Oct 18, 2016

Crimean Tatars: Lawyer May Face Criminal Charges for Defending Political Prisoners

Photo courtesy of the Crimean News Agency

Nikolai Polozov, a Russian lawyer often defending political prisoners, may now face charges himself for “insulting a representative of authority”. Polozov represented Crimean Tatar leaders Ahtem Çiygoz and Ilmi Umerov, both unjustly imprisoned as a result of their advocacy for the Tatar people. According to Polozov, the Russian Government wishes to use allegations against him to discourage the defence of Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian political prisoners.

The article below was published by Sobytiya:

Russian lawyer Nicholay Polozov, who defended Nadezhda Savchenko, and now is a lawyer of Deputy Chairman of the Crimean Tatar people Mejlis Ahtem Çiygoz, may be criminally prosecuted in Crimea.

According to the lawyer, he is charged with insulting a representative of authority and direct contempt. “The specific articles of the Code are less important to charge according with, but the fact of pressure on the defense. Because I am, unlike many of the Crimean lawyers, still a stranger and I have a little more freedom than they have. They live in Crimea, and it is very easy to exert pressure on them,” said Polozov.

The lawyer believes the Russian Government wants to show that it is “dangerous, incorrect and harmful” to protect Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia.

Deputy Chairman of the Crimean Tatar people Mejlis Ahtem Çiygoz was detained for participation in a rally in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine in front of the Parliament building of Crimea on February 26, 2014. Russian authorities accuse him of organizing mass unrest.