[JURIST] Russian officials have harassed human rights defense lawyer Karinna Moskalenko and are attempting to disbar her after Moskalenko filed complaints with the European Court of Human Rights over alleged rights violations by the Russian government, the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights [advocacy website] said Tuesday. IHF is asking Russian authorities to end the harassment [press release]. IHF Executive Director Aaron Rhodes said that "The initiative by the office of the Russian Prosecutor General to deprive Ms. Moskalenko of her professional status and prevent her from practicing law is an apparent attempt at discrediting and punishing her for her work on politically inconvenient cases and at establishing an example for other lawyers in this field." Prosecutors say that she should be disbarred based on allegations of violations of professional ethics and obstruction of investigations.
In her tenure as a human rights lawyer, Moskalenko has obtained more than twenty rulings against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website]. Moskalenko represented former chess champion and liberal United Civil Front [party website, in Russian] leader Garry Kasparov [official website, in Russian] after he was arrested [JURIST report] during an April protest, and has also represented billionaire oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [JURIST news archive]. AP has more.