We are moved to learn about the sudden demise of our chairman
mr. Alida Christina Blom
former vice-president of the Court of Haarlem
Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau
Mr. Ati Blom has been the inspiring chairman of our board of directors since we established the
foundation The Day of the Threatened Lawyer in 2014. With relentless energy and wisdom, she has
led the activities of our foundation for six years. Also, thanks to her contribution, January 24 has
now grown into a day on which lawyers in many cities around the world stand up for the interests
of their professional peers, who are persecuted, threatened and sometimes even murdered because
they are practicing their profession.
In addition, Ati did not let a year go by without demonstrating together with us on 24 January at
the embassy of the country that in in that year stood central in drawing attention to the threatened
lawyers in that country.
We will really miss the cooperation with Ati and her friendship.
On behalf of the foundation The Day of the Threatened Lawyer
mr. Hans Gaasbeek
Mr. Symone Gaasbeek-Wielinga
OBITUARY – EBRU TIMTIK WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS
Ebru passed away yesterday after 238 days on Hunger Strike. She fought until her last breath for the right to a fair trial and independence of lawyers. The Turkish State is responsible because it ignored her claims.
Last October we visited her and the other colleagues of the ÇHD in Silivri hight security prison (near Istanbul) with an International Delegation of lawyers, we spoke with her about her determination to continue denouncing all forms of injustice.
We know that the right to a fair trial has been violated in the so called ÇHD2 Case. We have seen, observing the trial, that the Court was unfair. The lawsuit was a masquerade (not enforcing procedural rules, nonsense statements of a secret witness were the base of the decision, and the verdict was given before the right of defence was exercised). The international delegation of Lawyers, in which AED-EDL and the Foundation Day of Endangered Lawyer participated monitoring the trial, has been expulsed from the Courtroom before the last statement was given by the defence lawyers and before the final decision.
The denying of the demand Ebru made for a fair trial made her choose the way of a hunger strike. This hunger strike was not meant as a special request for herself but for the whole profession of lawyers and for the Kurdish and Turkish people. When her situation was already very grave on the 14th of August a request to release Ebru and her colleague Aytaç Unsal was denied by the Constitutional Court of Turkey.
Everyone has to know that the death of Ebru could have been prevented. For all of us, her death will be remembered as a shame for the Turkish Judiciary.
The lesson we can obtain of Ebru’s death is that we must be more conscious to fight for fundamental Rights in Turkey and other Countries. Her action will help and motivate us to defend the right to a fair trial.
Ebru, your life was brilliant, your death is very sad, and your example is a light in this time of troubles in Turkey!
Rest in peace, our sister.
For more information, please reach out to us through our contact page.
WHAT IS THE DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER?
Ever since lawyers Symone Gaasbeek-Wielinga and Hans Gaasbeek went onto a fact finding mission in the Philippines in 1990 (lawyers are being intimidated, threatened and even murdered because they aide their clients in politically sensitive cases) they have been active for their threatened colleagues all across the world. This is an international effort put together with like-minded colleagues. The first ever Day of the Endangered Lawyer was organized in 2010.
The purpose of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer is a call for attention on that day to threatened human rights lawyers with special attention to one designated country.
The course of action is to draw a centralized petition in as many cities as possible, in and across Europe’s borders, which will be offered to ambassadors, consulates and other bodies of authority. The petition will call for attention to the problematic situation of endangered lawyers in that country. Another aim is to engage in a dialogue with the representatives. Furthermore, forum discussions are being organized with local fellow lawyers.
2020: FOCUS ON PAKISTAN
The tenth annual Day of the Endangered Lawyer, on January 24th, 2020, will focus on Pakistan. Over the past several years lawyers in Pakistan have been subjected to acts of mass terrorism, murder, attempted murder, assaults, (death) threats, contempt proceedings, harassment and intimidation in the execution of their professional duties. They have also been arrested, detained or tortured, and in some cases the family members of murdered lawyers have also been murdered.
Some lawyers have been threatened with disbarment or had their homes raided by the police. Sometimes christian lawyers or members of minority sects have been assaulted or threatened with death.
The most notorious attack on Pakistani lawyers occurred on August 8, 2016 when terrorists attacked the Government Hospital of Quetta with a suicide bombing and shooting which resulted in the death of 54 lawyers. See link here.
Since then there has been an alarming increase in the number of lawyers murdered, with nine reported over the past year.
Four organisations (IAPL, AED, ELDH and the Foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer) are working close together again to prepare the next day, with full support from the coalition of lawyer organizations and BAR associations as founded this year in Brussels and a large number of other lawyers and BAR associations from all over the world.
The most recent step was the publication of a basic report about the present situation of the lawyers in Pakistan. In this basic report the situation of a number of lawyers is highlighted, in general the most serious cases. Most of the contents for this document were delivered by Pakistani lawyers as well as lawyer and BAR associations which are involved and specialised in the situation in Pakistan.