Résolution sur la nécessité d’assurer une meilleure protection des avocats – Lisbonne, 26.10.19

L’Assemblée générale de la Fédération des Barreaux d’Europe (FBE) représentant 250 barreaux d’Europe et comptant 1 million d’avocats membres, qui s’est réunie à Lisbonne le 26 octobre 2019, a exprimé sa vive inquiétude quant à la violation sévère des droits des avocats et au manque de protection effective de la profession d’avocat à l’échelle mondiale.

Vu le rôle fondamental des avocats dans le système judiciaire, leur rôle crucial pour le renforcement de l’État de droit et la défense des droits de l’Homme individuels, et

vu la nécessité pour chaque État d’assurer un niveau élevé de protection contre toutes les formes de violence, de harcèlement, de menaces, d’emprisonnement, de surveillance, de disparitions forcées et d’assassinats d’avocats, et

conformément à la position constante de la FBE et à sa responsabilité en matière de protection des droits de chaque individu et à sa position constante selon laquelle les avocats, en leur qualité d’agents essentiels de l’administration de la justice, doivent être à tout moment protégés afin de préserver l’honneur et la dignité de leur profession,

la FBE rappelle que chaque État a l’obligation positive de veiller à ce que les avocats puissent exercer toutes leurs fonctions professionnelles sans subir d’intimidation, d’entrave, de harcèlement ou d’ingérence indue,

elle rappelle qu’en l’absence de solutions efficaces de protection des droits des avocats, ces derniers se trouvent dans l’impossibilité d’exercer leur métier de manière libre, indépendante et conformément aux principes fondamentaux de leur profession, ce qui fait sombrer la démocratie et menace l’État de droit,

elle EXIGE que les autorités nationales définissent un cadre juridique assurant une protection adéquate de la profession d’avocat lorsque la sécurité des avocats est menacée par l’exercice de leurs fonctions.

La FBE se DÉCLARE prête à soutenir ce processus et à apporter son assistance à tous les barreaux nationaux pendant la campagne de sensibilisation afin de mettre en œuvre les normes internationales pour la protection de la profession d’avocat.

Résolution relative à l’assassinat de Me Derk WIERSUM – Lisbonne, 26.10.19

La FBE condamne fermement l’assassinat de M. Derk Wiersum à Amsterdam, Pays-Bas, le 18 septembre 2019.

La FBE exprime toute sa peine face à l’augmentation du nombre de menaces proférées et d’agressions perpétrées à l’encontre des avocats.

Elle appelle les gouvernements à prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires pour prévenir la violence contre les avocats.

Résolution relative à la protection effective de Me German ROMERO – Lisbonne, 26.10.19

Le samedi 26 octobre 2019, l’Assemblée générale de la Fédération des Barreaux d’Europe (FBE), réunie à Lisbonne, a exprimé sa vive inquiétude face aux menaces de mort reçues le 3 octobre 2019 par German Romero, avocat spécialiste des droits de l’Homme, dans le cadre d’une campagne d’intimidation ayant déjà inclus le vol de son ordinateur contenant des informations confidentielles. M. Romero représente les victimes d’agents de l’État dans des affaires très médiatisées, telles que le massacre du palais de justice de Bogotá en 1985.

La Fédération, qui représente plus d’un million d’avocats européens, appelle le gouvernement colombien à offrir à M. Romero une protection effective et à améliorer le système judiciaire pénal afin de mettre fin aux menaces, agressions et assassinats de défenseurs des droits de l’Homme.

 

FBE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – Situation of Lawyers in the Philippines

UIA (Internationa Association of Lawyers) has been following the situation of lawyers in the Philippines for a few years.

Lawyers have been indeed the target of increasing attacks and are facing an oppressive working environment. At least 42 lawyers and prosecutors have been killed between July 2016 and September 5, 2019 including 24 practicing lawyers. Lawyers are also harassed and intimidated: they are subjected to (death) threats, surveillance, labelling, and other forms of attacks. Many of the lawyers have been “red-tagged” over allegations they support communist rebel groups.

Most of these attacks against lawyers took place as a result of discharging professional duties or are seemingly work-related. Especially at risk are lawyers representing people accused of terrorist or drug-related crimes, or those who are critical of the government’s policies or behaviour, such as journalists, political opposition leaders, and human rights defenders.

