Event dates: 24.10.17 to 07.02.18 | Location: Ankara, Gümüşhane, Istanbul, Munich, Rabat, Kiev
Political trials against lawyers and political activists in Turkey and other countries
ELDH will try to send observers to the following trials
- 24 November 2017, Ankara: The trial against Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of HDP
- 1 December 2017, Ankara: Continuation of the trial against Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça.
Quoted from Hürriyet Daily News 27 November 2017:”The Ankara 19th Criminal Court held the fifth hearing in which hunger striking educators Gülmen and Semih Özakça are being tried on terror charges, with the court ruling for the continuation of Gülmen’s arrest.In the court, prosecutor demanded the release of Gülmen on the grounds that there is no risk of her escape or spoliation of evidence. The hearing was adjourned to Dec. 1 2017.Gülmen and Özakça have been on hunger strike for over 250 days, in protest at their dismissal from their posts following the July 2016 coup attempt.They were arrested in May 2017 on terror charges while they were conducting a sit-in protest in Ankara’s central Kızılay neighborhood.”
- 5 December 2017, 09h30, Istanbul:
Beginning of the 300 mass trials against the Academics for Peace
- 5 December 2017, 13h30, Istanbul: Continuation of the trial against 46 lawyers, who had among others alleged members of KCK as clients. The trial started on 16 July 2012.
The report on the last hearing
- 6 December 2017, 10h30 Instanbul: Continuation of the trial against 22 lawyerswho are all leading members of the ELDH member organisation CHD.The Trial started on 24 December 2013
- 6 December 2017, Ankara: Continuation of the trial against Figen Yüksekda, co-chair of HDP. Her indictment contains the following charges:
The ‘new normal’: rising attacks on human rights defenders
Defending human rights activists and political prisoners is some of the most dangerous work a lawyer can do in Crimea. After years taking on these risky cases, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was awarded the Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk on 26 May 2017 in a ceremony at City Hall in Dublin.
Emil Kurbedinov is a Crimean Tatar and human rights lawyer. Since the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, Emil has been defending the persecuted Crimean Tatar minority, civil society activists and journalists. He also provides emergency response and documentation of rights violations during raids and searches of activists’ homes. In January 2017, masked representatives from Crimea’s Centre for Counteracting Extremism detained Emil and took him to a local directorate of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) for interrogation. A district court found him guilty of “propagandizing for extremist organisations” and sentenced him to ten days in detention.
Following on continuing requests from Crimean Tatar HRDs in Ukraine to increase their visibility, the Award generated more than 10 unique articles in Russian and Ukrainian media. Top English-language media outlets in Ukraine, Hromadske International TV channel and The Kyiv Post, also ran features on the award winner, as did ATR Channel, a Crimean TV station popular with Crimean Tatars, which moved to Kiev following pressure from the Russian authorities. The Award also garnered print, online, radio, and broadcast television coverage in seven languages (English, Russian, Ukrainian, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic). In Ireland, RTE and the Irish Times both ran features on the prize and the winner. Reuters issued a wire piece covering the winner, which made both the international Reuters “Big Ten” and “Top Stories” on the day of the event and has been republished dozens of times globally. Al Jazeera Media Network broadcast a segment featuring talks by the winner, Emil Kurbedinov, and Front Line Defenders Executive Director Andrew Anderson.
July 23, 2017
Moscow’s Basmanny Court sanctioned arrest in absentia of Ukraine’s Prosecutor of the Chief Military Prosecution Ruslan Kravchenko and Investigator for particularly important cases of the Prosecutor General’s Office Vadim Priymachok, charged with prosecution of a person who is knowingly innocent of criminal responsibility, the Court’s Press Secretary Yunona Tsareva told TASS on Sunday.
“At the request from the investigator, the court chose in relation to Kravchenko and Priymachok, who are on the international wanted list, a preventive measure in the form of detention in absentia,” she said.
