World Environment Day 2020
Today, the 5th of June, is World Environment Day. Worldwide this day engages governments, businesses and citizens to focus on pressing environmental issues. Lawyers for Lawyers would like to take this opportunity to draw attention to the work of environmental lawyers around the world.
All around the world environmental lawyers dedicate themselves to protect the earth, preserve precious nature and wildlife, advocate for villager’s land in rural areas and protect people’s health. Doing this work does not come without risks. Multiple environmental lawyers have been harassment, have received threats and some were even killed.
In March 2020, Isaac Medardo Herrera was killed in Mexico in front of his house. At that time he was working on a case concerning environmental woodland area near Jiutepec. Herrera was defending this tract the past four years against housing development considering the area was supposed to be used as a nature reserve. Jesús Peña, the deputy representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico condemned the killing of lawyer Herrera, and stated that “people who defend the environment must receive the support of all of society and attacks against them, such as the murder of Mr. Herrera Avilés, must be investigated quickly and effectively”.
Human Rights Watch reported that Golfrid Siregar was killed under highly suspicious circumstances in Indonesia in October 2019 and called for investigation into his death. At that time, he represented the Indonesian Forum for the Environment in a lawsuit over the approval of a hydroelectric dam, arguing that locals could not participate in the decision and that the dam caused ecological problems.
There are other cases of environmental lawyers being threatened, harassed and even killed for their legitimate legal activities protecting the earth. Lawyers for Lawyers stands with these lawyers and will continue to look out for their situation.
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