Authorities try to initiate criminal case against lawyer
28 April 2015

Authorities try to initiate criminal case against lawyer

Russian Federation

Despite the call from the United Nations Human Rights Committee for Russia to comply with its human rights obligations, lawyers in the Russian Federation increasingly face improper interference. Lawyers for Lawyers was informed that the Ministry of Justice is trying to initiate a criminal case against lawyer Mark Feygin. Lawyers for Lawyers has reason to believe that Mark Feygin faces prosecution in connection  with his legitimate activities as attorney.

Since 11 June 2014, Mark Feygin together with lawyers Ilya Novikov and Nikolay Polozov defends Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian air-force pilot who is held in Russia and is charged with the killing of two Russian journalists. Since Feygin took on the case of Savchenko, he has been receiving constant threats, including threats of murder, mostly through social media.

The Russian authorities are trying to initiate a criminal case against Mark Feygin under Art. 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for publishing tweets on his twitter account that “have an extremist character.” These tweets were, according to our sources, for the support of Savchenko’s case. The Ministry of Justice also requested the Moscow Bar Association to conduct an audit of Mark Feygin’s activities, to establish whether these alleged ‘extremist statements’ are in violation of the code of lawyer’s ethics and could lead to disciplinary action.

Lawyers for Lawyers calls on the Ministry of Justice to drop the criminal investigation and prosecution of Mark Feygin and to take all measures necessary to ensure that lawyers can do their work without improper interference.

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