Tag Archives: Sweden

European Court of Human Rights, UN bodies debunk Turkey’s post-coup prosecutions

14/07/22

On the sixth anniversary of a controversial coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016, the Turkish government continues to use emergency powers as well as the country’s overly broad and vague anti-terror laws to maintain its repressive control of the people. According to a statement from Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, 559,332 people have been investigated or prosecuted in the last six years for terrorism over their links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding the coup attempt, although the movement denies any involvement. While 116,702 people have so far been convicted of membership in a terrorist organization, 115,714 are still being investigated or standing trial. According to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, 332,884 people were arrested over their alleged links to the Gülen movement between July 16, 2016 and June 20, 2022, with more than 101,000 put in pretrial detention and 104,000 subjected to judicial supervision.

The government has deployed a set of variables to accuse and prosecute those people for membership in a terrorist organization under Article 314 of the Turkish Penal Code. These variables include (i) being a depositor at Bank Asya, a now-defunct Gülen-affiliated financial institution; (ii) being a shareholder in companies that have been dissolved/seized under a state of emergency declared after the failed coup for alleged Gülen links; (iii) using the ByLock messaging app, considered by Turkish authorities a secret tool of communication among members of the Gülen movement; (iv) police or intelligence agency reports; (v) analysis of social media activity and websites visited; (vi) donations made to relief organizations with alleged Gülen links; (vii) being a resident or student in dormitories or schools that were closed down under the state of emergency for alleged Gülen links; (viii) sending children to those schools that were subsequently shuttered; (ix) subscription to Gülen-linked publications; (x) information received from colleagues or neighbors; and (xi) being a manager, employee or member of a trade union, association, foundation or company closed/dissolved/seized under the state of emergency for alleged Gülen links.

Malicious prosecution is defined as the initiation of a criminal prosecution with malice and without probable cause. All those cases are literally malicious prosecutions since the set of variables used to prosecute hundreds of thousands of people are no more than details of everyday life and were absolutely lawful at the material time.

Indeed, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has so far found that pretrial detention based on those criteria is not sufficient to convince an objective observer of the existence of reasonable suspicion for being a member of a criminal organization.

[…]

Although Turkish courts are acting as willing executioners of the executive branch and no longer care or give credence to human rights conventions, constitutional principles or the law, when the victims are heard by the ECtHR and UN rights bodies, they are constantly being vindicated. It, therefore, proves the need for maintaining hope and continuing the fight for justice.

Statement of the Platform on judiciary in Turkey

Uganda: Trial of Nicholas Opiyo is also the trial of Museveni regime

03/01/21

To understand Nicholas Opiyo, you need a sense of perspective. You need to understand adversity. Above all, you need an ability to reflect on things that happen to you from a particular point of view. Nicholas Opiyo grew up at the height of the war in northern Uganda. He knows what injustice is. He knows what suffering is. Above all he knows what abuse of power is.

[…]

On Tuesday December 22, 2020, while Opiyo and four other human rights lawyers were having lunch at a Kampala restaurant, heavily armed and hooded men surrounded them, handcuffed them and bundled them abduction style into minivans and sped off. They surfaced at Kireka Special Investigations Unit on the outskirts of Kampala.
   
The regime harassing Opiyo is caught up in its own dilemmas and drama. It has forgotten that what they profess now is based on their point of view. The narrative they are pushing is that foreign powers are working through certain political leaders and prominent government officials to ferment instability and eventually overthrow the current government.

We recall the Kale Kayihura saga and the circumstance under which President Museveni took drastic measures to purge the police of “weevils” suspected of serving subversive foreign interests. Museveni insists that the police (and probably other security agencies) are heavily infiltrated and may have elements determined to undermine the Ugandan State. This may explain recent changes in the leadership of the Special Forces Command, the police and the intelligence organisations.

