RUSSIA: Lawyer Mansur Gilmanov assaulted and arbitrarily detained.
21 January 2021
On Sunday 21 January 2021, Mansur Gilmanov was cowardly beaten by a police officer before being arbitrarily detained.
Mansur Gilmanov is a human rights lawyer based in Moscow. He defends, among others, Vladlen Los, a lawyer from the Foundation Against Corruption created in 2011 by Alexei Navalny.
The events took place while Gilmanov was on his way to a police station in Moscow to defend his client Vladlen los.
Gilmanov presented all the required documents at the police checkpoint. An officer told him to wait for someone to take him to his client. After observing for 40 minutes the entry of other people, Gilmanov wanted to file a complaint about interference with his client’s right to be represented by a lawyer. An officer finally brought him into the police station to file his complaint. When he arrived at the officer’s window, the officer rushed towards him, hit him on the ground, kicked him several times and insulted him.
The police then detained Gilmanov for 4 to 5 hours without explanation, while two other lawyers tried to see him in vain. Finally, at around 2 a.m. the police allowed the lawyers to see Gilmanov. Shortly after the meeting with his lawyers, the police transferred him to another police station, where he spent the night in a room without a bed.
In the morning, Gilmanov was brought before a judge for “failure to comply with police orders”. The judge refused the defence’s requests to see evidence, including CCTV footage which could have shown what had happened. The court sentenced Gilmanov to 5 days’ detention.
Violence and persecution against human rights lawyers is evidence of the erosion of the rule of law in Russia. On the same day, Mikhail Benyash a lawyer from Krasnodar was searched in his flat and sentenced to 5 days in detention. This was on the grounds that he was planning an unauthorised demonstration.
The IOLD strongly condemns this incarceration decision which goes against international texts and the internal law of the Russian State.
The IOLD calls on the Russian authorities to do their utmost to conduct an impartial investigation and prosecute the perpetrators of these acts.
The IOLD wishes to remind the Russian authorities that under the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (1990):
“Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.” (Principle 16)
“Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities.” (Principle 17)
“Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions.” (Principle 18)
“It is the duty of the competent authorities to ensure lawyers access to appropriate information, files and documents in their possession or control in sufficient time to enable lawyers to provide effective legal assistance to their clients. Such access should be provided at the earliest appropriate time.” (Principle 21)