The European parliament must do more to protect the legal profession from threats of attack and persecution, lawyers have told MEPs.

Lawyers are harassed, threatened, prosecuted, imprisoned and murdered – even in Europe – simply for doing their job, they said. The trend led the Council of Europe, which administers the European Convention on Human Rights, to begin work on a proposal for a legally binding convention on the protection of lawyers. The proposal was adopted by the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, made up of member states’ national MPs, last year.

Patrick Henry, chairman of the human rights committee of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, a group representing lawyers across the union, asked the European Commission to make…