Tag Archives: United Kingdom

UK: New UK peer Lord Hintze paid for 500 flights to rescue people on ‘Taliban kill list’


More than 100 female lawyers and their families were among those saved with the peer’s funding

Lord Hintze, who entered the House of Lords in November, has received praise for funding the evacuation of hundreds of people from Afghanistan, including 103 female lawyers.

The Australian-British businessman, who gave his maiden speech on Thursday during a debate on the state of the armed forces, served in the Australian military and is an honorary captain in the Royal Navy reserve.

The billionaire hedge fund boss was put forward for a peerage by Boris Johnson after donating millions of pounds to the Conservative Party.

Lord Hintze, a philanthropist, also paid for flights out of Afghanistan for 500 people organised by human rights lawyer and Labour peer Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws.

Human rights campaigner and independent cross-bench peer Lord Alton told the upper chamber: “I’m especially pleased to be speaking in the same debate as Lord Hintze — he’s a long-standing and good friend.

“Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws has a commitment away from the House today, but she would want me to recall the remarkable response by Lord Hintze when she was desperately trying to evacuate women judges from Afghanistan.

“Flights had to be arranged at great expense and Lord Hintze did not hesitate in a Schindler’s List moment in finding the lion’s share, making a spontaneous, generous and very substantial contribution in enabling women with a Taliban price on their heads to get out of Afghanistan.”

Lord Alton continued: “Five hundred people were evacuated, 103 were women lawyers and judges, all of whom with their children and husbands were on the Taliban kill list.

“I’ve met some of those women judges — and know that Lord Hintze’s intervention and that of the author JK Rowling undoubtedly saved many lives.

“His voice is one that deserves to be listened to with respect and admiration in this House.”

In August 2021, large-scale evacuations of foreign citizens and vulnerable Afghans took place amid the withdrawal of US and Nato forces during the final days of the war in Afghanistan.

But after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban on August 15, thousands of people were left stranded, among them women who, in the two decades since the Taliban were ousted, had qualified as judges in Afghanistan’s new legal system.




Afghan lawyers and judges in danger


Today, January 24, marks the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. As a Canadian lawyer I want to draw attention to the challenges facing some members of the legal profession in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban government assumed power in the country more than a year ago, the risk of retaliation and danger have only increased for many lawyers and judges, particularly women, advocates say.

For Nasrin (whose name has been changed to protect her identity), leaving Afghanistan was the last resort.

She had spent decades developing pioneering legislation and policies as a judge and legal advocate. When the Taliban took over in August 2021, everything changed. Facing death threats, she ultimately left. “I didn’t have any choice,” she told me. “I left my country, my house.” Now she and other legal activists are warning about the ever-increasing risks that lawyers and judges in the country still face and the need for countries like Canada to step up their efforts to help at-risk Afghans.

“If a woman wants to be a leader, like head of a court … it’s a very big position, but it is very dangerous,” Nasrin says.

Judges like Nasrin, as well as prosecutors, have been threatened with reprisals from the people they tried and the Taliban themselves. She is in contact with colleagues in the legal profession who remain in Afghanistan, and says the situation is worse than a year ago, as lawyers and judges fear for their safety.

“The first line is judges, the second line is defence lawyers and prosecutors … they are searching to find them,” she says.

The development of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) in 2008 was part of a broader effort to build a non-governmental body that would regulate the legal profession and provide resources to support lawyers and access to legal services. But in November 2021, it was dismantled by armed Taliban soldiers and the Ministry of Justice gained possession of the AIBA’s database, containing contact information of members. The organization is now relaunching itself in exile, from Brussels.




International Day Of The Endangered Lawyer: “We Strongly And Unequivocally Condemn The Repressive Tendencies Of The Taliban Government In Afghanistan Towards Lawyers”- Maikyau


https://charidy.com/AfghanWomen (PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!)









https://www.darivoa.com/amp/lawyers-in-Afghanistan-face-threats/6933046.html (DARI)

https://www.pashtovoa.com/a/us-special-envoy-for-afghan-women-says-will-stand-with-afghan-lawyers/6933080.html (PASHTO)

https://www.lextimes.fr/actualites/avocats-en-danger/treizieme-edition-consacree-lafghanistan (FRANCAIS)




Afghanistan: DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2023


The FBE supports all those in danger in Afghanistan.  Since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban in 2021, the situation of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors in Afghanistan has worsened. Many were left stranded when Government evacuation efforts ended. The international  legal community campaigns to persuade governments to rescue legal professionals at risk. However, most governments evacuated their own nationals and those who had been employed by the respective Government or related bodies. Most Afghan legal professionals did not fall into either category, even though they had served those Governments’ interests by upholding the rule of law in their country. Many were actively involved in the prosecution of members of the Taliban and  are in great danger. The international legal community must act now to persuade more assistance to evacuate lawyers, prosecutors, judges and legal professionals at risk and to offer safe havens in their respective countries.

