RUSSIA: Human rights lawyer Magomed Alamov subjected to harassment
16 November 2023
Magomed Alamov, a human rights lawyer and member of Crew Against Torture, has received death threats, along with his family, from the relatives of a young woman who had benefited from the organisation’s assistance.
Alongside his organisation Crew Against Torture, Mr Alamov provided assistance to a woman to help her escape a difficult situation. She had sought the organisation’s help because of domestic violence, a frequent and widespread problem in the North Caucasus. Despite the recurrence of these violations, particularly against young women, the authorities often prefer to ignore the situation. The victim, originally from Ingushetia, was accompanied by Magomed Alamov to a shelter in order to escape the domestic violence she was suffering.
Following the assistance provided by Mr Alamov’s organisation, Crew Against Torture reported that members of the young woman’s family had threatened to kill the lawyer and his family. These threats have not been dealt with by the authorities.
The lawyer’s brother was arrested by the Chechen authorities, who asked him to contact Mr Alamov to persuade him to return to Chechnya. Magomed Alamov answered the call, concerned for his brother’s life, however his colleagues at Crew Against Torture have not heard from him since.
Despite calls for a full and urgent investigation from organisations such as Amnesty International, no concrete action has been taken to protect Magomed Alamov and his family from these continuing threats.
This situation highlights the considerable challenges faced by human rights defenders in Russia and demonstrates the need for a response from the international community to ensure their safety.
According to Natalia Prilutskaya, Russia researcher at Amnesty International, “The inaction of the authorities in a situation where the life of a human rights lawyer is at risk because of his work is simply unacceptable.”
The Observatory strongly condemns the harassment of Mr Alamov because of his profession.
The Observatory urges the Russian authorities to guarantee adequate protection for lawyers, in accordance with the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, in particular principles 16 and 17:
Principle 16: “Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference;”
Principle 17: “Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities.”