We've joined with international bar associations and human rights groups to arrange International Fair Trial Day, which will be observed every year…
We wrote to the president of Belarus. We wrote jointly with Lawyers for Lawyers and the Institute for the Rule of Law of the International Association of Lawyers (UIA-IROL).
We’re concerned about threats to the independence of the legal profession and access to justice in the aftermath of the presidential elections in Belarus on 6 August 2020.
Over 6,000 citizens of Belarus have been arrested and detained for taking part in largely peaceful protests against the election results or for voicing criticism of the government of Belarus.
It’s been reported that state authorities have used excessive force against protesters and that many of those arrested are facing ill-treatment and poor conditions in detention.
We’re gravely concerned that many of those arrested and detained have not had access to a legal representative of their own choosing, or to any legal representative.
Where they have been able to meet with a lawyer, it’s been alleged that the principle of lawyer-client confidentiality has not been respected. Lawyers have not been granted access to the information they need to adequately represent and defend the rights of their clients.
It’s also been reported that law enforcement officers and other state agents are preventing lawyers from carrying out their professional duties, and that lawyers have been harassed, which directly threatens the independence of the legal profession in Belarus. This means access to justice for all citizens in Belarus has been severely curtailed.
We’ll continue to monitor the situation in Belarus and support our colleagues there.
We urge the relevant Belarusian authorities to ensure that: