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. The creation of this special international day is an international effort put together with like-minded colleagues. The first ever Day of the Endangered Lawyer was organized in 2009. Hans and Symone created the foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer to strengthen the work.

Together with AED and ELDH they created the Coalition for the Endangered Lawyer, which comes together every year to choose the new country and to discuss the progress.

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 of the government of the country. Furthermore, forum discussions are being organized with local fellow lawyers and publications are made about the lawyers’ situation.

More information is available at this website and our policy: Beleidsplan 2015-2017 (Dutch).
An extensive report on current data can be found on the current events page.

December 2023, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Dear colleagues
dear friends

In the coming year 2024 ,on the 24 th of January, the 14th anniversary of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer Project will be organised.

In the coming year 2024, again, like in 2010, we will focus – on the 24th of January – on this international Day of the Endangered Lawyer – on the very hard circumstances under which the brave lawyers in Iran, have to perform their professional duties.

Click here to read the report about the situation of the persecuted and threatened Iranian colleagues, female and male, who have suffered in jail, because they handle(d) human rights cases and/or other politically sensitive cases.

The attached report was made by a devoted Working-group, formed out of the International Coalition for the endangered lawyer, in cooperation with lawyers from Iran.

If you are a Lawyer- or Bar- or a Human Rights organisation, feel free spread this report about the harsh situation of the persecuted lawyers in Iran!

In many countries, worldwide, there will be organised events on the day of the Endangered lawyer – on the 24th of January, and international petitions will be handed over.

If your organisation wants to support the day of the endangered lawyer and wants to take part of the international coalition, please contact us!

X-In the past year 2023, already more international lawyer organisations, were lobbying for the release and freedom of their detained Iranian colleagues (i.e. Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was just released) and different other colleagues.

Xx-The coalition for the endangered lawyer is formed by more than 45 international lawyer organisations and bar associations.

Xxx-On behalf of the Board of the Foundation for the international “Day of the Endangered lawyer “

Symone and Hans Gaasbeek Wielinga

-14 Years International Day of the Endangered Lawyer-

Dear friends
Dear colleagues

On Monday the 24th of January 2023, the Day of the endangered lawyer was celebrated worldwide!

This year the focus was on the very difficult situation of the lawyers in Afghanistan.

You find attached the very thorough report with all relevant information, as composed by the SAD/AED,
and as discussed /completed by many cooperating lawyer-organizations within the international Coalition for the Endangered Lawyer.

Please continue to support your Afghan colleagues in your country by informing your network by spreading the attached thorough report about the situation in Afghanistan!

In many countries on the different continents events were organized with the focus on the very hard, suppressive situation of the mostly female human rights lawyers. Also, press declarations have been spread around.

Click here to view the report.

The foundation organized a meeting at the Afghan embassy in The Hague with the ambassador on the 24th of January where the petition was offered to the ambassador. He declared that it was impossible for him to urge the Afghan government to followup our recommendations, because there was a bad relation between him and the Afghan government.

The foundation asked the coalition members to share their experience at the Afghan embassies with the goal to finally address the Afghan government with our basic report.

Lawyers for Lawyers has organized, together with the Love Society, an international ZOOM-meeting and has also organized a forum discussion for a big group of young starting lawyers in The Hague.

The Bar of Brasilia asked the Foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer in the person of Hans Gaasbeek to be present by video link in their forum discussion.

In France many different events were organized on the Day of the Endangered Lawyer.

The foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer was recently informed by OIAD, CNB, ASF France, SAF France and several bar associations and bar human rights institutes about events and meetings in Paris, Lyon, Nantes, Montpellier and Bordeaux.

Furthermore, the Foundation is delighted by the news of the establishment of the Afghan Bar Association in Exile in Brussels on the latest Day of the Endangered Lawyer. See the press declaration here.

See also the great news from judge Ridgway about the event that was organized in the USA by the international law section of the ABA.

Besides, for the Taiwan Bar and community, Aurore Lebeau and Hans Gaasbeek were interviewed about their input and visions on the Day of the Endangered Lawyer. Read the interview in English and Chinese here.

See also Kit Chan’s news about the activities on the Day in Taiwan.

Below you will find a video of the Day by the Order of Lawyers in Bordeaux.

We look forward to hear all your news about your activities.

Warm regards,

Symone and Hans Gaasbeek-Wielinga, on behalf of the Foundation DEL

Recent news October 2022

A message from the initiator of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer, as recorded in October 2022, expressing solidarity with the endangered lawyers in the Philippines.


Ebru passed away 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.

She and the other colleagues of the ÇHD were visited in Silivri high 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.