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Human rights defenders condemn the tightened regime imposed on Mikhail Trepashkin

13.03.2007    source:
They call it “a brutal, cynical and demonstrative act of reprisal against an opponent of the system, coated in the form of a court ruling”.

At a press conference given in Moscow on 12 March 2007 by the Public Committee in support of Mikhail Trepashkin, those present slammed the court ruling from 9 March ordering the transfer to a harsher regime colony of Mikhail Trepashkin,

As already reported, the pretext for this move was an application from the camp administration to change Trepashkin’s regime in connection with his “systematic infringements of the internal regulations of the colony”.

Mikhail Trepashkin’s lawyers regard the grounds given as trumped up and the verdict unlawful. They intend to appeal the ruling and go as far as the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.

Lev Ponomaryov from the organization “For Human Rights” and Mikhail Kriger, coordinator of the Public Committee in support of Mikhail Trepashkin called the whole situation “a brutal, cynical and demonstrative act of reprisal against an opponent of the system, coated in the form of a court ruling”.

The Committee points to violations of the law in the passing of this ruling. With the ruling having still not come into effect, and with even the justification part not having been written, Trepashkin, who has serious health problems, was moved on that same evening to the isolation investigation [remand] unit within the colony. As Lev Ponomaryov pointed out, the conditions are worse even than in the general regime colony.

The trumped up nature of the case is indicated by a number of facts. People from the prosecutor’s office were already in February stating with confidence that Trepashkin would be moved in March to a general regime colony. Secondly, of those who submitted statements about Trepashkin (which the administration used to impose penalties), only one person appeared in court. And he, having signed acceptance of liability for deliberately giving false information, said that he didn’t remember anything. Thirdly, all the witnesses who gave testimony refuted the accusations against Trepashkin, yet the judge did not take this into account. Fourthly, the court ruling stipulates exactly where Trepashkin should be held before the ruling comes into effect (whereas the judge had no reason to know how many such “premises” there were, and their numbering system).  Mikhail Kriger, who was at the hearing, says that this took even the representative of the colony administration by surprise, the latter saying that No. 3 was not ready at that moment. .

Despite this, Judge Ilytik separately and in categorical tone insisted that Trepashkin be immediately placed in that particular isolation investigation unit.  

It should also be noted that the demand put forward by the Public Committee to have Trepashkin sent for a full hospital examination needed to establish his medical condition (third and fourth degrees of bronchial asthma constitute grounds for release) have already been supported by the President of the Chamber of Defence Lawyers Henry Reznik and the Russian Human Rights Ombudsperson Vladimir Lukin.

Vera Vasilyeva

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