Tag Archives: USA

USA/Germany: Brandeis lecture recalls defiance of Jewish lawyers under Nazi rule

July 22, 2019

Dozens of Queens legal professionals and community members attended the lecture organized by the Brandeis Association at Queens Supreme Court.  Eagle  photos by Walter Karling.

Distinguished lecturer Douglas Morris, PhD, JD visited the Queens Supreme Courthouse on Wednesday to deliver an important lecture on the experience of Jewish attorneys in Germany under Nazi rule.

The Brandeis Association hosted the event in conjunction with the Gender Fairness Committee for the Queens Supreme and Criminal Courts, which featured a discussion of Morris’ recent article “The Law in Nazi Germany: Ideology, Opportunism and the Perversion of Justice.”

“Discrimination, degradation, defiance of Jewish lawyers under Nazism” was the unofficial title of Dr. Douglas Morris’ unofficial title for the lecture which told the  story of the deliberate dismantling of the German legal system and focused on the lives and struggles of Jewish legal officers whose practices and accomplishments were systematically undermined.

“I think that, today, lawyers in certain positions should be thinking about how they are conforming to larger demands,” Morris said. “Any [one] step isn’t disastrous, but step by step many who conform are in a position where that contributes to the breakdown of the rule of law.”

Administrative Judge Jeremy Weinstein delivered the opening remarks, before Morris began his talk with an anecdote about an acclaimed German-Jewish lawyer who committed suicide upon the dissolution of a successful partnership during the Nazi era. The attorney had a mental breakdown with his career, life and identity under assault.

Morris went on to explain the comprehensive attack on democracy by Adolf Hitler and his supporters. He highlighted how the Nazi party incited violence and instilled legal doctrine that conformed with their fascist, racist and anti-semitic ideology.

“The story is about the fragility of democracy,” Morris said. “Of the collapse of democracy and rise in tyranny and the importance in upholding equality before the law.”

Jewish lawyers accounted for almost 30 percent of all German attorneys and their removal and persecution opened the door for the installation of unqualified Nazi officials.

The event coincided with the recent introduction of the exhibit “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich” to the Queens Supreme Courthouse on Sutphin Boulevard. The exhibit will be on display through late-August.

https://queenseagle.com/all/brandeis-lecture-recalls-defiance-of-jewish-lawyers-under-nazi-rule

https://holocaustcentermilwaukee.org/events/lawyers-without-rights-opening-event/

https://www.c-span.org/video/?457440-1/jewish-lawyers-nazi-germany

https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-the-nazis-used-the-rule-of-law-against-jewish-lawyers

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/book_about_jewish_lawyers_targeted_in_nazi_germany_resonates_today

Homepage

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2018/11/new-aba-book-on-purge-jewish-lawyers/

https://lawyerswithoutrights.com/

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

USA/Ecuador: Lawyer beat oil giant in court, but now faces jail and millions in fines

July 17, 2019

Image result for steven donziger

From 1964 to 1990, Texaco (later absorbed by Chevron) dumped 16 billion gallons of toxic waste in Ecuador’s Amazon. The CIA played a key role in bringing to power the dictatorship that first allowed Texaco to work in Ecuador. Philip Agee, the great whistleblower of that era, described CIA tactics in Ecuador in his 1975 book Inside the Company: CIA Diary.

Chevron demands Ecuadorian jurisdiction, gets it

In 1993, US lawyer Steven Donziger filed a lawsuit against Texaco in New York on behalf of the Ecuadorian victims of the dumped toxic waste. These were thousands of very poor people who lived in the affected area. The oil giant spent nine years fighting to have the case moved back to Ecuador. In 2002, Chevron prevailed. US courts ruled that the case belonged in Ecuador. But the battle soon took an unexpected turn.

Under the government of Rafael Correa, who was first elected in 2006, Ecuador’s judiciary changed. It was no longer one that would easily defer to wishes of a huge US-based company. Chevron was found guilty in a provincial court. The case held up on appeals all the way to Ecuador’s Supreme Court in 2013. The victims were awarded $9bn in damages. Chevron’s revenues have ranged from $100bn to $200bn per year depending on oil prices.

