Hundreds of lawyers are murdered and imprisoned every year.
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Honduras: The trial of Roberto David Castillo Mejía, the instigator of Berta Cáceres’ assassination
The trial of Roberto David Castillo Mejía in the Berta Cáceres case began on April 6, 2021. The Expert Observation Mission (in which the International Observatory of Endangered Lawyers (OIAD) took part) has monitored the entire case and is currently supervising the trial. The president of the OIAD and of the General Council of Spanish Lawyers, Victoria Ortega, has dedicated a few words of support to the legal team of the victims in the trial and has wished that the process takes place with all the legal guarantees. Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores, the general coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH), was assassinated on March 2, 2016 for her active opposition to the “Agua Zarca”. The latter is an hydroelectric project built by the DESA company on the territory of the Lenca indigenous in southwestern Honduras. L’OIAD was initially involved in the case though its’ support to Víctor Fernández (a threatened lawyer), COPINH’s legal representative who took on the representation in court of the leader’s family and to COPINH as a victim of Berta Cáceres’ assassination. In 2018, seven people were sentenced as co-authors in the murder of Berta Cáceres. The OIAD carried out […]
Press release: Expert mission to Observe Trial for Murder of Berta Cáceres
Honduras: The trial for the intellectual authorship of the murder of Berta Cáceres Honduras begins The Expert Observation Mission in which the International Qualified Observation Mission in which the International Observatory of Lawyers in Danger (OIAD) participates, has issued a press release on the beginning of the trial for the murder of Berta Cáceres: Honduras: Expert mission to Observe Trial for Murder of Berta Cáceres The Americas/Europe April 6, 2021 In light of the upcoming trial of the Berta Cáceres Case, the Expert Observation Mission calls on the State of Honduras to guarantee the application of international standards and national norms that lead to truth, comprehensive justice and reparations in a case of global interest. Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores, General Coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), was assassinated on March 2, 2016. In addition to the defense of territory, she worked to assert the cultural rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as women’s rights. As a result of her struggle and advocacy work, Berta Cáceres was the victim of numerous threats and campaigns of stigmatization, harassment and criminalization, which led the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to grant her precautionary measures during […]
TURKEY: Postcards Solidarity Operation for 10 detained lawyers
Take action! 5th April, on the International lawyer’s day in Turkey, the International Observatory of Lawyers in Danger launches a fraternity card operation, intended for 10 lawyers currently in jail, in order to demonstrate the support from the international community of lawyers. The OIAD aims to support and and invite the international community to visibilize the situation of lawyers in Turkey. The targeted lawyers are: Selcuk Kozagacli Barkin Timtik Behic Asci Oya Arslan Yaprak Türkmen Süleyman Gökten Özgür Yilmaz Engin Gökoglu Aycan Cicek Aytac Ünsal. Click on the name of each lawyer to access to the corresponding postcard that you may print, share and publish freely. These postcards must mandatorily be written in Turkish language. If not, they will not be transmitted to their recipient. You may of course sign your postcards. The content is the following: Dear (Name of the lawyer recipient), As the International Observatory of Lawyers in Danger, we wish to emphasise that you constantly remain in our thoughts. Be assured of our warmest feelings and of our solidarity. The OIAD encourages you to take action on this solidarity operation. A warm thank you for your support!
Legal Office of Indigenous Peoples and Chomij’a Indigenous Women Lawyers’ Association
GUATEMALA: The Legal Office of Indigenous Peoples and the Chomij’a Indigenous Women Lawyers’ Association condemns the act of intimidation following the burglary that occurred at their offices. 31 March 2021 During the weekend of 20-21 March, the offices of the Legal Office of Indigenous Peoples and the Chomij’a Indigenous Women Lawyers’ Association were violently broken into. The Legal office of Indigenous Peoples has renowned experience in the support of various communities and human rights defenders, in particular defenders of the natives’ lives and territories. The office is currently involved in legal procedures related to the recovery of ancestral lands and the defence of human rights defenders. Regarding the Chomij’a Indigenous Women Lawyers’ Association, it includes professionals specialised in the legal defence of rights, in particular those of indigenous women and of communities. On 22 March, in the morning, the attack was reported by one of the organisation’s workers who had arrived and discovered the destruction and lack of equipment in the offices. At 9 a.m., the National Civil Police (PNC) and the Public Prosecutor’s Office arrived to start the investigation. Approximately 8 computers were stolen, as well as the server that contains the security camera recordings of the premises and […]
Webinar: Justice Under Siege
A view from human rights to the situation of lawyers and judiciaries in Guatemala.
Call upon the observatory
Case Review Procedure When the Observatory is informed about the situation of a threatened lawyer, a preliminary procedure is triggered whereby the information that is received is verified and the situation assessed. Verification of the case The Observatory’s team verifies that the reported case falls within its field of competence and ensures the veracity of the alleged facts.
The Observatory has gradually developed a large network of contacts in international and regional organizations, within the diplomatic community and professional associations of lawyers. This tight and trusted network allows the Observatory to collect a set of reliable information on the situation of the lawyer. The Observatory makes every effort to contact the lawyer directly, his relatives and possibly his attorney in order to better understand the situation and to obtain the relevant information geared towards his protection and defense. Assessment of the case.
When the case verification and information gathering procedure is completed, the Monitoring Group assesses the situation, determines the level of seriousness and makes recommendations as to the action to be taken in order to assist the endangered lawyer. The verification and evaluation procedure is carried out as quickly as possible in order to respond efficiently to the sometimes extremely urgent situation. Once the recommendations of the evaluation group have been made, the Observatory implements them after consulting the threatened lawyer and / or his relatives.
No action is taken by the Observatory without the consent of the lawyer in question.
WHAT’S THE OBSERVATORY USE ?
Launched in 2015, the Observatory aims to protect lawyers who are threatened as a result of their professional practice on the one hand, and to denounce situations that violate the rights of the defense on the other hand.
The Observatory has three main lines of action: alerting, supporting and training.