ON THE OCCASION OF THE 8TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR OF THE THREATENED ATTORNEY’S,
The International Criminal Bar joins the rejection and condemnation of the human rights violations to lawyers in the world.
There is no real official number of lawyers at risk for exercising the right of defense around the world. However, every day lawyers are murdered, threatened, arrested, tortured, prosecuted or simply missing.
Among the most dangerous countries for human rights defenders and guarantors of the right of defense, we find China, Iran, Honduras, the Philippines, Colombia, Mexico, Pakistan, Venezuela or Egypt.
We express, once again, our concern about this serious situation that lawyers are suffering in countries with weak democracies or authoritarian regimes.
In countries such as Venezuela or Egypt, there are daily prolonged detentions without a motivated decision of lawyers who advise and represent human rights defenders. They are subjected to harassment and intimidation and even exile.
A few days ago we attended with consternation and denounced the cruel murder of the Ukrainian lawyer Iryna Nozdrovska who campaigned in defense of human rights
These attacks on human rights and the right of defense cannot remain unchallenged because they are frontal attacks to the rule of law and to the defense of the rights of citizens.
We demand an effective protection for all lawyers, allowing them to continue their legitimate and peaceful activities in defense of human rights without fear of intimidation, harassment, reprisals or the loss of their own lives.
We call on States to fulfill and ensure the Basic Principles on the role of lawyers, adopted at the 8th United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held in Havana (Cuba) from August 27 to September 27, 1990. In which was advocated that:
Governments must ensure that lawyers:
a) Can perform all their professional functions without intimidation, obstacles, harassment or undue interference.
b) Can travel and communicate freely with their clients both within their country and abroad.
c) Do not suffer or aren’t exposed to persecutions or administrative, economic or other sanctions for following any measure adopted in accordance with the obligations, rules and ethical standards that are recognized in their profession.
We urge the States to maintain the security of the lawyers when it is threatened as a result of the exercise of their functions by receiving adequate protection from the authorities.
It is not possible to maintain the rule of law when the professionals responsible for enforcing the laws are threatened. The threats and even worse, the murders of colleagues in the exercise of their profession must be investigated and prosecuted with priority by the State itself, in defense of the democratic system that it intends to maintain.
The International Criminal Bar supports any manifestation of the legal profession that takes place in any country, where any act of protection of the work carried out by legal professionals is endorsed.
Secretary General of the ICB