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Belarus: Lawyers Under Threat - Increasing Suppression of the Legal Profession in Belarus

This joint report, prepared by an informal coalition of legal organizations, explores the worrying trends of suppression of the legal profession in Belarus.

Protests in Minsk, Belarus

Protests in Minsk, Belarus

Jana Shnipelson, 2020, All images edited and used under Creative Commons licenses


This joint report has been prepared by an informal coalition of 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). It summarizes worrying trends of suppression of the legal profession and individual lawyers in Belarus highlighted by the Human Rights Council in Resolution 44/19.

This report outlines the government crackdown on opposition and critical voices in Belarus following the 2020 presidential election, including lawyers defending opposition figures and protestors or speaking out about the rule of law, administration of justice, and human rights. It uses various public case studies to illustrate the harassment, intimidation, hindrance, and interference inflicted upon lawyers in Belarus following the contested August 2020 election of President Alexander Lukashenko. The public cases not only illustrate the impact of the government crackdown on individual lawyers but also reveal a concerning trend of interference with the independence of the legal profession in Belarus and violations of lawyers' human rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association.

Read the report (English)

Read the report (Russian)

This report was prepared by staff and consultants of the American Bar Association, Center for Human Rights and reflects their views. It has not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and therefore should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association as a whole. Further, nothing in this report should be considered as legal advice in a specific case.

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