Human Rights and Protection of Lawyers

January 24 – International Day of Endangered Lawyers – Call to all lawyers to support their Colombian colleagues

Attacks on, and assassinations of, Colombian lawyers are a daily reality: since 1991, more than 400 lawyers have been killed in Colombia.

This means that, on average, a lawyer is killed every month in Colombia.

In the first eight months of 2013, 11 lawyers were killed in the region of Valle del Cauca alone.

Aside from murder, lawyers are also threatened and harassed. Between 2002 and 2012, there were more than 4,400 aggressions against lawyers.

On January 24, 2014, hundreds of lawyers from all over Europe (in Amsterdam, Ankara, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Bern, Brussels, The Hague, Hamburg, Istanbul, Izmir, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Seville, Utrecht and other cities) will protest against these murders and aggressions in Colombia as well as against the obstacles faced by Colombian lawyers in the pursuit of their profession.

The Day of the Endangered Lawyer is organised by the European Democratic Lawyers Association (AED-EDL), with the support of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) and the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE).  Together, these organizations represent more than 10,000 lawyers all over Europe.

The Day of the Endangered Lawyer is an initiative which was started by AED-EDL in 2010, in support of the lawyers of Iran. It was dedicated to lawyers in Turkey in 2012 and to the Basque Lawyers in 2013.

The UIA calls upon each of you to invite the members of your bar associations to gather in front of Colombian embassies and consulates across the world and stand in solidarity in support of the Colombian lawyers.

Additional information about the plight of Colombian lawyers and the petition from AED can be found below.