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CCBE and Lawyers for Lawyers Issued a Statement in Support of Alexander Danilevich

Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and Lawyers for Lawyers issued a joint statement to the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Belarus, whereby they expressed serious concerns regarding the detention of lawyer Alexander Danilevich.

..It also reported that persons with knowledge about the details of the case, signed non-disclosure agreements under threat of being held criminally liable for disclosure of information. However, we have been informed that his detention is linked to statements he has made, including on social networks or in the media, condemning the prosecution of people active in the protection of fundamental rights, against the war or on other important societal issues. This also includes a public petition against the war in Ukraine which he signed in his capacity as a lawyer. In relation to the petition, the CCBE and Lawyers for Lawyers had already expressed concerns, in March and April 2022, to the Belarusian Republican Bar Association, the Minsk City Bar Association and the Minsk Regional Bar Association over disciplinary proceedings initiated for the same reason against lawyer Alexander Danilevich and other of his colleagues. We understand that these disciplinary proceedings, in the case of Alexander Danilevich, resulted in a reprimand. In addition to this, it is reported that, earlier in April 2022, Alexander Danilevich was fired by the administration of the Belarusian State University from the post of associate professor at the Faculty of International Relations. It is believed that this decision was again taken in connection to his legitimate expression of opinion against the war.”

The claimants refer to the freedom of expression enshrined in the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, and urge the Minister to do everything in his power to immediately and unconditionally restore the freedom of lawyer Alexander Danilevich, since it is believed that his detention is solely based on his legitimate activities as a lawyer. 

They recall as well that all lawyers in Belarus should be able to carry out their professional duties without fear of reprisal, hindrance, intimidation, or harassment. 

The CCBE represents the bars and law societies of 45 countries, and through them, more than 1 million European lawyers, and Lawyers for Lawyers is an independent and non-political foundation that seeks to promote the proper functioning of the rule of law by pursuing freedom and independence of the legal profession. You can find more information about the international law societies and their reaction to what is going on in Belarus (written in Russian) here.