Tag Archives: United Nations

Egypt: Mohammed Al-Baqir: The imprisoned lawyer who turned into a symbol of justice

October 22, 2019

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While the prominent human rights lawyer Mohammad Al-Baqir was attending investigations atthe supreme state security prosecution with the political activist Alaa Abd al-Fattah at the end of September, he was surprised that the prosecution ordered that he be detained and informed him that he is wanted under the same case.

The prosecution accused Al-Baqir of “belonging to a terrorist group, financing terrorism, spreading false news that undermines national security,” and then ordered his preventive detention. After that, he wastransferred blindfolded to al-Aqrab Prison, the prison with the worst reputation in Egypt.

Al-Baqir was physically and verbally abused, hisbasic rights were violated from the moment he entered prison. He was forced to walk while bending his back, showered by insults and abuse. He was stripped of all his belongings, even his personal hygiene items. They put on his prison clothes while he was blindfolded and he was driven to a cell while not being allowed to shower or change his underclothes for nine days. The prison administration also refused al-Baqir’s request to see the prison doctor and prevented him from buying clean food or water, his wife said.

The prosecution delayed the decision on a request made by Al-Baqir’s lawyer to enable him to visit his ill father, who was in intensive care. He died before seeing his son, but al-Baqir was allowed to attend the funeral.

Why al-Baqir?

Egyptian authorities are currently carrying out a systematic campaign targeting human rights lawyers who took on the mission of defending those arrested after the demonstrations of September 20, that demanded the toppling of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s regime and accused it of corruption. Among the most prominent that have been arrested along with al-Baqir are Mahienour el-Massry, and Amr Imam.

Mohammed Al-Baqir: The imprisoned lawyer who turned into a symbol of justice

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-rights-un/u-n-rights-office-urges-egypt-to-free-lawyers-activist-idUSKBN1WX1JZ

http://www.ishr.ch/news/egypt-let-human-rights-defenders-work-better-future

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/egypt-arbitrary-detention-and-judicial-harassment-of-amr-imam

https://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/egypt/2019/10/d25561/

IFEX strongly condemns violent crackdown against Egyptian rights defenders

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/arrest-mohamed-el-baqer

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/RC-9-2019-0138_EN.html

https://vwv.almanassa.net/ar/story/13097 (ARABIC)

https://ifex.org/ar/%D8%A2%D9%8A%D9%81%D9%83%D8%B3-%D8%AA%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%84%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%86%D9%8A%D9%81%D8%A9-%D8%B6%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AF/ (ARABIC)

http://mubasher.aljazeera.net/news/%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%90-%D8%A3%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%86-%D8%A5%D8%B6%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%B9%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%AA%D8%B6%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%B9-%D8%A5%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AD (ARABIC)

https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2019/09/30/alaa-abdel-fattah-icone-de-la-revolution-a-nouveau-arrete-en-egypte_6013618_3212.html (FRANCAIS)

http://www.eldiario.ec/noticias-manabi-ecuador/511795-ong-dice-hay-mas-de-4000-arrestos-y-3000-acusados-tras-protestas-en-egipto/ (ESPANOL)

#الحرية_لباقر

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تجديد حبس المحامي الحقوقي محمد الباقر ١٥ يوما في اتهامه بنشر أخبار كاذبة

قررت نيابة أمن الدولة العليا، اليوم الأربعاء، تجديد حبس المحامي الحقوقي البارز، محمد الباقر، ١٥ يوما آخرى.
حلء ذلك على ذمة اتهامه في القضية رقم ١٣٥٦ لسنة ٢٠١٩ حصر أمن دولة، والمتهم فيها بنشر أخبار كاذبة ومشاركة جماعة إرهابية.#دفتر_أحوال_المحاكم_والنيابات
#المفوضية_المصرية_للحقوق_والحريات
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Egypt: UN human rights office urges Egypt to immediately release detained protestors

October 18, 2019

Authorities in Egypt are being urged by the UN human rights office, OHCHR,  to immediately release scores of citizens who have been arrested in connection with recent anti-government demonstrations in several cities.

Civil society groups report more than 2,000 people were detained before, during and after the protests on 20 September, which prompted the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to express concern about reports of lack of due process.

On Friday her office reported that the arrests are continuing, with a number of well-known and respected civil society figures affected, some of whom have been accused of terrorism.

“Once again, we remind the Egyptian Government that under international law people have a right to protest peacefully, and a right to express their opinions, including on social media. They should never be arrested, detained – let alone charged with serious offences such as terrorism – simply for exercising those rights”, spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told journalists in Geneva.

Prominent members of civil society detained

Ms. Shamdasani provided information about some of the detainees, who include Esraa Abdelfattah, a journalist and human rights defender based in the capital, Cairo, who was arrested on 12 October.