The press secretary said the charges presented to Kravchenko and Priymachok are under the Criminal Code’s article on criminal charges and illegal criminal case accusing a person of grave or especially grave crime. The responsibility under this article is between five and ten years in prison. The press secretary said she did not have details on the criminal case.
The media reported earlier, Military Prosecutor Kravchenko and investigator Priymachok were probing in Ukraine into a criminal case against Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Besides, the military prosecutor is head of the group investigating the case on treason of Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovich.
April 29, 2016
The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concerns about the murder of human rights lawyer Yuri Grabovski in Ukraine.
Yuri Grabovski was a Ukrainian human rights lawyer defending Aleksandr A. Aleksandrov, an alleged Russian intelligence officer. Yuri Grabovski disappeared on 6 March 2016 while returning to Kiev from a business meeting in Odessa. On 20 March 2016, Anatoly V. Matios, Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine, informed the media that a suspect in Yuri Grabovski’s disappearance had been apprehended.
Yuri Grabovski’s body was found on 25 March 2016 south of Kiev. Shortly thereafter, Anatoly Matios confirmed that the victim “was killed in a violent way and finished off with a firearm.” Since then, another suspect has been detained by the police.
Yuri Grabovski’s murder is the second killing of a lawyer in Ukraine this month and the fourth since January 2015.
The Law Society of Upper Canada wrote to His Excellency President Petro Poroshenko, urging the government of Ukraine to comply with Articles 16 and 23 of the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.
http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147502432 (VERSION FRANCAISE)
L’assassinat de l’avocat ukrainien Iouri Grabovski, 43 ans, rappelle une nouvelle fois les menaces qui pèsent sur de trop nombreux avocats à travers le monde. Chargé notamment de la défense d’Alexandre Alexandrov, ressortissant russe arrêté en mai 2015 par les forces ukrainiennes dans l’Est du pays, Iouri Grabovski avait à plusieurs reprises dénoncé les pressions et harcèlements qu’il subissait.
L’avocate Oxana Sokolovskaïa, représentant Evgueni Ierofeïev, second ressortissant russe arrêté avec Alexandre Alexandrov, s’est aussi plainte à plusieurs reprises de harcèlement et de menaces en lien avec cette affaire.
A l’image de nombreux avocats et juristes convaincus de l’importance fondamentale du droit de chacun à un procès équitable, qui implique le droit à une véritable défense, Iouri Grabovski avait poursuivi son travail de défense dans cette affaire et dans d’autres, malgré l’hostilité que cet engagement professionnel pouvait susciter.
Ce drame rappelle les périls auxquels s’exposent les avocats dans l’exercice de leur fonction.
Le Conseil national des barreaux, fondateur de l’Observatoire international des avocats en danger, aux côtés du Barreau de Paris et des conseils nationaux d’Italie et d’Espagne, condamne fermement ce crime et appelle les autorités ukrainiennes à faire toute la lumière sur cette tragédie. Il rappelle les obligations qui incombent à l’Etat ukrainien en vertu des Principes de base relatifs au rôle du barreau adoptés par le huitième Congrès des Nations Unies pour la prévention du crime et le traitement des délinquants qui s’est tenu à La Havane (Cuba) du 27 août au 7 septembre 1990, et notamment les articles 16 et 17 :
March 17, 2016
The trend of ‘total persecution’ in Ukraine has spread both to Russia’s media representatives and Ukrainian lawyers defending the interests of Russian citizens, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
“Alarming reports are coming from Kiev about the possible disappearance of Ukrainian lawyer Yuri Grabovsky,” the spokeswoman said.
“As you know, he defended in court the interests of Russian citizen Alexander Aleksandrov who is being persecuted in Ukraine on the charges of allegedly committing war crimes,” Zakharova said.
“The situation “looks suspicious” as it is unfolding amid the threats of bodily harm to and criminal persecution of another Ukrainian lawyer, Oksana Sokolovskaya who represents the interests of Russian citizen Yevgeny Yerofeyev,” the spokeswoman said.