Tag Archives: UK

UAE/UK: Amnesty UK throws birthday party in Manchester for two activists locked up in the UAE

November 14, 2018

The Manchester chapter of Amnesty International (AI) celebrated the birthdays of two human rights activists being detained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Members of the public and policymakers were invited to St Peter’s Square for birthday cake and to sign the petition calling for the political activists’ immediate release.

An oversized birthday card for the human rights defenders was brought to the square to be signed.

Labour Party Councillor for Burnage, Ben Clay, arrived to sign the card and show his support for the two activists.

Speaking with Mancunian MattersCouncillor Clay said: “These abuses bring shame upon the government of the UAE, and also upon those who have dealings with them.”

Dr Al-Roken is a human rights lawyer sentenced to ten years in prison in July 2013 after criticising the UAE’s leaders and its policies.







http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)


Pakistan/The Netherlands/UK: Lawyer of Asia Bibi: Don’t deprive me of my honour


For lawyer Saif-ul-Malook (62) the Asia Bibi-affair far and wide is the most delicate matter with which he had to deal during his time as a jurist. „As I took this affair upon me, it felt as putting on a bomb jacket. To declare oneself a lawyer of the most well-known suspect of blasphemy in Pakistan stands equal to suicide.”

He looks energetic, the lawyer of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian who in 2010 was sentenced to death. After the Supreme Court had recalled the judgement at Wednesday, Malook left his home country at Saturday. Shortly after he had spoken to the international media at The Hague Monday afternoon, he takes some time for an interview.

Malook, short in stature, looks with a penetrating view from above the rim of his glasses. “Just pose questions to me, I have time, even if it takes me three, four hours. The fact that I am now in the Netherlands is part of my vocation, for if I hadn’t been a lawyer, I wouldn’t have been here. I have lost my freedom, but not my self-regard and not the respect from the Western world for my role in the Bibi-affair too, as I hope.”

Malook became involved in the affair on the position of Christians in his country after the murder on the governor of the province of Punjab, Salman Taseer, in 2011. This politician plead for abolishing the notorious blasphemy laws. In Pakistan, these are applied frequently to condemn Christians and other minorities because of doubtful accusations.






https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/news/eu-parliament-week-ahead-merkel-strasbourg-mmf-budget-phone-calls-cap-top-agenda (“On Wednesday, there will be a debate on the case of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman recently acquitted of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row. Antonio Tajani is due to hold a press conference in Strasbourg with Saif-ul-Malook, Asia Bibi’s lawyer, and MEP Peter Van Dalen.”)




https://nos.nl/artikel/2258468-advocaat-van-asia-bibi-wil-dat-nederland-de-vrouw-en-haar-gezin-opvangt.html (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.telegraaf.nl/nieuws/2776883/ministerie-biedt-advocaat-asia-bibi-opvang?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=twitterfeed (NEDERLANDS)



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Pakistan/The Netherlands/UK: Blasphemy lawyer flees after Pakistan capitulates to extremists

November 5, 2018

An extremist in Islamabad demands death for Asia Bibi. Picture: AFP

The lawyer for a Christian woman cleared of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row in Pakistan has fled the country and her husband has asked Britain, the US and Canada to grant the family asylum.

Saif-ul-Mulook feared for his safety after the Supreme Court ­acquittal of Asia Bibi on Wednesday infuriated hardline Islamists, who held nationwide protests demanding her execution.

“In the current scenario, it’s not possible for me to live in Pakistan,” the 62-year-old lawyer said before boarding a plane to Europe on Saturday. “I need to stay alive as I still have to fight the legal battle for Asia Bibi.”

Ms Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, called for Britain to grant the mother and their family refuge amid fears for their safety.

In a video, he says: “I am requesting the Prime Minister of the UK help us and as far as possible grant us freedom.”

Speaking in Punjabi, he also called for asylum from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump.

The lawyer said the Islamist outcry was “unfortunate but not unexpected”. “What’s painful is the response of the government. They cannot even implement an order of the country’s highest court,” he said, adding that “the struggle for justice must continue”.

Dawn, the country’s oldest newspaper, in an editorial on Saturday blasted the deal as “another surrender”. “Yet another government has capitulated to violent ­religious extremists who neither believe in democracy, nor the constitution,” it read.

