Iraqi human rights lawyer Mohammed Jumaa facing disciplinary proceedings

Iraqi human rights lawyer Mohammed Jumaa facing disciplinary proceedings

Mohammed Jumaa is an Iraqi human rights lawyer who is, most notably, providing legal assistance to women victims of domestic violence. Since August 2022, he has been subject to disciplinary proceedings after speaking out on women’s rights issues.

Mr. Jumaa is an Iraqi human rights lawyer who is, most notably, providing legal assistance to women victims of domestic violence. He is a practicing lawyer since 2007 and a member of the Iraqi Bar Association. Since August 2022, he has been subject to disciplinary proceedings after speaking out on women’s rights issues.

On August 7, 2022, Mohammad Jumaa posted a tweet in Arabic, in relation to one of his clients. The tweet was about a Syrian girl who married an Iraqi. As his client had reported to the judge that she was being violently abused by her husband in Iraq. When she wanted to leave the country she was prevented without having a consent of her Iraqi husband. He ended his tweet describing the Iraqi laws as if treating women as slaves.

On August 15, 2022, Mr. Jumaa reported on Twitter an exchange he witnessed in court between a judge and a female defendant. It was in the Iraqi Criminal Court while there was a trial of a women accused of prostitution. When the women tried to speak without permission, the judge asked her to “shut up” and named her as a “whore”.

On August 21, 2022, the Iraqi Judicial Council sent to the Iraqi Bar Association copies of the tweets posted by Mr. Jumaa accordingly on August 7 and 17, 2022. The Council requested the Bar Association to review the tweets and take the necessary disciplinary actions.

Subsequently, on August 28, 2022, Mr. Jumaa was referred to the Iraqi Bar Association’s Professional Conduct Committee. During the first hearing that was held on October 7, 2022, he was presented with the complaint filed by the Iraqi Bar Association and the Iraqi Judicial Council. He confirmed that he posted these tweets, but their content was not discussed further during the hearing.

The next session of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Iraqi Bar will be held on November 10, 2022. Mr. Jumaa will submit a defense list and afterwards, likely during the same session, the Committee will decide on his case.

Considering that the Iraqi authorities’ conduct in relation to the professional activities of Jumaa contradict article 38 of the Iraqi Constitution, and paragraph 16 and 23 of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, MENA Rights Group sent an urgent appeal to the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and others on October 19, 2022. 

Timeline

October 19, 2022: MENA Rights Group sends an urgent appeal to the UN Special Rapporteurs on the independence of judges and lawyers, on human rights defenders and on freedom of expression.
October 7, 2022: Mr. Jumaa is presented in front the Iraqi Bar Association’s Professional Conduct Committee due to the complaints filed by the Iraqi Bar Association and the Iraqi Judicial Council.
August 28, 2022: Mr. Jumaa is referred to the Iraqi Bar Association’s Professional Conduct Committee.
August 21, 2022: The Iraqi Judicial Council sent to the Iraqi Bar Association copies of the tweets posted by Mr. Jumaa on August 7 and 17, 2022. The Council requested the Bar Association to review the tweets and take the necessary disciplinary actions.

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