10 January 2019, 17:21

RF Ministry of Justice demands to remove Kurbedinov from the bar association. The lawyer considers this pressure on independent defenders

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The Russian Justice Ministry demanded that the Crimean Central Bar Association excluded the lawyer Emil Kurbedinov from the list of founders and members, “Novaya Gazeta” publication reported.

Russian officials refer to two decisions of the Kremlin-controlled Simferopol “courts”, which considered administrative proceedings against Emil Kurbedinov.

Kurbedinov was twice accused for his reposts on social networks VKontakte and Facebook made in 2013 under Article 20.3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (propaganda or public demonstration of Nazi attributes or symbols, or attributes and symbols of extremist organizations, or other attributes or symbols, propaganda or public demonstration of which prohibited by federal law).

The posts in two social networks were identical. The second time, Kurbedinov was brought to justice after a letter of denunciation, written by a certain Muallem Sahim, was sent to an electronic reception office of the Crimean Prosecutor’s Office, allegedly from Damascus. Experts at the University of Toronto Laboratory at Citizen Lab, who analyzed the output of the letter, claim that it was written in Crimea.

The Ministry of Justice issued a warning to the “Crimean Central Bar Association” and ordered “to eliminate the violation of current legislation” before March 1, 2019, that is, to exclude Kurbedinov from the list of founders and members.

The lawyer himself stated to the publication, he would not voluntarily leave the board and would appeal against the order of the Russian Ministry of Justice, which means that they will try to exclude him with a judicial decision. If Kurbedinov is not excluded, this can be used to liquidate the entire board.

Anti-extremist legislation, as we have repeatedly observed, is only a tool for prosecution, in this case against independent lawyers. Colleagues do not even suspect what a time bomb is planted now under our entire lawyers’ community.

The list of “extremist” organizations is extensive and constantly growing. It is enough to “discover” one post on social networks and that’s it, you are an outcast and deprived of rights. And you do not need any qualification commissions, and long litigation, one administrative proceeding and the order of the Ministry of Justice are enough.

Reference: On December 6, 2018, the “Kiev District Court” of Simferopol arrested Emil Kurbedinov for five days for a post on the social network, in which they allegedly found symbols forbidden in Russia.

The post was published in 2013, and Kurbedinov had already served ten days for it. The lawyer himself linked his arrest with the fact that he was a defender of one of the Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia – the Commander of a small armored boat “Nikopol” Bohdan Nebylitsa.

December 11, 2018 Kurbedinov was released. Dozens of people came to meet him.