Seventh Caravana Internacional de Juristas
At the invitation of Colombian lawyers and human rights defenders, the International Caravana of Jurists, an international fact-finding mission, visited Colombia from 21st until the 28th of August. During the mission, an international delegation of lawyers from all over the world had the opportunity to have conversations with lawyers, victims of human rights violations and people from the judiciary and other institutions. A representative of Lawyers for Lawyers has also participated in this mission.
Since 2008, the Caravana has organised seven international biannual delegations to Colombia in fact-finding missions to monitor the situation of human rights defenders, specifically on access to justice and respect for the rule of law. In the press release of the 26th of August, a number of findings on these topics were highlighted since they are of great concern. These include the lack of implementation of the Peace Accord, the continuity of the armed conflict, as well as the serious and increasing levels of violence perpetrated by illegal armed actors involved in drug trafficking and other criminal activities in the regions.
The Caravana mission remains concerned about the attacks on lawyers. There are worrying patterns that prevent the free exercise of the legal profession, such as wire-tapping carried out by State agents, the stigmatisation of legal defence work by conflating lawyers with their clients, the criminalisation of human rights defenders, lawyers and judges through vexatious litigation, and the absence of adequate protection frameworks both at the individual and collective level.
The Caravana expressed deep concerns about serious threats to the rule of law that limit access to justice, the repression of political participation and social protest, and the lack of security guarantees for those carrying out vital human rights work in Colombia.
A full report of the mission will be published at a later stage. Read the full press release here.
Concerns about Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill
On 21 March 2023, the Ugandan parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2023. The Bill is claimed to “protect the traditional family” and introduces severe punishments for “homosexual acts”. It even introduced the death penalty. Lawyers for Lawyers is concernedLees verder
Chen Wuquan released from prison
Lawyers for Lawyers welcomes the news that Chinese human rights lawyer Chen Wuquan has been released from prison after five years on February 8, 2023. Chen Wuquan was taken into custody on 9 February 2018, following his “War to ProtectLees verder
Joint Statement on the harassment of Zimbabwean lawyer Mr. Kudzayi Erick Kadzere
Lawyers for Lawyers, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada are concerned about the judicial and physical harassment of Mr. Kudzayi Erick Kadzere. As a lawyer, Mr. Kadzere works on human rights cases and isLees verder
Chinese New Year: Looking back on another year of repression of China’s legal professionals
Today, 22 January, marks the start of the Chinese New Year and the start of the Spring Festival. Hopefully, the start of the Year of the Rabbit will bring a better tide for China’s human rights lawyers compared to theLees verder