Mr Mulook said last week that he would have to leave Pakistan because the followers of hardline cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi had threatened to kill him as well as the judges who acquitted Ms Bibi.













https://www.ouest-france.fr/monde/pakistan/l-avocat-d-asia-bibi-chretienne-menacee-pakistan-s-est-refugie-aux-pays-bas-6052528 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lci.fr/international/pakistan-le-mari-de-la-chretienne-asia-bibi-demande-l-asile-pour-sa-famille-2103502.html (FRANCAIS)

https://denhaagfm.nl/2018/11/05/gevluchte-advocaat-van-pakistaanse-vrouw-asia-bibi-in-den-haag/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://nieuws.marokko.nl/54491/advocaat-asia-bibi-naar-nederland-gevlucht/s/af6aed7d4cea286cbb3a19ed14d54ed3/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.nporadio1.nl/homepage/12836-advocaat-asia-bibi-vlucht-vanuit-pakistan-naar-nederland (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.limburger.nl/cnt/dmf20181105_00079523/advocaat-bedreigde-asia-bibi-naar-nederland-gevlucht (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.nd.nl/nieuws/buitenland/advocaat-asia-bibi-geeft-persconferentie-in.3178546.lynkx (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/advocaat-van-asia-bibi-ontvlucht-pakistan-uit-vrees-voor-wraaklustige-godsdienstfanaten~b90d09e9/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.stichtinghvc.nl/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.ad.nl/binnenland/advocaat-bedreigde-asia-bibi-naar-nederland-gevlucht~a5516c4b/ (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.dagelijksestandaard.nl/2018/11/advocaat-van-asia-bibi-is-in-nederland-op-de-vlucht-voor-gewelddadige-extremisten/ (VLAAMS)

https://www.demorgen.be/buitenland/asiel-voor-asia-bibi-in-ons-land-niet-uitgesloten-honderden-mensen-opgepakt-na-protesten-in-pakistan-bb92fbef/?referer=https://www.google.com/ (VLAAMS)

https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/pakistan-bibi-101.html (DEUTSCH)

http://www.affaritaliani.it/cronache/asia-bibi-il-suo-avvocato-570292.html (ITALIANO)

https://www.corriere.it/esteri/elezioni-usa-midterm-2018/notizie/asia-bibi-l-avvocato-fa-scalo-italia-ora-rischio-io-morte-pakistan-78ae9558-df7b-11e8-8b9f-4c483395dbc7.shtml?fbclid=IwAR0-Yk3XZGyrRRkxQY3SEbzjuAYrI1AnlM0ZHy7luTZyN4E0Nlok8gsdGeI (ITALIANO)

https://www.imolaoggi.it/2018/11/05/avvocato-di-asia-bibi-a-roma-mi-hanno-trattato-come-un-terrorista/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.ecodibergamo.it/stories/premium/Editoriale/asia-bibi-e-amalguerra-nellislam_1293687_11/ (ITALIANO)

http://www.secoloditalia.it/2018/11/httpswww-youtube-comwatchv2ltnjd98f00/ (ITALIANO)

http://www.askanews.it/esteri/2018/11/05/legale-asia-bibi-costretto-a-lasciare-pakistan-contro-mia-volont%C3%A0-pn_20181105_00259/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.diariovasco.com/agencias/201811/05/abogado-cristiana-pakistani-asia-1286165.html (ESPANOL)

https://noticias.uol.com.br/ultimas-noticias/efe/2018/11/05/advogado-de-paquistanesa-asia-bibi-se-refugia-na-holanda-por-seguranca.htm (PORTUGUES)

https://www.haberturk.com/belcikadan-asia-bibi-icin-siginma-hakki-teklifi-2207560 (TURKCE)

N.B.: Asia Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook is today in The Netherlands, where he gave a press conference in The Hague organised by HVC (Hulp Vervolgde Christenen), after being forced to flee Pakistan last Saturday due to numerous death threats.  He plans to spend a couple of days in Paris and then settle in London.




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UK/UAE: Lawyer tortured in Dubai tells Scots UAE judges to challenge human rights abuses or quit

October 14, 2018

David Haigh spoke out after it emerged a British university student had been held ‘without explanation’ for five months.

A lawyer tortured in Dubai has urged Scottish judges working in the United Arab Emirate to challenge human rights abuses or quit.

Former Leeds United chairman David Haigh spoke out after it emerged Durham University student Matthew Hedges had been held “without explanation” for five months.

Matthew’s wife has claimed that his rights are being “violated on a daily basis” after being accused of spying.

A Sunday Mail investigation last week revealed Scottish and other UK judges are on the payroll of the UAE despite its toxic human rights record.

Haigh was arrested in Dubai in 2014 after a dispute with his former employers and tortured while held in prison without trial for 14 months.

Haigh, of campaign group Detained in Dubai, said: “In light of yet another British citizen being held by the UAE and deprived of basic legal rights, these judges need to speak out and call for an urgent investigation.

