STOP TORTURES OF THE DEFENDANTS IN THE MAY 6TH TRIAL
Эта петиция собрала 2 952 подписанта
The “May 6th Committee” demands!
The trial of the 12 participants in the Moscow protest rally that took place on May 6 2012 began in June 2013 in Moscow. The defendants are accused of "participation in mass riots" and "violence targeting members of the police force". Nine of the 12 defendants are going to be held in custody until the end of the trial. They will continue to endure torturous conditions, and will even be deprived of effective assistance on the part of their attorneys.
Perfectly realizing that in the current situation not a single official or judge in Russia is capable of making decisions on issues related to such political trial single-handedly, we address our demands to "the Russian authorities", i.e. - to that narrow circle of people who make all important decisions in the country and will be held responsible for such.
We demand adequate conditions of detention, including availability of proper sleep and nutrition, to be ensured in respect of all defendants for each day of the trial, as well as their legitimate right to legal aid provided by their attorneys to be guaranteed.
The hearings proved to be physically torturous for the 9 defendants kept in custody. While the trial is in progress, the defendants receive neither breakfast nor dinner, but only a so-called “dry packed lunch” and some boiled water to dissolve the dry concentrate, making it possible to consume the resulting soup or porridge. (But sometimes such water does not allow for the concentrate to be dissolved.) The defendants are deprived of proper sleep, they have to wake up between 5 to 6 o’clock, and they are usually taken back to their prison cells after midnight, with only 2 or 3 night hours left for sleep.
During hearings the defendants are held in a small and extremely uncomfortable glass-enclosed compartment, they are forced to sit on benches that lack backs and are neither able to properly work with documents or to keep any records. The rest of the day on which hearings are held they spend in an even smaller police van with barred windows or in the "waiting cells" that are 1.5?1.5 m in size. It is not uncommon that two people are kept in one cell at a time even though there is only one single seat inside. There have also been cases of transportation of the defendants in one van together with people suffering from open tuberculosis, which put the defendants in danger of infection.
No walks are provided for the defendants on the days of hearings. The court has unreasonably cancelled all family visits in respect of all defendants for months ahead, (until the judicial interrogation of the defendants is completed). Such conditions can be described as no other than torturous and dangerous for the defendants’ life and health.
The defendants are also denied the right to qualified legal aid. The convoy in the courtroom does not allow them to communicate confidentially with their attorneys, and unreasonably peruses all documents that the defendants exchange with them. The defendants may only communicate with their attorneys in the presence of the convoy, and even this mode of communication is only available to defendants one at a time.
The trial is in practice closed to the public. Photo and video recording of the hearings is virtually banned, the judge just sometimes allows accredited media representatives to take pictures during the few minutes of the in between meetings. Except for accredited journalists, the rest of those attending hearings are ordered to leave their photo cameras and camcorders in the cloakroom if they wish to be allowed into the court premises. Any attempts to photograph or to shoot video in the corridors of the court are usually unlawfully precluded by guards and bailiffs.
We demand to stop conducting the trial in the torture conditions, respect for the lawful rights of all defendants, and their timely provision with the following:
1) 3 full hot meals a day;
2) 8 hours of continuous sleep at night;
3) daily outdoor walks lasting for at least 1 hour;
4) a personal chair and either a desk or other facilities to enable the defendants to read, write and keep case documents during hearings;
5) the possibility of unhindered confidential communication and exchange of documents with their defence attorneys;
6) ventilation, temperature and humidity inside the courtroom, including the defendants' section, must be in conformance with the health standards;
7) regular visits from family members or close friends, of total duration of no less than 6 hours a month;
8) the conditions of detention and transportation causing no harm to the life, health and dignity of the defendant.
Moreover, the open petition to the Russian authorities, once it is signed by the Internet users, will be sent to the Moscow Municipal Court, to the Zamoskvoretsky district Court of Moscow, to the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia, to the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, to official and independent human rights agencies in Russia, and to international human rights organizations.
More details about the torturous conditions in which the defendants are kept during trial hearings can be found by following the links:
1) http://www.bbc.co.uk/russian/russia/2013/07/130724_bolotnaya_parents_torture.shtml (in Russian);
3) http://www.novayagazeta.ru/politics/58944.html?fb_source=ticker&fb_action_ids=647553495272796&fb_action_types=og.recommends (in Russian).
It is fair to say that a significant number of trials in Russia are conducted in equally unlawful torturous conditions. However, the large number of defendants (9 people held in custody), the expected duration of the trial (over 6 months), the fact that some of the defendants suffer from chronic illnesses and disabilites, many months spent in custody before the trial began, and the absolutely abusive conduct of the judiciary make this trial particularly unbearable for the defendants.
NOTE. We suggest all Russian-speaking supporters of this petition refer to the Russian edition of this petition and sign it instead of this English edition. The editions in other european languages are to be published soon as well.
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