Russian lawyers prevented from carrying out their professional duties
15 April 2022

Russian lawyers prevented from carrying out their professional duties

Russian Federation

Lawyers for Lawyers is concerned about threats to the independence of the legal profession and access to justice in the Russian Federation.

Since 24 February 2022 mass protests against the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine have been taking place in many Russian cities. It has been reported that thousands of people have been arrested in anti-war protests across Russia. According to reports, people have been detained, including with the use of physical violence, for the participation in protests, for anti-war symbols or Ukrainian symbols on clothing, for solitary pickets with posters saying messages such as “Peace to the World” and “No War”, and even with a blank sheet with no text or symbols at all.

On 4 March 2022, new repressive laws came into force in the Russian Federation that provide for criminal and administrative liability for the dissemination of so-called ‘fake news’” about the actions of the Russian military and for publicly discrediting their actions. The spread of “fake” information can lead to liability: starting from a fine of up to 1.5 million rubles, and ending with the imprisonment for up to 15 years.

Since 24 February 2022, human rights activists, news outlets, and the lawyers themselves publish information about lawyers being denied access to those detained at the protests in Moscow, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Krasnodar, Saratov and other Russian cities. In St. Petersburg in February and March, reportedly there were also cases of lawyers not being allowed to visit their clients in the court building.

This is not the first time that Lawyers for Lawyers raises alarm about the safety of lawyers representing peaceful protesters. Already in March 2021, there were a number of instances of lawyers being physically attacked or having trouble accessing clients who had been arrested during peaceful protests against the arrest of opposition leader Aleksej Navalny.

In the report on Guidelines for lawyers in support of peaceful assemblies, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly highlights the important role that lawyers play in the protection of freedom of assembly. The Special Rapporteur states that lawyers ensure the legal literacy of the protesters and help hold to pursue remedies for those whose human rights have been violated in the context of assemblies.

Lawyers for Lawyers calls upon the authorities of the Russian Federation to respect lawyers’ right to freedom of expression, to acknowledge the important role of lawyers in the context of the exercise of freedom of assembly, and to ensure that lawyers can adequately fulfil that role without hindrance or repercussions. In particular, Lawyers for Lawyers urges the Russian authorities to allow lawyers access to their clients in detention.

 

 

 

 

Meer nieuws uit Russian Federation

22 November 2022

Concluding observations of the UN Human Rights Committee on the eighth periodic report of the Russian Federation

Russian Federation

The UN Human Rights Committee reviewed the compliance of the Russian Federation with its international human rights obligations. On 3 November 2022, the Committee issued the concluding observations of this review, which originally was scheduled in March 2022, i.e. shortly

Lees verder
3 October 2022

Joint oral statement to Human Rights Council on the Russian Federation

Russian Federation

On 26 September 2022, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) and Lawyers for Lawyers delivered an oral statement on the situation of lawyers and human rights defenders

Lees verder
12 July 2022

Statement on the criminal prosecution and pre-trial detention of Dmitry Talantov

Russian Federation

Lawyers for Lawyers is concerned about the criminal prosecution and pre-trial detention of Dmitry Talantov, human rights lawyer and the president of the Bar Association of the Republic of Udmurtia. In the morning of 28 June 2022, Mr. Talantov was

Lees verder
22 June 2022

Interview with Daria Korolenko: “We’ve talked about it for a long time, but only now has it become more visible outside of Russia”

Russian Federation

To help or support lawyers from the Russian Federation, the international legal community should use their resources to advocate for the documentation, monitoring and investigation of human rights violations in Russia, says OVD-Info’s Daria Korolenko. OVD-Info OVD-Info is an independent

Lees verder