DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: The Observatory demands the immediate release of the Honorary President of the North Kivu Bar Association, Joseph Sanane Chiko, arbitrarily detained in Goma and recently transferred to Kinshasa
ESWATINI: Liswati lawyer Maxwell Nkambule was the victim of an assassination attempt because of his defense of pro-democracy activists
BANGLADESH: Environmental lawyer and human rights defender Syeda Rizwana Hasan and her team have been harassed and threatened
TAMILLA IMANOVA: “I’d love to be an attorney under Russian law, but for that the system and presidency have to change”
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Observatory presents the portrait of Tamilla Imanova, a young woman lawyer who had to leave Russia because of her commitment to human rights. 26 years old lawyer Tamilla Imanova had been working for 4 years at the Memorial Human Rights Centre, one of the “Memorial” NGOs in Russia when she had to flee her country. The Observatory has had the opportunity to interview lawyer Imanova and ask her about her career, the practice of law, the impact of the war in Ukraine and the gender equality in Russia, among other matters. What made you become a human rights lawyer? Tell us about your career. I knew that I wanted to do something useful for the society. I joined Memorial Human Rights Centre because it is one of the leading Russian NGOs who has submitted thousands of human rights violation cases before the European Court of Human Rights. I have been part of a very professional team of lawyers doing mostly international litigation in all sorts of cases, winning last year my first case before the ECtHR. To talk about our work, it is necessary to distinguish between before and after the start […]
AFGHANISTAN: Afghan lawyer Hossain Haydari’s interview
“I would like to see more extraditions from the country through diplomatic channels for those who are in danger” 28 february 2023 When the Taliban took the power, Hossain Haydari was arrested and all his belongings seized because of his work as a criminal lawyer and defender of women victims of gender-based violence. During his 16 weeks in prison, he was tortured and harassed. After his release, he managed to flee to Iran. Thanks to the support of the Fundación Abogacía and the Observatory (OIAD), he has just arrived in Spain, where he will seek asylum and international protection. We spoke to him about the complex situation in his country and the current state of justice. How is the practice of law in Afghanistan? There is no judicial system that corresponds to a state under the rule of law, and all the power to judge a case is in the hands of a judge, who has no legal knowledge. Laws have been repealed and the legal profession has been reduced by 99%. Despised by judges, lawyers can no longer practice their profession. For most criminal offences, such as theft, murder, kidnapping, political opposition or armed struggle, defendants are not entitled […]
ISRAEL: The Observatory and Amnesty International denounced the expulsion from Israel of the French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri
The Left / Flickr / 2012 In a joint article published on the website of “La Croix” on 22 December 2022, Jerôme Gavaudan, President of the Observatory (OIAD), and Jean-Claude Samouiller, President of Amnesty International France, denounced the decision of Israel to expel the lawyer Salah Hamouri. Read the full article below: “Nine months. It has been more than nine months since the French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri was arrested, then placed in administrative detention in an Israeli prison. Without the right to a fair trial, without any charges being brought against him, and under the pretext that he “would threaten the security of the region”, he has seen his prison sentence renewed every three months by decision of a military court since March. This Sunday, he was deported from Israel to France, without further trial, while the hearing to set the date of his deportation was scheduled for January 1st. Today, we ask the Israeli authorities to reverse this decision, by allowing him to return to work in his country, and live in his native land with his family. A dangerous precedent The revocation of his right of residence and his expulsion from Israeli territory, which had been hanging over […]
OIAD IN ISTANBUL AT THE TRIAL OF LAWYER EFKAN BOLAC
Engin Akyurt / Pexels / 2010 Efkan Bolac, a lawyer at the Istanbul Bar Association and a member of the Progressive Lawyers Association (CHD), appeared before the 52nd Chamber of the Caglayan Court on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, for having published a cartoon featuring Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2018. The “incriminated” cartoon, which appeared in the press a first time in 2014, refers to the mining accident that occurred the same year in the city of Soma causing 301 victims, the most serious industrial disaster in Turkey. The cartoon depicts a man with features similar to President Erdogan, being kicked by a miner. During the protests against the neglect of the disaster, one of Erdogan’s advisors kicked a miner who was pushed by the police and fell in front of him. Efkan Bolac, who had republished this drawing in 2018, is therefore prosecuted for insulting the President of the Republic. He faces 4 years in prison, even though Recep Tayyip Erdogan was Prime Minister at the time of the facts. At the hearing on January 24, the judge postponed the case to June 1st, 2023, on the pretext that the court was waiting for the written transcript of the audio recording of […]
IRAN: Arbitrary arrests of lawyers and death sentences
Blondinrikard Fröberg / Flick / 2014 The International Organization of Lawyers in Danger (OIAD) expresses its dismay and horror regarding the situation in Iran, particularly with regard to the dozens of lawyers arbitrarily detained and the serious violations of the rights of the defense in the context of the massive use of the death penalty. Since the beginning of the brutal and relentless repression of peaceful citizen demonstrations in September 2022 by the Iranian authorities, 525 protesters, including 71 minors, have been killed. To date, 19,546 people have been counted as “disappeared” while only 5019 detainees have been identified and counted in prison. The legal profession has not been spared by the repression. The demonstration organized by the Tehran Bar Association on 12 October 2022 was violently repressed. Since September 2022, 45 lawyers have been arrested. Of these, 18 are still in detention and 27 have been released on bail and are facing prosecution. The Iranian regime has already sentenced some 20 protesters to death after summary trials without any procedural safeguards and based on confessions that are believed to have been obtained under torture. Mohsen Shekari, Majid Reza Rahnavard, Mohammad Mehdi Karami, Sayed Mohammad Hosseini were executed between 8 […]
Contact the observatory
Procedure to evaluate cases.
When the observatory is informed of the situation of a lawyer at risk, it proceeds to verify the information it receives and to evaluate the context surrounding the case.
The Observatory’s team verifies the nature of the case that has been reported to check whether it falls under its sphere of competence/mandate and attempts to ascertain the veracity of the allegations received.
The Observatory has consolidated an extensive network of contacts with international and regional bodies, civil society organizations, diplomatic representations and bar associations. This network enables it to gather information pertinent to the lawyers’ general situation and that of specific cases.
The Observatory attempts to establish contact with the lawyer in order to understand his or her needs and circumstances in order to organize the appropriate kind of support that can effectively respond to the defense and protection strategy adopted.
Having completed the process of verification and information gathering, the case Evaluation Group performs an overall assessment of the situation, determines the degree of severity of the case, and issues recommendations on the type of action to be taken to procure counsel and effective support.
The verification and assessment process is performed within a limited amount of time in order to address the grave situations requiring urgent action.
Once the Evaluation Group has presented its recommendations, the Observatory proceeds to take action in accordance with these recommendations and in coordination with the lawyer in question and his or her surroundings.
No action is ever taken without the express consent of the lawyer in question.
WHAT IS THE OBSERVATORY FOR ?
Established in 2010 in the framework of the EU funded project “Lawyers serving lawyers”, the Observatory was re-established in 2015.
The Observatory’s basic aim is to uphold the right to practice law freely and totally independently, and to denounce situations where the right to legal counsel is at risk.
The observatory’s work covers warnings, support in the field and training.