Posts Tagged ‘bar association’

Azerbaijan: example of ‘sophisticated’ harassment of human rights lawyers

June 29, 2018

Om 29 June 2018 Front Line Defenders reported on the case of disbarment of human rights lawyer Irada Javadova in Azerbaijan. It shows how seemingly ‘neutral’ procedures within the Bar Association are used to silence human rights defenders.

Irada Javadova <https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/irada-javadova> is a human rights lawyer who was involved in many resonant cases, including working on numerous violations of citizens’ property rights and violations against political activists and human rights defenders. She is the former head of NGO “Human Rights Education”. The procedure was initiated upon the complaint of an anonymous citizen, who stated that Irada Javadova wrote a letter to the Interior Ministry about her illegal detention in the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and reported the incident to the press, without the citizen’s consent. According to reports, the citizen stated that Irada Javadova spread false information, defamed her, and requested that the Bar Association take action against the human rights defender. On 11 June 2018, the Presidium of the Bar Association announced the termination of her authority.

Irada Javadova denied the allegations, stating that she had an agreement with her client and that she had legitimately defended her and acted within the law. She had submitted the agreement with the complainant to the Bar Association, but her colleagues expressed doubts about the authenticity of the client’s signature. She was disbarred on 11 June 2018. On 12 June, she met with the chairman of the Presidium of the Bar Association and presented additional evidence, but she was told that there will be an appeal to Baku Administrative Economic Court No. 1, where she will have the opportunity to defend her rights. Irada Javadova believes that the disciplinary commission was biased and erroneous.  On 14 June 2018, human rights lawyer Irada Javadova appealed the Presidium of the Bar Association’s decision to disbar her.

[In recent years, Azeri authorities have been pursuing those lawyers who defend political activists and who speak before the European Court of Human Rights. Officials have dismissed such well-known and active lawyers as Namizad Safarov, Khalid Baghirov <https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/khalid-bagirov> , Aslan Ismayilov, Alaif Hasanov, Elchin Namazov, Yalchin Imanov <https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/yalchin-imanov> , Farhad Mehdiyev, Muzaffar Bakhshaliyev, Annaghi Hajibeyli, and Intigam Aliyev <https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/intigam-aliyev>.  For some earlier posts on Azerbaijan: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/azerbaijan/page/4/

PS In 2018, Irada Javadova was the only member of Presidium of the Bar Association to vote against the disbarment of human rights lawyer Yalchin Imanov. It is believed that she lost her place in the Presidium following her defence of Yalchin Imanov.

 

Human Rights Lawyers Disqualified to run for Iran’s Bar Association

February 11, 2016

Not the most egregious of violations but showing how deep the ruling powers’ reach in Iran is: more than two dozen prominent lawyers, including well-known human rights defenders, have been disqualified (again) from running in next month’s election for the Iranian Bar Association’s board of directors. Judge Hosseinali Nayeri, the head of the Supreme Disciplinary Court for Judges, issued a statement on 2 February  2016 rejecting 25 of the 141 candidacy applications, according to Kaleme, an opposition website.

The disqualified include human rights lawyers Farideh Gheirat, Mohammad Saleh Nikbakht, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, Ramazan Haji Mashhadi, and former Tehran University law professor, Ghasem Sholeh Sadi. The bar association has only published the names of the approved candidates on its website.

Sholeh Sadi, told the NGO ‘International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran’ that the bar association should operate as an independent body and elections for its board of directors should be conducted without the interference of the judicial system. “Governments want to limit the lawyers’ activities and try to control them,” said the former Member of Parliament who has served time as a political prisoner in Iran.

The independence of lawyers as well as the Iranian Bar Association have been seriously undermined since the passage of a law in 1997 that imposed several limits and controls on the process for testing and licensing new lawyers. In February 2014, some 200 lawyers wrote an open letter to President Hassan Rouhani expressing concern about the Judiciary’s attempts to curb their autonomy. They accused the Judiciary of trying to destroy the independence of the legal profession “established by Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh more than 70 years ago.” The Head of the Iranian Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, denied the charges, claiming that the Judiciary’s supervision over lawyers would not curtail their independence.