Chevron loses, demands US jurisdiction, and gets it

Chevron ran back to US courts to attack Donziger. A New York judge, Lewis A Kaplan, brushed aside Chevron’s promise to abide by Ecuadorian jurisdiction. He ruled that the lower court victory in Ecuador was won by Donziger using corrupt means. What about the appeals in Ecuador’s higher courts? Kaplan simply declared that Ecuador’s judiciary could not handle a case like this fairly. Did Kaplan say the company had not contaminated the Amazon? No. He simply said it was irrelevant to Chevron’s allegations against Donziger. Why didn’t a jury rule on this case? Chevron manoeuvred around facing a jury by not seeking monetary damages from Donziger.

Lawyer beat oil giant in court, but now faces jail and millions in fines

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkrauss/2019/07/17/suspended-ex-attorney-steven-donziger-condemned-to-pay-chevron-3-4-million/#fbc89b332cd3

Chevron Ecuador Fraud Case: Steven Donziger Loses Again in Court

https://amazonwatch.org/news/2019/0612-statement-on-excessive-judicial-order-demanding-that-steven-donziger-surrender-his-passport

Donziger Chevron Ecuador Lawsuit Dismissed In Canadian Court

https://www.donzigerlaw.com/

https://www.urgente24.com/zona/negocios/desisten-de-un-juicio-contra-chevron (ESPANOL)

Pakistan/New Zealand: Pakistan the focus of 2020 Day of Endangered Lawyer

July 17, 2019

Image result for new zealand law society

The tenth annual Day of the Endangered Lawyer will focus on Pakistan, on 24 January 2020.

The Day of the Endangered Lawyer foundation is based in the Netherlands. It has developed a wide range of activities around the world on 24 January to raise awareness of lawyers who are being harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted, tortured and murdered for their work as lawyers.

The day is commemorated on 24 January because on 24 January 1977 four lawyers and a coworker were murdered at their place of work in Madrid, Spain.

Of the perpetrators, who were affiliated with extreme right-wing parties and organizations, one was sentenced to 15 years in prison, another fled to Brazil and the third ended up in jail in Bolivia for drug smuggling.

The focus in 2019 has been on Turkey, with Egypt chosen for 2018.

Information released by the organisers says that over the past several years lawyers in Pakistan have been subjected to acts of mass terrorism, murder, attempted murder, assaults, (death) threats, contempt proceedings, harassment and intimidation in the execution of their professional duties.

https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/news-and-communications/latest-news/news/pakistan-the-focus-of-2020-day-of-endangered-lawyer

https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/

https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/sites/default/files/documents/proposals_to_the_g7_governments.pdf

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/international_law/publications/around_the_section/aroundthesection201906/

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-january-24-2020-pakistan/

Homepage

https://www.lesechos.fr/monde/enjeux-internationaux/premiere-reunion-des-avocats-du-g7-1038488 (FRANCAIS)

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

UAE: 7th anniversary of imprisonment of rights lawyer Mohammed Al-Roken

July 17, 2019

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

Today marks a sad anniversary: the 7th year of imprisonment of Mohammed Al-Roken, an Emirati lawyer committed to the defense of human rights and the rule of law. The UIA reiterates its request to the authorities of the United Arab Emirates: secure the immediate and unconditional release of our colleague! #UAE #FreeAlRoken #UIAIROL #Lawyers4Lawyers

(UIA Facebook, 17/07/19)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-07-08.274580.h&p=11132

http://icfuae.org.uk/research-and-publications-factsheets/dr-mohammed-al-roken%C2%A0

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/mohamed-al-roken

The Dark Side of the UAE

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2014/12/dr-mohammed-al-roken-it-takes-extraordinary-person/

