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November 18, 2021

Statement of ABA President Reginald Turner Re: Disbarment of Belarusian lawyer Natalia Matskevich

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2021 — The American Bar Association is deeply disappointed that Natalia Matskevich has had her status as an attorney revoked. The Minsk City Bar Association disciplined her for her conduct during her work on Victor Babariko’s case, accusing her of objecting to the statements of an investigator and interrupting the prosecutor.

Matskevich has represented various human rights defenders and political opposition figures, including Babariko, a former presidential candidate who is currently imprisoned. Babariko’s other attorneys were previously disciplined.

Lawyers must have the ability to perform their legal functions without intimidation and should not be punished for fulfilling their professional obligations. The ABA calls on the Minsk City Bar Association, as well as the Belarusian National Bar Association, to reverse the decision immediately.

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