International lawyer Robert Amsterdam has issued the following statement in regards to the latest intimidation efforts against Russian human rights lawyer Karinna Moskalenko:
“Tonight I have received notice that the lawyer Karinna Moskalenko has been summonsed to appear before the Moscow Bar with respect to disbarment proceedings,” Amsterdam said.
“I am calling upon rule of law advocates and representatives of all legal communities outside of Moscow to denounce these proceedings against Moskalenko, and make their voices heard in opposition to the Russian Federation’s continued harassment, intimidation, obstruction, and hostility toward human rights lawyers who have done nothing more than fulfill their professional duties,” he said.
“Karinna Moskalenko is a lawyer of impeccable ethical standing, whose courage in the face of constant intimidation has been a source of inspiration for every one of us who has the privilege to work with her,” he said. “This latest underhanded effort to remove her professional credentials and prevent her from practicing law is a clear and indisputable gesture of revenge by the Russian authorities in response to the political nature of her work.”
Moskalenko is an active lawyer on the defense team for political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and also represents opposition leader Garry Kasparov, who according to media reports will report for questioning with the state security service (FSB) this week following last weekend’s street demonstrations in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
“Once again the current Russian administration has shown that the aggressive political crackdown does not end on the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg, but extends beyond to target lawyers who are willing to defend those brave enough to question the unfettered power of the siloviki,” Amsterdam said.
Robert Amsterdam is a founding partner of the international law firm Amsterdam & Peroff, with offices in Toronto and London. He writes a blog at www.robertamsterdam.com.