Side event: Increasing Suppression of the Legal Profession in Belarus
Side-event at the UN 47th Session of the Human Rights Council, Lawyers Under Threat: Increasing Suppression of the Legal Profession in Belarus
Tuesday, July 6, 2021, 3:00pm-4:00pm CEST, Virtual Event Via Zoom
This side-event (click here for flyer) will address apparent government-led attempts to undermine the legal profession inBelarus in the aftermath of Belarus’s 2020 presidential election. The speakers will present a joint report prepared by legal organizations including Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L), the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights (ABA CHR), and the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI). The report outlines the government crackdown on opposition and critical voices in Belarus following the 2020 presidential election, including on lawyers defending opposition figures and protestors or speaking out about the rule of law, administration of justice, and human rights. It uses various case studies to illustrate the pattern of unwarranted state interference with and harassment and intimidation of Belarusian lawyers. The cases not only reveal the impact of the government crackdown on individual lawyers but also a concerning trend of unwarranted interference with the independence ofthe legal profession in Belarus and violations of lawyers’ human rights to the freedoms of expression, assembly, and association through disbarments or administrative or criminal charges against lawyers.
The experts will describe the situation on the ground and will emphasize the importance of international solidarity, cooperation, and assistance. The speakers will offer recommendations on how to supportlawyers in Belarus.
The side-event is co-organized by L4L, ABA CHR, IBAHRI the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.
Moderator: Baroness Helena Kennedy (Director of IBAHRI)
Panelists: Ms. Patricia Lee Refo (ABA President), Ms. Anaïs Marin (UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus), Ms. Radmila Dicic (ICJ Commissioner & Judge of the Supreme Court of Serbia), Ms. Sophie de Graaf (Executive Director of Lawyers for Lawyers), Ms. Olga Salomatova (International Program Coordinator at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights), Ms. Liudmila Kazak (disbarred Belarusian Human Rights Lawyer). Click here for bios of the panelists.
Click here to register for the side-event.
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