Tag Archives: Russia

Turkey/Russia: Lawyer for suspect in Karlov assassination case indicted over Gülen links

May 20, 2019

Erdem Semih Yıldız, the lawyer for Salih Yılmaz, who is standing trial in connection with the December 2016 murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, has been indicted for alleged links to the Gülen movement, the T24 news website reported on Monday.

The indictment demanded up to 15 years’ imprisonment for Erdem Semih Yıldız due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government blames for a failed coup in 2016 and labels as a terrorist group.

Karlov was shot dead by an off-duty policeman while speaking at an Ankara exhibit opening in December 2016. The gunman, Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, was killed by police at the scene.

In the course of the assassination Altıntaş shouted slogans in reference to Russia’s offensive in Aleppo as well as a war chant used by a jihadist group in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the pro-government media were quick to lay the blame on the Gülen movement.

They insisted on the narrative despite the fact that many suspects denied having any links with the movement and admitted other Islamic affiliations.

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/05/20/lawyer-for-suspect-in-karlov-assassination-case-indicted-over-gulen-links/Ñ

https://ahvalnews.com/andrei-karlov/turkish-lawyer-russian-envoy-murder-case-charged-links-gulen-movement

https://www.sabah.com.tr/gundem/2019/05/20/karlov-davasindaki-fetocu-avukat-desifre-oldu (TURKCE)

https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/turkiye/2019/05/20/karlov-saniginin-avukatina-feto-iddianamesi/ (TURKCE)

https://www.takvim.com.tr/guncel/2019/05/20/karlov-suikasti-saniginin-avukatinin-soke-eden-mesajlari-ortaya-cikti (TURKCE)

Russia: With So Many Political Prisoners, What’s Putin Afraid Of?

April 30, 2019

russian president vladimir putin

By all outward appearances, Vladimir Putin’s hold on power seems secure.

His party won the 2018 elections with 77 percent of the vote.

He has consolidated his control of the Russian media.

Most of his rivals have either died or been driven into exile.

Now he can deploy his country’s wealthiest oligarchs to pursue the Kremlin’s agenda — just as he did after U.S. President Donald Trump won the 2016 election. So why is the Russian president so scared?

One might think an autocrat who has rigged his nation’s political rules to stay in power would have little to fear from dissidents. Allowing a nominal opposition might even have benefits, such as relieving economic pressure from the U.S. and its allies in the West and making it easier for his henchmen to spend their fortunes.

Nevertheless, Putin remains afraid of dissent. Consider a report released this week by the Coalition to Free the Kremlin’s Political Prisoners. Composed of a dozen Western and Russian non-governmental organizations, the group found that as of March 25, Russian jails held 236 political prisoners.

That is more than five times the political prisoners Russia held in 2015, when the total was just 46. At a press conference Monday, exiled opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza provided yet more perspective for that figure.

When the famous physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975, he claimed the Soviet Union held 126 prisoners of conscience.

It’s extraordinary to think that today, nearly 30 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia holds almost twice as many. Today’s Russian political prisoners include journalists, activists and lawyers. Some are falsely charged with serious crimes such as murder and embezzlement.

https://www.newsmax.com/elilake/crimea-federation-free-russia-kremlin/2019/04/30/id/913948/

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-navalny-echr-violated-rights-house-arrest/29870131.html

Russia: Home of Aleksandr Peredruk’s parents searched

April 4, 2019

On 2 April 2019, the apartment of Aleksandr Peredruk’s parents located in Murmansk, Russia was searched by an investigator from the Special Case Investigation Department and a Federal Security Service official. The search was made as part of the investigation into a suicide attack in Arkhangelsk in 2018, and the human rights defenders believe it may be an attempt to link him to the event.

Aleksandr Peredruk is a human rights lawyer from Saint Petersburg. He works for the Moscow Helsinki Group, one of Russia’s leading organisations monitoring human rights abuses in the country. He is also a member of the organisation Soldiers’ Mothers of Saint Petersburg which provides free legal and social assistance to conscripts, soldiers and those undertaking alternative civil service, as well as their family members. Further, the human rights defender is involved in Apologia of Protest, a project defending the right to peaceful protest in Russia.

