Tag Archives: The Netherlands

Pakistan/UK: Lawyer who defended Asia Bibi named Secularist of the Year

May 18, 2019

Lawyer who defended Asia Bibi named Secularist of the Year

A lawyer who defended a Christian woman who spent eight years on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan has been named as the Secularist of the Year for 2019.

Saif ul Malook, who defended Asia Bibi, was awarded the National Secular Society’s annual prize at its Secularism 2019 conference on Saturday 18 May.

The award presented by the human rights barrister and NSS honorary associate Geoffrey Robertson QC.

Asia Bibi was sentenced to death by hanging for allegedly insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad in November 2010. Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered her to be freed in October 2018. It upheld her acquittal in the face of a petition urging its quashing in January.

Malook represented Asia Bibi from 2014 until the end of the process. He has faced death threats from Islamists in response, as have the judges who ordered her to be freed.

He is now handling another blasphemy case involving Shaghufta Kausar, who faces a possible death sentence in Pakistan over a text message that allegedly insulted Muhammad.

Saif ul Malook said:

“Thanks to the National Secular Society for recognising my efforts to secure the acquittal of Asia Bibi.

“To fight blasphemy cases in Pakistan is putting one’s own and families’ lives at risk. The moral support from organisations such as the NSS has given me the courage to take the case of Shaghufta Kausar – another Christian woman on death row on blasphemy charges.

“I assure you that I plan to continue my mission in providing legal aid to all blasphemy victims even in future regardless to the threat to my life.”

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2019/05/lawyer-who-defended-asia-bibi-named-secularist-of-the-year

https://www.trendsmap.com/twitter/tweet/1129774573740843008

https://www.premier.org.uk/News/World/Asia-Bibi-s-lawyer-named-Secularist-of-the-Year

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/head-line-news-details/7108

https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2019/may/asia-bibi-survived-violent-islamic-mobs-in-pakistan-now-a-muslim-man-wants-to-slay-the-blasphemer-in-canada

https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/asia-bibi-free-but-another-christian-in-her-cell/

Pakistani mother cleared of blasphemy charges, joins her daughters in Canada

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/opinion-details/3331

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

Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling, text

Pakistan: Why Pakistan’s blasphemy law must be abolished

May 10, 2019

Asia Bibi is now safely in Canada. Picture: AFP.

Asia Bibi‘s long and highly publicized ordeal is finally over – she has been allowed to leave Pakistan. Bibi, a Christian, was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death. However, she was acquitted by the Supreme court in October last year after the prosecution failed to submit valid evidence against her.

Bibi’s acquittal sparked protests by religious fundamentalists across the country, and despite being acquited by the highest court in the country, Bibi was not allowed to leave Pakistan. The review petition against Bibi was also dismissed by the Supreme Court, but she was forced to remain in Pakistan until she quietly left for Canada on Wednesday. Such is the sensitivity of the matter that the government is tight-lipped about Bibi’s departure and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to confirm she was in Canada for security reasons.

Bibi is one of the more fortunate victims of Article 295-C of the constitution: unlike many others accused of blasphemy, after spending eight years in prison, she was able to flee the country. There are still dozens of people accused of blasphemy languishing behind bars in until their cases can be heard. The lower courts do not like to go against public sentiment and in most cases, despite the evidence against them being weak, the accused are given death sentences. The case of Professor Junaid Hafeez is a classic example. Hafeez, a lecturer at a government university in Punjab, was charged with blasphemy because of a Facebook post he made in 2013, and since then his case has been pending in the lower courts and the judge presiding over the case has been replaced six times. His lawyer, Rashid Rehman, was murdered in broad daylight after he refused to abandon the case.

Despite the prevalence of people being wrongly accused of blasphemy, Pakistan is still not ready to embrace reform. Hafeez is in solitary confinement and his misery is likely to continue indefinitely. The unsung hero of the Bibi case, the lawyer Saif ul Malook, who courageously fought for her acquittal, told this correspondent that in future he may take up the case of Hafeez. Malook is considered the best lawyer to defend people accused of blasphemy. He is immensely courageous and his knowledge of the law and the prosecution system is unrivaled. But what about the other people who are still waiting for justice to be served and why are their cases not getting media attention?

