Human rights defender Stanislav Dmitriyevsky is released in the courtroom


03 April 2012

On March 17 the Sovietsky district court of Nizhny Novgorod has sustained human rights defender Stanislav Dmitriyevsky’s appeal in full and released him from arrest in the courtroom. Earlier, on March 16, judge Sheshina from the 6th Judges of the Peace office of the Sovietsky district of Nizhny Novgorod sentenced Dmitriyevsky to 9 days of administrative arrest. On March 17 that decision was quashed by federal judge Maria Lazareva.

You may remember that the activist was detained during the Procession For Fair Elections which took place in Nizhny Novgorod on March 10, 2012. Together with other detainees for more than one day he was unlawfully kept in police department no.7, and later in a cold bus near the Nizhegorodsky District Judges of the Peace Court.  He was released only at night on March 11-12. On March 15 the case against Dmitriyevsky was tried by the Sovietsky District Judges of the Peace Court. The human rights defender disclosed numerous procedural violations in his detention record, as well in other materials, and filed a separate petition in respect of each violation to exclude evidence as inadmissible and terminate the proceedings. However, judge of the peace Sheshina ignored Dmitriyevsky’s arguments. He started serving his administrative arrest in a special detention unit in Balakhna. There, upon the request of facility head Garanina, all his books, including the New Testament and orthodox prayer book, were seized for a check for “extremist content”. 

Dmitriyevsky’s appeal has been heard for more than 2 hours today, judge Lazareva thoroughly has examined all arguments of the defense. The public has applauded the judgment of acquittal.

“Today I have got convinced that the court is nearly the only Russian authority which is still worth fighting for,” – said Dmotriyevsky to the CAT press-service.

There is basically no police, prosecutor’s office or investigative committee in the country – there are groups of people in uniform vested with powers who do not protect the law, but take care of the ruling class interests.  The Russian court is obviously ill, it is on the verge of dying… but it is not dead yet! Today the Sovietsky district court has demonstrated that there are still judges in the country with whom you can treat, renew and restore the judicial system. I’m saying this not because I’ve been acquitted, but because for the first time in a long period of time I have taken part in really adversary proceedings based on equality of arms. In a normal situation it is indeed silly to thank someone for doing her job the way it should be done. But in Russia a just judge requires courage, besides professionalism.  Therefore, I raise my hat to judge Lazareva”, – added Dmitriyevsky.

Meanwhile, trials of participants of the Procession “For Fair Elections” continue today in Nizhny Novgorod. Yury Staroverov has been awarded 12 days of administrative detention, and Anna Kuznetsova – 8 days.


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