The FBE endorses the report of the Coalition for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer and urges all to implement recommendations in particular:

  • The international community, in their diplomatic efforts toward the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, are urged to ensure the maintenance of a free and independent legal profession, in order to safeguard fundamental rights, including women’s rights, the independence and integrity of the administration of justice, and the rule of law.
  • The international community is urged to take all necessary measures to ensure that the lawyers at risk who remain in Afghanistan can safely leave the country. In particular:
  • To immediately implement evacuation and resettlement programmes for Afghan lawyers remaining in Afghanistan or located in neighboring countries.
  • To ensure respect for the principle of non-refoulement at all times.
  • To make humanitarian visas available to enable Afghan lawyers in need to access international protection legally and safely.
  • To ensure that all States suspend deportations and summary returns of Afghan nationals to Afghanistan or third states.
  •  To ensure that all States thoroughly investigate allegations of ill-treatment of Afghan nationals, especially in the States’ border regions and in removal centers in their territories.







https://2k86.mj.am/nl3/9MUI9jpjAKJgvmFwBU6sEA (FRANCAIS)

London: a Human Rights Solidarity and Arrested Lawyers Initiative action

Brussels (Facebook, CCBE – Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe )

China: Hong Kong activist’s London lawyers receive rape and death threats


Jailed Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and media mogul Jimmy Lai’s London-based international legal team have revealed they received rape and death threats which they allege were orchestrated by the Beijing authorities. 

Lai, 75, who is a British citizen, has been in jail since 2020 and faces a trial on national security charges for sedition and colluding with foreign forces, related to the work of his online newspaper Apple Daily. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in jail. 

Lai’s son Sebastian has been in London this week seeking an urgent meeting with prime minister Rishi Sunak to urge the British government to speak out in support of his father ahead of his trial in October. 

Caoilfhionne Gallagher KC, a barrister at London’s Doughty Street Chambers, who is part of Lai’s international legal team, revealed that she and others have received threats as part of what she said was the ‘extraterritorial targeting’ of those speaking out against his treatment. 

‘The Beijing and Hong Kong authorities are no longer content with attempting to simply silence their critics in their own border. They are now attempting to use the long arm of the state to try to silence critics wherever in the world it may be,’ Gallagher told a meeting at the Frontline Club last night. 

Gallagher said that she has received three rape threats, one death threat and ‘multiple spurious impersonating emails’ purporting to come from her.  

One bogus email purportedly sent from Gallagher to her colleagues at Doughty Street said that she had resigned from chambers because her work for Lai made her an enemy of the Chinese state and she was putting them all at risk. 








https://news-24.fr/le-fils-du-magnat-des-medias-de-hong-kong-emprisonne-jimmy-lai-critique-le-gouvernement-britannique-pour-ne-pas-avoir-denonce-la-chine-nouvelles-du-monde/ (FRANCAIS)


Russian Invasion Upends Life for Ukrainian Lawyers, a Year Later


Adam Mycyk was asleep in his home in Kyiv, Ukraine in late February 2022 when the blare of missile strikes shook him awake.

His mind raced. Where’s the nearest bomb shelter? What if the electric grid is hit?

The Dentons partner then spent the first day of Russia’s invasion scrambling to organize coverage for companies he advises.

“I was in the middle of two deals at that point—maybe three—that were mostly Ukraine-related, but cross-border in nature,” said Mycyk, 56, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer, in an interview. “These things still had to move forward.”

The Russian invasion has upended the lives of lawyers in Ukraine, forcing them to confront safety, psychological and logistical challenges as they work from a country under siege. Nearly a year after the siege began, the lawyers who fled are carrying on as refugees in foreign countries, wondering when they’ll be able to return.

For those who remain in Ukraine, any sense of normalcy is interrupted by hours of air raid sirens day and night.

“You could have a court hearing, and then the sirens would go off and the court had to adjourn the hearing,” said Roman Hryshyn-Hryshchuk, a CMS Legal Services litigation associate. “Sometimes you had to conduct them while literally hiding in the shelter.”

Hryshyn-Hryshchuk has been in the small, western town of Vyzhnytsia since February, when he left Kyiv to stay with his parents. He is banned from leaving the country and said he’s hesitant to travel between regions as suspicions about runaways or saboteurs escalate among authorities and defense volunteers.






Northern Ireland: Widow of Belfast solicitor murdered during The Troubles seeks damages against UK government


The widow of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane is to seek damages against the UK government for remaining in breach of a legal obligation to carry out an investigation into his murder, the High Court heard today.

