Tag Archives: UN

Turkey: Turkish gov’t jails not only journalist Karaca, but also his lawyers and judges who ruled to release him

March 7, 2018

The trial of Turkish journalist Hidayet Karaca (55) has already taken its place in judicial history because not only has he been persecuted by the Turkish government led by autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but also both his lawyers and the judges who ruled to release him from jail have been imprisoned.

Hidayet Karaca, Ph.D., is an experienced Turkish broadcaster who also served as chairman of the board of directors of number of media associations such as Television Broadcasters Association and Television Audience Measurement (TİAK) in Turkey for years. After working as the bureau chief of the Zaman daily in İzmir and Ankara provinces, he was transferred to the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group in 1999 and served as Executive Director of the group for 17 years.

However, he was taken under custody by the police officers, who raided the television where he was in charge on December 14, 2014. He has been deprived of his freedom for about 4 years. Karaca was sentenced to 31 years of imprisonment in a trial. He has also been tried for another another case with almost the same accusations. This time aggravated life sentence has been demanded for him.

“I am defending myself under very difficult circumstances. Some of my lawyers have left, some of them were arrested. I could not even find a lawyer to write a petition for me,” said Hidayet Karaca during a hearing at a Turkish court where he was tried in August 2016.







Seven respected international organisations address a joint statement to the United Nation on the mass arrests of Turkish lawyers, judges & prosecutors





ICJ: The role of judges, lawyers and prosecuters in preventing human rights abuses

February 27, 2018


The head of the ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Matt Pollard, highlighted the role of judges, lawyers and prosecutors in preventing human rights abuses, at a UN expert workshop in Geneva.The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) organised the expert workshop, 21 to 22 February 2018, to discuss the role and contribution of civil society organizations, academia, national human rights institutions and other relevant stakeholders in the prevention of human rights abuses, drawing on the conclusions and recommendations of OHCHR’s study on the prevention of human rights violations.

The workshop, mandated by the Human Rights Council resolution 33/6, covered topics such as: a framework approach to prevention; human rights education; abuses by private actors, national and regional practices, planning and monitoring tools; human rights impact assessments; and the role of UN institutions.

The presentation on the role of judges and lawyers can be downloaded in PDF format here: UN-ExpertMeeting-JudgesLawyersPrevention-2018

More information about the expert workshop is available by clicking here.




Maldives: UN rights experts denounce detention of judges as ‘direct attack’ on Supreme Court

February 12, 2018

“It is clear that the rule of law in the Maldives is now under siege,” said the experts in a news release issued Monday by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

“We call on the Government to refrain from any threats or interference that may hamper the court’s independence as the supreme guardian of the country’s constitution and legislation,” they added.

In the release, José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez, the current Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; and Diego García-Sayán, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and magistrates, also stressed that judicial independence, enshrined in the national constitution and in international human rights treaties, had to be guaranteed by the State.

Mr. García-Sayán also raised concern over the timing of the arrests, five days after the Supreme Court had ordered the release and retrial of nine opposition leaders, including former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Following the arrest of Chief Justice H.E. Abdulla Saeed and Ali Hameed Mohamed – shortly after the Government declared a state of emergency – the three remaining Supreme Court judges overturned the order to free the nine leaders.

It is clear that the rule of law in the Maldives is now under siege — UN rights experts

“[This] is at best suspicious,” said Mr. García-Sayán, adding that the acts constitutes “an intolerable act of intimidation” against the highest judicial authority in the country.


















http://www.europe1.fr/emissions/l-edito-international/maldives-entre-etat-durgence-et-islamisation-3573977 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lejdd.fr/international/asie/pas-de-saint-valentin-aux-maldives-3573755 (FRANCAIS)


Maldives: UN Security Council told Maldives crisis may get worse

February 9, 2018

A senior UN official warned the Security Council that the situation in the Maldives where the president has declared a state of emergency may deteriorate even further.

The top UN body met behind closed doors to discuss the crisis sparked by President Abdulla Yameen’s decision to arrest judges who had ordered the release of his political opponents.

UN Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenca told the top UN body that while there were no reports of violent clashes, “the situation in the Maldives is tense and may deteriorate even further,” according to UN sources.

It was the first time that the council discussed the crisis since it began on February 1, but there was no statement released after the meeting.

The crisis was triggered by a surprise Supreme Court decision to release from jail former president and opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed and eight other political prisoners.








Maldives crisis: China says international community should play constructive role to restore political stability




United Arab Emirates: United Arab Emirates: UN Universal Periodic Review recommendations must be fully implemented

February 6, 2018

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) calls on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to fully implements recommendations made during its third United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

The Working Group on the UPR held its third review of the UAE’s human rights record during its 29th Session held in Geneva between 15 and 26 January 2018. During the review, 97 countries submitted written statements with 232 recommendations and the UAE government made a number of voluntary pledges. The UAE promised to examine 230 of the recommendations and noted two of them related to the ongoing diplomatic crisis with Qatar.

