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Mandeep S Tiwana the Indian lawyer who specialises in legislation affecting the core civil society freedoms of expression, association and assembly, has published an article in Global Issues titled ‘Civil Society Under Attack Around the World’ in which he states “In December 2011, 159 governments and major international organisations recognised the central role of civil society in development and promised to create an "enabling" operating environment for the non-profit sector. Despite the tall talk at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid and Development Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, today NGOs, trade unions, faith based groups, social movements and community based organisations working to expose rights violations and corruption remain in a state of siege in many parts of the world. …As evidence from CIVICUS' State of Civil Society Report 2013 shows, promises made in Busan about creating an "enabling" environment for CSOs were ignored as soon as the proverbial ink had dried. With discussions on the post 2015 development agenda well underway, influential civil society groups are urging the U.N.'s High Level Panel to explicitly recognise the centrality of an enabling environment for civil society in any new formulation of internationally agreed development goals. While politicians are currently preoccupied with kick-starting or maintaining economic growth, there is a real danger that civil society's right and ability to engage decision makers in various forums will be further limited. If global development goals are to succeed, civil society needs to be able to operate free from fear of reprisals for advancing legitimate if uncomfortable concerns. After all, civil society groups contribute substantially to development strategies and help find innovative solutions to complex developmental challenges. More importantly, they help ensure the representation of a wide range of voices, in particular those of the vulnerable and marginalised in development debates. Perhaps this is why they are being persecuted.”  Inspired by Mandeep S. Tiwana, Global Issues ow.ly/lE1Hc Image source Facebook ow.ly/lE1tY Civil society under attack around the world (June 20 2013)

 

Mandeep S Tiwana the Indian lawyer who specialises in legislation affecting the core civil society freedoms of expression, association and assembly, has published an article in Global Issues titled ‘Civil Society Under Attack Around the World’ in which he states “In December 2011, 159 governments and major international organisations recognised the central role of civil society in development and promised to create an “enabling” operating environment for the non-profit sector. Despite the tall talk at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid and Development Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, today NGOs, trade unions, faith based groups, social movements and community based organisations working to expose rights violations and corruption remain in a state of siege in many parts of the world. …As evidence from CIVICUS’ State of Civil Society Report 2013 shows, promises made in Busan about creating an “enabling” environment for CSOs were ignored as soon as the proverbial ink had dried. With discussions on the post 2015 development agenda well underway, influential civil society groups are urging the U.N.’s High Level Panel to explicitly recognise the centrality of an enabling environment for civil society in any new formulation of internationally agreed development goals. While politicians are currently preoccupied with kick-starting or maintaining economic growth, there is a real danger that civil society’s right and ability to engage decision makers in various forums will be further limited. If global development goals are to succeed, civil society needs to be able to operate free from fear of reprisals for advancing legitimate if uncomfortable concerns. After all, civil society groups contribute substantially to development strategies and help find innovative solutions to complex developmental challenges. More importantly, they help ensure the representation of a wide range of voices, in particular those of the vulnerable and marginalised in development debates. Perhaps this is why they are being persecuted.”

 

Inspired by Mandeep S. Tiwana, Global Issues ow.ly/lE1Hc Image source Facebook ow.ly/lE1tY

Arjun Sethi the American lawyer based in Washington, DC, and a frequent commentator on civil rights and social justice-related issues has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘The US and enemy prisoners post 9/11’. Sethi states “Fear is a powerful human agent. It can cloud our judgment and dim our conscience. Left unchecked, it can skew the moral compass of a nation, leaving destruction in its wake. A recent bipartisan report by the Constitution project confirms what many have long suspected: US personnel tortured enemy detainees in the months and years following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The report lays bare a nation so paralysed by fear that it jettisoned longstanding human rights protections in the name of national security. …Human rights bodies and humanitarian groups, like the International Committee on the Red Cross, have uniformly condemned these practices, calling many of them torture. So have numerous US judges, who have thrown out an array of detainee statements arguing that evidence obtained through torture is not admissible. The coup de grace comes courtesy of the US government, who previously condemned other countries for engaging in the very same practices. …President Obama has insisted that he wants to look forward, and that culpable US personnel will not be prosecuted. …A commitment to look forward is just another way of saying forget the past. The fact remains that an array of actors - the President, his advisers, lawyers, psychologists and those on the ground - committed a grave human rights violation. Call it a movie script. President Bush produced it; his top advisers directed it; lawyers and psychologists provided the special effects; and personnel played the part. Only through government support, and the power to review classified information and subpoena witnesses, can this tragic story be told.”  Inspired by Arjun Sethi, Aljazeera ow.ly/lCDnx Image source Twitter ow.ly/lCDmR A nation so paralysed by fear (June 18 2013)