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/05/opinion/why-pakistans-blasphemy-law-must-be-abolished/

http://newsweekpakistan.com/trudeau-declines-to-confirm-if-aasia-bibi-in-canada/

Asia Bibi happy to be in Canada but ‘very tired’ after blasphemy ordeal, says friend

https://www.firstpost.com/world/asia-bibi-is-now-free-us-welcomes-pakistani-christians-arrival-in-canada-says-blasphemy-laws-jeopardise-fundamental-freedom-6598691.html

Asia Bibi leaves for Canada: Lessons for Pakistan

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/the-times/crushing-dissent-is-a-clear-sign-of-weakness/news-story/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canada-has-helped-muslims-thrive-and-we-must-extend-the-same-welcome/

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/pakistan-s-muted-response-as-asia-bibi-flees-to-canada-11518350

https://onenewsnow.com/persecution/2019/05/09/bibi-escaped-but-many-others-still-behind-bars-in-pakistan

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/may/asia-bibi-lawyer-malook-shagufta-shafqat-blasphemy-pakistan.html

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pakistani-christian-asia-bibi-finds-refuge-in-canada-but-faces-muslim-retribution

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

https://www.asiabibi.com/ (FRANCAIS)

Pakistan/Canada/The Netherlands: Asia Bibi: Christian leaves Pakistan after blasphemy acquittal

May 8, 2019

Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who spent years on death row after being convicted of blasphemy, has left the country, officials have confirmed.

Her conviction was overturned last year by the Supreme Court.

She was originally convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with her neighbours.

Asia Bibi has always maintained her innocence in a case that has polarised Pakistan.

Pakistani government officials did not reveal her destination, or say when she left.

But her lawyer Saif Ul Malook told CNN she had already arrived in Canada. Some of her family are reported to be in Canada.

Asia Noreen – commonly known as Asia Bibi – was kept at a secret location while arrangements were made for her to leave the country.

The Supreme Court’s quashing of her sentence last October led to violent protests by religious hardliners who support strong blasphemy laws, while more liberal sections of society urged her release.

Since 1990, at least 65 people have reportedly been killed in Pakistan over claims of blasphemy.

Asia Bibi, who was born in 1971 and has four children, was the first woman to be sentenced to death under the blasphemy laws.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48198340

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/08/asia-bibi-arrives-in-canada-after-leaving-pakistan

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/08/asia/asia-bibi-canada-intl/index.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7003763/Christian-mother-53-jailed-blasphemy-Pakistan-returning-home.html

http://www.arabnews.pk/node/1494276/pakistan#.XNKCGk0s9ZE.twitter

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2019/05/08/pakistan-christian-asia-bibi-canada-saifi-lkl-vpx.cnn

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

https://jang.com.pk/news/637364-asia-bibi-leaves-pakistan (URDU)

https://www.lepoint.fr/monde/la-chretienne-asia-bibi-a-quitte-le-pakistan-08-05-2019-2311315_24.php (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/la-chretienne-asia-bibi-a-quitte-le-pakistan-20190508 (FRANCAIS)

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

https://www.nzz.ch/international/asia-bibi-aus-pakistan-ausgereist-ld.1480237 (DEUTSCH)

https://www.actuall.com/persecucion/asia-bibi-abandona-pakistan-seis-meses-despues-ser-absuelta-de-la-condena-a-muerte-por-blasfemia/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2019/05/08/news/asia_bibi_lascia_il_pakistan_l_accogliera_il_canada-225739746/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.ad.nl/buitenland/asia-bibi-is-onderweg-naar-canada~a4b9b763/ (NEDERLAND)

https://www.stichtinghvc.nl/nieuws/nieuwsoverzicht/blog-rechtszaak-asia-bibi-update/?fbclid=IwAR2E7cYQC4HagpKL-W0gxcXUrpwLEXZru_gqI9pPNdLpuBN6mXV4pHkBTPY (NEDERLAND)

Pakistan/USA/The Netherlands: Lawyer of Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi Nominated For Rights Award

April 30, 2019

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Lawyer Saif-ul-Malook, who prevented the execution of a Pakistani Christian woman, has been nominated by several European Parliamentarians for a top rights award. Legislators say the lawyer should receive the Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award for his courage in defending Asia Bibi, who faced the death penalty in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy against Islam.

In November 2018, he fled Pakistan because of death threats from Islamists after Pakistan’s Supreme Court decided to acquit Bibi from all accusations of blasphemy.

When the Supreme Court decided to review the acquittal, Saif-ul-Malook returned to Pakistan to represent Bibi. “The courage Saif has shown in the whole case is remarkable,” said Dutchman Peter van Dalen of the ChristianUnion-SGP faction in the European Parliament. His office told BosNewsLife that several other European lawmakers also nominated the lawyer including Manfred Weber, the chairman of the influential European Peoples Party, and other parliamentarians.

