Feygin asks Merkel, Macron for protection from persecution in Russia

Feygin asks Merkel, Macron for protection from persecution in Russia

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Ukrinform
A Russian lawyer, a defense lawyer for Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and Crimea, including Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko, has appealed to European leaders for protection from persecution in his country.

The lawyer wrote this in an address to German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. The text of the document was given by Feygin to Ukrinform.

"Under the prevailing circumstances, Germany and France are involved in resolving the crisis in Ukraine as part of the quadripartite Normandy format. This was followed by a mission negotiating the release of hostages in eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia itself. Regarding the fate of one of them, Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, who was arrested in Moscow in September 2016, I myself appealed to you, the first persons of France and Germany," he said.

According to Feygin, efforts are aimed at the rapid return home of his client, who has worked for six years in Paris as a permanent correspondent of the Ukrinform agency.

"As a lawyer, I tried, by combining procedural and political efforts, to achieve the best possible ways to rescue my principal. Realizing that the background of such lawyer's protection is, in fact, the war between Russia and Ukraine, I understood the riskiness of my position," Feygin said. 

He recalled that, as a Russian lawyer, he participated in high-profile political processes - from Pussy Riot to Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko and Crimean Mejlis activist Ilmi Umerov. 

"It would seem that over the years, I got used to open persecution by those who are dissatisfied with my work. However, in the case of Roman Sushchenko, who is accused of espionage in Russia, I faced the scale of pressure that had never been seen before. Russian officials, who are in charge of Ukraine's issues and Ukrainian political prisoners, launched a public campaign against harassment and persecution against me," the lawyer said.

Feygin said that today in Russia, he may lose his lawyer status and be prosecuted under trumped-up reasons, including his posts in social networks.

"However, the reality is that in the near future, by the end of 2017, they are going to deprive me of the opportunity to engage in professional activities and remove from the protection of journalist Roman Sushchenko," he said.

He explained that the meaning of this letter is to make sure that European mediators understand the whole picture of the struggle of independent political advocacy with arbitrariness and lawlessness in Russia.

"I hope that dear Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Macron, you will also not spare the efforts to liberate Roman Sushchenko from the Russian prison after I'm removed from his defense," Feygin said.

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