The Right to Defence Representative at the OSCE Conference Highlights the Significance of Alternative Information Sources Regarding the Belarusian Bar

On October 9, the Belarusian Association of Human Rights Lawyers, in collaboration with the Right to Defense project, hosted a side-event during the 2023 OSCE Human Dimension Conference in Warsaw. The event featured the participation of international lawyers' associations, including the American Bar Association's Center for Human Rights, the Council of Lawyers and Law Societies of Europe, Lawyers for Lawyers, the International Commission of Jurists, the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association, and the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.

The event addressed the situation in the Belarusian Bar, including the persecution and pressure faced by attorneys, as well as their deprivation of liberty while carrying out their professional responsibilities. The Right to Defense representative underscored the importance of having alternative sources of information that shed light on developments within the Bar, the internationally recognized principles governing the Bar, mechanisms for human rights protection, and human rights themselves. Official sources of information, particularly when it comes to human rights and the roles and responsibilities of the Bar, are often challenging to rely on, given the dominant state perspective keeping the Bar in a dependent position. Therefore, the task of forming an accurate understanding of reality falls on initiatives like Right to Defense.
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