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/lawyer-mohammed-al-roken-awarded-human-rights-prize-170528103532469.html

http://echr.org.uk/news/seven-years-after-his-arrest-we-call-release-dr-mohamed-al-roken

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prix_Ludovic-Trarieux

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Al-Rukn

http://echr.org.uk/ar/news/بسبب-عمله-الحقوقي،-الدكتور-محمد-الركن-يدخل-عامه-السابع-في-سجون-دولة-الإمارات (ARABIC)

http://www.libertas.sm/notizie/2017/11/13/san-marino-la-camera-penale-al-premio-ludovic-trarieux.html (ITALIANO)

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

Argentina/Iran/Israel: Latin American Jews still don’t have justice 25 years after the AMIA massacre

July 15, 2019

AMIA

In any crime against a community, certain things must happen to provide some measure of healing and redemption.

But as we approach the 25th anniversary of the horrific bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, these necessary steps have not taken place.

Despite years of activity and rhetoric, justice has not been achieved for the victims, their families and Latin American Jewry — 85 people were killed and 300 injured. Argentines have not been brought together in solidarity with the Jewish community, and the government has not instilled a measure of confidence that such a devastating event will be prevented from ever happening again.

Because of this reality, a feeling exists all these years later that the terror is being relived constantly rather than being put behind them.

Early on, it became clear that Iran, through its terrorist proxy Hezbollah, was responsible for the bombing. Hezbollah had been active in the anarchic border among Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil known as the Triple Frontier.

Interpol made clear that it suspected high-level officials in the Iranian regime as being the masterminds of the plot. In 2007, red alerts were issued for former Foreign Minister Ahmad Vahidi and other Iranian officials. Disappointingly, Interpol did not issue similar alerts for former officials such as Ali Rafsanjani, Ali Akbar Velayati and Hadi Soleimanpour, the ex-ambassador to Argentina.

Meanwhile, different Argentine governments and judiciaries mismanaged or politicized the matter and never truly followed up to bring those responsible to justice.

The investigation reached a low during the presidency of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner between 2007 and 2013. A special prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was appointed and, according to reports, he allegedly found Kirchner and other members of her government guilty of complicity with the Iranians to cover up the Iranian role in the bombing. The day before Nisman was scheduled to issue his findings, he was found dead in his apartment.

Kircher’s government quickly claimed it was a suicide, but it soon became apparent that Nisman had been murdered.

Latin American Jews still don’t have justice 25 years after the AMIA massacre

https://www.jpost.com/International/US-House-of-Representatives-pass-resolution-in-regards-to-AMIA-bombing-595836

https://www.timesofisrael.com/argentine-presidential-candidate-testifies-in-kirchner-iran-cover-up-case/

Argentina, Iran, and the Enduring Mystery Surrounding the Death of a Special Prosecutor

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/452469-its-time-to-hold-iran-accountable-for-terrorism-in-argentina

Home

https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Antisemitism/25-years-since-AMIA-resentment-resistance-resilience-596004

https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/americas/.premium-amia-argentina-jews-iran-hezbollah-terror-attack-25-years-after-1.7535121

https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-86th-victim-595882

https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/A-unique-monument-pays-tribute-to-the-victims-of-the-AMIA-bombing-595883

http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/house-passes-ted-deutchs-resolution-honoring-victims-hezbollahs-irans-terror-attack-argentina

https://www.timesofisrael.com/25-years-after-amia-bombing-israeli-argentinian-envoys-still-hope-for-justice/

https://en.mercopress.com/2019/07/18/a-unique-monument-pays-tribute-to-the-victims-of-the-amia-bombing

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/25-later-prominent-iranians-wanted-deadly-bombing-still-walk-free

