Tag Archives: Poland

Tajikistan: Jailed Tajik Lawyer Yorov Receives Human Rights Award In Warsaw

September 18, 2019

Buzurgmehr Yorov was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Tajik lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov has been awarded the Faiziniso Vohidova Human Rights Prize for his contribution to the development of democratic institutions and civil rights in Tajikistan.

The award is named after the late prominent Tajik lawyer, Faiziniso Vohidova, who for decades defended dissidents, rights activists, and opposition politicians.

The award, established by the Association of Central Asian Migrants in Europe, was handed to Yorov’s brother Jamshed Yorov in Warsaw at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, on September 18.

Speaking to RFE/RL after the ceremony, Jamshed Yorov noted the symbolism in his brother receiving the award named for Vohidova as “both had a role in protecting human rights and protecting the people.”

Yorov is among at least five human rights attorneys whom groups say have been targeted by Tajik authorities in connection with their work.

He was a lawyer for 13 jailed members and leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, which President Emomali Rahmon’s government labeled a terrorist organization and outlawed in 2015.

In October 2016, Yorov was sentenced to 23 years in prison after a court convicted him of calling for the government’s overthrow and inciting social unrest.

Later, his prison term was extended to 28 years on additional charges.

https://www.rferl.org/a/jailed-tajik-lawyer-yorov-receives-human-rights-award-in-warsaw/30171279.html

https://www.timesca.com/index.php/news/21617-tajikistan-jailed-lawyer-receives-human-rights-award-in-warsaw

https://www.rferl.org/a/faiziniso-vohidova-tajik-lawyer-who-defended-dissidents-for-decades-dies-at-55/29691242.html

Buzurgmehr Yorov

‘Europe Recognises Balkan Anti-War Activism is Important’

Nasser Zefzafi Not on the Shortlist for the 2019 Vaclav Havel Prize

https://www.rferl.org/a/finally-a-defense-of-tajikistan-s-lawyers/30185435.html

In Tajikistan lawyers have to be human rights defenders

https://eurasianet.org/tajikistans-prison-system-claims-victims-and-makes-monsters

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

Crimea/Ukraine: Eighty political prisoners held in Crimea now — lawyer

September 18, 2019

Eighty political prisoners held in Crimea now — lawyer

The persecution of Crimean Tatars and pro-Ukrainian activists, as well as their relatives and lawyers who protect them, is ongoing in Crimea.

A corresponding statement was made during a side event “Persecution of Crimean Tatars’ Defenders in Crimea: Attacks on Lawyers, Journalists and Activists” at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

Tamila Tasheva, the coordinator of CrimeaSOS organization, noted that pressure started to be put on Crimean Tatars and active Ukrainian population living on the peninsula after Crimea had been occupied. Thus, the activists and journalists began to leave Crimea and only representatives of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People stayed on their land. According to her, the activists, relatives of those persecuted and lawyers united in the Crimean Solidarity organization in 2016 but they also began to be oppressed by the occupying power of the Russian Federation.

“Over 80 political prisoners, including more than 60 Crimean Tatars, are held in Crimea now. They all are prosecuted under so-called ‘terrorism’ articles,” Crimean lawyer Emil Kurbedinov stressed.

Of course, these charges are completely trumped-up as the people are being persecuted for their active civic stance, for their views, Kurbedinov emphasized.

https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-polytics/2782678-eighty-political-prisoners-held-in-crimea-now-lawyer.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/halya-coynash-russia-treats-imprisoned-crimean-tatars-like-victims-of-the-1944-deportation.html

http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1544564886

http://www.civicsolidarity.org/article/1588/russian-authorities-crack-down-human-rights-activists-and-other-individuals-occupied

https://nbnews.com.ua/politika/2019/09/09/emil-kurbedinov-o-zakliuchennykh-krymskikh-tatarakh/ (UKRAINIAN)

https://qha.com.tr/haberler/avukat-kurbedinov-dan-kirim-tatar-siyasi-tutsaklari-ziyaret/81367/ (TURKCE)

https://qha.com.tr/haberler/avukat-emil-kurbedinov-dan-esir-degisimi-yorumu-soydaslarim-hala-mucadeleye-devam-ediyorlar/79328/ (TURKCE)

 

Council of Europe/CCBE: European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer: Update

September 2, 2019

https://www.ccbe.eu/actions/european-convention-on-the-profession-of-lawyer/

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/Top-Stories/attacks-on-lawyers-are-intensifying-eu-hearing-told/

http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/News/News-View-EN.asp?newsid=6944&lang=2

