikhanouski, to submit a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee. It is obvious that the judge is not impartial towards Sudalenka.

Why is the case against Viasna’s activists in Homieĺ politically motivated?

Leanid Sudalenka is a well-known human rights activist, who has been defending human rights for twenty years. He provided free legal assistance, including the preparation of individual complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee to challenge violations by the Belarusian authorities. For his human rights activities, Sudalenka received the French award “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”. In 2019, he was awarded the National Human Rights Prize in the nomination “Human Rights Defender of the Year”.

The Belarusian authorities have regularly persecuted Leanid Sudalenka for his active human rights work. They staged unsuccessful provocations to prosecute him, searched him at the state border, and tried to discredit him through publications in state-controlled media.







https://www.fidh.org/fr/regions/europe-asie-centrale/belarus/resolution-de-l-onu-sur-le-belarus-valiantsin-stefanovic-viasna-27131 (FRANCAIS)

Joint statement on the repression against Belarusian lawyers and the disbarment of Dmitriy Laevski


IBAHRI | IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers

Together with more than 50 lawyers’ organizations, bar associations, civil society organisations and individual lawyers, Lawyers for Lawyers co-signed a joint statement on the mounting repression against Belarusian lawyers and the disbarment of Dmitriy Laevski.

Since peaceful protests in Belarus erupted in 2020, following the presidential election condemned by the international community, the law in Belarus has been turned into a tool of oppression, and lawyers – into victims of political persecution. Lawyers, who express views contrary to those of the government or represent peaceful protestors or opposition leaders in courts, face constant pressure. Repressions against law practitioners take multiple forms – including criminal persecution, administrative arrests, punitive disciplinary proceedings. In a span of ten months, more than twenty Belarusian lawyers, who took an active political and civic stance, have been deprived of the right to practice their profession.

Lawyer Dmitriy Laevski was disbarred by the decision of the Minsk City Bar Association on 9 July 2021. The decision on disbarment was taken by the disciplinary commission of the bar association on 8 July 2021. The decision on expelling Dmitriy Laevski was urgently taken within one day and only two days after a verdict was announced in the high-profile case of one of his clients Viktar Babaryka – ex-presidential candidate, key political opponent of Alexander Lukashenko and now a political prisoner.

On 8 July 2021, Dmitriy Laevski participated in two disciplinary proceedings. The first concerned the judicial appeal to the previously made decision of the disciplinary commission of the Minsk City Bar Association on reprimanding Dmitriy for his Facebook post, commenting about the recent amendments to the Law on Legal Practice. The second one – as a result of which Dmitriy was eventually disbarred – concerned the statement made during Viktar Babaryka’s hearing, which hinted at the innocence of Babaryka’s co-defendants, who pleaded guilty during the trial. It is precisely Dmitriy’s procedural position and the realization of his legal defense mission that became the ground for his disbarment. On 17 July 2021, Laevski appealed the decision of the disciplinary commission and published the full text of his appeal.

Being deprived of his license, Dmitriy Laevski cannot proceed to represent the interests of another high-profile political prisoner and lawyer Maksim Znak, whose trial is about to commence. Due to the disbarment, the defendant in one of the most resonant political cases has been deprived of his main defender.


The Philippines: Fellow lawyers to Justice Secretary: Reckless to say danger is just part of job


DOJ undersecretaries, assistant secretaries submit courtesy resignations |  ABS-CBN News

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says he was taken out of context. ‘All I said was that lawyering for certain cases or causes may be attended with personal risks.’

Fellow lawyers have called out Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra for his “reckless” statement that danger is part of their job amid the alarming rise in killings and threats to members of the legal profession under the Duterte administration.

“It is reckless to state that risk and danger is part of the life of lawyers and judges and such is part of their profession. Ours is a profession that has no room for violence in its fight against injustice,” said the La Salle Greenhills Alumni Lawyers Association, signed by human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, among others.

The group addressed Guevarra’s remarks in a statement condemning the red-tagging of Judge Monique Quisumbing-Ignacio, who had cleared and ordered the release journalist Lady Ann “Icy” Salem and trade unionist Rodrigo Esparago.

In an earlier Rappler Talk interview, former Supreme Court spokesperson Ted Te said Guevarra’s statement is “unfortunate.”

“I think that is unfortunate. Nowhere in law school are law students told lawyering is a contact sport. Lawyering involves helping people, lawyering involves giving advice to those who do not understand the law, lawyering involves teaching law students to become the best lawyers,” Te said.

