Tag Archives: Union internationale des avocats

Noted Lawyer Charged Over His Stance On Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

15/09/22

The chairman of the Attorneys’ Chamber in Russia’s Udmurtia region, Dmitry Talantov, has been accused of committing five crimes and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Pervy Otdel (The First Unit), a group that unites lawyers and right defenders, wrote on Telegram on September 14 that Talantov has been charged with the distribution of fake materials inciting political hatred and discord, and two counts of inciting hatred and discord using an official position.

Talantov was arrested in the Udmurt capital, Izhevsk, and sent to pretrial detention in Moscow in late June after he criticized the Russian government and military forces over a deadly strike on a shopping mall in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk.

He was initially charged with distributing false information about the Russian armed forces.

Earlier in April, Talantov, who has openly condemned Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, also harshly criticized Russia’s military for killing civilians in the Ukrainian towns and cities of Irpin, Bucha, and Mariupol.

Talantov was the lawyer for Ivan Safronov, a prominent former Russian journalist who was sentenced to 22 years in prison last week on a treason charge widely considered to be politically motivated.

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-lawyer-talantov-charged-ukraine-war/32035181.html

https://www.ibanet.org/IBA-condemns-detention-of-Russian-lawyer-who-spoke-out-against-Russias-invasion-of-Ukraine

https://en.mir.legal/

https://www.uianet.org/en/actions/uia-irol-expresses-deep-concern-and-calls-immediate-release-russian-lawyer-dmitry-talantov

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/profile/dmitry-talantov

https://www.hrw.org/video-photos/interactive/2022/08/22/what-can-get-you-trouble-anti-war-speech-russia

https://gchumanrights.org/news-events/latest-news/news-detail-page/interview-with-russian-human-rights-lawyer-marina-agaltsova.html

https://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent-actions/urgent-action-crimean-human-rights-lawyers-disbarred-russian-federation-ukraine-ua-75-22/

https://ukr-rol.lexisnexis.com/

https://desk-russie.eu/2022/08/17/fausse-informations.html (FRANCAIS)

La VII Caravana Internacional de Juristas recorre Colombia para abogar por la protección de los abogados

26/08/22

La VII Caravana Internacional de Juristas recorre esta semana del 20 al 28 de agosto diferentes zonas de Colombia para conocer de primera mano los riesgos  que enfrentan en este país abogados y defensores de los derechos humanos.

El equipo de la Caravana está conformado por 18 juristas internacionales y expertos en Derechos Humanos de 11 países, incluidos miembros de la Fundación Abogacía, como integrante del Observatorio Internacional de la Abogacía en Riesgo (OIAD).

Esta iniciativa, organizada por ‘Colombian Caravana’, se celebra desde el año 2008 de manera bianual. En esta edición se visitarán las regiones de Bolívar, Norte de Santander, Santander y Valle del Cauca.

La Defensoría del Pueblo, órgano del Estado colombiano, ha informado de que 122 defensores de derechos humanos han sido asesinados entre enero y julio de 2022. Por ello, la misión de este viaje es analizar las amenazas sufridas por este sector y abogar por su protección.

Esta visita de la Caravana se produce en medio de una coyuntura complicada, debido al incumplimiento del Acuerdo Final de Paz firmado en 2016. Desde entonces se ha dado una agudización de las masacres, del desplazamiento forzado en territorios indígenas, afrocolombianos y rurales, así como una criminalización del derecho a la protesta tras el estallido social de 2021.

La delegación se reunirá con autoridades regionales y nacionales del nuevo gobierno presidido por Gustavo Petro con el fin de abordar los desafíos e inquietudes respecto a la seguridad de los abogados y abogadas.

[…]

https://www.cali.gov.co/gobierno/publicaciones/171038/juristas-internacionales-recogieron-informacion-sobre-la-protesta-social-en-cali/

https://www.abogacia.es/actualidad/noticias/la-vii-caravana-internacional-de-juristas-recorre-colombia-para-abogar-por-la-proteccion-de-los-abogados/

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/seventh-caravana-internacional-de-juristas/ (ENGLISH)

Afghan Lawyer Latifa Sharifi Selected Recipient of the 2021 UIA/LexisNexis Rule of Law Award

27/09/21

Ms Latifa Sharifi, an Afghan lawyer of the Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA), a historic Afghan women’s association, was designated recipient of the 2021 UIA Rule of Law Award in cooperation with LexisNexis by the UIA Governing Board.


Ms. Sharifi was among the three Finalists of the Award selected by the Nomination Committee, along with prominent human rights lawyers Mohamed El-Baqer (Egypt) and Saif Ul-Malook (Pakistan), both of whom have consistently demonstrated unrelenting dedication and commitment to upholding the Rule of Law and human rights, despite overwhelming personal and professional hardships, including great risk to their personal safety and that of their families.