 

Arjun Sethi the American lawyer based in Washington, DC, and a frequent commentator on civil rights and social justice-related issues has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘The US and enemy prisoners post 9/11’. Sethi states “Fear is a powerful human agent. It can cloud our judgment and dim our conscience. Left unchecked, it can skew the moral compass of a nation, leaving destruction in its wake. A recent bipartisan report by the Constitution project confirms what many have long suspected: US personnel tortured enemy detainees in the months and years following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The report lays bare a nation so paralysed by fear that it jettisoned longstanding human rights protections in the name of national security. …Human rights bodies and humanitarian groups, like the International Committee on the Red Cross, have uniformly condemned these practices, calling many of them torture. So have numerous US judges, who have thrown out an array of detainee statements arguing that evidence obtained through torture is not admissible. The coup de grace comes courtesy of the US government, who previously condemned other countries for engaging in the very same practices. …President Obama has insisted that he wants to look forward, and that culpable US personnel will not be prosecuted. …A commitment to look forward is just another way of saying forget the past. The fact remains that an array of actors – the President, his advisers, lawyers, psychologists and those on the ground – committed a grave human rights violation. Call it a movie script. President Bush produced it; his top advisers directed it; lawyers and psychologists provided the special effects; and personnel played the part. Only through government support, and the power to review classified information and subpoena witnesses, can this tragic story be told.”

 

Inspired by Arjun Sethi, Aljazeera ow.ly/lCDnx Image source Twitter ow.ly/lCDmR

Marni Halasa the British lawyer, journalist, and performance artist for Occupy Wall Street in New York City and member of Occupy's Alternative Banking Group, a direct action and seminar group that distributes information to the public, has published an article on Huffington Post titled ‘Show Time! Tripping the Light Fantastic as a Performance Artist for Occupy Wall Street’. Halasa states “My conservative Arab father always told me I had no shame. Little did he know that my insatiable desire to exhibit and entertain as a performance artist would come in handy for Occupy Wall Street. I help the movement spread its message of the 99 percent in a somewhat unique and flamboyant way. Whether I am dressed as Marie-Antoinette, protesting against workers' low wages in front of a Walmart in New Jersey; a police officer during an anti-police brutality march in Union Square; or a dominatrix covered in fake money in front of the Federal Reserve, I am compelled to be a living breathing costumed illustration of my own political beliefs. And mind you -- all of this is done on skates. So why do I risk arrest, brave the sometimes hostile elements and lose sleep over hours of preparation? An obsessive desire for creative self-expression is the obvious reason. The other is that it is my chance to belong to an amazingly purposeful politicized community. When Occupy began, I connected with a group of people who could discuss the complexities and dynamics of wealth, power and social mobility in our society. From them I learned how bankers from HSBC laundered money for the drug cartels and avoided criminal prosecution, why the Dodd-Frank reforms do not go far enough to insure our country's financial stability, and the reasons behind the lack of mobility for the low income. Although these people were for the most part strangers, they charmed me with their warmth, intellect, and uncanny ability to make complex information understandable. They were also keen to make a positive impact. I quickly decided I had to join the Occupy movement...”  Inspired by Marni Halasa, Huffington Post ow.ly/kuGR4 Image source Twitter ow.ly/kuGMQ I help the movement spread its message (May 23 2013)

 

Marni Halasa the British lawyer, journalist, and performance artist for Occupy Wall Street in New York City and member of Occupy’s Alternative Banking Group, a direct action and seminar group that distributes information to the public, has published an article on Huffington Post titled ‘Show Time! Tripping the Light Fantastic as a Performance Artist for Occupy Wall Street’. Halasa states “My conservative Arab father always told me I had no shame. Little did he know that my insatiable desire to exhibit and entertain as a performance artist would come in handy for Occupy Wall Street. I help the movement spread its message of the 99 percent in a somewhat unique and flamboyant way. Whether I am dressed as Marie-Antoinette, protesting against workers’ low wages in front of a Walmart in New Jersey; a police officer during an anti-police brutality march in Union Square; or a dominatrix covered in fake money in front of the Federal Reserve, I am compelled to be a living breathing costumed illustration of my own political beliefs. And mind you — all of this is done on skates. So why do I risk arrest, brave the sometimes hostile elements and lose sleep over hours of preparation? An obsessive desire for creative self-expression is the obvious reason. The other is that it is my chance to belong to an amazingly purposeful politicized community. When Occupy began, I connected with a group of people who could discuss the complexities and dynamics of wealth, power and social mobility in our society. From them I learned how bankers from HSBC laundered money for the drug cartels and avoided criminal prosecution, why the Dodd-Frank reforms do not go far enough to insure our country’s financial stability, and the reasons behind the lack of mobility for the low income. Although these people were for the most part strangers, they charmed me with their warmth, intellect, and uncanny ability to make complex information understandable. They were also keen to make a positive impact. I quickly decided I had to join the Occupy movement…”

