Tag Archives: Ukraine

Ukraine: ICJ expresses concern for attacks to judges and lawyers before UN Human Rights Council

05/10/21

The ICJ today urged the UN Human Rights Council to call on Ukrainian authorities to uphold judicial independence and protect lawyers under attack for their work during the interactive dialogue with the Deputy High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Ukraine.

The statement reads as follows:

“Madam President,

The International Commission of Jurists deplores the political interference with judicial independence in Ukraine.

Despite the annulment by the Supreme Court of the Presidential Decree removing the President of the Constitutional Court from his post, Justice Olexandr Tupytskyi has not been reinstated.

The ICJ considers that the presidential decrees that removed Constitutional Court Justices Oleksandr Tupytskyi and Oleksandr Kasminin, outside of the existing procedure, violate the obligation to uphold the independence of the judiciary.

The ICJ is concerned at cases of unwarranted interference with the work and independence of lawyers, in particular searches and arrests of lawyers. From April to June 2021 more than 110 such cases were reported. In 2020, the ICJ identified a pattern of threats, harassment and other attacks on lawyers in Ukraine, including those who defend human rights.

[…]

https://ccu.gov.ua/en/publikaciya/oleksandr-tupytskyi

Belarus/Ukraine: Lawyer Volodymyr Yavorskyy barred from returning to Belarus for 10 years

20/04/21

On 12 April 2021, the home and office of Tanya Hatsura-Yavorska were searched a second time by law enforcement officers, following the first search on 5 April 2021. During the three-hour raid, old documents and phones no longer in use were confiscated. Volodymyr Yavorskyy, prominent Ukrainian human rights defender and lawyer, and Tanya Hatsura-Yavorska’s husband, was in the house during the raid, following which he was taken for questioning. During the interrogation, Volodymyr Yavorskyy was subjected to physical and psychological abuse and was denied access to his lawyer. Following the interrogation, the human rights defender was informed that he must leave Belarus with his children within 48 hours, and was threatened that if he failed to do so, he would be arrested and his children would be placed in State institutions. Volodymyr Yavorskyy was also informed that he was banned from re-entering Belarus for 10 years

Volodymyr Yavorskyy is a Ukrainian human rights defender and lawyer. He is a member of the board of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and one of the founders and head of the board of the Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.

[…]

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/volodymyr-yavorskyy-barred-returning-belarus-10-years-tanya-hatsura-yavorska-released-remains

https://www.rferl.org/a/belarus-rights-activist-detention-crackdown-lukashenka/31194878.html

https://ex-press.by/rubrics/obshhestvo/2021/04/15/muzha-zaderzhannoj-aktivistki-zvena-tatyany-gaczura-yavorskoj-vysylayut-iz-belarusi-v-seme-pyatero-detej (BELARUSIAN)

At UN ICJ calls on Ukraine to ensure security of lawyers and judicial independence

22/03/21

Today, before the UN Human Rights Council, the ICJ called on Ukrainian authorities to ensure the security of lawyers and the independence of the judiciary, essential elements to make effective any human rights technical assistance and capacity building.

The statement reads as follows:

“Madame President,

In Ukraine, a number of lawyers, including those who defend human rights, in and outside of courts, including to face threats, harassment, and other attacks on their security.

Lawyers continue to be associated with their clients and may face detrimental consequences for representing them.

For example, in November 2020, lawyer Nikolay Osipchuk was physically attacked by the local Prosecutor and several other people in the court room of a district court. A pattern of such attacks was identified by the ICJ in a report issued last year.

The ICJ is further concerned at recent the attempts of interference by the Government with the independence of the judiciary in Ukraine.

The ICJ welcomes the withdrawal of the presidential draft law by which all judges of the Constitutional Court would have been dismissed. However, it is concerning that, following a criminal case initiated against him, the President of the Constitutional Court was suspended by a decision of the President of Ukraine. This decision, on dubious legal grounds, undermines the independence of the judiciary.

The ICJ urges that Ukraine:

  • Ensure prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigations of all attacks on lawyers, leading where appropriate, to bringing those responsible to justice;

[…]

https://www.unian.info/politics/occupied-crimea-un-tells-of-human-rights-violations-by-russia-11351122.html

Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Exclusive Interview: Diego García-Sayán, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers

24/01/21

DGS2-Website-e1556922518370

On the International Day of Endangered Lawyers – 2021, we have the privilege of having an exclusive interview with Mr Diego García-Sayán, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers. We talked about a wide range of topics: from growing authoritarianism to attacks on judges and lawyers; Poland, Turkey, Hungary, Italy and others.

