Minsk riot police disperse disbarred lawyers’ farewell event

Photo: Viktor Drachev/TASS/Forum

On March 26, security forces gatecrashed a meeting of lawyers; some of them had been previously deprived of licenses by the Belarusian authorities, Nasha Niva reports.

The incident took place in the building on Krasnaya Street in the Belarusian capital city; there several legal aid bureaus are located.

On that day, about two dozen lawyers met in one of the offices to say goodbye to debarred colleagues. Half an hour later, OMON riot police arrived, detained the participants and got them breathalysed the police department.

In the end, all the detainees were released, but the police drew protocols under Article 19.3 of the Code of Administrative Offences (‘drinking in the workplace’) on those who drank some alcoholic beverage at the farewell party.

According to the lawyers, the quick arrival of the police officers may be indicative of the offices’ being bugged in real time.

Since the beginning of post-election protests, Qualification Commission at the Justice Ministry have terminated the licenses of many Belarusian lawyers who were involved in defending citizens prosecuted on political grounds.

Authorities may disbar lawyer Zikratski who defends Belarusians tried on political grounds