As a lawyer, Ms Latifa Sharifi particularly assisted women victims of domestic violence in divorce proceedings and helped them find refuge. Because of her defense of women, Ms Sharifi has repeatedly been threatened and intimidated because of her professional activities, and she has been forced to work clandestinely.

With this Award, UIA and LexisNexis recognize Ms. Sharifi’s courageous commitment to ensuring effective access to justice to women, a commitment for which she is regrettably in imminent danger of retaliation.

Ms Sharifi was refouled at Kabul airport on Sunday, August 15, where she went with her husband and her three children, in an attempt to flee abroad. Her youngest child was injured in the process of trying to escape the airport. Ms Sharifi is currently hiding, and she and her family remain in grave danger. 

[…]

https://www.uianet.org/en/news/afghan-lawyer-latifa-sharifi-selected-recipient-2021-uialexisnexis-rule-law-award

https://patrick-henry.avocats.be/?q=node/518 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.actu-juridique.fr/administratif/libertes-publiques-ddh/afghanistan-il-faut-nous-sauver-de-cette-terreur-supplient-avocats-et-magistrats-menaces-par-les-talibans/

(ITALIANO)

https://portalegiovani.comune.fi.it/urlnews/webzine/40602.html

https://www.ildubbio.news/2021/08/30/ora-salviamo-gli-avvocati-e-magistrati-afghani-pericolo/

Bahrain Minister of Justice Should not Use Disciplinary Proceedings to Sanction Lawyers Exercising their Freedom of Expression

12/05/21

In a hearing held on March 22, 2021, the Lawyers’ Disciplinary Board in Bahrain decided to prohibit prominent human rights lawyer Abdullah Alshamlawi from practicing his profession for one year.

The decision followed a complaint filed with the Lawyers Disciplinary Council against Mr. Alshamlawi by Minister of Justice Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, who is the only one authorized to file disciplinary actions before the Council.  

This case stems from a tweet published by Mr. Alshamlawi from his personal Twitter account, wherein he criticized the religious practices of a Muslim sect. As a result of that tweet, a criminal proceeding was brought against Mr. Alshamlawi, at the behest of an individual who allegedly was a victim of the tweet, charging him with two criminal acts: (1) Publicly inciting hatred and disrespecting a community group, and (2) deliberately inconveniencing others by misuse of his communication devices. 

On June 30, 2020, Mr. Alshamlawi was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment, with bail imposed in lieu of execution of the punishment.

Following the sentence, the alleged victim on whose behalf the criminal charges were brought reconciled with Mr. Alshamlawi and agreed to waive his complaint. Subsequently, Mr. Alshamlawi appealed the judgment before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result of the waiver, the Court of Appeals agreed to close the case with respect to the charge of deliberately inconveniencing others by misuse of communication devices but upheld the conviction on the first charge of public incitement of hatred and disrespecting a community group. The Court, however, suspended the sentence for three years.

Mr. Alshamlawi challenged this judgment before the Court of Cassation, but on January 11, 2021, the Court of Cassation affirmed the appellate judgment.  

Following the resolution of the criminal case, the Minister of Justice then sought disciplinary action against Mr. Alshamlawi in his capacity as a lawyer. The Minister referred the matter to the Lawyer’s Disciplinary Council, alleging violation of Article 43 of the Bahraini Advocacy Law, which provides that any attorney who violates the principles of this law, breaches his professional duties, or commits an act that degrades the profession or affects the honor or traditions of the profession, will be subject to one of the following disciplinary punishments:

[…]

https://www.uianet.org/en/actions/bahrain-minister-justice-should-not-use-disciplinary-proceedings-sanction-lawyers-exercising

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2652

http://www.bahrainmirror.com/en/news/59083.html

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/09/09/bahrain-lawyers-prosecuted-speech-charges

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/01/13/bahrain-no-improvement-rights-record

Belarus: stop politically motivated prosecution and disbarment of lawyers

13/04/21

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) | Page 2 | Prachatai English

Today, the ICJ called on the Belarus Ministry of Justice and other relevant authorities to end the recent practice of using legal proceedings against lawyers in retaliation for discharging their professional duties and to reinstate those already disbarred.

In recent months, in the context of widespread violations of the human rights of those protesting against the outcome of the disputed 2020 presidential election, there has been an unprecedented increase of cases of disbarment of lawyers especially those who comment on violations of the human rights of their clients. Among the most recently disbarred lawyers are Konstantin Mikhel, Maxim Konon, Mikhail Kirilyuk and Yulia Ivanchuk.

“This recent wave of criminal and disciplinary proceedings against lawyers is highly worrying and it constitutes an attack on the independence of the legal profession. These proceedings, be they of criminal, administrative or disciplinary nature, should be discontinued or reconsidered as being contrary to the international human rights law concerning the independence of the legal profession,” said Temur Shakirov, Senior Legal Adviser of the ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme.

