UPR submission Colombia
On 5 April 2023, Lawyers for Lawyers submitted a report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Colombia. The next UPR of Colombia will take place in November 2023.
The UPR report highlights issues regarding Colombia’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to ensure that lawyers can function effectively without harassment or hindrance, as outlined in the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and other instruments.
One significant concern raised in the the report is the harassment, threats and intimidation that lawyers, specifically those active in the field of human rights, face in Colombia. Lawyers for Lawyers have received multiple reports and accounts of intimidation tactics, including verbal harassment, threatening phone calls, social media threats, and incidents of physical and sexual assault.
The submission also highlights concerns regarding the unwarranted or illegal surveillance of lawyers by the Colombian illegal intelligence. Lawyers have reported being subject to covert intelligence reports that lack legal justification, as well as unauthorized monitoring and photography. Personal data, such as names, phone numbers, and identity cards, have been recorded by judicial police. Furthermore, lawyers have disclosed that their phones are tapped, and that they are unlawfully followed during meetings with their clients. These surveillance activities have extended beyond the lawyer’s professional engagements, with lawyers surveilled near their homes, their personal belongings being searched and conversations being recorded.
In light of these serious concerns regarding the situation of lawyers in Colombia, Lawyers for Lawyers has made multiple recommendations to the Colombian government.
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