Opiyo may be in the dock now but in a wider sense, the Museveni regime is also in the dock. The money laundering charges aside, Opiyo’s real offence is that Museveni’s hitherto darlings in the power centres of the West are lending the likes of Opiyo a keen listening ear. It may be unsettling to the Uganda government that policies towards Uganda may be defined by the input of people like Opiyo.

https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/oped/commentary/trial-of-nicholas-opiyo-is-also-the-trial-of-museveni-regime-3245522

https://chapterfouruganda.org/articles/2021/01/01/6th-statement-frivolous-charges-against-nicholas-opiyo

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/01/bobi-wine-likens-uganda-election-to-a-war-and-a-battlefield

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/uganda-leading-rights-lawyer-released-on-bail/2093856

https://www.jurist.org/news/2020/12/ugandan-human-rights-activist-lawyer-nicholas-opiyo-freed-on-bail/

https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/human-rights-lawyer-opiyo-released-on-shs15m-cash-bail-3244244

https://eutoday.net/news/politics/2021/uganda-un-experts-raise-serious-concerns-over-forthcoming-presidential-elections

https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/oped/editorial/review-role-of-army-in-keeping-law-order-3245730

https://www.facebook.com/chapterfourug

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

https://fr.africanews.com/2020/12/31/ouganda-le-celebre-avocat-nicholas-opiyo-libere-sous-caution/ (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoweri_Museveni

Sweden/USA: ASAP Rocky’s Swedish lawyer injured in Stockholm shooting

September 7, 2019

Henrik Olsson Lilja

A prominent Swedish lawyer who represented US rapper ASAP Rocky in a recent assault case has reportedly been shot multiples times in Stockholm.

Police were called to a shooting in Kungsholmen at around 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT) on Friday.

Paramedics took one person, a man in his 50s, to hospital with gunshot wounds, police said.

The Swedish Bar Association has confirmed the victim is Henrik Olsson Lilja, CBS News reported.

Mr Lilja is reported to be in a serious but stable condition and one suspect has been arrested.

The lawyer represented ASAP Rocky after the rapper’s arrest in Stockholm over an assault during a street brawl on 30 June.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49616941

https://www.youredm.com/2019/09/07/asap-rockys-lawyer-shot/

https://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/a/1nwkRM/henrik-olsson-lilja-tack-for-allt-stod (SVENSK)

https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2019/09/06/un-ex-avocat-daap-rocky-blesse-par-balle-a-stockholm (FRANCAIS)

Sweden/USA: ASAP Rocky’s Swedish lawyer injured in Stockholm shooting

September 7, 2019

Henrik Olsson Lilja

A prominent Swedish lawyer who represented US rapper ASAP Rocky in a recent assault case has reportedly been shot multiples times in Stockholm.

Police were called to a shooting in Kungsholmen at around 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT) on Friday.

Paramedics took one person, a man in his 50s, to hospital with gunshot wounds, police said.

The Swedish Bar Association has confirmed the victim is Henrik Olsson Lilja, CBS News reported.

Mr Lilja is reported to be in a serious but stable condition and one suspect has been arrested.

The lawyer represented ASAP Rocky after the rapper’s arrest in Stockholm over an assault during a street brawl on 30 June.

On its website, Stockholm Police described the shooting as “an isolated incident with no known connection to recent violent crimes”.

What happened?

Mr Lilja was shot in the head and chest at his block of flats and then called the police himself with a neighbour’s phone, according to Swedish newspaper Expressen.

A witness told the paper Mr Lilja was shot while wrestling with a man on the ground.

The gunman, who fled the scene in a black SUV, is still at large, the paper reported.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49616941

Thailand: The Attorney General ruled not to prosecute Lawyer June for not allowing police to search her car, due to her lack of intention to comply with the order

August 30, 2019

On 27 August 2019, Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri, known as Lawyer June, went to meet the inquiry officer who was responsible for her case at Chanasongkram Police Station, Bangkok, to hear the Attorney General’s order not to prosecute her on an allegation of concealing evidence.  The order was due to the fact that there was no intention to hide any evidence since she only complied to the recommendation from military court officers to keep the belongings of the alleged fellow activists by her side. Furthermore, the police made the request to search her car during the night and without providing any reasonable legal grounds.

For the other charge of not complying with an official order without reasonable grounds or explanation, the responsible prosecutor issued an order to dismiss the case due to be barred by prescription.  As a result, the criminal proceedings against lawyer Ms. Sirikan for two such allegations have been terminated.

Today the representatives from the embassies of Canada, Sweden, Germany, the United States, the European Union, and officials from human rights organizations including Amnesty International (Regional Office) came to observe the proceedings.

