Tag Archives: The Netherlands

The Netherlands: International statement of solidarity

October 7, 2019

On 4 October 2019, a memorial service was organized for Dutch lawyer Derk Wiersum. On this day, a international solidarity statement signed by 34 organizations including Lawyers for Lawyers was published.

International statement of solidarity

Mr. Wiersum, a well-respected lawyer and deputy judge, was shot in broad daylight right outside his house in Amsterdam in the early morning of 18 September 2019. He was representing a crown witness in the so-called Marengo-trial, a high-profile criminal case against members of an organization accused of several murders and attempted murders in the last couple of years. Although the events are still being investigated, it is assumed and highly likely that the death of Mr. Wiersum is related to his work as a lawyer.

This killing of a lawyer, apparently in connection with his work, raises serious concerns for the safety of lawyers and poses a threat to the proper functioning of the rule of law and the adequate protection of rights, including the right to remedies and fair trial.

The organizations welcome the prompt and public condemnation of this crime and the immediate measures taken by the Dutch authorities to initiate an investigation, which should lead to the identification and prosecution of the perpetrators. The organizations also welcome that measures were taken promptly and immediately to protect lawyers and all others who need protection in the Marengo-case. We expect that the Dutch authorities will do everything in their power to ensure that lawyers can do their work safely, freely, and independently in all circumstances.

International statement of solidarity


International Statement of Solidarity



The Netherlands: ‘We live in a narco-state’: murder of Dutch lawyer prompts fear and fury

September 19, 2019

Lawyers in gangland cases given emergency protection after unprecedented killing

Lawyers and prosecutors in major gangland drugs cases in the Netherlands have been given emergency protection after the unprecedented murder of a top defence lawyer prompted police and the media to claim that government naivety was turning the country into a narco-state.

Derk Wiersum was gunned down in the street as he left his home in the Amsterdam suburb of Buitenveldert on Wednesday morning. Police are searching for a 16- to 20-year old man in a black hooded top who fled the scene on foot.

Wiersum, 44, was acting for Nabil Bakkali, a crown witness in a case against 16 men accused of five murders between 2015 and 2017, whose brother was also shot dead last year shortly after authorities named Bakkali as a witness.

Dutch media compared Wiersum’s killing to the targeted Mafia assassinations of investigating magistrates in Italy in the 1990s or the lawless Colombia under the drugs baron Pablo Escobar.

Flags were at half-mast outside courtrooms across the Netherlands on Thursday and lawyers were to hold a minute’s silence as the justice minister, Ferd Grapperhaus, met officials from the public prosecutors’ office and representatives of Dutch lawyers’ associations to discuss the heightened security arrangements.






Netherlands: ICJ extremely concerned at killing of lawyer



L4L shocked by liquidation of lawyer

Derk Wiersum


https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2019/09/18/derk-zag-in-nabil-iemand-die-zijn-hulp-nodig-had-a3973880 (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/heeft-het-om-de-dreiging-voor-advocaat-derk-wiersum-onderschat~b1a928cb/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/une/justice-emoi-aux-pays-bas-apres-lassassinat-dun-avocat-en-pleine-rue (FRANCAIS)

https://www.rtbf.be/info/societe/detail_les-avocats-belges-sont-ils-inquiets-pour-leur-securite-apres-le-meurtre-de-leur-confrere-neerlandais?id=10319646 (FRANCAIS)

The Netherlands: Killing of crown witness’s lawyer Derk Wiersum shocks Amsterdam

September 18, 2019

Derk Wiersum was the lawyer for Nabil Bakkali, a crown witness in a case against 16 men accused of five murders.

The killing of Wiersum sent shockwaves in the Netherlands [Michel van Bergen/EPA-EFE]


A Dutch lawyer in a high-profile case against a group of men charged with a series of drug-related killings was shot dead in Amsterdam on Wednesday morning, police said.

The victim was identified as 44-year-old Derk Wiersum, a defence lawyer for Nabil Bakkali, a crown witness in the case against 16 men accused of five murders and one attempted murder in the Netherlands between 2015 and 2017.

The killing of Wiersum, a father and long-time criminal lawyer in Amsterdam, has sent shockwaves through the city and its justice system.

Police said they were searching for a youth aged between 16 and 20, who ran away after the shooting, which took place shortly after 7:30am local time (05:30 GMT).






