Tag Archives: OMCT

Honduras: Amenaza de criminalización contra el abogado Mario Portillo en Intibucá

LLAMADO URGENTE – EL OBSERVATORIO

HND 003 / 0619 / OBS 053

Criminalización

Honduras

21 de junio de 2019

El Observatorio para la Protección de los Defensores de Derechos Humanos, programa conjunto de la Organización Mundial Contra la Tortura (OMCT) y de la FIDH, solicita su intervención urgente ante la siguiente situación en Honduras.

Descripción de la situación

El Observatorio ha recibido información del Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH) sobre la criminalización y amenaza contra la libertad del abogado defensor de derechos humanos Sr. Mario Amilcar Portillo Contreras en la ciudad de la Esperanza, departamento de Intibucá en Honduras.

Según la información recibida, el 20 de junio de 2019, el Sr. Mario Portillo, en ejercicio de su profesión, actuó en la defensa de un menor de edad y otras tres personas que habían sido detenidas en el desarrollo de una protesta social en la ciudad de la Esperanza y quienes fueron objeto de tratos inhumanos y degradantes. Unas horas más tarde las tres personas fueron liberadas y el Sr. Mario Portillo firmó ante la Policía un documento en calidad de representante.

No obstante, la detención de estas cuatro personas produjo el rechazo de los manifestantes, quienes llegaron hasta la delegación policial a reclamar su liberación. Esta protesta fue dispersada por la Policía a la fuerza, mediante el uso de gases lacrimógenos y se produjeron serios disturbios. En ese contexto tres personas más fueron detenidas.

Durante los disturbios la Policía solicitó al defensor Mario Portillo su mediación para calmar los ánimos de los manifestantes a lo que él accedió. La situación retornó a la normalidad y, posteriormente, las otras tres personas detenidas fueron liberadas y entregadas a una comisión que había sido nombrada por parte de la comunidad para recibirlos.

Según las mismas informaciones, las autoridades departamentales de Intibucá, civiles, policiales y militares habrían decidido presentar cargos contra el abogado defensor responsabilizándolo de ser el coordinador de las protestas y de los daños ocasionados durante los disturbios ocurridos. Su captura podría producirse en las próximas horas.

http://www.omct.org/es/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/honduras/2019/06/d25396/

https://www.fidh.org/es/temas/defensores-de-derechos-humanos/honduras-amenaza-de-criminalizacion-contra-el-abogado-mario-portillo

Turkey: Condemnation de l’avocat des droits humains et Présidente de l’Association des Droits Humains (IHD) Eren Keskin

URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY

New information

TUR 003 / 0618 / OBS 087.2

Sentencing/

Judicial harassment

Turkey

May 28, 2019

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 intervention in the following situation in Turkey.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the sentencing of human rights lawyer and co-president of the Human Rights Association (İHD) Ms. Eren Keskin[1] and her ongoing judicial harassment. An honorary member of the Paris Bar Association, Eren Keskin is the winner of multiple international awards for her peace and human rights work, including the 2018 Helsinki Civil Society Award[2], and was the 2018 finalist of Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders[3].

According to the information received, on May 21, 2019, İstanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court convicted Ms. Eren Keskin for “propaganda on half of a terrorist organisation” – namely the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) – under Article 7(2) of the Anti-Terror Law No. 3713), and sentenced her to 3 years and 9 months of prison. Ms. Eren Keskin attended this final hearing, which was also followed by foreign diplomats. The sentence will be taken to the Regional Court of Appeal.

Since 2016, Ms. Eren Keskin and seven other defendants, columnists or rotating editors of the closed newspaper Özgür Gündem, have faced charges for “disrupting the unity of the state”, “openly inciting to commit crime”, “being a member of a terrorist group”, “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” and “publishing and spreading statements of terrorist organisations” in relation with articles published in Özgür Gündem (see background information below).

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/turkey/2019/05/d25363/

Sentencing of Eren Keskin: another blow against freedom of expression in Turkey

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/media/print/2019/05/22/Seven-Turkish-journalists-jailed-for-terrorist-propaganda-.html

Eren Keskin in Turkey sentenced to prison and more to come..