A judge was also told that Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris will provide a timeframe next week for taking a new decision on whether to order a public inquiry.

The developments came in a challenge by the lawyer’s family to an ongoing failure to establish such a probe.

Mr Finucane, 39, was shot dead by loyalist paramilitary gunmen in front of his wife Geraldine and three children at their north Belfast home in February 1989.

His family have campaigned ever since for a public inquiry to establish the full scale of security force collusion in one of the most notorious assassinations during the Troubles.

In 2019 the UK Supreme Court declared that previous investigations into the killing failed to meet standards required by Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Since then, Mrs Finucane has mounted further legal battles over the Government’s response to that finding.

In November 2020, former Secretary of State Brandon Lewis announced there would not be a public inquiry at this stage because he wanted other police review processes to run their course. He was ordered then to pay £7,500 damages to Mrs Finucane for the excessive delay in reaching that position.







Afghanistan/USA: National Association of Women Judges Webinar: International Day of Endangered Lawyers


January 24, 2023
12:15 PM EST / 11:15 AM CST / 10:15 AM MST / 9:15 AM PST / 18:15 CET

International Day of Endangered Lawyers

Escape from Kabul – and Those Left Behind:

The Harrowing “Life-or-Death” Saga of Afghan Women Judges and What the Future Holds 

Join NAWJ and IAWJ as we mark the “International Day of the Endangered Lawyer” – January 24 – by celebrating the “sisterhood” of courageous and inspiring women judges worldwide who are continuing to fight for the women and girls – and the future – of Afghanistan.


As Afghanistan fell in mid-August 2021, the Taliban were out for blood. Among those at greatest risk for reprisals were the country’s 270+ women judges, who are the antithesis of all that the Taliban stands for. The women judges are in the greatest danger, because the Taliban flung open the doors to prisons across Afghanistan as they seized control of one province after another, leaving convicts free to carry out their vendettas against the judges who put them behind bars.

But the Afghan women judges were not alone. The members of the International Association of Women Judges (“IAWJ”) have long had close ties to their Afghan “sisters-in-law.” Seeing the writing on the wall, the IAWJ leapt into action. Within hours, an ad hoc band of women judges around the world had mobilized and were working in concert to do what U.S. authorities seemingly could not or would not do – to seek to rescue their Afghan colleagues. The IAWJ’s efforts have been nothing short of Herculean and heroic – with the stakes (quite literally) “life-or-death.”

Bleary-eyed and hunched over their computers 24/7, for weeks on end, with no prior experience in military logistics, a small, dedicated network of IAWJ members communicated with the Afghan women judges around the clock – from counseling them on passport and visas, negotiating to get their names (and their families’ names) on flight manifests, and guiding them from their hiding places to safe houses, to monitoring ever-changing “safe” routes to the airport and working with foreign armed forces to secure the passage of the women and their families past airport gates and safely onto flights, and providing support for them upon their arrival at their destinations (to say nothing of the efforts required to raise the requisite funding).

Since August 2021, 197 women judges have been evacuated from Afghanistan. They are now spread throughout the world in 33 countries, including 24 in the United States. The NAWJ, through International Director Lisa Walsh, has created mentor “teams” in the US communities where the Afghan judges are resettled. The goal is to assist the judges in assimilating, learning English, obtaining meaningful work, and, for some, reaccrediting themselves in the legal profession in the U.S.






http://hoqooq.eu/Payam-010123.pdf (DARI)




Northern Ireland/UK: British government remains in breach of legal obligation to investigate Pat Finucane murder


The British Government remains in breach of its legal obligation to carry out a human rights-compliant investigation into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Scoffield quashed a decision not to establish a public inquiry at this stage into the full scale of security force collusion with loyalist paramilitaries responsible for the killing in February 1989.

He also held that former Secretary of State Brandon Lewis unlawfully failed to reconsider that position following the conclusion of a police review process.

Despite stopping short of ordering a public inquiry, he directed that a fresh decision must now be taken on how to address the continued investigative deficiencies within a set timeframe.

The verdict came in a challenge by the murdered lawyer’s widow, Geraldine Finucane, to the failure to set up a public inquiry.

According to the judge she finds herself “in a sorry situation” nearly four years after the UK Supreme Court declared previous probes into the killing failed to meet the standards required by Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Mr Justice Scoffield said: “I have no hesitation in concluding that the United Kingdom government, represented in these proceedings by the Secretary of State, remains in breach of Article 2 on the basis of the ongoing delay in completing an investigation which satisfies the requirements of that provision.”

