Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

'Stay Strong': Noted Belarusian Lawyer Who Defended Political Prisoners Deprived Of License.

Natallya Matskevich, a Belarusian lawyer known for having defended prominent political prisoners in the country, says she has been deprived of her license, becoming the latest attorney in Belarus to be targeted amid an intensifying crackdown on civil society and the political opposition following last year’s disputed presidential election.

Matskevich tweeted late on October 25 that the Minsk Collegiate of Attorneys had excluded her from its “proud ranks.”

"I felt sorry for them...Thanks to all good people for their support! My clients, stay strong. I will miss you," Matskevich wrote.

Crisis In Belarus

Read our ongoing coverage as Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka ramps up pressure on NGOs and independent media as part of a brutal crackdown against protesters and the opposition following an August 2020 election widely considered fraudulent.

The announcement comes days after the Justice Ministry suspended Matskevich on October 12, saying a disciplinary investigation had been launched into her alleged wrongdoing.

Matskevich is one of the most prominent lawyers in Belarus. Her clients included jailed would-be presidential candidates Viktar Babaryka and Syarhey Tsikhanouski.

Earlier this year, another lawyer for Babaryka, Dzmitry Layeuski, was stripped of his license, while his other attorney, Illya Saley, fled the country after being charged with calling for actions that undermine the country’s national security.

Anton Hashynski, another well-known lawyer who has defended several opposition figures, was also deprived of his license for alleged wrongdoings.

Belarus was engulfed by protests last year after a presidential election in August -- which the opposition and West say was rigged -- gave strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka a sixth consecutive term.

In response, the government has cracked down hard on the pro-democracy movement, arresting thousands of people and pushing most of the top opposition figures out of the country.

Lukashenka, who has run the country since 1994, has denied any wrongdoing with regard to the election and has refused to negotiate with the opposition on stepping down and holding new elections.

The European Union, the United States, Canada, and other countries have refused to recognize Lukashenka as the legitimate leader of Belarus and have imposed sanctions on him and several senior Belarusian officials in response to the "falsification" of the vote and the postelection crackdown.

Related news
Belarusian Blogger Eduard Palchys Goes On Trial Amid Crackdown.

Belarusian Blogger Eduard Palchys Goes On Trial Amid Crackdown.

Noted Belarusian blogger Eduard Palchys has gone on trial amid an ongoing crackdown on those who have challenged the official results of last year's presidential election that handed victory to strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka despite opposition cl...

Radio Free Europe

Belarus Charges Sofia Sapega With Incitement

Belarus Charges Sofia Sapega With Incitement

Belarusian prosecutors have filed charges against Russian citizen Sofia Sapega, who was arrested along with her boyfriend, opposition blogger Raman Pratasevich, after authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka ordered a passenger plane they were on...

Radio Free Europe

Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Buys Small Texas Town.

Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Buys Small Texas Town.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban purchased Mustang, Texas, a small town in Navarro County. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver compelling, diverse a...

Parents of alleged Michigan school shooter arrested after manhunt.

Parents of alleged Michigan school shooter arrested after manhunt.

As families of the victims mourn, there are questions over whether there should have been more surveillance on the Crumbleys before they fled.

Omicron variant confirmed in at least 9 states

Omicron variant confirmed in at least 9 states

Nearly 60,000 Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19 as officials push to get more people a booster shot.

Suspect’s parents plead not guilty in Michigan school shooting trial.

Suspect’s parents plead not guilty in Michigan school shooting trial.

James and Jennifer Crumbley plead not guilty to all four counts of involuntary manslaughter, and have both their bails set to $500,000. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) ...

Mom of school shooting suspect cries when arraigned in court.

Mom of school shooting suspect cries when arraigned in court.

James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Michigan high school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, entered "not guilty" pleas to all charges against them during their arraignment. #CNN #News

Thousands flee as Indonesia's volcano Mt Semeru erupts.

Thousands flee as Indonesia's volcano Mt Semeru erupts.

Indonesia's Semeru volcano on Java island erupted on Saturday (December 4), killing one person and injuring 41 as it spewed out huge clouds of smoke and ash, officials said. The deputy chief of Lumajang district, Indah Masdar, told a virtual news ...