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

http://www.haberdar.com/gundem/hakkinda-143-dava-acilan-eren-keskin-baskiyla-nasil-bas-ediyor-ben-size-bas-egmedim-duygusu-insani-besler-h136373.html (TURKCE)

https://euromedrights.org/fr/publication/condamnation-deren-keskin-un-nouveau-coup-dur-contre-la-liberte-dexpression-en-turquie/ (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eren_Keskin (FRANCAIS)

https://www1.wdr.de/nachrichten/tuerkei-unzensiert/eren-keskin-emine-algan-de-100.html (DEUTSCH)

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India: New acts of harassment against Ms. Indira Jaising, Mr. Anand Grover and the Lawyers Collective

OMCT LogoOMCT logo

 IND 004 / 0519 / OBS 043

Harassment

India
May 16, 2019

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

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about new acts of harassment against Ms. Indira Jaising and Mr. Anand Grover, human rights lawyers and founders of the Indian NGO Lawyers Collective. Both Ms. Jaising and Mr. Grover are internationally renowned human right professionals who have a long history of engaging with the United Nations (UN) system. Ms. Jaising is a former member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Mr. Grover is a former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. Lawyers Collective is a prominent public interest service provider in India with an established record of setting high standards in human rights advocacy, legal aid and litigation.

According to the information received, on May 8, 2019, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi issued a notice in a petition filed on May 6 by an organisation called ‘Lawyers Voice.’ The petition demanded that the Government of India initiate criminal proceedings against Lawyers Collective, Ms. Jaising, and Mr. Grover for the alleged misuse of foreign funding under the 2010 Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

The bench issued the notice despite the fact that the petition did not provide any supporting information. The Observatory further recalls that Lawyers Collective’s FCRA was suspended and subsequently cancelled in 2016 – a measure that is being challenged by Lawyers Collective before the Bombay High Court (see background information).

Ms. Jaising recently expressed strong criticism regarding the handling of proceedings in a case that involves allegations of sexual harassment against CJI Ranjan Gogoi by a former Supreme Court employee.

The Observatory expresses its deepest concern for the harassment against Lawyers Collective, Ms. Indira Jaising and Mr. Anand Grover and condemns the use of FCRA to impede legitimate activities of human rights organisations.

The Observatory calls upon the Indian authorities to put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against them and to amend FRCA in a manner that is consistent with international standards of freedom of association, including Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Background information:

On June 3, 2016, the Ministry of Home Affairs suspended the FCRA registration of Lawyers Collective. In addition, the Ministry of Home Affairs leaked the suspension notice to the press before Lawyers Collective received a copy of it. This suspension of the FCRA registration was based on allegations that Lawyers Collective, in particular Ms. Jaising and Mr. Grover, violated FCRA regulations.

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/india/2019/05/d25351/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/india-harassment-against-ms-indira-jaising-mr-anand-grover-and

https://www.news18.com/news/india/indira-jaising-anand-grover-allege-victimisation-after-sc-notice-to-their-ngo-2133921.html

https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/senior-lawyers-indira-jaising-anand-grover-claim-victimisation-over-sc-notice-119050801310_1.html

NGO v. NGO: Supreme Court issues notice in PIL seeking action against Lawyers Collective, Indira Jaising, Anand Grover

https://thewire.in/rights/fcra-sc-indira-jaising-anand-grover-cji-gogoi

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ngo-run-by-indira-jaising-gets-supreme-court-notice/article27072901.ece

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/indira-jaising-alleges-victimisation-after-supreme-court-notice-to-her-ngo-2034973

Indira Jaising

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

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

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

Iran: Ongoing judicial harassment against human rights lawyers Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi and Mr. Mohammad Najafi

URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY

New information

IRN 004 / 0918 / OBS 115.3

Arbitrary detention/
Judicial harassment/
Indictment

Iran
April 19, 2019

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 inIran.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) about the ongoing judicial harassment against Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi  and the sentencing and re-arrest of Mr. Mohammad Najafi. Both of them are human rights lawyers.

According to the information received on April 16, 2019, Branch 2 of the Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran’s Evin prison issued an indictment against Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi on charges of “cooperating with hostile governments through giving interviews to VOA[1]” (purportedly under Article 508 of the Islamic Penal Code) and “establishing a group to overthrow the system” (Article 498). The case was referred to Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolution Court in Tehran. It is believed that  the second charge is linked to Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi’ creation of a public channel called “withoutretouch” on the messaging application Telegram, on which he reported news and events regarding lawyers and the Bar Association. This channel was also used to share personal opinions on various topics including objections to the detention of lawyers such as Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh[2]and Messrs. Arash Kaykhosraviand Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi[3], and other lawyers, as well as occasional statements critical of the actions of the Supreme Leader and the former Head of the Judiciary. Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi has been detained in Evin prison since November 20, 2018 (see background information).

