Persecution of lawyers in Belarus after the 2020 elections
Updated on February 7, 2024 (for the latest updates see this version of the article)
Nota Bene
Due to the fact that the material has become too large, we have divided it into 4 parts. Information about lawyers subjected to pressure and repression can be found by clicking on links to separate articles on certain types of repression of lawyers.
This article contains a complete list of lawyers facing various types of harassment, with the ability to navigate by the names of individual lawyers, with links to a detailed description.
The period prior to and after the 2020 Belarus presidential election was marked by unprecedented pressure on representatives of civil society, including lawyers. Defenders of civil society activists, members of the political opposition, and protesting citizens were not only hindered in their work but also subjected to arbitrary detention, criminal and administrative prosecution, deprivation of the attorney title — in violation of international standards on the legal profession, reports and recommendations of international organizations, NGOs and international professional associations of lawyers that highlight the problems with the Bar and legal aid in the Republic of Belarus.

We’re going to cover several examples of harassment of lawyers for their legal assistance in the election process and election-related criminal cases.
Who is included in the list
1. Lawyers deprived of their status by a decision of the Ministry of Justice — those lawyers whose license was terminated directly by the Ministry as a licensing body, and who, according to the Qualification Commission under the Ministry of Justice, committed “a misconduct incompatible with the lawyer’s title”. (8)

2. Lawyers that were disqualified and deprived of their title as a result of ordinary or extraordinary certification in the Ministry of Justice.
Both procedures are unlawful due to their incompatibility with the principles of the independence of lawyers and the legal profession, according to which the state is not the right actor to assess an attorney's compliance with ethical standards and expertise. For this reason, the deprivation of the status of a lawyer as a result of these procedures is unlawful, regardless of any other circumstances.

3. Lawyers deprived of their title due to the exemption from the Territorial Bar Association by the disciplinary body of the bar, when:
• the circumstances of the exemption indicate that the disciplinary body did not act independently;
• and/or the disciplinary procedure violated fair trial guarantees;
• and/or a lawyer is deprived of their title for the lawful exercise of their professional duties, their human rights (freedom of expression, assembly);
• the disciplinary body has abused the Rules of professional ethics by considering the lawyer’s action an ethical violation when it’s not the case;
• or the disciplinary penalty is disproportionate.

Conclusions as to the biased and unfair application of disciplinary measures are made on the basis of information from open sources, as well as on the basis of information sent to us.
Attorneys under criminal prosecution:
Attorneys deprived of licenses due to misconduct incompatible with the lawyer’s title:
Lawyers deprived of the right to the profession based on the results of certification / recertification by the Qualification commission under the Ministry of Justice:
Lawyers expelled from the Bar by decision of the Disciplinary Commission of the Territorial Bar Association (Council of the Territorial Bar Association):
Persecution of lawyers after the 2010 elections
Previous cases of mass persecution of lawyers who defended political opponents of the current government took place in 2010. Human rights activists link the deprivation of licenses of six attorneys to political persecution. You can read more in the article. This year the UN Human Rights Committee is going to look into a complaint of one of the attorneys, Oleg Ageev, who was deprived of his license after the 2010 elections in violation of his rights. Details on how to file a complaint and recommendations on its content can be found in the article.

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