Re: Mikhail Trepashkin
To: Yury Ivanovich Kalinin, Federal Service for the Execution of Punishments, Russian Federation;
From: Russell MacKay
This letter is a follow up to my letter of February 12th, 2007. I wrote at that time as a member of LRWC to express my deep concern with the treatment of Mikhail Trepashkin. Not only have I received no reply to that letter but I am informed that Mr. Trepashkin has been transferred to a standard prison colony where his access to counsel, supporters, family and medical attention is even further diminished.
I am told that the rationale for the transfer is that Mr. Trepashkin was alleged to have committed violations of the prison rules at IK 13.
One of these supposed violations is the allegation that he was involved in “smuggling” alcohol into the prison. It seems that this had to do with a 7 ml bottle of cologne rather than anything that was intended for internal consumption.
A second allegation was that Mr. Trepashkin “swore” at a prison official. When this allegation was scrutinized in court through cross-examination, it appears that the official in question simply assumed it was a swear word as he could not actually hear what was murmured.
If the above-mentioned information is accurate, the transfer of Mr. Trepashkin is arbitrary and cannot be seen to be anything but a transparent attempt to justify a politically motivated move. If the Russian Federation wants to generate a reputation for lawlessness, ruthlessness and cruelty, the treatment of Mr. Trepashkin is the ideal vehicle by which to achieve this.
We reiterate our earlier concerns that Mr. Trepashkin’s detention has no legal merit. We continue to be extremely concerned for his physical and psychological well-being.
We reiterate our requests for guarantees from you to take all actions necessary to ensure that:
i. Mr. Trepashkin’s life, well-being and psychological integrity and legal rights are, and will continue to be, protected;
ii. All necessary steps are being taken to either release Mr. Trepashkin unconditionally or properly make known the basis on which his continued detention is justified by law. At the very least that he be transferred to a medical facility where proper diagnosis and treatment of his illnesses can take place;
iii. All acts of harassment of Mr. Trepashkin and other lawyers involved in the investigation of the 1999 explosions in Russia cease immediately;
iv. A full review of Mr. Trepashkin’s case be undertaken – including an independent review of the fairness of his trial(s). While this is underway that he be released from detention to enable him to freely and effectively instruct his legal representatives.
As I pointed out in my February letter, Russia has a responsibility to adopt these measures to guarantee the life and physical safety of Mr. Trepashkin. The continued harassment and detention of Mr. Trepashkin is an outrage. If, as appears to be the case, this treatment is being deliberately inflicted by employees of the Russian Federation, your government should be ashamed and embarrassed.
I repeat my request that you advise LRWC by mail, e-mail or fax of the actions that your government is taking or intends to take remedy this outrageous situation.