“To say that lawyering is an inherently dangerous profession, I’m not sure where that comes from. Maybe I’d agree if he would say lawyering has become a dangerous profession, and then maybe I would ask, ‘Kaninong kasalanan ‘yun (Whose fault is it)?” he added.

Lawyers in the Philippines have demanded stronger government action on the unprecedented spike in killings of persons in the legal profession, which groups attribute to the climate of impunity under the Duterte administration.











Belarus: Indictment of Leanid Sudalenka and arbitrary detention of Tatsiana Lasitsa


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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 requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Belarus.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by the Human Rights Center “Viasna” about the indictment and ongoing arbitrary detention of Leanid Sudalenka, lawyer of the Homieĺ (Gomel) branch of Viasna[1], and the arbitrary detention of Tatsiana Lasitsa, Viasna’s volunteer.

On February 1, 2021, Leanid Sudalenka was charged under Parts 1 and 2 of Article 342 of the Belarus Criminal Code (“organization and preparation of actions grossly violating public order and financing such activities”). If convicted, he could face up to three years of imprisonment. Mr. Sudalenka remains detained in pre-trial detention center No. 3 in Homieĺ.

Moreover, on January 21, 2021, Tatsiana Lasitsa, who works with Mr. Sudalenka, was detained at the Minsk airport while attempting to travel from Belarus to Lithuania by officers of the Interior Ministry. She is considered as a suspect in the same criminal case. She was also taken into custody in Homieĺ pre-trial detention center No. 3, where she remains detained.

The Observatory recalls that on January 18, 2021, the Investigative Committee of Belarus detained Leanid Sudalenka and interrogated him as part of a criminal case, without granting him access to his lawyer for several hours. Later in the evening, Maria Tarasenka, another Viasna volunteer and Mr. Sudalenka’s assistant, was also detained in Homieĺ. Law enforcement officials searched her apartment, and she was placed in a preliminary detention center. She was released without charges on January 21, 2021.

The Observatory further recalls that Leanid Sudalenka was interrogated and his office was searched on January 5, 2021, by officers of the Main Department for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in connection with another criminal case opened earlier in December 2020 against a Homieĺ opposition activist, Uladzimir Nepomniashchykh, in which Leanid Sudalenka is figuring as a witness.

The Observatory condemns the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Leanid Sudalenka and Tatsiana Lasitsa which seems to be only aimed at punishing them for their legitimate human rights activities.





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Belarus/France/USA: Freedom for human rights activists Leanid Sudalenka and Maryia Tarasenka!


Maryia Tarasenka and Leanid Sudalenka

On January 18, police detained Leanid Sudalenka, human rights activist and chairman of the Homieĺ branch of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”.

He is currently a suspect in a criminal case under Art. 342 of the Criminal Code (organization or active participation in group actions which gravely breach public order) and has been remanded in a detention center.

On January 5, the civil and political community center “Palesskaya, 52”, where Viasna’s office is located, was raided by the police. The search lasted for over 9 hours. During the entire raid, Leanid Sudalenka was in the office. After the search, he was taken to the local department for organized crime, but later released. A search was also carried out in his house.

The same evening, Leanid Sudalenka’s assistant and Viasna’s volunteer Maryia Tarasenka was detained and placed in a detention center. Her house was also searched. Tarasenka’s status in the case and the charges she is facing are still unknown.

Leanid Sudalenka is a well-known human rights activist who has been defending human rights for 20 years, providing free legal assistance, including in preparing individual complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee on behalf of Belarusian nationals whose rights were violated by the government. For his human rights work, he was awarded the prestigious prize of the French Republic “Freedom-Equality-Brotherhood” in 2018. In 2019, he became the winner of the National Human Rights Prize in the nomination “Human Rights Defender of the Year”.

The Belarusian authorities have regularly persecuted Leanid Sudalenka for his active human rights activities: they staged unsuccessful provocations to prosecute him, blacklisted him or border control and tried to discredit him through publications on government-controlled websites and in loyal media.








https://budzma.by/news/zatrymany-leanid-sudalenka.html (BELARUSIAN)


https://nv.ua/ukr/world/countries/u-bilorusi-zatrimali-aktivista-sudalenka-novini-bilorusi-50136212.html (UKRAINIAN)

https://iost.nu/nyheter/belarus/leanid-sudalenko-gripen/ (NORWEGIAN)

Belarus: Judicial harassment of Leanid Sudalenka


The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Belarus.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Human Rights Center “Viasna” about the judicial harassment of Leanid Sudalenka, lawyer of the Homieĺ (Gomel) branch of the HRC “Viasna”. Mr. Sudalenka works on documenting human rights violations and has helped Belarusian citizens to prepare over 84 individual complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee. Leanid Sudalenka is a laureate of the 2018 “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

On January 5, 2021, officers of the Main Department for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus searched Leanid Sudalenka’s office, located in the Public Political Center “Polesskaya, 52”. The officers had a warrant, and the search was connected to a criminal case opened earlier in December 2020 against a Homieĺ opposition activist Mr. Uladzimir Nepomniashchykh [1], where Leanid Sudalenka is figuring as a witness.

