Australian Lawyers for Human Rights supports the Day of the Endangered Lawyer
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) calls on all countries to ensure that lawyers are able to perform their professional obligations without fear of retribution.
ALHR has always been saddened by news of lawyers facing consequences such as being silenced, harassed, kidnapped, imprisoned, injured and killed for fulfilling their roles as advocates.
On 24 January 2019, the 9th Day of the Endangered Lawyer, lawyers across the world are given a specific opportunity to reflect on the grave infringement of human rights experienced by some of our colleagues, and to advocate for systemic change in their treatment. ALHR finds it highly concerning that lawyers risk danger for upholding the human rights of others and protecting vulnerable clients.
The mistreatment of lawyers contravenes a number of international human rights instruments, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.
ALHR President Kerry Weste said, “on the Day of the Endangered Lawyer, ALHR gives thought to the many human rights lawyers around the world who remain in prison or are at risk simply for doing their job and attempting to carry out their duties in line with international standards.”
ALHR notes that in 2019 the Day of the Endangered Lawyer focuses on the experiences of lawyers in Turkey. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reports that during the two year State of Emergency in Turkey, lifted in July 2018, almost 570 lawyers were arrested, 1480 faced some kind of prosecution and 79 were sentenced to long term imprisonment.
“ALHR calls on all countries to comply with the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and ensure that lawyers can act in accordance with the law and without improper interference or persecution,” Ms Weste said.
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