Moreover, the Observatory has received reliable information that  the Court of Appeals in Arak, Markazi Province, upheld the conviction and prison sentence issued by Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolution Court of Arak against Mr. Mohammad Najafi on November 26, 2018 (see background information): one year imprisonment for “spreading propaganda in favour of groups and organisations opposed to the system” (purportedly under Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code), two years imprisonment for “insulting the leader of the Islamic Republic” (Article 514) and ten years imprisonment for “co-operating with hostile governments by transmitting news and information in interviews” (purportedly under Article 508) through interviews he gave to Voice of AmericaRadio Farda, and BBC Persian Service. Under the provisions of Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code[4], Mr. Najafi will likely have to serve these sentences concurrently, i.e. up to 10 years in prison.

Mr. Mohammad Najafi was arrested on April 1, 2019 to serve his sentence and is currently detained in Arak prison.

The Observatory notes that Mr. Mohammad Najafi was released from Arak prison in Markazi Province under an amnesty on March 28, 2019. He was serving a three-year sentence related to his defence work in the case of the death of a protester in police custody in January 2018 in Arak (see background information).

The Observatory recalls that several other human rights lawyers are currently detained for exercising their profession or for defending human rights, including Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, and Messrs. Farhad Mohammadi and Massood Shamsnejad[5]. Others were arrested and released on bail and are still awaiting the outcome of their case.

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/iran/2019/04/d25318/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/iran-ongoing-judicial-harassment-against-human-rights-lawyers-mr-amir

Amir Salar Davoodi

https://www.rferl.org/a/iconic-iranian-antihijab-protester-jailed-for-year/29879887.html

https://www.radiofarda.com/a/29880276.html (FARSI)

https://persian.iranhumanrights.org/1398/01/amirsalar-davoudi-charges-to-collaborate-with-hostile-states-through-an-interview-with-a-television-network/?fbclid=IwAR12d-ACvQoTAsKKhC-pYvhB98tCFsS0P9RrVizL3JlHKED_j814bGeK8-M (FARSI)

https://www.protect-lawyers.com/fr/avocat/amir-salar-davoodi/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.protect-lawyers.com/fr/avocat/mohammad-najafi/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lagazzettadilucca.it/cultura-e-spettacolo/2019/04/nasrin-sotoudeh-il-filo-rosso-degli-avvocati-passa-anche-da-lucca/ (ITALIANO)

Iran: Iranian Lawyers Demand Release Of Jailed Colleagues

January 25, 2019

Five Iranian lawyers who are under judicial pressure in Iran; (LTR) Mohammad Najafi, Arash Keykhosravi, Amirsalar Davoudi, Ghasem Sholeh Sadi, and Nasrin Sotoodeh.

(Five Iranian lawyers who are under judicial pressure in Iran; (LTR) Mohammad Najafi, Arash Keykhosravi, Amirsalar Davoudi, Ghasem Sholeh Sadi, and Nasrin Sotoodeh.)

In an open letter addressed to the head of Islamic Republic’s judiciary, dozens of prominent Iranian attorneys have called for the immediate release of their colleagues, jailed on trumped up charges related to their defense of civil rights.

Referring to the pressures imposed on lawyers by the judicial and intelligence authorities, 49 signatories to the letter have insisted, “Any sort of discrimination, restrictions, and threats against legal counsels is illegal and leads to partial, unfair, and unjust trials.”

While several Iranian lawyers are currently behind bars, many more of them are free on huge bails, lined up for their trials.

Meanwhile, the signatories to the letter have asserted that a note added to the Article 48 of the Islamic Penal code is a source of discrimination against most lawyers.

The note limits the job of defending suspects in primary legal stages of national security-related cases to only twenty vetted lawyers, endorsed by the head of Islamic Republic’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani.

https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iranian-lawyers-demand-release-of-jailed-colleagues/29730100.html

https://middle-east-online.com/en/iran%E2%80%99s-hijab-protesters-not-cowed-crackdown

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/iran-sentencing-and-ongoing-arbitrary-detention-of-mr-farhad-mayssami

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/iran/2019/01/d25212/

https://www.newsghana.com.gh/iran-immediately-and-unconditionally-release-mr-farhad-mayssami/

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2019/01/25/Activists-in-Iran-will-continue-protests-despite-crackdown.html

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/iran/2019/01/d25213/

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

https://www.fidh.org/fa/%D9%85%D9%88%D8%B6%D9%88%D8%B9%E2%80%8C%D9%87%D8%A7/%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%B1/%D8%A8%D8%B1%DA%AF%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF-iran-sentencing-of-mr-reza-khandan?fbclid=IwAR1fWnHEUQGaSCQ3z2pPyKlfkMs-qklWQYFr5Fg9w_9wDMBhbq-7E4l7KqM (FARSI)

http://resistancerepublicaine.eu/2019/01/26/jeannette-bougrab-les-musulmanes-persecutees-pour-leur-refus-du-voile-ninteressent-pas-les-feministes/ (FRANCAIS)

Image may contain: Reza Khandan, text

Crimea/Russia/Ukraine: Russian Authorities Increase Pressure on Crimean Human Rights Lawyer

January 14, 2019

Justice Ministry Calls for Emil Kurbedinov’s Expulsion from Bar Association

 

Few human rights lawyers are brave enough to work in Crimea these days. A recent letter from Russia’s Ministry of Justice to Crimean defense lawyer Emil Kurbedinov threatening his profession is yet another stark reminder that Russian authorities intend to keep it that way.

