Posts Tagged ‘demonstration’

European judges demonstrate in Poland against the ‘muzzle law”

January 13, 2020

Not many of us would expect to see European judges demonstrating in the streets, but Al Jazeera reports that on Saturday 11 January 2020 many joined their Polish peers in protest against the ‘muzzle law’, a bill which proposes strict disciplinary measures against Polish judges critical of the government’s judicial overhaul.

The latest escalation came when the government introduced a bill to discipline judges who question its changes [Anadolu]
The latest escalation came when the government introduced a bill to discipline judges who question its changes [Anadolu]

The office of Warsaw’s mayor said some 30,000 people took part in Saturday’s march to denounce a bill that would allow the Law and Justice (PiS) government to discipline judges who question its judicial changes. The introduction of the measure in December is the latest episode in a years-long squabble over courts reform in the country that has triggered a feud with the European Union. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/04/08/polish-judges-have-become-human-rights-defenders/]

Judges from more than 20 other European countries, many wearing judicial robes over their thick winter coats, carried placards with their countries’ names. As each delegation was announced, chants of “Thank you, thank you” rose from the crowd. About 1,000 Polish judges also joined the rally, with many travelling to Warsaw from all corners of the country.

We want to feel that we are safe at work. A judge cannot fear that if a ruling they hand down is inconvenient for the government, they will bear consequences. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to that,” said judge Halina Musial.

Background: Despite protests in some 200 towns and cities when first announced, the draft law passed the PiS-dominated lower house in late December. It is now being considered by the opposition-controlled Senate, which may delay its passage, but is unlikely to stop it. The draft law, which makes it easier to dismiss or fine uncooperative judges, is seen as a response to an earlier blow to the government’s reforms.  In early December, the Supreme Court ruled that its own disciplinary chamber, a body created by the government, is “not a court within the meaning of EU and national law”. The court also found that the constitutional body nominating judges, the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), which has been reformed to be mostly appointed by parliament rather than other judges, is “not an impartial and independent body”. When first introduced in December, Małgorzata Gersdorf, Supreme Court chief justice, warned that the changes would “infringe EU treaties” and risked driving Poland out of the bloc. For its part, the government claims that the bill is necessary to stop judges from “undermining” the legal system.  Since taking power in 2015, PiS has been at loggerheads with the EU over its judicial meddling, including installing allies in the constitutional court, trying to force Supreme Court judges into retirement and politicising lower-level appointments.  The European Commission’s vice-president, Vera Jourova, has urged Poland to halt work on the legislation until it had been properly consulted, echoing calls by the Council of Europe and the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights

At Saturday’s protest, Irish Supreme Court judge John MacMenamin carried letters of support from Irish Chief Justice Frank Clarke and the Association of Judges of Ireland, according to the Irish Times. Murat Arslan, an imprisoned Turkish judge and winner of the 2017 Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, also sent a note of support to the protesters, Polish website OKO.press reported. At the request of the opposition Senate speaker, the Venice Commission, an advisory body of the Council of Europe, visited Warsaw this week to prepare its “urgent opinion”, but the government declined to meet the representatives. Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin responded that “Poland is a sovereign country and shapes its own legal system, including the judiciary. These are not issues governed by European law”.

Human Rights Defender Heather Heyer murdered in protest against hate in Charlottesville

August 14, 2017

GOFUNDME
Heather Heyer 

20-year-old James Fields Jr. was arrested over the incident and charged with murder. Fields was one of thousands of members of the so-called “alt right” who were in Charlottesville attending Saturday’s “Unite The Right” march. The rally became violent after the white supremacists were confronted by anti-fascist groups.