Q1: Mr Garcia-Sayán, first we must thank you for your incredible efforts to protect the lawyers and judges across the world in these difficult times. Could you start by talking more about your mission as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers?

In 1994, the Commission on Human Rights, in resolution 1994/41, noting both the increasing frequency of attacks on the independence of judges, lawyers and court officials and the link which exists between the weakening of safeguards for the judiciary and lawyers and the gravity and frequency of violations of human rights, decided to appoint, for a period of three years, a Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers. Like other Special Procedures, this mandate was assumed by the Human Rights Council (General Assembly resolution 60/251), and extended for one year, subject to the review to be undertaken by the Council (Human Rights Council decision 2006/102).

The responsibility entrusted to the Special Rapporteur s diverse and complex. His/her  mandate is broad and covers issues such as access to justice, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and the proper functioning of the justice system, the protection of the person and function of judges, lawyers, prosecutors and judicial officers, and the right to a fair trial and due process. All of these aspects are fundamental to the exercise of human rights.

[…]

https://www.euronews.com/2021/01/24/human-rights-lawyers-in-turkey-face-threats-and-detention-view

(FRANCAIS)

https://www.avocats-toulouse.com/fr/actualites-du-barreau/la-une/profession-journee-mondiale-de-lavocat-en-danger-2021

https://www.ansa.it/emiliaromagna/notizie/2021/01/24/giornata-dellavvocato-minacciato-webinar-a-bologna_174ad9d3-6dcb-4f3e-9f7a-a004313856d9.html (ITALIANO)

https://www.consiglionazionaleforense.it/web/cnf-calendario/-/748216

https://unba.org.ua/news/6235-24-sichnya-vshanovuet-sya-den-postrazhdalih-advokativ.html (UKRAINIAN)

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Crimea/Ukraine: Eighty political prisoners held in Crimea now — lawyer

September 18, 2019

Eighty political prisoners held in Crimea now — lawyer

The persecution of Crimean Tatars and pro-Ukrainian activists, as well as their relatives and lawyers who protect them, is ongoing in Crimea.

A corresponding statement was made during a side event “Persecution of Crimean Tatars’ Defenders in Crimea: Attacks on Lawyers, Journalists and Activists” at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

Tamila Tasheva, the coordinator of CrimeaSOS organization, noted that pressure started to be put on Crimean Tatars and active Ukrainian population living on the peninsula after Crimea had been occupied. Thus, the activists and journalists began to leave Crimea and only representatives of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People stayed on their land. According to her, the activists, relatives of those persecuted and lawyers united in the Crimean Solidarity organization in 2016 but they also began to be oppressed by the occupying power of the Russian Federation.

“Over 80 political prisoners, including more than 60 Crimean Tatars, are held in Crimea now. They all are prosecuted under so-called ‘terrorism’ articles,” Crimean lawyer Emil Kurbedinov stressed.

Of course, these charges are completely trumped-up as the people are being persecuted for their active civic stance, for their views, Kurbedinov emphasized.

https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-polytics/2782678-eighty-political-prisoners-held-in-crimea-now-lawyer.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/halya-coynash-russia-treats-imprisoned-crimean-tatars-like-victims-of-the-1944-deportation.html

http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1544564886

http://www.civicsolidarity.org/article/1588/russian-authorities-crack-down-human-rights-activists-and-other-individuals-occupied

https://nbnews.com.ua/politika/2019/09/09/emil-kurbedinov-o-zakliuchennykh-krymskikh-tatarakh/ (UKRAINIAN)

https://qha.com.tr/haberler/avukat-kurbedinov-dan-kirim-tatar-siyasi-tutsaklari-ziyaret/81367/ (TURKCE)

https://qha.com.tr/haberler/avukat-emil-kurbedinov-dan-esir-degisimi-yorumu-soydaslarim-hala-mucadeleye-devam-ediyorlar/79328/ (TURKCE)

 

Ukraine: killing of lawyer must be investigated promptly

August 22, 2019

Yukov & Partners Law Office, Alexander Ivanov, Moscow, RUSSIA

The ICJ calls on the Ukrainian authorities to investigate the murder of lawyer Olexandr Ivanov, killed today with an automatic weapon near SIZO (Pre-trial Dentention Centre) №6 in Kropyvnytskyi.

The shooting was carried out from a car by unknown persons. The lawyer died on the spot. Another person injured in the incident was hospitalized in critical condition.

