September 20, 2019
The ICJ has called on the Russian authorities to institute a thorough and independent investigation into the use of physical force against lawyer Dmitry Sotnikov by court officials and subsequently by the police on 12 September in two separate but linked incidents, and to hold accountable those responsible for the attacks.
The authorities should take effective measures to prevent such attacks in the future, and to ensure that lawyers are not prevented from representing their clients in accordance with law, the ICJ said.
“This use of physical force used against a lawyer solely because he tried to zealously defend his client is contrary to international human rights law and standards, including on the role of lawyers,” Temur Shakirov, Senior Legal Adviser of the ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme said today.
“It is also of concern that Dmitry Sotnikov was not allowed to represent his client despite clear legal provisions under the law guaranteeing the right to independent legal advice and representation,” he added.