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ACTION URGENTE

 

RUSSIA

 

9 May 2008

 

 Death threats and harassment against

 Larisa Dorogova

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a human rights lawyer who has worked to defend the rights of the Muslim community in Russia since 2003 and her son

 

Source    FRONTLINE

 

 

 

 

On 9 May 2008, Larisa Dorogova's son, Khadzimurat Dorogov, was allegedly forced into a car by four unidentified men in civilian clothes. He was driven around for seven hours before being released. During that time he was illegally searched, had the SIM card from his mobile phone confiscated and was interrogated about his mother's contacts and work. When he was released he was warned that he could be abducted again at any time.

On 16 April 2008, efforts had been made to stop Larisa Dorogova from carrying out her legitmate work as a human rights defender when the Prosecutor's Office of Kabardino-Balkaria began disciplinary procceedings in order to have Larisa Dorogova's lawyer's license to work revoked. The reason given for these proceedings was that she had “verbally abused and threatened personnel of preliminary detainment facility”, however, there is reportedly no evidence to support this claim. She has been illegally denied access to see her clients despite having been previously granted permission to do so by a Judge. She has also received death threats via email and post. On 26 March 2008, a live machine-gun cartridge was attached to one of these death threats.

Larisa Dorogova has legally defended people who were arrested on suspicion of participating in a Muslim uprising on 13 October 2005 and who were reportedly tortured whilst in detention and forced to confess to crimes they had not committed. She has also defended widows of men who had died in the uprising, who called for their husbands bodies' to be returned to them for burial. Since 2005, Larisa Dorogova and her son have been followed regularly by unidentified men in civilian clothes.

On 10 April a Nalchik newspapers published a report, according to which a local lawyer Larisa Dorogova received threats from unknown people, who called themselves "Mujahideen".

Those people reportedly sent her letters, appealing "to help in freeing imprisoned brothers". Then they sent her a letter, "appointing a meeting". After that the "Mujahideen" sent her a letter that said: "We trusted you, but instead of you, murtadin from UBOP arrived at the appointed place at the appointed time, hiding in cars and courtyards. Our reconnaissance team easily discovered them".

Further, authors of the letter called the incident a "treachery", adding that "spies are killed without repentance". With the letter, they sent the lawyer an automatic rifle cartridge.

Larisa Dorogova is a Muslimah, who observes the basics and prescriptions of Islam. Despite multiple threats from kuffar and pressure from the occupation regime, she defends Muslims imprisoned by disbelievers, to the extent of her possibilities.  

Please take action on behalf of Russian human rights defender Larisa Dorogova.

Copy the enclosed letter and send it to the address provided.

Thank you for taking action on behalf of Larisa Dorogova.

Target adresses: 

Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev,
President of the Russian Federation,
The Kremlin,
Moscow,
Russia

Letter: 

 

Your Excellency,

I am deeply concerned following reports that human rights defender Larisa Dorogova has received death threats and that her son, Khadzimurat Dorogov, has been abducted and subject to ill-treatment. Larisa Dorogova is a human rights lawyer who has worked to defend the rights of the Muslim community in Russia since 2003.

On 9 May 2008, Larisa Dorogova's son, Khadzimurat Dorogov, was allegedly forced into a car by four unidentified men in civilian clothes. He was driven around for seven hours before being released. During that time he was illegally searched, had the SIM card from his mobile phone confiscated and was interrogated about his mother's contacts and work. When he was released he was warned that he could be abducted again at any time.

On 16 April 2008, efforts had been made to stop Larisa Dorogova from carrying out her legitmate work as a human rights defender when the Prosecutor's Office of Kabardino-Balkaria began disciplinary procceedings in order to have Larisa Dorogova's lawyer's license to work revoked. The reason given for these proceedings was that she had “verbally abused and threatened personnel of preliminary detainment facility”, however, there is reportedly no evidence to support this claim. She has been illegally denied access to see her clients despite having been previously granted permission to do so by a Judge. She has also received death threats via email and post. On 26 March 2008, a live machine-gun cartridge was attached to one of these death threats.

Larisa Dorogova has legally defended people who were arrested on suspicion of participating in a Muslim uprising on 13 October 2005 and who were reportedly tortured whilst in detention and forced to confess to crimes they had not committed. She has also defended widows of men who had died in the uprising, who called for their husbands bodies' to be returned to them for burial. Since 2005, Larisa Dorogova and her son have been followed regularly by unidentified men in civilian clothes.

I believe that Larisa Dorogova has been targeted as a result of her legitimate work in the defence of human rights, particularly her work to defend the rights of the Muslim community in Russia. I am concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Larisa Dorogova and her family.

I call on the Russian authorities to:

1.Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the death threats and harassment against Larisa Dorogova and her family, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

2.Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological security and integrity of Larisa Dorogova and members of her family;

3.Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Russia are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

I respectfully remind you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. I would particularly draw attention to Article 11: “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to the lawful exercise of his or her occupation or profession...“ and to Article 12 (2): “The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present declaration.”

Yours sincerely,

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