Tag Archives: Universal Periodic Review

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

September 17, 2019

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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

Turkey: Free expression organizations highlight unprecedented crackdown on freedom of expression in report to UN

August 5, 2019

More than three years since Turkey’s 2016 failed coup and one year after its state of emergency was lifted, the government continues its relentless and pervasive crackdown on civic space, media freedom and dissenting voices.

Turkey’s human rights record will come under review by the UN Human Rights Council during the Universal Period Review (UPR) mechanism in January 2020. Ahead of the review, ARTICLE 19, P24, PEN International, English PEN, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), International Press Institute (IPI), Freemuse, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), IFEX and Norwegian PEN have made a submission to the UPR.

“This report charts the extraordinarily rapid decline in the rule of law and freedom of expression in Turkey over the last four years. The Turkish authorities have dismantled the independence of the judiciary and more journalists have been jailed than anywhere else in the world,” Sarah Clarke. “We urge UN member states to take much stronger action in holding Turkey to account for these violations.”

“The Turkish media is pinning its hopes on international mechanisms and the United Nations Human Rights Council to end its persecution,” IPI Director of Advocacy Ravi R. Prasad said. “This report not only highlights the precarious situation in Turkey, but also makes suggestions to remedy the situation.”

Amongst the report’s key recommendations are to urge Turkey to restore the rule of law and impendence of the judiciary, to release all jailed journalists and to drop the hundreds of baseless charges against journalists, artists, civil society actors and academics.

Turkey: Free expression organizations highlight unprecedented crackdown on freedom of expression in report to UN

https://rsf.org/en/news/turkey-leading-coalition-free-expression-organisations-highlight-unprecedented-crackdown-freedom

International Coalition consists of Bar Associations and NGOs made submission on rights violations in Turkey

http://www.barhumanrights.org.uk/bhrc-joins-international-coalition-of-legal-organisations-raising-concern-for-turkeys-lawyers-and-judges/

Joint UPR submission Turkey

SCF’s submission for the United Nations Universal Periodic Review of Turkey

Turkey: ICJ Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

UPR of Turkey: Joint Stakeholder Submission to the UN Human Rights Council

https://www.article19.org/resources/turkey-upr-submission-on-threats-to-freedom-of-expression/

https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/2019/07/sar-calls-for-action-to-counter-mass-targeting-of-higher-education-communities-in-turkey/.

Turkey: workshop on the use of the UN Universal Periodic Review

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/TRindex.aspx

http://www.un.org.tr/humanrights/en/universal-periodic-review-3rd-cycle

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/18/un-urged-to-act-over-purge-of-turkeys-lawyers-by-erdogan

https://ahvalnews.com/torture/lawyers-says-torture-rise-turkey-2016-coup-plot

Turkey: Joint submission by the ALI, the ODF and the HRD on abuse of Anti-Terror Law and criminalization of legitimate exercise of the freedom of expression

July 18, 2019

A coalition consists of the Arrested Lawyers Initiative, the Open Dialogue Foundation and the Human Rights Defenders e.V. made a joint submission titled ‘ARBITRARY APPLICATION OF ANTI-TERRORISM LAWS AND CRIMINALIZATION OF USING AN I-MESSAGE APPLICATION (BYLOCK)‘ to the United Nations Human Rights Council for Turkey’s UPR session.

The Submission concluded that: 

  1. Criminalization of the use of ByLock constitutes the retroactive punishment because a) it is not foreseeable under Turkish laws, b) it is unprecedented in Turkish case-law, c) at the time of such alleged use it was not the object of sufficiently precise, valid law to which a sufficiently certain sanction was attached,
  2. The use of ByLock does not prove criminal guilt.23 Using an electronic communication software which was offered to public use via the most visited and famous online platform (i.e Apple and Google Play stores) is legitimate exercise of fundamental rights, namely the freedom of expression and the freedom of [confidential] communication, not a crime. Freedom of expression includes the right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, including all forms of electronic and internet-based modes of expression,
  3. A conviction may be based on correspondence which show a crime has been committed provided that such correspondences have been legally acquired and in any case it is supported with other concrete evidence,
  4. An arrest or detention that lacks any legal basis—in violation of the principle of legality—is arbitrary. Retroactive criminal punishment by detention amounts to arbitrary detention. Arrest or detention as punishment for the legitimate exercise of the rights as guaranteed by the ICCPR, such as freedom of expression, is arbitrary,