The Four Freedoms Awards are presented annually to those showing a significant commitment to one of four principles proclaimed by late U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as essential to democracy: ‘freedom of speech and expression,’ ‘freedom of worship,’ ‘freedom from want’ and ‘freedom from fear.’

SPECIAL PRIZE

The prize is given in alternate years in New York City by the Roosevelt Institute to Americans and in Middelburg, The Netherlands, by the Roosevelt Foundation to non-Americans. Legislators nominate Saif-ul-Malook under the ‘freedom of fear’ category because of “the great courage” he showed while defending Bibi, explained Van Dalen. “Despite the tensions surrounding the case and the threats to himself and his family, Saif-ul-Malook stood firm. He ensured that Asia Bibi had a strong defense”, Van Dalen he said in a statement.

Van Dalen described the lawyer as “a modern-day Good Samaritan and an example of how we can help each other regardless of differences in our religions or beliefs” and added that it “is an honor to represent him for this prize.”

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/head-line-news-details/7096

Lawyer of Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi Nominated For Rights Award

Asia Bibi’s Lawyer Nominated for Prestigious Human Rights Award

https://www.fourfreedoms.nl/en/awards.htm

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

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

https://www.rd.nl/vandaag/binnenland/advocaat-bibi-genomineerd-voor-prijs-1.1564671 (NEDERLAND)

https://www.nd.nl/nieuws/geloof/advocaat-van-asia-bibi-genomineerd-voor.3360052.lynkx (NEDERLAND)

https://www.fourfreedoms.nl/ (NEDERLAND)

http://www.ansa.it/sito/notizie/magazine/2019/04/24/blasfema-la-storia-di-asia-bibi_51418d53-2981-4d66-8e0f-4cedd4ea8930.html (ITALIANO)

The Netherlands/Turkey: Invitation Lawyers for Lawyers Award Ceremony 2019

April 24, 2019

Presenting the 2019 Laureate of the Lawyers for Lawyers Award:

Selçuk Kozağaçlı
Human rights lawyer from Turkey

 

The Award Ceremony will take place on 23 May 2019 in Amsterdam. Register now to attend!

The seminar will be organized in collaboration with the Amsterdam Bar Association and the Justitia Commission of the Young Lawyers Association Amsterdam. The main topic of the seminar will concern the developments surrounding the proposed European Convention on the Profession of Lawyers. Two panel discussions will be organized around this topic.

Programme:
14.00 – 17.00 | Seminar on the proposed European Convention to Protect Lawyers. Speakers include, amongst others, François Moyse (Vice-Chair of the CCBE European Convention Working Group), Mikolaj Pietrzak (president of the Warsaw Bar Association), Hanne Juncher (Head of Department, Justice and Legal Co-operation, Council of Europe), Prof. Egbert Myjer (Commissioner International Commission of Jurists and former judge at ECHR) and former Award winners and lawyers Sirikan ‘June’ Charoensiri (Thailand) and Alec Muchadehama (Zimbabwe)

Invitation Lawyers for Lawyers Award Ceremony 2019

https://bianet.org/english/law/207848-selcuk-kozagacli-objects-to-prison-sentence-of-11-years-3-months

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/selcuk-kozagacli-detained

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/lawyer-yaprak-turkmen-arrested

http://bianet.org/english/human-rights/207890-video-footage-showing-detention-of-lawyer-battered-for-allegedly-insulting-president

https://ahvalnews.com/freedom-expression/collapse-rule-law-erdogans-turkey?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook&fbclid=IwAR3w0po2_s4gj4zZbwxzK5_2JjbY7v0Bt7ccSw3rXhWb2Og8uC_OWTasFPE

https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-interpol/turkey-may-be-worlds-most-prolific-abuser-interpol-red-notices

http://bianet.org/bianet/insan-haklari/207843-selcuk-kozagacli-11-yil-3-ay-hapse-itiraz-etti (TURKCE)

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/378142/kozagacli-kendisine-verilen-cezaya-itiraz-etti-on-birinci-gerekce (TURKCE)

https://www.independentturkish.com/node/25166/haber/tutuklu-%C3%A7hd-genel-ba%C5%9Fkan%C4%B1-sel%C3%A7uk-koza%C4%9Fa%C3%A7l%C4%B1-istinaf-mahkemesi%E2%80%99ne-ba%C5%9Fvurdu#.XMGVGPNkdI4.twitter (TURKCE)

https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/gundem/2019/04/24/dosyama-baktirmadiniz-gerekcelerimi-siz-bulun/ (TURKCE)

Image result for selçuk kozağaçlı

https://arrestedlawyers.org/

USA/Ecuador/Canada/The Netherlands: Dutch Supreme Court Rules for Chevron in Ecuador Dispute

April 16, 2019

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has ruled in favor of Chevron Corporation, rejecting the Republic of Ecuador’s attempts to annul decisions of an international arbitral tribunal in The Hague that ordered Ecuador to take all steps necessary to prevent enforcement of a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron anywhere in the world. The Ecuadorian judgment previously was found by the international arbitral tribunal and by U.S. courts to have been obtained through fraud, bribery and corruption.

