Tag Archives: UK

Bangladesh/UK: Barrister Michael Polak: Stand up for abducted man, Tulip

December 7, 2017

Barrister Ahmad bin Quasem, known as Ahman, was called to the English bar and lived in London while he trained to be a barrister.

Barrister Ahmad bin Quasem, known as Ahman, was called to the English bar and lived in London while he trained to be a barrister.

Michael Polak is a lawyer at Church Court Chambers fighting for the release of a barrister detained in Bangladesh.

While it is laudable for Tulip Siddiq MP to fight for the freedom of a constituent languishing in an Iranian jail, she also has the opportunity and the influence to speak of the plight of individuals abducted by the Bangladeshi government.

Last year the family of Mir Ahmad bin Quasem approached me to press his case.

He is a British-trained Bangladeshi lawyer who was abducted in August 2016 by state security forces.

I have been told that Tulip Siddiq MP, who is also the Bangladeshi Prime Minister’s niece, is best placed to speak out and use her influence.

I have written to her office several times but, as yet, with no success.

http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/barrister-michael-polak-calls-on-tulip-siddiq-to-help-free-ahmad-bin-quasem-1-5311474

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/30/vanished-lawyers-family-harassed-bangladesh-mprefuses-raise/

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/labour-niece-of-bangladesh-leader-represented-at-un-rkc7qgb2g

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/29/channel-4-news-complains-to-labour-over-tulip-siddiqs-threat

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/30/wont-tulip-siddiq-lift-finger-help-someone-disappeared-aunties/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/04/tulip-siddiq-bangladesh-disappeared-abducted-prime-minister

https://www.easterneye.eu/mp-denies-influence-abroad/

https://businessnews24bd.com/tulip-apologises-for-remarks-to-channel-4-news-producer/

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UK/Iraq: NEWS Exclusive: SRA to appeal Leigh Day tribunal verdicts

November 14, 2017

The Solicitors Regulation Authority is to contest Leigh Day’s exoneration on misconduct charges brought in connection with claims brought over allegations over British forces’ behaviour in Iraq.

The regulator confirmed its intention to take proceedings to the High Court during a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing yesterday, the Gazette can reveal.

Leigh Day, which was cleared of misconduct along with three of its solicitors, has applied for the SRA to pay 60% of its final costs bill. Initial estimates suggest the firm has incurred £7.8m defending itself so far. The firm applied for an interim £1.5m payment on account during yesterday’s hearing, but the SRA contested this partly on the grounds it will appeal the overall decision.

Timothy Dutton QC of Fountain Court Chambers, representing the SRA, said the appeal will be based both on points of law and contesting the tribunal’s judgment.

He gave an indication that the SRA would rely on the fact that one tribunal member dissented on some of the charges and thought they should have been found proven. The SRA will also argue that separate, but in its opinion linked, charges relating to Public Interest Lawyers director Phil Shiner – who worked in conjunction with Leigh Day – were found proven at SDT.

Dutton added: ‘In these circumstances an appeal clearly has prospects of success, particularly in circumstances where a fellow tribunal has unanimously found matters proved against Mr Shiner.’

Addressing the two tribunal members who cleared Leigh Day, Dutton said: ‘The [High Court] is in the primary best position to deal with matters of law. There will be an appeal on matters of law as well as judgment, particularly in circumstances where four tribunal members have agreed with the SRA which puts you [the two tribunal members who cleared Leigh Day] in the minority.’

Dutton said the SRA’s costs – understood to be around £1.5m – were significantly lower than those incurred by Leigh Day, and the regulator had yet to see a breakdown of elements of the firm’s costs.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/exclusive-sra-to-appeal-leigh-day-tribunal-verdicts/5063687.article

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/leigh-day-asks-for-468m-in-defence-costs/5063683.article

UK: Muslim activist’s fight for privacy after ‘degrading digital strip search’

October 13, 2017

Muhammad Rabbani.

A British Muslim legal advocate has appealed to the High Court after he was convicted of a terrorism offence for failing to hand over his phone and computer password at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Muhammad Rabbani is now fighting to change a controversial law in the United Kingdom that allows police to carry out ‘digital strip searches’ without any specific suspicion.

Mr Rabbani is the International Director of CAGE, an organisation that fights policies developed as part of the global War on Terror.

He told SBS World News that embarrassing airport interrogations have become a routine part of travel for him and he has lost count of the amount of times he has been stopped at airports – it is in excess of 20 times.

“It’s a difficult ordeal, I mean it’s ever-degrading,” he says.

Mr Rabbani said he had flown home from Qatar in November 2016 when authorities “crossed a red line”.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/Muhammad-Rabbani-fight%20for-privacy-against-UK-terror-laws

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20196

UK: Full Leigh Day judgment revealed: Firm’s solicitors not ‘people who put financial advantage above professional duty’

September 27, 2017

But partner Martyn Day not ‘a credible, honest or convincing witness’, one tribunal member says

The full judgment in the Leigh Day disciplinary case, the most expensive hearing of its kind, has been revealed in all its 213-page glory.

