Human Rights Monitoring Group Update – November 10, 2016
The Law Society’s Human Rights Monitoring Group is a group of appointed benchers, established in 2006, to monitor human rights violations that target members of the legal profession and the judiciary as a result of the discharge of their legitimate professional duties.
On November 10, 2016, the Law Society released public statements expressing grave concerns about the following human rights lawyers:
Arrest of lawyer Jamshed Yorov in Tajikistan
It has come to our attention that Tajikistan lawyer Jamshed Yorov was arrested and detained on August 22, 2016, and charged with “disclosure of State secrets” under part 1 of article 311 of the Criminal Code of Tajikistan. Jamshed Yorov is known for representing Mahmadalli Hait, the deputy chairman of the banned opposition Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan. On June 2, 2016, Mr. Hait was sentenced to life imprisonment after a closed-door ruling by Tajikistan’s Supreme Court. Jamshed Yorov informed his family that he was being questioned in connection with the alleged leaked publication of the text of a classified court judgment, concerning the case of Mr. Hait, on the internet. The Law Society is deeply concerned about these reports. It is our understanding that Jamshed Yorov’s arrest may be as a result of the exercise of his legitimate duties in defending Mahmadalli Hait.
Harassment of lawyer Ramón Cadena Rámila in Guatemala
Ramón Cadena Rámila is a well-known human rights lawyer and the International Commission of Jurists’ (ICJ) regional director for Central America. It has come to our attention that on August 15, 2016, armed men ransacked Ramón Cadena Rámila’s home in Guatemala City while he was attending a workshop in another part of the country. Ramón Cadena Rámila’s family and a security guard were forced to wait on their knees outside. The Law Society is deeply concerned about these reports. It is our understanding that attacks against human rights lawyers in Guatemala have intensified in the past months and that this incident is the latest in a string of incidents of intimidation and harassment against human rights lawyers in Guatemala.