Polish Bar Council expresses 'deep concern' over harrasment of lawyers in Belarus
"The Human Rights Commission of the Polish Bar Council would like to express its deep concern regarding the activities of the Bar Qualifications Commission of the Ministry of justice of the Republic of Belarus, aimed against advocates fighting for human rights from the Bar Chambers in Minsk and Mahiliou," says an open letter sent to the Belarusian Ministry of Justice, National Bar Association and the Belarusian embassy to Warsaw.
"Recently in the course of extraordinary certification of lawyers the Bar Qualifications Commission of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus arbitrarily deprived advocate Hanna Bakhtsina of the ability to practice the profession and issued a conditional permission to practice to over a dozen other advocates. The part of the reasoning of the decision depriving advocate Hanna Bakhtsina of the advocate's license on account of Jack of professional skills" although she has nearly 40 years of experience as a lawyer raises particular objection."
"It also seems an unlikely coincidence that the repressions affect defenders of human rights who have been involved in defending opposition activists for many years. Repressions against advocates already occurred in the past, when they affected advocate Pavel Sapelko, who received the Human Rights Award of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe in 2012."
See full text of the open letter below