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Russian lawyers face reprisals for defending tortured Ukrainian prisoners

09.06.16 | Halya Coynash

Russias contempt for the law demonstrated in the trial of two Ukrainians illegally imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to over 20 years on trumped-up charges has now extended to the lawyers defending them. The judge in the trial of Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh has issued a private ruling accusing Karpyuks lawyer Dokka Itslayev and Klykhs - Marina Dubrovina of all kinds of unspecified infringements.

Euromaidan SOS reports that if you didnt know anything about the trial, you might think that these lawyers were only there to break the rules. Judge Vakhit Ismailov has accused Dubrovina of not attending one court hearing on a fabricated reason. She had warned the court well in advance, and given a good reason. Itslayev is accused of repeated infringements of procedure during the court hearings, of obstructing the court in exercising its powers, of interrupting the presiding judge, commenting on the latters actions in an improper form, etc. There are a lot of words in the accusations, but not one specific case or date and time.

The lawyers have appealed against this extraordinary document to the Supreme Court. If it was to come into force, then it could result in the lawyers being stripped of their status in this specific case. Itslayev is in particular danger of this since he is a local Chechen lawyer.

Just before the verdict was due, Grozny television broadcast two items with lies about the case itself, about Ukraine and directly accusing the lawyers and the many rights organizations which have condemned the case of being foreign agents.

The videos and accompanying text can be found here:



It is clear from these broadcasts that the lawyers themselves were under surveillance and being videoed.

As reported earlier, Ismailov also attempted to foist other lawyers on the men against their will.

Euromaidan SOS also reports that there is an investigation now under way into a new charge against Stanislav Klykh of allegedly insulting the judge.

The charge is especially cynical given the very clear evidence that 42-year-old Klykh is in a very disturbed state, which may have been induced by the psychotropic drugs which were applied during the 10 months that he was held totally incommunicado. The examination carried out by people commissioned by the court found no problem, and there has been no possibility of getting an independent examination.

Everything about this case, based solely on confessions tortured out of two men who were held incommunicado and not provided with lawyers, in Karpyuks case until the very eve of the trial, has been chilling, and there is no let-up now.

From leftMykola Karpyuk, Stanislav Klyuk (Photo: Anton Naumlyuk)

Russia claims that Klykh and 53-year-old Karpyuk took part in fighting in Chechnya 20 years ago and that during battles in Dec 1994 and Jan 1995 they killed a number of Russian soldiers. Karpyuk was accused of creating and leading a band called Viking, made up of members of. Klykh was charged with taking part in it.

There was ample evidence that neither man had set foot in Chechnya before being seized in 2014.

Since both mens confessions included the same insane claims about Ukraines former Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and other prominent Ukrainian politicians, it was extremely easy to prove just what such testimony was worth.

It then needed to be asked how they had come to confess to some horrific crimes that never happened, as well as to other deaths of Russian soldiers that, even according to the investigators version, they could not have been involved in.

Their allegations of torture, with considerable detail, are now parts of applications already lodged with the European Court of Human Rights.

Ismailov systematically refused to add evidence to the case, including the four-part analysis produced by the highly renowned Memorial Human Rights Centre. This demolished the indictment and left no doubt about the methods that had been used to extract insane confessions to heinous crimes supposedly committed together with Yatsenyuk & Co. The methods included threats to apply the same torture to Karpyuks wife and small child. Since he had effectively been abducted, it was no surprise that he should have believed this possible.

It was on the basis of this devastating assessment of the charges that in February 2016 Memorialdeclaredboth men political prisoners.

Despite the alibis, the evidence from Memorial and nothing at all to substantiate the prosecutions case, a jury found the men guilty. Karpyuk was sentenced on May 26 to 22.5 years, Klykh to 20 years. The two lawyers who are now facing reprisals themselves are currently preparing the appeal.

More details about the case, and links to outlines of the Memorial analysis can be found here

Forget Minsk: Ukrainians get 22 & 20 years for Invented Crimes in Chechnya

Please write to the men - even a single sentence or two will send an important message both to them, and to the Russian authorities, that they are not forgotten.

Theaddresses:Mykola Karpyuk (in Russian Nikolai)

364037, . , -, . - , 2. 1, , (1964)


364037, . , -, . - , 2. 1, , (1974)

Or send your letters to post.rosuznik[at]gmail.com, a civic initiative helping to get mail to Russian-held political prisoners They will deal with writing the envelope and sending it on..

If you are unable to write in Russian, the following would be quite sufficient:

, , .

(we wish you good health, courage and patience and hope that you will soon be released).

see also:
Forget Minsk: Ukrainians get 22 & 20 years for Invented Crimes in Chechnya
Russias most monstrously falsified trial of Ukrainians ends as commissioned
Facts & alibis pitched against torture as Russias trial of Karpyuk & Klykh ends
Alibis as inadmissible evidence in Russias trial of tortured Ukrainians
Facts & Defence Denied in Russias Trial of Tortured Ukrainians
Russia uses Kadyrov’s thugs against defence witnesses in Ukrainian political trial
Russian court overrules historical facts in show trial of two Ukrainians
Russias Memorial demands release of tortured Ukrainian political prisoners
Russia to try Ukrainians tortured for surreal confessions in their absence
Only Torture Rules In Russias Trial of Klykh & Karpyuk