“The killing of lawyer Oleksandr Ivanov must be independently, promptly, and thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice,” said Temur Shakirov, ICJ Senior Legal Adviser.

“Such crimes strip any legal reforms of their positive impact if lawyers’ life is always in danger when exercising their functions,” he added.

The police have confirmed the occurrence of the killing and initiated an investigation preliminarily qualified as intentional murder under article 115-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA) is planning to convene an emergency meeting of the Committee on Protection of Lawyers Rights and Professional Guarantees. The UNBA has also referred to the leadership of regional prosecution and police authorities to bring the case under personal control.

Ukraine: killing of lawyer must be investigated promptly

https://www.unian.info/society/10659855-lawyer-shot-dead-in-ukraine-s-kropyvnytskyi.html

https://www.legal500.com/firms/16719-yukov-partners-law-office/offices/21604-moscow-russia/lawyers/113976

Ukraine: criminal proceedings against lawyer Andriy Domanskyi raise concerns

April 12, 2019

Today, the ICJ expressed concern at the criminal proceedings against Andriy Domanskyi, a lawyer practicing in Ukraine, known for representing individuals facing political prosecution and defending journalists.
The ICJ has called on the Ukrainian authorities to drop any criminal proceedings which may result from the identification of the lawyer with his clients and to ensure that the lawyer’s rights are protected and that he can continue to carry out his professional activity without improper interference, intimidation or threat.

On 5 April Domanskyi was issued a note of suspicion in a criminal proceeding reportedly initiated in 2013 concerning the “privatization of municipal premises”.

Criminal proceedings were initiated one day after the commencement on 4 April of a trial of his client Kirill Vyshynskyi, Chief Editor of RIA Novosti Ukraine recently changed with high treason and a number of other crimes.

Domanskyi considers these criminal proceedings against him are linked with his professional activity and are a means of putting pressure on him as a result of work on this high-profile case.

Ukraine: criminal proceedings against lawyer Andriy Domanskyi raise concerns

Crimea/Ukraine/Russia: Emil Kurbedinov’s Membership in the Crimean Bar Association Maintained

February 22, 2019

emil-kurbedinov.jpg

On 22 February 2019, the Crimean Bar Association decided to maintain the membership of the human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov, contrary to the request received from the Crimean Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.

Emil Kurbedinov is an outspoken human rights lawyer in Crimea. Since the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, he has been actively involved in defence of the Crimean Tatars, who have become one of the major targets for the authorities, as well as civil society activists and journalists. He has also drawn attention to human rights violations in Crimea using social media, international conferences and reporting before international human rights mechanisms.

On 22 February 2019, the Crimean Bar Association considered the possibility to exclude Emil Kurbedinov from the list of its founders and members. The Association decided to maintain his membership after establishing a special commission for this purpose, in accordance with Russian law.

On 10 January 2019, Emil Kurbedinov received a letter (dated 18 December 2018) from the Crimean Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation notifying him that according to 1.2 (4) of Article 15 of the Federal Law “On non-commercial organisations”, a person that has been convicted of extremism cannot be a founder or a member of non-commercial organisation. Emil Kurbedinov is founder and member of Crimean Bar Association. The letter refers to two administrative convictions of Emil Kurbedinov for a post that he published on two of his social media accounts.

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/risk-disbarment-human-rights-lawyer-emil-kurbedinov?fbclid=IwAR3x9Ia81cT4ep413O8gYm9cPMDxkXyNVZjX9qGSeBoDFZOl01bQCNIBqLw

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/request-disbarment-emil-kurbedinov-denied/

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyer-s-expulsion-from-bar-association/29708692.html

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/14/russian-authorities-increase-pressure-crimean-human-rights-lawyer

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/crimean-tatars-stand-firm-against-russian-occupation-of-homeland-1.3811335

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/analysis/ukrainians-will-defend-homeland-against-russian-aggression-913783.html?fbclid=IwAR3e1srSoSIXO_NXut0dzBo1ewRrVqDFw_ymqmuFjEe0sHGmUokiC0YhGqY

https://1k.com.ua/zaderzhanie-arhiepiskopa-ptsu-v-krymu-okkupanty-nazvali-prichinu.html (UKRANIAN)

http://ua-story.com.ua/78657-do-zatrymanogo-arhiyepyskopa-ptsu-klymenta-prybuly-advokaty-stattyu-zatrymannya-zminyly.html (UKRANIAN)

