Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
On July 31st representatives of far-right radical “C14” group led by Evgeny Karas stormed the premises of the Ukrainian National Bar Association and attempted to interfere in the work of the Committee for the protection of rights and guarantees of advocacy.
A meeting had been convened for the urgent consideration of the attack on the lawyer Valentin Rybin that was carried out by representatives of “C14” on July 27th in the building of the Court of Appeal of Kiev. Representatives of C14 posted a video of the attack on social networks.
According to the lawyer Rybin, on July 27th he arrived at the Court of Appeal of Kiev on business, where he faced representatives of “C14”. The latter arrived at the court session where the appeal in the case of the coordinator of their organisation Sergey Mazur, suspected of the pogrom of a Romani camp, was being considered. The other day the Goloseevsky district court of Kiev elected a measure of restraint for him – two-months of house arrest.
According to Rybin, attacks on lawyers in a constitutional State, which Ukraine considers itself to be, is an egregious example of both violations of human rights and the right to work as a lawyer.
“They stood near the exit, sang some mantras, voiced some exclamations,” said Valentin Rybin. “Then they switched their on attention to me. In fact, everything is visible in the video that was posted by ‘C14’ themselves. They edited out some of the things that don’t put them in the best light. Yesterday I already registered the corresponding statement in the Unified register of pre-judicial investigations under Part 1 of Article 126 of the Criminal Code (intended blows, battery or other violent acts). One of the radicals even tried to hit me”
This isn’t the first time that the lawyer has tried to initiate criminal proceedings against representatives of “C14”. In fact, a case was initiated under Article 258 (terrorist attack) and Article 146 (theft) due to the actions of the leader of “C14” Evgeny Karas. This concerns the kidnapping of the Brazilian Rafael Lusvarghi, a participant of a prisoner exchange in December, 2017 who was released by a court decision.
On the eve of the meeting concerning the attack on the lawyer Rybin, the Committee for the protection of rights and guarantees of advocacy contacted the police in connection with the possibility of a special session being disrupted, since the committee started to receive information about the preparation of provocations. The committee filed a claim in the Podol police department for ensuring public order and security during the event of the Ukrainian National Bar Association.
Despite the presence of police, representatives of “C14” stormed the building of the Ukrainian National Bar Association for the purpose of preventing the committee from holding a meeting.
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