The UPR revealed a number of areas in which the UAE government has failed to deliver since its previous UPR took place in 2013. These include recommendations to ratify key international human rights instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; create an independent national human rights institution in line with the Paris Principles; amend legislation to ensure that domestic laws are brought in line with international human rights standards on the right to freedom of expression; and protect human rights defenders from harassment, intimidation, and discrimination.

GCHR echoes the human rights concerns raised during the recent UPR review and specifically calls on the UAE government to take immediate steps to implement recommendations made in the following areas of concern:

Other human rights defenders who are continuing to serve lengthy prison sentences following grossly unfair trials include human rights lawyers Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken and Dr. Mohammed Al-Mansoori, who were both sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in a mass trial known as the UAE94 which took place in 2013 for their outspoken support for human rights and after signing a petition which called for universal suffrage in the UAE.   


http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1782 (ARABIC)


Venezuela: Venezuela: violations de Caracas soumises à la CPI

le 13 octobre, 2017

L’ancienne procureure générale du Venezuela Luisa Ortega, en exil, va donner un dossier à la CPI sur des exécutions extrajudiciaires et d’autres violations menées par son gouvernement. Elle a rencontré vendredi à Genève le Haut commissaire aux droits de l’homme.

Ce document pour la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) sera accompagné “d’un ensemble d’expertises” qui prouvent ces exécutions, a-t-elle dit à quelques journalistes après sa discussion avec Zeid Raad al-Hussein. Après s’être réfugiée fin août en Colombie, Luisa Ortega, entrée en dissidence, avait entamé une tournée à travers l’Amérique latine, au Brésil, au Costa Rica et au Mexique.

Elle avait présenté des indications à charge sur la corruption présumée du gouvernement. Son successeur a expliqué qu’il n’ouvrirait pas d’investigations contre le président Nicolas Maduro sur ces allégations. Luisa Ortega avait été congédiée de ses fonctions début août par la nouvelle Assemblée constituante controversée, acquise au chef de l’Etat.

De son côté, M. Zeid a dénoncé en septembre devant le Conseil des droits de l’homme de possibles “crimes contre l’humanité” dans ce pays, accusations qualifiées de “mensonges” par le gouvernement. Il a demandé un mécanisme international d’investigations sur les violences de ces derniers mois entre le régime et les opposants qui ont fait au total au moins plus de 120 victimes.



http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/have-evidence-against-maduros-graft-luisa-ortega/article19856054.ece (ENGLISH)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/ousted-venezuelan-prosecutor-leaks-odebrecht-bribe-video-50449258 (ENGLISH)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/world/americas/venezuela-odebrecht-maduro-corruption.html (ENGLISH)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/former-venezuelan-attorney-general-presenting-corruption-evidence-to-u-s-1507949458 (ENGLISH)

http://www.panorama.com.ve/politicayeconomia/Luisa-Ortega-Diaz-se-reunio-con-alto-comisionado-de-la-ONU-20171013-0040.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.elcolombiano.com/internacional/venezuela/exfiscal-luisa-ortega-habla-de-venezuela-KI7468804 (ESPANOL)


Maldives: UN rights expert urges Maldives reforms after mass suspension of lawyers

November 9, 2017

Image result for United Nations Human Rights

The UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán, has urged the Maldives to introduce urgent reforms and rectifications after the indefinite suspension of 54 lawyers.

“I call on the authorities to create an independent bar association to oversee lawyers’ affairs,” said the Special Rapporteur. “Its priorities should include protecting lawyers’ independence, defending their interests and enforcing disciplinary measures. It should be self-regulating as well as independent.”

The suspended lawyers had signed a petition raising serious concerns about the independence and functioning of the country’s justice system. Some of them had assembled outside the Supreme Court on 30 August trying to submit the petition and calling for judicial reforms. Their suspension was announced by the Department of Judicial Administration less than two weeks later, on 10 September.

“Just like everyone else, lawyers are entitled to freedom of opinion, expression, association and peaceful assembly,” said the Special Rapporteur. “In particular, they have the right to take part in public discussions on matters concerning the law, the administration of justice and the protection of human rights.

“This alarming mass suspension clearly did not abide by international standards regulating disciplinary proceedings against lawyers and protecting their independence, and I strongly condemn it. Not only are the grounds for suspension dubious, but the lawyers have so far not been granted a fair hearing and they have no avenue for appeal.”

The Special Rapporteur noted that the suspended lawyers could represent one third of the lawyers in private practice in the Maldives, and more than half the lawyers licensed to practise before the Criminal Court.