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1158924/crimee-russie-annexion-cinq-ans-anniversaire-tamara-alteresco (FRANCAIS)

Ukraine: Persecuted for Defending the Persecuted in Ukraine: Interview with Vyshinsky Defense Attorney Andriy Domansky

March 6, 2019

The Vyshinsky case is key in demonstrating the presence of political persecution of journalists in Ukraine. As a legal expert, I believe justice is still possible in Ukraine and I will do everything possible to prove Kirill Vyshinsky’s innocence. — Vyshinsky defense attorney Andriy Domansky

Andriy Domansky | Kirill Vyshinsky

Andriy Domansky is the defense lawyer for jailed Ukrainian-Russian journalist and bureau chief of  RIA-Novosti Ukraine, Kirill Vyshinsky. Vyshinsky has been imprisoned without trial by Ukrainian authorities since May 2018, accused of “high treason” and conducting an “information war” against Ukraine.

Last week, MintPress News published my interview with Vyshinsky, detailing the nature of his detention, the lack of a trial in spite of nearly 10 months of imprisonment, the absurdities of the accusations levied against him, and his lack of adequate medical care while imprisoned.

Domansky is not only Vyshinsky’s lawyer, he is also a journalist. He hosts a weekly radio show on the rights of journalists and, owing to his defense of journalists’ rights, he is sought out by an increasing number of persecuted journalists in Ukraine.

In mid-February, I traveled to Kiev to meet and interview Domansky about the political nature of the Vyshinsky case and about the persecution of journalists in general in Ukraine. The interview was conducted via an interpreter in Ukrainian.

During our conversation on February 19, Domansky received a phone call from the secretary of the court in Kherson, where Vyshinsky is imprisoned, informing him that at the then-upcoming pleading on February 21, the pair would be limited in the amount of time they were allotted to review case files. According to Domansky, the case files amount to 31 volumes, each between 250 to 400 pages (front and back), as well as approximately 80 hours of video footage.

Mr. Domansky told me:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/persecuted-for-defending-the-persecuted-in-ukraine-interview-with-vyshinsky-defense-attorney-andriy-domansky/255920/

https://www.ohchr.org/en/countries/enacaregion/pages/uareports.aspx?fbclid=IwAR2Z7Aw-5RBJC6kmTXLn8BLX6-aY02vRbp0-hlaJi9bT-FomqE3NjvnNWLI

Crimea/Russia/Ukraine: Russian Authorities Increase Pressure on Crimean Human Rights Lawyer

January 14, 2019

Justice Ministry Calls for Emil Kurbedinov’s Expulsion from Bar Association

 

Few human rights lawyers are brave enough to work in Crimea these days. A recent letter from Russia’s Ministry of Justice to Crimean defense lawyer Emil Kurbedinov threatening his profession is yet another stark reminder that Russian authorities intend to keep it that way.

Last month, Kurbedinov was arrested on charges of “public distribution of extremist materials” and sentenced to five days in jail for a 2013 social media post about a meeting in Crimea of supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist political movement opposed to violence. Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in Russia as a terrorist organization but operates legally in Ukraine. Kurbedinov had previously spent ten days in jail in 2017 after the court sentenced him on the same charges and for the very same post, but made on a different social media site.

Shortly after his release on December 25, Russia’s Justice Ministry sent Kurbedinov and the Crimean Bar Association letters requesting that Kurbedinov be expelled from the bar association by March 1 because of alleged involvement in “extremist activities.”

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/14/russian-authorities-increase-pressure-crimean-human-rights-lawyer

https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/halya-coynash-russia-launches-dangerous-attack-on-lawyers-in-crimea.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/112-ua-russia-search-houses-of-crimean-tatars-on-occupied-peninsula.html

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyer-s-expulsion-from-bar-association/29708692.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/rfe-rl-russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyers-expulsion-from-bar-association.html

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/russia/2019/01/d25201/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/russia-imminent-disbarment-of-emil-kurbedinov?fbclid=IwAR0GtoVbcF0bzXljxjv5u3GLFPSAuicOsUTVZEmYC7AKNNNRixgf6wklCYs

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/russia-bleak-year-human-rights

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/ukraine-human-rights-backsliding-election-looms

https://lso.ca/news-events/news/latest-news-2019/law-society-expresses-grave-concerns-regarding-hum

http://old.qha.com.ua/tr/toplum/hak-savunuculardan-uluslararasi-topluma-kurbedinov-cagrisi/176069/ (TURKCE)