 

Inspired by Marni Halasa, Huffington Post ow.ly/kuGR4 Image source Twitter ow.ly/kuGMQ

David H Remes the 58 year old American lawyer recognized for his human rights work notable for volunteering to serve as a pro bono attorney for some of the captives held in extrajudicial detention in the US Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba has published an article titled ‘The Tragic Death of Adnan Latif: What is the Military Trying to Hide?’ on Firedoglake by Jeff Kaye. Remes states “…Truthout first reported, the US military began saying that my client Adnan Latif, a Yemeni at Guantanamo, who died in his cell on September 8, committed suicide by overdosing on medication he smuggled into his cell. On Saturday, December 15, the military further stated that acute pneumonia was a contributing factor in Adnan’s death. The government’s theory doesn’t stand up. It leaves urgent questions unanswered. …is it plausible that Adnan smuggled medication into his cell, much less kept and used it? Or did the military, perhaps, plant medication in his cell to facilitate his suicide? (Other detainees have reported such apparent suicide prompts.) Did Adnan actually commit suicide, or was he forced to take the medication? Was he tricked? Did he even die of overmedication? What medications was Adnan administered? In what doses and on what schedule? How were the medications administered—By injection? Orally? If orally, how were they administered—As pills? Capsules? Liquids? Solutions? Where were the medications administered—in Adnan’s cell? The hallway? A dispensary? Somewhere else? …the military disclosed, out of the blue, that acute pneumonia was a contributing factor in Adnan’s death. Why did the military wait to disclose that information? The military continues to withhold the other information in the autopsy report. Why the selective disclosure? And how could the military have discharged from the hospital a man with acute pneumonia? …The autopsy report undoubtedly answers many of these questions. Yet the military will not release the report. Why is the military stonewalling? What is the military trying to hide?”  Inspired by Jeff Kaye, Firedoglake ow.ly/jBeGb Image source Twitter ow.ly/jBeCh What is the military trying to hide? (April 26 2013)

David H Remes the 58 year old American lawyer recognized for his human rights work notable for volunteering to serve as a pro bono attorney for some of the captives held in extrajudicial detention in the US Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba has published an article titled ‘The Tragic Death of Adnan Latif: What is the Military Trying to Hide?’ on Firedoglake by Jeff Kaye. Remes states “…Truthout first reported, the US military began saying that my client Adnan Latif, a Yemeni at Guantanamo, who died in his cell on September 8, committed suicide by overdosing on medication he smuggled into his cell. On Saturday, December 15, the military further stated that acute pneumonia was a contributing factor in Adnan’s death. The government’s theory doesn’t stand up. It leaves urgent questions unanswered. …is it plausible that Adnan smuggled medication into his cell, much less kept and used it? Or did the military, perhaps, plant medication in his cell to facilitate his suicide? (Other detainees have reported such apparent suicide prompts.) Did Adnan actually commit suicide, or was he forced to take the medication? Was he tricked? Did he even die of overmedication? What medications was Adnan administered? In what doses and on what schedule? How were the medications administered—By injection? Orally? If orally, how were they administered—As pills? Capsules? Liquids? Solutions? Where were the medications administered—in Adnan’s cell? The hallway? A dispensary? Somewhere else? …the military disclosed, out of the blue, that acute pneumonia was a contributing factor in Adnan’s death. Why did the military wait to disclose that information? The military continues to withhold the other information in the autopsy report. Why the selective disclosure? And how could the military have discharged from the hospital a man with acute pneumonia? …The autopsy report undoubtedly answers many of these questions. Yet the military will not release the report. Why is the military stonewalling? What is the military trying to hide?”

