The Justice Ministry of Belarus has attracted attention of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC) to the necessity to follow requirements of the law, and in particular, the right of citizens of Belarus and foreign citizens to know full, reliable and unbiased information, the message posted on the website of the ministry reads.
“In case of further violations of the requirements of the law by this organisation, the Justice Ministry reserves the right to use more severe measures of responsibility against the BHC,” the Justice Ministry writes.
The Justice Ministry finds it unacceptable when “a republican public association, which positions itself as a defender of human rights in Belarus, disseminates biased information misleading citizens of Belarus and the UN structures.”
The Justice Ministry has reminded that in late July this year the website of the BHC published an address of Belarusian human rights defenders to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers. The address contained information about disbarring some lawyers by the Justice Ministry.
In this connection the Justice Ministry stated that the ministry demands explanations from the BHC on the facts mentioned in that piece of information, “as the Justice Ministry had not adopted any decisions concerning the abovementioned lawyers.”
“From the answer received from the BHC it follows that the viewers of the BHC website and the respective lawyers had received apologizes of the BHC. The Justice Ministry has also been told that “the UN Special Rapporteur has been informed about the fact that lawyers A. Bakhtsina and D. Lipkina had passed re-attestation,” the message of the Justice Ministry reads.
At the same time, the ministry “has demanded the BHC to show within three days the copy of the letter to the UN disproving the earlier reports, and to post truthful information on their website,” the Justice Ministry informs.
We remind that first lawyers Bakhtsina and Lipkina who defended political prisoners Iryna Khalip and Mikita Likhavid, did not pass the professional reassessment, organised by the Justice Ministry. They faced a threat of being deprived of licences. Human rights activists raised the alarm. And finally the lawyers passed the competency appraisal.