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In defense of Karinna Moskalenko
Written by Права человека в России   
Четверг, 10 Май 2007

By Human Rights Organization in Russia http://www.hro.org/ngo/about/2007/05/10.php

In connection with the procedure initiated to deprive Karinna Moskalenko of her status as a lawyer, the International Helsinki Federation (IHF) demands that the persecution of this defender of rights cease, along with all other attacks on Moskalenko and her organization, and that she be granted the unhindered ability to do her work.

“This initiative on the part of the prosecutor general of Russia to deprive Ms. Moskalenko of her professional status and right to work in the practice of law is a clear attempt to discredit her and punish her for her work on politically objectionable cases, as well as teach a lesson to other lawyers working in this field,” stated IHF executive director Aaron Rowdz.

“Ms. Moskalenko and her colleagues have done nothing illegal.  In reality, they have performed a service to the Russian public, helping citizens achieve legal defense in cases of human rights violations, and so she deserves acknowledgment, not persecution,” the IHF stressed in its appeal to the Russian authorities.

Karinna Moskalenko is the founder of the Moscow non-governmental organization, the International Protection Center, which has been providing legal assistance to victims of human rights violations over the course of more than 10 years, and has represented many cases in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

According to information from the IHF, more than 20 cases that Karinna Moskalenko and her colleagues have represented in the Strasbourg court have been decided against Russia, and 20 other cases were accepted for examination.  Another 100 are in various stages of examination by the court.

Among the clients of Moskalenko’s organization are victims and relatives of victims of torture, “disappearances”, and similar violations connected with the conflict in Chechnya, as well as the capture of the Moscow theater on Dubrovka in 2002 and the ensuing hostage rescue operation, according to a report by Kavkazky Uzel.

 

As was noted earlier, Karinna Moskalenko lately assisted persons who were accused of participating in the “March of the Dissenters” protest meetings held by the opposition forces, and legal assistance to the leader of the Russian opposition, Garry Kasparov, who was interrogated under suspicion of extremism following the protest in Moscow on April 14th, 2007.

“The persecution that Ms. Moskalenko and her colleagues have met with seriously impedes their activities, casts a shadow over their reputation in the eyes of the public, and inspires a feeling of uncertainty in tomorrow, just as the demand for their services is steadily increasing,” noted the IHF in the closing portion of their appeal to the Russian authorities.


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