On 2 April 2019, at 6 in the morning, an investigator from the Special Case Investigation Department and a Federal Security Service official searched the apartment of Aleksandr Peredruk’s parents in Murmansk. The human rights defender was registered under their address until March 2018 but has not lived there for the last five years. During the search, a computer and a flash drive were seized. According to the official warrant, the inspection was related to the investigation into a suicide bomb attack that had taken place on 31 October 2018 in the city of Arkhangelsk. Aleksandr Peredruk denied having any connection to the case and he believes that the search may have been an attempt to link him to the event.

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/home-aleksandr-peredruk%E2%80%99s-parents-searched

Crimea/Ukraine/Russia: Emil Kurbedinov’s Membership in the Crimean Bar Association Maintained

February 22, 2019

emil-kurbedinov.jpg

On 22 February 2019, the Crimean Bar Association decided to maintain the membership of the human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov, contrary to the request received from the Crimean Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.

Emil Kurbedinov is an outspoken human rights lawyer in Crimea. Since the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, he has been actively involved in defence of the Crimean Tatars, who have become one of the major targets for the authorities, as well as civil society activists and journalists. He has also drawn attention to human rights violations in Crimea using social media, international conferences and reporting before international human rights mechanisms.

On 22 February 2019, the Crimean Bar Association considered the possibility to exclude Emil Kurbedinov from the list of its founders and members. The Association decided to maintain his membership after establishing a special commission for this purpose, in accordance with Russian law.

On 10 January 2019, Emil Kurbedinov received a letter (dated 18 December 2018) from the Crimean Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation notifying him that according to 1.2 (4) of Article 15 of the Federal Law “On non-commercial organisations”, a person that has been convicted of extremism cannot be a founder or a member of non-commercial organisation. Emil Kurbedinov is founder and member of Crimean Bar Association. The letter refers to two administrative convictions of Emil Kurbedinov for a post that he published on two of his social media accounts.

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/risk-disbarment-human-rights-lawyer-emil-kurbedinov?fbclid=IwAR3x9Ia81cT4ep413O8gYm9cPMDxkXyNVZjX9qGSeBoDFZOl01bQCNIBqLw

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/request-disbarment-emil-kurbedinov-denied/

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyer-s-expulsion-from-bar-association/29708692.html

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/14/russian-authorities-increase-pressure-crimean-human-rights-lawyer

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/crimean-tatars-stand-firm-against-russian-occupation-of-homeland-1.3811335

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/analysis/ukrainians-will-defend-homeland-against-russian-aggression-913783.html?fbclid=IwAR3e1srSoSIXO_NXut0dzBo1ewRrVqDFw_ymqmuFjEe0sHGmUokiC0YhGqY

https://1k.com.ua/zaderzhanie-arhiepiskopa-ptsu-v-krymu-okkupanty-nazvali-prichinu.html (UKRANIAN)

http://ua-story.com.ua/78657-do-zatrymanogo-arhiyepyskopa-ptsu-klymenta-prybuly-advokaty-stattyu-zatrymannya-zminyly.html (UKRANIAN)

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1158924/crimee-russie-annexion-cinq-ans-anniversaire-tamara-alteresco (FRANCAIS)

Russia: A Russian Lawyer Said She Filmed Police Abuse. Then She Was Found Dead.

March 8, 2019

Outside the Investigative Committee headquarters in Usolye-Sibirskoye (file photo)

Human rights lawyer Galina Muzyka was found dead in her apartment in the Siberian city of Usolye-Sibirskoye late on March 2 under what fellow activist and regional public oversight commission member Pavel Glushchenko described as “strange circumstances,” one day after she is thought to have made a cell phone video allegedly showing nine Investigative Committee employees beating a detained suspect.

The chain of events leading up to that somber discovery began on a local road on the night of February 28. Mikhail Zagvozdin was driving together with his 18-month-old son when he approached an intersection too quickly and nearly rear-ended the car in front of him, his wife, Yulya Zagvozdina, told RFE/RL on March 1.

The driver of the other vehicle got out and tried to hit him through the window that Zagvozdin had opened to speak with the man. Zagvozdin said he did not want to get out of the car with his son in it. When the man allegedly reached in and tried to grab his keys, Zagvozdin began to drive off.

https://www.rferl.org/a/death-of-an-eyewitness-to-russian-police-abuse-strange-circumstances-missing-evidence/29810430.html

https://en.crimerussia.com/gromkie-dela/irkutsk-region-lawyer-who-defended-man-beaten-by-policemen-dies/

Crimea/Russia/Ukraine: Russian Authorities Increase Pressure on Crimean Human Rights Lawyer

January 14, 2019

Justice Ministry Calls for Emil Kurbedinov’s Expulsion from Bar Association

 

Few human rights lawyers are brave enough to work in Crimea these days. A recent letter from Russia’s Ministry of Justice to Crimean defense lawyer Emil Kurbedinov threatening his profession is yet another stark reminder that Russian authorities intend to keep it that way.

