Yuliya Yurhilevich awarded the Ludovic Trarieux Prize.
16 October 2023

Yuliya Yurhilevich awarded the Ludovic Trarieux Prize.

Belarus

On September 22, 2023, Yuliya Yurhilevich was awarded the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize. Yuliya Yurhilevich, 43, is a well-known Belarussian defense attorney who represented political prisoners in political cases brought after the 2020 elections. 

 

About Yuliya Yurhilevich

Yuliya Yurhilevich, 43, is a lawyer with 18 years of experience at the Kastrychnytsky district legal consultancy firm of Grodno, Belarus. She was a defense attorney in many “political” cases brought after the 2020 elections. She is well-known for representing political prisoners such as the artist Ales Pushkin (who died in prison on July 11th, 2023), rock musician Igar Bantsar, blogger Vadimati and other detainees in political cases such as Artem Boyarsky, Andrei Sokolovsky, Olga Verameenka, and Andrei Sokolovskyi.

Following a complaint from the Grodno region deputy prosecutor questioning her “professionalism”, on 23 February 2022, the regional bar association of Grodno disbarred Yuliya Yurhilevich for “systematic violation of the law.” Subsequently, she was accused of publicizing her disbarment and providing Pavel Mazheika, an independent journalist and leader of a local independent group “City Life Center” with information on political prisoners in Belarus, notably on dissident artist Ales Pushkin. Authorities claim that “by prior conspiracy” sharing this publicly available information, Mazheika and Yurhilevich collaborated in “extremist activity” and “invalidated the values and goals of [Belarusian] society and the state” by “knowingly spreading false information.” In July 2023, Yuliya Yurhilevich was sentenced to six years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.

Ludovic Trarieux human rights prize

Created in 1984, the “International Human Rights Prize Ludovic -Trarieux” is awarded to ” a lawyer, regardless of nationality or Bar, who throughout his career has illustrated, by his activity or his suffering, the defense of human rights, the promotion of defense rights, the supremacy of law, and the struggle against racism and intolerance in any form “.

It is the oldest and most prestigious award given to a lawyer in the world, commemorating the memory of the French lawyer, Ludovic Trarieux (1840-1904), who in the midst of the Dreyfus Affair, in France, in 1898, founded the ” League for the Defence of Human Rights and the Citizen “, because, he said: “It was not only the single cause of a man which was to be defended, but behind this cause, law, justice, humanity”.

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