Prominent blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah as well as his lawyer, Mohammed El-Baqer are currently being held at the Tora Maximum Security Prison, south of Cairo.

Both have been accused of belonging to a terrorist group, funding terrorism, spreading false news that undermines national security and “using social media to commit publishing offices”, the UN human rights office said.

Mr. El-Bager was arrested that same day while attending his client’s interrogation at the State Security Prosecution. Since that time, he allegedly has been subjected to physical and verbal abuse, in addition to being denied access to drinking water, sanitation and medical assistance.

“All those arrested and detained solely for exercising their rights, or lending legal assistance to others who have been arrested, should be released immediately,” Ms. Shamdasani stated.

OHCHR also called on the authorities to “promptly and effectively” investigate any allegations of torture or ill-treatment.

https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/10/1049581

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/rights-office-urges-egypt-free-blogger-lawyer-journalist-191018202945053.html

https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/18/un-rights-office-urges-egypt-to-free-lawyers-activist

UN demands Egypt investigate torture allegations

https://middle-east-online.com/en/un-demands-egypt-probe-activists%E2%80%99-torture

http://mubasher.aljazeera.net/news/%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%90-%D8%A3%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%86-%D8%A5%D8%B6%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%B9%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%AA%D8%B6%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%B9-%D8%A5%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AD (ARABIC)

https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/egypte-l-onu-condamne-la-repression-des-militants-politiques-20191018 (FRANCAIS)

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Endangered Lawyers need International Protection

October 2019

https://www.lawasia.asn.au/sites/default/files/2019-10/Bulletin%20Article%20-%20Prof%20Higashizawa%20-%20Oct%202019.pdf

https://www.lawasia.asn.au/home/lawasia-news?fbclid=IwAR2oxw82RVEwfL480UlqvRqvx3YNGZ_w0MfIlffDH662WpK0O59BJSuQQog

https://www.lawasia.asn.au/

Egypt: Rights lawyer Gamal Eid attacked

October 10, 2019

https://madamasr.com/en/2019/09/15/feature/politics/civil-society-leaders-fight-travel-bans-as-9-year-ngo-foreign-funding-case-drags-on/

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/judicial-harassment-gamal-eid

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/gamal-eid

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

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/egypt-prominent-human-rights-defender-tortured-crackdown-intensifies

300 UN recommendations spurned by the Egyptian government; 12 demands must be urgently implemented before next month’s UPR

https://cihrs.org/300-un-recommendations-spurned-by-the-egyptian-government-12-demands-must-be-urgently-implemented-before-next-months-upr/ (ARABIC)

https://www.facebook.com/events/669343450226861/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.dw.com/de/menschenrechtsaktivist-gamal-eid-der-zorn-ist-berechtigt/a-50648470 (DEUTSCH)

https://www.vistazo.com/seccion/mundo/actualidad-mundial/detienen-y-torturan-destacada-activista-egipcia-esraa-abdel-fattah (ESPANOL)

http://www.kaixian.tv/gd/2019/1014/1075615.html (MANDARIN)

Sri Lanka: TGTE Launches Petition Calling for UN Response to Recent Attack on Tamil Lawyers in Sri Lanka

October 9, 2019

In light of the police-facilitated mob violence perpetrated with impunity against Tamil lawyers outside the Mullaitivu Magistrate court in North-East Sri Lanka on Monday, September 23, 2019, as well as the state-sanctioned and police-facilitated open public defiance of a court injunction that precipitated the assault, Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)has launched a petition calling on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr. Diego García-Sayán, to secure a country visit to Sri Lanka without delay in order to investigate, document and report on the historic and ongoing gross violations of the independence of Tamil judges and security of Tamil lawyers, in the island of Sri Lanka.

“The events of September 23rd were not an isolated incident but rather only the most recent episode in Sri Lanka’s long history of blatant disregard for the rule of law, the separation of powers, and human rights when it serves the Buddhist Sinhalese ethnocratic state agenda,” said TGTE Prime Minister Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran. “These events have provoked moral anger among lawyers and human rights activists worldwide.”

“We cannot let these actions go unanswered. An attack on an Eelam Tamil lawyer is a threat to all Eelam Tamil lawyers to perform their legal obligations. The international community, especially institutions that consider themselves human rights guardians, cannot afford to turn a blind eye in this matter. Silence in the wake of events like these is what allows impunity to reign.”, Mr. Rudrakumaran added.

