Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Tamara Sidarenka: 7th lawyer loses license for defending participants of 19 December protests

The College of Justice Ministry of Belarus has approved the decision to terminate the license to lawyer T. Sidarenka.

On 30 August 2011, a sitting of the College Board of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus took place to consider the termination of the licenses of individual lawyers.

The sitting approved the decision of the Qualification Commission for the advocacy of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus of 16 August 2011 to terminate the license to lawyer T. Sidarenka. The official grounds for termination of the license arent known yet.

On 17 August 2011 T. Sidarenka was to have passed an extraordinary attestation together with lawyers from the Leninski district legal consultation of the Minsk. However, the qualification commission of the Ministry of Justice ruled to terminate the license to the lawyer without waiting for the results of the attestation.

Tamara Sidarenka worked as a lawyer since 1978 in the Leninski district legal consultation (special permit (license) to engage in advocacy 506 from 26 December 2003). She is a highly qualified lawyer and was awarded diplomas (also by the Ministry of Justice) for highly professional work. She also repeatedly headed trainings for young lawyers and possesses a high authority among her colleagues.

During the investigation and the court consideration of the criminal case concerning the events of 19 December 2010 she defended the candidate for presidency in Belarus Uladzimir Niakliayeu. She also defended another presidential candidate, Aliaksei Mikhalevich, after his first lawyer, A. Aheyeu, was deprived of license.

During the lawyer repeatedly stated about violation of Niakliayeus rights during the detention and imprisonment. She also demanded the identification of the people who had assaulted him on 19 December 2010 (while he was heading to the peaceful action of protest against the rigged election) and bringing them to the due responsibility. During the trial she declared complete innocence of Niakliayeu and asked the court to acquit her client.

Earlier, licenses were terminated to lawyers U. Toustsik and T. Harayeva who defended I. Khalip, lawyer A. Aheyeu, who defended A. Mikhalevich, lawyers Z. Zaleuskaya and T. Aheyeva.

Lawyer P. Sapelka who defended candidate for presidency A. Sannikau was excluded from the Minsk City Bar Association on the proposal of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus.
Three of the lawyers (P Sapelka, T. Aheyeva and A.Aheyeu) were members of the Presidium of the Minsk City Bar, organ of lawyers self-government).

Some other lawyers who defended figurants of the 19 December mass riot case werent attested by extraordinary attestation commissions: D. Lipkina who defended M. Likhavid, A. Bakhtsina (defended I. Khalip), A. Burak (defended A. Klaskouski and A. Liabedzka). These lawyers insisted on the complete acquittal of their clients. The qualification commission didnt take any decisions concerning the termination of their licenses.

Thus, the number of lawyers who were deprived of the opportunity to carry out professional activities by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus and had some relation to the criminal case concerning the events of 19 December 2010 reached 7 people. Many other lawyers who defended figurants of the case were pressurized by the Ministry of Justice during numerous audits and sittings of attestation and qualification commissions.