The case for drafting a European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer

[OPINION] Turkey tries to undermine the Council of Europe

http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/coe-case-for-convention-on-lawyer-profession-recommendation-2121.pdf

https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/the-value-of-strong-and-independent-legal-profession

https://www.ccbe.eu/fr/actions/convention-europeenne-sur-la-profession-davocat/ (FRANCAIS)

Poland: Scholars at Risk concerned about prosecuted law professor Wojciech Sadurski

July 18, 2019

#Poland: SAR is concerned about pending criminal and civil lawsuits against legal scholar Wojciech Sadurski that appear to be in retaliation for comments he made about Poland’s ruling party and a public broadcaster. Read SAR’s report: http://ow.ly/gHYG50v5kfI

(Scholars at Risk Facebook, 18/07/19)

https://verfassungsblog.de/open-letter-in-support-of-professor-wojciech-sadurski/ (POLSKIE)

https://pikio.pl/donald-tusk-1307192-prezydent/ (POLSKIE)

https://wiadomosci.onet.pl/tylko-w-onecie/wojciech-sadurski-populizm-jest-reakcja-na-niedostatki-demokracji-liberalnej/n7hc6f1 (POLSKIE)

https://telewizjarepublika.pl/prof-sadurski-punktuje-rzad-pewny-wygranej-pis-u-wskazuje-pozaluja-dnia-w-ktorym-wygrali,82180.html (POLSKIE)

https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Sadurski (POLSKIE)

Poland: Wojciech Sadurski: I criticized Poland’s government. Now it’s trying to ruin me.

May 22, 2019

Prof. Wojciech Sadurski

For many years now, I’ve asked the students in my course on the law of freedom of speech to read Floyd Abrams – a doyen of the First Amendment law in the United States, who was recently described by David McCraw as “the lawyer who has made the single greatest contribution to press freedom in our lifetimes.” Now I see that Abrams is heading the list of some 700 scholars from all over the world denouncing a flagrant violation of that same freedom by an ostensibly democratic government. The case in question is mine.

Over the past six months, the Polish government’s propaganda machine has repeatedly denounced me as an enemy and traitor. But it hasn’t left it at that. Various authorities and institutions have also sued and prosecuted me. Some of the cases have since been dropped, though mostly on formal grounds. But three remain pending against me and will go to court.

The ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) is suing me for civil defamation. State-run TV is also suing me for civil defamation as well as indicting me for criminal defamation. If I lose these cases, I could face huge civil and criminal fines and hefty legal costs. Court decisions could also potentially force me to take out expensive advertisements containing apologies. All of this vastly exceeds my means. I could also be compelled by the court to abstain from commenting publicly and critically about the ruling party. And a guilty verdict in the TVP criminal case theoretically carries a sentence of up to one year in jail, though that is unlikely in practice.

I have, in short, become the target of autocrats who have weaponized the law against their opponents.

Wojciech Sadurski: I criticized Poland’s government. Now it’s trying to ruin me.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/05/21/i-criticized-polands-government-now-its-trying-ruin-me/

https://www.euronews.com/2019/05/13/critic-of-poland-s-ruling-party-pis-slams-political-motivated-libel-cases

https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/opinion/strengthening-eu-rule-of-law-protection-start-with-freedom-of-expression/

Wojciech Sadurski

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5af3f84a4eddec846552ea29/t/5cde17f0913a8d000173d86c/1558058993494/IACL+statement+Sadurski+EF.pdf

https://wiadomosci.onet.pl/kraj/list-rektora-uniwersytetu-w-sydney-w-obronie-prof-wojciecha-sadurskiego/ltypqk6 (POLSKIE)

https://wpolityce.pl/polityka/447610-uniwersytet-z-sydney-broni-sadurskiego (POLSKIE)

https://dorzeczy.pl/kraj/103352/Sadurski-o-Konfederacji-Pelni-dla-PiS-role-scieku.html (POLSKIE)

https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Sadurski (POLSKIE)

Poland/Australia: Open Letter in Support of Professor Wojciech Sadurski

May 6, 2019

Profesor Wojciech Sadurski

Two months ago Armin von Bogdandy and Luke Dimitrios Spieker highlighted the plight of our colleague Wojciech Sadurski, a distinguished professor of law at the Universities of Sydney and Warsaw, and formerly at the European University Institute in Florence.  Professor Sadurski finds himself facing an array of charges and lawsuits in Poland for his outspoken criticism of the governing party, PiS.  As von Bogdandy and Spieker pointed out, such attempts to silence critics are not solely a matter of Polish law but also of European Union law and European human rights law, particularly in the context of the ongoing Article 7 TEU procedure against Poland. But matters have continued to worsen since that time for Sadurski, who has been targeted by no less than three sets of legal proceedings aimed at silencing him and punishing him for speaking out.  We write to draw attention to the legal harassment of Professor Sadurski by the Polish government and its allies, to the right of academics across the European Union to freely speak out and to criticize political leaders, and to publicly express our support for Wojciech Sadurksi.