Defence lawyer in major gangland killing case is shot dead





https://www.geenstijl.nl/5149628/advocaat-kroongetuige-nabil-b-doodgeschoten/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.nu.nl/binnenland/5994681/nctv-richt-team-op-voor-beveiliging-na-dood-advocaat-derk-wiersum.html?redirect=1 (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.linda.nl/nieuws/advocaat-derk-wiersum-liquidatie-nabil-b-kroongetuige/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/l4l-geschokt-door-de-liquidatie-advocaat/ (NEDERLANDS)

http://r.email3.wikafi.be/mk/mr/di8WpH3glwNErgw4KDWFcJztAlLf-DO-j9xlkGFSoGar40JE_gYf0c7nrDLP4ZhqMijKvGzBIaFfptLpfeqr8sglV2gwcpVxutJL7g (FRANCAIS & ENGLISH)

http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/pays-bas-un-avocat-abattu-en-pleine-rue-a-amsterdam-18-09-2019-8154477.php (FRANCAIS)



The Board and the Coordinator of the Foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer are deeply shocked by the horrifying murder attack this morning in Amsterdam on the human rights lawyer Derk Wiersum, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Our thoughts are with his family members and friends.

Our Foundation notes that this murder is also an attack on the State of Law and the Rule of Law. We wonder how the protection or the safety of this very fine colleague was taken care of by the State, especially because he had been threatened recently as a lawyer in the ‘crown witness case’.

We wonder how it is possible that the fact that our wonderful colleague gave legal aid can lead to this murder attack?

The United Nations principles on the role of lawyers not only strongly condemn all attacks on lawyers who perform their professional duty, but also urge states to guarantee the safety of lawyers and take all necessary measures to reach that goal. Furthermore, we see the attack on our colleague as very inhumane and urge the Dutch government to start a thorough investigation to those who ordered and committed this murder.

On behalf of the Foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer and the other international lawyer organizations mentioned,

Hans Gaasbeek and Symone Gaasbeek-Wielinga

Gaasbeek en Gaasbeek Advocaten

🏴 Le Barreau de Marseille est indigné ! 🏴

L’avocat pénaliste Derk Wiersum, âgé de 44 ans, a été assassiné hier en pleine rue à Amsterdam.

Il défendait un témoin clé dans le procès de deux personnes accusées de meurtre et trafic de drogue.

Cela est intolérable.

Nous tenons à exprimer notre solidarité envers nos confrères Hollandais, ainsi que nos sincères condoléances à la famille et aux proches de Derk Wiersum.

(Barreau de Marseille Facebook, 19/09/19)

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Pakistan/The Netherlands/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Celebrating Dissent: Interview Marathon part 5: Threatened lawyer Saif-Ul-Malook 2019 08 30

September 13, 2019

31 August-1 September 2019, Celebrating Dissent Festival, Amsterdam

Photos of Celebrating Dissent Festival at De Balie in Amsterdam

Persecuted Pakistani Christian woman builds new life in Canada







Image result for celebrating dissent amsterdam

Day of the Endangered Lawyer

Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Pride of Pakistan Saiful Malook

August 17,  2019

* To supplement Independence Day celebrations, the Daily Times will highlight, all of August, the individuals who continue to make Pakistan proud. Our 15th interview is with the award-winning and the internationally acclaimed lawyer Saiful Malook


Tell us about your foray into the field of law. How did it all begin for you?

I accidentally forayed into law. I had never thought that I would end up being a lawyer. All I wanted to do was to be free and lazing around. A friend of mine used to teach at Punjab Law College, Lahore. He was a senior judge and his name was Mian Nazeer Akhtar. I often visited him in the evenings and we hung out for a chit chat, etc. One day, he suggested I join the college he taught at since I wasn’t doing anything and I decided to give it a shot. The rest, as they say, is history.

When did you decide your area of interest?

I belonged to a feudal family and was already familiar with the thana culture, etc. Owing to my knowledge in this area, I decided to take up criminal law as it was my favourite. So, it began from there and my cases mainly have been in criminal law.

Tell us about some of the challenges that you faced when you were making your case for Asia Bibi? Were you confident that you would win?

A lifetime of threat is all I would say. I would be driving around and would spot a motorbike being ridden by two men, following me. My heart would jump and I would immediately take a turn and often times, the bike would coincidentally take the turn with me and I would be sure that they’re out to kill me. Such is the aftermath. Until lawyer and activist Asma Jahangir was alive, she would call me and ask jokingly if I were still alive. She was the one who had advised me to settle abroad after the case ended. You see, when I started working on the case, I was not that confident. I worked on it for four years; 2014 onwards. I worked on it day and night, the same way a scholar prepares for his/her PhD research papers. One has to read a plethora of books for information and knowledge and sometimes even that’s not enough. I remember the final argument which took place on October 8, 2018. It lasted for three hours. I had been praying for four years that Dear God, please let Asif Saeed Khan Khosa be part of the bench as he was one judge who understood criminal law the best in the entire subcontinent. Mian Saqib Nisar had expressed his desire to hear the case and I knew in my heart that he wasn’t fond of me. I also knew in my heart that he didn’t know the ABC of criminal law. It was a chilling and a challenging time as people were following and supporting Mumtaz Qadri like Ahmedis follow Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani or Shias follow Hazrat Imam Hussain. You know with full commitment. The day arrived when the list for the bench was released. It was a Friday. It comprised Saqib Nisar, Asif Khosa and Mazhar Alam Miankhel (a person whose existence did not really mean anything). I saw the list and thanked Allah. I thought if Asia Bibi was acquitted, we would look good in front of the world. Do you know the European Union had threatened us that if Asia would not be acquitted, aid amounting to 35 to 38 billion euros will not be given to us. After I had won the case, I remember returning from Paris to Amsterdam when a young girl came running towards me, asking if I were the lawyer who had dealt with Asia’s case. I said yes and she looked at me is if one would look at a hero.

