I have just been notified that the highly regarded Russian human rights lawyer Karinna Moskalenko is being summonsed to appear before the Moscow Bar with respect to disbarment hearings.
For those of you who do not know who Moskalenko is, you can view her photograph here standing next to a man named Garry, who plays a mean game of chess.
I would like to say outright that Karinna Moskalenko is a most impressive lawyer and a true force of nature, whose courage in the face of constant intimidation has been a source of inspiration for every one of us who has the privilege to work with her. This latest underhanded effort to remove her professional credentials and prevent her from practicing law is a clear and indisputable gesture of revenge by the Russian authorities in response to the political nature of her work.
Tonight I am calling upon representatives of all the legal communities outside of Moscow to denounce these proceedings against Moskalenko, and make their voices heard in opposition to the Russian Federation’s continued harassment, intimidation, obstruction, and hostility toward human rights lawyers who have done nothing more than fulfill their professional duties.
Karinna is widely known for her highly distinguished and spotless record practicing law, and as I write this, she is preparing to return to Moscow to be at the side of her client Garry Kasparov when he attends the offices of the Russian security service (FSB) for an interrogation, following which no one knows if he will return to civil society or be imprisoned. It is assumed that the allegations from the Moscow Bar will seek to disbar Moskalenko for invented technicalities on her defense of client Mikhail Khodorkovsky, but the purpose behind the intimidation is shrewdly transparent.
This is a critical moment for our voices to be raised in defense of those who are still willing, at great obvious personal peril, to speak the truth and work to defend human rights.