Lawyers to campaign against wretched circumstances
Attorney Lygia Palmburg on Monday announced that defense attorneys will also go on strike. Defense Attorney Irvin Kanhai on behalf of his colleague Palmburg informed the judge of the impending strike.Palmburg told Times of Suriname that she and her colleagues all agree that trails can’t be held at the courthouse located along the Frederik Derbystraat because of the wretched circumstances in the courtroom. Defense Attorney Irene Lalji pointed out that the attorneys will not handle additional cases and non-paying cases. This means that suspects will not get legal representation from state attorneys. Palmburg made it clear that “the Bar will let it voice be heard this week.” She added that she must first consult Harish Monorath, president of the Bar, before making any other announcements. The Bar has expressed its solidarity with the clerks of the court who are currently on strike. Lalji pointed out that it is unacceptable to work in the bad circumstances. “There is a strong stench in the courtroom. The airconditioning units do not work and there are no proper lights in the building. There is no fire exit in case a fire breaks out. I am worried about the 80 detainees who were locked up in the jails of the courthouse because it was very hot there,” said Lalji who added that it is time to move to the new courthouse. “The situation is serious. I hope that the government will realize that things are getting serious.” Lalji pointed out that she hopes that the delay of trials does not result in a protest by the detainees. Defense Attorney Harold Belfor pointed out that the courthouse disheartens people. “The vibes in the building are depressing. Sometimes one does not want to wear the robe because it is either too warm or too cold. The building stinks. I do not understand why it is taking so long to move to the new building,” said Belfor.