Amnesty International says criminal defense lawyers in Russia’s North Caucasus are often intimidated, threatened, and sometimes subjected to physical violence, while officials behind such attacks evade justice.
In a fresh report released on March 21, Amnesty highlights cases where lawyers were ill-treated and in one case even killed.
There are also allegations of unlawful executions.
The London-based group says law enforcement officials are “often reported to use torture and other ill-treatment for investigation purposes.”
Amnesty highlighted the case of the Daghestani Sapiyat Magomedova who came to a police station to visit her recently detained client, but was denied entry and brutally beaten.
The human rights organization said her attempts to see her attackers prosecuted actually resulted in criminal charges being brought against her, and later the entire investigation was dropped.
Amnesty says authorities must ensure that lawyers are free to protect the rights of their clients without fear.
The North Caucasus is the scene of frequent attacks by armed groups, countered by the heavy-handed response of the authorities.