The case concerned a range of professional misconduct charges brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and argued in court by barristers from Fountain Court Chambers11 King’s Bench Walk and 39 Essex Chambers. The 19 charges focused on human rights outfit Leigh Day’s alleged failure to adequately verify claims made by Iraqi clients of torture and murder by British troops.

During the spring hearing, social media was awash with venom for respondents Martyn Day (a partner), Sapna Malik (a partner) and Anna Crowther (a junior lawyer).

https://www.legalcheek.com/2017/09/full-leigh-day-judgment-revealed-firms-solicitors-not-people-who-put-financial-advantage-above-professional-duty/

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/iraq-torture-lawyer-martyn-day-of-leigh-day-was-not-credible-sh2ptjsxr

UK: CAGE’s Muhammad Rabbani to appeal against court ruling

September 27, 2017

Rabbani was ordered to pay court costs of $707 by the court [Courtesy: Cage]

A British Muslim activist who was found guilty of willfully obstructing police by a UK court after he refused to hand over his mobile phone and laptop computer’s pin number, says he is going to appeal against the decision.

Muhammad Rabbani, 36, was arrested at London’s Heathrow airport last November and was charged six months later with obstructing police.

“I will be appealing this decision,” Rabbani, who is the international director of CAGE, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This judgement confirms that a person can fall foul of terrorism laws for protecting client confidentiality. The principle of presumption of innocence, the principle of client confidentiality and the principle of personal privacy are all too important to surrender even with the threat of conviction.”

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/cage-muhammad-rabbani-appeal-court-ruling-170926163405891.html

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/activist-refused-give-police/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/muhammad-rabbani-cage-director-terror-offence-heathrow-airport-schedule-7-convicted-police-phone-a7967621.html

https://www.wired.de/collection/life/passwort-nicht-verraten-aktivist-schuldig-justizbehinderung (DEUTSCH)

UK: AIRPORT POLICE DEMANDED AN ACTIVIST’S PASSWORDS. HE REFUSED. NOW HE FACES PRISON IN THE U.K.

September 23, 2017

Muhammad Rabbani in London

IT WAS NOT the first time Muhammad Rabbani had problems when returning to the United Kingdom from travels overseas. But on this occasion something was different — he was arrested, handcuffed, and hauled through London’s largest airport, then put into the back of a waiting police van.

Rabbani is the 36-year-old international director of Cage, a British group that was founded in 2003 to raise awareness about the plight of prisoners held at the U.S. government’s Guantánamo Bay detention site. Today, the organization has a broader focus and says it is working to highlight “the erosion of the rule of law in the context of the war on terror.” Due to its work campaigning for the legal rights of terrorism suspects, Cage has attracted controversy, and Rabbani has faced the government’s wrath.

His trouble at Heathrow Airport in late November began with a familiar routine. Often, on his return to the U.K. from foreign trips, he was stopped by police and questioned under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act— a sweeping power British authorities can use at the border to interrogate and search people without requiring any suspicion of wrongdoing. People questioned under Schedule 7 have no right to remain silent, and they can be interrogated for up to six hours. Rabbani estimates that he has been stopped under Schedule 7 about 20 times. Usually, he was let free after a few questions without any charges or arrest. But not this time.

Rabbani was returning to London after a business trip to one of the Gulf states. He had been meeting with an individual whom he says was previously detained by U.S. authorities and suffered “years of torture” at the hands of his American captors. The person provided Rabbani with information about his treatment, including names of particular individuals allegedly involved in carrying out the acts of torture. These details, Rabbani says, were provided on a confidential basis and were to be used by Cage as part of a pending legal action against the U.S. government.

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/23/police-schedule-7-uk-rabbani-gchq-passwords/

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/muslim-human-rights-activist-facing-jail-for-refusing-to-hand-over-passwords-to-authorities/

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/05/16/a-lawyer-has-uncovered-the-true-intention-of-britains-most-draconian-law-video/

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20002

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20002:Anti-Terrorism-vs.-Privacy%3A-Is-Protecting-Private-Data-a-Jailable-Offense%3F

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/cage-director-denies-obstructing-airport-search-refusing-disclose-passwords-216577570

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-41394156

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAGE_(organisation)

https://cage.ngo/

https://lemuslimpost.com/proces-mohammed-rabbani-moralement-gagne.html (FRANCAIS)

Spain/Scotland: Show of support for Aamer Anwar following Barcelona attack

August 23, 2017

Image result for law society of scotland

The Law Society of Scotland has joined the widespread show of support for human rights solicitor Aamer Anwar, following a series of abusive messages in response to his eye witness account of last week’s terror attack in Barcelona.

Lorna Jack, Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland said, “In spite of the tirade of abuse which Aamer has been subjected to in the wake of last week’s traumatic events, he has shown characteristic grit and integrity.

“On behalf the Society, I would like to add to the heartening and widespread show of support for him in speaking up for tolerance and decency.”

Aamer Anwar has been a Law Society of Scotland member and solicitor for over fifteen years.  His work as a human rights lawyer has earned him the titles of Solicitor of the Year in the Herald’s Law Awards of Scotland 2016, and Lawyer of the Year Legal Awards of Scotland in 2017.

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/news/2017/08/show-of-support-for-aamer-anwar-following-barcelona-attack/

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