“If that is not done properly then they need to resign. For Scottish and English judges to continue turning a blind eye to flagrant abuses of human rights and the rule of law is untenable.”









http://www.rfi.fr/europe/20181023-chercheur-britannique-juge-emirats-arabes-unis-accuse-espionnage-printemps-arabes (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20181021/452460228569/hrw-acusa-emiratos-de-negar-asistencia-legal-a-estudiante-britanico-detenido.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.punjabkesari.in/international/news/british-student-matthew-hedges-charged-with-spying-in-uae-891261 (HINDI)

UK/Colombia/Egypt/China/Honduras etc: Occupational hazards

October 22, 2018

Turkey arrest

Lawyers all over the world risk losing their liberty – and worse – when they seek to uphold fundamental human rights. Jonathan Rayner reports


Across the world in places once deemed ‘safe’, the rule of law is under pressure to give way to populism and authoritarianism – meaning lawyers’ clients and their own support for justice are putting them personally at risk. In Colombia, 120 lawyers were murdered in 2017. President Erdogan’s crackdown in Turkey has seen 22 advocates put on trial for ‘terrorism’, and the list of countries where similar incidences are occurring is long – including China, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Venezuela, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and Kenya. Yet international solidarity between lawyers is strong, and many are organising to protect and support persecuted colleagues in a battle for justice that can feel like it must be fought street-by-street.


English lawyers, and this is perhaps to over-dramatise matters, have been at imminent risk of violent death since 1591. That was the year that Shakespeare wrote Henry VI part two and placed the words, ‘The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers’, into the mouth of a rebellious Dick the Butcher. Some 427 years later, the Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2018 was marked by lawyers in 35 European and other cities worldwide. They were showing solidarity with their persecuted Egyptian counterparts, the same way that in the previous two years they had demonstrated their support for imperilled lawyers in China and Honduras.

Egypt, China, Honduras – three nations on three different continents. The threat to lawyers, although small in the UK, is global. Dick the Butcher’s rantings have been supplanted by something altogether more sinister: extra-judicial executions, state-sanctioned wrongful imprisonment and harassment, electronic surveillance and an autocratic disregard for the rule of law. Sir Patrick Elias, president of the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk and a retired Appeal Court judge, says the problem is widespread: ‘It flourishes wherever there are dictatorships.’



UK/Iraq: Lawyers who pursued claims against British troops in Iraq will not face new misconduct charges

October 20, 2018

High Court dismisses Solicitors Regulation Authority’s attempt to overturn tribunal that cleared lawyers of wrongdoing 

Anna Crowther, Martyn Day and Sapna Malik, from law firm Leigh Day

Members of a law firm that pursued “baseless” allegations British troops tortured and murdered Iraqi detainees will not face new professional misconduct charges, after a legal challenge failed.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) had tried to prosecute Leigh Day co-founder Martyn Day and colleagues Sapna Malik and Anna Crowther, over their handling of claims against the Ministry of Defence.

But in June last year, a tribunal found none of the allegations were proven and cleared the lawyers of wrongdoing. The SRA challenged the findings.

Lawyers for the regulator claimed the earlier decision was “significantly flawed”, but the High Court dismissed its appeal on all grounds.

“There is, overall, no proper basis on which the appellate court, on established principles, can legitimately interfere with the assessment of the evidence and the evaluative judgment of the tribunal on any of the allegations which are the subject of this appeal,” Lord Justice Davis, Justice Foskett and Justice Holgate concluded.

“The outcome is that this court unanimously concludes that all the grounds of appeal fail.”






Nigeria/Saudi Arabia: Chimamanda Adichie wins 2018 PEN Pinter prize for ‘outstanding’ literary work

October 11, 2018

Chimamanda Adichie has been endowed with the 2018 PEN Pinter prize for her outstanding work of literary merit that has defined the truth in human lives and societies.

The critically acclaimed author was given the coveted prize at an award-giving ceremony, which took place at the British Library in the United Kingdom, on Tuesday.

Adichie was selected by this year’s judges, Inua Ellams, Philippe Sands, Antonia Fraser and Chair of English PEN and Chair of Judges, Maureen Freely.

She is the first African to have clinched the award which is focused on defending and promoting freedom of expression, while removing barriers to literature.

At the ceremony, Adichie named Waleed Abulkhair, a lawyer and human rights activist, as the 2018 International Writer of Courage, a title awarded by the PEN Pinter winner each year.

Congratulating the Saudi Arabian lawyer and activist, she said: I am proud to share this year’s PEN Pinter Prize with activist, lawyer and writer Waleed Abulkhair.

“Waleed has dedicated his life to holding the Saudi authorities accountable for human rights abuses. He has dedicated his life to speaking out, to supporting the victims of those abuses.

“Waleed, like Harold Pinter, has shown a lucid dedication to telling his truth. But rather than being lauded for this dedication, Waleed has paid a heavy price – 15 years behind bars.

“I am deeply proud to share this prize with Waleed and I hope that this small act of solidarity will bring him some comfort, and will remind him that his struggle has not been forgotten, nor will it be in vain.






https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

Image result for waleed abu al-khair