© STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Russia/Ukraine: Lilia Hemedzhy disbarred

Lilia Hemedzhy was disbarred in July 2022 for defending Indigenous Tatars in Crimea.

Urge the Bar Association of the Chechen Republic to provide Lilia Hemedzhy with all necessary support and legal assistance.

Lilia Hemedzhy wearing a green hijab over a black dress.

Lilia Hemedzhy is a human rights defender and lawyer. She is one of the few lawyers working to defend the rights of Crimean Tatars, an Indigenous group that has faced intensified persecution from the Russian government since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Lilia was disbarred from the Bar Association of the Chechen Republic on July 15, 2022, mainly for her activism work in Russian-occupied Crimea. The decision was reversed, but then challenged in a Crimean court by the Bar Association of Crimea on March 30, 2023. Previously, Lilia’s request to be transferred to the Bar Association of Crimea had been arbitrarily declined.

Her disbarment has left her clients, who are mostly Muslims, without effective legal representation. This has deprived them of their human rights including the right to a fair trial and the right to practice their religion freely.

The decision to disbar Lilia could also discourage legal professionals and activists in the Russian Federation as well as Crimea at a time when politically motivated reprisals against activists are on the rise.

Learn More

Russia/Ukraine: Crimean Tatar human rights defender’s sentence upheld in mockery of international law

What else you can do to help

Send a personal letter to the President of Bar Association of the Chechen Republic. Details and addresses for letters are here.

Top image © STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images