 

Inspired by Jeff Kaye, Firedoglake ow.ly/jBeGb Image source Twitter ow.ly/jBeCh

 

 

Walter Ruiz the American lawyer and Naval Commander appointed to serve as Defense attorney for captives who faced charges before the Guantanamo military commissions, reported that Guantanamo guards had improperly seized privileged documents his clients needed to aid in their defense and that security officials had improperly been secretly monitoring the conversations between the suspects and their attorneys. In a Huffington Post article titled ‘Obama's Guantanamo Is Never Going To Close, So Everyone Might As Well Get Comfortable’ Ryan J Reilly states “…Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz stood inside an old airplane hangar on the southernmost tip of the island and reflected on a central but unfulfilled promise of Obama’s 2008 campaign. “We’re still here,” Ruiz said, as reporters milled around the aging hangar, which has been repurposed as a work space for the journalists and human rights observers who have been flying in and out of Guantanamo since the first suspected terrorists were brought here 11 years ago. …“We’re still in military commissions. We’re still arguing about the basic protections the system affords us. We’re still talking about indefinite detention," Ruiz continued. "We’re still talking about not closing the facility.” After years of legal wrangling, the trials of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and four other men allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks have barely gotten off the ground. Ruiz, an attorney for alleged 9/11 organizer and financier Mustafa Ahmed Hawsawi, estimates he has traveled to Guantanamo 50 to 100 times for client meetings and pre-trial hearings on legal minutiae since he joined the military’s defense counsel office in September 2008. “I’m here trying this case, people were here trying this case in 2008, arguing many of the same motions we’re arguing now,” Ruiz said. “And I think folks that have been around here for a while would tell you not much has changed at all.”  Inspired by Ryan J Reilly, Huffington Post ow.ly/iuHCm Image source Robert Stephenson ow.ly/iuHfy We’re still arguing about basic protections (March 28 2013)

 

Walter Ruiz the American lawyer and Naval Commander appointed to serve as Defense attorney for captives who faced charges before the Guantanamo military commissions, reported that Guantanamo guards had improperly seized privileged documents his clients needed to aid in their defense and that security officials had improperly been secretly monitoring the conversations between the suspects and their attorneys. In a Huffington Post article titled ‘Obama’s Guantanamo Is Never Going To Close, So Everyone Might As Well Get Comfortable’ Ryan J Reilly states “…Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz stood inside an old airplane hangar on the southernmost tip of the island and reflected on a central but unfulfilled promise of Obama’s 2008 campaign. “We’re still here,” Ruiz said, as reporters milled around the aging hangar, which has been repurposed as a work space for the journalists and human rights observers who have been flying in and out of Guantanamo since the first suspected terrorists were brought here 11 years ago. …“We’re still in military commissions. We’re still arguing about the basic protections the system affords us. We’re still talking about indefinite detention,” Ruiz continued. “We’re still talking about not closing the facility.” After years of legal wrangling, the trials of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and four other men allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks have barely gotten off the ground. Ruiz, an attorney for alleged 9/11 organizer and financier Mustafa Ahmed Hawsawi, estimates he has traveled to Guantanamo 50 to 100 times for client meetings and pre-trial hearings on legal minutiae since he joined the military’s defense counsel office in September 2008. “I’m here trying this case, people were here trying this case in 2008, arguing many of the same motions we’re arguing now,” Ruiz said. “And I think folks that have been around here for a while would tell you not much has changed at all.”

 

Inspired by Ryan J Reilly, Huffington Post ow.ly/iuHCm Image source Robert Stephenson ow.ly/iuHfy

Michael H Posner the 62 year old American lawyer, the current Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) of the United States, is the subject of an article published in the Guardian by Glen Greenwald who states “…accountability for high-level government officials is inconceivable in the US, highlighting its culture of impunity. A US State Department official  "expressed concern" about what he called "a 'climate of impunity' over abuses by police and security forces" - in Egypt. The official, Michael Posner, warned that failure to investigate Egyptian state agents responsible for "cruel treatment of those in their custody" - including torture - creates "a lack of meaningful accountability for these actions". …statements that are so drowning in obvious, glaring irony that the officials uttering them simply must have been mischievously cackling to themselves when they created them," and this American denunciation of Egypt's "climate of impunity" almost certainly goes to the top of the list. After all, Michael Posner works for the very same administration that not only refused to prosecute or even investigate US officials who tortured, kidnapped and illegally eavesdropped, but actively shielded them all from all forms of accountability: criminal, civil or investigative. Indeed, Posner works for the very same State Department that actively impeded efforts by countries whose citizens were subjected to those abuses - such as Spain and Germany - to investigate them. Being lectured by the US State Department about a "culture of impunity" is like being lectured by David Cameron about supporting Arab dictators. …We also see here, yet again, how monumentally important leaks are. Almost everything we know about the conduct of the US government … comes from diplomatic cables published by WikiLeak …For exactly that reason, it is no mystery why the US government is so eager to punish so severely those responsible for leaks generally and these disclosures specifically: precisely because nothing sheds light on their bad acts the way whistleblowing does.”  Inspired by Glen Greenwald, The Guardian ow.ly/i3iwV Image source US Govt ow.ly/i3ite A climate of impunity over abuses (March 16 2013)