Detailed accounts of the final non-prosecution order and the termination of legal proceedings

On 26 July 2019, the office of the Special Prosecutor issued notification document No. 0013.3/1076 to Chanasongkram Police Station giving a final order not to prosecute and to terminate the proceedings against lawyer Sirikan.  In summary, the document provided the following details:

https://www.tlhr2014.com/?p=13569&fbclid=IwAR2axLGo0dJ6hVoAKljha8PXyM4dPEaDt6hge-6MF5rfK9pHF3a8XtcK4ao&lang=en

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/judicial-harassment-against-sirikan-charoensiri

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

https://www.facebook.com/tlhr2014/

https://www.tlhr2014.com/?p=13465 (THAI)

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

China/UK/US/Germany etc: Wives of Detained Chinese Lawyers Meet With Foreign Diplomats

January 10, 2019

Li Wenzu (4th from L), wife detained Chinese rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, and Wang Qiaoling (5th from L), wife of rights lawyer Li Heping, pose with a group of Western diplomats in Beijing, Jan. 9, 2019.

The wife of detained Chinese rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, who has been held incommunicado without trial since 2015, has met with foreign diplomats together with Wang Qiaoling, wife of rights lawyer Li Heping, RFA has learned.

Yesterday morning, I and Wang Qiaoling met with diplomats in charge of human rights from … the U.K., U.S., Germany, the E.U., Switzerland and Austria,” Wang’s wife Li Wenzu told RFA on Thursday.

“Wang Quanzhang has been detained for three-and-a-half years, and I still know nothing about the trial,” she said. “I am starting to get very worried and anxious, because there has been no new information during the past couple of weeks.”

Li said the conversation had largely focused on her message to the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

“I wanted them to pass on a very clear demand from me to the Chinese government, that the Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court issue its verdict immediately,” she said.

“The [trial] ended … so the fact that they still haven’t issued a verdict indicates that they want to drag things out still longer, until everyone has forgotten about the whole thing,” Li said.

“They will then deal with the case when nobody is thinking about it any more,” she said.

Li said state security police had issued the families of rights lawyers and activists detained in a nationwide crackdown since July 2015 with the same warning; not to meet with foreign diplomats.

“The state security police wants the relatives to abide by four prohibitions, the most important of which was that we shouldn’t meet with diplomats,” she said. “But our situation would be far worse if it weren’t for international attention on the July 2015 cases.”

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/lawyers-wives-01102019135210.html?fbclid=IwAR28d8ocNcd2OyGJsEsdRx2rwyGWQzXE9chce7uVljSGOveWnQrU0efzFk4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Quanzhang?fbclid=IwAR1VZuD1Jax0P2gY_s87RnBCkjw5ZitlCg-RA_3XgNZlSZ5uzoMIo_EsHno

http://www.edelstam.org/news/the-edelstam-prize-laureate-2018-shaves-off-her-hair-in-protest-of-the-persecution-of-her-husband/

http://www.edelstam.org/

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

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/harassment-against-wang-quanzhang-family

https://chinadigitaltimes.net/2018/12/rights-lawyer-wang-quanzhang-tried-in-closed-hearing/

https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20190118/454190852176/la-lucha-sin-pelo-de-la-activista-li-wenzu-contra-una-china-sin-ley.html?fbclid=IwAR38wGVF3lPf6b-_mAYyXG2MlRZb4gbv7rs9LH2pLjTqRHZ6rRBlLiK8tig (ESPANOL)

https://www.eldiario.es/politica/lucha-activista-Li-Wenzu-China_0_858464255.html (ESPANOL)

https://sverigesradio.se/sida/gruppsida.aspx?programid=3304&grupp=6240&artikel=7126235&fbclid=IwAR0fDHk-Tv-Oph5vuNBbRkOeLlY2oDCSyfoQW8B4-Fmk8mPYqRqKuC3Zl1o (SVENSKA)

