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An open letter from Mikhail Kirilyuk

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Mikhail Kirilyuk calls on the chairmen of the Republican and Minsk Regional Collegium of Advocates to resign

Mikhail Kirilyuk, who is responsible for justice issues at the NAM, wrote an open letter to the Chairman of the Republican Advocates Association Viktor Chaychits and the Chairman of the Minsk Regional Advocates Association Irina Smirnova. This is a response to the demand for Kirilyuk to return the lawyer’s certificate.

A few excerpts from the letter:

  • "Our collegium of advocates, which you head, is, unfortunately, only in appearance a collegium. And not only yours, but all the advocates associations in Belarus headed by Viktor Chaichits";

  • "Irina Mikhailovna, Viktor Ivanovich, you are the heads of the advocates association in the Minsk region and in Belarus. I told you before, personally and publicly, and I repeat it now: our people are being tortured! Belarusian citizens are imprisoned on bogus charges, beaten, forced to confess to what they did not commit. What have you done to prevent this from happening? I will say: you forbade the lawyers to tell about it in the media ";

  • "We see that the role of the collegium leadership is reduced to promoting the policy of the current authorities among lawyers. Not for that Belarusians pay taxes so that they can be tortured for their own money. And not for this lawyers pay dues to the collegium, so that for their own money they can put a spoke in the wheel of their work ";

  • "There are many lawyers in Belarus: smart, knowledgeable, honest and courageous. But we do not have a collegium — a body that would protect our interests before the authorities, organize legal assistance, monitor compliance with the law. And after the events of 2020 and the first half of 2021, you have no right to call this place the collegium, and yourself — it’s chairpersons";

  • "I have a proposal for you: what can be done to 'increase the prestige of the legal profession' right now. Resign from the post of chairmen of the advocates association that you head, express your solidarity with the illegally deprived lawyers and their clients, those who are now in prison on false charges, who are now being tortured. This will be a real step on your part."

An open letter from Mikhail Kirilyuk

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