The arbitral tribunal, administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, issued interim and partial awards in favor of Chevron in 2012 and 2013 in proceedings brought by Chevron to hold the Republic of Ecuador accountable for the fraudulent and corrupt litigation against the company in that country. The arbitral awards ordered the Republic of Ecuador “to take all measures necessary to suspend or cause to be suspended the enforcement and recognition within and without Ecuador” of the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron. The decision by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands upholds the rulings of two Dutch lower courts that rejected the Republic of Ecuador’s attempts to annul those awards.

“The highest court in the Netherlands confirmed that Ecuador is required under international law to prevent enforcement of the corrupt Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron anywhere in the world,” said R. Hewitt Pate, Chevron’s vice president and general counsel. “The Dutch Supreme Court joins the courts of the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Gibraltar in rejecting the Ecuadorian fraud against Chevron. Chevron urges Ecuador to honor its obligations under international law, comply with the lawful orders of The Hague tribunal and put an end to the fraud and extortion against Chevron.”

These failed efforts to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment were led by adjudicated racketeer and suspended lawyer Steven Donziger. In 2018, Donziger was suspended from practicing law in New York State and Washington, D.C. after having been found by U.S. federal courts to have engaged in a longstanding pattern of racketeering activity in procuring the Ecuadorian judgment, including multiple acts of fraud, bribery and judicial corruption.

Dutch Supreme Court Rules for Chevron in Ecuador Dispute

Chevron Ecuador: Chevron Wins In Ecuador Fraud Case In Dutch Supreme Court

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/business/julia-seymour/2019/04/18/chevron-wins-again-ecuador-told-end-extortion-against-oil

https://laopinion.com/latinowire/corte-suprema-de-holanda-falla-a-favor-de-chevron-en-disputa-con-ecuador/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.eleconomista.es/empresas-finanzas/noticias/9826255/04/19/El-Tribunal-Supremo-de-Holanda-falla-a-favor-de-Chevron-en-disputa-con-Ecuador.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.em.com.br/app/noticia/internacional/2019/04/16/interna_internacional,1046849/comunicado-do-business-wire-chevron-corporation.shtml (PORTUGUES)

Nigeria: Letter on behalf of Justus Ijeoma

April 10, 2019

Letter on behalf of Justus Ijeoma

In a letter to the Nigerian authorities Lawyers for Lawyers expressed concern about the maltreatment of Justus Ijeoma by the police. It was reported that Mr Ijeoma was brutally assaulted by police officers when accompanying a client to the State Command Headquarters of the Nigerian Police in Asaba, on 26 March 2019.

 

Justus Ijeoma is a Nigerian human rights lawyer and the executive director of the International Human Rights and Equity Defense Foundation (I-REF). His work especially focuses on police violence. By providing free legal services and advice his organization aims to improve the access to justice of the population and the public accountability.

According to the information we received, Mr. Ijeoma was brutally assaulted by officers of the anti-kidnapping unit of the Nigerian police force when accompanying a client to the State Command Headquarters of the Nigerian Police in Asaba, on March 26th, 2019. When his client still wasn’t interrogated in the early evening, Mr. Ijeoma suggested that they would plan the hearing for the next day. The Officer-in-Charge (OC) then ordered that Mr. Ijeoma’s client would be taken to the detention room. Mr. Ijeoma objected, informed his client about her rights and refused to hand over her phone, which led to him begin slapped in the face by the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) in the presence of the OC.  Mr. Ijeoma told the OC that he wanted to report to him that his officer had just slapped him, but got ignored and The OC ordered for Mr. Ijeoma’s detention too. He was then violently captured by four officers, who held him and beat him severely, tearing off his clothes. The officers chained his legs and left him in the room, which they filled with tear gas. When the officers returned and opened the door and window, Mr. Ijeoma managed to take a picture of himself with his phone by means of evidence and when he refused to hand over his phone the officers were ordered to beat him ‘professionally’ and avoid leaving any trace.

Letter on behalf of Justus Ijeoma

https://www.world-talks.com/blog/a-case-of-police-violence-in-nigeria-interview-with-justus-ijeoma

Human rights defender Justus speaks at the Rotterdam International Secondary School