On March 14-18, 2019, an international delegation of lawyers representing various lawyers’ groups, including UIA, reported from Manilla after a fact-finding mission about the alarming situation on the Philippines.

Dutch Organization Lawyers for Lawyers initiated the statement signed for more than 150 bars, organizations and individual lawyers.

 UIA, Lawyers for Lawyers and more than 150 bar associations, international and national lawyer’s organizations, and legal professionals from 49 countries around the world called on the Government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to stop the attacks against and extrajudicial killings of lawyers and to end the culture of impunity in which these attacks occur.

The above report was made in cooperation with our Friend Ms Romina BOSSA ABIVEN Human Rights and Legal Profession Project Assistant, Paris/France.

FBE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – TRIAL OBSERVATION PROJECT TURKEY

The FBE Human Rights Commission, not indifferent to the situation observed in Turkey over the years, began the Turkey Trial Observation Project over two years ago.

The FBE has expressed its support for the rule of law and freedom of speech in Turkey for many years. Over the past 10 years, six resolutions have been adopted in support of respect for human rights in Turkey in the widest sense of the area. FBE members regularly support all initiatives to protect human rights in Turkey by participating as observers our colleagues’ lawyers and journalists trials in Turkey.

The FBE Human Rights Commission has also actively joined these activities not only by participating in the trials as the observers, but also by conducting various discussions with other lawyers, officials, taking part in bilateral meetings, petitioning various types of petitions, supporting resolutions or appearing as a speaker at congresses in Turkey (“Dark Side of the Moon”/September 2018).

 “In July 2019 lawyers from France, Greece, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands (Peter Hanenberg/Nardy Desloover) observed several hearings in Istanbul (Turkey).                  All cases were criminal cases against lawyers who are accused of terrorist related activities. In the three particular cases, the lawyers involved all share the same line of defence: they were representing and defending clients and – therewith – were doing nothing else than fulfilling their duty as a defence lawyer.

Since (roughly) 2011 there have been numerous cases against professionals who have allegedly acted in favour of terrorists or criticasters of the Turkish regime. Amongst them lawyers, but also journalists, academics, judges, union leaders et cetera.  Lawyers have to face the governmental starting point: If you help or assist someone who is critical or even a (supposed) terrorist, you yourself are acting as a terrorist. Thereby the Havana Rules (f.i. article 18: Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes…) are trampled or – more mildly worded – ignored.

Many lawyers have been (or still are) detained in pre-trial custody for many years (up to 5 years!). Recently, in March 2019, lawyers were convicted to long time prison sentences (up to 19 years!). Evidence often looks thin and stories about manipulation of proof are persistent. Exercising one’s legal profession is a hazardous activity.

Especially because the eminent function of the legal profession is at stake, it is of great importance to monitor hearings against lawyers. It is important to show solidarity with the lawyers involved and to hammer continuously on the importance of the (independent) legal profession and its essential role in the rule of law.

Therefore, trial observation is only a part (though important) of the unfolded activities. Discussions are frequent with the local and national Bar associations, as well as with representatives of all kind of law firms. Impartiality – not regarding the rule of law, but – in the cases pending is important. Though all foreign lawyers sympathise with the accused, we don’t express prepossession. We do not interfere in the question whether a persecuted lawyer is guilty or not guilty, but we do express and emphasize that identification of a lawyer with his or her client is a gross negation of the Basic Principles as laid down in the Havana Rules. Drawing attention to those principles can never be excessive.”

The above report was made in cooperation with our Friend Mr Nardy Desloover (lawyer  in Rotterdam/the Netherlands) who works tightly with us.

 

La FBE soutient les avocats tunisiens

A l’invitation de l’ordre national des avocats, les avocats tunisiens organisent le 27 septembre 2019 une journée de colère sur l’ensemble du territoire devant les juridictions du pays.

Ce mouvement est mené en protestation contre les déclarations du président de l’Association des Magistrats Tunisiens, qui accuse les avocats du collectif de défense des martyrs, Bélaïd et Brahmi d’avoir envahi de force le bureau du procureur de la République et saccagé son contenu. Le bâtonnier de l’ordre des avocats, Brahim Bouderbala, a fermement contesté ces accusations en déclarant qu’ un groupe de magistrats entend engager un bras de fer avec les avocats.

La FBE entend apporter tout son soutien au barreau tunisien, membre observateur de la FBE et appelle à un dialogue constructif entre avocats et magistrats.