Joint submission by the ALI, the ODF and the HRD on abuse of Anti-Terror Law and criminalization of legitimate exercise of the freedom of expression

International Coalition consists of Bar Associations and NGOs made submission on rights violations in Turkey

The Arrested Lawyers made submission to the United Nations on ongoing crackdown against lawyers in Turkey

https://ahvalnews.com/purges/international-group-urges-un-action-over-purge-turkish-legal-professionals

SCF’s submission to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review of Turkey

State of emergency measures still haunt Turkey on 3rd anniversary of failed coup

http://camerepenali.it/cat/10046/un_altro_processo_in_turchia_contro_degli_avvocati_.html (ITALIANO)

https://arrestedlawyers.org/

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Kazakhstan: UPR Kazakhstan submitted

April 4, 2019

UPR Kazakhstan submitted

On 28 March 2019, Lawyers for Lawyers submitted a report for the Universal Periodic Review of Kazakhstan.

 

In the report, Lawyers for Lawyers expressed concerns about the newly passed law ‘On the Professional Activities of Advocates and Legal Assistance’ for it could undermine the independence of the legal profession.

Lawyers for Lawyers also highlighted that the Kazakh authorities do not always uphold the necessary guarantees for the proper functioning of the legal profession in practice. Lawyers are regularly subjected to improper interference or attempts to put pressure on them by members of law enforcement agencies or investigative bodies. Furthermore, lawyers regularly sometimes do not have the opportunity to meet with their clients in full confidentiality.

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/upr-kazakhstan-submitted/

https://eurasianet.org/kazakhstan-judges-complaint-alarms-legal-profession

https://bitterwinter.org/lawyer-aiman-umarova-interview/?fbclid=IwAR1P53WGw679gakfjVEnczcLqdX52qlSVNhHEu-2jYxpBWzAi0sfxnCi83A

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VUKeFaPtpvgI43YJpyMVJata0HJIDK31/view?fbclid=IwAR1Ybsy5QfAXxxS764kH6l3-Yng_OGb7gczjrrDThf4uzauZgCCgv22VgPU (KAZAKH)

https://www.facebook.com/nghrdc/ (KAZAKH)

China: HRIC among 40 NGOs Worldwide Urging UN Resolution on China’s Rights Abuses

January 30, 2019

In an open letter sent to heads of government missions to the UN in Geneva, Human Rights in China joins 39 other NGOs to press for a UN resolution to address the deteriorating human rights situation in China.

The NGOs call for governments to use the upcoming session of the Human Rights Council (February 25-March 22, 2019) as an opportunity to push with “one voice”: for accountability for the steeply worsening rights abuses in China which have been gaining increasing international attention.

Two reviews of China’s rights practices at the UN last year, in particular—by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), and China’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR)—highlighted deeply concerning developments, including the mass internment of Uyghur and other ethnic Muslims in so-called “vocational retraining camps,” in gross violation of religious and cultural rights; the broadening control over information and expression especially online in the name of cybersecurity; the continued persecution of human rights lawyers and defenders; and the erosion of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, in violation of the “one country, two systems” principle.

Reaching beyond its borders, China has also been waging a sustained challenge to the existing international human rights framework, which is based on the principle of the universality of human rights.

https://www.hrichina.org/en/press-work/hric-bulletin/hric-among-40-ngos-worldwide-urging-un-resolution-chinas-rights-abuses

https://www.hrichina.org/en/press-work/joint-statements/ngo-joint-letter-upcoming-session-human-rights-council-states-should

https://www.lrwc.org/china-at-upcoming-session-of-human-rights-council-states-should-pass-resolution-to-address-human-rights-violations-in-the-peoples-republic-of-china-letter/

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/2019/01/d25220/

https://www.lrwc.org/china-statement-demanding-an-acquittal-of-lawyer-wang-quanzhang-joint-statement/

