International Day of Solidarity with Basque lawyers in Spain
Join the protest by lawyers at the Spanish Embassy
Thursday 24 January 2013, 12-1pm
39 Chesham Place London SW1X 8SB (nearest tube Hyde Park Corner)
CAMPACC in association with Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers are pleased to support this year’s Day of the Endangered Lawyer which is highlighting the intolerable conditions faced by Basque lawyers.
During the last two decades more than 20 Basque lawyers in Spain have been kept in pre-trial detention, several of them up to almost 2 years. All the arrested lawyers were charged with terrorist crimes connected with ETA, or with insulting the Spanish state. All of them were either defence lawyers or human rights lawyers representing alleged members or supporters of ETA organisations. Arrested lawyers were detained incommunicado and could not even be advised and assisted by a lawyer of their own choice, on the days immediately after their arrest. Later it turned out that most of these arrests were unfounded and unlawful. In almost all of the above mentioned cases the suspected lawyers were acquitted afterwards, or the cases were dismissed.
By arresting these lawyers the Spanish state not only prevented them from exercising their professional duties but also denied their clients the right to be represented by a lawyer of their choice. Both acts were a violation of human rights, under the European Convention of Human Rights Art. 6, Para 2, c and the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, 1. “All persons are entitled to call upon the assistance of a lawyer of their choice”, 18. “Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients' causes as a result of discharging their functions.”
The day of action on 24th January, which will see simultaneous actions by lawyers taking place in major cities across Europe, will be marked in London with a protest outside the Spanish Embassy, when a petition will be handed in by Prof Bill Bowring the President of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy. Lawyers and human rights defenders are invited to join him in this action.
The Day of the Endangered Lawyer is organized this year by three European lawyers’ associations: the European Democratic Lawyers (AED-EDL, www.aed-edl.net), the European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH, www.eldh.eu) and the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE, www.idhae.org). Together they represent lawyers all over Europe. The press release, report and petition of the organisers are attached.
For further information:
CAMPACC (Campaign Against Criminalising Communities)www.campacc.org
Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyerswww.haldane.org
[The images in this article are English and Spanish versions of a picture of one male and one female lawyer behind bars. The text of the first reads, "Day of the Endangered Lawyer. 24th January 2013. Keep your hands off the lawyers". The text of the second reads, "Day of the Endangered Lawyer. 24th January 2013. Por el derecho a la elección del abogado de confianza."]
on 2013-04-07 19:44 by Stephen Knight
The Report on 2013's Day of the Endangered Lawyer has been published.