 

Michael H Posner the 62 year old American lawyer, the current Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) of the United States, is the subject of an article published in the Guardian by Glen Greenwald who states “…accountability for high-level government officials is inconceivable in the US, highlighting its culture of impunity. A US State Department official  “expressed concern” about what he called “a ‘climate of impunity’ over abuses by police and security forces” – in Egypt. The official, Michael Posner, warned that failure to investigate Egyptian state agents responsible for “cruel treatment of those in their custody” – including torture – creates “a lack of meaningful accountability for these actions”. …statements that are so drowning in obvious, glaring irony that the officials uttering them simply must have been mischievously cackling to themselves when they created them,” and this American denunciation of Egypt’s “climate of impunity” almost certainly goes to the top of the list. After all, Michael Posner works for the very same administration that not only refused to prosecute or even investigate US officials who tortured, kidnapped and illegally eavesdropped, but actively shielded them all from all forms of accountability: criminal, civil or investigative. Indeed, Posner works for the very same State Department that actively impeded efforts by countries whose citizens were subjected to those abuses – such as Spain and Germany – to investigate them. Being lectured by the US State Department about a “culture of impunity” is like being lectured by David Cameron about supporting Arab dictators. …We also see here, yet again, how monumentally important leaks are. Almost everything we know about the conduct of the US government … comes from diplomatic cables published by WikiLeak …For exactly that reason, it is no mystery why the US government is so eager to punish so severely those responsible for leaks generally and these disclosures specifically: precisely because nothing sheds light on their bad acts the way whistleblowing does.”

 

Inspired by Glen Greenwald, The Guardian ow.ly/i3iwV Image source US Govt ow.ly/i3ite

Androulla Vassiliou the 69 year old Cypriot lawyer and European politician who is the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, known for being very active in social and cultural fields within the UN and EU, has been subject of an article by Coline Milliard for Boulin Artinfo titled ‘We Can't Leave Culture to the Market’. Milliard states “Speaking at the first Edinburgh International Culture Summit, EU culture commissioner Androulla Vassiliou reaffirmed the need for EU states to maintain funding for the arts. "Culture represents a public good in which every citizen has a stake and I believe that the case for public intervention is as strong today as it has ever been: the markets alone cannot deliver all that a civilised society needs," she later said in a press statement. The International Culture Summit … brings together politicians and artists from an array of countries to discuss the role culture can play in encouraging dialogue between nations. …As she inaugurated the summit, Scottish culture minister Fiona Hyslop said that the arts and creative sector were "key to economic and indeed social recovery, rather than a distraction from it," the EUobserver reported. Vassiliou and Hyslop's comments arrive at a moment when most European countries are facing severe art funding cuts. Although the Scottish government only reduced its culture spending by 5% since 2010, the rest of the UK experienced cuts of 30%. The European Union is planning to counteract this tendency by increasing its own culture budget by almost 40% for the next EU budgetary cycle in 2014-2020, bringing it up to €1.8b (£1.41b). The "Creative Europe" proposal is currently under discussion at the European parliament, but it is facing firm opposition from Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. A final decision should be reached by early next year. If it goes ahead, an estimated 300,000 artists could benefit from "Creative Europe" funding.”  Inspired by Coline Milliard, Blouin Artinfo ow.ly/hYDej Image source Marina Ofugi ow.ly/hYDcO We can’t leave culture to the market (March 6 2013)

 

