Statement: Attacks on lawyers in China, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Turkey
2 juli 2019

Statement: Attacks on lawyers in China, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Turkey

On 1 July 2019, Lawyers for Lawyers together with Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada and the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association delivered a joint oral statement to the Human Rights Council on the attacks on lawyers in China, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The statement was delivered during the 41st session of the Council.

The statement reads as follows:

Mr. President,

In countries where lawyers are imprisoned and prosecuted for defending rights, there is no equal access to justice or protection of rights.

In China, numerous human rights lawyers have been disappeared, arbitrarily imprisoned, tortured, or disbarred. In Saudi Arabia, lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair is one of hundreds of rights defenders arbitrarily convicted and detained. In Turkey, 311 lawyers have been arbitrarily convicted and detained since July 2016. In the Philippines, 40 jurists are among the “staggering number” of victims of extrajudicial killings since July 2016. Last month, eleven Special Procedures mandate holders called for an independent investigation of grave abuses in the Philippines.

We urge Council to:

  1. Insist that these States halt and remedy violations and comply with remedial recommendations of Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures;
  2. Ensure that all Council members, including China, Philippines and Saudi Arabia, “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights” as required by GA Resolution 60/251 or face suspension from membership; and
  3. Establish an independent investigation into human rights violations in the Philippines.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Click here for the PDF version of the statement.

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