The search lasted for about 10 hours, and the officials confiscated 304 items, including Leanid Sudalenka’s laptop and bank cards. The officers also seized documents related to administrative cases and complaints of protesters and white-red-white flags. The same evening, another search was conducted in his apartment.

After the search in the office, Leanid Sudalenka was taken to the Office for Combating Organized Crime for an interrogation as a witness in the above-mentioned criminal case. However, Leanid Sudalenka notes that during the interrogation he was asked about his legal and other assistance to people who had been detained, fined and arrested during the post-electoral protests in Homieĺ. In addition, during the search, the officials predominantly inquired about information, data carriers and bank cards.

The Observatory expresses its utmost concern over the searches and the interrogation of Mr. Sudalenka, which seem to be connected to his legitimate activities as a human rights lawyer.






https://euroradio.fm/gomelski-pravaabaronca-leanid-sudalenka-u-yakoga-prayshou-peratrus-na-voli (BELARUSIAN)

UAE: Joint statement Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken


Joint statement Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken

On International Human Rights Day, Lawyers for Lawyers alongside the International Center for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) and 7 other signatories, called on the UAE authorities to immediately release and human rights lawyer and defender Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken.

Eight years have passed since the unjust arrest of Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken by the UAE State Security services. On July 2, 2013, the Federal Supreme Court convicted and sentenced Dr. Al-Roken to 10 years imprisonment with additional administrative control measures and forbade him from practicing his profession as a lawyer. He has been denied the basic right to a fair trial and his enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment was never investigated. On November 22, 2013, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an opinion recognizing the arbitrary nature of the detention of Dr. Al-Roken and 60 other defendants in the ‘UAE94’ trial (A/HRC/WGAD/2013/60).

Dr. Al-Roken is a prominent Emirati human rights defender and lawyer, and the former President of the Emirates Jurists Association. In recognition of his courageous human rights work, Dr. Al-Roken was awarded the 2017 Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize.

Dr. Al-Roken was arrested on July 17, 2012 as part of the massive crackdown of the ‘UAE94 Group’, and he was charged with conspiracy against the government, after calling for political reforms in the country and signing an online reform petition in March 2011 to demand an elected national council with full supervisory and legislative powers. Following his arrest, Dr. Al-Roken was detained in solitary confinement at an undisclosed location for 8 months, without access to his lawyer and his family.






Egypt: Conditional release and continuing judicial harassment of human rights lawyer Mohamed Ramadan



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

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the conditional release and continuing judicial harassment of Mr. Mohamed Ramadan, a human rights lawyer who previously worked for the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)[1].

According to the information received, on December 2, 2020, Alexandria Criminal Court ordered the release of Mr. Mohamed Ramadan, with a bail of 5,000 EGP (approximately 270 Euros), pending Criminal Case 16576/2018, after nearly two years of pre-trial arbitrary detention. The order had not been executed at the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal.

The Observatory recalls that Mr. Ramadan was arrested on December 10, 2018 shortly after posting a picture of himself wearing a yellow vest in solidarity with French anti-government protesters (see background information). His arrest came as the Egyptian authorities set restrictions to sales of yellow vests fearing opponents may use them in anti-government protests around the eighth anniversary of the January 2011 uprising that toppled former autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The Observatory welcomes the Court’s decision to release Mr. Mohamed Ramadan on bail, but recalls that he should never have been detained in the first place, his detention being arbitrary as it only aimed at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities and exercice of his freedom of expression.

The Observatory calls on the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Mohamed Ramadan, and to put an end any act of harassment, including at the judicial level, against him and all human rights defenders in the country.






https://www.ifedl.org/france-macron-s-appr%C3%AAte-%C3%A0-recevoir- (FRANCAIS)

Egypt: Alaa Abdel Fattah and Mohamed El-Baqer arbitrarily added to a “terrorist list”



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

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the decision to arbitrarily add Mr. Alaa Abdel Fattah, blogger and member of the “No to Military Trials for Civilians” movement[1], and Mr. Mohamed El-Baqer, human rights lawyer and Director of Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms, to the “terrorist list” in Egypt.

