International statement of solidarity with killed Dutch lawyer

On 4 October 2019, a memorial service took place for Derk Wiersum. Mr Wiersum, a well-respected lawyer and deputy judge, was shot in broad daylight outside his house in Amsterdam on 18 September 2019.

Although the events are still being investigated, it’s highly likely that his death was related to his work.

Mr Wiersum was representing a crown witness in the Marengo trial, a high-profile criminal case against members of an organisation who were accused of several murders and attempted murders.

This killing of a lawyer apparently in connection with his work raises serious concerns for the safety of lawyers. It also threatens the rule of law and the protection of rights, including the right to a fair trial.

We signed this international solidarity statement on 4 October 2019 along with 33 other organisations, including the Law Society. We welcomed the prompt and public condemnation of this crime and the immediate measures taken by the Dutch authorities to start an investigation.

We also welcomed the prompt measures taken to protect lawyers and others in the Marengo case.

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