RED BUCKET PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF THE EDELSTAM PRIZE 2018 LAUREATE – LI WENZU
During the Edelstam Prize 2018 award ceremony, the Chinese sign for love was exposed, and all persons engaged in organizing the ceremony, wore the Chinese sign for love on their hearts. The theme of love and happiness pervaded the whole ceremony, especially in the end when children sang “We are the world,” everyone holding a red bucket with the Chinese sign of love to show support for Li Wenzu, responsible for organizing the important “Red Bucket Protest,” which took place on July 7, 2017 in front of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in Beijing. All the guests received a red chocolate heart when leaving the ceremony.
During the “Red Bucket Protest,” the wives of the detained human rights lawyers gathered in front of the Procuratorate in bright and red clothes with red accessories and red buckets, a color of love and happiness, to publicize their demand for information and access to the prisoners. On their dresses they had printed their husband’s names and messages of love. All the participants in the protest were finally detained, some of them badly beaten. Diplomats were not allowed into the Procuratorate.

(The Edelstam Prize  29/10/19)

China/Sweden: Wife of Detained Human Rights Lawyers Wins Human Rights Prize

November 28, 2018

Yuan Weijing (L), wife of exiled human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, accepts the Edelstam Prize on behalf of Li Wenzu, wife of disappeared human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhuan, in Stockholm, Sweden, Nov. 27, 2018.

Li Wenzu, wife of disappeared human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, has been awarded Sweden’s Edelstam Prize for “exceptional courage” in defending human rights, the organizers said.

But the prize was presented to U.S.-based activist Yuan Weijing in her place, as Li was prevented from traveling to Stockholm to receive the award in person.

“Actually, I was very unsettled when I found out I had won the award, because so many other relatives and lawyers affected by the July 2015 crackdown have done so much more than I did,” Li told RFA on Wednesday. “But I was very moved [to see] photos and videos [of the ceremony].”

“There have been so many people who have offered me their silent help over the past three years, and we wouldn’t have made it through with their support,” she said. “Some people told me that we are opposing an authoritarian power with love.”

The award ceremony featured a large Chinese character meaning “love,” as well as the iconic red buckets used by Li and fellow activists to highlight the plight of detainees.

“Everyone who attended the ceremony was given the character for ‘love,’ as well as a little red bucket,” Yuan Weijing told RFA after receiving the award on Li’s behalf.

“This award is intended as moral support for Li and for the other wives and family members, who, like her, have been fighting for their husbands’ rights and freedom,” she said.

Yuan, who now lives in the United States with her husband, human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng, said the award should also heighten awareness outside China of the plight of the country’s lawyers.

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/wife-of-detained-human-rights-lawyers-11282018113859.html

http://www.edelstam.org/news/persecuted-wife-of-detained-chinese-human-rights-lawyer-receives-the-edelstam-prize/

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/2175687/chinese-709-campaigner-banned-seeing-detained-lawyer-husband

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/wife-11082018144402.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-china-blog-39974953

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/twitter-activist-11162018131001.html

http://www.edelstam.org/the-edelstam-prize/

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

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

https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/renquanfazhi/lh-11272018154437.html (MANDARIN)

http://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/2627476 (MANDARIN)

Iran/Sweden: Swedish PEN Award for Nasrin Sotoudeh

October 31, 2018

Image result for nasrin sotoudeh

The Swedish PEN gives the Tucholsky Prize for 2018 to Nasrin Sotoudeh. Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist. Nasrin Sotoudeh has been in prison since June 2018.

According to the Deuche Welle Farsi website, the Tucholsky award by Swedish PEN will be awarded to Nasrin Sotoudeh for 2018.

In a text published by the official website of the Swedish PEN Association said, “This year’s Swedish PEN gives Tucholsky prize to Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer and writer, for her courage and her constant struggle to defend the voices that are in danger of censorship and silence in Iran.”

