AGAINST THE TIDE: When the Defenders Becomes the Prey

Lawyering beyond the confines of posh central business district offices is not for the faint of heart. In the country, advocating the causes of the marginalized has brought those brave enough to make that choice to a lopsided battlefield –one where bullets are sometimes used to counter legal arguments.

The attacks on people’s lawyers on account of their work in giving legal representation to the disenfranchised continue unabated amid persistent government neglect and outright refusal to act on the mounting cases of violence inflicted on the said officers of the court. Indeed, nothing else better underscores the impunity that has marred the country’s legal system than the continuing attacks on the very people equipped and tasked with facilitating the
administration of justice.

To lawyers of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), their work is challenging, if not daunting, as it has exposed them to attacks more than other lawyers. Quite a significant number of their ranks have been victims of different forms of attacks: killing, threat, harassment, intimidation, malicious labelling, and false or nuisance charges.

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