10 October 2018, 01:02

HRC "Memorial" calls for release of lawyer Benyash

The criminal prosecution of Mikhail Benyash, a lawyer from the Krasnodar Territory, for political reasons threatens the independence of the legal profession and respect for the right of citizens to legal protection, undermining the foundations of the Russian judiciary, the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" has stated.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Mikhail Benyash was detained on September 9 in Krasnodar, along with participants in an unsanctioned rally against the pension reform. According to Benyash, he was beaten after detention. The court arrested him for 14 days for disobeying a policeman. On September 23, upon the expiration of his administrative arrest, the lawyer was arrested for two months on suspicion of assaulting policemen and obstructing the administration of justice.

The arrest and the initial detention of Mikhail Benyash are unjustified and directly related to his advocacy activities, the HRC "Memorial" said in its statement issued on October 9.

Prosecutions of lawyers on fabricated charges encroach on the independence of the legal profession and the citizens' right to legal protection, undermining the foundations of the country's legal and judicial systems, the HRC "Memorial" has emphasized.

"The HRC 'Memorial' demands to immediately release Benyash, stop politically motivated prosecutions of lawyers and bring to justice those involved in organizing and carrying out the prosecutions," human rights defenders said in the statement.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 9, 2018 at 08:20 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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