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

http://elmed.io/matanza-de-la-amia-25-anos-de-impunidad/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.france24.com/es/20190711-fernandez-declara-juicio-pacto-argentina-iran (ESPANOL)

https://www.infobae.com/politica/2019/07/10/chicanas-y-una-diferencia-con-cristina-kirchner-en-torno-a-la-denuncia-de-nisman-la-declaracion-de-alberto-fernandez-sobre-el-pacto-con-iran/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.lavoz.com.ar/politica/caso-nisman-unico-imputado-como-participe-del-crimen-diego-lagomarsino-trabaja-como-perito- (ESPANOL)

https://www.lanacion.com.ar/editoriales/hezbollah-y-el-terrorismo-nid2267464 (ESPANOL)

https://fr.timesofisrael.com/un-responsable-de-wahington-promet-daccroitre-la-pression-sur-liran/ (FRANCAIS)

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

China: Four Years on, China’s Crackdown Still Suppressing Human Rights Lawyers, Clients

July 9, 2019

Hunan human rights lawyer Xie Yang, who was detained in China's July 9, 2015 crackdown on rights lawyers and subjected to abuse including torture and deprivation of food and water, poses with his parents in an undated photo.

Four years after the ruling Chinese Communist Party launched anationwide crackdown on the country’s human rights lawyers, the country’s rights attorneys say they are now being prevented from practicing law at all.

Hunan lawyer Xie Yang, who was initially detained on July 11, 2015, then tortured while being held under “residential surveillance at a designated location” in a government guesthouse, said human rights are as essential to human existence as food and drink.

“Dignity and justice are what make us human,” Xie said. “[This is] not just [about] getting enough to eat.”

Xie, who was subjected to abuse including deprivation of food and water, and tortured again after being moved to the police-run Changsha No. 2 Detention Center following his formal arrest on Jan. 9, 2016, said the crackdown has largely achieved what the authorities set out to do.

“The terror campaign waged against rights lawyers was clearly prettyeffective, because now the majority of of [human rights] cases can’t find an appropriate lawyer to represent them,” he said.

“The vast majority of lawyers have been controlled via the system of annual license renewals and other methods.”

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/709-lawyers-07092019150415.html

https://www.theepochtimes.com/us-eu-urge-china-to-release-rights-lawyers-on-anniversary-of-mass-arrests_2995770.html

https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage_en/65180/Statement%20by%20the%20Spokesperson%20concerning%20human%20rights%20defenders%20and%20lawyers%20in%20China

https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1467490-20190709.htm

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news.php?id=131005&sid=4

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3742153

4th Anniversary of the ‘709 Crackdown’

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/eu-urges-china-abide-international-law-on-709-crackdown/1527224

https://www.europeaninterest.eu/article/european-union-expects-china-respect-rights-citizens/

Fourth Anniversary of the 709

https://cn.ambafrance.org/Statement-by-the-Spokesperson-concerning-human-rights

https://www.euronews.com/2019/07/10/slovakias-new-president-takes-aim-at-chinas-rights-record

https://www.chinaaid.org/2019/07/dr-bob-fu-four-years-after-709-incident.html

http://www.jeromecohen.net/jerrys-blog/how-the-chinese-government-crushed-rights-lawyer-wang-quanzhang

Situation Still Dire for Rights Lawyers Four Years On

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/709_crackdown

https://cn.ambafrance.org/Communique-de-l-Ambassade-de-France-en-Chine-sur-le-4eme (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20190709/463383368181/ong-pide-a-china-el-fin-del-hostigamiento-contra-abogados-de-ddhh.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.dw.com/de/alle-sind-vorsichtiger-geworden/a-49513921 (DEUTSCH)

#709lawyers

#709crackdown

#XieYang

【「709大抓捕」進展通報】
截至2019年7月8日18:00,至少321名律師、律所人員、人權捍衛者和家屬被約談、傳喚、限制出境、軟禁、監視居住、逮捕

 判決結案:4名監獄服刑:①周世鋒律師 ②胡石根 ③吳淦 ④王全璋律師;3名緩刑:①李和平律師 ②勾洪國(戈平)③翟岩民;7名刑滿釋放:①劉星(老道)②張衛紅(張皖荷)③姚建清 ④李燕軍 ⑤王芳 ⑥尹旭安 ⑦江天勇律師;1名免於刑事處罰:①謝陽律師

