2017: PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
On January 24th, 2017 -the seventh year of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer- the focus will be on China. Last summer, more than a hundred organizations of lawyers and human rights organizations sent an official letter to the president of this country. In this letter they protest against the situation on human rights and that of human rights lawyers in the People’s Republic.
Often these lawyers have been sentenced to a minimum of three years imprisonment on charges of ‘subversion’. The document ‘Chinese lawyers arrested and under detention’ (pdf) makes clear how bizarre allegations the Chinese government makes up can be.
An important recent event mentioned is the ‘709 crackdown’. Beside the lawyers mentioned and involved in the crackdown cases there are many lawyers to mention who have been harassed. They were involved in very different human rights cases or cases against the government.
At least we have to mention the cases of the lawyers among many other cases Shu Xiangxin, Wang Qiushi, Wang Yu (this female lawyer was forced last month by the authorities to refuse the IDHAE-Ludovic Trarieux human rights prize of 2016; this prestigious prize was decerned to her by an international jury of lawyers),Pu Zhigiang, Wei Lingyue (missing), Le Heping, Hu Shigen, Zhang Kai, Zhu Yubiao, Teng Biao, Xu Zhiyong,Wang Yong Hang,Ding Jiaxi and Zhou Shifeng.
We want to thank the colleagues Kit Chan, Gill Boehringer, Stuart Russell, Sean Wang and Mohamed Baadoudi for their great support in the preparation for 2017, for which we will receive again the continuous support from IDHAE, Lawyers for Lawyers foundation, CHRLCG (China human rights lawyers concern group), CCBE, Taiwan support china human rights lawyers network, UIA, LSUC, VSAN, International association of peoples lawyers, The Colombia Caravana project, ASF-network, NUPL and many local bar associations and lawyer organizations
Last year the severely endangered lawyers in Honduras, where the largest number of lawyers are killed annually, often ‘for nothing’, were in focus. A report about that day shows what has been organized in light of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. Read all about it in the ‘Report on Day of the endangered lawyer in 2016’ (pdf).
The Foundation day of the Endangered Lawyer and the AED (European federation of ten lawyer organizations) are glad to present it to you, also with great thanks to the ELDH and their members for their great efforts. As we have not received all relevant information it is possible that not all the activities in all the cities have been highlighted. They were between Tegucicalpa and Manila and between Alanya and Toronto. About Toronto’s Day of the Endangered lawyer, you will find a film on http://tinyurl.com/zzuusmp.
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.
More information is available at this website and our documented policy: Beleidsplan 2015-2017 (Dutch).
An extensive report on current data can be found on the ‘current events‘ page.