Daily Archives: 29/10/2021

Russia: Exiled Lawyer for Navalny, Safronov Says Placed on Russia’s Wanted List


A prominent Russian human rights lawyer who fled Russia to escape criminal charges has been placed on the country’s wanted list, he said Thursday.

Ivan Pavlov left Russia for the Caucasus republic of Georgia in early September after authorities charged him with disclosing details of an investigation into his former client, jailed journalist Ivan Safronov. Russian law enforcement briefly detained Pavlov in April and confiscated a number of documents during searches of his apartment.

According to Pavlov, Russian investigators issued an order last week to place him on a wanted list without notifying him or his lawyers.

“We learned about it from Ivan Safronov,” Pavlov wrote on the Telegram messaging app, referring to his one-time client who faces trial for treason.

“It’s not difficult to establish my location — just call me,” Pavlov said.

Pavlov has worked for high-profile clients including Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who is serving a 2.5-year prison sentence on old embezzlement charges he denies.

Navalny was convicted upon returning to Russia earlier this year after being treated abroad for an August 2020 nerve-agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlin.

Pavlov himself was detained in April on charges of disclosing details of the treason investigation into Safronov, which he denies.

Authorities also declared Pavlov’s since-disbanded independent legal group Team 29 an “undesirable” organization with foreign links over the summer. 

The designation places Pavlov at risk of up to six years in prison.





https://news.fr-24.com/international/277578.html (FRANCAIS)


Belarusian authorities punish lawyers defending human rights


Four lawyers who represented jailed former presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka have been banned from the profession. At least 27 lawyers have already been barred from practising in reprisal for speaking out against the recent wave of repression in Belarus.

On October 25, the Minsk Bar Association disbarred prominent Belarusian defense lawyer Natalia Matskevich, the latest in a wide-raging and politically motivated crackdown on lawyers.

Matskevich is one of four lawyers who represented Viktar Babaryka, former presidential contender arrested on politically motivated charges in June 2020 in the run-up to the August 9 election. In July 2021, Supreme Court sentenced Babaryka to 14 years in prison for “grand bribery” and “laundering of illicit funds.”

On October 20, the Justice Ministry suspended the license of Evgeni Pylchenka, a lawyer who also represented Babaryka, pending the outcome of a disciplinary case against him. Matskevich’s disbarment and Pylchenka’s suspension came soon after they had filed an appeal in Babaryka’s case. Their colleagues said these sanctions were “absurd” and based on “ridiculous” allegations, including “some [supposedly] incorrectly worded questions to witnesses during trial.”

In July, days after Babaryka’s verdict, authorities stripped his then-lawyer Dmitry Layevsky of his attorney’s license, citing “inappropriate comments about the work of his colleagues.” Prior to his disbarment, Layevsky had faced pressure from the authorities and the Minsk Bar Association.

In October 2020, the Justice Ministry terminated the license of Aliaksandr Pylchenka, another prominent member of Babaryka’s defense team, over supposed “incompetent comments to mass media”




Russian Authorities Arrest Crimean Tatar Lawyer While Representing His Clients


Edem Semdlyaev, Simferopol, Crimea 2021

Yesterday, Russian authorities arbitrarily arrested lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, while he was advising clients at a police station, who themselves had been arbitrarily arrested. Today court released Semedlyaev pending review of the charges.

Semedlyaev is one of the few lawyers who continue to risk working on politically sensitive cases in Crimea. 

Semedlyaev arrived at the police station in Simferopol on Monday afternoon, to provide legal representation for Crimean Tatars detained earlier that day. The Crimean Tatars were detained outside a military court building, where they arrived to observe an appeal hearing in one of the many bogus “terrorism” cases brought against Crimean Tatars since Russia occupied the peninsula in 2014.

Due to quarantine restrictions, the judge allowed only five into the courtroom, while the rest remained outside. Although those outside complied with police orders to maintain the required distance apart and wear masks, after 20 minutes the National Guard arrived and detained 21 men, including several journalists. They took them to the police station and charged them with violating quarantine restrictions.

Another lawyer present at the police station told Human Rights Watch that Semedlyaev had asked an officer from the Interior Ministry’s anti-extremism department not to take away one of the detainees, to whom he wanted to provide legal counsel when he was finished with his current client. The officer refused, and Semedlyaev started an audio recording on his phone. The officer ordered Semedlyaev to stop recording and then suddenly ordered him and another lawyer to fully undress, allegedly to see if they had any “extremist tattoos.” Semedlyaev refused and was arrested on two counts of disobeying a police officer, an administrative offence punishable by a fine and up to 15 days in jail. He spent the night in a holding cell. He appeared before a court this evening and was released pending review of the charges.




https://ua.krymr.com/a/novyny-krymu-semedliaev-zvilnennia-z-itt-sudaka/31531466.html (UKRAINIAN)

Turkey sentenced 450 lawyers to 2,786 years in prison after 2016 coup: report


Four-hundred-fifty lawyers in Turkey have been sentenced to 2,786 years in total on trumped-up charges of terrorism since a coup attempt in July 2016, Turkish Minute reported, citing a statement by the Arrested Lawyers Initiative, an advocacy group defending lawyers’ rights.

The statement, released Monday on the occasion of October 25, European Lawyers Day, also said more than 1,600 lawyers had been arrested and prosecuted while 615 had been remanded to pre-trial detention in the same period.

“In 77 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, lawyers have been detained and arrested on trumped-up charges as part of criminal investigations orchestrated by the political authorities and conducted by provincial public prosecutors,” they said, noting that 450 attorneys were sentenced to 2,786 years in total on charges that include “membership of an armed terrorist organization” and “spreading terrorist propaganda.”

According to the statement, 15 of the lawyers who were detained or arrested after the 2016 coup were current or former presidents of provincial bar associations and some lawyers under arrest were subjected to torture and ill-treatment.

“The Turkish government has also targeted Turkish lawyers’ right to free association,” the report said, adding that 34 lawyers’ societies or associations have been shut down since the declaration of a state of emergency days after the attempted coup, with all their assets confiscated.

The group stated in conclusion that they would be “most grateful” if arrested Turkish lawyers are remembered and that people speak up against the ongoing persecution of Turkish lawyers on the occasion of European Lawyers Day.

In the latest incident of operations targeting lawyers in Turkey, the police on Tuesday detained 10 as part of an operation carried out in İstanbul, Ankara, Adana, Van, Diyarbakır, Antalya and Denizli provinces and targeted members of the Gülen movement.