Source: Heather Heyer ‘Murdered While Protesting Against Hate’ In Charlottesville, Friends Say | HuffPost

https://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21726701-legal-assistant-killed-far-right-rally-charlottesville-was-32-obituary-heather

Egypt: doctors protest police brutality but no human rights defenders can come and tell about it

February 15, 2016

While human rights organizations and the media around the world were remembering Egypt‘s Tahrir Square [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/five-years-after-tahrir-square-there-is-stability-in-egypt-but-do-not-ask-at-what-price/] the space for demonstrations in Egypt itself was minimal. But a huge exception was made on 13 February 2016 when some 10.000 people gathered at noon in front of the Doctors Syndicate in Cairo. Heartening to see that the doctors have the courage to take up the case against police brutality. But you are unlikely to hear about this from an Egyptian human rights defender in person as they are systematically banned from traveling. Read the rest of this entry »

Tibetan protesters in Switzerland object to Beijing’s bid to 2022 Winter Olympics

June 13, 2015

In case the focus on the Baku Games is seen as too partial, here a reference to a protest against China‘s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics 

Tibetan Protesters in Switzerland Disrupt Beijing’s Bid to 2022 Winter Olympics

The Tibetan Youth Association of Europe (TYAE) organized a demonstration outside the IOC hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland on 10 June, 2015. Some of the protesters outside the hotel acted a scene of Chinese human rights violations inside Tibet, while a few others managed to get inside the hotel and chant slogans such as “Free Tibet” and “No More Bloody Games”,  just as the Chinese officials were making their case for Olympic bid in front of the International Olympic Committee members.

Golok Jigme, a former Tibetan political prisoner who participated in the protest said in a statement to IOC President Bach, “I stand here today as a witness of Chinese repression in Tibet. But this is not only about me. Many Tibetan human rights defenders and protestors were jailed and killed in 2008. If the Olympic Games 2022 should be awarded to China again you will be co-responsible for such atrocities. If you cannot support us, don’t treat us like toys for the sake of flattering the Chinese Communist Party. We the Tibetan people are also citizens of this world and our dignity and rights must be respected.

On Thursday, China’s foreign ministry condemned Wednesday’s protest in Switzerland calling it, provocative:”Their behavior will not shake the resolve of the Chinese government and people to apply to hold the Winter Olympics in Beijing“.

 

via Tibetan Protesters in Switzerland Disrupt Beijing’s Bid to 2022 Winter Olympic.

Car chase in Kuwait: Bedoun Human Rights Defender the target

February 27, 2014

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped reports that on 24 February 2014, human rights defender Abdulhakim Al Fadhli was chased by state security cars and then taken to state security headquarters, where he remains in detention. Earlier that day, human rights defenders Mr Nawaf Al Hendal and Ms Hadil Abo Qoreis were summonsed via news broadcasts to appear before state security investigations service.  Abdulhakim Al Fadhli had also been unofficially informed of a summons against him. As in a B-film, state security cars, chasing Abdulhakim Al Fadhli, Read the rest of this entry »

In Kenya two women human rights defenders WANT to go to court on 26 February

February 25, 2013

This interesting story starts in February 2011 with a peaceful demonstration against deaths of pregnant women at the Huruma Nursing Home, a hospital serving Huruma, one of the major slums in Nairobi. Two human rights defenders, Ruth Mumbi and Ms Victoria Atieno, were accused of incitement to violence. Their case has dragged on for 2 years with at least 5 adjournments triggered by the absence at the trial of the administrator of Huruma Nursing Home, both a key witness and complainant. During the latest hearing on 21 February 2013, the administrator of Huruma Nursing Home turned up at the Court. However, this was a new administrator who replaced the person who managed the establishment at the time when the protest took place. As the judge raised questions about this change of witness, the administrator responded that the sole purpose of his presence at Makadara Law Courts was to present Huruma Nursing Home’s desire that the case be dismissed! The judge interestingly decided to allow the accused human rights defenders to express their opinion on it. On 26 February 2013 (tomorrow), Ruth Mumbi and Victoria Atieno hope to tell how they were victims of malicious prosecution and file a lawsuit to claim damages. And on top of this a great occasion to alert the public about poor health services!

The case against Ruth Mumbi and Victoria Atieno was referred to in an urgent appeal http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/20473 on 30 October 2012. Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped

 

42 human rights defenders and political activists detained to prevent them from participating in a peaceful protest in Jaffna on Human Rights Day – FIDH – Worldwide Human Rights Movement

December 15, 2011

For those who thought that the situation in Sri Lanka is normalizing the attached report from the OMCT/FIDH Observatory for Human Rights Defenders makes disappointing reading: 42 human rights defenders and political activists detained to prevent them from participating in a peaceful protest in Jaffna on Human Rights Day – FIDH – Worldwide Human Rights Movement.