The Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2014 – HANDS OFF COLOMBIAN LAWYERS

24.01.2014 all over Europe

24th January 2014 focussed on Colombia where lawyers have been a victim of state or private violence

Lawyers all over Europe and in other countries protest on 24th January 2014 in Ankara, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Bern, Bilbao, Brussels, Douala, Düsseldorf, The Hague, Istanbul, Izmir, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Quito, Rome, Seville, and Stockholm will show solidarity with their endangered colleagues in Colombia.

This year the Day of the endangered Lawyer is focussed on lawyers in Colombia who are murdered and who receive death threats because they defend the rights of the poorest, and who work on cases of human rights violations in rural areas where small-scale producers are attempting to return to lands illegally expropriated from them.

Human rights violations have been perpetrated in Colombia not only against political opponents to the Government but also against minorities, in particular against the indigenous population in Colombia. They are also directed against human rights lawyers who have the courage to defend the victims of such human rights violations committed by the state. When such lawyers become victims of arbitrary rule, their clients become double victims. They are both victims of state arbitrary rule, and are also robbed of the chance of a fair trial. When lawyers are prevented from fulfilling their professional duties, not only is their personal future and that of their clients in danger, but justice itself is endangered.

In 2014 on the forth Day of the Endangered Lawyer (after 2010, 2012, and 2013) protest will be organized together by

the European Association of Democratic Lawyers AED-EDL http://www.aeud.org/

the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights ELDH www.eldh.eu andthe

European Bar Human Rights Institute, idhae@idhae.org

outside of Colombian Embassies and Consulates. Seminars will be held. All lawyers are requested to support these activities.

AED-EDL, ELDH and IDHAE condemn in the strongest possible terms the above mentioned actions against lawyers and demand the following from the Government of Colombia:

  • Appropriate measures to guarantee safety and security for legal practitioners, as provided in the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers
  • to recognise publicly the legitimacy of the work done by human rights defenders, including lawyers, environmental activists and trade unionists
  • to put an end to the impunity tolerated by the State for those who violate human rights
  • to take measures to sanction public servants and politicians who stigmatise them
  • the immediate release of all lawyers detained, investigated, and imprisoned as a result of their professional duties

They further demand an international independent investigation into the actions noted above with the objective of holding those responsible for these arrests accountable for violations of basic human rights

The Press Release (PDF)

The Petition (PDF)

The basic paper (PDF)

A provisional list of Colombian lawyers who have been murdered threatended in 2013 (PDF)

More details will be published soon on this website.

If you are interested or if you want more information, please send us a message endangered-lawyers@eldh.eu