There is a clear pattern of the misuse of disciplinary proceedings against lawyers who represent political opponents of the government or those who openly criticize the government on issues of public significance.

Disciplinary proceedings in Belarus are not independent of the executive, since they are conducted by the Qualification Commission which operates under the Ministry of Justice.

Notably, disciplinary proceedings are pending against lawyer Dmitry Layevski, allegedly following his public comments on a pending Draft Law on advocates’ activities.

Dmitry Layevski is a lawyer representing Victor Babaryko, an opposition leader in Belarus currently in detention, and Maxim Znak, former legal representative of Maria Kolesnikova, another detained opposition leader.

Earlier, a number of lawyers, including Aleksandr Pylchenko, former legal representative of Viktor Babaryko and Maria Kolesnikova, and Lyudmila Kazak, former legal representative of Maria Kolesnikova, faced disciplinary sanctions, and Lyudmila Kazak incurred an administrative fine, as a result of discharging their professional functions.

Several lawyers involved in human rights cases have been called by the Qualification Commission to undergo an examination to re-certify their qualification to practice law and have failed the exam. This procedure appears to target lawyers working to defend human rights, as a means of harassment or reprisal.

[…]

https://www.ibanet.org/Article/NewDetail.aspx?ArticleUid=09fa9c9f-1e27-4e55-983c-3f4e112a569f

https://www.belhelcom.org/en/news/communication-un-special-rapporteurs-defense-belarussian-lawyers-2021

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

https://ex-press.by/rubrics/obshhestvo/2021/02/15/nekorrektno-vyrazhalsya-o-predstavitelyax-gosorganov-advokata-mixaila-kirilyuka-xotyat-lishit-licenzii (BELARUSIAN)

Romania: Robert Roșu Continues to be Persecuted for Simply Exercising His Profession

18/02/21

Scandalul condamnării avocatului Robert Roșu, pe masa Uniunii Barourilor

The UIA-IROL is expressing its grave concern on the case of Robert Roșu. 

In 2016, we previously protested the circumstances surrounding the search at the head offices of the law firm of Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii on December 8, 2015 by officers of the National Anticorruption Directorate (NAD.) That search was followed by the arrest on December 10, 2015 of Mr. Robert Roșu, a partner at Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii.

In our previous statement, we recalled the core principles around protection of confidentiality and the conditions under which searches of lawyers’ offices may be carried out [1].

Today we note that our colleague Mr. Roșu, as well as the legal profession continues to find itself under attack in Romania.

It is our understanding that Robert Roșu has just recently been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, being found guilty simply for having exercised his profession. He is currently in prison based on a court decision which has been denounced by the representatives of the legal profession and a significant number of colleagues as wrong and abusive.

Previously, Mr. Roșu, having been charged in 2015 with alleged crimes of corruption and placed under house arrest for three months, was finally released by a judge of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the highest court in Romania. All of the acts and deeds the prosecution considered “criminal” in his case were determined by the judges of the High Court of Cassation and Justice as activities typical of the exercise of the legal profession, falling within the limits of the activities normally carried out by a lawyer. By a decision dated March 11, 2016, the house arrest was therefore invalidated.

[…]

https://www.uianet.org/fr/actions/robert-rosu-continues-be-persecuted-simply-exercising-his-profession

(ROMANA)

https://evz.ro/reactii-internationale-la-condamnarea-avocatului-robert-rosu.html

https://evz.ro/unbr-condamnarea-avocatului-robert-rosu.html

https://www.capital.ro/un-cunoscut-avocat-a-fost-condamnat-la-inchisoare-pentru-ca-si-a-exercitat-profesia.html

FRANCAIS:

Afghanistan: UIA-IROL Stands with the Afghan Legal Profession and Judiciary in Their Struggle for Independence

04/02/21

Violence has surged in Afghanistan in recent months despite ongoing peace talks between the Taliban and the government. Pictured: People carry the coffin of an Afghan women judge killed in Afghanistan earlier this month

UIA-IROL has been following closely the situation of lawyers and judges in Afghanistan and remains extremely concerned by the number of attacks on lawyers and judges. The most recent incidents include the murder of two Supreme Court Judges who were killed on their way to work. Supreme Court Judges Kadria Yasini and Zakia Herawi were assassinated by unidentified assailants who ambushed them and opened fire on their vehicles. Kabul’s police force also confirmed that the drivers of the two murdered judges and a third judge were wounded in the attack.

We note that Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid denied the group’s involvement in the assassinations. However Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the Taliban and other such groups in the wake of Sunday’s assassinations, stressing that the ongoing violence against women and scholars, is an “attack on our honor and dignity,” and can “jeopardize the efforts for lasting peace.”

