Joint oral statement during id WGAD
On 21 September, Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) delivered an oral statement during the interactive dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD). L4L and LRWC asked the Council to urge Iran and Turkey to release all detained human rights defenders. Moreover, L4L and LRWC suggested that the Working Group requests country visits to both countries. The dialogue took place during the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The statement reads as follows:
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada and Lawyers for Lawyers appreciate the Working Group’s report, including its emphasis on access to legal assistance to prevent arbitrary detention. The Working Group’s Deliberation No. 11 emphasized that prohibition of arbitrary detention is “absolute and universal” and that COVID-19 emergency powers “must not be used to silence human rights defenders.”
Turkey and Iran released thousands of prisoners to reduce COVID-19 risks, but many rights lawyers and defenders were excluded from release.
In Turkey, hundreds of lawyers are unlawfully imprisoned on terrorism-related charges aimed at deterring lawyers from lawfully representing dissidents. In July the Working Group communicated concern about Turkey’s overbroad terrorism laws. In September, the Working Group joined other UN experts calling for release of defenders and expressing dismay about the “preventable” death of lawyer Ebru Timtik, who died while fasting to demand fair trials. Yet last Friday, Turkey arrested 60 more lawyers, the majority women, for representing persons accused of involvement in “terrorism.”
In Iran, arbitrarily detained defenders include women’s rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and rights lawyer Amirsalar Davoodi. Ms. Sotoudeh faces deteriorating health; she has been fasting since August to seek release of political prisoners.
We ask the Council to urge Turkey and Iran to release all arbitrarily detained defenders. We suggest that the Working Group request country visits to both countries.
Day of the Lawyer in Belarus
4 December marks Lawyers’ Day in Belarus, a professional holiday. Nevertheless, Lawyers for Lawyers continues to be concerned about the situation of Lawyers in Belarus. The Belarusian lawyers are subject to harassment, intimidation as well as improper interference while theyLees verder
Concluding observations of the UN Human Rights Committee on the eighth periodic report of the Russian Federation
The UN Human Rights Committee reviewed the compliance of the Russian Federation with its international human rights obligations. On 3 November 2022, the Committee issued the concluding observations of this review, which originally was scheduled in March 2022, i.e. shortlyLees verder
Concerns about the ongoing trial of Sri Lankan human rights lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah
The trial of Mr. Hizbullah, a minority rights advocate and legal counsel for many Muslim victims of human rights violations, started on 28 January 2022 at the Puttalam High Court and has been postponed four times since February 2022 dueLees verder
Concerns about the arrest of Egyptian lawyer Makarios Lahzy
Lawyers for Lawyers is concerned about the arrest of Egyptian lawyer Makarios Lahzy. According to the information received, Makarios Lahzy was arrested on Sunday 30 October when he tried to represent his client. His whereabouts remained unknown until Monday 31Lees verder