MIKHAIL TREPASHKIN – Lawyer and human rights activist

Mikhail Trepashkin was sentenced in May 2005 to four years’ imprisonment in an

open prison colony for illegal possession of ammunition and divulging state secrets. Amnesty International has reported numerous times since his imprisonment, which appears to have been politically motivated, that Mr. Trepashkin is receiving inadequate medical treatment.

According to reports from Amnesty International, Mikhail Trepashkin, a former KGB and Federal Security Services (FSB) officer, had been assisting the independent commission investigating a series of explosions that took place in apartment buildings in Moscow and other cities in 1999. The authorities had blamed the explosions on Chechen separatists, but there are allegations that the FSB had been complicit in the explosions, which the Russian government had used as a pretext for military action in Chechnya. Mr. Trepashkin was arrested in October 2003, one week before he had been due to appear in court to represent the family of one of the people killed in the 1999 explosions. He was eventually convicted by a Russian military court.

Mr. Trepashkin has been diagnosed as far back as May, 2006 as suffering from a severe form of bronchial asthma that would, under the guidelines established by the Russain Ministry of Health, warrant his outright release from prison. However, on 9 March 2007, a district court in Nizhnii Tagil in the Sverdlovsk Region of the Russian Federation decided that Mikhail Trepashkin should be transferred to a standard prison colony where his access to counsel, supporters, family and medical attention is even further diminished.


Letters by Russell MacKay sent on Feb 12, 2007 and March 25, 2007