The Russian Ministry of Justice has announced the expulsion of a famous Tatar lawyer from the Crimean peninsula. Since the annexation of 2014, this forty-year-old has specialized in the defense of political prisoners.
The countdown has started and Emil Kurbedinov does not know if he will be able to stop it in time. The famous Crimean lawyer, tireless defender of Tatars, journalists, human rights activists and other political prisoners of the Ukrainian peninsula connected by Russia, expects to be kicked out of the bar on April 1st.st March 2019. The announcement was communicated to him on 18 December by a letter from the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.
For the dozens of customers who come to his door, Emil Kurbedinov is a kind of brave paladin in black dress who scrapes his legal rules against the Russian administration, without sparing his punishment. For the authorities, this forty-year-old with his square jaw and accurate verb is a dangerous obstacle to walk around in circles, where it is time to remain silent, to turn the right when necessary.
The legal arguments are not lacking in the Russian prosecutor's office as soon as he receives instructions to prosecute. All you need is time, method and what you need to do next. The first attack on Emil Kurbedinov began on January 26, 2017. On that day, masked officers took him as a dangerous terrorist and dropped him off at the FSB office, the Russian intelligence service.
Crimean Tatars under pressure from Moscow
He is sentenced to ten days of administrative detention for violating Article 20.3 of the Code on the dissemination of symbols of terrorist organizations. In other words, justice accuses him of having posted in 2013 on Vkontakte, the equivalent of Russian Facebook, a picture of a meeting of the Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir.
It does not matter that the Crimea at that time was under the control of Ukraine and the organization was completely legal according to Ukrainian legislation. "It was tried for facts that were not covered by Russian legislation in 2013"Julia Ouhanon of the International Federation for Human Rights is still surprised.
The right, nothing but the good
Despite this warning, Emil Kurbedinov does not give up. He chained the most delicate files, in perfect knowledge of Russian law he studied in Krasnodar, a city in the south of Russia. "He does not see himself as a human rights activist, just like a lawyer, Maryna Shcherbyna, member of the Les Nouveaux Dissidents association. What interests him from his youth is law, not politics. For example, he refuses to take a position on the annexation of Crimea by Russia. "
The business community is accumulating, according to the arrests of Tatar and Ukrainian opponents. His name is a promise of seriousness: one person asks for his presence, even on files that are defended by colleagues. "He works all the time, testifies Macha Chishchenkova, Russia official for the NGO Front Line Defenders. He lives under constant pressure, which has led to health problems. He does not even sleep in his pajamas for fear of being arrested at night. " His activity is on the radar of the authorities, he can not escape.
The fall seems to be closing
The second arrest finally took place on 6 December 2018. He was sentenced to five days of administrative detention for the same photo published in 2013, but this time on the Facebook network. "During his confinement, 200 Tatars demonstrated day and night before his prison to demand his release", reports Macha Chishchenko. The sanction, in the light of the customs of the Russian justice in such a case, hides another. It will be communicated to him before Christmas.
According to Section 1.2 of Article 15 of the federal law on non-commercial organizations, any person who has already been convicted of "Extremism" can no longer be a member of that organization. As such, he must be excluded from law practice. The fall seems to be closing. Supported by colleagues in Russia and abroad, Emil Kurbedinov is now looking for a legal parade.