Belarusian Lawyer who defended former presidential candidates disbarred


On 16 August the Belarusian Justice Ministry’s Qualification Commission stripped Tamara Sidarenka of her licence. No explanation was given.

Following the widely condemned presidential elections in December 2010 and violent crushing of protests against vote-rigging, Tamara Sidarenka defended presidential candidate Vladimir Nyaklayev during the pre-trial investigation stage, and also stepped in to defend another former presidential candidate arrested, Alexander Mikhalevich after his lawyer, T. Ageyev was stripped of his licence.

Tamara Sidarenka , who has practised as a bar lawyer since 1978, is one of a growing list of lawyers disbarred in Belarus for observing their oath and defending people unjustly arrested and tried.  As well as Mr Ageyev, his wife and mother, both bar lawyers, have been stripped of their licences.  Others include V. Tolstik and T. Horayeva who defended Irina Khalip and Pavel Sapenko who defended A. Sanikov. 

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