International statement of solidarity
On 4 October 2019, a memorial service was organized for Dutch lawyer Derk Wiersum. On this day, a international solidarity statement signed by 34 organizations including Lawyers for Lawyers was published.
Mr. Wiersum, a well-respected lawyer and deputy judge, was shot in broad daylight right outside his house in Amsterdam in the early morning of 18 September 2019. He was representing a crown witness in the so-called Marengo-trial, a high-profile criminal case against members of an organization accused of several murders and attempted murders in the last couple of years. Although the events are still being investigated, it is assumed and highly likely that the death of Mr. Wiersum is related to his work as a lawyer.
This killing of a lawyer, apparently in connection with his work, raises serious concerns for the safety of lawyers and poses a threat to the proper functioning of the rule of law and the adequate protection of rights, including the right to remedies and fair trial.
The organizations welcome the prompt and public condemnation of this crime and the immediate measures taken by the Dutch authorities to initiate an investigation, which should lead to the identification and prosecution of the perpetrators. The organizations also welcome that measures were taken promptly and immediately to protect lawyers and all others who need protection in the Marengo-case. We expect that the Dutch authorities will do everything in their power to ensure that lawyers can do their work safely, freely, and independently in all circumstances.
*photo: Derk Wiersum, photo from https://wiersum.org
Meer nieuws uit the Netherlands
Roeien tegen de stroom in
The Netherlands score high on the Rule of Law Index, but here, too, lawyers face threats and intimidation. Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) pointed out the deterioration in the Netherlands in a UPR report last year. For L4L, journalist Jochem MeijerLees verder
UPR submission the Netherlands
In March 2022, Lawyers for Lawyers submitted a report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Netherlands. The report contains recommendations to the Dutch authorities to improve the situation of lawyers in the Netherlands. The review will take place inLees verder
Lawyer shot and injured
On 6 November 2019, another shocking incident involving a Dutch lawyer occurred. Philippe Schol, a lawyer working in Enschede, was shot and seriously injured by unknown assailants just across the border in Germany. An investigation into the incident and possible linksLees verder