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/NGOs-urge-UN-to-adopt-resolution-on-China-s-human-rights-abuses

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190130/p2a/00m/0in/018000c

https://www.courthousenews.com/white-house-presses-china-for-release-of-human-rights-lawyer/

https://chinachange.org/2019/01/30/acceptance-speech-for-the-2018-french-republic-human-rights-prize/

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/jailing-reaction-01302019114154.html

Vietnam: UPR of Vietnam: Advocacy Charter Lawyers for Lawyers and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada

December 22, 2018

Stakeholders’ submission

(1) In the last years, the crackdown on freedom of expression has intensified. Reports indicate that in 2017, Viet Nam authorities have detained or exiled many peaceful activists and bloggers. Human rights lawyers who work on sensitive cases frequently face reprisals either in relation to their own human rights advocacy or their legal representation of people seen as critical of the Government. They are subjected to, amongst other things, threats, harassment and intimidation. Some lawyers have been the victim of physical attacks in connection to their legitimate advocacy. See Joint submission (JI) L4L & LRWC, par.10

A number of lawyers in Viet Nam have even been subjected to arrests and prosecution in connection to their professional activities or in relation to their human rights advocacy. See JI L4L & LRWC, par.11

(2) Governments must protect lawyers from unfair or arbitrary disciplinary proceedings. Disciplinary action against lawyers must be based solely on a code of professional conduct consistent with recognized ethical and professional standards including the Basic Principles and determined by an independent tribunal after a fair hearing conducted in accordance with international due process requirements. Before the UPR review of Viet Nam in 2014, several leading human rights lawyers had been disbarred, including lawyers Le Cong Dinh, Nguyen Van Dai, and Le Quoc Quan. More recently, other lawyers have been disbarred or are facing disbarment or other disciplinary actions on improper grounds. See JI L4L & LRWC, par.12

https://www.lrwc.org/upr-of-vietnam-advocacy-charter-lawyers-for-lawyers-and-lawyers-rights-watch-canada/

http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2018/12/11/weighing-up-political-developments-in-vietnam/

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/digital-dictatorship-vietnam-seeks-silence-dissidents-181115062123198.html

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

https://www.ucanews.com/news/catholic-dissident-jailed-for-defacing-vietnam-flags/84006

https://www.dw.com/en/vietnam-expels-dissident-lawyer-to-germany/a-44121266

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nguy%E1%BB%85n_V%C4%83n_%C4%90%C3%A0i

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/06/germany-accuses-vietnam-of-abducting-businessman-from-berlin

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

Hong Kong/China: Hong Kong NGOs to highlight China’s suppression of lawyers, labour groups at United Nations

October 3, 2018

A representative from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) will speak at a United Nations conference next week to highlight human rights abuses in China such as the suppression of lawyers and labour unions.

Ming Lam, Albert Ho Emily Lau

Ming Lam of HKCTU will be speaking at a pre-session of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review, which examines the human rights performance of member states once every five years. The pre-session is designed for civil organisations to raise issues before the Human Rights Council conducts its inquiry in November.

Lam will travel to Geneva next week accompanied by Albert Ho and Emily Lau, both representatives of the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG).

Ho will also represent the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, one of the largest pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong.

Ho said the group will prioritise the issue of oppressed dissidents: “We have to pinpoint the imprisonment or detention of a number of dissidents [who were detained] simply because of their exercise of the freedom of speech in a peaceful and non-violent manner,” he said.

The group demanded that China release all detained dissidents and stop the persecution of human rights activists. It raised examples including Wang Quanzhang, a human rights lawyer who has been detained for over 1,100 days without trial, as well as lawyers Yu Wensheng, Li Yuhan and Jiang Tianyong.

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/10/03/hong-kong-ngos-highlight-chinas-suppression-lawyers-labour-groups-united-nations/

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/even-stars-like-fan-bingbing-can-disappear-under-chinas-ironfist-brf6vd2ln

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/06/its-been-1000-days-wife-of-jailed-chinese-lawyer-on-march-for-answers

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