Alexey Shvakov became a new chairman of the Belarusian National Bar Association (BRKA). Elena Bylina was elected as his deputy. This information is reported on the BRKA website.
Today, on 14 February, it became known that Viktor Chaichits had resigned as the head of the BRKA, which he has been since 2011. Lawyer Dmitriy Laevski recently reported that this could happen in the near future. Today, this information was confirmed by Zerkalo.io sources. Before the 2020 election, it was Chaichits who urged lawyers to refrain from saying that “the whole system is working badly” and “not to give in to provocations.”
“He was instrumental in depriving the bar of what remains of its independence, and in eliminating many good lawyers from the profession,” Laevski wrote.
Today it became known that Chaichits’s place was taken by Alexey Shvakov, the ex-chairman of the Minsk Bar Association. To understand the views of this man, we can recall his quotes at the Minsk Bar Association conference, which was held in early 2021. Then, among other things, Shvakov censured the lawyers who became involved in administrative cases after the 2020 elections.
“If you’ve never dealt with the administrative process, and do not know how to open the door in the same temporary detention center or pre-trial detention center, yes, why do you start there, so to speak, sorry for the word, break in there, yes? I sometimes watched some of the things that lawyers wrote, yes, well, it just surprised me, well, people initially asked such questions that the person came, and how there is a period of appeal, what to do there, where to write a complaint, and who does that in general. I see. Well, nevertheless, succumbing to such a general, so to call it, I do not know, the impulse, the movement, many lawyers at that time, yes, began to deal with administrative cases,” Shvakov said.
In addition, Shvakov advised lawyers defending political prisoners to be “the quieter the better,” and he called freedom of speech a “trendy topic.” As for the lawyers’ collective appeals, he said that many lawyers did not fully understand what they were signing up for.
“We have a lot of “freedom of speech” here now, “say what I want,” and so on, so to speak, you can’t forbid anything. Well, such, a trendy topic,” Shvakov said.
According to human rights defenders, the chairman of the Minsk Bar Association was already sending a signal to his own colleagues by his weak and opportunistic speech: “Shut up, deal with it, you’re just a cog in the system.”
На русском языке:
Новым председателем БРКА стал Алексей Шваков: рассказываем, кто он такой его же цитатами
На беларускай мове: Новым старшынёй БРКА стаў Аляксей Швакоў: расказваем, хто ён такі яго ж цытатамі