According to the information received, on November 23, 2020, the Cairo Criminal Court published in the Egyptian Official Gazette the decision it made on November 19, 2020 to add Mr. Alaa Abdel Fattah and Mr. Mohamed El-Baqer, along with 27 other activists, to Egypt’s “terrorist list” for a period of five years in connection with State Security Case 1781/2019. The ruling includes restrictions such as a travel ban and a freeze on assets for three years.

The Observatory denounces the Court’s decision and condemns the Egyptian authorities’ use of the fight against terrorism to target human rights defenders. The Observatory further recalls that Egyptian authorities have increasingly employed repressive tactics such as prolonged pre-trial detention, enforced disappearance, torture, and judicial harassment to silence all critical voices, including through unfounded investigations for national security and counter-terrorism related charges.

The Observatory condemns the ongoing arbitrary detention of Messrs. Mohamed El-Baqer and Alaa Abdel Fattah, which is part of a clear human rights crackdown which Egypt has been suffering from in recent years. 






Human Rights Behind Bars in Egypt - activists at risk

Egypt: Mohammed Al-Baqir: The imprisoned lawyer who turned into a symbol of justice

October 22, 2019

Image result for mohamed el-baker

While the prominent human rights lawyer Mohammad Al-Baqir was attending investigations atthe supreme state security prosecution with the political activist Alaa Abd al-Fattah at the end of September, he was surprised that the prosecution ordered that he be detained and informed him that he is wanted under the same case.

The prosecution accused Al-Baqir of “belonging to a terrorist group, financing terrorism, spreading false news that undermines national security,” and then ordered his preventive detention. After that, he wastransferred blindfolded to al-Aqrab Prison, the prison with the worst reputation in Egypt.

Al-Baqir was physically and verbally abused, hisbasic rights were violated from the moment he entered prison. He was forced to walk while bending his back, showered by insults and abuse. He was stripped of all his belongings, even his personal hygiene items. They put on his prison clothes while he was blindfolded and he was driven to a cell while not being allowed to shower or change his underclothes for nine days. The prison administration also refused al-Baqir’s request to see the prison doctor and prevented him from buying clean food or water, his wife said.

The prosecution delayed the decision on a request made by Al-Baqir’s lawyer to enable him to visit his ill father, who was in intensive care. He died before seeing his son, but al-Baqir was allowed to attend the funeral.

Why al-Baqir?

Egyptian authorities are currently carrying out a systematic campaign targeting human rights lawyers who took on the mission of defending those arrested after the demonstrations of September 20, that demanded the toppling of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s regime and accused it of corruption. Among the most prominent that have been arrested along with al-Baqir are Mahienour el-Massry, and Amr Imam.

Mohammed Al-Baqir: The imprisoned lawyer who turned into a symbol of justice





IFEX strongly condemns violent crackdown against Egyptian rights defenders



https://vwv.almanassa.net/ar/story/13097 (ARABIC)

https://ifex.org/ar/%D8%A2%D9%8A%D9%81%D9%83%D8%B3-%D8%AA%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%84%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%86%D9%8A%D9%81%D8%A9-%D8%B6%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AF/ (ARABIC)

http://mubasher.aljazeera.net/news/%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%90-%D8%A3%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%86-%D8%A5%D8%B6%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%B9%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%AA%D8%B6%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%B9-%D8%A5%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AD (ARABIC)

https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2019/09/30/alaa-abdel-fattah-icone-de-la-revolution-a-nouveau-arrete-en-egypte_6013618_3212.html (FRANCAIS)

http://www.eldiario.ec/noticias-manabi-ecuador/511795-ong-dice-hay-mas-de-4000-arrestos-y-3000-acusados-tras-protestas-en-egipto/ (ESPANOL)



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تجديد حبس المحامي الحقوقي محمد الباقر ١٥ يوما في اتهامه بنشر أخبار كاذبة

قررت نيابة أمن الدولة العليا، اليوم الأربعاء، تجديد حبس المحامي الحقوقي البارز، محمد الباقر، ١٥ يوما آخرى.
حلء ذلك على ذمة اتهامه في القضية رقم ١٣٥٦ لسنة ٢٠١٩ حصر أمن دولة، والمتهم فيها بنشر أخبار كاذبة ومشاركة جماعة إرهابية.#دفتر_أحوال_المحاكم_والنيابات
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