The specific court injunction defied was one prohibiting the administration of Buddhist funeral rites on the grounds of a Hindu temple in Mullaitivu, part of the traditional Tamil Homeland. The Sri Lankan police sent to the area did not take any action to prevent the criminally-intended group of Buddhist adherents from successfully violating the injunction. Instead, Sri Lankan police escorted the group as it carried out the prohibited funeral rites and also barred Tamils from entering the area. Then, when members of the group harassed and physically attacked the Tamil lawyers present who had worked to secure the injunction and who attempted to question why the cremation was proceeding despite the legal order, the police merely watched. It is elucidating that, as reported in the Tamil Guardian, one monk “taunted the Tamil objectors by stating that Buddhist monks held supremacy in Sri Lanka.”

https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/498685739/tgte-launches-petition-calling-for-un-response-to-recent-attack-on-tamil-lawyers-in-sri-lanka

https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/lawyers-continue-strike-across-north-east-after-assaults-buddhist-monks

http://newsonair.nic.in/Main-News-Details.aspx?id=371997

India/Jammu & Kashmir: Kashmir’s crippled courts leave detainees in limbo

October 3, 2019

A Paramilitary trooper stands on guard during the shutdown in Srinagar. Kashmir valley remains shutdown for the 55th consecutive day following the scrapping of Article 370 by the central government which grants special status to Jammu & Kashmir

Thousands of people have been detained in Indian-administered Kashmir following a government move to strip the region of its special status. Worried family members have been flocking to the courts – but to little avail, reports BBC Hindi’s Vineet Khare.

Altaf Hussein Lone looked anxious as he sat on a red printed sofa in a large hall of the high court in Srinagar, the main city of Indian-administered Kashmir.

Since there is no public transport readily available, he had to pay an exorbitant amount to travel from his home in Baramulla, more than 50km (30 miles) away.

Life here has come to a standstill since the region lost its partial autonomy on 4 August. Internet and mobile phone connections remain suspended, roads and streets are largely deserted; and tens of thousands of extra troops have been deployed.

Despite government assurances that schools and offices can function normally, that has not happened. Most businesses have stayed shut as a form of protest against the government, but many owners also say they fear reprisals by militants opposed to Indian rule if they go back to business as usual.

Thousands of locals, including political leaders, businesspeople and activists, have been detained. Many have been moved to prisons outside the state.

Mr Lone was at the court looking for a lawyer to represent his brother, Shabbir, a village leader who had been arrested under the highly controversial Public Safety Act (PSA), which among other things, allows detention without formal charge for up to two years.

But he was unable to find one. Ironically, the lawyers of the Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association in Srinagar – a body representing more than 2,200 professionals – have been boycotting the courts for more than 50 days over the arrest of their present and former presidents, Mian Abdul Qauyoom and Nazeer Ahmed Ronga.

Both men were arrested under the PSA and sent to two different prisons in distant Uttar Pradesh state for “advocating secessionism” – a move that some lawyers describe as a “political vendetta”.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-49848899

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-arrests-under-psa-amount-to-thought-crime-say-kashmir-lawyers-as-100s-remain-under-detention/339932

IOK faces 53rd day of military lockdown

https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/crackdown-on-lawyers-narrows-road-to-justice-in-kashmir.637097/

https://www.voanews.com/south-central-asia/thousands-begin-freedom-march-pakistan-held-kashmir-toward-disputed-border-india

https://www.protect-lawyers.com/fr/jammu-cachemire-inde-mobilisation-des-avocats-contre-la-repression-dans-la-region-du-cachemire/ (FRANCAIS)

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Egypt/UN/EU: Open Letter to EU Member States Ahead of the Universal Periodic Review of Egypt

September 17, 2019

Image result for human rights watch

Your Excellency,

The next Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Egypt’s human rights record is scheduled for 13 November 2019, under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. We are writing to strongly urge your government to use this occasion to address the ongoing human rights crisis in Egypt.

Since the last review of Egypt’s record in 2014, human rights violations have increased sharply and the undersigned organisations and our partners have documented unprecedented levels of repression against human rights organisations and human rights defenders. The UPR is an opportunity for States to contribute to reversing these trends and promoting respect for human rights in Egypt.

We urge your government to take part in the UPR process and to make concrete recommendations to the Egyptian authorities to urgently address the following issues:

Immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders, civil society activists and all those detained or imprisoned solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, including lawyers, journalists, labour rights activists, minority rights activists, and LGBTQI activists. Put a stop to excessive police probation measures and the use of prolonged pre-trial detention to punish dissenters, close Case 173/2011 against Egyptian NGOs and lift arbitrary travel bans on human rights defenders.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/17/open-letter-eu-member-states-ahead-universal-periodic-review-egypt

https://www.omct.org/monitoring-protection-mechanisms/statements/egypt/2019/09/d25507/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/17/un-address-egypts-assault-rights