Lawyers from Memorial have submitted an appeal to the court in Strasbourg, asserting that the judicial proceedings in the DMITRIEV case have violated four articles of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The prosecution of Yury Dmitriev, head of Memorial in Karelia, is unusual in several respects.
One, the investigation and hearings have already lasted four years. The case has stirred public interest not only in Russia but also abroad, making it one of the most discussed trials of recent years.
Two, the sentence issued on appeal by the Karelian High Court in September last year is unprecedented. For a second time, the favourable verdict of the court of first instance, the Petrozavodsk City Court, was wholly overturned (this first occurred in 2018 after which the case was examined for a further 18 months). The sentence was almost quadrupled from the 3 ½ years imposed by the Petrozavodsk City Court to 13 years imprisonment. The numerous violations committed during the High Court hearing exposed the prejudice of the court.
In the appeal to the court in Strasbourg Memorial Human Rights Centre lawyers Marina Agaltsova and Natalia Sekretaryova state that the following articles of the European Convention have been violated in the Dmitriev case:
Article 6: The Right to a Fair Trial — “A great many of the court’s actions violated Yury Dmitriev’s right to a fair trial”
Article 7: No Punishment without Law — “The punishment imposed on Yury Dmitriev by the court ruling was not based on the law”
Article 8: Right to respect for private and family life — “The actions of the court were an unlawful interference in the family and private life of Yury Dmitriev and his daughter”
Article 18: Limitation on use of restrictions on rights — “The limitations on the rights and liberties of Yury Dmitriev were politically motivated”
(This is a summary. A full report on the appeal is available in Russian at the Memorial Human Rights Centre website, 30 March 2021.)