Thailand and Tajikistan Lawyers for Lawyers submits two UPR reports
On 21 September, Lawyers for Lawyers submitted two reports the Universal Periodic Review of Thailand and Tajikistan.
In the report on Thailand, Lawyers for Lawyers highlighted the failure of Thailand to guarantee effective access to legal services provided by an independent legal profession as set out in the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. Lawyers working on high-profile cases are often harassed or intimidated. When lawyers are the subject of crimes, harassment or other violations, the Thai authorities should make sure that these violations are effectively investigated. However, the case of Somchai Neelapaijit demonstrates that the Thai authorities have failed to address the impunity of crimes that human rights lawyers are subjected to.
Furthermore, Lawyers for Lawyers raised concerns about the continued suppression of freedom of expression, association and assembly in the country. Since the adoption of Order No. 3/2558, the pattern of arrests and prosecutions indicates that criticism of the NCPO, distribution of information, participation in public gatherings and participation in public debate about issues of concern are considered threats to national security. Military forces even have cancelled educational events about human rights in Thailand on at least two occasions (including 4 June 2015), organized by Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.
Click here to read the full report.
In the report on Tajikistan, Lawyers for Lawyers expressed concerns about the fact that lawyers working on high-profile cases are the subject of threats or physical attacks, intimidation and improper interference by public prosecutors or members of law enforcement agencies. Lawyers seem to be seen as an obstacle for the work those agencies are carrying out. Lawyers are furthermore continuously identified with their clients or their clients’ causes. This is illustrated by the case of Shukrat Qudratov.
Furthermore, Lawyers for Lawyers raised concerns about the adoption of Law of the Republic of Tajikistan on Advocacy and the Bar in March 2015. Lawyers for Lawyers welcomes the efforts of the Tajikistan government to conduct judicial reforms and to establish a national bar association, through the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan on Advocacy and the Bar. However, the submission highlights certain parts of this law are of concern to Lawyers for Lawyers for they could undermine the independence of the legal profession.
Click here to read the full report.
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