The judges’ assassinations are among the most recent in a series of attacks against influential figures in Afghanistan, including the targeted killings of human rights-activists, a military prosecutor and journalists.

UIA-IROL recalls that in matters of administration of justice, the treaties protecting fundamental rights and freedoms could not be given full effect without the adoption of principles guaranteeing the independence of judges, prosecutors and lawyers.

[…]

https://www.uianet.org/en/actions/uia-irol-stands-afghan-legal-profession-and-judiciary-their-struggle-independence

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/taliban-purge-threatens-peace-process-in-afghanistan-0zrqsqr5f

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9204867/How-Afghan-woman-judge-tried-fend-Taliban-killer-handbag.html

https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/asia/shock-as-two-female-afghan-supreme-court-judges-gunned-down-in-kabul-ambush-1.1147550

Azerbaijan: Disbarred, suspended, or criminally prosecuted: Azerbaijani human rights lawyers (updated)

January 2021

This list has been compiled by the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) on the basis of publicly available reports from international human rights organisations and information from partner lawyers in Azerbaijan.

In the years following the 2014 crackdown on civil society in Azerbaijan and the criminal prosecution of NGO and human rights defenders, human rights lawyers who took up these and other ‘politically sensitive’ cases have been subjected to severe retaliation by the authorities, which has sometimes resulted in the suspension of their licences and even disbarment.

Disciplinary proceedings have been brought against human rights lawyers in response to their legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression: for publicising human rights violations perpetrated against their clients in detention, or for disclosing instances of the abusive administration of justice in their clients’ cases. As a result, over a dozen Azerbaijani lawyers have been deprived of the opportunity to practise their profession, and over two dozen have been targeted by the Azerbaijani authorities since 2005.

In January 2020, in its first case relating to the disbarment of a lawyer in Azerbaijan, the European Court of Human Rights (European Court) found a violation of the right to a private life (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights) in the case of Elchin Namazov, who was disbarred in the absence of adequate procedural safeguards in disciplinary proceedings brought against him. The Court found that the domestic courts had failed to assess the proportionality of the sanction.[1]

Khalid Bagirov is another prominent human rights lawyer who was first suspended in 2011 after he made comments about the suspicious death of his client in police custody. He was later permanently disbarred in 2015 for criticising Azerbaijan’s judicial system during a trial which concerned a domestic court’s failure to implement the European Court’s judgment in the case of Ilgar Mammadov, an opposition politician whose arrest was found to be politically motivated.

In June 2020, the European Court ruled that Azerbaijan’s suspension and disbarment of Bagirov was in breach of his freedom of expression (Article 10 of ECHR) and right to a private life. The Court ordered the Azerbaijani Government to ensure the “maximum possible reparation” for Khalid Bagirov, “and [that] they should put the applicant, as far as possible, in the position in which he had been before his disbarment.”[2]

[…]

https://lso.ca/gazette/news/day-of-the-endangered-lawyer

(ITALIANO)

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

https://www.iurastudent.de/blogeintrag/elsa-deutschland-ev-zum-day-endangered-lawyers (DEUTSCH)

https://www.nporadio1.nl/fris/onderwerpen/71251-2021-01-24-dag-van-de-bedreigde-advocaat-ook-in-nederland-erg-actueel (NEDERLANDS)

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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Tajikistan: officials must end intimidation of lawyers, including the Bar Association Chairperson

September 10, 2019

The ICJ today expressed concern that a Government anti-corruption agency has engaged in acts of intimidation against the Chairperson of the Union of the Lawyers of the Republic of Tajikistan, Saidbek Nuritdinov, and 15 other lawyers.

The intimidation apparently relates to the lawyers’ defence of Abdulaziz Abdurahmonzoda, a lawyer facing trial on charges of fraud, who was allegedly ill-treated in detention by officers of the city Department of the Agency for Financial Control and Combating Corruption of the Republic of Tajikistan (Anti-Corruption Agency).

After the lawyers representing Abdurahmonzoda alleged that he had been ill-treated, the judge of the Sino district of Dushanbe city hearing the case, Ahmadzoda Farogat, requested the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate the allegations.

Following the initiation of the inquiry of the allegations of ill-treatment, the Head of the Anti-Corruption Agency of Dushanbe, allegedly sent requests to a number of district courts of Dushanbe to obtain information about civil and criminal cases in which Saidbek Nuritdinov had participated as a lawyer.

Tajikistan: officials must end intimidation of lawyers, including the Bar Association Chairperson

https://www.uianet.org/en/news/new-date-uia-rule-law-award-cooperation-lexisnexis

http://notorturetj.org/news/saidbek-nuritdinov-antikorrupciya-okazyvaet-davlenie-na-advokatov (RUSSIAN)