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Russia Urged To End Harassment Against Lawyer

Karina Moskalenko has represented clients in some sensitive cases (file photo) (RFE/RL) May 9, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights has urged Russia to end "ongoing harassment" against Russian human rights lawyer Karina Moskalenko.

In a statement issued today, IHF Executive Director Aaron Rhodes said the Russian authorities' efforts to strip Moskalenko of her professional status were aimed at punishing her for her work on politically sensitive cases.

Moskalenko's clients have included Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former chief executive of bankrupt oil giant Yukos, and Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion who is now an opposition leader in Russia.

Complaints Of Intimidation

Earlier this year, Moskalenko complained in a letter to the Prosecutor-General's office about what she called its acts of intimidation against Khodorkovsky's defense team.

Khodorkovsky is serving eight years in jail on fraud and tax evasion charges in a case seen by many as a politically-driven attack on a businessman who had become critical of President Vladimir Putin.

The organization founded by Moskalenko, the International Protection Center, has brought more than 100 cases against Russia to the European Court of Human Rights.

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