Androulla Vassiliou the 69 year old Cypriot lawyer and European politician who is the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, known for being very active in social and cultural fields within the UN and EU, has been subject of an article by Coline Milliard for Boulin Artinfo titled ‘We Can’t Leave Culture to the Market’. Milliard states “Speaking at the first Edinburgh International Culture Summit, EU culture commissioner Androulla Vassiliou reaffirmed the need for EU states to maintain funding for the arts. “Culture represents a public good in which every citizen has a stake and I believe that the case for public intervention is as strong today as it has ever been: the markets alone cannot deliver all that a civilised society needs,” she later said in a press statement. The International Culture Summit … brings together politicians and artists from an array of countries to discuss the role culture can play in encouraging dialogue between nations. …As she inaugurated the summit, Scottish culture minister Fiona Hyslop said that the arts and creative sector were “key to economic and indeed social recovery, rather than a distraction from it,” the EUobserver reported. Vassiliou and Hyslop’s comments arrive at a moment when most European countries are facing severe art funding cuts. Although the Scottish government only reduced its culture spending by 5% since 2010, the rest of the UK experienced cuts of 30%. The European Union is planning to counteract this tendency by increasing its own culture budget by almost 40% for the next EU budgetary cycle in 2014-2020, bringing it up to €1.8b (£1.41b). The “Creative Europe” proposal is currently under discussion at the European parliament, but it is facing firm opposition from Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. A final decision should be reached by early next year. If it goes ahead, an estimated 300,000 artists could benefit from “Creative Europe” funding.”

 

Inspired by Coline Milliard, Blouin Artinfo ow.ly/hYDej Image source Marina Ofugi ow.ly/hYDcO

Adel Abdul Hadi the 52 year old Kuwaiti lawyer and founder of the Al Oula Law firm, a registered arbitrator and an active member of the Kuwait Lawyers Society, Kuwait Journalists Society and Kuwait Human Rights Committee. Adel is regarded as a distinguished and articulate advocate handling several high profile cases and giving a voice to the under privileged through pro bono work. Adel has published an article in the Kuwait Times titled ‘Gitmo Kuwait’s lawyer slams Kuwait envoy to US’ in which he states “…the Ambassador has claimed that the Embassy is vigorously working on the Guantanamo case. This claim is rather unfortunate and completely false, though I am not unmindful that what our diplomats at the Embassy may claim to be ‘working vigorously’ on this case may have involved hosting fancy dinners and issuing fleeting statements, which have not produced any tangible result in this case. …if this Ambassador [Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah] is the representative of the State of Kuwait in the most powerful nation of the United States of America, may God assist the people of Kuwait who are resident in other countries. In the event that the Ambassador is handling with negligence and laxity and lack of information in a case [Fayiz Al-Kandari] that is important to the international community in general and specifically to the Kuwait people, a case which His Highness the Amir considers his first and last case and of high priority, then I convey my condolences to the Kuwait people for the demise of Kuwait diplomacy. I would have hoped that the Ambassador will, rather than focus on fruitless arguments, make serious efforts in this case being an imperative of his office. Where he so clearly cannot perform the duties and tasks entrusted to him by virtue of his office, especially following up the wellbeing of Kuwait citizens in the United States, he should freely say so and relinquish his position as Ambassador.”  Inspired by Adel AbdulHadi, Kuwait Times ow.ly/hjQCD Image source Twitter ow.ly/hjR23 130205 Working vigorously involved hosting fancy dinners

Adel Abdul Hadi the 52 year old Kuwaiti lawyer and founder of the Al Oula Law firm, a registered arbitrator and an active member of the Kuwait Lawyers Society, Kuwait Journalists Society and Kuwait Human Rights Committee. Adel is regarded as a distinguished and articulate advocate handling several high profile cases and giving a voice to the under privileged through pro bono work. Adel has published an article in the Kuwait Times titled ‘Gitmo Kuwait’s lawyer slams Kuwait envoy to US’ in which he states “…the Ambassador has claimed that the Embassy is vigorously working on the Guantanamo case. This claim is rather unfortunate and completely false, though I am not unmindful that what our diplomats at the Embassy may claim to be ‘working vigorously’ on this case may have involved hosting fancy dinners and issuing fleeting statements, which have not produced any tangible result in this case. …if this Ambassador [Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah] is the representative of the State of Kuwait in the most powerful nation of the United States of America, may God assist the people of Kuwait who are resident in other countries. In the event that the Ambassador is handling with negligence and laxity and lack of information in a case [Fayiz Al-Kandari] that is important to the international community in general and specifically to the Kuwait people, a case which His Highness the Amir considers his first and last case and of high priority, then I convey my condolences to the Kuwait people for the demise of Kuwait diplomacy. I would have hoped that the Ambassador will, rather than focus on fruitless arguments, make serious efforts in this case being an imperative of his office. Where he so clearly cannot perform the duties and tasks entrusted to him by virtue of his office, especially following up the wellbeing of Kuwait citizens in the United States, he should freely say so and relinquish his position as Ambassador.”