Last month, Kurbedinov was arrested on charges of “public distribution of extremist materials” and sentenced to five days in jail for a 2013 social media post about a meeting in Crimea of supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist political movement opposed to violence. Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in Russia as a terrorist organization but operates legally in Ukraine. Kurbedinov had previously spent ten days in jail in 2017 after the court sentenced him on the same charges and for the very same post, but made on a different social media site.

Shortly after his release on December 25, Russia’s Justice Ministry sent Kurbedinov and the Crimean Bar Association letters requesting that Kurbedinov be expelled from the bar association by March 1 because of alleged involvement in “extremist activities.”

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/14/russian-authorities-increase-pressure-crimean-human-rights-lawyer

https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/halya-coynash-russia-launches-dangerous-attack-on-lawyers-in-crimea.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/112-ua-russia-search-houses-of-crimean-tatars-on-occupied-peninsula.html

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyer-s-expulsion-from-bar-association/29708692.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/rfe-rl-russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyers-expulsion-from-bar-association.html

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/russia/2019/01/d25201/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/russia-imminent-disbarment-of-emil-kurbedinov?fbclid=IwAR0GtoVbcF0bzXljxjv5u3GLFPSAuicOsUTVZEmYC7AKNNNRixgf6wklCYs

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/russia-bleak-year-human-rights

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/ukraine-human-rights-backsliding-election-looms

https://lso.ca/news-events/news/latest-news-2019/law-society-expresses-grave-concerns-regarding-hum

http://old.qha.com.ua/tr/toplum/hak-savunuculardan-uluslararasi-topluma-kurbedinov-cagrisi/176069/ (TURKCE)

Iran: Release on bail of Mr. Reza Khandan

January 7, 2019

OMCT Logo

OMCT logo

New information
IRN 001 / 0119 / OBS 002
Release on bail /
Judicial harassment
Iran
 

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 urgent intervention in the following situation in Iran.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) about the release on bail of Mr. Reza Khandan, a human rights defender known for having raised concerns on Facebook about human rights violations in Iran, including the imprisonment of human rights defenders and the prosecution of women who have campaigned against the imposition of the hijab. Mr. Khandan also campaigned for the release of his wife, Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, one of Iran’s most prominent human rights lawyers, who was arrested on June 13, 2018[1].

According to the information received, on December 23, 2018, Mr. Reza Khandan was provisionally released on a ‘personal guarantee’[2].

This followed a court hearing that was attended by Mr. Reza Khandan on December 19, 2018, at Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolution Court in Tehran. During the hearing, the Court agreed to change Mr. Khandan’s financial bail to a personal guarantee. Mr. Khandan is still facing charges of “gathering and colluding against national security” (Article 610 of the Islamic Penal Code), “spreading propaganda against the system” (Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code), and propagating and promoting disregard for hijab in the society.

Following Mr. Khandan’s release, medical doctor and human rights defender Mr. Farhad Mayssami and Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, who remain detained in Tehran’s Evin prison, ended their hunger strike. Mr. Farhad Mayssami had been on hunger strike since August 1, 2018 and received intravenous fluid against his will[3]. Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh had been on hunger strike since November 26, 2018, to express solidarity with Mr. Mayssami.

The Observatory welcomes the release on bail of Mr. Reza Khandan, but recalls that he should never have been incarcerated in the first place. The Observatory calls on Iranian authorities to end all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Reza Khandan and all human rights defenders in the country.

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/iran/2019/01/d25185/

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2030

https://women.ncr-iran.org/2019/01/09/unsr-iran-intensifies-crackdown-on-human-rights-defenders/

https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2019/01/nasrin-sotoudeh-and-bahai-political-prisoner-refuse-phone-calls-in-solidarity-with-nazanin-zaghari-ratcliffe/?fbclid=IwAR3tFZ7EumNigfoFqOm1xPMOQzQrZc7ppvbp0jHo8d1WYZQzjCA-63i5Bsg

https://women.ncr-iran.org/2019/01/13/women-prisoners-protest-prison-pressures/

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

#FreeNasrin

Image may contain: Reza Khandan, text