The background is this: On 10 November 2018 Wojciech Sadurski called upon Polish citizens to boycott a so-called “Independence March” to be held in Warsaw. He tweeted: “If anyone still had any doubts, after the maneuver of the past two days this much should be clear: no honest person should go in a parade of defenders of the White race, who have hidden for a moment their “falangas” [a neo-Nazi symbol] and swastikas, in collusion with an organized criminal group PiS”.  On 13 January 2019, shortly after the murder of Gdańsk Mayor Mr Paweł Adamowicz, Sadurski tweeted that a politician was killed after he had been hounded by government media, and stated that no democrat and opposition politician should enter the premises of TVP, a public television station, which he described as a Goebbelsian media company.

These two tweets led to three currently pending cases.

Open Letter in Support of Professor Wojciech Sadurski

http://wyborcza.pl/7,95891,24757365,list-otwarty-naukowcow-popierajacy-prof-wojciecha-sadurskiego.html?disableRedirects=true (POLSKI)

https://wpolityce.pl/polityka/444364-sadurski-chce-przy-pomocy-ustawy-zrobic-czystki-w-tvp (POLSKI)

https://wpolityce.pl/polityka/444011-kaczynski-i-faszyzm-szokujace-slowa-pupila-kasty (POLSKI)

http://wyborcza.pl/7,95891,24757365,list-otwarty-naukowcow-popierajacy-prof-wojciecha-sadurskiego.html?disableRedirects=true (POLSKI)

https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Sadurski (POLSKI)

 

Poland/Tajikistan: Tajik dissidents attempt to challenge ruling class from Poland

October 26, 2018

Tajiks ‘banned’ at home form opposition alliance in Poland, where Islamophobia and anti-refugee sentiment is rising.

There are around 500 Tajiks in Poland [File: Kacper Pempel/Reuters]

To human rights campaigners, Alim Sherzamonov is a civil society activist.

But in his native Tajikistan, he is considered an “extremist”.

Sherzamonov is from Khorog in eastern Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, which borders Afghanistan, and is a local opposition leader.

Tensions between the Tajik government in Dushanbe and the people of Gorno-Badakhshan run high. Demonstrations six years ago turned deadly as the army and local armed forces clashed.

Like other Tajik opposition dissidents, Sherzamonov fled Tajikistan for Poland.

“We hope that Polish authorities will help us endorse our plight,” said Sherzamonov, who reached the Eastern European country last year.

In early September, he was appointed as a deputy leader of the National Alliance of Tajikistan – an opposition coalition of four Tajik dissident parties and organisations: the Forum of Tajik Freethinkers, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), the Association of Central Asian Migrants, and the People’s Movement “Reforms and Development in Tajikistan”.

The Alliance represents a broad section of Tajik society, including secular and traditional figures, and is based in Poland.

Jamshed Yorov, a lawyer from Dushanbe, is also among the Tajiks living in Poland. He was detained several times in his homeland on various charges before he escaped to Poland. Meanwhile, his brother Buzurgmehr Yorov, a human rights lawyer, was sentenced to 28 years in prison for defending political dissidents from the banned IRPT.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/tajik-dissidents-attempt-challenge-ruling-class-poland-181026134506650.html?fbclid=IwAR17dx3PikLcn2kkCxHXaX4gDfNNWhwj06sUs9-nhRYMkESGTcgtygo7mSI

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/agnieszka-pikulicka-wilczewska/free-fatima-tajik-regime-children-political-exiles-hostages

https://eurasianet.org/for-tajikistans-asylum-seekers-poland-is-a-dead-end

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/23/joint-letter-eu-regarding-human-rights-situation-tajikistan

https://www.article19.org/resources/tajikistan-human-rights-lawyer-buzurgmehr-yorov-sentenced-to-a-further-three-years-imprisonment/