Mikhail Benyash. Photo: Radio Svoboda (RFE/RL)

13 December 2018, 11:34

AI demands to completely remove charges from lawyer Benyash

The Amnesty International (AI) has stated that the termination of the criminal prosecution of lawyer Mikhail Benyash in the case of obstruction to justice can only be welcomed as a half-measure.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on December 12, it became known that investigators stopped the case against the lawyer Mikhail Benyash opened under the article of obstruction to execution of justice. However, instead, Mr Benyash was accused of using violence against a policeman.

The AI's website demands that not one, but all the charges should be dropped from Mikhail Benyash.

"This is an exemplary case of politically motivated prosecution. Authorities are punishing the lawyer for working too hard to protect critics of the Krasnodar Territory's administration," said Natalia Zvyagina, the AI's director in Russia.

Mr Benyash was detained on September 9 in Krasnodar near the place of an unsanctioned rally, whose participants demanded to cancel the pension reform. According to his story, he was beaten up after detention.

The case of Benyash has caused a great resonance. On September 11, the AI recognized him a prisoner of conscience. The demand to investigate the Benyash's beating was signed by 379 lawyers from different regions of Russia.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 13, 2018 at 08:16 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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