Lawyer Michel Tubiana, honorary president of the Human Rights League (LDH), died on Saturday, October 2, at the age of 69. It is the association of which he was one of the figures which announced his death in a press release. “Lawyer, tireless activist in the defense of human rights in France and in the world, he was one of the essential links of the LDH, a beacon, always available and always far-sighted”.
Secretary General of the LDH between 1984 and 1995, Michel Tubiana succeeded Henri Leclerc as President between 2000 and 2005, before becoming Honorary President. He was also honorary president of EuroMed Rights and former vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
From the Papon trial to ETA
Born in 1952 in Algeria, Michel Tubiana joined Paris with his family ten years later, when the country gained independence. From his years in high school, he campaigned for the Revolutionary Communist Youth, of Trotskyist obedience. Pursues law studies, in the line of his father, judge at the commercial court. And in 1972 entered Freemasonry, in the Grand Orient de France.
Two years later, he became a lawyer. Michel Tubiana notably pleaded as a civil party in the trial of Maurice Papon in 1998, or even defended the co-founder of the far-left armed group Action Direct Jean-Marc Rouillan. He was one of the ” peacemakers “, members of civil society and kingpins of the operation ofdisarmament of the Basque separatist organization ETA, and he belonged to the collective “ Bake Bidea “, who campaigns for the rights of Basque prisoners.
” The disappearance of Michel Tubiana is a huge loss for human rights activists. A tireless defender of great humanitarian causes, he was an unwavering support for the Basque Country in the peace process. “, Recalled Jean-René Etchegaray, president of the urban community of the Basque Country, on Twitter.
Always on alert
More recently, he was the lawyer for two comrades of Clément Méric, an anti-fascist student killed in a fight with skinheads in Paris in 2013. And opposed the extradition of the far-left Italian terrorist Cesare Battisti. When, last April, France decided to dismiss ten former members of the Red Brigades, he confided to The cross : ” breaking the commitment made by the French Republic forty years ago shocks me deeply ”, before calling for the establishment of a “Truth and Reconciliation” -type commission in Italy on the years of lead.
“He was still very invested, permanently alert on current events and he constantly spurred us on to be rigorous, firm, with regard to the law and fundamental values ”, reacted to Malik Salemkour, current president of the LDH, on the announcement of his death. “We are devastated, we are losing a great man who, by his intelligence, his intellectual acuity and his quick-wittedness, was truly a reference for the League”.
Saturday October 2, all the voices of the left united to pay tribute to him. That of Julien Bayou for environmentalists, welcoming a ” big loss “ and the “Tireless fight” by Michel Tubiana. By Fabien Roussel for the Communists, emphasizing “An ardent defender of our freedoms and human dignity”. From Alexis Corbière for the rebels, sending his condolences to his family and loved ones, but also to all “Leaguers”. Or that of Olivier Faure for the socialists, regretting “A great voice [qui] just died. The best tribute we can pay him is to prolong his fight for human rights ”.