Last month, Kurbedinov was arrested on charges of “public distribution of extremist materials” and sentenced to five days in jail for a 2013 social media post about a meeting in Crimea of supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist political movement opposed to violence. Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in Russia as a terrorist organization but operates legally in Ukraine. Kurbedinov had previously spent ten days in jail in 2017 after the court sentenced him on the same charges and for the very same post, but made on a different social media site.

Shortly after his release on December 25, Russia’s Justice Ministry sent Kurbedinov and the Crimean Bar Association letters requesting that Kurbedinov be expelled from the bar association by March 1 because of alleged involvement in “extremist activities.”

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/14/russian-authorities-increase-pressure-crimean-human-rights-lawyer

https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/halya-coynash-russia-launches-dangerous-attack-on-lawyers-in-crimea.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/112-ua-russia-search-houses-of-crimean-tatars-on-occupied-peninsula.html

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyer-s-expulsion-from-bar-association/29708692.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/rfe-rl-russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyers-expulsion-from-bar-association.html

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/russia/2019/01/d25201/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/russia-imminent-disbarment-of-emil-kurbedinov?fbclid=IwAR0GtoVbcF0bzXljxjv5u3GLFPSAuicOsUTVZEmYC7AKNNNRixgf6wklCYs

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/russia-bleak-year-human-rights

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/ukraine-human-rights-backsliding-election-looms

https://lso.ca/news-events/news/latest-news-2019/law-society-expresses-grave-concerns-regarding-hum

http://old.qha.com.ua/tr/toplum/hak-savunuculardan-uluslararasi-topluma-kurbedinov-cagrisi/176069/ (TURKCE)

Crimea/Russia/Ukraine: Risk of disbarment of human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov

January 10, 2019

emil-kurbedinov.jpg

On 10 January 2019, Crimean human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov received a letter from the Crimean Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation notifying him that he will be excluded from the Crimean Bar Association before 1 March 2019.

Emil Kurbedinov is an outspoken human rights lawyer in Crimea. Since the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, he has been actively involved in the defence of the rights of Crimean Tatars who became a targeted group, along with civil society activists and journalists. He provides people with legal aid, observes searches at activists’ homes and uses social media and international conferences to bring public attention to human rights violations in Crimea. Emil Kurbedinov is a recipient of the 2017 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

On 10 January 2019, Emil Kurbedinov received a letter (dated 18 December 2018) from the Crimean Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation notifying him that according to 1.2 (4) of Article 15 of the Federal Law “On non-commercial organisations”, a person that has been convicted of extremism cannot be a founder or a member of non-commercial organisation. Emil Kurbedinov is founder and member of Crimean Bar Association. The letter refers to two administrative convictions of Emil Kurbedinov for a  post that he published on two of his social media accounts.

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/risk-disbarment-human-rights-lawyer-emil-kurbedinov

http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1547155054&fbclid=IwAR3NTe_Z21F01uV2YbSSuXLI35IuSAwzRTKOY_nfxy9hoBDd5uWAhBuI9_Q

https://112.international/opinion/russia-moves-to-strip-emil-kurbedinov-of-his-licence-in-major-attack-on-lawyers-defending-victims-of-persecution-in-crimea-35912.html

https://helsinki.org.ua/en/appeals/36629/

http://old.qha.com.ua/tr/toplum/rusya-adalet-bakanligi-kirim-tatar-avukat-kurbedinov-un-barodan-cikarilmasini-istiyor/176048/ (TURKCE)

http://old.qha.com.ua/tr/siyaset/avukat-kurbedinov-kirim-tatar-aktivistler-tutukevinde-yavas-yavas-olduruluyor/176033/ (TURKCE)

https://ktat.krymr.com/a/yava%C5%9F-yava%C5%9F-%C3%B6ld%C3%BCreler-advokatlar-veciye-ka%C5%9Fka-davas%C4%B1-mab%C3%BCslerini%C3%B1-sa%C4%9Fl%C4%B1%C4%9F%C4%B1-aqq%C4%B1nda-tarif-etti/29699581.html (TURKCE)