Daily Archives: 15/10/2021

Russia: ICJ denounces harassment of lawyer Ivan Pavlov

15/10/21

The Ministry of Justice demanded that the former head of Team 29, Ivan Pavlov, be deprived of his lawyer status

Russian authorities must immediately withdraw their motion to disbar lawyer Ivan Pavlov and stop their harassment of the lawyer as a result of his professional duties, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said.

“The multiple attempts to disbar Ivan Pavlov send a clear signal to lawyers in Russia that their independence is at serious risk” said Roisin Pillay, Director of the ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme.

“The pattern of harassment by authorities is designed to deter lawyers from representing clients in certain high-profile cases. But international standards protect the independence of lawyers and stipulate that lawyers should never be identified with their clients’ causes”.

The ICJ calls on the authorities of the Russian Federation to withdraw the motion against Pavlov to ensure that he does not face adverse consequences for diligently carrying out his professional duties and that he continues to freely exercise his profession.

On 20 September, the St Petersburg Department of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation submitted a motion to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Ivan Pavlov seeking his disbarment. No alternative measures were suggested by the Ministry.

The ICJ is concerned that the grounds of disbarment threaten Ivan Pavlov’s freedom of expression and seek to penalise him for the representation of his client.  By way of example, one of the grounds for disbarment cited by the Ministry of Justice is that by giving interviews to the media he carried out “an attempt to put pressure on the investigation and the court by unilaterally submitting information to the media and presenting the public with distorted data on the investigation of a criminal case”.

Among the other grounds for the disbarment sought by the Ministry of Justice are failure to attend investigative actions, an alleged unwarranted transcription of state secret information from a case file, and presidency of an NGO recognised by the authorities as “undesirable”.

Pavlov rejects these allegations as unsubstantiated or factually incorrect.

Previously, in 2020, the Ministry of Justice sought disbarment of Ivan Pavlov and appealed the refusal of the St Petersburg Bar Association to disbar him. On 30 September, the Kuibyshev District Court terminated the proceedings, as the Ministry of Justice withdrew the suit. Yet, the key points from these proceedings were used in the new motion seeking Pavlov’s disbarment submitted on 20 September.

[…]

http://rapsinews.com/judicial_news/20211013/307456538.html

https://remonews.com/russia/the-ministry-of-justice-explained-the-request-to-deprive-pavlov-of-the-status-of-lawyer-politics-rbc/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Pavlov_(lawyer)

(FRANCAIS)
(ESPANOL)

Belarus authorities may disbar another lawyer defending political prisoner

14/10/21

The Belarusian Justice Ministry has launched a disciplinary investigation against the well-known lawyer Natallya Matskevich.

She was suspended from work, Alyaksandr Dzyadok, the father of political prisoner Mikalai Dzyadoktold Radio Svaboda.

Until now, Natallya Matskevich, a member of Minsk City Bar Сouncil, has been a defence lawyer of Mikalai Dzyadok who reported his being tortured by police. She was also involved in political trials, defending Lukashenka’s opponents and might-have-been presidential candidates Viktar Babaryka and Syarhei Tsikhanouski.

According to Alyaksandr Dzyadok, taking such steps is nothing but deliberately depriving people of their right to protection.

“The question of revoking her [Matskevich’s] license is looming. As a result, my son has a legal disaster – it is the second time that he has been left without protection during the judicial investigation: earlier, they stripped [lawyer] Yauhen Maslau of his license, now Natallya Matskevich is facing the same threat. A week ago, she was still allowed to visit the son in the pre-trial detention centre on Valadarski Street; she was about to see him yesterday [on Tuesday], but we have come across the problem,” the man said.

As reported earlier, since the beginning of post-election protests in 2020, the Justice Ministry’s Qualification Commission have terminated the licenses of many Belarusian lawyers who were involved in defending citizens prosecuted on political grounds. Over the past months, political prisoner Maryia Kalesnikava’s defence lawyers Alyaksandr Pylchanka and Lyudmila Kazak have been disbarred. In addition, the Belarusian authorities forced out of the profession Kanstantsin Mikhel, Mikhail Kirilyuk, Maksim Konan, Uladzimir Sazanchuk (the latter defends politician Mikalai Statkevich, blogger Zmitser Kazlou and was one of Katsyaryna Andreyeva’s lawyers), Anton HashynskiSyarhei Zikratski. The Belarusian State University (BSU) decided not to re-sign the employment contract with Alena Layeuskaya, a civil law teacher at the Faculty of Law and mother of Babaryka’s lawyer Dzmitry Layeuski.

Belarus authorities may disbar another lawyer defending political prisoner

https://charter97.org/en/news/2021/10/13/440389/

https://abaruleoflaw.blogspot.com/2021/05/the-critical-role-of-belarusian-lawyers.html

https://ej.by/news/sociaty/2021/10/13/teper-natalya-matskevich-esche-odnogo-advokata-sobirayutsya-lishit.html (BELARUSIAN)

https://belsat.eu/news/13-10-2021-yashche-adnago-advakata-pa-palitychnyh-spravah-adhilili-ad-pratsy/