The Jury delegation said: “Nasrin Sotoudeh continues to fight for justice in defense of Iranian writers, journalists, and social activists in Iran.”

http://www.kampain.info/archive/25969.htm

https://iranintl.com/en/world/nasrin-sotoudeh-wins-2018-kurt-tucholsky-pen-award?page=1

https://pen-international.org/centres/swedish-centre

https://pen.org/advocacy-case/nasrin-sotoudeh/

https://www.voanews.com/a/in-tehran-new-hijab-protester-led-off-by-police/4635838.html

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

https://iranintl.com/%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%AF%DB%8C%D9%88/%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B7%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AC%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%B2%D9%87-%D9%88%DB%8C%DA%98%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AC%D9%85%D9%86-%D9%82%D9%84%D9%85-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%A6%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%87-%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%B1%DB%8C%D9%86-%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%87%D8%8C-%D9%88%DA%A9%DB%8C%D9%84-%D9%88-%D9%81%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82%E2%80%8C%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%B1?fbclid=IwAR0xrDYatKIDFSgv-ULIyPaW2dO-kJ_-s8jtZb6l064ZV5MJnoIInyrUbFQ (FARSI)

https://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2493&artikel=7078230 (FARSI)

http://www.idhbb.org/fr-page3.callplt2018.htm (FRANCAIS)

https://www.svenskapen.se/senaste-nytt/2018/10/29/nasrin-sotoudeh-fr-rets-tucholskypris?fbclid=IwAR1YEhcwiT5WMg_dQiwNf2UBmB_Rg7k0DWl9sc1klduwt_27koUA1gbuSUo (SVENSKA)

http://www.menschenrechtsverein.org/index.php/cat/70/aid/11531/title/Iran:_Repressalien_gegen_Menschenrechtsanwaeltin_Nasrin_Sotoudeh_und_ihre_Familie (DEUTSCH)

Image may contain: 2 people, indoor

UIA PORTO Cérémonie de clôture du. congrès de l’Union Internationale des Avocats- Hommage aux Avocats persécutés dans le monde et à NasrinSotoudeh lauréate Prix @LudovicTrarieux 2018 #uiacongress

(Ludovic Trarieux Facebook, 03/11/18)

Image may contain: Reza Khandan, text

Thailand/EU: Rights lawyer Sirikan June Charoensiri faces court again

June 19, 2018

Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

On 19 June, representatives from the EU Delegation to Thailand and Embassies of Sweden, the Netherlands, France and the US observed an indictment hearing of the case of Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri, a human rights lawyer. The purpose of the hearing was to establish whether she would be charged with concealing evidence and refusing to comply with an order, after she refused to allow the authorities to conduct a warrantless search of her car, which contained her clients’ information and consequently should be protected by the lawyer-client privilege.

 

(European Union in Thailand Facebook, 19/6/18)

https://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a19664067/woman-of-courage-award-june-charoensiri-thailand/

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1434487/rights-lawyer-sirikan-wins-us-award

https://clarionproject.org/meet-2018-international-womenofcourage/

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/theresa-may-mustnt-mince-words-over-thailands-human-rights-record-during-pm-visit

http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/13355/video-sirikan-june-charoensiri-received-l4l-award-one-year-ago/

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

https://prachatai.com/journal/2018/06/77501 (THAI/ENGLISH)

http://www.rfi.fr/asie-pacifique/20180622-thailande-france-prayut-chan-o-cha-premier-ministre-junte-pouvoir (FRANCAIS)

Turkey/Sweden: Turkey’s Persecuted Activist Keskin Bestowed Human Rights Award In Sweden

September 9, 2017

Turkey’s prominent human rights advocate and journalist Eren Keskin, who is facing 143 lawsuits and barred by Turkish government from international travel due to her position as editor-in-chief of the government closed pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem daily, was awarded by Stockholm-based Anna Dahlbäck Memorial Fund with the Human Rights Prize of 2017.

Since Eren Keskin could not attend the award ceremony in Mediterranean Museum (Medelhavmuseet) due to her travel ban her colleague Sidar Güney attended the ceremony on behalf of her and read out a two-page letter written by Keskin.

Keskin has stated in her written speech that the human rights situation in Turkey is dire and that hundreds of journalists, writers and human rights advocates are jailed after Turkish government’s intense crackdown on media and the rights defenders.

https://stockholmcf.org/turkeys-persecuted-activist-keskin-bestowed-human-rights-award-in-sweden/

http://www.roj24.de/englisch/eren-keskin-prosecuted-by-turkey-receives-human-rights-award-h13529.html

https://anfenglish.com/human-rights/eren-keskin-prosecuted-by-turkey-receives-human-rights-award-22007

http://www.annalindhsminnesfond.se/anna-lindh-prize/

http://annalindhsminnesfond.se/ (SWEDISH)

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

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