 

Inspired by Adel AbdulHadi, Kuwait Times ow.ly/hjQCD Image source Twitter ow.ly/hjR23

You need freedom, rule of law and justice (November 8 2012) You need freedom, rule of law and justice (November 8 2012)

Nasrin Sotoudeh the 49 year old Iranian human rights lawyer imprisoned for six years in solitary confinement has won the European Union’s prize for human rights and freedom of thought, the Sakharov Prize. Renowned for representing imprisoned Iranian opposition activists and politicians following the disputed June 2009 Iranian presidential elections, as well as prisoners sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were minors, had been imprisoned herself on charges of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security. An Aljazeera articles states “…cut off from the outside world for defying the country’s leadership. Nasrin Sotoudeh, an imprisoned human rights lawyer, and Jafar Panahi, the filmmaker, were awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for their courage in defending their own and others’ basic freedoms, the parliament said. Named in honour of Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, the prize has been awarded by the European Parliament annually since 1988. “The award … is a message of solidarity and recognition to a woman and a man who have not been bowed by fear and intimidation and who have decided to put the fate of their country before their own,” Martin Schulz, European Parliament president, said as he announced the winners. …”I know that you require water, food, housing, a family, parents, love, and visits with your mother,” Sotoudeh began in a letter written from prison to her children, who were prevented from seeing her after she refused to wear a chador, a full length traditional garment. “However, just as much, you need freedom, social security, the rule of law, and justice.”

 

Inspired by Aljazeera ow.ly/eUbzv image source Facebook ow.ly/eUbxO

Dismisses allegations as weird and baseless (August 17 2012) Dismisses allegations as weird and baseless (August 17 2012)

Alexei Anatolievich Navalny the 36 year old Russian lawyer, political activist and critic of corruption in Russia, especially of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, has been charged with theft accused of organising a scheme to steal assets from a state timber company. In an Aljazeera article Navalny dismisses the allegations as “weird” and baseless is said to have been “…charged with theft, and could be handed a 10-year prison sentence as the government continues its crackdown on dissent. …The State Investigative Committee said it suspects Navalny of organising a scheme to steal assets from a state timber company. The assets are estimated to be worth about $500,000. As the committee pursues an investigation against him, Navalny has been ordered not to leave Moscow. …the anti-corruption crusader has been instrumental in rallying Russia’s young internet generation against Putin’s rule. Navalny, a lawyer, led a series of rallies in Moscow that attracted up to 100,000 people after December’s parliamentary elections were alleged to have been rigged and ahead of the March election that handed Putin a third presidential term. …The government embarked on a major crackdown on the opposition after Putin’s re-election, which was also criticised as fraudulent, arresting some activists and using legislation to try to curb its activities. …The probe against Navalny focuses on events dating to 2009 when he served as an adviser to a provincial governor in the Kirov region. Investigators allege that he colluded with the head of a state timber company and a trader to rob it. A previous probe into similar allegations was closed earlier this year for lack of evidence.”

 

Inspired by Aljazeera ow.ly/cQLxi image source Facebook ow.ly/cQLkj

Melinda Taylor the 36 year old Australian lawyer has been arrested along with three other members of a delegation from the International Criminal Court for allegedly trying to pass “dangerous” documents to Saif al-Islam, the son of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Michael Vincent for the Australian ABC News reports the Libyan government spokesman Mohamad Al-Hereizi states “We don’t have anything against this woman. Just we need some information from her, after that she will be free.” …the ICC demanded her immediate release, along with that of the other three members of the ICC team. Libyan officials say Ms Taylor and the three other ICC staffers have been put in what they describe as “preventive detention” for 45 days while they are investigated. [Australian] Foreign Minister Bob Carr, who has sent a senior diplomat to Libya to look into the case, says it is essential that Australian embassy staff be granted immediate access to her. Her boss at the ICC, Xavier-Jean Keita, has told the ABC that Ms Taylor is an ethical person and says her arrest is illegal. “They are ICC staff with privilege and immunity,” he said. ICC spokesman Fadi el-Abdallah said he was trying to find out why members of the team will be held for up to 45 days.”