 取保候審解除:
12名律師:①王秋實 ②黃力群 ③隋牧青 ④謝遠東 ⑤李姝雲 ⑥王宇 ⑦包龍軍 ⑧任全牛 ⑨劉四新 ⑩李春富 ⑪謝燕益 ⑫張凱;4名律師助理:①劉鵬 ②方縣桂 ③高月 ④趙威(考拉);1名律所人員:①王芳;4名維權人士:①劉永平(老木)②林斌(望雲和尚)③唐志順 ④幸清賢;5名教會人士: ①嚴曉潔 ②黃益梓 ③張崇助 ④張制 ⑤程從平

分類統計(律師、律師助理/其他人士):
判決結案:15人(5/10)
解除取保候審:26人(16/10)
撤銷指控:1人(1/0)
限制出境 :46人(31/15)
被短暫拘留/強制約談/傳喚(已獲釋):265人(125/140)
*注:其中25人同時被歸類在兩個分類;2人同時被歸類在三個分類。

42個進入刑事訴訟程序的個案詳細資料:
https://docdro.id/m26LUT5

321名受影響人士的分類統計:
https://docdro.id/m2bUR7f

(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook, 11/07/19)

USA: EXCLUSIVE: HOW HARVARD CAVED TO STUDENT PROTESTERS AND FIRED ITS FIRST BLACK FACULTY DEAN

July 1, 2019

Harvard's Ron Sullivan Exclusive Interview Harvey Weinstein

Last month, Harvard College told Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr., and his wife that it would not renew their contracts as faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of the school’s 12 residential communities. They had held their positions for ten years. When appointed, they were the first African-Americans to be named faculty deans at Harvard.

Their contentious departure was the culmination of a series of campus protests. The turmoil was unleashed after the New York Post reported in January that Sullivan—a clinical professor at Harvard Law School, the head of its Criminal Justice Institute, and a nationally prominent criminal defense attorney—would be joining the team of lawyers representing film producer Harvey Weinstein. Since October 2017, when more than a dozen women first came forward with accusations, Weinstein had become the personification of power-based, sexual harassment and assault, accelerating the worldwide #MeToo movement. Sullivan would be helping defend Weinstein against a five-count indictment in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan alleging rape and predatory sexual abuse.

Some students protested that the role on Weinstein’s team was inconsistent with Sullivan’s duties as faculty dean, and even that they felt unsafe with a dean who was aiding such a person.

In a Newsweek exclusive, Sullivan gives his first interview since his ouster. In it, he defends his decision to take the case and accuses Rakesh Khurana, the Dean of Harvard College, of “cower[ing]” and “capitulating” to the “loudest voices in the room.”

“I certainly cannot dispute how some people feel,” he says. “But I strongly believe that it’s … the job of the educator is to help students determine whether their feelings are rational… I would argue that a good educator would explore those feelings and help educate the student in a way where the student can exist in a diverse, heterogeneous environment.”

https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-how-harvard-caved-student-protesters-fired-its-first-black-faculty-dean-1446906

https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2019/06/25/harvard-law-professor-ronald-sullivan-new-york-times-oped

https://pjmedia.com/trending/black-prof-demoted-after-representing-weinstein-condemns-harvards-dereliction-of-duty/

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/06/harvey-weinstein-ronald-sullivan-jr-lawyer

The #MeToo Moment Is on Life Support

https://www.newtondailynews.com/2019/06/25/the-dis-grace-of-harvard/a7ffqrt/

Harvard’s first Black faculty dean explains how student protestors cost him his job

Opinion: Why Harvard Was Wrong To Make Me Step Down

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/07/harvey-weinstein-hearing-jose-baez-out

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_S._Sullivan_Jr.

https://www.tempi.it/harvard-epura-il-decano-sullivan-avvocato-del-diavolo-weinstein/ (ITALIANO)