Pat Finucane’s murder was among the most notorious of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

UDA gunmen burst into his north Belfast home and shot him 14 times in front of his wife, who was injured by a ricocheting bullet, and three children.

His family have campaigned ever since for a public inquiry into levels of collusion with the killers.

Mr Finucane was described in court as the victim of a scheme where loyalist paramilitaries were infiltrated, resourced and manipulated to target those identified for assassination.

Counsel for his widow argued that only a public inquiry will uncover the full extent of a state-operated policy of “extrajudicial executions”.

In February 2019 the Supreme Court identified a continued breach of the requirement to hold an Article 2-compliant investigation.

Since then, Mrs Finucane has mounted further legal battles against the government’s response to that ruling.









https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Finucane (FRANCAIS)

Ukrainian lawyer with procurement expertise gets new start on life and career in Canada


Last February, Mykyta Zhukov was enjoying a holiday in the Dominican Republic with his wife, celebrating their birthdays with “blue ocean, white beach, palm trees and waterfalls.”

But that idyllic vacation was shattered on Feb. 24 when the Ukrainian lawyer specializing in public procurement and litigation started getting emails from friends and relatives saying that Russia had invaded Ukraine. “The first notification from our parents and friends shocked us. We were scared.”

Zhukov, who, in addition to running his law firm, is head of the Ukrainian Bar Association’s committee on constitutional law, administrative law, and human rights, realized that the invasion would forever change his life and career.

And so began an odyssey that took Zhukov and his spouse to Poland, Ireland, and now Canada.


His Ukrainian Bar Association committee work also led to the association signing a memorandum of cooperation with Irish Rule of Law International (IRLI), an organization founded by the Law Society of Ireland, the Bar of Ireland, the Law Society of Northern Ireland, and the Bar of Northern Ireland. The purpose of the memorandum agreement is to promote the rule of law and harness the skills of lawyers in tackling global injustice, inequality, corruption, and conflict. Zhukov also was involved in founding the Association of Ukrainian Lawyers in Ireland.


Given the ease of doing legal work remotely, Zhukov is still fulfilling his duties with the Ukrainian Bar Association while working on building his business in Ukraine and outside. He also realizes he is facing a new challenge in applying his professional skills in a new country. While he would have to take the relevant courses and exams to become a lawyer in Canada, he feels there are still many ways he could apply his professional skills and abilities, along with his interest in legal technology.

He also wants to be an unofficial “ambassador” for Ukraine, providing information about the country and its people. “I am happy to share my experience in finding new contacts, finding clients, as well as potential forms of cooperation with foreign companies,” he says, adding that his experience could be useful for lawyers of Ukrainian heritage worldwide.






https://unba.org.ua/news/7792-advokati-hersonshini-muzhn-o-vistoyali-period-okupacii.html (UKRAINIAN)

Iran/Afghanistan/Belgium: Les barreaux dénoncent la manière dont les réfugiés sont accueillis en Belgique


Plusieurs barreaux de Belgique se sont mis d’accord pour organiser une manifestation à Bruxelles le lundi 12 décembre afin de dénoncer la manière dont les réfugiés sont accueillis.

Les barreaux de Bruxelles, Charleroi, Dinant, Liège-Huy, Luxembourg, Mons, Namur, Tournai et Verviers organiseront une manifestation à Bruxelles le lundi 12 décembre afin de dénoncer la manière dont les réfugiés – et en particulier les Afghans et les Iraniens – sont accueillis en Belgique, annoncent-ils jeudi.

Le rassemblement aura lieu à 12h place Poelaert, devant le Palais de Justice, dans le cadre de la journée dédiée aux droits humains le 10 décembre. Les avocats se rassembleront pour évoquer et dénoncer la situation des peuples afghan et iranien, et tout particulièrement des avocats persécutés par les pouvoirs en place. Deux bâtonniers prendront la parole avant que les manifestants ne rejoignent à pied les bureaux du Commissariat général aux réfugiés et apatrides.

La Convention de Genève

Une prise de parole sera organisée à 13h place Victor Horta, en face du CGRA, afin de rappeler la nécessité de protéger les demandeurs de protection internationale et de respecter la Convention de Genève relative au statut des réfugiés.

Les barreaux disent avoir conscience que ce combat pour les droits humains n’est pas le seul et que de nombreuses personnes sont discriminées et persécutées dans le monde. Ils expliquent cependant avoir fait le choix de soutenir particulièrement les ressortissants afghans, dont la situation ne cesse de s’aggraver depuis la prise de pouvoir des talibans en août 2021, et les ressortissants iraniens, dont les droits humains et les libertés fondamentales sont bafoués.

Une traduction résumée en farsi et dari sera d’ailleurs assurée sur les deux lieux de rassemblement.