 

Inspired by ABC ow.ly/by3P5 image source whatsonningbo ow.ly/by38X

Mirza Shahzad Akbar the Pakistani lawyer and director at the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, renowned for his legal action against the USA for drone strikes in Pakistan, has criticized the USA for authorizing drone strikes in Yemen. In an article by Jason Koebler on Aljazeera, Akbar states “They can’t kill them if they know someone is a low value target, however they can kill if they don’t know that person… They have a checklist, and here’s what they’re looking for—Are they carrying weapons? Do they have a beard and a turban? Are they traveling with a large group of people? Well, everyone in that area carries a weapon, a beard is part of the religion, turban is part of the culture. As for traveling in a group, well, it’s a society that has bigger families. If you’re looking for a pattern like this, you’re killing citizens and civilians. …The CIA is, so far, the only source of information. Look at the quality of the information they give you—it’s nothing. Who are they killing? Who are these people? What are their names? They say they’re taking out the bad guys, but the facts on the ground are very different, there are a huge number of women, children, elderly and incapacitated people. …Once people learn what’s really happening, they’ll complain. People need to make an informed decision.”

Inspired by Jason Koebler ow.ly/bs4MT image source Twitter ow.ly/bs5QO

Chase Madar the US lawyer and author of ‘The Passion of Bradley Manning’ has released an article on Aljazeera stating “The bodycount that resulted from Pfc Manning’s leaks have amounted to zero thus far, while his accusers stand bloody.” Madar states, “Knowledge may indeed have its risks, but how many civilian deaths can actually be traced to the WikiLeaks’ revelations? How many military deaths? To the best of anyone’s knowledge, not a single one. …the “grave risks” involved in the publication of the War Logs and of those State Department documents have been wildly exaggerated. Embarrassment, yes. A look inside two grim wars and the workings of imperial diplomacy, yes. Blood, no. The civilian carnage caused by our rush to war … is not speculative or theoretical but all-too real. And yet no one anywhere has been held to much account… Only one individual, it seems, will pay, even if he actually spilled none of the blood. Our foreign policy elites seem to think Bradley Manning is well-cast for the role of fall guy and scapegoat. This is an injustice. …someday Pfc Manning will be honoured.

 

Inspired by image Chase Madar http://ow.ly/8Jm6I source Muhammad Ahmad http://ow.ly/8Jm4R

Hamada Zahawi an Iraqi-American lawyer and one of the Lead speaker Coaches at the TEDxBaghdad 2011 described how his team “flew in from abroad … carried an unwavering, against-all-odds longing to reconcile their own identity and discover the country only our parents had lived. Each of us was driven by dreams of a better Iraq, by an inexplicable connection to a place we barely knew, but somehow loved so deeply… TEDxBaghdad focused on this faith: how we Iraqis can harness our potential to ensure an unforgettable event. Dismissing politics, religion and sectarian divisions, we chose instead to celebrate our identity, our heritage, our accomplishments, from architecture to medicine, from education to entrepreneurship. Seventeen speakers hailing from all over Iraq shared their ideas and stories of improbable triumph in the face of decades-old hardship and instability.”

 

Inspired by Hamada Zahawi http://ow.ly/8lKif image source BISC http://ow.ly/8lKhC

Jennifer Robinson the Australian lawyer instructing the international barrister Geoffrey Robertson for Julian Assange against his extradition proceedings to Sweden and possibly the United States has suggested she had been intimidated by the US Justice Administration and put under surveillance. Robinson described as a high achiever believes Assange has no hope of receiving a fair trial in Sweden with the politically motivated prosecution being brought to satisfy the wrath of the US government. Robinson singles out the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard for complicity in the persecution of Assange over her statement that leaking US documents on WikiLeaks was an ‘illegal act’, but could not identify any Australian laws that Assange had breached. Robinson accused her of kowtowing to the US for political opportunity. Inspired by Nicole Hasham ow.ly/4Q9Yg image source arcticcompass ow.ly/4QatV It was political opportunity at work (May 17 2011)

Jennifer Robinson the Australian lawyer instructing the international barrister Geoffrey Robertson for Julian Assange against his extradition proceedings to Sweden and possibly the United States has suggested she had been intimidated by the US Justice Administration and put under surveillance. Robinson described as a high achiever believes Assange has no hope of receiving a fair trial in Sweden with the politically motivated prosecution being brought to satisfy the wrath of the US government. Robinson singles out the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard for complicity in the persecution of Assange over her statement that leaking US documents on WikiLeaks was an ‘illegal act’, but could not identify any Australian laws that Assange had breached. Robinson accused her of kowtowing to the US for political opportunity.

 

Inspired by Nicole Hasham ow.ly/4Q9Yg image source arcticcompass ow.ly/4QatV

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