For older posts on Iran: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/iran/

Source: Prominent Lawyers Disqualified from Iran’s Bar Association Election

 

Glimmer of hope for Sotoudeh and Iran crashed by Tehran Bar Association

October 21, 2014

The glimmer of hope for Nasrin Sotoudeh and Iran which I saw in my post of 6 September [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/glimmer-of-hope-in-iran-nasrin-sotoudehs-ban-to-practice-overruled/] seems to have been crushed already. Yesterday, 20 october, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, the joint programme of FIDH and OMCT, has received new information that on 18 October 2014, a three-member disciplinary investigation panel of Tehran’s Bar Association has now suspended Nasrin Sotoudeh’s law license for three years, based on a complaint filed by the Islamic Revolution Court’s Prosecution Office (unlike the first disciplinary panel of the Tehran Bar Association which rejected a similar request). Read the rest of this entry »

Glimmer of hope in Iran: Nasrin Sotoudeh’s ban to practice overruled

September 6, 2014

NASRIN_SOTOUDEH_PORTRAIT The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports on 5 September that the Lawyers’ Court denied the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office request for the suspension of Sotoudeh’s license to practice, and stated in a ruling that, “In the opinion of the Lawyer’s Court, Ms. Sotoudeh’s temporary suspension was unwarranted and will be overruled”. According to this ruling Ms. Sotoudeh can continue her profession as a lawyer says her husband Reza Khandan on Facebook.

[Prominent lawyer and human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh – final nominee of the MEA in 2012 and winner of the Sakharov prize- was arrested on September 4, 2010. A lower court sentenced her to 11 years in prison, a 20-year ban on her legal practice, and a 20-year ban on foreign travel, on charges of “acting against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” and “membership in the Human Rights Defenders Center.” An appeals court reduced her sentence to six years in prison and a 10-year ban on her legal practice. After almost three years in prison, Nasrin Sotoudeh was released on September 18, 2013. Upon release, Nasrin Sotoudeh objected to the ruling by the Tehran Revolutionary Court to suspend her license to practice law, asserting the Court’s lack of jurisdiction over this matter. She subsequently renewed her license and announced that she would continue her legal practice. However, judges have refused to allow her to appear in court to represent her clients.]

via Ten-Year Ban on Nasrin Sotoudeh’s Legal Practice Overruled: Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Returns to Law : International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

for more posts on Sotoudeh: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/nasrin-sotoudeh/

 

Alarming disbarments and suspensions of lawyers in Ukraine

February 13, 2014

While most attention is focused on the demonstration in Ukraine, a recent report by the respected International Commission of Jurists [ICJ] casts light on alarming trend of disbarments and suspensions of lawyers.  The report casts light on a conflict in the legal profession, which has led to apparently arbitrary disciplinary action against a significant number of lawyers. The report reveals the escalating dispute in the legal profession following the implementation of a new law, signed by the President on 5 July 2012, which significantly changed the organization of the profession and provides for the establishment of a new bar association. The law,icj_logo_pantone Read the rest of this entry »

Call for more moderate Muslim voices in Malaysia’s human rights debate

November 18, 2013

An interesting example of how human rights defenders should tackle the pernicious issue of islamic opposition to human rights progress comes from Malaysia:

According to Bar Council member Andrew Khoo, Muslim-majority countries were among those which have asked Malaysia to obey international human rights standards in the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) last month. “These are not Western, European-centric recommendations… For anyone to attempt to say this is a Western agenda, sorry you’re barking up the wrong tree,” said Khoo, who is the co-chairman of the Bar Council’s Human Rights Committee.  Read the rest of this entry »