Pride of Pakistan Saiful Malook




Son of Pakistan Governor Murdered for Supporting Asia Bibi Says There are 200 More Cases Just Like Hers








Day of the Endangered Lawyer

Turkey/The Netherlands: Event at Consulate in honor of L4L Award for Selçuk Kozağaçlı

July 15, 2019

Event at Consulate in honor of L4L Award for Selçuk Kozağaçlı

On 10 July 2019 the Dutch consulate in Istanbul hosted a special event in honor of the Lawyers for Lawyers Award given to lawyerSelçuk Kozağaçlı from Turkey. Kozağaçlı, who is currently serving a long prison sentence in Turkey, has accepted the award under the condition that it is dedicated to all lawyers and others who are in prison as a consequence of their work to protect the rule of law and human rights.


The event at the consulate was opened by consul-general Bart van Bolhuis, who emphasized that the consulate supports, and will keep on supporting, lawyers in Turkey who are under pressure, prosecuted and detained because of their human rights work. L4L-president Irma van den Berg handed over the award to mr. Kozağaçlı’s colleague and wife, Betül Vangölü Kozağaçlı applauding the dedication and courage of mr. Kozağaçlı and his colleagues. Mrs. Vangölü underlined that it is the responsibility of every lawyer to protect the rule of law and human rights, even if this is at personal risk.

The event was attended by the president of the Bar Association of Istanbul, mr. Mehmet Durakoğlu, other lawyers, and international observers from Greece, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland. The international observers were in Istanbul to attend the hearing in the so-called CHD-1 case, in which both Selçuk Kozağaçlı and Betül Vangölü Kozağaçlı stand trial.

The award ceremony itself took place on 23 May 2019, in the presence of Dutch Minister of Justice Ferdinand Grapperhaus, and more than 200 people including lawyers from the Netherlands and abroad. Serife Ceren Uysal received the award on behalf of mr. Kozağaçlı, as he was absent due to his prison sentence.


Selçuk Kozağaçlı to receive L4L Award 2019

L4L observed hearing in the CHD-1 trial


Turkey: ICJ Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

Turkey : IBAHRI and ICJ observe criminal trial on “Gezi Park” protests

https://t24.com.tr/haber/selcuk-kozagacli-yargilandigim-davanin-evraklari-bana-gosterilmiyor,829986 (TURKCE)

https://fr.euronews.com/2019/07/15/les-revelations-d-un-ancien-juge-limoge-en-turquie (FRANCAIS)

Turkey/The Netherlands: Gündem ‘Lawyers For Lawyers’ ödülü Selçuk Kozağaçlı’ya verildi


Ödülü, Kozağaçlı adına Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği genel merkez yöneticisi avukat Ceren Uysal aldı


Hukukun üstünlüğünü ve insan haklarını tanıtmak için çalışan ve çalışmaları nedeniyle tehdit altında olan bir avukata verilen ‘Lawyers For Lawyers’ ödülü tutuklu Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği (ÇHD) Genel Başkanı Selçuk Kozağaçlı’ya verildi.

Kanun Hükmünde Kararname (KHK) ile kapatılan Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği’nin (ÇHD) genel başkanı Selçuk Kozağaçlı örgüt üyesi olmak” iddiasıyla çıkarıldığı mahkemede tutuklanmıştı.

Verilen ‘Lawyers For Lawyers’ ödülünü Kozağaçlı adına Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği genel merkez yöneticisi avukat Ceren Uysal aldı.






Selçuk Kozağaçlı’ya, ‘Hukukun üstünlüğü’ ödülü

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/about-us/lawyers-for-lawyers-awards/ (ENGLISH)

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/Top-Stories/human-rights-honour-for-turkish-lawyer/ (ENGLISH)

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/invitation-lawyers-for-lawyers-award-ceremony-2019/ (ENGLISH)

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/selcuk-kozagacli-to-receive-l4l-award-2019/ (ENGLISH)

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/05/21/lawyers-for-lawyers-award-to-turkish-human-rights-defender-selcuk-kozagacli-on-23-may/ (ENGLISH)


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