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Head of Agora human rights NGO may be banned from Tolokonnkova case

September 30, 2013, 9:37 UTC+3
HRC members will gather to discuss the issue of non-compliance of the conduct of their colleagues Ilya Shablinsky and Pavel Chikov with their status
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Photo EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

Photo EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

MOSCOW, September 30 (Itar-Tass) - Chairman of the Agora Interregional Human Rights Association, a member of the Human Rights Council and the husband of lawyer Irina Khrunova, Pavel Chikov, has been providing active support in spreading information about homicide threats in the address of convicted Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. In addition, he is engaged in fund raising for the client of his wife, the Izvestia newspaper writes.

Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council (HRC) is to present a full report of the HRC working group’s visit to the corrective labor colony #14 in Mordovia, where Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is serving her sentence, at the meeting of the Council, tentatively, on October 1.

However, HRC members will gather to discuss the issue of non-compliance of the conduct of their colleagues Ilya Shablinsky and Pavel Chikov with their status. Several Council members told the Izvestia daily that one of them - Yevgeny Myslovsky, accused Shablinski and Chikov of deliberately spreading false information about offenses in the corrective labour colony. In addition, he questioned the right of Pavel Chikov to comment on the case in any way because he is the husband of Tolokonnikova’s lawyer, Irina Khrunova.

“The story of Tolokonnikova’s letter is a pure provocation - the girl was beguiled into doing that, she was set up for the sake of somebody’s selfish interests. This is not about the fact that there are any violations. They exist in all the colonies. I’m talking about the lawyers’ actions,” Myslovsky stated.

On September 23, Tolokonnikova’s husband Pyotr Verzilov and her lawyer Irina Khrunova spread information that Tolokonnikova went on a hunger strike in protest against threats from the leadership of corrective labour camp No 14 in Mordovia. Almost at the same reports appeared that the day before, Verzilov and Khrunova allegedly blackmailed deputy head the colony Yuri Kupriyanov, demanding that Tolokonnikova be moved to another colony. In the event of his non-compliance with the demand, they threatened to spread letters allegedly written by Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, in which she complains that her life is in danger.

On September 24, four members of the RF Presidential Human Rights Council - Maria Kannabikh, Yelena Masyuk, Yevgeny Myslovsky and Ilya Shablinsky, went to the colony to clarify the situation. In the view of Myslovsky, Shablinsky went to the colony under the influence of another member of the Council - Pavel Chikov, only with one purpose - “to prove the existence of abuses by any means.”

“I can only say one thing about lawyer Khrunova: the person does her job by dirty methods. Also, she is the wife of Pavel Chikov, therefore, there is a conflict of interest. This is why I say that one has to be careful when trying to draw public attention,” Myslovsky stressed.

The human rights activist fears that such actions could damage the HRC reputation and in the future its members might be viewed as members of “a provocative organization.”

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