Urgent Interventions

Judicial harassment against Mr. Igor Kalyapin


RUS002 / 0112 / OBS 009



January 19, 2012

The Observatoryfor the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights(FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in the RussianFederation.

Brief descriptionof the situation:

The Observatoryhas been informed by the Committee Against Torture about the judicial harassmentagainst its Chairman, Mr. Igor Kalyapin, also Head of the Joint MobileGroup of human rights organisations in Chechnya (JMG)[1].

According to theinformation received, on January 18, 2012, Mr. Igor Kalyapin was informed bythe Head of the Territorial Department for Investigating Particular ImportantCases of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of theRussian Federation, Mr. Igor Sobol, about the filing by the head of the Chechenspecial militia agents (OMON) of a request for the opening of a criminal caseby the investigative authorities of the Chechen Republic for “disclosure ofState secrets” against Mr. Kalyapin under Article 283 of the Criminal Code ofthe Russian Federation, which is punishable with a prison sentence of three toseven years. The request is currently being reviewed by the investigativeauthorities.

It is feared thatthis request merely aims at sanctioning the human rights activities carried outby the JMG, in particular the investigation into the abduction and subsequentill-treatment of Mr. Islam Umarpashayev by members of the Chechen OMON. TheUmarpashayev case is currently examined by a team placed under the leadershipof Mr. Igor Sobol, while Mr. Kalyapin is representative for the victim. Thediary written by Mr. Kalyapin, in which he narrates the story of theinvestigation, has gained broad popularity on the Internet. Moreover, the JMGreceived two new cases in which members and commanders of the Chechen OMON are alsosuspected[2].

The Observatorycondemns the judicial harassment of Mr. Igor Kalyapin since it seems to merelyaim at sanctioning his human rights activities and expresses its deep concernabout the ongoing attempts to hinder the peaceful activities of human rightsdefenders in the Russian Federation.


Please write tothe authorities of Russian Federation, urging them to:

i. Guarantee in allcircumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Igor Kalyapin aswell as of all members of the Committee Against Torture and of the JMG and allhuman rights defenders in the Russian Federation;

ii. Put an end to anyact of harassment - including at the judicial level - against Mr. Igor Kalyapinas well as against all human rights defenders in the Russian Federation, and ensurein all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimateactivities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals;

iii. Comply with theprovisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adoptedby the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, especially:

- its Article 1,which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association withothers, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of humanrights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”,

- its Article 6 (b)and (c), which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in associationwith others [...] as provided for in human rights and other applicable internationalinstruments, freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, informationand knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms and [...] to study,discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice,of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriatemeans, to draw public attention to those matters”,

- and Article 12.2,which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure theprotection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in associationwith others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adversediscrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of hisor her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the presentDeclaration”;

iv. Comply with theprovisions of the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers of the Council ofEurope on the protection of human rights defenders and the promotion of theiractivities, and in particular With Article 2.i), in which the Committee callson member States to “create an environment conducive to the work of humanrights defenders, enabling individuals, groups and associations to freely carryout activities, on a legal basis, consistent with international standards, topromote and strive for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedomswithout any restrictions other than those authorised by the European Conventionon Human Rights;

v. More generally,ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedomsin accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with internationaland regional human rights instruments ratified by the Russian Federation.


  • Mr. Dmitri Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, Ilinka Str, 23, Moscow, 103132, Moscow, Russian Federation, Faxes:+ 7 495 606 5173 / 630 2408
  • Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Rashid Nurgaliev, ul. Zhitnaya, 16, 117049 Moscow, Russian Federation, Telegram: Rossiia, 117049, Moskva, Fax: + 7 495 637 49 25
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Smolenskaya-Sennaya pl, 32/34, 121200 Moscow, Russian Federation, Telegram: Fax:+ 7 495 644 2203
  • Mr. Alexander Ivanovich Bastrykin, Chairman of the Investigations Committee of the Russian Federation, Building 28, house 15, Naberezhnaya Akademika Tupoleva, Moscow, 105005, Russian Federation
  • Ambassador Mr. Valery Loshchinin, Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations in Geneva, Avenue de la Paix 15, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland, E-mail :, Fax: +4122 734 40 44
  • Ambassador Mr. Alexandra Romanov, Embassy of the Russian Federation in Brussels, 66 avenue de Fré, 1180 Brussels, Belgium. Fax: +32 2 374 26 13. E-mail:

Please also writeto the diplomatic mission or embassy of the Russian Federation in your respectivecountry.


Geneva-Paris,January 19, 2012

Kindly inform usof any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

  • E-mail:
  • Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
  • Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

[1] The JMG was formed after the murder of Ms.Natalia Estemirova, a member of the Human Rights Centre “Memorial” in Grozny,in July 2009, and has been active in Grozny since the fall of 2009.

[2] One of these cases concerns the illegaldetention and brutal torture by policemen of employees of the Criminal InvestigationDepartment of the Interior Ministry of the Chechen Republic. The investigationinto these events was recently suspended by the investigative authorities inChechnya. In late December 2011, the lawyers of the JMG sent a complaintagainst the suspension to the Prosecutor’s Office of the North Caucasus FederalDistrict. In the case, which is now under review by the Federal Prosecutor,convincing evidence of criminal activity by the Chechen OMON agents wasgathered.