The Belarusan Ministry of Justice yesterdayrevoked the attorney’s license of Harry Pahanyayla, the leading human rightslawyer in Belarus. In an earlier step, the authorities had used self-awardedpowers to expel Pahanyayla from the Minsk bar. Yesterday’s measure meansthat he will no longer be able to defend persecuted individuals as a lawyer,but only as a “public defender”–a function also open to laymen and whichentails lesser rights and powers than those of an accredited lawyer.(Russian agencies, June 2) The measure amounts to retribution not onlyagainst Pahanyayla but also against political opponents of the regime.Pahanyayla has been defense counsel for many representatives of thedemocratic opposition and other victims of official abuse. Some of the casesare pending, and the defendants stand to lose Pahanyayla’s service.
KUCHMA REPLACES ODESSA CITY AND REGIONAL HEADS.