Human Rights Lawyer Assaulted in Dagestan

On 4 January Murad Magomedov, a lawyer working for Civil Rights Defenders’ long term partner Memorial Human Rights Center, was severely beaten by several unidentified attackers in the center of Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, Russia.

Civil Rights Defenders urges the Russian authorities to thoroughly investigate the attack on Murad. The assault took place near the Supreme Court building where he had participated as a Defence Lawyer in a high profile terrorism trial. He remains in hospital with concussion, broken teeth and multiple fractures of the jaw. The 32 year old began working for Memorial in autumn 2014.

“In recent years there have been numerous attacks on human rights defenders in Russia’s North Caucasus region and several of them have even been killed for their human rights work. Time and again the authorities have failed to identify and punish the perpetrators,” said Roemer Lemaitre, Programme Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Civil Rights Defenders.

The most recent attacks on human rights defenders took place in December 2014 and relate to an arson attack at the offices of he Joint Mobile Group (JMG). The organisation was set up in 2009 by Civil Rights Defenders long-term partner the Committee Against Torture following the murder of renowned human rights defender Natalia Estemirova. A further raid took place in the same building but this time on an apartment housing JMG employees where Chechen Police forcibly entered the premises and confiscated computers belonging to them. In a separate incident, Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev, an independent journalist in Dagestan was murdered in July 2013. He was one of few journalists in Dagestan that dared to write about human rights violations and other crimes committed by authorities.

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