Belarus' ministry withdraws licenses from lawyers linked to protesters

MINSK, February 17 (Itar-Tass) - The Ministry of Justice of Belarus has withdrawn licenses from a number of lawyers linked to participants in mass protest acts staged in Belarus immediately after the December 19 presidential election in Belarus.

The lawyers stripped of their license include Oleg Ageyev -lawyer for ex-presidential candidate Ales Mikhalevich, Oleg Ayeyev's mother - Tatayana Ageyeva - also a lawyer, Vladimir Tolstik and Tamara Garayeva - the lawyers for Irina Khalip - a journalist and the wife of ex-presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov.

The Ageyevs were stripped of their license "for gross violations of the order of signing an agreement on legal assistance and obstructing control over compliance with the law, the lawyers demonstrated, submitting not authentic information," the Justice Ministry said on Thursday.

An official reason of a similar sanction against Tolstik and Garayeva was "denial of juridical assistance to Irina Khalip." Incidentally, Irina Khalip's father said that the lawyers did not mean to refuse help to his daughter, but " judging by all the facts the lawyers were under such a strong pressure from KGB that they had to refuse," Irina Khalip's father said.


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